Garmin Vivoactive vs. Garmin Vivosmart 3

Vivosmart 3
 GarminVivoactiveBuy NowGarminVivosmart 3Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$139.99

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 hours to 11 days5 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution205 x 14864 x 128
Size1.38 inchesNA


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivosmart 3 and Vivoactive

When it comes to choosing the right smartwatch or fitness tracker, two top contenders from Garmin are the Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3. Both of these devices boast impressive features designed to help users monitor their fitness and overall health. This comprehensive comparison will delve into the details of each device, looking at aspects such as design, build, functionality, and user experience.

Garmin has been in the wearable tech industry since 1998 and is well-known for its GPS devices, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. As a reputable company, their devices are reliable, feature-packed, and user-friendly, ensuring that users get the most out of their experiences with these products.

This article will discuss each aspect of the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3, comparing their design, build, features, user interface, price, and value. By the end of this comparison, you will have a clearer understanding of which device suits your needs best.

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive

The Vivoactive boasts a sleek design, featuring a 1.38-inch color LCD touchscreen display with a screen resolution of 205 x 148 pixels. Weighing just 1.34 ounces, it is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The durable build is made of materials like stainless steel bezel and chemically strengthened glass, ensuring enhanced longevity. With a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, the smartwatch can be worn while swimming and withstand splashes, rain, or snow.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

On the other hand, the Vivosmart 3 features a more subtle design and comes with a hidden OLED display, which activates when tapped or raised to your wrist, and has a screen resolution of 64 x 128 pixels. It is even lighter than the Vivoactive, weighing just 0.9 ounces, making it comfortable to wear throughout the day. Its water resistance is comparable to the Vivoactive, holding a 5 ATM rating, allowing for uninterrupted use during various activities.

Comparison of design and build quality

While both devices offer a sleek and comfortable design, the Vivoactive showcases a more robust build with its color LCD touchscreen display and stainless steel bezel. In contrast, the Vivosmart 3 opts for a more discreet look with its hidden OLED display. Both devices share a similar water resistance rating of 5 ATM, suitable for various activities and environments.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive

Some of the key features of the Garmin Vivoactive include its GPS capabilities, enabling accurate tracking of various activities like running, swimming, and cycling, as well as tracking daily steps, sleep patterns, and heart rate. The device is compatible with Android, iOS, and offers Bluetooth connectivity. The battery life on the Vivoactive can last from 14 hours to 11 days, depending on usage.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

The Vivosmart 3 offers similar fitness tracking capabilities as the Vivoactive, including step counting, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and swimming tracking. However, it lacks GPS and cycling tracking, making it slightly less versatile compared to the Vivoactive. Boasting a slightly longer battery life of up to 5 days, the Vivosmart 3 is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and offers both Bluetooth and Windows compatibility.

Comparison of features and performance

While both devices share many essential fitness and health tracking features, the Vivoactive comes out ahead when it comes to GPS capabilities and cycling tracking. However, the Vivosmart 3 has an advantage with its slightly longer battery life and compatibility with Windows Phone and Windows PCs. Choosing between the two may largely depend on the user’s preference for GPS capabilities and device compatibility.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive

The Vivoactive offers a user-friendly touch interface, allowing users to easily navigate through the device’s features and apps. The smartwatch is also customizable, offering options to change display faces and connect with compatible smartphone devices for added functionality such as receiving notifications, controlling music playback, and more.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Similarly, the Vivosmart 3 offers a touch interface with customizable options, including changing the device display’s appearance. Connection with compatible smartphone devices allows users to receive notifications, track their health data, and control music playback, among other features.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both devices offer pleasant and intuitive user experiences, with customizable options and seamless connection with compatible smartphones. The main difference in this area lies in the display type and appearance: the Vivoactive features a full color touch screen, while the Vivosmart 3 provides a more subtle, hidden OLED display.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive

With a price tag of around $250, the Garmin Vivoactive offers a wide range of features and capabilities that can justify its cost for those looking for a versatile and reliable smartwatch.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

As a more affordable option at around $139.99, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 still provides an impressive array of features despite lacking GPS and cycling tracking. It is an excellent option for those looking for a reliable, yet budget-friendly fitness tracker.

Comparison of price and value

Ultimately, the decision between the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3 depends on individual preferences and requirements. The Vivoactive offers more versatility and features, such as GPS and cycling tracking, but comes at a higher price point. In contrast, the Vivosmart 3 offers a more budget-friendly option while still providing essential tracking capabilities and features. Consider your specific needs and preferences when making your decision.


The Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3 are both excellent devices, offering valuable features for anyone looking to monitor their health and fitness activities. While the Vivoactive presents a more feature-rich option with GPS capabilities, cycling tracking, and a color touch screen, the Vivosmart 3 offers a more affordable alternative with essential tracking features and a subtle, hidden OLED display. Assess your specific needs, preferences, and budget to determine which device is the ideal choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the battery life of each device?

The Garmin Vivoactive has a battery life ranging from 14 hours to 11 days, depending on usage, while the Garmin Vivosmart 3 features a battery life of up to 5 days.

Do both devices have GPS capabilities?

Only the Garmin Vivoactive offers GPS capabilities, whereas the Vivosmart 3 does not.

Are both devices water-resistant?

Yes, both the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3 have a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, making them safe to use while swimming and during various activities.

Can both devices be connected to a smartphone?

Yes, both the Vivoactive and Vivosmart 3 can connect to compatible Android and iOS smartphones. In addition, the Vivosmart 3 is also compatible with Windows Phone devices.

Which device is better for cyclists?

The Garmin Vivoactive is better suited for cyclists, as it includes cycling tracking features and GPS capabilities that are not available in the Vivosmart 3.

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