Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Garmin Vivosmart 3

Vivoactive 3
Vivosmart 3
 GarminVivoactive 3Buy NowGarminVivosmart 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$299$139.99

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration7 days5 days


Windows Phone




Resolution240 x 24064 x 128
Size1.2 inchesNA


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating System

Comparing Vivosmart 3 and Vivoactive 3

Choosing the right smartwatch or fitness tracker is essential for staying connected and monitoring your activity and health. Garmin, a reputable brand known for its GPS technology, offers a range of wearable devices catering to different needs and preferences. This article will explore a detailed comparison between two of their popular products, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivosmart 3, to help you decide which one suits you best.

As a leader in the GPS and wearable technology industry, Garmin has been offering customers top-notch products since their inception in 1989. The company’s dedication to innovation, reliability, and user engagement sets it apart from its competitors. This detailed analysis will provide perspective on the design, build, features, performance, user interface, and value of each device, so you can make an informed decision.

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 utilizes a stainless steel bezel and a fiber-reinforced polymer case, making it both strong and lightweight. Its dimensions measure 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm, with a weight of 43 grams. The device features a color display with a 240 x 240 resolution and a screen size of 1.2 inches, achieved through a memory-in-pixel (MIP) technology for optimal visibility.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 uses a sturdy polymer material for its construction, with dimensions of 18.5 x 9.8 x 4.4 mm and a weight of 20.4 grams. The device has a more subtle design with its monochromatic OLED display, which offers a 64 x 128 resolution and no specific screen size.

Comparison of design and build quality

The primary differences between the two devices lie in their materials, screen size, and display technology, with the Vivoactive 3 offering a larger color display and a more premium design. Both devices, however, share similar water resistance (5 ATM) and provide durability and comfort for everyday use.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Key features of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 include its proprietary operating system, built-in GPS, heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, steps and distance tracking, multisport mode, and a battery life of up to 7 days. Furthermore, the device provides smartphone compatibility with both Android and iOS, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Compared to the Vivoactive 3, the Vivosmart 3 has similar capabilities but lacks GPS functionality. It provides activity and sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, calories tracking, and smart notification features. The device is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows phones, and offers Bluetooth connectivity. The battery life of the Vivosmart 3 is slightly shorter, lasting up to 5 days on a single charge.

Comparison of features and performance

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3 share many core functionalities, like fitness tracking and smart notifications. The significant distinctions between the two lie in their connectivity options, with the Vivoactive 3 offering GPS and the Vivosmart 3 extending compatibility to Windows phones. The Vivoactive 3's longer battery life and additional sports tracking capabilities further set it apart.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The user interface of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 consists of an easy-to-read touch display, customizable watch faces, and a variety of downloadable apps available through Garmin ConnectIQ. Navigation through the interface is simple and intuitive, with compatibility for both Android and iOS smartphones.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Similar to the Vivoactive 3, the Vivosmart 3 features a touch-sensitive display and customizable settings, but lacks a dedicated app store. The monochromatic OLED screen ensures a straightforward user experience, with compatibility for Android, iOS, and Windows phones.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both devices offer user-friendly interfaces and customization options. The Vivoactive 3's color display and ConnectIQ app support provide a more versatile experience, while the Vivosmart 3's simplicity caters to users seeking a more streamlined approach. In general, the devices cater to different preferences and needs when it comes to user experience.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is priced at $299, offering a robust set of features and a premium design. Its built-in GPS, multisport modes, longer battery life, and advanced display justify the higher price tag for users seeking a comprehensive fitness tracker and smartwatch experience.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

At $139.99, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is a more affordable option for those desiring a simpler, less feature-heavy device. Its compact design and core fitness tracking functionalities deliver value for users seeking a minimalist wearable.

Comparison of price and value

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3 cater to different budgets and requirements, with the Vivoactive 3 accommodating users who desire advanced features and a premium design, while the Vivosmart 3 is suitable for those looking for essential fitness tracking and smart notifications.


When deciding between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3, the choice comes down to personal preference and usage requirements. If you prioritize advanced features, premium design, and versatile app support, the Vivoactive 3 is the recommended option. However, if simplicity and affordability with essential functionality are your primary needs, the Vivosmart 3 is an excellent choice. Ultimately, both devices offer the trusted Garmin quality and technology that caters to various needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do both devices offer sleep tracking features?

Yes, both the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3 provide sleep tracking capabilities.

Can I connect my smartphone to these devices?

Both devices are compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, while the Vivosmart 3 also supports Windows phones.

Is GPS available on both devices?

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 comes with built-in GPS, while the Vivosmart 3 does not support GPS functionality.

Do the devices have interchangeable bands?

Yes, both the Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3 offer interchangeable bands, allowing you to customize their appearance.

What is the water resistance rating for these devices?

Both the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart 3 have a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, making them suitable for swimming and water activities.

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