Garmin Vivofit 3 vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivofit 3
Vivoactive 3
 GarminVivofit 3Buy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$100$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration1 year7 days


Windows Phone




Resolution64 x 64240 x 240
Size0.55 inches1.2 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Vivofit 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivofit 3 are popular smartwatch options for those looking to track their fitness data and stay connected to their daily life. Choosing the right watch to suit your needs is essential in maximizing the benefits of this technology.

As the brands behind these smartwatches, Garmin has a solid reputation for producing high-quality devices with a focus on fitness and activity tracking. With a history of delivering innovative products, they have gained a firm foothold in the wearables market.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth comparison between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivofit 3, focusing on key features, design, functionality, user experience, price, and value. Our intent is to provide you with insight into the differences between these two devices to help you make an informed decision for your fitness tracking needs.

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Available for $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 was released in 2017. Its design consists of a stainless steel bezel and reinforced polymer case. With a weight of 43 grams, the watch features a 1.2-inch color display with a screen resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. The screen is made of chemically strengthened glass and uses memory-in-pixel (MIP) technology for improved battery life.

Garmin Vivofit 3

Released in 2016, the Garmin Vivofit 3 comes with a $100 price tag. Its design includes a plastic case with no bezel, resulting in a noticeably lighter, 26-gram body. The 0.55-inch display is not color and has a screen resolution of 64 x 64 pixels. It does not feature touch functionality.

Comparison of design and build quality

Comparing the two devices, the Vivoactive 3 is more premium with its stainless steel bezel and color display, while the Vivofit 3 is budget-friendly with its plastic build and monochrome screen. Both devices are water-resistant up to 5 ATM, allowing for swim tracking and use in various water activities.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 operates on Garmin’s proprietary OS and comes equipped with a wealth of features, including an accelerometer, barometer, built-in GPS, and heart rate tracking. Its battery life lasts up to 7 days and the watch is rechargeable. In addition to tracking calories, cycling, distance, sleep, steps, and swimming, the Vivoactive 3 also supports phone, email, text, music, and app functions through its touchscreen display.

Garmin Vivofit 3

While the Garmin Vivofit 3 has no specified operating system, it shares many features with the Vivoactive 3, including an accelerometer, tracking for calories, cycling, distance, sleep, steps, and swimming. However, it lacks GPS, heart rate tracking, and barometer functionality. Unlike the Vivoactive 3, the Vivofit 3 has no phone, email, text, or app capabilities. With its non-rechargeable battery, the Vivofit 3's battery life is an impressive one year.

Comparison of features and performance

In comparing the two products, the Vivoactive 3 has a clear advantage in terms of features, particularly with its GPS, heart rate tracking, app functions, and rechargeable capabilities. The Vivofit 3, however, has an extraordinary battery life and can still track essential fitness data.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 provides a user-friendly experience with its touchscreen display, easy navigation, and customization options. It is compatible with Android and iOS devices, allowing for seamless integration with your smartphone.

Garmin Vivofit 3

With its simple, non-touchscreen display, the Vivofit 3 focuses on delivering essential fitness data to the user. It is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices, providing a wider range of device compatibility than the Vivoactive 3.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The Vivoactive 3 offers a more versatile and engaging user experience with its touchscreen interface and app capabilities. Conversely, the Vivofit 3's focus on essential data and simple interface provides a more straightforward and streamlined experience.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive 3

At $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3's features and functionality justify its price point, making it a suitable option for those seeking a comprehensive fitness tracking experience.

Garmin Vivofit 3

For just $100, the Garmin Vivofit 3 remains a reliable and budget-friendly option for those looking to track basic fitness data without additional bells and whistles.

Comparison of price and value

While the Vivoactive 3 offers more robust features and a premium design, the Vivofit 3 presents an affordable option for fitness enthusiasts who prioritize long battery life and essential tracking.


Ultimately, the choice between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivofit 3 will depend on your individual needs and preferences. The Vivoactive 3 offers a more comprehensive, feature-rich experience, while the Vivofit 3 is a budget-friendly option for those looking to track basic fitness data. Whether you prioritize advanced features or simplicity, both devices provide reliable fitness tracking and proven Garmin quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive notifications on my Garmin Vivofit 3?

No, the Garmin Vivofit 3 does not support notifications for phone, email, or text functions. However, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 does support these features.

Can I track my heart rate with the Garmin Vivofit 3?

No, the Garmin Vivofit 3 does not have built-in heart rate tracking. In comparison, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 does include heart rate tracking capabilities.

Does the Garmin Vivoactive 3 have GPS?

Yes, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 features built-in GPS tracking, enabling accurate tracking of activities such as running and cycling.

Is the Garmin Vivofit 3 suitable for swimming?

Yes, both the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivofit 3 are water-resistant up to 5 ATM, making them suitable for swimming and various water activities.

Do the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivofit 3 work with third-party apps?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers compatibility with third-party apps through its touchscreen display. However, the Garmin Vivofit 3 does not support third-party app functionality.

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