Garmin Vivofit 3
- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Garmin Vivofit 3
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Heart Rate Monitor functionsEditor: 0%
- Activity Tracking featuresEditor: 80%
- Running functionsEditor: 35%
- Cycling functionsEditor: 30%
- Fitness monitoring featuresEditor: 70%
- Ease of UseEditor: 90%
- Battery LifeEditor: 99%
This is a short introductory review of the Garmin Vivofit 3. If you’ve been thinking of buying one hopefully my plain speaking review will give you the important facts and help you make a decision. A key feature of the 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
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…
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.
Garmin Vivosmart HR with built-in Heart Rate sensors
Garmin Vivosmart HR+ with built in Heart Rate sensors and a GPS for accurate speed and distance monitoring
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.
Garmin Vivofit Jr with kids styling and a motivational / fun smartphone APP
Garmin Vivomove with traditional analogue hands and round metal case. A “proper watch”
Summary & Conclusions
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 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 rating.
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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)
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Tristan Haskins – aka the CardioCritic