Geek Review: Garmin vívosmart HR with EZ-Link Smartwatch

The latest addition to the world of wearable devices, the Garmin’s vívosmart HR EZ-Link is a uniquely Singaporean update of the original Garmin vívosmart HR. Apart from being a well-rounded fitness tracker, it is also a contactless payment/EZ-Link device.

The Look

Simple and sleek, the tracker comes in three colours: black, blue or purple. The strap is simple, secure and very adjustable. It has 14 slots so it’ll fit wrists measuring between 6″- 10″ in diameter. It uses a watchband style clasp which makes it easy to strap on with just one hand.

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The sensor protrudes from the back and may leave indentations on your skin, depending on how tightly you wear it.

The fitness band’s design boasts a large screen (relatively speaking) which makes it easy to read all your stats. Just swipe to go through the different activities that are being tracked. Otherwise you can check in on your phone through the app. The build is sleek and comfortable enough to keep on even while you sleep as it tracks your sleep patterns too.

The vívosmart HR boasts a battery life of around five days, which seemed about right from my daily use. If it happens to run flat before you get home to charge it, you can still use the NFC functions to grab that bus or train ride home.

The Works

Garmin’s vívosmart HR EZ-Link works in tandem with the the Garmin Connect mobile app via Bluetooth. You can use the tracker with or without the app after you’ve set it up. The app’s layout is straightforward and easy to understand. It offers an in-depth look at all your stats and summarises it by the week, over the last month and last 12 months.

I’ll admit that after looking at the numbers and the goals, I definitely put in a bit more effort everyday to hit them.

As a fitness tracker, the vívosmart HR EZ-Link is incredibly easy to use and covers all the bases — as you’d expect. It counts your steps, the distance travelled, calories burnt, stairs climbed and the intensity of your activities. It also provides real-time updates from your messages, calls and social media platforms.

Unlike other trackers which have default goals that you can customise manually, the vívosmart HR EZ-Link adjusts your goals based on your daily achievements. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that my step and stair goals had increased every couple of days which inspired me to push a little more.

You can still customise your initial goals either through the Garmin Connect App or the tracker itself if you want to though. It also has a move “reminder” that vibrates ever so often to remind you to get off your butt after you’ve been sitting for too long. It’s got decent vibration power so you’ll definitely know when you get an update from your phone or a memo to move.

It’s also waterproof to 50m so you can take it into the shower or a quick dip in the pool.

The Tapping

While tapping at bus exits and MRT gantries works fine most of the time, there were instances where the sensors couldn’t read the chip on the band. If you’re worried, you should wait just a little bit after the previous person has tapped through before you tap.

Interestingly, it’s best to wear at the vívosmart HR on your right hand because the gantries at the MRT require you to tap in on the right. Similarly, when you’re getting on or off the bus, it’s best to stick to the right so you don’t have to awkwardly reach across your body or someone else to tap.

Topping up the card is pretty easy. You can do it at any ATM or top-up machine at any MRT station or bus interchange. You don’t have to take the vívosmart HR off to top it up, you can hold it to the scanner but you have to stay very still. The moment you move, you have to restart the process all over. It doesn’t seem to work with the Translink Add Value Machine. You’re also supposedly able to top it up using your phone’s NFC function, but you’ll need a compatible phone for it to work.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any place that accepted payment via EZ-Link card but I reckon that it should work as well.

The Garmin vívosmart HR EZ-Link is everything you could ask for from a fitness tracker. It does exactly what a fitness tracker is supposed to do as well as giving you real time messaging and social media updates. There’s also the added convenience of contactless payment for public transport. It’s brilliant for people like me who like to minimise the amount of devices we use at any one time.

The Garmin vívosmart HR EZ-Link is available now at major retailers in Singapore for S$259.



The Garmin vívosmart HR EZ-Link may not be the best-looking fitness tracker around but the day-to-day convenience it offers makes up for it.

  • Design - 6/10
  • Features - 7.5/10
  • Usability - 8.5/10
  • Value - 6/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 7/10
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