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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review

Garmin Vivosmart 3 is the newest activity tracker to hit the market. A subtle, easy device, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is filled with features that work seamlessly alongside every lifestyle type. That includes a discreet and sophisticated profile; the Vivosmart 3 is built with good features that compliment any style.

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Last updated on October 22, 2020 1:43 pm

Providing as much as 5 days of battery life, the Vivosmart 3 is waterproof so that it can be worn during swimming or showering. The perfect companion for the office, health club, home, and more, the display is only seen when wanted.

Its display disappears into the device, allowing users to secure more battery life. Activated via gestures, alerts, or notifications, the Vivosmart 3 provides 24/7 monitoring. Fit with some activity monitoring capabilities; the health tracker displays steps taken; stairs climbed, energy burned, sleep patterns, depth minutes and more.

The first outcome in the Garmin Vivo line to use VO2 max, the better fitness-tracking device is a strong contender to the Apple and Fitbit Watch.

Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Specification

Battery type: Rechargeable, built-in lithium-polymer battery

Battery life: As much as 5 days

Operating temperature range: -20º to 50ºC (from -4º to 122ºF)

Charging temperature range: From 0º to 45ºC (from 32º to 113ºF)

Radio frequency/protocol: 2.4 GHz ANT‍ wi-fi communications protocol, Bluetooth Smart wi-fi technology

Water rating: Swim*

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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Design

Garmin vívosmart 3

When I first eliminated the vívosmart 3 from its packaging, I didn’t have terribly excessive hopes for it. That’s to say that the first impression isn’t an entirely positive one. It’d just be my personal taste. However, the vívosmart 3 feels a little on a budget side and is very light and rubbery – even the screen. This also makes it very prone to choosing up hairs and dust, and it lacks a certain sheen present on different devices.

The screen is white and black and has a lot of light bleed, which further provides to the less-than-perfect aesthetic. It’s an actual touchscreen though that will register swipes and precise jabs.

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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Health tracking

Garmin vívosmart 3

Whereas the design is a little mixed, the performance is the place the vívosmart 3 becomes a bit more interesting.

As you would assume, the vívosmart 3 can track your steps, calorie burn, distance traveled, heart rate, active minutes, and sleep, similar to most different trackers. Sleep is divided into three distinct categories – thick, awake and light – which is a little less effective than the Fitbit Alta HR, however still fairly useful.

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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Fitness tracking

Garmin vívosmart 3

As with different fitness trackers, you’ll be able also to inform the vívosmart 3 that you’re about to start an exercise and track a walk, run, cardio exercise, weight training or ‘other.’ During an exercise, the device will track your heart rate more consistently as well as different relevant data. In the end, you’ll be able to see how you performed via the Garmin Connect app or analyze your data over time. A simple run generates an impressive amount of data, such as average speed, pace, calories, and more. The option to manually begin new exercises already puts this forward of something just like the Fitbit Flex or Alta HR. However, auto-detection is there too if you need it.

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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Software

Garmin vívosmart 3


Unfortunately, the somewhat missing design does appear to carry over to the software. Navigating via the UI is a real headache and certainly not intuitive. You bring the device to life by either double tapping the screen or bringing it as much as your face. Double tapping works 99% of the time, whereas bringing the screen up works about 80% of the time. From here, you’ll be able to then swipe up and down via widgets, swipe right (or tap) to access more info (such as yesterday’s data), or long-press to begin an activity or perform a range of other features.

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Garmin vívosmart 3 Review – Smart notifications and battery life

Garmin vívosmart 3

Like almost every other wearable out there with a screen, the Vivosmart does notifications. However unlike some others, it helps notifications from all apps on your phone, and you can also use its basic forward, back, play and pause buttons to manage your music. Generally – as with most different fitness trackers – I find the screen too small to read messages on, but when it’s a case of knowing whether you have received a text from someone important or just another Snap from that friend who simply discovered Snapchat – it can be useful.

As for the battery, Garmin promises up to 5 days, and I’ve had no drawback hitting that. In fact, I’ve squeezed out a day more from it. As ever, it depends on how you’re using it. However, 5 days is well managed.

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Garmin has re-angled the Vivosmart to do it better competitors for Fitbit. The lack of GPS is a shame, even though distance tracking on the 3 is nice. However, as a daily activity tracker, this still provides a lot, together with the bonus of stress tracking. The $140 price tag doesn’t hurt either, whereas waterproofing provides it an edge over many of its rivals. It’s simply a shame it doesn’t look nicer.

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Review Score

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