Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 Review

 

Made by the people who brought you the beloved Garmin VivoFit Jr, this second generation activity tracker for kids brings a fresh update with an extra design boost.  The Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 is a more task orientated model that both parents and young kids will enjoy. 

If you’re a fan of the original version, the biggest upgrade you’d notice with Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 is the number of band options. Considering there were only three band style options from the first edition, your kids would have to think hard about which seven Disney-themed band they’d like to rock.

Those new to the kids fitness tracker world could definitely get used to the various app-generated games and chore tracking made fun by the Garmin VivoFit Jr 2. But if your kids already have the Garmin VivoFit Jr, is it worth switching to the newer generation? Let’s take a deeper look:

 

Features at a Glance

  • Tracks steps, sleep and activities
  • Replaceable battery (initial run lasts up to 1 year)
  • 7 Disney designs with choice of adjustable or stretchy band
  • Reminder alerts and task timers so kids will never forget doing their homework and personally-assigned chores
  • Parent-controlled chores and activity tracking
  • Rewards (app-based and assigned by parents) to challenge kids with their tasks

 

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 vs. Vivofit Jr

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Garmin vívofit Jr 2, Kids Fitness/Activity Tracker, 1-Year Battery Life, Adjustable Band, Disney Frozen 2, Anna, Purple
  • Discover adventure with Disney Frozen 2 kids fitness tracker with interactive app experience
  • Swim-friendly band Features a customizable color screen and more than a year of battery life; no recharging needed and user replaceable
  • Parents can access chore management and reward tools on the parent-controlled app
  • Motivates kids to achieve minute goals that unlock adventure, games and icons featuring Anna, Elsa and their frozen 2 friends
  • Estimates steps, sleep and 60 minutes of daily recommended activity

Both the original Vivofit Jr and Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 weigh 17.5 grams, connect via Bluetooth, and features parental control, water resistance, and fitness tracking. 

A major upgrade is the monochrome display that is now colored on the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 with a backlight to boot, ensuring a much better display visibility in all kinds of weather conditions.

You won’t notice with just one look, but there are major differences between the original Vivofit Jr and the newer Garmin Vivofit Jr 2. They include:

Vivofit Jr Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
Display Black and white 64 x 64 pixel resolution with 10 x 10 mm display size 8-color MIP display with a slightly bigger display size at 11 x 11 mm
Band Design Only small and stretchy kind available. Random themes. Two band sizes to choose from. Disney-themed designs.

Vivofit Jr

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Display

Black and white 64 x 64 pixel resolution with 10 x 10 mm display size

8-color MIP display with a slightly bigger display size at 11 x 11 mm

Band Design

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Band Design and Battery Life

Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 was designed for young kids ages 4 and up. The bands are available in two sizes: 

  • Stretchy and small band – Ideal for ages 4 to 7, they’re available in Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Marvel characters, and Star Wars designs.
  • Adjustable band – Made for kids aged 6 and up, the adjustable band version looks similar to grownup watches. Choose from Elsa, Anna, Disney Princess, Marvel characters, Star Wars and other Disney designed bands. 

The bands can be swapped as your kid pleases. You can even buy an Anna and Else set with two interchangeable bands for Frozen fans. There’s a light side vs. dark side Star Wars set as well. And if your child outgrows the small band, you can upgrade to an adjustable band when needed.

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Whether you pick the stretchy kind or adjustable band, Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 made sure the activity tracker was built to withstand daily wear and tear from a young kid. It is basically indestructible and water resistant up to 50 meters, making it a perfect accessory for swimming at the beach and your community pools. 

The battery life of Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 isn’t remarkable, but appropriate for its price point and market. The device is run by a regular coin battery, which should last up to a year and can be replaced by just popping it out with the help of a screwdriver. 

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 Features

The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 has a ton of features to offer, but these are the most note-worthy: 

Family Exercise and TOE-to-TOE Step Challenge 

One way to bring your kids out to the world is to make going out fun. The Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 allows them to compete against family members in a bid to see who gets the most steps in a day. Include everyone in the challenge and check out the leaderboard for an up-to-date view of who’s winning the fitness challenge.

If they have friends around the neighborhood, the Toe-to-toe step challenge is a quick game wherein a kid times the amount of his/her steps within two minutes. The “challenger” does the same thing and tries to beat the first kid’s record. 

Chores and Rewards 

Parents would love this feature because it trains young kids to do their chores without the yelling and constant reminding. 

Through the included VivoFit app, parents and their “Parental Personal Assistant” (any grownup you give access to a kid’s profile) could assign different chores to the kid. 

You can find pre-set chores, but you can also add the chores you want assigned manually and indicate amount of coins per chore completed. Once your kid completes the chore, he/she earns coins that adds up as more chores are completed. 

Here’s what I like about this feature: 

  • No cheating – Kids can’t mark the chore complete. Parents and the parental personal assistant are the only ones allowed to mark chores as completed (after checking their work first of course). 
  • Personalized rewards – Although you can see pre-set rewards built into the app, you can make the chores more interesting to your kid if you set the rewards to something he/she really wants. 
  • Task timer – Ideal for parents trying to encourage their procrastinator kids to be more proactive, the task timer lets parents see how long it took the kid to complete a task. 
  • Scheduled chores – Say goodbye to shouting about chores not yet done. With programmable tasks you can schedule days or weeks ahead, the Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 will remind your kid about the task for you. It will set off an alert (depending on the time you set) when it’s time for homework, walking the dog, talking a bath, and so on. 

Disney Apps

You can see clearly that Garmin’s partnership with Disney is serious by the number of band designs available. However, what’s going to make your kid go crazy in excitement is the activities incorporated with each theme. 

You’ll find unique challenges and activities-to-unlock for every Disney theme. For example: 

 

  • Disney: If your kids choose either Anna or Elsa, they can explore the “Into the Unknown: A Frozen 2 Adventure” app with every 60-minute activity goal completed daily. There’s also “Advance in Mickey’s Birthday Surprise: A Disney Adventure” for the Minnie Mouse designed Garmin VivoFit Jr 2, and “ Magical Kingdoms: A Disney Princess Adventure” for either pink or purple Disney Princess-designed activity trackers. 

 

  • Marvel: Join Captain America and other beloved Marvel heroes as they beat Ultron on the app “Advance in Ultron’s Revenge: A Marvel Avengers Mission,” or help the friendly neighborhood spider-man on his “Web Warriors: A Spider-Man Adventure” app with every  unlocked stage. 
  • Star Wars: With Advance in BB-8’s Adventure: A Star Wars Story, your kids unlock a new adventure on the planet Jakku every time they complete the daily 60-minute activity goals. 

With every chore or activity completed, kids receive an additional icon, a level unlocked, free badges, and other Disney rewards. 

 

Who’s it for?

The Disney band designs, activities built into the device, and apps featured on the Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 points to the age group of kids 4 to 9. 

The device may be too limiting for a tween (ages 10 to 12) who would see more value on the latest FitBit model or an ordinary phone with his/her chosen fitness tracking apps and other relevant apps. 

Pros and Cons of Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 

There are many things to love this kids fitness tracking device and a few things that may leave you to consider other brands. 

Garmin recommends the VivoFit Jr 2 for kids aged 4 and up, but it may still depend on your kid’s individual personalities, strengths and weaknesses.

For example, if you’re training your toddler with time management, the timer feature would be extremely useful. But for older kids who can work through chores without reminders, the add-on Disney app can be the challenge they need to maximize Garmin VivoFit Jr 2’s potential.

Verdict

There’s nothing wrong with the original VivoFit Jr, but Garmin definitely made the VivoFit Jr 2 much more exciting for kids and parents alike. 

Aside from the Disney boost to the brand, the step challenge, and app-generated Disney games offered by the Garmin VivoFit Jr 2 makes this device a feature-filled starter activity tracker for kids below age 10.

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