Garmin Chronos vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3
 GarminChronosBuy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$1500$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration8 days7 days


Windows Phone




Resolution218 x 218240 x 240
Size1.2 inches1.2 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance10 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemWear OS

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Chronos

When it comes to smartwatches, Garmin is known for their extensive range of wearable technology that caters to various needs and preferences. Two popular models in their lineup are the Garmin Chronos and the Garmin Vivoactive 3. Deciding which of these outstanding devices is the right one for you requires a detailed look at their features, design, performance, and value for money.

Choosing the right watch is important, especially considering the variety of features and capabilities modern wearables offer. From tracking fitness-related data to receiving notifications and even serving as an extension of your smartphone, these devices have become a staple among many tech enthusiasts.

Garmin, as a brand, is recognized for its dedication to producing high-quality wearables that cater to various interests, whether it’s outdoor sports, fitness tracking, or everyday navigation. Their commitment to innovation and performance has earned them a solid reputation among consumers and experts alike in the wearables industry.

In this article, we will thoroughly discuss and compare the Garmin Chronos and the Garmin Vivoactive 3, covering various aspects such as design, features, performance, and more to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Build

Garmin Chronos

The Garmin Chronos boasts a premium design that uses materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and sapphire crystal for its casing, offering durability and scratch resistance. Its dimensions are 49 x 49 x 15mm, and its weight depends on the chosen model, ranging from 84g to 112g. The 1.2-inch color display features a resolution of 218 x 218 pixels and employs Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) technology, which optimizes both readability and battery life.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 sports a slightly more affordable look with its stainless steel bezel, fiber-reinforced polymer casing, and chemically strengthened glass screen, weighing 43g. The dimensions are 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7mm. Vivoactive 3's 1.2-inch color display also uses the MIP technology and offers a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Both watches are equipped with touchscreen capabilities for easy navigation.

Comparison of design and build quality

In terms of design, both watches have their distinct features, but the Chronos clearly stands out with its use of premium materials that enhance durability and give it a higher-end look. The Vivoactive 3, though somewhat less prestigious in appearance, offers a lighter and slimmer design for those who prefer a more minimalistic aesthetic.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Chronos

With a focus on fitness and performance, the Garmin Chronos runs on the Wear OS operating system, and comes with various built-in sensors, including GPS, accelerometer, barometer, heart rate monitor, and pulse-oximeter. Boasting a battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, this device offers comprehensive fitness tracking options across various sports, such as swimming, cycling, and sleep monitoring.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Similarly, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 comes equipped with sensors like GPS, accelerometer, barometer, and heart rate monitor, though it lacks the pulse-oximeter found in the Chronos. It also offers fitness tracking options for different sports and has a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode. As opposed to the Chronos running on Wear OS, the Vivoactive 3 utilizes Garmin’s proprietary software platform for its functionality.

Comparison of features and performance

When comparing the features and performance of the two smartwatches, they offer similar functionalities, but the Garmin Chronos edges ahead with the inclusion of the pulse-oximeter and its ability to run on the Wear OS platform. However, the Vivoactive 3 presents a more budget-friendly option for those who can forego the additional sensor and are satisfied with the in-house Garmin software.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Chronos

The user interface of the Garmin Chronos includes access to multiple apps, customization options, and compatibility with both Android and iOS smartphones. The display and navigation are designed for ease of use, along with audio speaker functionality and built-in phone features like text, call, and email support.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Similarly, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers a user-friendly interface that includes a selection of apps, customization options, and compatibility with Android and iOS devices. It also supports text, call, and email functions, although it lacks an audio speaker for voice features.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

In comparing the user interface and experience of both devices, they are quite similar in features and compatibility, with the primary difference being the presence of an audio speaker on the Chronos. This may be a deciding factor for some users who value voice functionality over a more budget-friendly choice in the Vivoactive 3.

Price and Value

Garmin Chronos

With a retail price of $1500, the Garmin Chronos is a luxury offering that caters to those seeking premium design and materials, as well as a more advanced sensor array, which includes a pulse-oximeter. Its value proposition hinges on the balance between aesthetics, cutting-edge features, and seamless connectivity.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

At a significantly more affordable price point of $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 provides a competitive array of features and a solid user experience without sacrificing much in terms of functionality. The lighter design and a more budget-friendly approach make it an attractive option for buyers who are less concerned with luxury and prestige.

Comparison of price and value

Considering the substantial price disparity between the two smartwatches, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 presents a more affordable option for consumers seeking a versatile and feature-rich wearable without breaking the bank. The Garmin Chronos, while offering some additional benefits, is a higher-end investment for those who crave more luxury and the enhanced sensor array.


Ultimately, the choice between the Garmin Chronos and the Vivoactive 3 comes down to personal preferences in design, budget, and features. Both watches offer a robust suite of functionalities and compatibility with Android and iOS devices, making them strong contenders in the world of wearables. While the Chronos provides a luxury experience with its premium materials and additional pulse-oximeter sensor, the Vivoactive 3 manages to deliver a similar user experience at a much more budget-friendly price point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which device has better water resistance?

The Garmin Chronos offers water resistance up to 10 ATM, whereas the Vivoactive 3 has a water resistance of 5 ATM.

Which smartwatch is lighter?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is lighter, weighing 43g compared to the weight range of 84g to 112g for the Chronos, depending on the model.

Does the Vivoactive 3 have a pulse-oximeter sensor like the Chronos?

No, the Vivoactive 3 does not have a pulse-oximeter sensor, unlike the Garmin Chronos.

Which device has a better screen resolution?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a slightly higher screen resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, compared to the 218 x 218 pixels resolution on the Garmin Chronos.

Are both watches compatible with Windows Phones and desktop computers?

No, neither the Garmin Chronos nor the Vivoactive 3 are compatible with Windows Phones, Windows, or Mac computers.

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