One of the biggest pain points with fitness trackers is how each one has its own proprietary charger. It’s a serious inconvenience—if you forget a Lightning connector or a USB-C charger, you can always borrow one from a friend or find one in a store. But a proprietary Fitbit connector? Sorry! Guess you won’t be getting your steps tallied on that Italian walking vacation!
So it was with a sense of almost mystical reverence that I removed the Vivomove Trend from my wrist and placed it on the Qi charging pad next to my desk. I leaned over it breathlessly and examined the screen. Charging! Granted, it’s not incredibly fast, but it works! Never again will I be trapped on a work trip with an uncharged watch!
Garmin’s latest entry-level hybrid watch is still a little clunky to operate, but I do love its attractive, streamlined looks and that new charging system. Wireless charging on any Qi charging pad is almost magical. That, in itself, does a lot to put it at the head of the pack.
Best of Both Worlds
If you want to track your health without wearing an overtly chunky, sporty watch, you have a few options. Withings makes a tracker that looks as much like an analog watch as possible; Fossil’s Wellness watch packs as many metrics as possible into an analog watch face.
The Vivomove Trend gives you the best of both worlds. It comes in a variety of colorways (my tester is a beautiful, if slightly dated, peach gold with an ivory band). It has a dainty 40.4-mm case and an analog watch face. However, when you click on your device in the Garmin Connect app, you can pick up to three complications that will be visible when you swing the watch up toward your face.
This allows for much more customization than you might think, because some of the complications can combine—I opted for the Techie face, with the date up top and steps, battery, and floors climbed on the bottom.
To start an activity, check your heart rate, go to settings, or set a stopwatch or timer, you just touch your fingertip to the watch face. With a haptic buzz, the options pop up as glowing icons. If you click through to the timer but then realize you want to start an activity instead, you swipe back. As a side note, I do wish more trackers would just include one measly on-off button. (Even analog watches have at least one button!)
The buzz also alerts you when you get a notification or start an activity (you can change the strength of the buzz, but I didn’t notice a big difference). You can either start an activity manually or turn on auto activity tracking with Garmin’s Move IQ.
Move IQ is remarkably accurate—it picked up a wild 3-minute dash from the parking garage to a doctor’s appointment—but if you start an activity manually, you have to double-tap to start the activity once you’ve selected it. Since it connects to GPS via your phone, my tracked results from walking, biking, and running are consistent with results from other trackers—unless I forgot to start the activity manually, which happened a lot.