Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Garmin Forerunner 45

Vivoactive 3
Forerunner 45
 GarminVivoactive 3Buy NowGarminForerunner 45Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$299$199

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration7 days7 days


Windows Phone




Resolution240 x 240208 x 208
Size1.2 inches1.04 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemBuilt-in

Comparing Forerunner 45 and Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 are two popular smartwatches designed for fitness enthusiasts. Garmin, a reputable company with a long history in the tech industry, developed both of these devices. The Forerunner 45 was released in 2019, and the Vivoactive 3 came out in 2017. Both are popular choices for their useful tracking features, but they offer a different set of features and functionalities to cater to different user preferences.

Choosing the right smartwatch is crucial for those aiming to monitor and improve their fitness performance. A suitable watch can provide valuable data and insights into one’s health, habits, and progress. This article delves into the specifications, design, capabilities, user experience, and value of each device, enabling you to make an educated decision based on the comparisons.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Forerunner 45 features a round display with a 1.04-inch screen size and a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels. An LCD screen ensures clear visuals, and the watch’s overall construction is lightweight while remaining durable. It is water-resistant up to 5 ATM, making it suitable for use in various environments.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 is designed with a 1.2-inch MIP display, offering a slightly better resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Similar to the Forerunner 45, the Vivoactive 3 is also water-resistant up to a depth of 5 ATM. The watch’s construction ensures durability and is lightweight for comfortable wear during physical activities.

Comparison of design and build quality

There are several similarities and differences between the Forerunner 45 and the Vivoactive 3 in terms of design and build quality. While both devices offer water resistance, the Vivoactive 3 boasts a slightly larger and higher-resolution screen. This allows for better visibility and readability during workouts. However, both devices excel in providing durability and comfort.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Forerunner 45's operating system is built-in and offers various fitness tracking features, such as calories, sleep, steps, distance, cycling, and swim tracking. Additionally, it provides heart tracking capabilities but lacks oxygen tracking. With a battery life of up to 7 days, it is compatible with Android and iOS devices, but not with Windows phones, Mac or Windows computers. The watch also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Similar to the Forerunner 45, the Vivoactive 3 can track calories, sleep, steps, distance, cycling, and swim-logging. It also offers heart-tracking features but does not have oxygen tracking either. With a 7-day battery life and compatibility with Android and iOS devices, the Vivoactive 3 also supports Bluetooth connections. However, it does not have Wi-Fi capabilities like the Forerunner 45.

Comparison of features and performance

Both the Forerunner 45 and the Vivoactive 3 come with a similar set of features for fitness tracking. Each device is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones but lacks support for Windows phones and PCs. One notable difference is the Wi-Fi connectivity, which is available only in the Forerunner 45.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Forerunner 45 offers an intuitive user interface that includes a touch-enabled display, customizable apps, and compatibility with smartphones. Unfortunately, it does not offer Mac or Windows compatibility but does provide email, text, and phone functions. The device also supports audio speakers and vibrations for notifications but does not support voice functions.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The user interface of the Vivoactive 3 is also touch-enabled, providing easy navigation through its various apps and customization options. The watch offers compatibility with smartphones like the Forerunner 45 but shares the same lack of support for Mac and Windows devices. The Vivoactive 3 supports email, text, and phone functions, as well as music playback, but does not include audio speakers or vibration notifications and voice functions.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

When comparing the user interface between the two devices, both include touch-enabled displays and offer identical smartphone compatibility. The Forerunner 45 has an advantage when it comes to notifications due to the inclusion of audio speakers and vibration feedback. However, the Vivoactive 3 offers better music integration.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Forerunner 45 is priced at $199, offering a wide range of fitness tracking capabilities and some smartphone compatibility. Its balance of features and performance make it a value-for-money option for those on a budget but still seeking a reliable fitness tracker.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

At $299, the Vivoactive 3 is more expensive than the Forerunner 45. While it shares many similar features and capabilities, the increased price may not prove enticing for those seeking a budget-friendly option. However, its higher-resolution display and improved music features may entice particular users.

Comparison of price and value

While both the Forerunner 45 and Vivoactive 3 offer a range of features, the former comes in at a lower price, making it more accessible for those on a budget. Regardless, the Vivoactive 3's higher specs and extra functionalities may prove to be worth the investment for others.


Both the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Vivoactive 3 are well-suited for fitness tracking and provide reliable performance. However, each device caters to different user preferences and budgets. The Forerunner 45 offers a more budget-friendly option with its balance of features, while the Vivoactive 3 boasts a higher-resolution display and better music integration at a higher price point. Ultimately, your personal preferences and needs will determine the best choice between these two devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which device has better fitness tracking features, the Forerunner 45 or the Vivoactive 3?

The fitness tracking capabilities of both watches are similar, but their subtle differences in user experience and Wi-Fi connectivity could influence your choice.

Is the Vivoactive 3 worth the higher price, compared to the Forerunner 45?

The higher price of the Vivoactive 3 may be justified by its higher-resolution display, better music features, and some minor performance improvements. The final decision would depend on your specific requirements and budget.

Which device has better battery life, the Forerunner 45 or the Vivoactive 3?

Both devices offer battery lives of up to 7 days, making them suitable for extended usage between charges.

Does the Forerunner 45 or the Vivoactive 3 offer better compatibility with my smartphone?

Both devices support Android and iOS smartphones, so compatibility should not be an issue for most users.

Can I use the Forerunner 45 or Vivoactive 3 to track my oxygen levels?

Unfortunately, neither device includes oxygen tracking capabilities.

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