Garmin vívoactive 3

Last updated date: April 26, 2019

DWYM Score
8.0

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We looked at the top 1 Fitness Trackers and dug through the reviews from 11 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Tech Radar, BestReviews, Trusted Reviews, ZD Net, Pocket-lint, DC Rainmaker, Digital Trends, Tech Crunch, Expert Reviews - UK, Alphr and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fitness Tracker you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 125 expert reviews, the Garmin Garmin vívoactive 3 placed 3rd when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Fitness Tracker for a detailed review of all the top fitness trackers.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
2,621 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Battery life is rated at up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode.
- CNET
August 31, 2017 | Full review
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a heart rate sensor, GPS tracking and a selection of built-in apps dedicated to keeping tabs on a range of sports activities, from running and indoor cycling to skiing and snowboarding.
- Tech Radar
July 16, 2018 | Full review
An updated version of one of Garmin's most popular tracking watches that offers an attractive new design. Syncs easily to a smartphone, which is convenient for receiving important notifications. Tracks metrics for runners and is useful for monitoring other athletics such as swimming, cycling, and more. Reliable GPS.
- BestReviews
In terms of all-day tracking, the Vivoactive 3 is noting the number of steps you take throughout the day, your resting and active heart rate, and the amount of sleep you’re getting overnight.
- Trusted Reviews
August 31, 2017 | Full review
It's a GPS smart watch for the masses and I enjoyed my couple of weeks with it.
- ZD Net
December 27, 2017 | Full review
Garmin, the 1.2-inch round display on the front is a fairly basic affair, but for two very good reasons: battery life and daylight visibility.
- Pocket-lint
December 1, 2017 | Full review
From a GPS accuracy standpoint, things generally look pretty good.
- DC Rainmaker
October 17, 2017 | Full review
When connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the Vivofit 3 delivers full smart notifications with a vibration alert.
- Digital Trends
December 27, 2017 | Full review
The vivoactive can keep track of stress levels over time thanks to heart rate variability monitoring, and additional watch faces, apps and more are available in the Garmin Connect IQ store, which is accessible via the companion smartphone app.
- Tech Crunch
Battery life is superb, though, and this is where the Garmin Vivoactive 3 outdoes many of its smartwatch competitors.
- Expert Reviews - UK
Overall, the Vivoactive 3 improves on an already excellent device in almost every measurable way, making it a stonkingly good fitness-orientated smartwatch.
- Alphr
January 10, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
That music streaming (and downloading) is currently limited to iHeartRadio in the US, with Deezer coming soon for other territories - although the latter still hasn't launched at time of writing.
- Tech Radar
July 16, 2018 | Full review
Battery life isn't the best. Some metrics aren't very accurate, such as heart rate and sleep tracking. Sounds good when it plays music, but it has been known to lose/delete files for no apparent reason.
- BestReviews
On the downside, the light weight does mean the Vivoactive 3 feels a little cheap and flimsy, which is compounded by its plasticky construction (apparently, it’s a fibre-reinforced polymer).
- Trusted Reviews
August 31, 2017 | Full review
The color display is fine for indoor and outdoor use, but it doesn't hold a candle to the brilliance of an Apple Watch, Fitbit Ionic, or Samsung Gear display.
- ZD Net
December 27, 2017 | Full review
One other disappointing issue we found was in general connectivity.
- Pocket-lint
December 1, 2017 | Full review
One tricky area is laps though. As of this writing (October 13th, 2017), you cannot manually set a lap. Only auto-lap is supported, which is based on a distance you specify (I.e., every one mile).
- DC Rainmaker
October 17, 2017 | Full review
The Vivoactive 3’s vibration alert is one of the weakest we’ve ever encountered.
- Digital Trends
December 27, 2017 | Full review
It’s because it sits astride a few different wearable categories that price comparison is a bit more complicated than for a fitness tracker or high-end sports watch.
- Expert Reviews - UK

From The Manufacturer

Garmin Pay™ contactless payment solution lets you pay for purchases with your watch¹. Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ™ store. More than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running,. swimming and more. Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and fitness age estimates, plus keep an eye on how you handle stress². Get connected features³ such as smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect™, LiveTrack and more. Battery life4: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; 13 hours in GPS mode

Overall Product Rankings

1. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Lintelek Activity Tracker
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 2
3. Garmin vívoactive 3
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 11
4. Fitbit Charge 3
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Fitbit Flex 2
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Samsung Pro Fitness Band
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 8
7. Garmin Vívosmart 4
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 15
8. FitBit Zip
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Garmin vívosport Fitness Tracker
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 10
10. FitBit Surge
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 10
11. Fitbit Alta
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 6
12. Withings Go Activity Tracker
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 10
13. Garmin vivofit 3 Fitness Tracker
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 8

An Overview On Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are truly the must-have accessory for a healthy lifestyle. It’s no surprise either. These handy devices offer a wealth of health knowledge right at your fingertips — or, more accurately on your wrist. Armed with the right fitness tracker, you can record and analyze your way to the healthiest you yet. If you haven’t tried them yet, prepare to be amazed and converted.

Wearable tools can be just as important as the recipes, nutrition and fitness accessories in your arsenal. Together, they help you achieve your goals and understand exactly when you’ve done that. Fitness trackers are like mini-supercomputers right on your wrist. They record and monitor movement and fitness-related activities. They track the number of steps taken, distance walked, sleep duration and quality, heart rate and more.

While the category started simple and basic, they have become very advanced over the years. There are separate modes that enable them to track specific types of exercise and can distinguish between swimming, running and cycling, as well as keep logs of your favorite routes. No matter what model you have, you can connect and upload all the stored data to your computer or smartphone to analyze and learn from your activities.

It’s not a passing trend either. In fact, the global fitness trackers market clocked in at just under $18 billion in 2016. That value is expected to grow to more than $62 billion within the next four years. Smartwatches, specifically, are driving most of the predicted growth. Some of the leading fitness tracker manufacturers include Fitbit, Samsung, Nike, Adidas, Google and Apple. Some lesser-known manufacturers, like Lintelek, have also launched products in the fitness tracker category. In fact, the budget-friendly Lintelek Activity Tracker is the only non-Fitbit to make the list of recommended devices.

Fitbit, which has two of the four top picks on this list, is one of the most popular fitness tracker manufacturers. The company launched its very first tracker back in 2007 and continues to lead the category with innovative new technology and features.

Now, Fitbit, Apple, Garmin and more offer a wide variety of different fitness trackers and smartwatch models from affordable to splurge prices. There are high-tech models with detailed data tracking for serious athletes, as well as simple watches for those just dipping their toe into fitness tracking and data. There are also fitness trackers made for children ages eight and up, meant to encourage movement and healthy habits early. Whether you’re trying to make fitness fun for youngsters or start your own health challenge,  there is a Fitness tracker for everyone and every goal.

Fitness trackers are designed to seamlessly track every part of your day — including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. That can be a bit overwhelming. However, Fitbit says they will “help you find your fit, stay motivated and see how small steps make a big impact.”

They monitor heart rate with PurePulse. The newest watches, like Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, include SmartTrack. This innovative technology automatically senses different types of exercises and records them accordingly in the Fitbit app. For example, if you hop on a spin bike and start pedaling, the watch will begin recording as a cycling activity.

The current Fitbit smartwatches, like Fitbit Versa, also incorporate apps and features like wallet-free payments, calendar alerts and text message updates. Today’s Fitbits and fitness trackers are so much more than step counters. They also enhance and simplify many everyday tasks.

In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyles, Fitbit, and other fitness tracker apps connect all users in a like-minded community. In the apps, you can share your goals and find motivation from people around the world. It also opens up the opportunity for fun competitions with friends, family or coworkers. You can compare on a variety of statistics to push yourself farther and hit goals faster.

All those tracker insights add up to real lifestyle changes. In fact, researchers from Arizona State University discovered that the combination of wearing a Fitbit Zip activity monitor and expressing more mindfulness throughout the week increased levels of physical activity. For a relatively low cost (most models range from $50 to $250), fitness trackers help motivate you to kickstart and stick with a fitness plan, hold you accountable, encourage goal setting and, best of all, help you lose weight.

Pick the right fitness tracker, and you’re well on your way to living your healthiest life and achieving goals you haven’t even dreamed of yet.

DYWM Fun Fact

The very first fitness trackers date back to Renaissance times. Yes, really. Leonardo Da Vinci sketched what looked like an early version of a pedometer. Then, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson introduced the first pedometer in the U.S. Pedometers are basic devices used to track the number of steps taken.  Historians believe his inspiration for the device could have come from the motion sensor of the Swiss or French watches.

It took a few hundred years more before pioneers developed high-tech trackers. Fitbit founders Eric Friedman and James Park recognized the potential of wireless technology in the fitness industry. With the first product, they “embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.” Suffice it to say, they succeeded and went on to realize that potential and then some. More than 10 years later, both original founders still lead Fitbit and continue to introduce new and innovative fitness technology each year.

The Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

  • Fitness trackers range in price depending on included features. Some cost under $100 while others fall under $250. The more advanced the tracking features, the higher the price points.
  • Fitness trackers and smartwatches run on rechargeable batteries. When drained, they require re-charging by plugging into power sources or outlets.
  • The battery life of different trackers varies based on the activities tracked, but some can last up to five days between charges.
  • Fitness trackers use special sensors to monitor and record vital health stats throughout your day. Some of the info recorded includes activity, heart rate, food, weight and sleep. The more advanced models incorporate a built-in GPS for improved accuracy and ease of use.
  • The models with GPS can also produce and follow maps of specific routes, making workouts more streamlined wherever you are.
  • Fitness trackers, including Fitbits, Garmin, Lintelek and more, often come with an app that connects the device and information recorded on your phone or tablet. Some also bring users in a global online community together to connect, compete and learn from each other.
  • The fitness trackers sync data to your computer or smartphone so that you can access additional analysis and progress reports.
  • Many fitness trackers feature water resistant and waterproof components, so they can be worn in rain and while swimming without worrying. Make sure your model has this capability if that’s an important feature to you.