Garmin Vivofit Jr.2 Review
The Garmin Vivofit Jr.2 is their latest activity tracker that’s designed for kids! They want to help kids reach their daily activity goals by making it more playful. As we all know that the internet generation would much rather stay inside and play with tablets. That’s why this fitness tracker is also good for parents, so they can see if their kids are getting enough exercise or not. But there are also more benefits for parents built inside the Vivofit Jr.2. Garmin has also added a feature to set reminders. So you can set reminders for daily chores or even brushing teeth. But more about the features and possibilities in our review!
- Stretchy bands: wrists up to 147 mm / 5.8″ (ages 4-7)
- Adjustable bands: 130-175 mm / 5.1-6.9″
- Weight: 17.5 g / 0.04 lbs
- Screen size: 11×11 mm / 0.43×0.43″
- Resolution: 88 × 88 pixels
- Sensors: Accelerometer
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Battery: Replaceable CR1632
- Battery life: Up to 1 year
- Waterproof rating: 5 ATM or 50 m / 164 ft
What I like the most about the Garmin Vivofit Jr.2 is that they have kept it simple. They have pretty much just taken the original Vivofit activity tracker, made it smaller and added some Disney graphics. And another plus, it’s far from heavy. It weighs just 17.5 g / 0.04 lbs so you don’t have to worry about it being uncomfortable.
The tracker itself is actually a small round piece of plastic that sits inside the silicone band. The bands can be changed for different colors and types. Garmin has also made it super easy to put tracker on. First you have an option between stretchy and adjustable bands. The stretchy bands fit wrists up to 147 mm / 5.8″ in circumference. You just stretch them over the hand and that’s it! Garmin recommends this for kids between the age of 4 and 7.
Another option like I mentioned is getting the adjustable band. It’s has a typical watch style buckle and it’s designed for wrists between 130-175 mm / 5.1-6.9″. Which does make it a bit more versatile. In terms of designs, there are some differences between the bands. Below is a list of graphics available for each band type.
Stretchy: Disney Minnie Mouse, Star Wars BB-8, Marvel Avengers
Adjustable: Disney, Star Wars The Resistance, Marvel Captain America
The tracker also comes with a small screen. Unlike the previous version, the Jr.2 has a better resolution and it’s colored! Which does make the tracker look much better in my opinion. Another thing that I like is that there is just one button on the tracker. It’s right below the screen and it’s used to move between displays and pairing with a smartphone. Overall I really like the colorful themes. They add a nice touch to the tracker at making it more kid friendly.
What I also like is that Garmin has also managed to make it waterproof. It has a water resistance rating for up to 50 m / 164 ft, which means that kids can also swim with it. So there’s really no need to take it off.
If you checked the technical specifications, then you probably noticed that the Gamin Vivofit Jr.2 has also got one sensor. The accelerometer motion sensor is used to track steps by monitoring movement. Which isn’t much but Garmin has added some games to it to make it more interesting. Besides that, tracker also monitors inactive periods. It can store up to four weeks of data, so you don’t have to sync it everyday.
This data can also be seen on the trackers screen. The display shows time, total steps, calendar, tasks/chores needed to complete and game progress. Also different design versions of the watch also have different icons. As in the Star Wars tracker comes with a stormtrooper icon.
But besides that there is also a menu where you can activate toe-to-toe challenges, a timer and even a stopwatch. Toe-to-Toe challenge basically challenges you to keep on moving. You can use it on your own or with friends. While it can be fun, the challenge function is in my opinion a bit too complicated to select for kids. I’d also like if they had added GPS into the tracker, as you could also use it to create symbols on maps then. Which would also be an entertaining way for keeping active.
The Vivofit Jr smartphone app does make the Jr.2 tracker more useful. It’s available for both iOS and Android systems. In the app you can create different profiles and review the data. Garmin has also added a Kid Mode for kids that gives them limited access to it. This is useful as it let’s them finish game adventures. It’s definitely more straight forward and easier to use than the Garmin Connect app. Also if you have a user there already, then you can log into the Jr.2 app with the same details.
For parents, the most useful section is probably “Activity”. You can there view all the steps and how long your child’s been active for. There is also a screen that displays how much they have slept. Garmin has also added a “Rewards” section where parents can create “physical motivation”. As in “earn x amount of Virtual coins and get a new computer game”. Or you can create “Chores” where you can assign tasks, which earn them virtual coins upon completion. You can get pretty creative with these.
There is also an Adventure mode, which opens up a game where you can progress by completing daily 60 minute activity goals. The Adventure themes again depend on the type of Jr.2 you get. As in the Star Wars version has a Star Wars themed game. While it can be interesting at first, I’m afraid it will get boring quite fast. I had my niece test it out and within 4 days she has forgotten all about it.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr.2 is a good activity tracker for keeping an eye on how much exercise kids get. But that’s about it. I wish they had added at least GPS to it as well. At least then you could also see where they have been. Or make it more interesting by creating symbols on maps with movements. The built-in adventures and reward features are good, but unfortunately they get bored of them quite fast. Especially when you can just pick up a phone and play a real game.