Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch review

Shahriar Siam

With regards to Garmin's games tech heritage, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a pulse sensor, GPS following and a choice of implicit applications committed to watching a scope of sports exercises, from running and indoor cycling to skiing and snowboarding.

In spite of the fact that the Vivoactive 3's emphasis might be on wellness, this adaptable wearable additionally has a lot of different highlights to yell about, including shrewd warnings, an on-board installment framework called Garmin Pay just as both rest and constant pressure following. What's more, its structure mirrors its energetic yet keen qualifications, as it looks more like a watch than a cumbersome wellness tracker.


Product Dimensions 1.7 x 0.5 x 1.7 inches
Item Weight 1.52 ounces
Item model number 010-01769-21
Wireless Communication Technology Bluetooth
Connectivity Technology Bluetooth, GPS
Department Unisex-adult
Manufacturer Garmin

Garmin Vivoactive 3 price and availability

There are three distinct shades of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 to look over. There's dark silicone and record, which is an excellent looking dim and expenses £299.99/$329.99/AU$499.

It likewise comes in dark silicone and hardened steel, which is silver, just as white silicone and treated steel, which both expense somewhat less at £279.99/$249.99/AU$449.

That makes the Garmin Vivoactive 3 somewhat less than comparable gadgets that additionally ride the line between wellness tracker and smartwatch, similar to the Fitbit Ionic, LG Watch Sport and the Apple Watch 3 (with just GPS and not cell abilities).

It's likewise significantly not exactly a large number of the brand's progressively specific multi-sports ranges.

For instance, in case you're searching for a wearable to see you through an enormous scope of exercises with very precise following, the Fenix 5X may be your smartest choice at $699.99/£629.99/AU$949.

Then again, in case you're exclusively searching for a gadget for running and that's it, you could choose the Forerunner 30 at £129.99 (around $175/AU$225). In any case, most sprinters would need to decide on something like the Forerunner 235, which despite everything undermines the Vivoactive 3.

So, in the event that you need a Garmin wellness gadget there are unquestionably less expensive choices. In any case, you'd should be certain that wellness is your solitary center, else it would bode well to consider the Vivoactive 3.


At 43g, and made with a treated steel packaging, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 feels sufficiently profound to be premium, yet like a typical watch once it's tied on. It's a world away from Garmin's past Vivoactive HR gadget, which from numerous points of view felt and looked progressively like a modest, blocky games watch than a quality wearable.

That is the running subject with regards to the plan of the Vivoactive 3, albeit pressed with savvy highlights and a pack of sensors, it closely resembles an 'ordinary' watch.

This is particularly the situation in contrast with wearables constructed exclusively for following, similar to Garmin's most recent Vivosport or Vivosmart gadgets. It even looks more watch-like than its nearest rivals, which is probably going to be on the grounds that both the Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3 have square (or square-er) faces.

With a profundity of 11.7mm the Garmin Vivoactive 3 sits flush against our arms. This joined with an overly adaptable silicone lash makes for an entirely agreeable wear. That was the situation all through our entire survey period, even around evening time and at the rec center.

The silicone tie is adaptable and simple to jump on and off. Be that as it may, when it's on it has a sense of safety, much after a run, swim and a HIIT class. However, in the event that you don't care for the lash, it's conceivable to supplant it with some other 20mm speedy discharge band.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3's screen estimates 1.2 inches and has a 240 x 240 pixel show, which is a size that suits a scope of wrists both of all shapes and sizes, yet still presents data without you squinting to see the details.

In the same way as other Garmin watches, the Vivoactive 3 has a shading transflective screen. From the start this looks somewhat dim, particularly contrasted with the Fitbit Ionic's OLED show, yet it's been made that path so as to make it simpler to peruse, even in direct daylight, and to make a major saving money on battery life as well.


The presentation is consistently on, yet darkened. The backdrop illumination goes ahead when you flip your wrist up. This is convenient for rapidly checking the time, yet we discovered keeping that setting on implied it went ahead a ton during the night. In any case, you can modify whether it goes ahead or not, just as to what extent for.

There's a little bezel round the edge of the screen with lines on it to show where the hours are. What's more, not normal for a great deal of comparative gadgets, there's simply the one catch on the screen. The extraordinary thing about this is you get the opportunity to choose during arrangement whether you need it looking toward your body, or looking toward your wrist and hand.

We wore the Vivoactive 3 to our left side wrist, so picked the catch to be nearest to our hand to make it simpler to push with our right. This catch is quite significant in light of the fact that, in addition to other things, it permits you to get to the games menu and furthermore fills in as a back catch.

A few people will undoubtedly adore the negligible impact this gives, other people who are utilized to multi-practical games watches with bunches of catches and dials may think that its lacking.

On the underside of the Vivoactive 3 there's a four pin charging port, which is little and can't be felt on your skin, just as the gadget's optical pulse sensor, which once more, sits flush against your wrist.

We explored the Vivoactive 3 in dark silicone and record, which is a top notch looking dim that costs somewhat more than dark silicone and treated steel or white silicone and hardened steel.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is waterproof up to 50 meters, which is perfect in case you're a swimmer and makes it simpler to shower and wash-up without agonizing over taking it on and off constantly.

Add to that the reality the screen is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the case is produced using a fortified polymer and you have one strong gadget on your wrist that will withstand the most tiring of exercise meetings.

With regards to structure, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 unquestionably ticks the entirety of the privilege boxes and legitimizes the value point, giving a watch that looks premium, yet in particular for a day in and day out wearable, feels great.


Despite the fact that the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is pressing a lot of new savvy includes, it's still definitely a watch worked in view of wellness fans.

It accompanies an entire host of exercises, which are called 'applications', that you can browse. At the point when you originally hit the catch on the gadget you're incited to set your top picks, so they're effectively available in future.

We picked indoor cycling, running and swimming regardless, however there's an enormous decision here, from golf to skiing to loads.

In the event that by some amazingly misfortune your preferred movement isn't among those the Garmin Vivoactive 3 as of now gives, there's a 'make' alternative to change the gadget's settings and make your own, which gives you the choice to choose which screens and alarms you need actuated as you work out.

Starting a movement is painfully straightforward, when you have your top choices characterized you simply need to press the catch as an afterthought, tap on one, trust that GPS will kick in (except if you're doing an action inside) and afterward press the catch again to begin.

You can choose before you start what you need the watch to show as you work out by hitting Settings and afterward picking from various information screens, pick which cautions you need, and even change the shades of the content and diagrams.

So for instance, you can choose a caution for when your pulse hits a specific point (extraordinary for preparing in pulse zones) and sprinters can be alarmed of their lap times. Consummation an exercise is similarly as simple, press the catch as an afterthought and hit the huge red stop sign to affirm.

The time it took for the GPS lock fluctuated a touch of relying upon where we began our run, from a snappy 30 seconds through to a decent couple of minutes. This is the situation with most GPS-empowered gadgets, yet is consistently somewhat baffling when you simply need to get moving.

We went for a run with the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the entire course was outlined precisely in the application in the wake of adjusting, which was incredible to see since we wound up changing our course finally a reasonable hardly any occasions.

The measure of information gathered relies upon which exercises you pick, for instance, for something like indoor cycling you can see essential data inside the application, similar to time spent, calories consumed and pulse information. Be that as it may, for running and different GPS-empowered exercises, the information gathered is broad.

From a GPS guide of your course through to rhythm, pace and pulse changes, it's a genuine pleasure for a sprinter who needs to bore down into execution.

With regards to following, the Vivoactive 3 is a critical overhaul on the Vivoactive HR and one explanation is that it can screen VO2 max. This is an estimation of the greatest volume of oxygen you can utilize and is frequently utilized as a marker of in general wellness.

With regards to pulse, the following on the Vivoactive 3 is on a par with you'd anticipate from a Garmin gadget. We contrasted it and the Fitbit Ionic while resting and through a progression of exercises and they remained reliably inside 2 bpm of one another.

Another huge update from the Vivoactive HR is pressure following, which the Vivoactive 3 measures utilizing pulse changeability (HRV) readings for the duration of the day. This is surely another draw to get individuals to wear the Vivoactive 3 throughout the day - not only for exercises.

Garmin's pulse smarts likewise implies rest following is increasingly exact on the grounds that rest stages aren't simply dictated by development, however pulse as well. We found the rest following information inside the application to be point by point, however we discovered it in some cases started following rest a little before sleep time.

This could be down to individual daily practice, however in that regard it wasn't as exact as the Fitbit Ionic. Since its rest stages update that is perhaps the best out there for following your rest.

Battery life

Probably one of the fundamental reasons Garmin picked a transflective memory-in-pixel show was to save money on battery life, so you'd anticipate that it should be incredible to compensate for the absence of a delightful screen - and it truly is.

Despite the fact that it may not be as noteworthy as a portion of the brand's more established models, Garmin claims the Vivoactive 3's battery will most recent seven days of ordinary use and 13 hours in a row on the off chance that you have GPS all in all time.

In our testing, it kept going a little more than six days with an exercise each other day, including two GPS-empowered runs, a few notices and bunches of strolling.

That implies except if you plan on utilizing the GPS regular you can make a propensity for energizing the Vivoactive 3 around once every week, which is a genuine draw for any individual who takes a wearable off to charge it then just neglects to return it on.

With regards to charging, you basically plug the little link that accompanied the Vivoactive 3 into the four pin charging port on the rear of the watch and afterward plug that into a USB port.


Any sort of warning can be set to come through from your telephone to your Vivoactive 3, we got everything from instant messages to ripeness tracker refreshes that you would then be able to peruse in full on the screen and clear once you've understood them.

In the event that you have an Android gadget you're ready to send canned reactions, similar to "alright", however iPhone clients aren't as fortunate.

Not at all like the Apple Watch 3, you can't address your watch or get calls, however you can acknowledge and decrease them in case you're not ready to get your telephone.

Annoyingly, at the present time you can just choose whether you need each notice and call to come through to the Vivoactive 3, just calls or nothing by any stretch of the imagination. Its absolutely impossible to express yes to conceivably significant WhatsApp messages and no way to ripeness cautions on your wrist.


The Vivoactive 3's interface can on occasion feel somewhat laggy. Be that as it may, some way or another the experience is generally consistent.

Just as the catch as an afterthought and the alternative to utilize the touchscreen, the Vivoactive 3 additionally has what the brand alludes to as a 'Side Swipe' interface. This means you can run at the tip of your finger down the side of the catch and you'll have the option to swipe through the gadget's menu without connecting with the screen itself.

From the start we discovered this abnormal - and somewhat trivial - yet sooner or later it turned out to be increasingly normal, particularly in light of the fact that there are little sections along the edge and the watch vibrates as you travel through every menu thing, so it wanted to get unobtrusive touch input as you utilize the interface.

You can modify how the interface glances through a store called Connect IQ. You can visit the store from inside the Garmin application and look over applications, including those about wellness or climate, just as a scope of various watch appearances and gadgets.

The manner in which you peruse the store feels somewhat cumbersome, it's not as instinctive as the Garmin application itself, which we'll get to underneath, however it's simple enough to pick something to download.

When you've downloaded another application or watch face, you'll have to return into the Garmin application and include it into Activities and Apps, where it'll spring up nearby your preferred exercise exercises. It's somewhat irritating that there's not another top choices menu elsewhere for new applications.

After a considerable delay in the UK, you would now be able to utilize the contactless installment framework Garmin Pay in the US, Australia and UK. We've yet to test the component out on the Vivoactive 3, however it ought to permit you to make contactless installments without taking your telephone or wallet out on your run.


Pros Cons
Easy-to-read display Feels a little plasticky
Accurate distance tracking Limited coaching elements
Good heart rate monitor Garmin Pay isn't widely available
Long battery life No onboard music storage


With the Garmin Vivoactive 3, Garmin has made a smartwatch structured in view of standard crowds, joining wellness following wellbeing and way of life highlights, just as savvy notices. This makes it one of the most adaptable wearables, which will undoubtedly suit a scope of individuals.