Hot news! Garmin Vivosmart 3 about to be released this April. Again, Garmin seems to avoid using the even number when naming their wearables, lol. There was no Garmin Fenix 4. And this time around, you would not find Garmin Vivosmart 2.  Interesting marketing ploy?!?

garmin vivosmart 3 review design screen
So, let me tell you how Garmin Vivosmart 3 has been enhanced and I’ll also compare it with the older versions,  Garmin Vivosmart HR and the Garmin Vivosmart HR+.

Garmin Vivosmart 3 was launched right after their rival Fitbit brought out the Alta HR. If you’re looking for a smart fitness tracker that has heart rate monitor, you may want to know the pros and cons of Garmin Vivosmart 3 verses the Fitbit Alta HR and Fitbit Charge 2. They are all in the same price range. After reading this review, my goal is that you find the right tracker for your use.  Will Garmin vivosmart 3 be your companion? Let me help you find out the answer.

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Garmin Vivosmart 3 Release Date

On Apr 12th 2017, Garmin officially announced Garmin Vivosmart 3. Its predecessors – Garmin Vivosmart HR and HR+ were put on the market back in Oct 2015 and May 2016 respectively.  The fitness tracker was said to be available in 5-8 from the launch date. You can check to see if you can preorder most items on Amazon.

Garmin vivosmart 3 Price

Surprisingly, Garmin prices the Vivosmart 3 at around $139.99, at launch, even lower than the Vivosmart HR ($149.99) and Vivosmart HR+ ($179.99). Maybe their reasoning is that they want to beat Fitbit Alta HR ($149) and Fitbit Charge 2 ($149).  I think this is a reasonable price for such a nice smart activity tracker.  Take a look at the to see why I think you will love this tracker.

Review Garmin Vivosmart 3 Design

Let’s talk about the differences.  If you love to wear a slender fitness tracker, you will be happy to hear that Garmin Vivosmart 3 is 18.5mm in width. It’s slimmer than Garmin Vivosmart HR which is 21mm. And, it’s just 3.5mm wider than Fitbit Alta HR – the slimmest tracker with heart rate sensor.

The second biggest difference is that the screen of Garmin Vivosmart 3 is OLED. It’s no longer sunlight-visible, transflective memory in pixel (MIP) like the HR and HR+.

The “always on” screen of Vivosmart HR turned out to be a shortcoming, therefore Garmin made the new Vivosmart 3 hidden display activated only via gestures.

Garmin vivosmart 3 design review

The tracker comes into 2 basic colors: black and purple. There’s no midnight blue option like in the Garmin Vivosmart HR.

The strap is silicone and buckle-style like the older versions. It’s not interchangeable like the Alta HR and Fitbit Charge 2.

Overall, Garmin Vivosmart 3 catches up with the latest trends: it’s slimmer, has a hidden display and offers a OLED screen. It’s simple and bold, a perfect buddy for anyone, male or female.

Review Garmin Vivosmart 3 Features

Review Garmin Vivosmart 3 Features – Pros

Stress Tracking
This is an incredible new feature available on the Garmin Vivosmart 3. This feature is not yet available even in the high-end smartwatch Garmin Fenix 5.

You don’t just get a score for your stress level like Garmin Fenix 5, the new wellness monitoring tools of Garmin Vivosmart 3 calculates and displays the stress level as a wedge graph. When the level starts to move up, it indicates that your stress is getting higher. This tool gives you a heads up to so you know when your level is going up and helps you identify what causes the high stress level so you can act to lower it.

garmin vivosmart 3 stress monitoring review
It also provides relaxation-based breathing timer, so you can have 1-5 minutes guided breathing exercise to decelerate your stress level and/or relax. This useful function can be found in Fitbit Charge 2, but not in Fitbit Alta HR.

With stress tracking, Garmin Vivosmart 3 not only helps you keep fit, but helps you improve your emotional wellbeing.

VO2 max and Fitness age
VO2 max (your ability to process oxygen and deliver it to your muscles) used to be available in high end smart watch only. Last year, Fitbit integrated VO2 max measurement into Fitbit Charge 2 and now Garmin is making it make it available in Garmin Vivosmart 3. Besides giving you your VO2 max, Garmin Vivosmart 3 uses that data to calculate fitness age, a relatable metric that puts a user’s fitness level in terms of an age. Increasing your VO2 max and thereby reducing your fitness age will help you to focus on a clear goal for you to achieve through exercise.

garmin vivosmart 3 vo2 max review
Activity Tracking
Garmin Vivosmart 3 has all basic functions other trackers offer, such as tracking steps, heart rate, floors climbed, calories burned, distance and sleep quality monitoring.

Moreover, it inherits the best features of Garmin Vivosmart HR: Intensity Minutes, which measures activity intensity against the goals recommended by leading health organizations and their Move IQ feature which automatically recognizes and records your activities.

Garmin vivosmart 3 review pros and cons
Garmin doesn’t claim an exact water rating like they once did with the Vivosmart HR. However, they guarantee that you can wear the tracker both  swimming and showering with peace of mind.

If water resistance really matters to you, Garmin Vivosmart 3 might be a better choice than Fitbit Alta Hr and Fitbit Charge 2, as those Fitbits are not safe for either swimming or showering.

Clock and Phone Features
You can control music, find your misplaced phone and locate your watch with Garmin Vivosmart 3. It provides both full clock features such as timer and stopwatch, which are missed in the Fitbit Alta HR.

Review Garmin Vivosmart 3 Features – Cons

Garmin Vivosmart 3 Battery life
The Battery life lasts up to 5 days, same as the Vivosmart HR and Fitbit Charge 2. Fitbit Alta HR provides you with a longer battery life of 7 days.

It would be great to have this feature in Garmin Vivosmart 3. The device is not yet integrated GPS and can’t piggy back on a phone’s GPS either.
If you love to have a GPS integrated fitness tracker, like many runners, cyclists and walkers, then consider Garmin Vivosmart HR+.

Garmin Vivosmart 3 Conclusion

Design is not the selling point of Garmin Vivosmart 3. Though it is more compact than its previous versions, it can’t be compared with Fitbit Alta HR and Charge 2 in terms of design. It offers fewer color options and the band is not interchangeable. That being said, it nevertheless has more appealing functions such as stress tracking, breathing relaxation and provides you with a fitness age to support your activities. So, if you prefer a wider selections of functions over design, I recommend you go for Garmin Vivosmart 3.

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