It’s always good to look back at what you have achieved. It is even better when you can compare statistics from the before days versus the now, thus the reason why I am using Garmin Vivoactive smartwatch. In this Garmin Vivoactive Review you can read my review for it’s usage during my swim sessions.
All this can be done via the Garmin Vivoactive watch (my version is discontinued, but you can check out the new ones here). It has a built in GPS (can function even without your mobile phone), good battery time and it is slim and slick. The downside is that the heart rate monitor is not integrated in the watch. If you want it, then that is an additional accessory that you should acquire.
I received this watch as a present from my wife and it was a great one. Even though I only used it to track my steps, as a simple smart watch (although it can do more) and, most of the time, I used it only for swimming. An activity during which it performs very well. The only activities which are not within the 5 ATM resistance are scuba diving and high speed water sports.
The built in sport apps are good (as a first impression after browsing through them) and the free clock faces look OK, but I still prefer the default view. I did not need to install a custom app on it (although there are several options), and did not need it to locate my phone or manage my player, although the watch can do all this. The main use I have for the watch is to track my swimming statistics or to monitor my walks or strolls.
I was thinking to start and learn to play golf, especially after I noticed that there are a set of golf tracks (38,000+ tracks) on the watch. Unfortunately my belly fat currently prevents me from having a proper straight swing (it goes slightly to the right by 10-12 degrees) as I cannot properly rotate to the the bad physical shape. This is why I decided to postpone this sport for a later date.
The Garmin connect app seems has a lot of features, but I only use it to track myself (steps & swim) and look at some reports for the overall high level statistics. Below you can find a series of screens and some reports from the web platform, although the same can be accessed on the mobile app.
As a conclusion, I would recommend the Garmin Vivoactive watch especially if you want to do more with it than I do (swim and walk). In case you only want something for swimming, there might be some cheaper options out there, but with less functionalities, apps and capabilities. It all leads to cost vs. use and as a gift, this one falls into the category of great gifts.