Garmin Forerunner 735XT vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Forerunner 735XT
Vivoactive 3
 GarminForerunner 735XTBuy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$450$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 hours to 11 days7 days


Windows Phonen/a




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


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 735XT

Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Garmin Vivoactive 3 are two popular smartwatches aimed at fitness enthusiasts. Made by the same brand, these wearable devices offer a range of features and functionalities designed to help users track their activities and improve their performance.

Choosing the right watch is essential, as it can have a big impact on motivation and the ability to effectively monitor workouts. Both smartwatches come from Garmin, a well-known brand with a solid reputation for producing high-quality fitness watches and GPS devices.

In this article, we will explore the design, features, user interface, price, and value of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and the Garmin Vivoactive 3. Armed with this information, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision when choosing between these two fitness wearables.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT boasts a sleek design and lightweight construction. The watch body has dimensions of 45 x 45 x 11.7 mm and weighs just 40.2 grams. The display screen measures 1.23 inches and has a resolution of 215 x 180 pixels. The watch features a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) screen, which enables easy reading in various light conditions.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 shares a similar design aesthetic with a weight of only 43 grams and dimensions of 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm. The watch has a slightly smaller 1.2-inch display but with a higher resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Like the Forerunner 735XT, the Vivoactive 3 also has an MIP display, which ensures easy readability in different lighting environments.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both watches have a rugged and stylish design that appeals to fitness enthusiasts. While the Forerunner 735XT is slightly lighter, the Vivoactive 3 has a higher-resolution display. The build quality of both devices is top-notch, and users can expect these watches to withstand the rigors of regular workout sessions.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The Forerunner 735XT runs on Garmin’s proprietary operating system and comes equipped with various sensors, including an accelerometer, GPS, and heart rate monitor. The watch offers impressive battery life, ranging from 14 hours in GPS mode to 11 days in watch mode. It excels at fitness tracking, with support for various activities like running, swimming, cycling, and more.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 offers a similar set of features as the Forerunner 735XT but with some additional sensors, such as a barometer/altimeter. Its battery life is slightly lower in GPS mode, with a maximum of 13 hours, but offers up to 7 days of usage in smartwatch mode. Like the Forerunner 735XT, the Vivoactive 3 supports various fitness activities and can track steps, distance, calories burned, and more.

Comparison of features and performance

Both the Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3 offer a wide range of fitness and tracking features, making them excellent choices for active individuals. While the 735XT has slightly longer battery life, the Vivoactive 3 has a better screen resolution and additional sensors. Ultimately, the choice between the two may come down to individual preferences and specific fitness requirements.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The user interface of the Forerunner 735XT is straightforward, with easy navigation through physical buttons. The watch is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and offers useful features such as app customization, activity data syncing, and smart notifications.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 features a touchscreen display, making for easier and more intuitive navigation. Like the Forerunner 735XT, it is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and provides app customization, data syncing, and smart notifications.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both the Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3 offer similar user experiences, with the main difference being the touchscreen display on the Vivoactive 3. While both watches are easy to navigate and offer a good range of functionality, some users may prefer the added convenience of a touchscreen when interacting with their device.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

With a price of about $450, the Forerunner 735XT sits in the mid-range segment of the smartwatch market. Given its comprehensive fitness tracking capabilities and solid build quality, this watch delivers good value for money.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

At a lower price point of $299, the Vivoactive 3 offers similar features and functionality as the Forerunner 735XT, along with a touchscreen display. This makes it an excellent value proposition for those looking for a fitness-focused smartwatch.

Comparison of price and value

Although the Forerunner 735XT is a bit more expensive than the Vivoactive 3, both watches offer excellent value for their respective price points. The decision will ultimately come down to individual preferences and which features are most important to the potential buyer.


In comparing the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and the Vivoactive 3, it is evident that both watches offer a great combination of features, build quality, and value. While the Forerunner 735XT has better battery life, the Vivoactive 3 has a higher-resolution touchscreen display and additional sensors. Ultimately, the choice between these two devices will boil down to personal preferences for design, interface, and features, as well as the importance of price considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which watch is better for runners, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT or the Vivoactive 3?

Both watches deliver excellent support for runners with comprehensive tracking capabilities. The Forerunner 735XT may have an edge, as it is specifically designed for runners, while the Vivoactive 3 is a versatile all-around fitness watch.

Are both the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3 water-resistant?

Yes, both watches are water-resistant up to 5 ATM (50 meters) and can be used for swimming and other water-based activities.

Can I customize the watch faces on the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3?

Yes, both watches support watch face customization through the Garmin Connect IQ store, allowing users to personalize their devices.

Do both smartwatches support third-party apps?

Yes, both the Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3 support third-party app integration through the Garmin Connect IQ store.

Do the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Vivoactive 3 offer music support?

Both watches allow controlling music playback from a connected smartphone. However, neither watch has built-in storage for music files or supports standalone music streaming services.

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