Best Garmin Watch For Seniors [Vivosmart 5 Review]

In this post, you will learn about the best Garmin watch for seniors. There are a lot of great Garmin models out there so it can be hard to choose the right model for you.

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are very popular these days. And for a good reason.

They help you monitor your activity levels and step count. But technology is advancing in leaps and these days many

This makes Garmin watches a great option for seniors to monitor your general health and activity levels.

It’s always important to remember that smartwatches can only give you general information about your health. At least for now.

So it’s important to trust medical devices and professionals when assessing your health. But the information these little watches gather can be very beneficial for measuring your general health.

This is what makes these devices great for seniors in my opinion. They measure your activity levels, heart rate, sleep quality, and even blood oxygen saturation.

I think Garmin is one of the best brands for monitoring your general health. They are ahead of the competition in many technologies. And they have managed to keep their products affordable.

But which model is the best for seniors? Read on to hear my opinion.

Why Choose A Garmin Watch For Seniors?

There are a lot of smartwatch and fitness tracker manufacturers these days so there are definitely good contenders for Garmin watches.

So why would you choose Garmin? Well, in my opinion, there are a few good reasons.

First of all Garmin is a well-established brand in the smartwatch space. They are known for their very accurate smartwatches geared towards athletes.

Their watches are used by professionals so they have to have the technology and accuracy to answer that demand.

The same technology is available in their more affordable models. Of course, there are some compromises. But I’ve been surprised by how many features and accuracy they manage to pack in their more affordable models.

Garmin is also an American company that does its own research and development.

There are a lot of affordable manufacturers these days, who quite frankly rip off the work of the bigger companies through reverse engineering.

I always think it’s better to choose a manufacturer that does their own development. First of all, they deserve recognition. But more importantly, you can rest assured that your smartwatch will receive software updates to keep it functional.

So Garmin is a good option in my books, which ever model you decide to choose.

Most Important Features For Seniors

When you are choosing a new smartwatch it’s always hard to compare all the models out there. And to even know what features you need. This is especially true if you are choosing your fist smartwatch.

Because Garmin has a huge range of watches, it’s important to know your goals and needs. Otherwise, you might end up paying a lot of extra for features you don’t really need.

And even if you can afford premium watches, they can be inconvenient for your use. With more features comes more menus, more information on the display, higher battery consumption, etc.

A professional sports watch can be hard to use and the added sensors often reduce battery life. If you are using the watch for tracking general health and activity, a more affordable model is probably better.

Let’s look at some of the features and considerations for seniors.

Screen

This one is pretty obvious. Most of us suffer from age-related loss of vision to some extent.

Depending on your vision this can be a big deal or just an inconvenience. But I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s better to have a watch you can read than one you can’t.

A smartwatch with a hard to read calendar

So preferably the screen should be easy to read. Big symbols, not too much information, and bright enough.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the screen has to be larger though. Smartwatches with large screens are often filled with several displays.

This can make them hard to operate as they are touchscreens. A simple clear screen with large symbols is all you need, in my opinion.

Sensors

In my opinion for most seniors, the sensors that measure health are the most important.

If you are a senior athlete or a runner, your needs will be different though. But you will likely also know what you are looking for in a tracker to support your athletic goals.

For most people, it’s enough to know your step count, general activity level, and heart rate.

But the great thing about the latest generation of smartwatches is that they can do a lot more than that.

Most premium brands offer measurements for advanced sleep quality measurements, heart rate variability, and blood oxygen saturation. Some models can even measure blood pressure and EKG.

Battery Life

Another major consideration for seniors is the battery life. Smartwatches need to be charged just like your smartphone.

In my opinion with battery life, the longer the better. This is a matter of convenience.

Most people forget to charge their watch until it reminds them to do it. You might think this is not the case but smartwatches are quite different from smartphones.

You will likely forget that it needs to be recharged constantly since regular watches don’t require this.

So the longer the battery life is, the more convenient this will be. I personally like watches that have a battery life of at least a week. This way I can remember to charge on the weekends for example.

Another consideration is the charging speed. Most modern watches will get a full charge in around an hour, fortunately.

Form

One of the most important considerations is the form and the looks of the watch. It’s definitely an important one and the most subjective one.

Even if a watch has everything you need, but you don’t like the looks, you will be disappointed. And you are less likely to use it.

There are a lot of options these days. Most Garmin watches look like sportwatches with a lot of buttons and a relatively bulky centerpiece.

But there are also more stylish and sleek options out there. As well as compact bracelet types.

But I’m going to make the argument that sleek form is better. It doesn’t get caught in clothes as easily and is more conspicuous on your wrist.

It’s also easier to bump larger watches into objects, especially if your hands aren’t as steady as they used to be.

A larger watch can also feel more constricting on your wrist, especially while sleeping. But these devices are most useful if you wear them 24/7.

This is where the sleep bracelet types really shine. They don’t weigh or constrict on your wrist and they are comfortable to wear while sleeping.

Ease Of Use

The final consideration for seniors is the ease of use. I don’t know about you but the older I get the more impatient I get with fidgeting with technology.

There’s no point in having all the features in the world if you don’t remember how to use them or simply don’t want to go through the trouble.

That’s why in my opinion a smartwatch should be as easy to use as a regular watch. With the exception that you have to remember to charge it every once in a while.

But other than that it should be enough to just wear it and it will gather all the important data.

That’s what I love about Garmin fitness trackers. They have continuous monitoring that you can simply read on your smartphone app.

The only thing I check on my Garmin watch regularly is the time and date. Sometimes I might check my recovery level or the weather but that’s it.

But every morning I will check out my Garmin Connect app. It shows how I slept, and how stressful my previous day was. Have I exercised enough etc.

Best Garmin Watch For Seniors: Vivosmart 5

Considering all the variables we talked about in the previous chapters there is one Garmin watch that really stands out in their current lineup.

It’s the Garmin Vivosmart 5 (affiliate link, I will earn a small commission if you buy. Helps to keep the site running, so thanks if you do!). It’s a sleek and relatively affordable bracelet-type smartwatch/fitness tracker that packs a pretty insane amount of features.

I personally use the Vivosmart 4 (affiliate link)and have been very satisfied with it. If it wasn’t still going strong I would have already switched to the Vivosmart 5. I’ve read nothing but good things about it.


Screen And Design

The screen is relatively small but very bright and high resolution. Everything is displayed clearly with large symbols. This is a step up from the Vivosmart 4 which could be a bit hard to read if you have reduced sight.

The design of the Vivosmart 5 is a sleek bracelet. There is no bulky centerpiece that could be uncomfortable while sleeping.

The strap is made out of silicon-like elastic material. It’s comfortable on the skin and doesn’t cause sweating or abrasions.

The strap is changeable in case you break it. This is a huge improvement from the Vivosmart 4.

Sensors

What I especially like about Garmin is that they have implemented a stress and recovery algorithm by Firstbeat in their heart rate variability diagnostics. This feature is called the body battery and it’s included in the Vivosmart 5.

Firstbeat was a Finnish company that was a forerunner in measuring stress and recovery from heart rate variability. Garmin actually bought the company after long cooperation.

The watch monitors your heart rate but there are minuscule variations between each heartbeat. The more stressed you are, the steadier your heartbeat gets due to stress hormones.

Firstbeat developed an algorithm to detect this variability consistently. They originally used it to monitor recovery for professional athletes. With very good results.

So there is some serious research and development behind this seemingly simple feature of the Vivosmart 5. I think it’s the best feature of Garmin watches as competitors are nowhere near in this technology.

The Vivosmart 5 also features all the basic data you need for general health. And an accelerometer to detect activity and steps. A heart rate sensor that monitors heart rate 24/7. And a SpO2 sensor that’s active during the night to detect possible sleep apnea-related decline in oxygen saturation.

Battery Life And Ease Of Use

Vivosmart 5 has great battery life. In normal use, it can last for a full week at 7 days.

It’s important to know that if you activate the SpO2 sensor, this will reduce the battery life to about 4 days. So if you need these features, it does come with a compromise.

The bracelet is easy to charge with a USB adapter and it takes about an hour for a full charge.

The only downside of the Vivosmart 5 for seniors is the ease of use. It’s relatively simple to use but the display can be a bit small to read with some settings. The menus on the touchscreen can also be a bit confusing and gimmicky.

But in my opinion, the main display is clear enough for most seniors. And there is no real need to use the watch menus.

You can see the time and the date on the main display and everything else is easier to check on your smartphone.

Conclusion

I hope you found this article about the best Garmin watch for seniors useful. I think the Vivosmart 5 is a great option for seniors looking for an easy-to-use health tracker.

That said it’s always good to remember that features and looks are a matter of preference. So if you like the looks of some other Garmin model, I recommend you go for that.

In all honesty, all the current Garmin models are great watches that are packed with features. I especially love the body battery feature that is included in most of their watches.

It gives you a single glance at your recovery and it’s turned out to be surprisingly accurate. I have noticed it can even notice alcohol consumption or being down with the flu.

When I had Covid my body battery was down for two weeks, even after active symptoms were over. This way I knew to take it easy as my body had not yet fully recovered.

Many competitors have similar features but Garmin still seems to be lightyears ahead of them. Likely due to the groundwork of Firstbeat.

On the other hand, Fitbit seems to have better sleep tracking than Garmin. And built-in GPS at a similar price point to the Charge 5. You can learn more about this in the article Best Fitbit For Seniors.

If you are interested in a smartwatch that has more features and looks like a real watch be sure to check out the article Best Smartwatch For Seniors [5 Recommendations].

If you are more interested in tracking fitness and health, check out the article The Best Fitness Tracker For Seniors And The Elderly [2022]

That’s it for this review. Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below and if you have any questions I’m here to help you out.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

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