The Vivoactive 3 is one of Garmin’s latest high-end smartwatches. Packed with high-end features, including stress and sleep tracking, it more than matches up to other fitness devices.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a ‘blocky’ sports watch appearance. It weighs in at 43g and is quite thick, at nearly 12mm, but looks and feels fine when worn in or out of the gym. The silicone strap is secure, easy to fasten and can be replaced with most 20mm straps.
Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 has a great colour transflective 1.2 inch-square screen, with a 240 x 240-pixel display – big enough to see without squinting to see the data. The screen may initially appear darker than other watches, but this is so that it can be more easily read in direct sunlight design to provide the ability to see the device in direct sunlight which makes it easier to read and helps prolong the battery. The display is always on, but has a backlight activated with a simple wrist movement.
Around the edge of the screen, there’s a small bezel with lines to show indicate hours and a single button on the side of the screen. Unlike other watches, users can decide whether they like to have the screen facing towards the body or the hand.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is waterproof down to 50 metres. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and the case is designed with reinforced polymer so it’s a very durable device that can withstand high-intensity workouts.
The Garmin is suitable for everyday wear, but primarily it’s there to provide technology for fitness enthusiasts. When the device is first used users are prompted to set their favourite workouts so they can be easily accessed for future use. Most common workout activities are available, but for less-common ones there is the option to create personalised settings and screen alerts. To start an activity, users press the button on the side, tap on the one they want and then press the button again to get started. If the activity is outdoors, users may have to wait for GPS to load before pressing the button a second time. To end the workout, push the button on the side and tap the red stop sign to confirm.
The Vivoactive 3 provides the option to choose what the watch displays during workouts by accessing the settings and opting from different data screens. There is also the option of allocating what alerts are displayed, and the colours of the text or graphs can be changed, proving extra customisability. For example, the Vivoactive 3 has a signal for heart rate monitoring that can be activated when a user’s heart rate reaches a certain point. There is also an alert for runners notifying them of their lap times.
Tracking with the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a big improvement on earlier designs, especially with the feature to monitor VO2 max. The VO2 max is a measurement of the maximum volume of oxygen a user can use and often indicates overall fitness. The heart rate tracking is continuous throughout the day so users can view data at any point along with a heart rate graph.
Stress tracking is an exciting feature of the Vivoactive 3 – it uses heart rate variability readings throughout the day to gauge stress levels. Garmin’s heart rate tracking also offers accurate sleep tracking with detailed data focusing on not only movement but the heart rate.
Unlike many other smartwatches manufacturers, the Vivoactive 3 has no storage for music but can control music from a phone.
Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 has an impressive seven-day battery life without GPS running and thirteen hours if GPS is left running. Charging is via a dedicated charger or a USB port or interchangeable charger.
Garmin has successfully created a smartwatch designed with fitness enthusiasts in mind. Vivoactive 3 is the perfect combination of fitness features and smart notifications. The device can accurately track both health and lifestyle in detail appealing to those keen on their biometric data.
Its GPS capabilities, coupled with excellent battery life and water resistance, make it an ideal watch for the fitness enthusiast.