Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Review – family fun the active way
Read our review of the Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 to see why this children’s watch is a winner with all the family.
I will admit at the very start of this review, that we are not a particularly sporty family. It’s not that we don’t try, but a bike ride for us usually consists of one lap around our local park fuelled by a few scoops of ice cream; a gentle stroll along the riverbank often results in a dash to the park and an early morning jog only happens on the rare occasion that the sun is out and the kids have run out of ailments in which to excuse themselves.
So, when I heard about Garmin’s Vivofit Junior 2 activity tracker – a fun and interactive watch that uses rewards and incentives to keep children active – I was more than a little intrigued.
Garmin Vivofit 2 Features
Garmin have certainly listened to the feedback they received following the launch of the Vivofit Junior 1, and this latest model is packed full of exciting features that are easy to use and perfect for little fingers to navigate around. Take a look at our review of the latest Garmin Vivofit Junior 2, which is conveniently out just in time for Christmas.
Let your little ones set out on a Disney adventure with Minnie Mouse, Stars Wars or Captain America and the Avengers as they count their daily steps, track their sleep, undertake some exciting chore assignments and challenge friends and family members to a toe-to-toe step off competition. These funky watches are swim-friendly – perfect for any wannabe mermaids – and come with a choice of Disney characters and bands that are either ‘Adjustable’ or ‘Stretchy’, depending on the age of the child.
Unlike other Garmin watches, the Vivofit Junior 2 does not run off the Garmin app but a separate free mobile app for parents to use. This app can easily be synced to each parent’s phone, where they can add a profile per child and keep a watchful eye on their steps, sleep, daily activities and chore data.
To make chores “fun and rewarding”, Garmin have come up with an ingenious solution. You create a list of chores for your child to get involved in – either pre-set or unique – and upon completion your child receives points that can be accumulated for a reward of your choosing. Simply put – points mean prizes. And, to make chores even more fun, a task timer has been built into the watch so that they can be timed to see just how fast they complete them.
You can even schedule chores or tasks for specific times of the day by using an alert which will go off on their Vivofit Junior 2 when the time comes for them to be undertaken. So, if your children are anything like mine and getting them to help around the house is a challenge, then this feature alone will make this watch well worth its rather expensive price tag.
Step it up
I never considered us to be a competitive family, but last week when playing a friendly game of ten pin bowling I was proved otherwise! I was therefore, particularly excited to see if I could get my own back on the toe-to-toe step challenge. This feature allows your child to play either individually or to sync with friends and family members and challenge them to a timed step competition. At the end of a two-minute period you can view who has achieved the most steps, reigned supreme or beaten their own personal best.
Believe in the magic of Disney
Whether your child wants to set out on an adventure with Minnie, Micky and friends; step into a Star Wars story as they venture to a galaxy far far away or keep the streets of New York safe with Captain America and the Avengers; the Vivofit Junior 2 will allow them to escape to a magical world.
By meeting their 60-minute daily activity goals, your child can access a Disney adventure app. This launches a mini-game related to their chosen Disney theme. As your child achieves more and more days’ worth of activity, they will get to unlock step icons, badges and move through the stages of each game.
Style, design and durability
If your child is anything like mine then you need a watch that’s tough enough to stand the test of the playground, swimming pool and local park, whilst looking ‘cool’ and feeling comfortable on the wrist. Built to last and with a user-replaceable battery that will keep ticking for over a year without charging, the Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 manages to combine the right level of fun and active features to keep your child entertained and on the move.
Comparison to Vivofit Junior 1
The Garmin Vivofit Junior 1 was revolutionary when it was launched last year, with little else competing in the children’s activity tracker market. Garmin has since improved and enhanced this model with the Vivofit Junior 2, but what are the differences?
Aside from their recent partnership with Disney, this watch now comes with a customisable, full colour screen and some funky new features such as the toe-to-toe challenge and the reminder alerts. But if you already have the Vivofit Junior 1, don’t be disheartened as it is possible to link the to the Vivfit Junior 2, download the Disney app and purchase the character bands separately.
Is it worth the upgrade?
Absolutely – this is already boxed up and ready for Christmas. Overall, I’m really impressed with the functionality, interactive features and games but I would have liked to have seen more Disney Character options – especially for girls.
I am really looking forward to bribing my children to do chores in a fun and rewarding way (as too will my neighbours who won’t have to hear my constant nagging through our paper thin walls) and the countdown for reminders will prove invaluable for getting out the door in the mornings.
I am hoping the step count challenges will encourage us to bound out of bed on a weekend to partake in our local Junior Parkrun and I am sure the competitive streak within us all will have us hopping from leg to leg in the toe to toe challenge.