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Garmin Vivomove Trend review: trending smarter

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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 was cute, 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.

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Wrist candy for the lifestyle crowd

Garmin watches have a reputation for being ugly, bulky, and thick. The Trend isn’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 gold versions of the Trend cost $299.99 — $30 more than the base model.
The Garmin Vivomove Trend’s sensor array

The Trend has a continuous heart rate monitor, blood oxygen monitor, accelerometer, and barometric altimeter.

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.

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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.

Smart enough

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.

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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.

Close up of Garmin Vivomove Trend display

The Vivomove Trend can pass as an analog watch without the display on.

You’ll also get the basics like push notifications, media controls, find my phone, find my watch, alarms, timers, and the analog hands automatically move out of the way when you’re viewing data, calendar and weather widgets, or texts. Android users can also reply to texts and reject phone calls. The Trend includes more advanced communication features, too, like contactless payment via Garmin Pay and safety features such as fall detection and live tracking. The safety features aren’t as polished as what you’ll get from Apple or Samsung, but they’re there if you need them.

Since this is a lifestyle watch, you won’t have LTE connectivity, though you do get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT Plus. It also only supports GPS via your phone, as opposed to built-in GPS. So this isn’t going to be a standalone watch for long solo runs or hikes, but it’s more than adequate for keeping you in the loop during work or at the gym.

Qi-qi-qi-charging

The Trend’s biggest flex is that it supports Qi wireless charging. As I mentioned earlier, it’s the first Garmin ever to do so. And I’m happy to report that it works. My Qi chargers are nothing special — they’re from some no-name brand and cost me $9. I plopped it down, the analog hands moved out of the way, and a lil charging icon popped up.

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Of course, wireless chargers can be fussy. You gotta make sure your device lines up with the coil, and at least on my charger, there’s no magnet to lock the smartwatch in place. They’re also not as fast as wired chargers. But I enjoyed plopping the Trend down on my Qi desk charger while I worked, and it’s great that you can use any existing Qi chargers you have, especially since it reduces your reliance on proprietary chargers, which can be expensive to replace, contribute to e-waste, and are a pain in the butt.

Close up of Garmin Vivomove Trend charging on a Qi charger.

The analog hands will move out of the way when it’s time to read notifications. The Trend’s display also displays information on the entire screen.

The only catch is if you don’t have a Qi charger already, the Trend doesn’t come with one. (It does, however, come with a proprietary Garmin charger.) That, and there are some bunk Qi chargers out there. (Pro tip: don’t buy one you find in the checkout aisle at TJ Maxx.) But if you’re keen to try them out, it’s not a steep investment and a ton of devices these days support the Qi charging standard.

As for battery life, the Trend has an estimated five days on a single charge. That’s about what I got during testing with 24/7 wear, default brightness, more notifications than I care for, and about 30-60 minutes of GPS activity every day. It not as long as you’ll get on some other fitness bands, but battery life heavily depends on your individual usage. At least now, you could stick a Qi charger in every room, and you’d be covered.

Casual fitness

This may not be the most hardcore Garmin watch, but the Trend doesn’t skimp on health or fitness tracking.

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It’s got a continuous heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and blood oxygen monitoring. It tracks your steps, calories, and floors climbed and has automatic activity tracking, too. You’ll be able to do heart rate zone training, see your VO2 Max, and broadcast your heart rate data to ANT Plus gym equipment and accessories. It’s got Garmin’s proprietary metrics, like Body Battery to visualize recovery and fitness age. You have mindfulness features and sleep tracking. We could go on and on, but aside from Garmin’s most intensive training features, you’ll be pretty much set.

The Garmin Vivomove Trend on top of a phone showing Garmin Connect app

The Trend is better for casual tracking.
The Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar (left) next to the Vivomove Trend

The Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar (left) is the better option for endurance sports.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend this if want to see a ton of data mid-exercise. It’s got nothing to do with accuracy. The Trend did well in my heart rate testing against the Polar H10. Connected GPS generally isn’t as accurate as built-in GPS — which was reflected in my testing — but it’s in the right ballpark. For example, a 2.46-mile walk recorded on my Apple Watch Ultra was logged as 2.57 miles on the Trend.

Rather, I wouldn’t recommend trying to check your metrics mid-workout because it took me out of the flow. Between the dimmer display and lack of physical buttons, swiping through screens was more distracting than it should’ve been.

This tracker is better suited to workouts where you can zone out or where just getting the credit for doing something is enough. I loved it for walks, mobility work, arm day, and yoga. It was okay for shorter runs, but I’d rather reach for the Garmin Fenix 7S or the Apple Watch Ultra for half training. The same applies to health tracking. Garmin’s sleep tracking isn’t the best I’ve tested, but it gets you in the right ballpark. Heart rate data is good, but sometimes your nightly SpO2 will be suspiciously low. You probably won’t like that if you obsess over numbers, but accuracy is only one aspect of health tracking. The bigger goal is to see your progress over time, and the aptly named Trend is more than equipped to do that.

On the up and up

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I’ve noticed a trend with Garmin’s lifestyle smartwatches: they’re getting smarter. It’s not enough to make Apple or Samsung quiver in their boots — but Google might want to take some notes, especially now that Fitbit has seemingly lost its way with multiday server outages and legacy features disappearing left and right.

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 was a great lil smartwatch with a snappy display that gave the Versa 4 and Sense 2 a run for its money. The Venu 2 Plus also has a beeyootiful display, voice assistant compatibility through your phone, and long battery life, and it just got FDA clearance for EKGs. Now, with the Trend, Garmin is adding wireless charging to the mix.

Garmin Vivomove Trend on a Qi charger, next to a purple keyboard and notebook with birds on it.

The Vivomove Trend shows the company’s on the right track with its lifestyle watches.

All of these products — and some I haven’t mentioned — are compelling alternatives to Fitbit. And given Fitbit’s murky feature, I’m inclined to recommend Garmin as the better investment.

The only thing that gives me pause is the Trend’s price. At $270, it’s only about $30 cheaper than the Vivomove Style. And if you get the gold versions of the Trend, they’re the same price. The main difference between the two is the Trend has Qi charging, while the Style has a hidden color OLED display and better materials. It’ll boil down to what discounts you can find, the colors you want, and whether you want the option of wireless charging. That said, I can’t help but feel this unnecessarily muddies the waters in an otherwise solid hybrid lineup.

I think I speak for all smartwatch reviewers when I say Garmin could stand to pare down its product catalog a bit. But, there’s something to be said about a company that’s delivering this many wearables in such a broad range of styles, sizes, price points, and feature sets for casual and hardcore athletes alike. Now, if Garmin manages to figure out LTE connectivity and streamline the Connect app, I’d say Apple and Samsung are in for some healthy competition.

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Smartphone scams are dead – Android Authority

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Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 was a technological marvel. Android phones had only been around for a few years at that point, and it seemed like the Galaxy S4 could do a lot despite its small size. As consumers, we were delighted. So much so, that to this day the Galaxy S4 remains the best-selling Android phone of all time, with over 80 million units sold.

However, that was ten years ago – an eternity in the tech world. Things have changed dramatically since then. The smartphone tricks we saw in the Galaxy S4 — like the Smart Scroll, which let you scroll the contents of your screen by moving your head up or down — would be completely ridiculous to see in a 2023 phone.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous gadgets, not technical marvels. Consumers are using their phones more than ever before, yes, but that has faded the shine. Modern smartphone buyers don’t want gimmicks. They want a phone that fixes the basics and hides in the background.

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In 2023, if a smartphone manufacturer thinks that some cool new trick will be the backbone that sells its phones, it will be in a world of disappointment. Not only will consumers care, but investing in research and development for this trick could do more harm than good.

What are the tricks of the smartphone?

Google Pixel 4 XL Long Range 2 review

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The term “gimmick” can be used broadly. In general, when it comes to smartphones, we think of gimmicks as features that are only applicable to very specific situations, appeal to a limited subset of users, or offer no real value (or some combination thereof).

One of history’s most egregious examples of smartphone scams was the Soli radar system in the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli was a set of front-facing radar sensors that could track your hand movements. They let you do things like pause the music simply by waving your hand near the screen. While Soli performed as advertised, consumers simply didn’t care, and the Pixel 4 series was the biggest failure in Pixel history.

If your star phone feature only appeals to a few people, it’s probably a gimmick.

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A more recent example came with the OnePlus 10 Pro last year. This phone was equipped with an ultra-high resolution camera with a field of view of 150 degrees. This was essentially a fish-eye lens, creating highly distorted images that looked unreal. Although software trickery helped fix images in post-processing, critics and consumers alike saw no need for such a bizarre lens. OnePlus eliminated the lens on this year’s OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 11.

Here are some other smartphone tricks we’ve seen:

  • foreign matter: OnePlus recently announced the Jupiter Rock Edition of the OnePlus 11. It has a back that is basically made of rock. Who asked for this?
  • Macro lenses: While a great telephoto lens can be an interesting addition to a solid lens collection, most of the time that’s not the case. Often, OEMs will throw in cheap 2MP macro lenses to make a phone look more premium than it is. In other words, the thought process is that more lenses = better cameras, which consumers are no longer fooled by.
  • Super fast charging: While it’s crazy to see 240W charging speeds on a smartphone (that’s fast enough to charge from empty to full in about ten minutes), who really needs that? These speeds are also said to be detrimental to the health of the battery, thus shortening the life of your phone.
  • Cooling systems: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – a gaming phone – had a cooling fan built into it. While this is practical for a phone designed for gamers, it also made the phone unwieldy, prevented an IP rating, and made wireless charging impossible. It solved one problem at the expense of basic smartphone features. Likewise, OnePlus’ latest concept phone has a liquid cooling system that didn’t even work.

These gimmicks don’t help sell phones because they don’t give us what we really want: a great overall experience.

But what about phones in specific niches, like rugged phones? Is the rugged phone a gimmick? I’d argue it isn’t, but they also don’t sell in the numbers we’d see with something like the Galaxy S series. These phones exist for specific purposes for a specific consumer, so they get a special pass.

The current smartphone successes are all the evidence you need

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

We know why smartphone manufacturers invest in these kinds of tricks. They obviously think they’ll help sell the phones or, at the very least, help their products stand out from the crowd. This is an odd strategy because the most successful phones tend to be relatively gimmick-free.

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Here in the US, the iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone. For the first time ever, Apple has more than 50% of the market in the US, leaving the other half to Android OEMs (mostly Samsung). The iPhone doesn’t have a lot of tricks. One could argue that Dynamic Island is a gimmick, but it’s one that consumers seem to enjoy, so it doesn’t really count.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful phones are also some of the most gimmick-free.

In second place, Samsung’s Galaxy S series also stands out as being gimmick-free. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may be a bit gimmicky for some. However, it’s also incredibly popular and a calling card for a premium Galaxy experience, so we’ll be happy to let this feature slip. Despite this, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty boring with how functional and no-nonsense they are. And guess what? The Galaxy S23 line is selling better than the Galaxy S22 line.

Of course, we can’t forget about Google’s pixel font. The Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have any weird tricks up its sleeve, and was voted the best Android phone of 2022 by both Android Authority And our readers. It’s interesting that when Google gave up the tricks, it ended up selling more phones than ever before.

Obviously, phones can reach consumers without gimmicks. However, Dynamic Island and the S Pen show that there is still room for fun and doing things differently.

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However, phones can still be fun

None Phone Number 1 graphic on the back

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

We’ve already discussed plenty of examples of stupid smartphone tricks that get in the way of a good experience. However, some tricks work.

Take Nothing Phone 1, for example. The lights on the back of the device — officially known as The Glyph — appear to be a ridiculous gimmick. Once you use the phone, you will realize that it is actually an Android smartphone with a strange light show added. In other words, The Glyph can be ignored, and you’ll still get a great Android experience with a very fair cost-to-value ratio.

I’m not against the trick. There is plenty of room for fun features.

This is a great example of how doing tricks properly can be beneficial. Nothing crammed into The Glyph comes at the expense of wireless charging, a premium feel, or a decent camera system. Use the trick as a light garnish on top of a satisfying meal. It’s a beautiful detail that highlights an already well-done dish.

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Google’s Magic Eraser is another example of a gimmick that works. With the Pixel’s camera experience already being one of the best (if not the best) phone camera experiences available, the Magic Eraser feature exists as a useful tool for people looking to fix otherwise great photos. It was not Need Magic Eraser, but it’s practical and fun when you want it to be.

That’s all to say that smartphones don’t need to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun gimmicks, cool aesthetics, and thought-provoking twists. But gimmicks can’t be the phone’s selling point. They must be side players.

OEMs will need to shift focus — or dump

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Remember Lenovo Legion Duel 2, the phone with an integrated cooling system? Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work out very well for Lenovo. Recently, the company confirmed this Android Authority He shut down the Legion’s smartphone arm.

We’ve also mentioned OnePlus several times in this article. This company is not doing well either. There is a rumor that it could pull out along with sister brand OPPO from the European market either this year or in 2024. OnePlus has lost all carrier partnerships in the US, and its latest flagship — the OnePlus 11 — hasn’t gotten strong reviews. Again, tricks don’t seem to have helped here.

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What do you think of smartphone scams?

146 votes

This all supports my central argument: scams don’t sell phones. We’ve settled on wanting phones that excel at the essentials: battery life, camera, screen, usability, performance, and so on. I could also argue that design is just as important here, though it’s more subjective than something like battery life. What doesn’t matter are the extra lenses, radar systems, cooling fans, rock-solid backboards, and all the other tricks we’ve seen.

Companies that are stuck in 2013 and think cool gimmicks will sell a lot of phones will need to wake up from that dream sooner rather than later. Apple and Samsung eat your lunch and do so without relying on gimmicks. Make your phones awesome at a competitive price and we’ll buy it. Simply.

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All of my favorite games this year are old

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I also installed the original version Final Fantasy, the game that debuted when I was three years old, on Sony’s most advanced console yet, I came to a realization: everything I played this year was outdated. Between remakes, new releases, and vintage collections, there’s been a flood of nostalgia. I personally welcomed it.

These kinds of releases aren’t new, of course. What was different during the early months was the huge amount of classic releases. Two of the biggest movies so far this year – dead space And Resident Evil 4 – is a remake of titles from more than a decade ago. Both are slick, slick updates that don’t look out of place among recent big-budget releases, but part of what makes them so attractive is how straightforward they are. There are no open worlds filled with endless quests or live service items to keep you coming back. And most of these design decisions date back to their ages, as these games were made at a completely different time with very different expectations. In my review of Resident Evil 4 A remake, I called it “a video game like this,” and I meant that as a compliment.

Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.
Image: Nintendo

But they can also be a lot of work, frequently setting in to be all-consuming experiences that keep you hooked and never let go. Oh I love Fortnite Like everyone else, but that’s not all I want from my video games. Whether it is as complicated as RE4 Or simply put a scene from the opera Final Fantasy VI On my PS5, these games have returned a simplicity and focus I often find missing from their modern contemporaries. vampire And Final Fantasy They are very different experiences, but they give me the same feeling of a whole solo journey that I’m supposed to play through from start to finish. Same goes for the other old games I’ve been playing.

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Playing—and in many cases, replaying—these games was an exercise in reminding myself of what could be so great about a medium. The largest modern versions tend to imitate each other to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another. That’s what makes a lot of indie releases so exciting, and likewise, what keeps me coming back for all these new releases of old games — so it’s good to me that this trend shows no sign of stopping.

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell leaves Comcast due to ‘improper conduct’

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will leave Comcast, effective immediately. The telecom giant made the surprising announcement in a brief press release Released on Sunday. After an investigation prompted by a complaint of improper conduct, Comcast says it has reached a “joint” decision with Shell that he should resign from his position.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a joint statement. “I am really sorry that I left my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in this field and the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years has been a privilege.”

Comcast has not named a successor to Shell. in a note obtained diverseComcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Mike Kavanagh told employees they were “disappointed” to share the news. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You must count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” they wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

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Shell joined Comcast in 2004. He became CEO of NBCUniversal in 2020. That same year, he oversaw the launch of Peacock. Shell leaves NBCUniversal without making the streaming service profitable. At the beginning of the year, Comcast told investors that it had done so Added five million paid subscribers During the last three months of 2022. However, over the same period, the company lost nearly $1 billion while operating the service.

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