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You can set a highlight color for the Vivoactive so that the hour shows up in, say, pink or light green, while the minutes display in white.
Want to reverse the display so it's black on white? Setting the alarm, which vibrates and rings, was easy enough for me to figure out through intuition, as was enabling activity-tracking when I was ready to record a run or walk.
First, you can buy the tracker on its own or pair it with a Garmin chest strap heart rate monitor for a bundled price of 9.
Second, it comes in black or white, and that color is for both the casing and the included wrist straps.
Between all those functions, plus checking the weather on the watch frequently and asking it to locate my phone, I was downright amazed, come Monday morning, when the Garmin Vivoactive still had 40 percent of its battery power remaining. I could nitpick that it doesn't have an optical heart rate monitor (HRM), like the Fitbit Surge and the Basis Peak, our Editors' Choices.
It shows how many steps you've walked, the distance of those steps in miles or kilometers, how many calories you've burned so far for the day, and an arc filled in to indicate the percent of how close you are to reaching your step-count goal.
It makes sense to use tactile feedback with a device that's on your skin.
When a notification comes to your Vivoactive from a Bluetooth-connected Android or i OS device, the watch vibrates and displays the alert.
In typical use, the battery can last up to three weeks. Even the Fitbit line of products, which have excellent battery life on average, typically last no more than 10 days.
If you're training for an ultramarathon, know that in GPS mode, the Vivoactive will only last 10 hours.
I also added a stopwatch and a heart rate variability (HRV) test, which requires a connected HRM.