- Attractive design
- Good mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features
- First Garmin with wireless charging
- Can get most features for less
- Battery life good but not great
- UI takes a bit of learning
The Garmin Vivomove Trend is a nice addition to Garmin’s sleek hybrid smartwatch family with its biggest pull being those added wireless charging powers.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Garmin Vivomove Trend
The Vivomove series is all about serving up Garmin’s core fitness tracking and smartwatch features in a more sophisticated design and with the Vivomove Trend, that, well, trend continues.
Joining the Vivomove Sport, Style, and Luxe, the Trend offers an analogue watch look that hides away a digital screen to give you the best of both timekeeping worlds.
That does also mean you have a watch that’s capable of showing off smarts like phone notifications, daily step counts, sleep data and is even fit to track some dedicated exercise time as well.
The £279.99/$299.99 price means it’s not the cheapest Vivomove watch in town, putting it in the pricing territory of full-fat smartwatches like the Apple Watch SE and fellow hybrids like the Withings ScanWatch. The big news is the addition of wireless charging, but is that enough to make the Vivomove Trend feel special?
Design & build
- Weighs 43.3g
- 40mm case only
- 1.01-inch display
Design is the defining reason as to why you’d want the Vivomove Trend over more overtly sporty smartwatches that are out there and in Garmin’s own watch collection. Garmin gives you a good-sized, 40mm polymer case with a stainless steel bezel and your pick of four different case and strap combination looks.
The peach gold version I tested certainly felt a more women-focused look, and in general this is a watch that does feels mainly aimed at women, but I had no problem donning it and it was a look I think that can work for any gender.
Garmin matches up that polymer case and stainless steel bezel with a 20mm, removable silicone strap with a simple pin mechanism making it nice and easy to remove and swap in an official or unofficial alternative.
There are no physical buttons whatsoever so it’s all about tapping and prodding at a 254 x 346 resolution liquid crystal touchscreen display that appears from behind the analogue watch face only when you interact with it. When you tap and swipe and the watch hands move, that screen generally responds well, but can on the odd occasion take another prod to get it to open up menu or data screen.
The screen is easy to view indoors, but it can be a bit more challenging to peer at it outdoors in much brighter sunlight. Thankfully, Garmin does let you adjust the screen brightness, though you are warned going very bright does hit the battery harder.
Around the back is where you’ll find Garmin’s proprietary optical sensor setup, which does mean you have something here to track heart rate and blood oxygen.
If you want to take it for a swim, you can do that as Garmin gives it the same 5ATM waterproof rating applied to other Vivomove models. That makes it fit to be submerged in water up to 50 metres depth.
Health and fitness tracking
- Daily activity tracking including steps and sleep
- Tracks stress and respiration
- Connected GPS for more accurate outdoor tracking
Garmin isn’t really offering anything new that you couldn’t already find on its other Vivomove watches. So this is really about packaging those same features into a different look.
You’re getting the same sensors, which include Garmin’s Elevate heart rate monitor, a Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor, and a barometric altimeter. You don’t have the ability to pair it to external heart rate monitors and there’s connected GPS as opposed to the built-in kind, meaning a reliance on your phone if you want to get more reliable data from your outdoor runs and rides.
I would say that this is a watch that you’re going to primarily turn to for the kind of tracking features you’d turn to a Fitbit for. It will count your daily steps and give you a nudge when you’re not moving enough. It will automatically adjust those daily step goals based on your progress and having that altimeter means it will track your steps climbed, which is a good calorie-burning activity. Using it alongside Apple’s activity tracking I found that step counts were well in line and there weren’t any days where the total step counts felt wildly off.
It’s one you can take to sleep as well, offering a breakdown of sleep stages, generating a sleep score to quickly understand how good or bad your sleep was, and it captures blood oxygen and respiration data for an additional hit of general wellness data. The accuracy of those sleep tracking features and the reliability of the generated sleep scores felt good on the whole, and it’s clear Garmin’s sleep tracking features are improving on the accuracy front.
That being said, I did still find it has the odd issue of tracking an extra hour of total sleep time, which has been something I’ve experienced with other Garmin watches in the past.
Beyond some pretty familiar fitness tracking features this is a watch that will track your heart rate continuously as well as stress using the same optical sensor, and it offers some mindful breathing exercises to help you de-stress. There are women’s health tracking features here too, letting you track menstrual and pregnancy cycles and log symptoms in the Garmin Connect companion app.
Garmin’s watches in general do a good job of continuously monitoring heart rate and stress and that doesn’t change with the Trend. I found resting heart rate data was nicely in line with Apple’s heart rate tracking, which offers some of the most reliable wrist-based heart rate monitoring.
I wouldn’t necessarily rely heavily on the Vivomove Trend being a watch that you’re going to use for any sort of serious training. It does offer a bunch of preloaded sports tracking modes, which does include running (indoors and outdoors), cycling, pool swimming and yoga.
Pool swimming for instance offers much more basic swim data than Garmin’s more capable Forerunner watches, while using the screen doesn’t lend itself so well when you’re putting the connected GPS to use for outdoor workouts and you need to quickly glance over data. It can do a good job of tracking runs and rides, but it does feel like it’s pushing the Trend’s screen’s ability to match what you’ll see and can absorb on a dedicated sports watch.
Garmin does make room for its Body Battery energy monitor and insights like fitness age, VO2 Max (for running), and intensity minutes, so those sensors and tracked workouts and activity can give you a better sense of how fit and prepared you are for a strenuous day or workout. I’d say the energy monitor, while a useful feature on paper, didn’t feel hugely insightful on day-to-day use.
What is nice to see is that Garmin has found room for its safety features like LiveTrack and Incident Detection, which does still require having your phone nearby to raise an alarm when you get into a spot of bother but elevates just how useful this watch is to have on your wrist.
- View notifications
- Garmin Pay
- Music playback features but no music player
When you’re not using the Vivomove Trend to count steps or monitor your heart rate, it does still have its uses as a smartwatch. That mix of analogue and digital designs means things work slightly differently than other Garmin watches, but what makes the cut does work pretty well.
You can view phone notifications for native and third party apps and the presence of those analogue hands don’t feel like a nuisance as they dynamically shift to make room for swiping to read entire messages and parts of emails. If you’ve got it paired up to an Android smartphone you even have scope to fire out preset responses to texts.
There are dedicated screens to show off important calendar appointments and the weather as long as it’s connected to your phone, and there are find my phone and watch modes, which are always handy if you have a habit of misplacing your devices.
Garmin does also include its contactless payment support, though particularly in the UK, the list of supported banks isn’t huge. I was fortunate that mine was supported and does add in another useful feature to have at your disposal, but the support isn’t as slick as something like Apple Pay for comparison.
There are some smartwatch features that don’t make the cut here that you will find on other Garmin watches. There’s no built-in music player or support for Garmin’s Connect IQ app store. They’re not highly surprising omissions given the more complex UI created by the joint analogue and digital displays.
Ultimately, what Garmin does manage to offer on the smartwatch front works well. I was pleasantly surprised by the support for displaying notifications and while the interface takes some adapting to, it’s one that’s pretty straightforward to get to grips with once you work out where things live.
Battery life and charging
- Up to 5 days battery life
- 1 additional day in watch mode
- First Garmin watch with wireless charging
Unlike a Garmin Fenix or one of Garmin’s other sports watches, the Vivomove Trend isn’t designed to last for weeks away from a charger. It promises the same maximum 5 days as the other Vivomove series watches, with a potential extra day to offer something that can still tell the time before it goes fully dead.
I would say based on my testing that five days is absolutely accurate and that’s with regular use of fitness tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, and smartwatch features in use. What the Trend has that no other Vivomove or Garmin watch has is the ability to charge wirelessly, a more convenient way to power it up. You will need to already have a Qi-certified wireless charger, because one doesn’t come in the box. I did have a couple to try it out with and the Trend worked on both, so it does seem like one that should hopefully work with most chargers.
Without the wireless charging, you do still have a charging cable, which is a different design to the one bundled with most Garmin watches these days. So if you thought you could use an old Garmin charging cable with it, you’re sadly out of luck.
The Garmin Vivomove Trend costs £279.99/$269.99 direct from Garmin, jumping up slightly to £299.99/$299.99 if you opt for the peach gold or cream gold bezel versions. That price puts it in and around the price of Garmin’s Vivomove Style, which includes an OLED display, but costs more than the Vivomove Sport, which offers a lower resolution screen compared to the Trend.
That price also puts it up against other hybrid smartwatches like the Withings ScanWatch but it is pricier than most of Fossil’s Gen 6 hybrid smartwatch models. Check out our ranking of the best smartwatches for more options, or the best fitness trackers for a simpler set.
The Garmin Vivomove Trend succeeds in putting some of Garmin’s best features into another attractive design. If you care more about steps, sleep, monitoring heart rate 24/7, and being motivated to move more each day, then that is absolutely where the Trend impresses. It can do more, but this is where its strengths as a hybrid smartwatch lie.
Crucially, it delivers those features with an analogue look that rarely feels like it’s getting in the way of that digital display behind it showing off your stats and notifications.
The problem the Vivomove Trend has is how it sits in amongst Garmin’s other Vivomove watches. It’s a more stylish-looking timepiece compared to the cheaper Vivomove Sport, but isn’t far off the price of the Style in price, which gets you a better AMOLED display.
It certainly rivals similarly priced hybrid smartwatches from Withings and Fossil and if you want something that offers a good balance between looks and features that you’ll actually find useful, then the Vivomove Trend offers plenty in those two departments.