Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Forerunner 235
Vivoactive 3
 GarminForerunner 235Buy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$299.99$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration9 days7 days


Windows Phone




Resolution215 x 180240 x 240
Size1.23 inches1.2 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating System

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Vivoactive 3 are two popular smartwatches designed for fitness enthusiasts. Both watches come with an array of tracking features, helping users make informed decisions about their health and fitness regimes. When choosing the perfect wearable, it’s crucial to evaluate every aspect, from design and build to features and functionality.

Garmin has been a trusted brand in the world of wearables, recognized for their high-quality devices that cater to various fitness needs. The company has a solid reputation for delivering accurate and reliable products, which plays a significant role when comparing these two smartwatches.

In this comparison, we’ll dive into each watch’s design and build, features and functionality, user interface and experience, as well as price and value. By giving you a clear understanding of their similarities and differences, you’ll be better equipped to decide which Garmin watch is the perfect fit for your fitness goals.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 features a lightweight design, weighing only 42 grams. It has a 1.23-inch MIP color display with a screen resolution of 215 x 180 pixels. The watch is made of durable materials, ensuring it can withstand various activities and harsh conditions.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a similar size, with a 1.2-inch MIP color display and a screen resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. It weighs 43 grams, making it just slightly heavier than the Forerunner 235. Like its counterpart, it’s also built to endure a wide range of activities, from swimming to high-intensity workouts.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both watches have durable builds and lightweight designs, making them comfortable for long-term wear during various physical activities. The main differences lie in their screen size and resolution, with the Vivoactive 3 boasting a higher resolution for a more vibrant and detailed display. Although the Forerunner 235 is slightly lighter, the overall design and build quality are quite similar between these two devices.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 runs a proprietary operating system and offers extensive fitness and health tracking capabilities. Some of the features include heart rate monitoring, oxygen tracking, sleep tracking, cycling, distance, steps, and swim tracking. The watch also has an impressive battery life of 9 days, making it perfect for long-term activities.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Like the Forerunner 235, the Vivoactive 3 also runs on a proprietary operating system and shares many of its fitness tracking capabilities. However, unlike its counterpart, the Vivoactive 3 lacks oxygen tracking. It has a slightly shorter battery life at 7 days, but it does include a barometer/altimeter, which the Forerunner 235 does not have.

Comparison of features and performance

Overall, both watches offer nearly all of the same features, with the primary differences being the inclusion of a barometer/altimeter in the Vivoactive 3 and the addition of oxygen tracking on the Forerunner 235. The battery life of the Forerunner 235 is also slightly longer, which might be an essential consideration for those who embark on extended activities or would prefer charging their device less frequently.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems and offers a variety of compatible apps. With a touchscreen interface and intuitive navigation, users can quickly and easily access their desired features. The watch also enables email, phone, and text functions, adding to its convenience.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Similarly, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is also compatible with Android and iOS operating systems, allowing users to access a wide range of apps. Like the Forerunner 235, it features touchscreen navigation and boasts email, phone, and text functions for easy communication on the go.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both Garmin watches provide a seamless user experience with their touchscreen interfaces, intuitive navigation, and smartphone compatibility. They are designed to keep users connected while offering a comprehensive suite of health and fitness tracking capabilities.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 235

With a price tag of $299.99, the Garmin Forerunner 235 delivers an impressive set of features and functionalities.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

At $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers a similarly powerful fitness tracking experience, making it an equally great value.

Comparison of price and value

Considering their similar price points, both the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 offer excellent value for money. With their robust feature sets and user-friendly interfaces, either watch is a solid investment for fitness enthusiasts.


The Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 are both excellent choices for those looking to invest in a high-quality fitness tracking smartwatch. While their features and functionalities are mostly similar, the inclusion of a barometer/altimeter in the Vivoactive 3 and oxygen tracking in the Forerunner 235 are notable differences worth considering. Ultimately, your decision will come down to your individual preferences and requirements regarding these specific features, design, and battery life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Garmin Forerunner 235 or Vivoactive 3 better for running?

Both watches are suitable for runners, offering extensive tracking capabilities and features. Your choice will depend on personal preferences, including design, battery life, and additional tracking features such as oxygen levels or altitude tracking.

Can I listen to music on the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 include music functionality, allowing users to listen to their favorite tunes while exercising.

Are the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 waterproof?

Both watches have a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, which means they are suitable for activities like swimming and snorkeling but are not recommended for high-pressure water sports or deep-sea dives.

Can I use third-party apps on Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3?

Yes, both Garmin watches are compatible with various third-party apps, expanding their functionality and customization options.

What is the main difference between the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3?

The primary differences between the two devices are the inclusion of oxygen tracking in the Forerunner 235 and the presence of a barometer/altimeter in the Vivoactive 3. Additionally, the Forerunner 235 has a slightly longer battery life.

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