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Garmin Vivosmart 3 Review : The Best Ever Fitness Tracker

Looking for a fitness tracker that keeps a record of all your activities throughout the day? This review may help you then. Garmin is again here with its another activity tracker cum smartwatch-the Vivosmart 3. This wrist-placed wearable is equipped with amazing fitness tracking features like all-day stress tracking, built-in heart-rate monitor, sleep tracking and rep counting. This time, Garmin has dropped the HR+ from the name and the reason is clear. The company doesn’t want to just focus on monitoring heart-rate with this one. Vivosmart 3 has many new features that make it a perfect wearable for you. Keep reading to know more about the product.

  • Design

If we talk about the design, this device looks almost similar to its predecessors. Garmin hasn’t made many changes to its original design and instead has chosen to keep it simple while giving it an effective build. So, for design, the Vivosmart 3 may not impress the masses. But the thing is who is even going to notice that! The slim silicone strap makes it a perfect wearable and you can carry this activity tracker day and night on your wrist without even noticing that it’s there. The watch is light in weight (just 21g) and comes in black, blue and purple colors that are all dark. The strap is quite stretchable and easily fits any wrist size without making any impact on the heart rate tracking.

The OLED display easily fits into the strap while offering plenty of brightness anywhere including your well-lit gym. The screen may look a little tough and matt in its finish, but the touch works perfectly well. The resolution is just fine, that is 64 x 128 pixels, for a small 9.6 x 19.2mm display.

The only drawback you may notice is daytime brightness and its activation sensitivity. However, the light sensor offers a bright enough display to be seen in daylight though it may sometimes take some time to reach up to its full power.

The device is waterproof, and you can shower, bathe and swim without feeling a need to take it off and hence lets you easily forget it’s even there. The silicone casing is tough enough and the rugged screen makes it a perfect wearable for a gym workout.

This time, Garmin has made the wearable battery-saving and it only gets activated if you swing your wrist up to your face. The charger is proprietary. The cable can be plugged into any USB port for charging, the clip easily attaches, and you can see it on its screen while charging it.

  • Garmin Vivosmart 3 Price

Garmin has priced the Vivosmart 3 device at $139.99/£129.99/AU$229 that makes it an affordable wearable. The price can be said to be reasonable looking at the amazing features that you can only find in only costly smartwatches. However, we have observed a little drop in its price since the launch and the lowest price we’ve seen is something around $90/£85. If you don’t need a GPS, you won’t find a device better than Vivosmart 3 at this price.

  • Who Can Try This?

Although the Vivosmart 3 has great fitness tracking features, but it doesn’t have a GPS feature which makes it less appealing to cyclists and runners. But the rep counting and VO2 max measures make it an ideal device for gym-goers. The stress score feature, sleep tracking, smart notifications and activity tracking features make this wearable perfect for any person who is simply looking for something that may help them step into a better, fitter lifestyle. For the ones looking for a fitness tracker that also has smartwatch features, the Vivosmart 3 has it all. The device is also affordable and tough, unlike the other smartwatch options available.

  • Specifications

Coming to the features, the Vivosmart 3 has few of the best activity trackers. The smartwatch comes without a GPS, so you cannot track the location. But the device easily makes up the absence of location tracking through many added features such as a barometric altimeter, accelerometer, heart rate sensor and ambient light sensor. Also, it sports ANT+ connectivity and Bluetooth Smart.

And that’s not all. The wearable has many other tracking metrics such as calories burned, sleep, steps and distance traveled. Apart from these basic features, you get many advanced measures such as floors climbed, VO2 max, fitness age, strength reps, and a stress score as well.

The bad part is that the device can’t even connect to your phone’s GPS. So, you can use this watch just to get a rough idea of distance. For example, we ran on a route measured as 7.64 miles on GPS, but in Vivosmart 3, it came down to 6.72 miles. Well, the shorter distances will offer better results. And must say this wearable isn’t focused on running, the features make it more suitable for a gym. If you are looking for a running watch, Garmin Vivosmart HR+ can be a better option. The device also has rep counting feature for weight training in order to help you remember those lost reps’ count and stay honest with your workout.

Another feature is VO2 max that gives a good measurement of health depending on the maximum oxygen amount in your body. The Vivosmart 3 does this and assigns you your fitness age. A fitness age is lower in comparison to your actual age, represents a good health.

Well, the VO2 max measure isn’t a true one as it is obtained using your heart rate and few such metrics, so it’s more like a guide. But the good part is that it lets you know if you’re actually getting fitter with the training.

One more nice feature is a stress tracker which is also obtained using the heart rate. But, you can use this in your favor by keeping an eye on your stress score. If it’s high, you can choose to try a breathing exercise that definitely calms you down, a nice idea that does work. You know better about how important it is to keep yourself relaxed nowadays.

Another important tracking feature is a sleep tracker. Vivosmart 3 keeps a data of how well you slept. Sleep timing displayed is just accurate, thanks to the movement sensors. However, if compared to a dedicated sleep tracking device, Garmin Vivosmart 3 displays a little better sleeping score than you actually did. Still, it’s good to start your day on a positive note, isn’t it?

You can get the most accurate scores in the Garmin Connect app. When using the device connected via Bluetooth to your phone, it shows all the important notifications for your messages. You can also manage your music functions with simple screen taps.

  • Battery life

Once you fully charge the Vivosmart 3, you can use it for at least next five days. In reality, it can easily be used up to about six days, depending on the amount and time period of workout you do and the number of notifications you read. We exercised almost daily and had notifications all day around with a sufficient number of screen checks but still managed to use it for five days easily.

Also, the charging time is very rapid. The device gets fully charged within an hour, so battery life is really never a concern. Even if your battery gets below 10% while you are mid-workout, the low battery alert will lock the screen and tracking will continue until you are done with your exercise. Smart enough!

  • Compatibility

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 is pretty compatible with everything especially, if you have a smartphone with Bluetooth: be it an iPhone, Android or a Windows phone, you can enjoy the Garmin Connect app to its fullest with all the wonderful features. Since the platform of Connect app is cloud-based, a browser can be used to check any data in more details that makes it an ideal health and fitness tracker. Your experience using the wearable will actually depend on the way you train yourself and the amount of effort you put into personalizing your Connect app.

Should You Go For It? 

If you are planning to buy a smartwatch or activity tracker in order to be sure if you are doing just the right amount of workout, this one is for you. But if you’re a cyclist, runner, swimmer and looking for a device with GPS, you can consider Garmin Forerunner 645 or Forerunner 935, as both of these come with GPS. In case, you just want to keep a record of your step counts, there are many cheaper fitness trackers available. But if you do gym-based workouts and want to get a data of your rep counts, this is just the perfect option.

  • Final Verdict

If you are dying to get a wearable with lots of features at a reasonable price, you are made for each-other. The added VO2 max feature in the Vivosmart 3 gives accurate training metrics that can help you plan a fitter future and work towards it. Heart rate monitoring, fitness age and rep counting measure for weights training make it a very capable fitness tracker. The only thing it lacks is GPS that can easily be ignored as the device is quite affordable. It might not attract you with its looks but the tracking features definitely will!

  • Alternatives 

In case Garmin Vivosmart 3 doesn’t excite you that much, you can look at these three fitness trackers and choose the one that meets your requirements.

  • Fitbit Alta HR 

Just like the Vivosmart 3, the Fitbit Alta HR  is another budget-friendly device that offers much more than a basic tracker and doesn’t cost a bomb like the other expensive fitness watches. As its name suggests, the Alta HR is focused on heart-rate tracking, but it also has other amazing features like automatic exercise recognition and sleep stage tracking with a battery life of seven days.

It also shows your smartphone notifications and reminders.

  • Fitbit Charge 2

Another device that can give a tough competition to the Vivosmart 3 is the Fitbit Charge 2. If you consider all the features, both the devices offer almost similar fitness tracking measures. Features like swim tracking and waterproofing make the Garmin device a better choice while the Fitbit device has the advantage of a superior sleep tracking feature and it beats the Garmin device in terms of design with a more stylish band.

  • Garmin Vivosport

Be it the Vivofit, Vivoactive or Vivosmart, Garmin’s fitness trackers offer a solid activity tracking. Price at £160/$160/AU$300, the Vivosmart may seem to be a bit more expensive than Garmin Vivosmart 3, but the price is worth it. There are many additional features such as a vibrant, always-on touch display that offers great visibility in sunlight and a reliable GPS, which has an impressive battery life of 8-hours if you use it in GPS mode. In normal mode, you can easily use it for seven days once it is fully charged. So, if all you are looking for a step tracker with heart rate monitoring, this one is a better option.

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