Garmin Fenix 5s vs. Garmin Vivosmart 3

Fenix 5s
Vivosmart 3
 GarminFenix 5sBuy NowGarminVivosmart 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$599.99$139.99

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


DurationUp to 9 days5 days


Windows Phone




Resolution218x 21864 x 128
Size1.1 inchesNA


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance10ATM5 ATM




Operating System

Comparing Vivosmart 3 and Fenix 5s

Garmin, a renowned brand in the world of smartwatches and fitness trackers, offers a wide range of products to cater to different user needs. In this article, we will compare two popular Garmin wearables: the Fenix 5s and the Vivosmart 3. Since both devices were released in 2017 at different price points, understanding their similarities and differences will help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right watch can greatly impact your fitness journey and overall user experience. As a global GPS technology leader, Garmin has made a name for itself by producing high-quality, reliable smartwatches and fitness trackers aimed at helping people track their health and fitness goals.

In this in-depth comparison, we will examine the design, features, user experience, and price of both the Fenix 5s and the Vivosmart 3 to help you decide which device is the best fit for you.

Design and Build

Garmin Fenix 5s

The Garmin Fenix 5s comes with a tough stainless steel bezel and rear cover, a fiber-reinforced polymer case, and a high-strength, scratch-resistant sapphire lens. It weighs 67g and has a display size of 1.1 inches with 218x218 pixel resolution.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 features a slim, lightweight design with a silicone strap and a reinforced polymer housing. It weighs only 20.4g, making it an attractive option for those looking for a more discreet fitness tracker. Its OLED display measures 64x128 pixels, and while it is not a full-color screen, it serves its purpose well.

Comparison of design and build quality

While both devices boast durable build quality, the Fenix 5s has a more rugged and heavy-duty construction compared to the sleek and minimalist Vivosmart 3. The choice between the two largely depends on user preferences for aesthetics and size. The Fenix 5s caters to active users looking for a long-lasting, sturdy design, while the Vivosmart 3 is perfect for those seeking a slim, inconspicuous fitness tracker.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Fenix 5s

Equipped with smartwatch features such as notifications, weather updates, and music control, the Fenix 5s also has GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, barometric altimeter, and a 3-axis compass. It offers fitness tracking capabilities for a wide range of activities, including cycling, swimming, and heart rate monitoring. Additionally, the Fenix 5s has an impressive battery life of up to 9 days in smartwatch mode.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Although lacking GPS and activity-specific tracking like cycling, the Vivosmart 3 offers fitness and wellness monitoring, such as steps, distance, calories burned, sleep, and heart rate. It also features stress tracking and a relaxation timer to help manage stress levels. Its battery lasts up to 5 days on a single charge.

Comparison of features and performance

While the Fenix 5s boasts more extensive features and functionalities, the Vivosmart 3 provides essential fitness tracking services for daily activity monitoring. The inclusion of GPS and activity-specific tracking on the Fenix 5s makes it an ideal choice for athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts, while the Vivosmart 3 serves as a reliable and straightforward fitness tracker for the average user.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Fenix 5s

The Fenix 5s offers a sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, tactile buttons for easy navigation, and compatibility with the Garmin Connect app for smartphone syncing. It also supports many downloadable apps, watch faces, and data fields from the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

The Vivosmart 3 features a touch-sensitive OLED display and simple navigation through swipes and taps. It is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and syncs with the Garmin Connect app for tracking and analyzing fitness data.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both devices provide a smooth user interface and user experience. The Fenix 5s offers more customization and app options, while the Vivosmart 3 focuses on simplicity and ease of use. The decision between the two depends on whether you prefer more advanced features and app access on the Fenix 5s or a streamlined experience with the Vivosmart 3.

Price and Value

Garmin Fenix 5s

At $599.99, the Fenix 5s offers a comprehensive feature set and rugged design catering to serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Priced at $139.99, the Vivosmart 3 is an affordable option for those looking for a basic, slim fitness tracker.

Comparison of price and value

The choice between the Fenix 5s and Vivosmart 3 boils down to what features you value most and your budget. The Fenix 5s justifies its higher price tag with advanced activity tracking, GPS, and smartwatch features, while the Vivosmart 3 remains a cost-effective option for essential fitness tracking capabilities.


In summary, both the Garmin Fenix 5s and Vivosmart 3 cater to different user needs and preferences. The Fenix 5s, with its vast array of features, advanced tracking capabilities, and rugged design, is perfect for serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. On the other hand, the Vivosmart 3 offers affordability and simplicity wrapped in a low-profile design for the everyday user. Consider each device’s features, design, and price to determine which Garmin wearable best suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Garmin Fenix 5s or Vivosmart 3 waterproof?

Both devices are water-resistant. The Fenix 5s is rated at 10 ATM, while the Vivosmart 3 is rated at 5 ATM.

Does Garmin Vivosmart 3 have GPS?

No, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 does not have GPS functionality.

Does Garmin Fenix 5s support third-party apps?

Yes, the Garmin Fenix 5s supports third-party apps from the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Can the Garmin Vivosmart 3 receive smartphone notifications?

Yes, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 can receive smartphone notifications when paired with a compatible device.

Which device is better for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes, Garmin Fenix 5s or Vivosmart 3?

The Garmin Fenix 5s is better suited for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes due to its rugged design, GPS features, and activity-specific tracking capabilities.

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