Garmin Vivosmart HR vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivosmart HR
Vivoactive 3
 GarminVivosmart HRBuy NowGarminVivoactive 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$170$299

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration5 days7 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution160 x 68240 x 240
Size1.08 inches1.2 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR

When it comes to smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearables, Garmin has established itself as a market leader with a wide range of products. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the Garmin Vivosmart HR are both popular choices. These devices cater to different target customers, offering a variety of features depending on individual preferences and requirements.

Choosing the right smartwatch or fitness tracker is essential, as it can greatly impact one’s health and fitness journey. With so many options available, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each product is crucial to making an informed decision.

Garmin, based in the United States, has been a frontrunner in GPS technology since its inception in 1989. Known for producing high-quality and reliable devices, Garmin’s expertise extends from aviation and marine to fitness and outdoor recreation.

In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Vivosmart HR, focusing on design, build, functionality, user interface, price, and overall value. Let’s get started!

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is designed to be durable and stylish. Its materials include a fiber-reinforced polymer case, stainless steel bezel, and a silicone strap. The Vivoactive 3 measures 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm and weighs 43g. It boasts a 1.2-inch high-resolution, full-color sunlight-readable screen with 240 x 240 pixels.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosmart HR features a slim and sleek design. Its case and strap are made of soft silicone, making it comfortable for daily wear. The Vivosmart HR measures 21 mm in width and 12 mm in thickness, with a weight of 29.6g. The screen is a 1.08-inch always-on monochrome display with a resolution of 160 x 68 pixels.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both devices are built with quality materials and offer comfortable fits. However, the Vivoactive 3 has a more premium appearance with its stainless steel bezel and full-color display, while the Vivosmart HR features a minimalistic design. The Vivoactive 3's larger screen size and higher resolution make it easier to read and navigate, compared to the Vivosmart HR.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is equipped with numerous features, including its built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and gyroscope. Its battery life is up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, and it supports a multitude of fitness tracking functions, such as swimming and cycling. Notably, the Vivoactive 3 also supports music playback and app downloads.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

In comparison, the Garmin Vivosmart HR is focused more on basic activity tracking features. These include heart rate monitoring, step counting, distance tracking, sleep tracking, and calories burned. Its battery life is up to 5 days, and it lacks some advanced features found in the Vivoactive 3, such as GPS, cycling, and swimming tracking.

Comparison of features and performance

While both devices offer valuable fitness tracking features, the Vivoactive 3 stands out with its GPS capabilities and support for more elaborate activities. The Vivosmart HR, on the other hand, would likely be more suitable for users seeking a simpler and more affordable tracker for everyday activities.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive 3

With its full-color touchscreen, navigating the Vivoactive 3 is a breeze. Users can customize the watch face and widgets, as well as download apps through the Garmin Connect app store. The device is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, offering seamless integration and an enjoyable user experience.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

While the Vivosmart HR lacks a color touchscreen, users can still navigate through its menu using the simple touch-sensitive strip underneath the display. It is also compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, though it lacks some of the Vivoactive 3's advanced customization options and app support.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both devices have intuitive user interfaces and provide smooth user experiences. However, the Vivoactive 3's touchscreen and app functionality give it an edge, making it more versatile and personalized compared to the Vivosmart HR.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive 3

With a price tag of $299, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers comprehensive fitness tracking features, customization options, and a high-quality design with its durable materials and full-color display. This makes it a great choice for individuals seeking a versatile and feature-packed smartwatch.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

At a lower price point of $170, the Garmin Vivosmart HR provides excellent value for those looking for a reliable, basic fitness tracker. Its sleek design, essential features, and shorter battery life make it ideal for more casual users who want to monitor daily activity and basic workouts.

Comparison of price and value

Ultimately, the Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR cater to different user needs and budgets. The Vivoactive 3 is ideal for those seeking a stylish and feature-rich smartwatch, while the Vivosmart HR offers an affordable and reliable solution for basic activity tracking.


In summary, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR are both excellent devices, with their unique strengths catering to different preferences and budgets. For users looking for a smartwatch with advanced fitness tracking capabilities and customization options, the Vivoactive 3 is the better choice. On the other hand, the Vivosmart HR is perfect for those desiring an affordable and easy-to-use fitness tracker for daily activities and essential health monitoring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are both devices water-resistant?

Yes, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR are both water-resistant up to 5 ATM, making them suitable for swimming and showering.

Do both devices support smartphone notifications?

Yes, both the Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR can display notifications for calls, texts, and emails when connected to a compatible smartphone.

Can I control music playback on both devices?

Music playback control is possible on both the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivosmart HR when paired with a compatible smartphone.

Does the Garmin Vivoactive 3 support third-party apps?

Yes, the Vivoactive 3 supports downloading third-party apps through the Garmin Connect IQ app store.

Can I track my cycling workouts on the Garmin Vivosmart HR?

No, the Garmin Vivosmart HR does not support dedicated cycling tracking. The Vivoactive 3 offers cycling tracking as an option.

All Wearables