Reviews

Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 3 Music : Test and Detailed Analysis

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You didn't think these days everything was going to revolve around Black FridayDespite the amount of hours it takes, there's still a lot of work to be done. Garmin Vivoactive 3 continues the saga of what Garmin wants to sell us as their smart watch range, and does so by happening to the Garmin Vivoactive HR of last year (which is actually the second version) and which has worked so well on a commercial level.

This new model goes one step further, both in presence - thanks to its steel bezel and finishes - and in functionality, thanks to the inclusion of Garmin Pay (although it will still be necessary to wait a little longer to be able to use it).

After a few weeks of testing the press unit the manufacturer has lent me, I can now tell you all about the new Garmin smartwatch, from the options it offers to how the new features Garmin has incorporated into the Vivoactive 3More than enough time to try it out on a multitude of sports, and after I've used it during this time and it models for all the pictures, I'll send it back to you.

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Let's get started!

Unpacking

Before you run you have to walk, right? Well, before you try a watch you have to take it out of the box and see what's inside.

The Vivoactive 3 comes in a box similar to the one Garmin is using right now for its latest models. By the way, the image on the front is life-size, so you can get an idea of what you'll be wearing on your wrist.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

On the back, Garmin usually puts the most important details of the model in question, such as battery life, ability to use the watch for payment, application compatibility, VO2Max calculation and optical sensor stress, among many other things.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

What did we find inside the box?

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

And the truth is, not much else. A little manual and the timing and charging cable.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

Among the new features of the new Vivoactive 3 is the side touch panel. By sliding your finger on this surface you can move between the menus and different screens. The screen is also touch and the truth is that I have always preferred it to the panel, I have always found it more intuitive and effective. And as a detail, this was the first time I felt comfortable using the touch screen on a Garmin watch.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

There is only one physical button, which we can configure by software so that we can have it on the left or on the right of the screen (I will explain later what it implies and its details).

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

The strap is standard, with a width of 20mm, so you can replace it with any other strap of this size and dress the watch a little more coolly than with the silicone strap, but the strap included allows you to remove it quickly, which will be very practical to be able to turn the screen and change the button sideways.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

As for the charging cable, it's an old acquaintance, the one Garmin wants to make standard from now on (with some exceptions), so I can't be more than grateful.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Unboxing

All quite normal and generic. But before we get into assessing the functions of the clock, let's review what makes the Vivoactive 3 special.

What's so special about the Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive range was born to house Garmin's smartest watches, but unlike other manufacturers, Garmin does not turn to the "smart" side of watchmaking and chooses to leverage its sports watch qualities.

Perhaps that is what makes it special against the competition, as it is the only one that puts sport above everything else. There are many other models that compete in the same market segment: Apple Watch, Fitbit Ionic, Polar M600, Samsung Gear Sport

And except for the Polar, none of them are too entrenched in intensive sport. The "problem" with the M600 is that it has to deal with the autonomíaObviously, in other aspects it is positive, but not when it comes to sport.

I don't want to dwell on that point too much longer, because I want to leave it to deal with a specific article later on where to compare the models in this segment; but I do want to go into the details that make this Vivoactive 3 special within the Garmin range.

The aesthetic change is the first most significant point, or at least the most visible one. first Vivoactive was totally square and very thin.

Garmin Vivoactive - Back to Start

The incorporation of the optical sensor of the Vivoactive HR Garmin dispensed with the touch buttons in exchange for two physical buttons under the screen, which was exactly the same as the first model, but by rotating it and placing it vertically the Vivoactive HR felt like an activity bracelet rather than a smart watch.

Garmin Vivoactive HR - Calories

With the Vivoactive 3 Garmin changes again the aesthetics to a more traditional round design, very similar to all the models that have been presented this last year and that is giving such a good commercial result. Aesthetically it is more conservative, although the feeling of quality increases thanks to the incorporation of a steel bezel. It is a welcome change compared to the exaggerated use of plastic that was made until now in the range.

The screen en touch And there's only one physical button on the left side. Or right, depending on the orientation you choose. Because here comes one of the special things the Vivoactive 3 offers. Garmin allows you to rotate the screen, so you can have the physical button on the side that's most comfortable for you.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Button position

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Button position

This change can be made from the mobile application or directly from the watch menu. This software possibility is combined with the inclusion of the quick replacement strap and quick release system (not the QuickFit on the Fenix 5), so you can also remove the strap and change it to the side so that the clasp is in the right place.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Quick Release

In addition to the physical button on the other side of the clock there is a touch surface that allows you to navigate through the menus of the clock.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Touch surface

It's also special because it's the first time we've seen this type of control on the side of the watch. It's reminiscent of the touch control on the bezel of the Garmin Forerunner 410, but on this model it's fully integrated into one of the two sides.

Again, it is possible to alter the behavior depending on whether you wear the watch on your left or right wrist, allowing you to change the direction of travel.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Side Panel Configuration

I haven't found the side panel too comfortable because except for navigating the different widgets, the scrolling is too fast and it's hard to guess which menu option I want to stop at. I've always found it more convenient to use the touch screen.

Continuing with the list of special features is the inclusion of Garmin Pay. Garmin joins the recent fever to provide wireless payment features to their devices. It is logical to release the feature with the Vivoactive 3 as it is still the representative of the brand in terms of intelligent features. But be assured that they will be adding it to the following models.

Unfortunately, as with the Fitbit IonicThe fact is that Garmin has to make agreements with each of the banks on an individual basis.

And you know how it works... Mr. Garmin has already sat down with your bank manager. The initial intention was to talk about the possibility of offering wireless payment to your customers through Garmin Paybut right now they're negotiating to see if they can offer them some insurance, advance tax payments, credit policies or some other little thing that can be taken out of the operation. They'll be talking about everything except what they originally wanted to offer. And that multiplied by every bank in the world... is going to be a long one.

Garmin Pay

Not only Garmin or Fitbit suffer from it, Google and Apple have also been trying to reach agreements with different banks and you know how the situation is. We can count on the fingers of one hand the Spanish banks that accept this kind of payments, and I have a few fingers left over.

>> Additional Garmin Pay details

I hope that we can start seeing it around here during 2018 and that I don't have to wait for the Vivoactive 4 test to be able to explain its operation to you.

Finally and for lack of another place to add it, a detail that does NOT make the Vivoactive 3 special. It has NO music playback independent of a mobile phone. I repeat, you can NOT have music stored in the clock and play it through a Bluetooth headset. The only thing you can do is control the music of the linked phone, but you must always carry the phone with you.

Update 13 June 2018 - New version presented by Garmin

Garmin today introduced the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Musicwhich DOES have music playback from the clock itself.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Music

I think it's a missed opportunity for Garmin when all its rivals are offering it in one form or another, especially when it's a model intended for use by more casual sportsmen. And it's strange, especially when the music is about to come in with the next American model.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Activity Monitoring

Of all the smart watches on the market, the Vivoactive 3 is the most complete when it comes to sports, from activity tracking to the number of activities it allows and the amount of information it can record.

I'll start by tracking activity from day to day. Almost all the information can be displayed on the default dial, which includes the minutes of activity, the steps of the day and the number of floors climbed (thanks to the barometric altimeter available).

Garmin Vivoactive 3

You can extend all this information by accessing all the activity widgets simply by sliding the screen or the side of the clock, where you will find all the information available. These are just the examples of the default installed widgets, but you can add others different from both Garmin and other developers thanks to Connect IQ.

If this information is not enough, you can always turn to the mobile application, where you can see the same information in greater detail thanks to a screen larger than the one on the clock.

That's not enough? Well, you can log on to the website and access even more reports and details of your daily activity or sleep.

Garmin Connect

The Vivoactive 3 also offers the new stress monitoring metric, which is new to the Vivosmart 3 and has been introduced to other models in the range. This function keeps track of how hard and stressful your day has been. You can see this at any time on the clock display.

And, of course, in the Garmin Connect application, seeing the breakdown of the whole day.

Garmin Connect

As you may have seen in some previous screenshots, there is also sleep tracking, so the Vivoactive 3 offers all the activity tracking features that the Garmin platform allows, of course.

But if you have chosen the Vivoactive 3 and not other competing models it is mainly because of the possibilities it offers when we practice sport more intensively, so let's go with all those aspects.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 and sport

In the Garmin Vivoactive 3 you will find sport profiles for all sports that are present in the top range models, except for open water swimming and multisport activities. Therefore it is suitable for almost all sports, except for triathletes or if you like to swim in places other than a pool (swimming in a pool is not considered a sport).

I'm not just talking about running, cycling or swimming in a pool; I'm also talking about sports like rowing, skiing/snowboarding, weight training in a gym or golfing, each of which is created specifically for that sport with its own specific features, not just the ability to have generic data.

That is, for kayaking, paddlesurfing or rowing sports you can track the number of strokes per minute, rhythm in 500m, etc. When you go to the gym the Vivoactive 3 will be able to count the repetitions of exercises and save them separately, just like in the Vivosmart 3 and then with other models.

In golf Garmin gives you access to the course database, counting strokes while you play and giving you information about the distance to the green and other details. And when in winter you go to the slopes to ski or snowboard you will have the specific profile that is able to record separately the descents and stop the recording when you take the lift, including data such as slope or maximum speed.

This is the main selling point of the Vivoactive 3 with respect to its competition, the enormous possibilities it offers to almost any sportsman or woman, whatever the modality they practice and which others are not in a position to offer.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Sport Selection

Where Garmin has cut back from the Forerunner range (which is where this Vivoactive comes from) is when it comes to customising the data screens.

The Vivoactive 3 has 3 data screens that we can configure, adding a FC zone indicator screen. This level of configuration is quite satisfactory and more than enough for the target audience of this model.

But the main limitation is given because the selection of the number of fields is global, and not for each data screen. Unlike the models of the Forerunner range, in the Vivoactive 3 the selection of 1, 2, 3 or 4 fields will be for all the screens. You can't have one of the screens with 4 data and another with 3, all must follow the same initial pattern.

Continuing with the inconsistencies, in the case of the 4 data screens, not all are available for all four locations. The upper and lower screens (which differ by having a black background instead of white) are limited to providing time, heart rate, calories, distance or time of day. Nothing more.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Data Display

In the central part it is possible to add all the available data from the huge list it offers, with a multitude of options for time, distance, rhythm, heart rate, cadence, temperature... anything that comes to mind.

This blocking of the upper or lower fields is quite annoying for me, especially since there is no reason to do so. For example when I do series I like to have a display with lap time, lap distance, lap pace and power (which is a Connect IQ field for StrydAnd I repeat, there is no reason not to do so, beyond limiting the performance with respect to models in the Forerunner range.

Otherwise, the rest of the settings offered are typical of any Garmin model: alerts for different situations that can be predefined or customized for whatever you want (for example, reminding you to drink every 15 minutes), automatic pause and screen change, possibility of automatically recording laps for a given distance or manually with two touches on the screen, or the use of GPS and GLONASS.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Laps

When you have managed to configure everything to your liking you can go to the GPS search screen, where you will see the status of the different sensors including the GPS. While waiting for it to find a signal you can look at a new option that is present in the Vivoactive 3 and probably the most important change from the Vivoactive HR.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - GPS

The Vivoactive 3 is the first watch in the Vivo range that is compatible with advanced workouts. This option allows you to create a multi-step workout, perfect for interval days. But not only that, it also allows you to create workouts with different goals, from CACO (walk/run) or whatever you can think of.

Garmin FR230 FR235 - Advanced TrainingOr access the various training courses offered on the Garmin platform for different targets and distances, available free of charge to all users.

After synchronising your workout, you can see on the clock screen what you need to do next.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Intervals

The Vivoactive 3 also has a shortened time frame than virtually any other model in the Forerunner range. There is no warning or countdown when you are about to reach a new part of the range, nor is there any specific screen with data from it, so there is no way of knowing if you are in the selected range.

In short, this is what allows and does not allow the function:

  • You can design your workout in detail, including specific notes that will be displayed on an additional screen while you are performing the interval (e.g. reminding you what to do)
  • You can review all the steps before training
  • The clock will go through the different parts of the training automatically, creating independent laps for each part of it
  • You have NO target warning, so if you are performing an interval in a certain HR range or at a target pace, the watch does not warn you if you go above or below that range
  • It does NOT warn you when you are about to reach a new part of the interval. In other Forerunner models you do have a countdown when, for example, there are 5 seconds left to start the interval
  • You can NOT know how much is left to finish a certain interval, either distance or time (for example, 300m to finish the interval)
  • There is NO advanced swimming training as the specific triathlon watches have

So you have the ability to do Garmin's advanced training, but integrated simply and without the detail of your Forerunner cousins.

Speaking of simplicity, the Vivoactive also has access to navigation to a point of interest, but it is exclusively through direction arrow and does not show any kind of route you can follow. You can have synchronized some point and ask the clock to tell you the direction to follow. You will have an arrow indication and the remaining distance to reach the point. Of course, we have a dedicated compass, so it does not depend on GPS data to show the direction we should follow.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Navigation

Buscador de chollos

It's the same as the back to home feature, only you don't have to get lost and then find yourself again. Of course, you can always use Connect IQ applications that expand your browsing possibilities (such as dwMap).

Another option offered by the sport mode of Vivoactive 3 is that we can access the main screen of the clock to see the time or to access any widget you have configured, simply by sliding your finger from left to right.

To return to the screens simply slide from right to left. And to change the data screens, from top to bottom. Of course you can also use the side touch panel.

Furthermore, if you hold down the screen you will have access to the clock menu where you can access navigation (to start the lap home, for example), activity settings (to change screen data, alerts, etc.) or to access sensor settings. And if you hold down the physical button, you will also have access to the quick access menu.

In this way you have complete freedom to move through all the menus of the clock, and all without having to stop the activity or having errors in the recording of it.

Notifications and applications

Naturally, when it came to Garmin's proposal for the smart watch industry, it could not fail to add a specific section for notifications and applications in Vivoactive 3.

But before talking about those two aspects I want to stop briefly at the menu. Except for the shortcut menu (accessed by keeping the physical button pressed), the rest is typically Garmin. Too traditional and not enough "smart". In short, they could have worked a little harder, at least in terms of aesthetics.

Returning to the quick access menu, it allows you to select 8 functions to have the most used ones at hand.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Quick Access Menu

It's not a new menu, as we saw it for the first time in the Fenix Chronos, but it's the first time we've seen it in a watch with a touch screen and it's adapted for it with some slightly bigger icons.

Among the functions that can be accessed are Garmin Pay, force sync with the phone, lock the screen or activate the flashlight function, which gives me the opportunity to talk about the screen lighting.

It almost deserves a separate chapter, because it's ridiculously excessive. Looking at the clock at night is like finding a car with its high beam on. Luckily it's possible to reduce the intensity, allowing you to go down to a 10%, much more reasonable in terms of light quantity. Thank you very much Garmin for adding this option, our retinas will appreciate it.

Garmin has tried to adapt the interface slightly to its use as a smart clock and to the touch screen, and depending on where in the menu it performs best or worst, its performance as such continues to be weighed down by a screen that is out of step with the smart clock concept. Looking at the screen of any of its rivals and then at the screen of the Vivoactive 3 makes Garmin blush.

Compared to them, Garmin's screen is lacking in brightness, resolution and contrast. It's like watching a 4K movie and then going back to a CRT monitor.

But of course, here's the secret of its range, so if you want the battery to last 13 hours in GPS use or up to 7 days in standby mode you have to make concessions somewhere. Is this still a smart decision on Garmin's part? Seen from the point of view of sports use it's a resounding YES. But aesthetically and from the point of view of the gallery it doesn't leave the American manufacturer very well off.

Going back to the notifications, Garmin has only slightly adapted the interface to interact with them, for example the big "Delete" button you can see in the image.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Notification

But there are no other controls on them. The first rendered images also showed the option to reply, but it was somewhat misleading. That option is not available for application messages or even to reply to SMS, at least for now. When it is (if Garmin adds it in future versions) it will be only to reply with predefined messages such as "Yes", "No" or similar; as there is no microphone or any way to reply by voice to a received message.

So, no news on the notification side compared to other Garmin models, beyond an interface better suited to touch screen use, which is not bad news either, because within "normal" GPS watches Garmin is the brand that best solves it.

As far as applications are concerned, the Vivoactive 3 still depends on Connect IQthat continues to update its features and that you will soon see another major new update.

Both the available applications and the data fields or clock faces are available directly from the Garmin application store, through the Garmin Connect mobile application or directly from the web.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Applications

Although the app store has grown exponentially (partly thanks to the simplicity the platform offers for anyone to publish their work), in my opinion there is still a lack of quality options, and this is because the option to monetize is quite complicated.

Garmin does not allow applications to be sold directly. The only way to make a profit is for the application to be linked to a hardware device (such as a sensor you can sell) or an external service that you need to pay for (such as Uber). But this keeps developers from working harder to get more out of the platform, mainly because they won't be rewarded.

Going back over all the writing, it seems that I have been too hard on Garmin. I don't think it's a bad bet but it's not far from what we can see in the rest of the range, and I think, leaving aside the Garmin Pay feature, it's a pretty limited proposition. Or to put it another way, maybe it's too pretentious to call Garmin Vivoactive 3 a smart watch.

Music playback (Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music)

A few months after the arrival of the Vivoactive 3 Garmin has launched a second version that complements the first, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music. Forerunner 645 and Forerunner 645 Music), and apart from small aesthetic differences, the reproduction of music is the only thing that makes them different.

And as there is not much difference (none) with the music reproduction possibilities than those of FR645, I take advantage of what has already been written at the time and I do not write the new update again.

You will only find the music playback in the Vivoactive 3 Music,  the normal version lacks the necessary components and it will not be updated either because it is not only software, there are also changes in the hardware. Therefore, if you want music you must choose the Music version (about 50 ? difference).

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Music

The music, podcasts or audiobooks must be synchronized before going out to run because there is no mobile network connectivity that allows streaming playback. And to do this you have two options: upload the files directly by connecting to the computer or synchronizing some platform in streaming.

We have 4GB of internal memory, but it's a space that's shared with everything else. We have approximately 3.6GB free for the user, where you'll have to put both the music and the rest of the training files, downloaded applications, etc. Don't worry because that takes up quite a bit of space. According to the manufacturer's calculations, we have room for about 500 songs.

Synchronization with music platforms

Deezer doesn't have the application ready yet, and iHeartRadio is not available in Spain, so I'm going to tell you what the theory is. The reality will be quite far from this, so we can take it all as correct.

Garmin announced support for these two streaming platforms. Yes, only these two (and Spotify is not among the options). But the main advantage of the integration that Garmin does is that it is not something that has to be inside the operating system itself, but everything works through Connect IQ applicationsSo the moment any other platform wants to become compatible it would only have to create its own application (or even that of third party developers).

Available music applications

Logically, you must have a premium account on the platform to be able to work with the application. To synchronize, you must have a WiFi connection set up, so you can have your playlist updated at any time. Because that's the advantage of this system, and that is that if you make changes to the playlist within the platform, the clock will update the playlists directly.

It's a dynamic update, so the advantage is that you don't always end up with the same files in memory, listening to the same songs over and over again.

Inside the clock you can choose the music provider through the widget, or by pressing and holding the lower left button to access the music playback menu.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Music Menu

However, there is a limitation on memory usage: the maximum space for music downloaded by Connect IQ applications is limited to 250MB per application. You will not be able to automatically download more than that amount of data, although you can use the rest of the memory to manually upload music, as we will see below.

Manual music synchronization

The second option is to synchronise the music from the computer via cable. We can do this through the Garmin Express application or, if you use Windows, by dragging files directly into memory. By connecting the clock to the computer and activating the computer's MTP mode, we have access to the two available memories.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Internal Memory

On a Mac, you only have access to main memory, not media memory. But there's a catch, if you install the Android file transfer application (Android File Transfer) you will be able to see that memory and operate normally with it.

Android File Transfer and FR645

However, it is more advisable to do so through the Garmin application, since the corresponding playlists will be created for each album you synchronize, and you can later access the music through the names of artists, albums, songs, etc.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Music Selection

Simply select what you want to sync and send it to your device.

Garmin FR645M - Music Transfer

The transfer is really fast (nothing to do with the Fitbit Ionic user experience)

Playing music on the Vivoactive 3 Music

With the music synchronized to the clock you can start listening. You can do it either by training or at any other time. You just have to access the widget (if you have it loaded) or through the menu, leaving the lower left button pressed.

Naturally, you must pair a Bluetooth headset before starting playback. The watch does not have a speaker to listen to music through.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Headphones

Garmin does a headset management similar to what it does with the sensors, so you can have several linked. When you turn on the headset it will simply connect to the clock. There is a list of compatible headphonesPerhaps the only known problem is with Apple Airpods, with which there is some sort of conflict.

With the headphones ready, it's a matter of returning to the playback screen to find the control buttons. Even if you leave this screen, playback will continue in the background and you can always return to it from both the widget and the menu itself.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Music Playback

You can start, pause, change songs, etc. You can also turn the volume up and down. If the headphones have controls, they can also be used without any problem.

Within the source you can choose what you want to listen to: music downloaded from the online platform or uploaded to the clock, and from the latter you can choose the playlist or what you want.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Music Suppliers

When training, when you dial a manual or automatic lap you can hear a voice message with the details of that lap.

In terms of overall performance it's satisfactory. There are no music cuts, although it's more related to the headphones and your own internal antenna, so your experience may be different from mine.

In case you do have cuts it is recommended that you wear your watch on your wrist on the same side where the antenna is on the headphones, which is usually where the control buttons are. In the case of wireless headphones there is always a master and a slave, so in case of problems, change the watch to the side.

In short, the integration is satisfactory in all respects and I have had no problems of any kind, either in playback or synchronization. What remains is for the possibility to use streaming platforms to come along, and not just Deezer but some others who want to jump on the same bandwagon. Only time will provide answers.

Optical Sensor Reliability

Before we go into the optical pulse sensor test of the Garmin Vivoactive 3, I want to remind you that, regardless of having this sensor, the watch is compatible with external sensors. And just like the latest Garmin models, not only connecting to sensors ANT+but also BluetoothThese are the different types of sensors it supports:

  • Heart rate sensors (ANT+ or Bluetooth)
  • Speed and/or cadence sensors for cycling (ANT+ or Bluetooth)
  • Pedometer (ANT+ or Bluetooth)
  • Garmin Tempe Temperature Sensor
  • Garmin VIRB video cameras
  • Garmin Varia Lights
  • Garmin Varia Radar
  • Garmin Varia Vision external display

And on top of all this the Vivoactive 3 has an optical pulse sensor, barometric altimeter and compass, so it's practically on par with Garmin's top-of-the-range models, with two small details:

  • Not compatible with cycling power meters, regardless of whether they are ANT+ or Bluetooth
  • Despite being compatible with ANT+ pulse sensors, it does not have the firmware part required for downloading memory data, so although it can receive FC data from the HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim in real time, you cannot access the data recording during swimming.

Well, once all the details concerning the external sensors have been clarified, let's move on to the specific part of the optical sensor.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

Thanks to the evolution of the Garmin Elevate sensor it is possible to keep it on constantly, recording the heart rate at rest throughout the day. This will facilitate the minimum heart rate graphs or the last 24 hours that you have seen in the activity monitoring section. Of course you will also have these same graphs on your phone or on the web.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - FC 24 hours

Apart from the possibilities it offers in the daily monitoring of the heart rate the most important part is how it behaves when we are practicing sport. I have done quite a lot of training with the Vivoactive 3 together with other sensors to be able to compare data, so I have been able to see in quite some detail how it behaves. Here I leave you a sample of some of them.

I will start with a progressive training (from less to more) with some strong intervals of only 30 seconds. In this training, besides the Vivoactive 3 I was also testing the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro and I had the HRM-Tri sensor paired with the Garmin FR935 as the most reliable sensor.

The start, as always with these sensors, is somewhat slower until it is set above the heart rate. A couple of minutes for the Garmin while the Suunto is somewhat more distracted, joining the party around the 9th minute of the workout.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

Going back to the Vivoactive 3, the first interval reacts a little late, but it is not possible to know if the recovery has been delayed because the Suunto's opinion is still missing. But not always the chest sensor is the one that gives the correct information, because the second interval we can see how both the Spartan Baro and the Vivoactive 3 are totally matched, while the Garmin sensor seems to end the interval a little early because it has a somewhat strange drop. Not always the chest sensors are infallible.Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

The rest of the training? Well, all three are perfectly aligned, except for the last stretch where Suunto escapes a little, but overall a pretty good performance by Garmin.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

The short, intense intervals seem to pass with flying colours. We're going for a 400m series.

Same models as in the previous example and same initial behavior by Suunto, which needs a few minutes to adapt. It is also true that this is the watch where I have needed to adjust the strap the most because of its design.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

Again we have a good performance when the race is continuous at a constant intensity, so I'm going to expand the sections of the interavals to see the details more clearly. This is the first block.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical SensorReasonably good performance in all five intervals, but there is a common denominator: start the interval a little late and complete it a little late as well.

Which is exactly the same as the second block.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

Despite these small delays the overall performance is quite good, as all three fit the graph perfectly and there are no erroneous peaks and in full range the heart rate data is correct.

In racing there are no surprises, the usual behaviour of the latest optical pulse sensors.

And what about cycling? Well, again it's not surprising, because the performance is bad. In this training I have chosen the battery of the Vivoactive 3 dies in the middle of it, but it doesn't matter because you can see the behavior perfectly.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Optical Sensor

In cycling, as soon as there is the slightest change of intensity in the exercise, the record is bad. In this case it was a sprint interval training, but you can appreciate how even in the warm-up the record was not reasonable.

It's something I'm used to and I'm totally clear about it. At the moment the optical sensors on the wrist are not ready for cycling training.

GPS Reception

Finally, I am going to focus a little on the quality of the GPS reception of the Vivoactive 3. In this case, I believe that it is not as important as it could be for watches intended for use in the mountains and on more difficult terrain, so the initial requirement with which I approach this model is less.

It doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a correct record, on the contrary, the GPS reception capability is where accurate measurement of pace and distance resides, key in any training but much more important when participating in competitions.

But I do not demand the Vivoactive 3 to perform spectacularly in difficult environments with tree areas and so on. As much as it has a barometric altimeter, it is not a watch intended for use in the mountains (although nothing prevents it), but I understand that the main user of this model will run and perform their activities mainly in an urban environment.

I'll start with an example already used in Fitbit Ionic test and that I'm wearing here again. If I wear two watches that I'm testing with me, I save half the work... less capturing and analyzing.

Here you have the complete view of the training, at first sight everything seems identical in the three models used (besides the two mentioned, also the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro that I was also testing - a 3×1 combo!)

Fitbit Ionic GPS

I'm going to zoom in first on the first area with change of environment, going from running alongside buildings that make reception difficult - not just because of visibility of the sky, but also because of signal bouncing - and see how the different models behave when processing the signal bounce.

It should be noted that the tests have been carried out using only GPS satellites, without GLONASSIn my opinion, it is a better choice for the environment in which I am wearing the watch.

Fitbit Ionic GPS

In this case you should look at the blue line, which is the one that corresponds to the Vivoactive 3. The route I followed is from left to right, reaching the open road as you leave the roundabout. You can see perfectly how that first section is much more complicated than the next, where the three models end up coinciding completely.

The previous area is next to some buildings on my right but it's not something that disturbs the Garmin too much, which slightly improves the performance of the Suunto but especially the Fitbit Ionic.

After arriving at the roundabout everything returns to normal and there is not much to highlight in any of the three graphs. Let's go with another area.

Fitbit Ionic GPS

The descent to the beach is quite straight, better represented than in the case of the Fitbit that arrives somewhat dizzy. But in this case it is the Garmin that interprets the turn worse, cutting a few meters. Of course, it is not unique to the Vivoactive 3 because the other two do the same to a greater or lesser extent.

A similar turn a little further on. The Suunto comes a little bit off to my right, which isn't too important either because the line is straight and the distance is very similar, so there won't be much difference in rhythms or distances. But in the curve areas it's the Garmin that best represents them because the cuts are less pronounced.

Fitbit Ionic GPS

In this case the loser (or lesser winner, because it's not excessively serious either) has been the Fitbit Ionic. Beyond trimming or being displaced with respect to the real route, it has had a more irregular behavior.

Next I'm going to use a series training, being interesting for being constant in the same track and for seeing the behavior in the rest periods when there is hardly any movement.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS

Central part of the intervals. Both the Vivoactive 3 and the Suunto Spartan Baro repeat the same correct path over and over again with slight point deviations. Very good both models.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS

And what about the end of the interval where I rest a few seconds stopped? This is the most difficult thing for any GPS clock since the lack of movement makes it very complicated for the algorithms to interpret what we are doing (although now all clocks take into account the movements of the internal accelerometer).

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS

All three models are virtually flawless, with no strange movements when standing, and all pass the series test with flying colours.

A last training of race in urban area, where this time I want to focus exclusively on the central part of the race through the town. Besides the difficulty of running between buildings, I have to say that it was very cloudy with a storm that attacked me in the middle of training, so the sky was quite covered, which hinders the reception of satellite signal.

Storm Seville

However, the first part of the route is through a park with full visibility of the sky, so I make sure that when you reach the central areas of the town (with buildings not too high) the reception is already total in the three clocks.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS

By the time I got to the streets of the town, you could already see how the conditions are much more complicated not only for the Vivoactive 3, but also for the other models that accompanied me for the test.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS

Logically in this situation any track is far from perfect but the performance offered is quite satisfactory in general. There are some overcuts and some curves that go into building areas instead of the street I was running on, but overall I like what I see. You can watch this training here.

What I didn't like so much is the altimeter graph, clearly it has been affected by the rapid changes in air pressure due to the storm and also affected to a greater or lesser extent by the other devices.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Barometer

Beyond the difference in meters because the three devices are not calibrated at the beginning of the route, you can see how until the 19th minute everything works reasonably well in the three models. Before that, there are ups and downs of slopes as I go through the park area, which is perfectly reflected in the three graphs. But as soon as the storm arrives, around that 20th minute, you can perfectly appreciate the problems.

The Garmin FR935 remains virtually undisturbed, with the Suunto Spartan Baro responding somewhat more nervously with continuous ups and downs, although overall it indicates the same as the 935.

But it is at that same point that the Vivoactive 3 is totally lost, for example indicating a drop in altitude when the peak seen in the other two graphs is clearly an ascent. And specifically going up and down a flyover over the railroad track, so it is clear which of the graphs is right. But well, in this clock the altimeter is more intended to count the number of floors ascended than a specific use for tracking vertical meters.

My opinion of Garmin Vivoactive 3

Valuing the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is not easy, because when I have to decide how to give my opinion about the watch I have to decide whether I value it as a sports watch or a smartwatch.

Garmin wants the Vivoactive range to represent their smart watches, but the truth is that the gap with these is growing. If I have to assess it as a smart watch valid for sports where the most important thing is the operation of a watch of this type, my note will not be very high. The display is modest compared to what they offer other rivals, does not offer the ability to play music directly from the clock (now with the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music) and applications outside the sports environment, not notable for its great functionality.

Although all its functions work perfectly and there are no errors of any kind, there are still many things that have not been translated correctly. It doesn't matter, but those of you who have read some of my tests will know that I am somewhat manic about the consistency of what is displayed on screen. If I select a language I like everything to be in that language, but seeing things mixed with English, no matter how much I understand it, makes me nervous. But well, it is the most serious defect that it has and it is something that is easy to solve.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

On the other hand, if I have to value it as a sports watch, I think that the Vivoactive 3 is what many people have been waiting for for a long time, because in addition to being a fairly complete model for the general public (and even for demanding audiences), it is a watch that can be perfectly worn every day and used to dress without feeling like a freak. GPS wristwatch Quite contained in size and elegant in appearance, few will notice that you are wearing a watch for sport.

From a sporting point of view you can't complain. The optical sensor works reasonably well (although I still recommend the chest sensor for cycling), I don't have many objections to its GPS and the training and analysis possibilities it offers are several steps above its rivals, especially the Apple Watch and Fitbit Ionic. Not to mention the battery life and autonomy, something that Garmin plays directly in another league.

If you want a smart watch that allows you to respond to notifications and have access to a multitude of applications, you should look elsewhere. But as a mid-range sports watch that not only serves for running but for many other things (including golf, rowing, skiing, etc.) and also has quite a few functions that can be considered smart, then this device fits the description quite well.

Personally, I'm sticking with the second meaning for Vivoactive 3, not only because it's the one that favors him the most, but because it's clearly the vision they have in Garmin about how to fight in a terrain where they would otherwise have the battle lost.

Buy Garmin Vivoactive 3

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you are going to do it!

Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay, which is what allows me to continue offering you proofs like this on the page.

If you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.

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RATING

Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 7.5
Platform and applications - 9
Autonomy - 9
Finish and comfort - 8.5
Price/performance ratio - 7

8.3

TOTAL

User Rating: 3.6 ( 6 votes)

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236 Comments

  1. Thank you for the analysis. I bought the Vivoactive HR because of your recommendation and I am very happy with it. The truth is that just because of the look of this new version I would change it but for the moment the price is throwing me back. Let's see if there is any luck and some offers come out these weeks...

      1. Good morning Eduardo, I acquired this device last year through the link, and I am very happy with the choice. But, I would like to acquire a heart rate sensor for my swimming sessions, since this device deactivates it, I had fixed it in Garmin HRM Swim, but, reading your review I have seen that it is not compatible with my device. Could you recommend me one for this utility? Thank you very much, and I wait for your answer. Greetings.

        1. The Vivoactive 3 does not support the synchronization of the data stored in the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim, so it is not compatible with them (only as a normal pulse sensor). The HRM-Swim is only compatible with triathlon watches.

          1. I read it in your review, so I was asking you about a heart rate sensor that would be compatible with my device.

          2. If as I said, I had read in your review that they were not compatible with the Vivoactive 3, so I ask you, if it is not inconvenient that you recommend a heart pulse sensor to be able to swim are losing pulse data. A greeting.
            OH1 pole with data on forearm, and temple is compatible?

          3. The problem is that underwater there is no digital transmission. It would be possible to use it, but only if it is on the wrist completely attached to the watch.

            As an independent sensor you have no problems, but you cannot synchronize the pulse data with the swimming training afterwards.

  2. Hi, 6 months ago I bought an FR235, to control my tennis matches, swimming pools and a bit of bike. And the truth is that I am delighted with it and its smartwatch capabilities. Now I was thinking about making the jump to a 735xt (Blackfriday by) but after reading this test I wonder if it wouldn't be better a Vivoactive 3. What do you recommend?

    1. I think the Vivoactive 3 might be a better choice for your use.
      Logically the 735XT has more performance, but the aesthetic appearance is inferior (it is still like the 235) and in touch and materials you can notice the difference.

      Of course, for Black Friday there will be no offer for the Vivoactive 3, you have to go through the checkout. But it will leave you a better feeling than the 735XT.

      1. Well, first of all I would like to thank you for these good reviews, I would like to ask you which watch you would buy if they are the same price the vivoactive 3 or the suunto spartan trainer or if you would advise me a different one, I will tell you about my use. Going for a run 2 times a week, weight training 3 times a week and cardio at home 3 times a week, I am also interested in monitoring the day to day with data such as steps, calories burned in exercise and at rest, measuring the heart rate throughout the day.
        Do both watches have an inactivity warning?
        Do any of your interval training sessions have a vibration warning when you leave the zone?
        Which Gps works best?
        Which watch best measures the heart rate?
        Which application is better, garmin or suunto?
        Thank you very much for everything. Best regards.

    1. Maybe not a complete test, but I'm thinking of buying one and doing a slightly shorter review, just like the Apple Watch Series 3

  3. Congratulations again on your great work!
    The truth is that for the kind of sports I practice (gym, crossfit, running from time to time, mtb I go perfect with my garmin 1000 (bought thanks to your link and your advice) and swimming in summer) this one seemed to me a great option to use it daily. But yesterday I went to see it physically and it seemed small on my wrist, I'm big, like the fenix 5s, (which because of its size seems to me clearly focused on the female audience).
    I come from a Phoenix 3 (bought thanks to one of your black friday links), but I thought it was too stubby and I was hitting it with everything, then I went to a 735, the light green one, and it gave me a very informal image for the day to day, besides not having an accumulated unevenness profile.
    I was looking for something for everything, with a theme of notifications and for a non-intensive use of sports, but with pulse measurements on the wrist and to control the gym well, but the size of the gym has stopped me in my tracks.
    I don't think I'll go out in a size larger, will I?
    Any options you recommend?
    I'm looking forward to your black friday links every day in case the Phoenix 5 or 935 comes out at a good price, although they seem like a lot of machine and a lot of money for the use I'll give it.
    Greetings

    1. If you're used to a bigger watch like the Fenix 3 the Vivoactive 3 gets smaller, indeed. I doubt they'll make it any bigger, it wouldn't make much sense.

      Halfway between the Vivoactive 3 and Fenix 3 is only the Fenix 5 (or 935), which is slightly larger.

  4. Hi, Eduardo,
    Thank you for that detailed analysis of the Vivoactive 3.
    I'm hesitating between this and Gamin Fenix 3.
    You could inform me of the differences between the two and which one you would choose, in the case of me (an amateur sportsman who practices mountain biking, spinning, running, swimming and paddle).

    Thank you

    1. Either one will cover your sports almost equally (unless you need the Fenix 3 to navigate, in which case the decision is clear). Here what you will have to decide is the size of watch you want, the Fenix 3 is much bigger. It will depend on whether you are used to big or small watches.

      1. Hello again, Eduardo; I don't understand well when you say that the Fenix is bigger, you mean the screen, not ???, (although it improves the resolution a little)And I also don't understand very well when you refer to the GPS of the Vivoactive, it is not good (for example for MTB or running) ??
        If you clear it up for me, you'll get me out of it completely. Thank you,

        I see this data in Garmin.Vivoactive 3

        | Tamaño de la carcasa (An. x L. x Al.) | 43,4 x 43,4 x 11,7 mmCircunferenzia 127-204 mm | | Peso | 43,0 g | | Resistencia al agua | Swim, 5 ATM | | Pantalla táctil | | | Tipo de pantalla | Visible a la luz del sol, transflectiva, memoria a nivel de píxeles (MIP) | | Tamaño de la pantalla (Ancho/Alto) | Diámetro de 30,4 mm (1,2″) | | Resolución de pantalla (Ancho/Alto) | 240 x 240 píxeles |

        Phoenix 3

        | Case size (W x L x H) | 51 x 51 x 15.5 mm | | Weight | 82 g | | Water resistance | 10 ATM | | Display type | sunlight viewable, transflective, pixel level memory (MIP) | | Display size (W/H) | 30.4 mm diameter (1.2″) | | Display resolution (W/H) | 218 x 218 pixels |

        1. I mean the size of the watch itself and the space it takes up on the wrist.
          In the features you see, while the Vivoactive 3 is just over 43mm in circumference the Fenix goes to 51. It depends on what you're used to wearing, because if you're small watch around 40mm the Fenix 3 will seem a monster on your wrist.

          As far as navigation is concerned, I refer to the tracking of routes downloaded to the clock.

      2. Buenas noches yo suelo correr habitualmente y corro en circuito de carreras populares que reloj me recomendarías el Vivoactive3 o el.Forerunner 235

        1. Unless you need the added bonus that the FR235 offers in terms of training scheduling, the Vivoactive 3 is superior. I think it's a better choice.

  5. Great review. Great job.
    Tenía visto este reloj hace un tiempo y esperaba tu opinión, la verdad.
    I am now hesitating between the vivoactive3, spartan trainer wirst HR or the 935.
    I basically run. I train 10k and a half.
    Aesthetically, I like the vivoactive better. But it's still fair, thinking about the intervals.
    Which one would you recommend?

    1. For competitive activities and if you are going to use the advanced trainings frequently, the Vivoactive 3 will probably fall short in a short time. And between the Spartan Trainer and the 935... obviously the Garmin is much more complete in everything, but also much more expensive.

      If Suunto's training is enough for you (as far as not being able to select a target interval to receive the warning) and the screen is big enough, by price it's a great option indeed. But if you can afford the 935 it's logically a much superior model.

  6. Tenia el vivoactive HR y desde hace una semana soy propietario de un vivoactive 3, la verdad que el salto en calidad como reloj es muy apreciable, este queda muy elegante en la muñeca. Comparto muchas de las notas que haces en el análisis, la facilidad de la pantalla táctil, el brillo también ha mejorado y en general muy contento con el cambio. La gran diferencia con el vivoactive anterior la tengo en los botones, suelo practicar bastante padel, y con este último, al llevar botón en el lateral, muchas veces lo pongo en pausa con la muñeca sin darme cuenta. Lógicamente tengo dos soluciones, poner el botón hacia la izquierda o bloquear pantalla, pero si me ha causado una diferencia con el anterior, por lo demás de el momento muy muy bonito

    1. Good morning,

      What profile do you usually use for paddle tennis? I have tried to create a new activity, running and cardio... but sometimes it registers different things, especially in cardio, sometimes it doesn't register well the kilometres covered.

      Another question if you know. Can you edit the names of the activities created?

      Thank you

  7. Hi, Eduardo,

    Thank you for the analysis of the Vivoactive 3. I was waiting for it like water in May. After doing a study of all brands and models, taking into account budget and functions I need, I'm already to buy either the Vivoactive 3, the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR or the Fenix 3 HR. Which do you recommend?

    What do I need/want?
    - That I can monitor some of the sports that I practice with some assiduity, but none of competition (running, MTB, swimming and mountain).
    - GPS with the possibility of route navigation. Being able to load a route from a bike ride, from a climb (the function that the Tom Tom Runner Cardio 3 has for example, is good enough for me, I don't need to see the whole map, being able to see the directions to follow is good enough for me).
    - Wrist pulse monitor. All three of them have it.
    - I don't know if the barometric altimeter is necessary. I understand that it is more accurate than the GPS, but I'm not looking for maximum precision, just being able to monitor departures and routes.
    - Connectivity with a mobile app through bluetooh, avoiding the computer as much as possible. I'm looking for practicality. I understand that almost everyone has this already.
    - Clock for daily use with clock/date/timer function...

    Doubts between the three of us:
    - In terms of size, I have a small wrist and the Fenix 3 seems a bit rough with its more than 50mm of sphere and 16 mm. wide. The other two, although none I have tried, seem more normal, more beautiful the Vivoactive 3 (46 mm. sphere and 11.7 mm. wide), I do not know if it will be noticeable difference with the Spartan Trainer (46 mm. sphere and 15.7 mm. wide).
    - Regarding the navigation, I couldn't find out if the Vivoactive 3 has the possibility to load routes, either with access to the route section of Garmin Connect or through BaseCamp, or with the new ConnectIQ application from wikiloc (I read these possibilities in your review of the Fenix 5 and Fenix 3).
    - I've seen that the Spartan Trainer doesn't have a GLONASS or barometric altimeter, but I don't know if I'll really "need" it in the 90% cases.

    I haven't had a sports watch/smartwatch before, so I'm not a "I'm" brand.

    I really appreciate your advice and your work.

    1. The Vivoactive 3 will work for you except for the navigation option. Take a look at dwMapObviously it's not as convenient as navigation if it's already standard on the clock.

      The Fenix 3 and the Spartan Sport are very similar in size. If you have a small wrist and are not used to big watches they will become too bulky. In this case I would recommend you to consider the Spartan Trainer. I would not worry too much about the GLONASS, and the altimeter issue unless you want more accurate altitude data (from the profile you indicate you don't seem to care too much) either.

      Take a look at the Black Friday articlebecause you got Spartan Trainer at a good price.

      1. Hi, Eduardo,
        I bought the Vivoactive 3 at the BF following your link (thank you very much), and I am very happy with most of it, but some very basic little things I don't understand:
        - Why does the stopwatch only have seconds? Do you know if it is possible to set it to add hundredths of seconds?
        Thank you

        1. As far as I know there is no way to modify the behavior. Check Garmin Connect to see if there is a timer that is more suited to what you are looking for and you can install it.

  8. Great analysis. I'm still suspicious of optical sensors for activities like crossfiting and the like because of the intensity peaks. Would this Vivoactive 3 behave the same way in these types of activities as it did when you commented on the running series? It would be a good substitute for my first-generation Vivoactive that I like so much... Thank you.

    1. Yes, very much so. Don't think the price sensor is going to be much better in CrossFit anyway... A lot of variability and a lot of movement for a sensor that moves out of place very easily.

      Perhaps the Polar OH1 is the best option...

  9. Hi, I'm in the middle of buying the VivoActive3, or the Forerunner 235.
    Currently I have the Forerunner 305 (very old and xD) and I use it mainly for running and some static cycling.
    In running, it is a continuous-pace race and a series of 100m, 200m.
    I am not sure if the Vivoactive3 informs me when the series is about to end and other series data.
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Although the Vivoactive 3 has support for advanced training it is somewhat more limited, and for example it has no advance notice of the end or start of the interval. If you do a lot of series and program work with the computer the Forerunner offers more support.

      Also take a look at the FR735XT that is on sale today.

  10. I didn't know you until today and I really liked your analysis of various watches.
    I'd like to upgrade to vivoactive3. I know it has several possibilities with various sports. I usually do TBC, CrossFit, Spinning, Body and weights. Is there an option on the clock or does it list everything as cardio? for these sports I guess it's pretty better than the Apple?

    Thank you very much for your work!

    1. Spinning can be registered as indoor cycling, weights as specific profile counting repetitions and the rest as cardio.

      Data logging is similar to that offered by Apple Watch because you don't rely on external sensors, but with Garmin you get better activity analysis and longer battery life.

  11. Hi, considering today's great offer on Amazon of the Sunto Spartan Sport Wrist at 299 euros, which do you think is better for running, skiing and cycling, the Suunto or the Vivoactive 3?
    Thank you for your work.

    1. The Vivoactive 3 has a barometric altimeter and a specific profile with ski metrics. The Suunto doesn't. That makes me lean towards the Garmin in your case.

      For everything else I'll stick with Suunto, although it's quite a bit bigger (bear in mind).

  12. Hola, y mí enhorabuena por tu trabajo. Tuve un vivoactive hr, muy contento con el salvo el altímetro.Esto del altímetro a veces me hago un lío.Comparaba con un suunto ámbit 3 y con una aplicación de mi móvil. Siempre tuve la sensación q mi altímetro medía unos 20 metros menos en puntos altos y entre unos 5 menos en otros puntos, y el acumulado siempre me daba más, y aumentando recorridos proporcionalmente mi acumulado de Altitud era mayor.
    I used to watch Wikipedia and the Altitude of the places I went was always higher between 15 and 25 meters than my vivoactive hr. Now I want to know if the altimeter of vivoactive 3 is better or exactly the same. It is always said that with an altimeter it is more accurate, is that true? Sometimes I have the feeling that it is not. I go out on the mountain once a week and I like to know that the data I have is reliable. Can I trust vivoactive 3? The perfect gps of my previous vivoactive, the optical wrist sensor tb, except on bike it was hard to start 10' and give correct values, I don't know why. I do gym and static bike, and when I put on mode, bike, the pulse was hard to adapt to my frequency for a long time.
    I look a lot at the subject of altitude, and I wonder how the measurements can vary so much even when repeating the same route. A friend's suunto ambit3 coincides with wikipedia measurements of altitude, while mine always has an error of 15 to 20 meters less but in the accumulated time it gives me between 50-100 meters more difference with the ambit3, depending on the route, the more distance the more difference. I think yours doesn't have an altimeter, but it does because mine gives that data. I recommend the new vivoactive 3
    Another thing, my sport is 3 days gym and one day running in the mountains, sometimes two.
    Vivoactive 3 or Apple Watch 3? Is the latter more accurate? I have an iPhone 6s. Apple Watch tb has an altimeter.
    One more thing, at vivoactive 3 where the altimeter is. I say this because n vivoactive hr had a hole on one side where it picked up the pressure variation, call garmin. And at vivoactive 3where is it?

    1. The altimeter works depending on the atmospheric pressure, so if you want accurate data you must calibrate at a known altitude before each trip.

  13. hola, buenas quizas este no sea el lugar pero probaras por ejemplo el samsung gear fit 2. tengo el tom tom runner 3 pero sigo teniendo curiosidad que nunca se sabe siempre se puede cambiar… pd el vivo active 3 parece muy bueno

    1. Probably not, mainly due to lack of time. In the end my hours are limited and I try to focus on what might be of most interest to the readers.

  14. The tennis and paddleball profile can be set to quantify the activity, if so.
    Recognizes an activity automaticallyThank you

    1. There is no specific profile, but you can use any other generic profile because it doesn't have any special metrics for those sports.

      It recognizes longer walks automatically, but not other more complex sports.

  15. Great analysis!! I explain my needs, to see if you can help me, I see that you master the temperament ... hehehe. Currently I have a fitbit changer 2 and I am very short ... I practice running (continuous running, 10k socks, I have not thought of making series and so on, but if I can plan, would be to try) and crossfit (is what I would register) also outputs by the mountain and bike, but more sporadically. I want it for the day to day, quantifier and tb for quantifier more specific to the sports that practice.
    - Fenix 5 is priced out of my price range, though I'd love to.
    -fenix 3 hr I find it too much of a mess, although there are some very interesting offers.
    -vivoactive3 had it clear until I saw it in the store...I found it very small and would wait for me to lower the price after kings.
    -Subjects don't convince me, although if you give me some advice, I look at it and appreciate it.
    -And today I saw the garmin 235 at 188 and I don't know if I'm going to fall short..I don't want it to happen like with the fitbit.

    What do you advise me, do you think that with 235 I will have enough (I have a friend who is delighted) or do I wait for the vivoactive3.

    Thank you!

    1. Here are all the discountsIf you are not sure, you can find the Vivoactive 3 at a discount.

      As for your question, the main difference is the aesthetic aspect. In size there is not much difference between Vivoactive 3 and FR235, but it changes the quality of construction.

      As for performance, don't doubt that with the 235 you have more than enough (with chest sensor for cycling and CrossFit). From there it would be a gain in material feel, but there is not much difference in performance.

  16. Great job as always, the time you spend is appreciated. A pity it doesn't bring the possibility to store music and play it, I see it as a big "fuck up" from Garmin, I will keep waiting to update my first first generation vivoactive...

  17. Hello, first of all I would like to congratulate you for the work you do, then I would like to comment on my doubts. I want to buy a sports watch but I don't know which one to buy. I usually do 5 to 8 km training sessions every other day and in between I do stair climbing and 50 and 100 m running series, I also usually go out on weekends with a mountain bike on 50 to 70 km routes. I wouldn't be upset if I could take advantage of a training assistant in exercise series in order to improve my physical performance since I also play football which I would like to be able to use in training as well. And now my question is, from everything I have told you, which device would you advise me to buy?
    Thank you very much in advance.

  18. Hi, Eduardo,
    I already have my Vivoactive 3 and I am quite happy and want to start making more of my cycling and swimming trips. Analyzing what you said in the test "" From a sporting point of view you can't complain about it. The optical sensor works reasonably well (although I still recommend the chest sensor for cycling) "".

    What chest sensor do you recommend for these two disciplines (I know that in cycling the sensor works, but it's uncomfortable to look at the wrist and I prefer to wear it on the handlebars...).
    What would be your best choice?

    Thank you.

    1. For swimming you will not be able to use any, because the Vivoactive 3 does not support the data recording profiles that are necessary to have frequency data underwater (only present in the multisport models).

      As far as sensors for the bike are concerned, you can really use any of them, especially now that the new Garmin also supports Bluetooth sensors. This is generic and usually gives good results if you want some cheap option: https://www.amazon.es/Arendo-puls%C3%B3metro-transmisor-impermeable-dispositivos/dp/B00T5RBE6S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1514904420&sr=8-5&keywords=sensor+de+pulso+bluetooth&linkCode=ll1&tag=c1mes-21&linkId=af50e4980364f1789770cc2debc8c15e

      1. Hello Eduardo, Thank you very much for your quick answer.......I have a question, I got the tape of this Garmin..

        GARMIN FORERUNNER 305

        Could you link this tape to the Vivoactive 3 ????
        Greetings,

  19. Hello!
    I was looking for a sports watch and Vivoactive3 seemed like a very good choice. I read your analysis, and I get the impression that you don't like the watch very much. I'm looking for a watch for triathlon, and cross-country skiing, so I train in the mountains and I'm very interested in the slope, which watch would you recommend? I'm hesitant between this one, a Suunto Spartan, and the Ambit3 Sport, which I've heard very well about.
    Greetings, thank you in advance and congratulations on your analysis, which is really very complete

    1. I don't like the watch at all, but you have to know who it's for. If it's for a simpler use, it's perfectly valid for use today. However, it's not suitable for triathlon, as it can't perform multisport activities and doesn't have support for swimming in open water.

      For the use you specify I would opt for superior Garmin or Suunto models that have a barometric altimeter, although the Spartan may be too big for a woman's wrist. The Garmin Fenix 5S or Forerunner 935 are two good options (both models are in the tests on the page).

  20. Hi Eduardo, thank you very much for your analysis, after reading it I just renewed my Vivoactive HR for the Vivoactive 3.
    In fact you have many improvements in addition to the fact that aesthetically it seems nicer, but I have a disadvantage that I do not know if you have heard of it. I practice a lot of squash and tennis and created a specific activity for these two sports, but in this model I have noticed that it does not record my pulses well, making a manual calculation of my pulse on the wrist sometimes reach levels of 170 to 180 beats per minute at certain peaks, but the clock does not mark more than 120, and if I wait a few seconds at rest goes up to 150 when my pulse has recovered and is at 120-130, ie, in pulses above 120 is not detecting my pulse in real time and delays in reading my exact pulse. The activity where my pulse is below 120 I have no problem, records them very well. Note, I tried the clock on both wrists and the disadvantage is the same.
    But when I go for a run or a bike ride, it does mark the pulse well above 120 to 180 in real time, which makes me think that when I reach high pulses in short intervals of time it does not detect it properly. With the Vivoactive HR this did not happen to me and it registered it better than the Vivoactive 3.
    Have you heard anything about this? I've been with software version 2.70 and just updated it a moment ago to 2.80 but I haven't read anything specific about this in the update.
    I appreciate your comment on the subject.
    Greetings,

    1. No, I don't have any knowledge about that. They're not sports I play so I can't give you any references either.

      1. Thank you for your prompt response, wouldn't it be like crossfiting with high intensity ranges in short intervals of time and not giving the clock time to record the data in real time?
        Greetings,

          1. One last query, do you know if there is a way to calibrate the optical sensor or is the default setting?

          2. Another question Eduardo, I've noticed that when I do high intensity activities in short intervals of time, the optical sensor does not read the pulses immediately but follows a reading pattern every 5-8 seconds, and that's why when I reach high peaks but short it does not detect them, I do not know if there is a way to record the data of pulses per second and not in longer intervals of time, something like the option of intelligent data recording / second that has in the gps, do you know anything about this? Thanks

          3. If you look at the reliability section of the optical sensor is the normal behavior, it has a slight delay in recording. It is common to almost all optical sensors.

  21. Hey, Eduardo, congratulations on your tests.

    Yesterday I bought the vivoactive3 , but after reading the post I don't know if I got it right.
    Until 3 days ago I had no idea about the world of these devices (despite being a sportsman for years) and after reading "to death" thousands of lines the last 72 hours on Garmin, Suunto, polar ... I focused on the polar m600, the v800, the vivoactive3, the Suunto trainer whirst hr and spartan sport black . Finally and I do not know why (maybe a hunch) buy the vivoactive3.

    Básicamente busco : Calidad en primer lugar. En cuanto a deporte mi principal es el fitness, por lo que desearía que el reloj cuente las repeticiones al levantar pesas, detecte cuando paro y me me empiece a contar los segundos de descanso ( 60 en mi caso) para hacer la siguiente serie….(no se si alguno de ellos lo hará, todos , o ninguno….).

    I am also interested in an intermediate/advanced level of running.

    And finally that it is decent/good (you don't have to be an expert) to accompany me on my mountain outings, offering me some security as I usually go alone.

    En cuanto a apps e inteligencia móvil de notificaciones , lo mismo, que sea decente para los tiempos que corren donde esté mundillo de conectividad está a la orden del día. Por tus análisis veo como que el vivoactive3 s queda corto y el m600 se pasa …no???

    Which of the four mentioned above do you recommend? Considering how important it is to know about the gym, I have no problem with changing the vivoactive.

    Thank you very much and happy New Year!

    1. Above all, apart from what I have mentioned, is to know if anyone can do: count the repetitions, detect when it stops and then count the 60 seconds and make an alarm or vibrate for me to know that I have to do the next series ... and so on. Logically I could have programmed my exercises ... For example on Monday I do pectoral. first calibrate 5 series of 10 repetitions and 60 rest (would be the bench press) next 3 series to 8 repetitions and 60 rest (would be the press declined) next 3 series to 10 repetitions ...(openings) and so on ... Tuesday back ... first exercise ... second ... Wednesday leg ....

      Does anyone allow such a programming ? Or at least similar ?
      Thank you again.

      1. The vivoactive 3 within the force profile has the option to "count".
        I have an advanced workout created from the App in which I say which exercises are the warm up and which ones I want to do (you can choose duration or execution) as many times as you repeat them and the cool down.

        If you have the vivoactive 3, focus on that option.
        For advanced running I think you're going to puncture.
        I've had it for a month and a half and I haven't been able to try it out for running, except for a continuous rhythm. And for that it's worth a 40 euro watch.

      2. Well, you probably want to go a little further on the career front.
        Perhaps the Garmin Forerunner 935 is best suited to your use, especially when it comes to mountain use and navigation possibilities.

        Gym use in both cases is the same.

  22. Hola! Estoy por comprar mi Vivoactive 3 y después de los comentarios que escribiste, me surgieron dudas, no sé si puedas ayudarme con ellas. Resulta que mis principales deportes son natación, running (ciudad y muy pocas veces montaña), ir al gym con actividades “normales”; con menor frecuencia yoga y kickboxing. Es este el reloj indicado? La verdad es que soy nueva y jamás he tenido un smartwatch, ya que antes no era muy frecuente en mis actividades, pero ahora natación lo practico al menos 3 veces por semana y me gustaría tener un récord de velocidad, brazada y distancia. Lo mismo en running: y en el gym tener un récord de repeticiones y pulsaciones. Además, por supuesto de las calorías quemadas.

    Thank you very much!

  23. Good one.
    I currently have a Tom-Tom Runner 2 that the poor guy is dying x the battery and I would like to change d watch.
    I am hesitating between this and the new Garmin 645. From Va3 m the theme series is scary, q does not t indicate how much t qda to end each interval nor for which you go (something q says the Tom-Tom and q I use a lot) and so q I have read if it says the 645.
    It would be for intensive use in Runners with long runs and different types d series and I am a little less interested in the topic d connection with the mobile.

  24. Thank you very much for the analysis. I'm looking for a watch to complement my Garmin 520. I want to monitor my recovery, sleep, stress, fatigue, etc. As you can see, Eduardo, this is the watch I'm looking for, or what would you recommend?

    1. To keep track of those kinds of metrics I recommend you wait.
      Garmin has not yet synchronized the metrics that were released with the Fenix 5, but will do so throughout this 2018.

      Even if the 520 doesn't have this function, it would be interesting if you chose a watch that can support it and give you this function in the future.

      1. Thank you very much Eduardo for your answer. One last query, what is your opinion, with the Vivoactive 3 will be enough or I have to go to Fenix 5 or Forerunner 935 to have those metrics in the future.

        1. No, the Vivoactive 3 doesn't support these metrics. What Garmin has on the market right now would be the Fenix 5, Forerunner 645 and Forerunner 935 ranges that support it.

  25. I just bought it (I did it yesterday afternoon with Amazón and it arrived today morning) and thanks to your PERFECT analysis I am more than confident that this is the watch, for functionality and aesthetics, it is the perfect one for my needs.

    Greetings and thank you very much.

  26. Hello, I'm between buying a Forerunner735xt or a vivoactive3 you could support me to choose the best match, I would appreciate it,

    1. They are quite different, if your sporting level is more demanding the 735XT, if you do not participate in races the Vivoactive 3 is enough and with better finishes.

  27. Good afternoon,

    What do you think about the amazfit stratos, I've seen a lot of reviews but only about the aspect and not analyzing its aspect as a sport watch, the price is very competitive and the performance also seems on paper good but I don't trust the reliability. Congratulations for your work together with DCRainmaker you are the reference in sport tech equipment comparisons!

    1. I can't play it directly because I haven't had any contact with that model, but I have tried the Pace. As a smart watch it is clear what it offers and I don't put many obstacles in its way, but as a watch for practicing sports in a minimally serious way I wouldn't even consider it?

      That is, for this page's reader's profile I do not recommend it.

      1. Eduardo. To complement my Edge 520, I'm now going with a Vivoactive 3.
        As I'm not a professional I've looked for it and I'm very happy.
        In this model there is the option to see the instantaneous altitude, either through a data field or another? I mean to see the altitude without executing one of the activities that are predefined in the Live3. This, as for example: The FC, daily activity, etc. Thanks from now

          1. Thank you for the information. I still have doubts. When I cycle and record on my Edge 520, both intensity and HR minutes are not passed directly to Garmin Connect when synchronizing (they remain as an activity). There is a possibility to have a complete overview of the HR day (including HR delivered by Edge 520) and that the minutes of intensity recorded in cycling are still considered in the summary that delivers the screen of the vivoactive 3 ?

          2. Thanks for the answer Eduardo (I installed the widget and everything is ok); I have other doubts. 1) When I practice cycling I do it with the Edge 520, it happens that when I synchronize with Garmin Connect(GC) the minutes of intensity are not seen in the mobile GC application, neither in the web nor in the live3. That is normal or not ? As there is a widget of minutes of weekly intensity, my cycling trips registered in the Edge are not counted as such. 2) The same happens with the FC; only the detail that detects my LIVE3 is monitored and passed to the GC. 3) The FC registered in the EDGE remains as a separate activity when synchronizing to the GC, which distorts the daily values of FC (max, average). It can be done differently, so that there is only one FC curve including the activities registered in my case in the Edge ?

          3. It is not possible to have this information consolidated in any way, because unfortunately Garmin does not synchronize this data with its platform.

  28. Hi, Eduardo,
    I just got to know your website, as I started to get information to buy a sports watch with smartwatch functions, and the first thing I want to do is to congratulate you because it is impressive the reviews you do, very very worked.

    The use I'm going to give to the watch is for the day to day running, shooting at 4'10″/km and some other series. I don't do any other sport.
    I'm hesitating between the Fitbit Ionic and the Vivoactive 3, so you say, it seems that the Vivoactive is a little better, is that so ... However, aesthetically I like something else the Ionic.
    What do you recommend, considering the use I'm going to make of it?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. If you're going to compete both can fall short, especially the Fitbit.
      But if you only want to run for the sake of sport then both are perfectly valid.

      As a smartwatch, what the Fitbit offers is something more interesting, in addition to the best screen and a range that is not bad at all.

      You should be the one to balance the scales and know what you are looking for, either a watch more suited to sport (Garmin), or with more interest in smart watch options (Fitbit).

  29. Hola Eduardo, ante todo felicitarte por el trabajo que realizas. Como varios usuarios estoy entre dos opciones el Garmin Vivoactive 3 o el Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR, mis principales actividades son natación, MTB y senderismo, quiero un reloj que pueda cargar una ruta y poder seguirla, antes podia ir sin gps, pero ahora voy saliendo con mi hijo y prefiero planificar bien y no ir tanto a la aventura.
    Greetings and continue to perform such thorough analyses.

  30. Hi Eduardo. I bought the black vivoactive 3 last night through your link on the best prices post and I was linking to Amazon Italy. I don't think I have a warranty problem, do I? I bought it because I want to start living a more active life and I go to the gym to do cardio and a little weight training. I do go out for a fast pace and sometime bike. Do you think it's a good option? I always thought about buying the 645 or the 935 but only for the best. I think I got more right with this one. It's really nice to read your detailed reviews. Best regards!

    1. Yes, you will have no problem with the guarantee, both with Amazon and Garmin, in fact the invoice they provide is issued by Amazon Spain.

      As for the model, the Vivoactive 3 is the one that best fits what you are looking for, do not hesitate. Obviously the 645 or 935 are more capable, but not better in the use you require of them. Your use of the watch will be the same in any of the three cases.

      And thank you for your support with the purchase!

  31. Good afternoon Eduardo, I am hesitating between this and the Phoenix 3, I am going to use it every day and mainly the sports I do are hiking and mountain biking, what would be your recommendation ? It is worth paying the plus of the Phoenix 3 ? Thank you very much

  32. Good afternoon. Thank you for your analysis.
    I have a Garmin 230 that I was very happy with. I've done several marathons, series, etc... But I got injured and I have a broken meniscus. I stopped running and started swimming. I bought a Vivoactive 1, so I could measure the meters in the pool. After a year I have recovered the continuous running. Not at the levels of a year ago, but a couple of days a week. Now I swim a couple of days and run another pair. I don't do series or anything like that, because I'm waiting for surgery. Now I have two Garmin, one underused and another one that I swim with that is too short to run. I have thought about selling them both and buying the Vivoactive 3
    Hay una oferta en Amazón Italia muy buena. La idea es ir recuperando ritmo en carreras y competir a medio plazo otra vez, pero no será pronto cuando pueda volver a hacer series. No sé si pillar este Vivoactive 3 o esperar a que el 645 baje de precio, pero ahora mismo un 645 tb lo tendría infrautilizado, porque del Vivoactive 1 me gusta el que me marque llamadas entrantes, mensajes, etc…

    In short, the only thing I don't like is that I don't mark vibrations in the interval changes in the series (having to keep an eye on the clock at the end of a demanding series is horrible) and the fact that the optical sensor doesn't work while you're swimming, but I imagine that will take some time.

    I guess coming from a 230 and a vivoactive 1 I'll notice the difference and it'll be like a merger of the two, right?
    Greetings

    1. If you're going to do a series, and you're doing it with the workouts created from the Garmin Connect, the Vivoactive 3 may not be enough for you. It already has support, but it's not as wide as the Forerunner. If that's not a hindrance at the price I have it on in the offers is a very good opportunity and you won't find much difference from what the 645 offers.

      1. Hi, Eduardo,
        Excellent review you've done. I'm in the same line of Gust. Of all that you said, what affects me most is the notifications of the series. But I am not clear if the Vivoactive 3 at least offers you the notifications when the interval ends, even if it does not offer you the notifications before the end of the interval.

        Greetings,

        1. Yes, the end-of-series warning notice does appear, but it does not warn that you are coming to the end.

          1. Hi Eduardo! Thank you so much for the review!
            I guess you mean a warning clock vibration, right?
            I have the previous Vivoactive and the screen shows another color a few seconds before and when the interval ends it vibrates.
            It seems strange that this model being superior has less performance.
            In the previous model, when you enter the application of Run, you can add alerts, including cardiac ones, to know that you are in a certain range. Can it be the same in this new model?
            Greetings.

          2. Those intervals you are referring to are still in the Vivoactive 3, what is added is the possibility to create them in a more detailed way through Garmin Connect, and then synchronize them with the clock.

            As for the alerts, yes, exactly the same.

  33. Hi Eduardo, I bought the Garmin on Thursday, and I see that it is not possible to create/load routes and track them, is that so?

      1. Ok, y cual podría haberme comprado para poder seguir una ruta?
        Do you know if I could change it? I bought it with the link on this page.
        Thank you.

        1. Well, you have two options. First, try the ConnectIQ dwMaps application. You have all the details on their website: https://dynamic.watch/
          It is a good solution, especially if it is for sporadic use.

          If you don't want to mess around with applications, I would recommend that you take a look at Suunto Spartan Trainer: https://www.correrunamaraton.com/suunto-spartan-trainer-analisis/

          It is similar in size to the Vivoactive 3, but slightly thicker and without a touch screen.

          As for the exchange, of course, at Amazon you can do it without any problem both the return and, if necessary, exchange it for another model.

          1. Sorry again......., I'm still in doubt..... and the suunto spartan sport that if it has a touch screen... that is to say which one you recommend with a touch screen, heart sensor in the wrist and with the maps in the watch that you can follow.
            Thank you!!! I'll see if I decide to return it. Thank you!!

          2. The features are the same, but keep in mind that the watch is much bigger. There is a lot of difference with the size of the Vivoactive 3 or the Spartan Trainer, and it is not for every wrist, but you would have a touch screen and a better built watch.

  34. Hi Eduardo, thanks for your analysis, I found it very good and detailed. I'm thinking of buying a sports watch that incorporates basic smartwatch functionalities.
    I practice fitness regularly (weights basically) and running 3-4 days a week. For running I look for something that accurately measures my heart rate in races at a constant pace. About 8 km every time I go out without making changes of pace or similar.
    I would also like it to have 24-hour sleep measurement functions, steps and all these stories.
    I come from the Polar v800 that I was given as a present at the time but I didn't take advantage of it since I only run and I didn't find its use very intuitive.
    Do you think that vivoactive might be the most appropriate? Which one would you recommend?

    Greetings.

  35. Thank you for the analysis Eduardo, I would like to change my Polar M400 for one that incorporates swimming, mainly in the pool. My profile is running (30 Km week), swimming (2 days) and MTB at the weekend. The Phenix 5 seems huge but the Vivoactive 3 is not clear to me that it is suitable for swimming.

    1. Yes, you can use it in swimming pool without any problem. What it doesn't have is open water swimming.

  36. Well, I wanted to ask you about this Garmin model because currently (with the release of the music version) is very well priced ... I come from a polar 430 that I like very much and almost meets my needs ... I just fail the battery life (once a month I go hiking 6 or 7 hours and I'm short) and the aesthetics of the model (I work in front of the public and I would like something to say "more dress") ... The point is that the passage from polar to garmin not if I will find it difficult, and not if the elevate sensor is worse than the polar (I know it has only 3 LED sensors by the 6 of the polar and do not know if that influences or not).
    My use in sports is for spinning bikes (with chest strap), running and some camber (in addition to the exit to the field) in what I think the model garmin is going to fulfill more than enough.
    Do you think it's worth the change?
    Thank you and a greeting.

    1. You will win on some things, but the sensor of the M430 is slightly superior. However, you will still be able to use the same sensor that you use now, because the Vivoactive 3 is also compatible with Bluetooth sensors. But if you want to win on aesthetics, you will certainly win on that aspect. Remember that you have the Vivaoctive 3 on sale only this week (Here are the prices).

  37. Hello!

    I was thinking of buying a sports watch and was hesitating between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the Amazfit Stratos.

    (Without going into the subject of prices) I have read your two reviews of both watches and from what I see the Stratos is not as fine measuring (assuming no chest band at first) apart from being a bit bigger (for a girl).
    On the other hand, even though Garmin does not seem to be able to load routes, I think there are some apps that can be installed where they are supported.

    The idea is for a use of Gym, Mountain Routes and Skiing (apart from snacking at the end in the day to day)

    Taking into account a little bit of everything... which one would you recommend?

    Thank you very much! I found these reviews while browsing and found them simply incredible!

    1. I would also appreciate it if you know of any other watches (in the line of features and prices) e.g. suunto, others.

    2. I think that with the Vivoactive 3 you are going to be happier, both in terms of size and precision and possibilities. As for navigation, you can have a look at the dwMap application at https://dynamic.watchIt can be installed by Connect IQ for route tracking.

      Another option in the same price range would be the Suunto Spartan Trainer. You would gain in navigation on the watch itself, but you would not have the full ski tracking function.

  38. Thank you very much for your answer!

    I understand that if we put a chest strap on the kit the issue of accuracy between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the Stratos is shortened, right?

    Certainly the size of the Garmin makes it more suitable for a girl but I don't rule out giving away the Stratos at some point and I want to make sure.

    Thank you!!!

    1. Yes, obviously if we used the same external sensor on both watches the result would be the same. The difference is in the internal sensor.

  39. Hello, excellent analysis, I wanted to ask for help in my case, I don't usually use a watch of any kind so I need a watch that I can use for day to day (I work in an office), also I've been in the gym for 3 months and what I'm most interested in is measuring repetitions, heart rate, sleep hours. Do you think the vivoactive 3 would be a good option?

    Thank you very much already.

  40. Hi, Eduardo. First of all, thank you very much for this detailed and complete review. I wanted to ask you a little question, to see what you think about it. I have been practicing crossfit for two years now and sometimes I also go for a run (always in the city or on dirt tracks, but never on the mountain as such). Since crossfit covers so many different aspects, do you think this watch will be a good option? I have been comparing and I think this could be one of the best options but, of course, you are the expert here. Thank you very much.

    1. Yes, the Vivoactive has always been one of the best options for use in a mixed gym environment with other less demanding use, however, if there are many changes of pace (as in crossfit) it is more advisable to use a breast sensor.

  41. You can load the profiles of tennis, paddle, running on a treadmill and elliptical in the Garmin Vivoactive 3, if you have to remove others, lowering them from the application garmin or it is impossible, I say it because these profiles if you have the Fenix 3.

    1. No, there's no specific profile, but you could use any other or check the Connect IQ app store if there's something you're looking for.

  42. Hi. I saw your analysis after I bought it, I have it for two days, but I'm thinking of returning it.
    I like almost everything about it, but not being able to modify the fields individually bothers me.
    But the worst thing is the sharpness of the screen, not bad, but not excellent, with bright light looks great, but not always with that light, and indoors or with the backlight is good, but would like more clarity and sharpness of the image.

    Is there a clock the size of the vivoactive 3 with better display?
    What would you recommend similar to this one, in terms of size and performance

    Thank you very much for your work

  43. Hi, Eduardo.
    I have noticed that the recording of the heart rate on the bicycle is interrupted, usually during the first minutes of the session, which did not happen to me in the vivactive HR I had before. These interruptions last between 30 seconds and one minute. It is true that sometimes I see that the clock has stopped marking the heart rate but my impression is that the time of these interruptions is much less than what is recorded afterwards.
    I would also like to know if the altimeter can be calibrated, because I always find differences in the height of specific points.

    Thank you very much for your attention

    1. No, the manual calibration was removed with the 5.00 update, now all that is left is the automatic calibration that the watch does at the start of the activity.

  44. Since you can quantify the activity of playing tennis, I don't see anything like it and I don't know if you can install anything, at least I can't find it in the app store.
    If there is nothing, how would you do it from your experience?

    Thank you very much for your analysis.

  45. Good morning, Eduardo,
    Thank you, so from what you tell me I can quantify tennis activity, activating indoor running or indoor walking, is correct.

    Orta thing, I've been on the clock for two weeks and the activity of climbing stairs marks me every day two floors less, how can I fix it? I don't see where I can correct the altitude.

    Thank you for your analysis and tests are very complete.

    1. There is no possibility of correction for this function, and it is also not reliable at 100% because it depends on the barometer that changes with the atmospheric pressure. You should not take it as an absolute value but simply as a trend reference.

  46. I have a vivoactive 3 and the first times I did a sport activity I recorded the calories burned in an activity, then I stop doing it so I decided to restart it and I calculate them once and again I stop doing it, however constantly indicates me that to improve the accuracy of performing an activity outdoors, however I go for a jog and not calculated, but if I record the calories burned throughout the day, I would like to know I should do to get the calories burned in my sport activity.

  47. WARNING: I bought a VIVOACTIVE 30 in June this year, and I have been using it sporadically at the beginning but continuously in the last few days, except for the loading time.

    WARNING about an allergy that has caused both the strap and the watch to leave my wrist raw. This is a new product that I can no longer use.

    I have spoken to the company GARMIN and they tell me that it is a problem of my skin, that I should go to the dermatologist.

    1. If the original strap repeatedly causes allergies, you can always exchange it for one made of another material (e.g. metal), which you will find many of on Amazon.
      It has happened to me and in two days of changing my watch the problem has disappeared, of course I didn't "have it in the flesh" but just a slight redness and a small area.

  48. In my opinion, the people at Garmin are telling you the right thing to do. Any sign of allergy would be to remove the watch, or at least change hands, before it leaves your wrist in "live flesh".

  49. Hola Eduardo, tengo un Vivoactive 3 y la actividad que mas realizo es salir a Caminar-Correr, alternando las dos de acuerdo a mi estado fisico del momento o a las zonas de frecuencia cardiaca. La pregunta es cual perfil de actividad de los que vienen cargados en el dispositivo debo utilizar, Caminar o Correr? Gracias por la ayuda con la respuesta.

    1. The only difference between the two will be the data you configure. So if one day you are going to run more than walk or vice versa, you can have different screens.

  50. First of all, congratulations for the complete analysis. I like Vivoactive 3 very much but I do not understand why having a screen resolution like the higher models of Garmin, have made a screen design "clock" so basic (I guess precisely to value the expensive), in short, the subject, I see that you can download both customization applications and utilities but I have not seen anywhere that memory capacity has the clock to install these applications. You can install one, eighteen, ...
    Greetings and thanks

    1. The applications are really small, there is no problem of space because there are not so many to install as to fill the memory.

  51. Hi, there.
    I've seen a couple of your analyses and I have a question to ask you. I'm looking at several watches since I want to buy one for the first time. I like very much the vivoactive 3 and amazfit stratos. I'm going to use it more for the daily life, steps, fc... but it's true that I also usually go to the gym. For now I don't go out much to run, very occasionally (because I practice soccer and I do 4 trainings per week so with the work I don't usually have much more time). I like the idea of music in amazfit but the vivoactive music also takes it so I don't know why to choose it since each one has its pros that I like very much.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Personally I like the Vivoactive 3 better, which doesn't mean that the Amazfit is not a bad choice for that use, but I see it a little more "fuzzy". Nevertheless either of the two serve in the basic use profile, although you should also consider that the optical sensor of the Garmin is better. That makes me opt for the Vivoactive.

      1. The optical sensor of the amazfit fails a lot during training, but in everyday life for the measurement of the CF it also fails a lot?
        Thank you very much Eduardo

        1. No, at rest there are no problems, but there is no monitoring as such, you can simply make occasional measurements that are saved.

  52. Hi, thanks for the analysis. Do you have any sport that can be used for CrossFit? It's the sport I train, along with athletics, and I'd like to use it for both sports. I have the m430 polar fleece that does carry the crossfit sport, but the problem is that now I'm looking for a watch that can be used to wear, that the design of the polar fleece is quite ugly.
    And what other watch would you recommend based on what I'm looking for?
    Greetings and thank you!

  53. I have a vivoacive 3 bought in June it had different problems with loading and altitude recognition. Garmin has changed it for a new one the problem with loading and recognition by the computer persists (W10) I'm waiting for garmin to decide what to do it seems to be the cable but it seems strange to me because the interface of the load is seen on the screen but the clock is not loaded. Anyway we'll see, when the adventure is over I'll tell you about it.
    Greetings

  54. I have a Vivoactive 3 bought in April it had different problems with loading and altitude recognition. Gármin has changed it for a new one the problem with loading and recognition by the computer persists (W 10) I'm waiting for Gármin to decide what to do, it seems that it's the cable but I find it strange because the interface of the load is seen on the screen but the clock is not loaded. Anyway we'll see, when the adventure is over I'll tell you about it.
    Greetings

  55. Hello!
    First of all I want to thank you and congratulate you because these are the most complete analyses I have seen by far.
    I wanted to ask you if you've ever had a chance to use the Galaxy Watch. I'm looking for a smartwatch that I can use for training and sports without competing. The vivoactive 3 doesn't really convince me because I'd like some more functionality. The apple watch doesn't convince me either, especially because of its autonomy.
    Greetings and thanks for everything!

    1. Well, I'm sorry, but I don't have many references to the Galaxy Watch beyond having messed it up a bit, but without making specific use of it.

  56. I'm considering buying the vivoactive 3 more than a phoenix because I find it more manageable on a daily basis and more economical. My sporting activity is based on running in the mountains and especially hiking at weekends, so for me it is very important the reliability of GPS data and especially that you have an activity for these exercises in which you can show us the distance traveled and the accumulated slopes

    1. For that use the Fenix is a much better option for all the specific functions for use in the mountains, in addition to navigation. Of course in either you can have distance traveled and total difference in level accumulated, so if you do not need anything else the Vivoactive 3 is sufficient.

  57. Hola, como estás? no se si sea un buen lugar para consultar, pero estoy algo decepcionado, tengo mi Vivoactive 3 hace algo más de un año, y con el paso del tiempo, ha ido teniendo problemas en la marca de la altitud, tan es así que corriendo un circuito de aproximadamente 10 km, me arroja una diferencia de 80 mts entre la partida y la llegada (es el mismo punto). Pensé que podía ser que fuera la configuración, y escribí a soporte de Garmin, en un primer momento muy atentamente me respondieron que revisarían mi problema (les envié las gráficas del recorrido y todo) y luego me respondieron que “Garmin no se hacía cargo de los inconvenientes del altímetro, ya que es un elemento de ocio, y no de precisión y bla bla bla” todo legar, para lavarse las manos… el tema es que nunca sufrió un golpe ni nada, y me parece muy raro, es muy proporcional el error, me marca bien las subidas y bajadas a través de un circuito, pero siempre que llego me marca bastante menos, he probado en diferentes circuitos, con distancias diferentes y es bastante proporcional el error, de 80 mts cada 10 km aproximadamente. Alguien le pasó algo similar? tendrás algún consejo para darme como para probar? Lo demás del teléfono es excelente, muy cómodo, práctico, yo lo uso con iphone, y se adapta bastante bien, pero la gente de Garmin realmente me decepcionó de como se sacó el lazo del cuello. Gracias

    1. Garmin doesn't do a good job of explaining how the altimeter works... There's no problem, it's just how the technology works. The altitude is measured by the barometer data, so if there are changes in air pressure then the altitude measurement will vary. The watch doesn't know if that pressure change is due to a change in the weather or a change in altitude.

      1. And there would be some solution? I don't know if I explained myself well, but the error is repeated, every 10 km, a difference of 80 mts, I have run in very different places from each other, in different times of the year and always the error is the same. Thanks anyway!

  58. Hi Eduardo, what clock would suit me for all kinds of activities in the gym, however in fear of giving a blow, even if I have to wear a band. Could you synchronize the data of the band with the clock later? Does the Vivo3 do this?

  59. Suelo hacer series en el reloj con entrenamiento grabado en la app y copiado al reloj actualmente tengo un Suunto ámbito 3 Run. El Vivoactive3 hace esto? Es por comprarme este ya que he leído que el FR 235 lo van a cambiar ya

    1. If you like to structure your workouts from the application and then follow them with the clock then Vivoactive 3 can be a bit short. Although it allows it, the options of both FR235 and Fenix 5 are superior in that respect. And if the Fenix 5 seems too big for you, you can also consider the option of the Fenix 5S. By the way, do not forget that if you buy through the links on the page you will be supporting my work ;).

  60. The Vivoactive can be recorded with the app training and then do them with the clock or downloading an application ... Is that the Fenix 5 I see that what I do not take full advantage of it I'm not very hesitant. If you do not worry I will buy through your links thank you very much for your advice

    1. I copy and paste what I put in the article about it:

      The Vivoactive 3 also has a shortened time frame than virtually any other model in the Forerunner range. There is no warning or countdown when you are about to reach a new part of the range, nor is there any specific screen with data from it, so there is no way of knowing if you are in the selected range.

      In short, this is what allows and does not allow the function:

    2. You can design your workout in detail, including specific notes that will be displayed on an additional screen while you are performing the interval (e.g. reminding you what to do)
    3. You can review all the steps before training
    4. The clock will go through the different parts of the training automatically, creating independent laps for each part of it
    5. You have NO target warning, so if you are performing an interval in a certain HR range or at a target pace, the watch does not warn you if you go above or below that range
    6. It does NOT warn you when you are about to reach a new part of the interval. In other Forerunner models you do have a countdown when, for example, there are 5 seconds left to start the interval
    7. You can NOT know how much is left to finish a certain interval, either distance or time (for example, 300m to finish the interval)
    8. There is NO advanced swimming training as the specific triathlon watches have
    9. Both Fenix 5 and FR235 do have the complete training, it is already a question of assessing whether what the Vivoactive 3 offers in this respect is sufficient.

  61. Hola. Muchas gracias por la revisión, esta buenísima. Te cuento, comencé a correr hace cinco meses y me hice con un un amazfit bip, el que siento que se me ha hecho corto. Estoy viendo garmin forerunner 235, vivoactive 3 music, y polar vantage M. Estoy preparando media maraton y me dan tareas de intervalos. Pero siempre entreno con musica. Me interesa tener registro de altimetría. Pretendo hacer trail running en un futuro no muy lejano y ciclismo. Por favor AYUDA, estoy demasiado confundida con tantas cosas y tantos modelos.
    (The value of these 3 is similar, so I don't have a problem with the price)

    1. For trail running, none of the three are really adapted, they are more like clocks for running on asphalt. If you always run with music then the balance tipped towards the Vivoactive 3 Music is quite clear.

  62. Hello, I just acquired a garmin vivoactive3.
    I use it for running and I can't find the altitude function.
    Could you point me in the direction of her?
    Thank you!

  63. Hello, my question is whether in the data screens of the Vivoactive 3 you can set the current altitude, the accumulated positive altitude difference and the difference in altitude in %, thinking mainly about cycling.
    That and knowing if you have the Live Track feature for the family. Thank you.

  64. Hi, I have the vivoactive hr that I liked reading your analysis and I am very happy with it, but I would like to renew it, I do swimming, running, and I go to the gym where I do weight training. and I am between the vivoactive 3 or fitbit versa, there is a lot of difference? or if there is another one similar to these prices. Thank you

    1. For comfort I think you will be comfortable if you continue to ride Garmin. On the Versa, keep in mind that it has no GPS, so for race training you will need to carry your watch with you. I think both for GPS and for comfort in continuing on the same platform the Vivoactive 3 is a better choice. And it's on sale right now

  65. Hi, Eduardo,
    Thank you for your great work and help.
    Finally and after much thought, I have just ordered the Vivoactive 3 (gun metal) through the link on your page at Amazon Italy, there is a significant difference with the price in Spain. I hope everything goes well and once at home I can send you my feelings.
    Soy un runner aficionado que disfruta del mero hecho de salir a correr 3-4 veces por semana tiradas de unos 10-12 km por asfalto/parque. Nada profesional, ni con expectativas a ir mucho más allá que las 1/2 maratones que he ido haciendo en estos últimos años, pero sin objetivos de tiempos ni mucho menos.
    I just pretend to enjoy and have a record of how I'm doing with the addition of a watch that I can use for day to day.
    I was given a Fitbit Charge 2 some time ago and the truth is that it's a little short.
    I'm confident I made the right decision. I'll let you know my first impressions.
    That said, thank you for your effort.

  66. Hi, Eduardo! First I want to thank you for your work analyzing the active3 live clock.
    I have been given a 3 music vivoactive watch but I can link it to my BQ Aquaris X mobile phone.
    with my Jabra step wireless headset, I have to say that I have not entered songs yet but when I try to link to the
    I don't recognize it in my earpiece.

    Thank you

    1. Pairing with your phone should be done through Garmin Connect, not your phone settings. As for the headset, make sure you put it in pairing mode.

  67. Well, as I told you, after 10 days of use, there go my first impressions.
    I'm delighted. As I told you before, I'm an amateur runner and the watch more than meets my needs.
    The order arrived perfectly from Amazon Italy ( thanks Eduardo for saving me a dog, I will use it on beer).
    The GPS connects in seconds and compared to other applications the differences are minimal in terms of distance and pace. For me, more than enough. I will not win any race.
    What I like best is that I can use it every day and not be changing "jalopy" according to my activity.
    The battery behaves just as Eduardo describes. With the lighting at 20% and runs of about an hour, it lasts me 3-4 days depending on how I've behaved. Being new, I touch it often. I think it's correct, I charge it every 4-5 days so I'm satisfied.
    The recharge is very fast so in a short time you have it ready again.
    I still have a lot to learn, but first impressions are very positive.
    One more thing, my cell phone is n Huawei P9, and despite what you read out there, I haven't had any problems with synchronisation.

  68. Hi, I practice CrossFit and Running (occasionally), I would like to change my A300 fleece which is short but I am undecided between the Vantage M and the Vivoactive 3... which one would you recommend according to my need?

    Thank you!

    1. The choice already depends on which functions you are looking for, with Polar being more of a race and triathlon oriented watch while Garmin is more of a "multi-purpose" watch but without a specific focus on any one sport.

      1. Hi Eduardo, thank you very much for your answer! I take this opportunity to ask you if the Polar chest sensors are compatible with the vivoactive 3? I have an H7.

  69. Hi Eduardo, thank you very much for your answer! I take this opportunity to ask you if the Polar chest sensors are compatible with the vivoactive 3? I have an H7.

  70. I practice running regularly but often on tape in the gym. Would vivoactive 3 measure the data on tape? Thank you.

    1. Yes, through the internal accelerator of the clock, with a slightly higher margin of error than the GPS (around 10%)

  71. Hello! Thank you very much for your comment.
    I'm looking for a watch that has a wristwatch, GPS and music and that measures a little bit of my daily activity. I use it for hiking and swimming in the pool. The garmin vivoactive 3 music has seemed to me to be adaptable to my needs but I don't know how the pool will work especially when I mark the pulses.
    Would you recommend this watch or a similar one?
    Thank you very much.

    1. I have also been looking at watches like the xiaomi amazfit stratos, the polar M600 or the fitbit ionic, although the latter doesn't measure pulses in the pool so I wouldn't be interested

  72. Good afternoon. Greetings from Venezuela. I wanted to ask you if the vivoactive 3 without being a watch designed for hiking or mountain training could be a valid option since among its sensors are the barometer altimeter and compass. I would also like to know if it is possible to use maps in this model? Thank you very much and your excellent analysis is always appreciated. Greetings

  73. Good morning, Eduardo. What a story!
    See if you can answer one question for me:
    Has the device improved with the successive updates after your analysis? In what aspects? I shuffle this as a possible purchase for my athletic training.

    Thank you for these thorough analyses. Great job!

  74. Hi Eduardo! This summer I bought a vivoactive 3 through your page at Amazon Italy and I linked it to my Huawei Honor so far everything is perfect, the problem comes when I change the mobile for a Huawei Mate 20 lite, everything works but receiving the notifications from the mobile, WhatsApp, emails, etc, to the clock, I contacted Garmin and Huawei and it seems that they are not compatible, Huawei advises me to try on OS Wear but it does not detect the vivoactive 3. What can I do? Thank you!

    1. The problem is Huawei's. Every time they release a new update they break some of the sync and it results in a lot of sync errors. The Garmin forums are full of these errors. I don't know why they told you about Wear OS, because they have nothing to do with...

  75. Good afternoon!

    Thank you very much for your analysis. I come from an m400 fleece that has been my only sports watch to date.

    I am an asphalt runner and usually train 4 days a week running (long runs, short runs, series...) and sometimes I play some gym, swimming in the pool and cycling, all at an amateur level but I like to control the data a lot. I hesitate between buying the Vivoactive 3 or a higher range one like FENIX 3/5 because of the theme of routes or mountain training (which I could do more sporadically).

    What do you recommend? How is the Vivoactive 3 in terms of GPS accuracy? I've seen that the Fenix tend to score more meters than normal (in certified races). Are the Fenix worth that much considering the price difference?

    Greetings and thank you!

    1. The Vivoactive 3 may be a bit short if you do guided training or if you want to have more screen settings. For asphalt the FR645 will be a better choice. Anyway, take a look at the shopping guideit will solve a lot of questions for you.

  76. Hola, llevo 3 meses con el vivoactive 3 , y me gustaría preguntarte, el conteo de pisos es aproximado no?, porque yo he observado que de dos me cuenta uno, y de uno a veces ninguno. También he observado que el conteo de pasos es exagerado. No encuentro el modo sueño, supongo que no lo tiene, y aunque lo mide, se basa en la inactividad así que como estés leyendo de noche ya te dice que estás durmiendo. El GPS también me tarda un ratito en activarse, mas del que quisiera…. Estoy en lo correcto?, es mi primer smartwatch y creo que me esperaba más exactitud.

    1. You're right about everything, that's what it is and it can hardly be improved in any way other than by manual activation (or counting)...

  77. Hi Eduardo, I bought the vivoactive 3 music because of its design and features. Although I'm sorry for my ignorance, but I see many activities in the application that don't transfer to the same clock, such as hiking, mountaineering, etc., I practice it a lot and with the walking or trail running activities I mark few data. How could you help me to manage the activities that are not the 15 pre-set ones? A greeting and to the trot!

    1. You can add profiles through Garmin Connect, but the data it gives is exactly the same as any other profile.

  78. Hi, Eduardo:

    After consulting your website, I'm quite convinced that I'll buy the vivoactive 3, the truth is that I was hesitant between the fitbit charge 3 and the vivoactive but the gps was decisive for the choice of the garmin model.
    I'm mainly looking for the monitoring of daily activity: counting the distance traveled, floors climbed, alerts of inactivity and heart rate, the analysis of stress and sleep I guess at first it will be curious and then I will not listen.
    I go to the gym 4 days a week and ride my bike 2, I try to walk as much as possible, (That's my usual physical activity).
    ¿Crees que es un modelo adecuado para mí? Estoy mirando tambien el recien llegado Galaxy Watch active que me parece se ajusta a lo que estoy buscando ¿Tienes pensado analizarlo?

  79. Hola, Eduardo. Este reloj en su versión music lleva varios días bastante más barato de lo habitual… ¿Crees que puede haber novedades en la misma gama próximamente? No creo que la aparición de la gama marq le haya afectado en ese sentido, pues no tienen nada que ver… ¿Quizás un nuevo vivoactive 4? ¿O todo es por el día del padre? Saludos y gracias por tus artículos.

    1. FR245 is due to arrive soon (also with a Music version), but I wouldn't be too sure if it comes with a Vivoactive 4.

  80. Well, first of all I would like to thank you for these good reviews, I would like to ask you which watch you would buy if they are the same price the vivoactive 3 or the suunto spartan trainer or if you would advise me a different one, I will tell you about my use. Going for a run 2 times a week, weight training 3 times a week and cardio at home 3 times a week, I am also interested in monitoring the day to day with data such as steps, calories burned in exercise and at rest, measuring the heart rate throughout the day.
    Do both watches have an inactivity warning?
    Do any of your interval training sessions have a vibration warning when you leave the zone?
    Which Gps works best?
    Which watch best measures the heart rate?
    Which application is better, garmin or suunto?
    Thank you very much for everything. Best regards.

    1. For that use you will probably be happier with Vivoactive 3, although you have no warning when you leave a target area. Suunto has no inactivity warning, and they are still improving the mobile application.

      Read both tests carefully, and be sure to look at the shopping guide.

  81. Hi Eduardo, first of all thank you for the quality of the content you publish. I am 54 years old and I go 3 times a week to spinning and some weekends to the mountains. I want a wristwatch that allows me to control that I do not exceed the maximum FC when I exercise as a priority. I would also like it to be used for my daily use because I do not want to have two watches. That is to say it must be reasonably discreet. The Vivoactive seems to me to fulfill the second one. My doubt reading your article is reliable enough synesthesia in spinning or trekking. Another option I consider is the Polar m430. What would you advise me?

    1. Yes, if you don't need route navigation the Vivoactive 3 is a perfect fit for what you are looking for.

  82. Hi, Eduardo,

    I'm looking for a prescription watch/pulsmeter for daily use.
    I can see that this can be very well adjusted to my needs, but the most important function that it should have for me is the possibility to monitor the heart rate constantly (without making measurements, or without starting an activity), that is, that at any time you can consult the heart rate. Do you know if it has this function?

    Thank you,

    Jon

    1. Yes, the HR widget is available at all times, and abnormal heart rate alerts can be set.

  83. Hola. He leído que el vivoactive 3 tiene muy poca memoria interna para meter aplicaciones y demás. Al leer en este artículo que los 3,5G del VA3 music son compartidos supongo su tiene más memoria que el normal que he leído que tiene 1mb? No es muy poco 1mb hoy en día? O es que ocupan poquísimo dichas apps-widgets…? Gran trabajo por tu parte. Un saludo.

    1. Garmin apps take up very little space so you don't have a space problem in either one, it's not something you have to worry about.

  84. Hello, my experience with this model at the moment I can qualify it as quite satisfactory, I was looking for a sports watch that could incorporate music at a reasonable price and this was really my second option after a really disappointing amazfit stratos (if you are in doubt between the two models the decision would be clear for the garmin)
    The only problem I have had is something strange and I wanted to share it to see if it has happened to someone else or if it is a problem with my unit. The problem is that I don't usually wear the watch every day and I only use it when I practice some activity and my surprise has been that on several occasions when I turn the device on the battery consumption has been the same or even higher than if I had left it on.

    1. Hello.
      I don't use the watch every day either and the same thing has happened to me as it has to you. On a couple of occasions I've found it with a minimal charge or no charge having left the watch off. At first I thought it was me who hadn't turned it off properly, but it wasn't.
      The main drawback (besides having to charge the watch) is the time it takes for the GPS to position itself.

      1. Thank you for your answer, and patience, I just realized that you had answered a similar question a bit above, you have convinced me, I will tell you my experience regarding its use for golf as there is very little information.

  85. Hi! I'm looking for a simple sports watch that has a little bit of everything. But I'm very interested in the race, how's the vivoactive 3 going? You can see the pace you're keeping, average pace... The Forerunners maybe I see them too specific... I'm hesitating between vivoactive 3 or vivoactive hr plus, which would you recommend? Thanks a lot!

    1. For your use, I think the Vivoactive 3 is the one that will adapt best. Of course, you can see instantaneous rhythm and medium rhythm.

  86. Hey, congratulations on this great watch check.
    I'm practically determined to buy it but I'm hesitating between version 3 and music. I don't know if it's worth paying the 60 euro difference. I'm not interested in the music function but as I understand it, the memory of the music version also allows the installation of more programs by expanding the scarce memory of version 3. Please give me your opinion.
    I would like to tell you that my main interest is for golf, swimming pool and running, in this order, I would like to tell you in case you think another model could be better. Thank you.

    1. If you are not interested in music then go for the normal one. The applications take up very little space, with the memory of the 3 you are completely over.

  87. Good morning Pedro Jose. I just bought the VivoActive3, but I don't see a way to create a paddle-type activity that then registers KM runs, etc... what profile do you use to "emulate" it

    Thank you very much.

  88. Hello, I have the Vivoactive3 when I schedule a section of intervals and check in the app does not recognize me the type of return, as is Warmup, run, cooldown as you could see.

    1. This data does not appear after the synchronization, only the laps you have made but not what each one corresponds to.

  89. Hello, if I am interested in the barometer and have the manual laps that although in the two models can, to be tactile and other not as it works and you say that after the last update can not distinguish some laps from others. Choose the garmin Vivoactive 3 or 245 ?. I also see stronger the Vivoactive. A greeting and thanks in advance

    1. If you are a sporadic runner the Vivoactive is enough (check out the blog that 4 is about to come out). 245 is a good choice if you run quite often or compete in races.

  90. Good morning, Eduardo,
    Congratulations on your analysis.
    Llevo varios días viendo opiniones y demás porque tengo un Forerunner 620 que tiene 5 años justos, estoy muy contento pero la batería llevo unos meses que no me dura más de 2,30h. Hago medias maratones, trails y tiradas largas de entreno de sobre las 2h. He empezado hace una año con la bici y llevo varios años mejorando la natación.
    My goal is to do some triathlon in one year as a challenge and then repeat annually but 1/2 as much.
    Aprovechando lo de la batería (no le veo solucción) y viendo que por 200€ puedo tener a tiro el Garmin 735XT y el Vivoactive 3, aunque el Vivo no es especifico de triatlon me llama la atención sus prestaciones.
    El Forerunner 620 lo que le saco de provecho en los datos estadísticos son las distancias semanales/mensuales, los ritmos a los que hago los entrenos, gestionar mis recorridos de entrenos, el poder gestionar equipos (zapatillas), algunos entrenos preestablecidos (algun farleck) y poco más porque no me obsesionan mucho más.
    Which one would you recommend of the two, or maybe another? I wanted to make a need-based purchase because when I bought the 620 most of the features it gives me didn't take advantage of.
    Thank you very much for your attention and excuse me if I sign up to explain what I'm looking for.
    Congratulations

    1. If you have the slightest doubt that you are going to do a triathlon, don't hesitate, the 735XT is the option you should take, even if it is only one. You will have a watch adapted to that sport, and I guarantee that when you try the triathlon you will repeat...

  91. Hola, tienes idea como puedo poner alertas o autolap de 100 metros directo en el reloj? en los entrenamientos aveces hacemos pasadas de 100 metros y no me permite ponerlas. Cuando voy a generar la alerta de distancia aprieto doble cero y no me deja seleccionar el 1 lo pone en gris, puedo poner por ejempl 00.99 pero no 00.10

  92. Hi, I'm hesitating between vivoactive 3 and fr 245, I go for a run about 4 times a week and do some cycling but not much. Right now I have fr 230 and I'm happy but my chest strap broke and I wanted one with the heart rate monitor on my wrist. A greeting and thanks

  93. Hi, Eduardo!
    ¿cómo estás?
    yo ando buscando reloj para hacer deporte, te cuento, yo soy novata, practico running y natación en alberca y aguas abiertas. Tenía un bonito tomtom runner pero 1) ya está descontinuado me parece y 2) siempre me ha parecido un reloj feo para andar con él en todos lados. Estoy muy tentada en cambiarme a garmin y como no soy una deportista tan pro pues creo que la serie vivo active estaría bien para mi, ahora, mi pregunta es: cuál elijo entre el vivo active 3 y el music?, o de plano mejor considero el 4? también debo comentarte que mi presupuesto es limitado.
    te agradezco un montón por este análisis, me ha servido un montón. saludos desde méxico

    1. Al final todo depende de precios… y no sé cómo andan en Mexico ni las diferencias que hay en tarifa.

      Para un uso básico tenlo claro, tanto el Vivoactive 3 como el 4 te van a dar el mismo servicio. Eso sí, entre el 3 Music y el 4 supongo que no habrá mucha diferencia de precio, y el botón extra es un plus a tener en cuenta.