I had high expectations when I first strapped on the Garmin Vivomove Trend — and I’ve never felt that way about a Garmin hybrid smartwatch. As the name suggests, hybrids mash together the look of an analog watch (including real hands!) with the smarts of a fitness tracker. The thing is, while Garmin’s previous hybrids were gorgeous, they were way too expensive. But last year’s excellent Vivomove Sport bucked that trend. The entry-level Sport was the first time I truly felt that Garmin got the right mix of form and function. It wascute, reasonably priced, and hit all the right notes for a basic fitness tracker. The Trend(starting at $269.99, $299 as tested) was either going to keep that momentum going or slide back into old habits.
After about two weeks with the Vivomove Trend, I’m inclined to say the former — with a few caveats.
The most important update with the Trend is the fact it supports wireless charging. That’s a first for any Garmin, which is amazing when you think about it. It’s 2023, and the vast majority of smartwatches long ago switched from clip-style pin chargers to teeny inductive pucks (that, infuriatingly, aren’t compatible across brands). It’s yet another sign that while Apple and Samsung are encroaching on Garmin’s turf, Garmin isn’t about to just let it happen.
Garmin watches have a reputation for being ugly, bulky, and thick. The Trendisn’t any of those things. While the Vivomove Sport had a cuter Swatch-y design, I’d describe the Trend as elegantly sporty. It’s the type of device I’d expect to see at a high-end yoga studio, worn by a person who shows up in a matching ‘fit, manicured nails, and impossibly white sneakers.
That’s only the first image that popped into my head — probably because that’s the version of me I wished I was while testing the Trend. (Alas, my ‘fits are more practical than cute, my nails are chipped, and it’s been years since my sneakers were white.) Garmin says the Trend is targeted toward women, but its design isn’t so feminine that it’s only for women. I could easily see it on the wrist of a businessperson in a snazzy suit saying smart-sounding things about EBITDA margins, especially since there’s an all-black version, and you can swap the straps out for any standard 20mm band. It’s got a 40mm case, but there are plenty of people who prefer that to larger ones. The Trend won’t appeal to anyone looking for a rugged vibe, but it’s not intended to.
The Trend is meant to be the midrange option in the Vivomove lineup. Unlike the more expensive Vivomove Style and Vivomove Luxe, it has a plastic case and a liquid crystal display, and the lens is made of chemically strengthened glass. But I never felt the Trend was a downgrade. It helps that the Trend has a stainless steel bezel — it’s a small change, but it elevates the overall look.
More importantly, it’s lightweight at 43 grams with the strap, making it ideal for everyday wear. It didn’t weigh my arm down while working out, I never felt the urge to rip it off while sleeping, and it never caught on my sleeves. It has 5ATM of water resistance, which means you could hop in the pool with it and be fine, though I wouldn’t because touchscreens and water don’t mix. However, you don’t have to take it off if you’ve got a pile of dishes to wash, get caught in a downpour, or need to wrestle a prickly cat into the bathtub.
A hybrid watch is never going to be the smartest wearable on the block. But if you’re not looking to control a smart McMansion, the Trend has a great mix of basic and modern features.
Take the hidden display. It’s a staple on all the Vivomove watches, but truly, it never gets old. You either flick your wrist up, or tap the display and boom. Your data and watchfaces appear like a ghostly futuristic hologram.
I love these hidden displays because it’s a clever way to bring analog style into the modern era, all while being adaptable to different price points. Like the entry-level Sport, the Trend opts for monochrome LCD instead of the color OLED you’ll find on the more expensive Vivomove watches. But unlike the Sport, the Trend’s hidden displays allow you to view data on the entire screen instead of just the bottom half. That makes it much easier to read full notifications and navigate menus.
The are a few downsides. One is that there’s no physical buttons— and no crown — and touchscreens can be finicky if you’re sweaty or wearing gloves. The hidden display can also get washed out in bright lighting, but you can tweak brightness levels to help mitigate that. I’d also love it if the display itself were more responsive, but having tried almost every Vivomove device, the Trend’s display is definitely an improvement from earlier models.
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