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Fitbit Charge 2 Versus Garmin Vívosmart HR+ Comparison: Choosing Between the Best of the Best

The tracking industry is a fickle beast. One day one device is on top, the next day it’s something newer and shinier. Which makes the fact that Fitbit and Garmin consistently rank at the top even more impressive. Their commitment to quality and innovation allows them to give consumers what they need when they need it; in a package that is stylish and durable.

Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR

You can choose just about any device from these brands and be satisfied. But if you’re buying the best, it only makes sense to pick the best they have to offer. Which is where my review of the Fitbit Charge 2 Versus the Garmin vívosmart HR comes in. The Charge 2 and Vivosmart HR are top-sellers among consumers, so we are going to see how they stack up head-to-head. from design to features, we’ll break down what each can do to help you choose the right tracker for you.

The Charge 2 Fitness Tracker: Healthy Living From Head to Toe

Just when you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to tracking, Fitbit comes along and redefines the industry with the Charge 2. Innovative and fresh, it’s designed to make fitness and health your primary focus. There several new features and modes to enhance your workouts, which are what sells it for me. From yoga-inspired breathing to multi-sport apps, this device can take you from warm-ups to cool-downs, and help you de-stress after a long day too! It’s made to get you fit physically and mentally, in the best shape of your life.

Oh, and there are some great new design upgrades to go along with all those new features. Featuring an OLED display, clock faces you can customize, and interchangeable bands, this tracker has a polished feel you can take from day to night.

In addition to monitoring calories, distance, and sleep, here’s what the Charge 2 can do:

  • Guided Breathing Mode

    Guided breathing mode is just one of this device’s new modes, and by far it’s most impressive. Using PurePulse technology, it will analyze and sync your breathing to your heart rate. There are two and five-minute breathing sessions to teach you how to breathe properly, using audio and visual cues to indicate when to inhale or exhale. What I love best about this feature is that it gives you control of a critical body function in a way that is easy to understand.

    Not everyone knows how to breathe correctly when they exercise, which can negatively impact results. It can also cause injury, as oxygen is essential to muscle repair and recovery. Guided breathing changes all that; With it,  you can regulate your breathing as you work out, stressed, or anxious. All of which allows you to exercise or face the day’s challenges without a second thought.

  • Cardio Fitness Level

    Cardio Fitness is another new feature that also uses PurePulse heart rate to determine what is known as your cardio fitness score. This score, which is based on your heart rate statistics, age, and gender, indicates how healthy you are overall. The Charge 2 calculates your number, then compares it with others in your range. This is very useful because it shows you what areas to improve in and gives a realistic picture of where you should be. Check out other Fitbit Reviews Here.

  • Multisport Modes

    For anyone who likes to perform different types of activities, multisports mode is a great new addition. It eliminates the hassle of having to program your tracker, as it automatically monitors and records whatever you do. You can cycle, run, lift weights and more, and your Charge 2 will recognize the sport and track accordingly. Tracking for specific activities increases accuracy and improves your moves.

  • Connected GPS

    Using your smartphone, you can access GPS for enhanced stats and add-ons. For instance, GPS gives you more precise distance ran and traveled. Also it tracks your path in the map on your phone.

  • Smart Alerts

    In addition to caller alerts, you also get text and calendar alerts on the Charge 2. This helps me a lot because I can go for a jog without worrying about missing a call from my kids- or boss.

Garmin Vivosmart HR+: Putting Fitness First

If you live an active lifestyle or are dedicated to fitness, the Vivosmart HR is a dream come true. Built to make exercising easy, efficient, and fun, it gives you things you didn’t even realize you needed. There is integrated GPS for runners and golfers, Intensity tracking minutes for cardio, and Garmin Connect for support and guidance.

And that’s just for starters. Moving from features to design, Garmin took it to another level, with a sharp touchscreen display and water-resistant casing. Plus, the polymer band is durable and flexible, for extended usage without it wearing down or irritating. All of this adds up to a tracker you can wear with confidence as you work towards your fitness goals.

In addition to 24/7 heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, here’s a look at what the Vivosmart HR has to offer:

  • Integrated GPS

    This is by far the best feature on the Vivosmart HR. GPS makes everything easier, and more accurate, so you get improved stats and added components. With GPS heart rate, calories and distance are delivered with pinpoint accuracy, for improved performance. Oh, and you get those stats no matter where you are- even in the mountains or under a tree!

    GPS also allows runners to acquire lap times, mile splits, and explore new areas without worrying about getting lost. So you can find new paths and keep your routine interesting and challenging. Cyclists can carve out new routes, and golfers can use this feature to map courses and shots. For me, it is a feature every device should have, and what makes the Vivosmart HR one of the best.

  • Intensity Tracking Minutes

    For those who are serious about exercising, or want to lose weight, Intensity Tracking is very helpful. this feature lets you know how hard you are exercising at any given moment. You can use this to ensure you are hitting your maximum heart rate and training zones, for efficiency in every session.

  • Move IQ

    With Move IQ, you can track any activity, from swimming to the elliptical machine, without setting your device. Which means you can focus on exercising, not programming your tracker. For those who are forgetful, or pressed for time, this eliminates losing valuable data or not getting credit for an activity.

  • Water Resistant

    With a water-resistant rating of 5 ATM, you can swim, shower or run in the rain with the Vivosmart HR. Few devices allow you to get caught in the rain, let alone swim with it, so this is a huge plus. You can take up swimming if you want, or jog when it’s raining without a care.

  • Touchscreen Display

    The touchscreen takes convenience to a new level. Simply swipe to see calories burned, the time, heart rate, and more for instant access. All your apps, tracking modes, and data are there, no fumbling with buttons to scroll through.

  • Garmin Connect

    If you need advice, guidance, or support, Garmin Connect is there to help. The Connect app puts you in touch with other Garmin users, so you can trade recipes, tips, or “compete” in friendly competitions. This will motivate you, keep you dedicated, and help you reach your goals in a realistic time frame.

The Fitbit Charge 2 Versus The Garmin Vivoactive HR: Common Features

Each of these devices has a lot to offer, which can make comparing them difficult. To help you with that, we will look at how they are similar, and different, giving you a clearer perspective of how they stack up. Let’s look at their similarities first:

  • Tracking: Both devices track calories, distance, steps and sleep cycles. So no matter which one you choose, you can monitor daily activities easily.
  • Round-the-Clock Heart Rate Monitoring: The Charge 2 and Vivosmart HR both have wrist-based heart rate monitoring, for increased accuracy in active and resting stats. This allows for a more precise picture of overall health.
  • Smart Notifications: Each device provides alerts for incoming calls, texts and messages. This ensures family or work members can reach you when needed, making it easier for you to focus on your workout.
  • Fitness Features: Each one has enhanced fitness features for improved performance. Which one works best for you will depend on your activity levels and needs. Either one will get the job done.


Comparison: The Fitbit Charge 2 Versus The Garmin Vivoactive HR

What sets these devices apart can help you determine which one is best for you. Let’s look at how they differ in each of the major categories:


Both of these devices have a rugged, sporty look, and similar shapes. However, each has some key differences. The Charge 2, is oblong in shape and features an OLED display. The screen is crystal clear and can be read in any light, so your stats and notifications are easy to see when you glance down; Just use the side button to navigate the various screens. Then there are the bands.

The Charge 2 comes with a rubberized, textured black band, but there other colors and materials available. From stainless steel to mesh, the interchangeable band options let you dress it up when you need to. This option gives you added versatility and makes it popular among fashion-minded users.

Then there are the bands. The Charge 2 comes with a rubberized, textured black band, but there other colors and materials available. From stainless steel to mesh, the interchangeable band options let you dress it up when you need to. This option gives you added versatility and makes it popular among fashion-minded users.

As for the Vivosmart HR, it sports a similar shape to the Charge 2, but its display is different. The touchscreen is a step up, and makes toggling between menus and stats quicker than ever. Just swipe left or right to see calories, access apps or respond to notifications. The band, however, is simpler than the Charges. Available only in black, the polymer, textured look gives it a sportier feel. It’s one of the best Garmin tracker in the market.

This category is tricky, but I give the edge to the Vivosmart due to the touchscreen, which makes it easier to use.

Fitness Features

This is another close category, as both trackers have plenty to offer in terms of fitness. The Charge 2 has an impressive array of features: Guided Breathing Mode, Cardio Fitness, and multi sports modes. These 3 components allow you to tailor and maximize your workouts. Guided Breathing alone is a game changer; To be able to see and regulate how you breathe as you exercise enhances and improves your movements.

Then there’s Cardio Fitness and multi sports modes, each of which ensures you get the most from your sessions. Cardio Fitness gives you a tangible number to assess your health while multi-sports mode lets you track different activities accurately. Together, these three features make it easy to live a healthier lifestyle.

As for the Vivosmart HR, it also has multiple activity tracking (Move IQ), along Intensity Tracking Minutes.  Intensity Tracking is a feature that can really help if you are trying to lose weight. It pinpoints how hard you are exercising at any moment, so you can maximize your workout efforts and burn more calories.

This category goes to the Charge 2; the addition of Guided Breathing is a big advantage that goes beyond exercising.


The Vivosmart HR is the winner here, as it has built-in GPS. So, you don’t need to carry your phone to track a path or check your time. The Charge 2 can also use GPS, but only through your smartphone, which can be a hassle. It can be a burden to have your phone in your hand or pocket as you run.


Again, the Vivosmart HR wins, thanks to  5 ATM rating. You can jump in a pool, hike in the rain, or shower with it, and it will work as good as ever. It gives swimmers, who are underrepresented in the tracker field, a quality device to use. The Charge 2 is splash proof, but no swimming or showering. Taking it on and off to wash up can be a bit annoying and may even stop you from wearing your device consistently.

My review of the Fitbit Charge 2 Versus Garmin vívosmart HR is packed with all the information you need to choose between these two elite devices. Personally, I think they both have a lot going for them, and it all comes down to your personal preference.

The Charge 2 is a solid option for professionals thanks to its polished design, as they can wear it at work without it being noticeable. It is also great for those who want a full-body experience, It’s abundance of fitness features can help rejuvenate your body and mind.

The Vivosmart HR, on the other hand, is ideal for fitness enthusiasts. The GPS and water-resistant features make this device one of the top performers, and able to handle all your needs. It can help you streamline your routine, and transform how you exercise.

Bottom line is, no matter which on you choose, it will be money well spent.

No Comments

  • Davidr February 11, 2018 at 4:47 am
    My wife works in a care home, and I am contemplating buying her an activity tracker for a forthcoming birthday. Watches are not allowed to be worn, but as she covers a lot of ground an involved heavy work - lifting and moving patients, I would like these activities to be monitored on a tracker in addition to other social activities. If the device was carried in a pocket , or ankle or in some other way, will it be as effective?
    • Emery February 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm
      It won't be quite as effective, but it should still give her some idea about movement and steps. Also, the fitbit one, fitbit flex 2, or the bellabeat leaf might be some options to check out.

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