Garmin Forerunner 225 vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Forerunner 225
Vivoactive 3
 GarminForerunner 225Buy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$300$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration10 hours to 4 weeks7 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution180 x 180240 x 240
Size1 inch1.2 inches


Audio Speaker22


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 225

Garmin Forerunner 225 and Garmin Vivoactive 3 are both popular smartwatches designed for fitness enthusiasts. These wearables offer a variety of features and functionalities to help you track and improve your athletic performance. Choosing the right watch is crucial for meeting individual fitness goals, and this article aims to provide a detailed comparison to assist in making an informed decision.

Garmin has established itself as a reputable brand in the wearable industry, producing high-quality, innovative products that cater to various consumer needs. The long-standing history of this company has earned the trust of fitness enthusiasts around the globe, making it a top choice for smartwatches and fitness trackers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the design and build, features and functionality, user interface and experience, price and value, and frequently asked questions for each model. This detailed comparison will ultimately help you determine which device is the best fit for your needs and preferences.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 225

The Garmin Forerunner 225 features a 1-inch color display with a resolution of 180 x 180 pixels. Made of durable materials, the device weighs 54 grams, making it lightweight and comfortable for daily use. The watch is also water-resistant up to 5 ATM.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a slightly larger 1.2-inch color touchscreen display with a higher resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Weighing 43 grams, this model is also lightweight and uses premium materials for its construction. Like the Forerunner 225, it boasts a water resistance of 5 ATM.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both devices are built with high-quality materials, ensuring their durability and comfort. The main differences lie in their display sizes and resolutions. The Vivoactive 3 has a larger, higher-resolution touchscreen display, giving it an advantage in terms of user experience. Additionally, the Vivoactive 3 is slightly lighter than the Forerunner 225.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 225

With a focus on running, the Garmin Forerunner 225 runs on a proprietary operating system and offers essential fitness-tracking features such as distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned. The watch boasts a battery life of up to 10 hours in GPS mode or up to 4 weeks in watch mode. Some additional features include sleep tracking, customizable data fields, and smart notifications when paired with a compatible smartphone.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a versatile fitness tracker with a wide range of features, including GPS, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, stress tracking, and more. It offers up to 7 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode. The device supports smartphone notifications, music controls, contactless payments, and has access to the Garmin Connect IQ app store for additional customization.

Comparison of features and performance

While both devices offer essential fitness-tracking functionalities, the Vivoactive 3 provides a wider array of features, such as stress tracking, contactless payments, and access to Garmin Connect IQ app store. The Forerunner 225 has a longer battery life in watch mode but falls short of the Vivoactive 3's battery life in smartwatch mode. The Vivoactive 3 also tracks swimming, making it more suitable for users interested in monitoring a variety of sports.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 225

The Garmin Forerunner 225 features button navigation rather than a touchscreen interface. While it allows for customization of data fields, it lacks the full range of apps available for the Vivoactive 3. It is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, enabling smart notifications.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Featuring a touchscreen interface, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 allows for an intuitive user experience. It offers additional app compatibility through the Garmin Connect IQ store and enables users to customize watch faces and download widgets. It also supports Android and iOS smartphones for smart notifications but does not have compatibility with Windows or Mac devices.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The Vivoactive 3's touchscreen interface provides a more user-friendly experience compared to the button navigation on the Forerunner 225. With access to the Garmin Connect IQ store, the Vivoactive 3 offers greater customization options and access to more features. However, both devices enable compatibility with Android and iOS smartphones for smart notifications.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 225

With a price tag of $300, the Garmin Forerunner 225 offers a solid range of features specifically designed for runners. However, its price might not appeal to those seeking more versatility or value for money.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Retailing at a similar price point of $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers a wider range of features, making it a more appealing option for those who want a versatile fitness tracker that supports multiple activities at a comparable cost to the Forerunner 225.

Comparison of price and value

Both watches are priced similarly, but the Vivoactive 3 offers greater value due to its extensive feature set and broader activity-tracking capabilities. The Forerunner 225 is a suitable option for dedicated runners, while the Vivoactive 3 is a more versatile choice for those interested in a range of activities.


After reviewing the key points of our comparison, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 stands out as the more versatile and feature-rich option. Offering a larger, higher-resolution touchscreen display, longer battery life in smartwatch mode, and additional features like stress tracking, contactless payments, and access to the Garmin Connect IQ store, the Vivoactive 3 provides greater value for its comparable price. The Forerunner 225 remains a solid choice for dedicated runners but lacks the broader activity support and customization options available on the Vivoactive 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which device offers better battery life?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers up to 7 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode. In comparison, the Garmin Forerunner 225 provides up to 10 hours in GPS mode and up to 4 weeks in watch mode.

Do both devices track swimming?

No, only the Garmin Vivoactive 3 supports swim tracking; the Garmin Forerunner 225 does not offer this feature.

Can I receive smartphone notifications on both devices?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 225 and Vivoactive 3 support smartphone notifications when paired with a compatible Android or iOS device.

Can I make contactless payments with either device?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 supports contactless payments through Garmin Pay; the Forerunner 225 does not offer this feature.

Is the touchscreen interface exclusive to the Vivoactive 3?

Yes, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 features a touchscreen interface for easier navigation and use, while the Forerunner 225 uses button navigation.

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