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Garmin Vivofit 3 Review

Garmin Vivofit 3
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
£50 to £89
  • 80%

  • Garmin Vivofit 3
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 1st June 2018
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 0%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 80%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 35%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 30%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 70%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 99%

If you’ve been thinking of buying an activity tracker hopefully this review of the Vivofit 3 will give you the important facts and help you make a decision. A key feature of the Garmin Vivofit 3 is no more messing around with USB charging cables. The range of Vivofit models including this Vivofit 3 and the Vivofit Jr all come with a coincell battery installed. These batteries should last a minimum of 1 year. When the batteries run flat either self change the CR1632 battery yourself or pay a jeweller a couple of pounds to do it for you. This review of the Vivofit 3 has been brought to you by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic

Garmin Vivofit 3 Activity Tracker with 1 year battery

Release Date (UK) > March 2016

Product it replaced > Garmin Vivofit 2

Price when released (UK) > £90

Who’s it For?

The Vivofit 3 is for people who want an easy to use, smart looking activity tracker with all essential features including time of day. Like most fitness trackers it will keep track of daily steps and calories burnt plus estimated distance. The Garmin Vivofit 3 also feature a “move bar” to promote activity throughout the day. A key selling point of this fitband is it’s internal coincell battery meaning you you don’t have to remember to charge it every few days. Add to all these attractive features the Bluetooth support of a competent Fitbit smartphone APP and we’ve got a great fitness tracker.

The Vivofit 3 is a no nonsense “essential features” activity tracker that will count steps, calories and distance, plus, it monitors your sleep duration and quality. Like the models before it will synchronise with an iOs or Android phone via the Garmin Connect APP. The Vivofit 3 also features Garmin’s Move IQ software that automatically understands when you are running, cycling or swimming. And don’t forget the nice red MOVE bar along the top informing you of extended periods of inactivity…

Quick Links

What it does NOT do ….

The Vivofit 3 does NOT feature smartphone notifications (incoming call alerts etc) nor does it acquire heart rate from the wrist. Neither does it have a built-in GPS. It’s a simple activity tracker for those who aren’t overly bothered with smartphone connectivity, don’t need accurate speed and distance feedback and do NOT want off the wrist heart rate.

Next model UP

The next model up from the Vivofit 3 is either the Vivosmart HR with built-in heart rate or the Vivosmart HR + with built-in heart rate sensors and a discrete GPS chip. The Vivosmart series offer far more smartphone functionality like music control, incoming call / message alerts, find my phone and more. Plus, the Vivosmart has a built-in barometric pressure sensor which gives “floors climbed” feedback as well as horizontal steps and distance etc. In April 2017 Garmin released their new Vivosmart 3 with wrist based heart rate, breathing exercises, VO2 Max and Fitness age score.

Next model DOWN

The Vivofit range are Garmin’s entry level fitness trackers. The next model down from this Vivofit 3 is really the previous model, the Vivofit 2 or, for those looking for something different, try the Vivomove with ANALOGUE hands, more like a traditional watch. For the youngsters in the family there is also the Vivofit Jr, similar features but attractive junior styling supported by an FUN application.

Review Summary

This is one of the most competitive sectors of the fitness industry right now with Fitbit and Garmin leading the way in innovation. If you want your fitband to incorporate time of day but at the same time remain discrete and stylish the Vivofit 3 is perfect. It’s a shame it doesn’t have floor climbed like the next model up, the Vivosmart HR, and the Fitbit Alta, but that’s all it’s really missing. I personally prefer this display technology to the OLED display of the Fitbit Alta and Vivosmart HR as they are quite hard to see in bright daylight. The Garmin Vivofit 3 is easy to read in all light conditions. Everything considered, it’s a good value for money, easy to use and stylish activity tracker worthy of a solid 4.5/5 star review rating.

Pros & Cons


  • Regular watch battery gives 1 year use
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Easy to read display
  • Essential fitness tracking functions (no floors climbed, no HR)
  • Choose from dozens of customisable straps
  • Data upload to iPhone and Android running Garmin Connect app
  • Cons

  • No floors climbed
  • No heart rate support

  • garmin-vivofit-3-fitness-bandgarmin-vivofit-3-fitness-tracker-watch

    Customisation is King

    If you want your Vivofit 3 to make a statement and match your outfit or mood, there are many different strap and case designs available. Just pop the main display module out and replace it in to the case/strap of your choice

    Jonathan Adler Designs

    A range of strap/cases designed by Jonathan Adler are also available to buy online.


    Garmin Vivofit 3 Video (Garmin’s own) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or Likewise, we are members of other private affiliate programs and may earn comissions on purchases done by referrals at no additional cost for the buyer.