Garmin Vivosmart 3, the Garmin activity bracelet is renewed offering new possibilities


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The complete analysis is already finished, so if you are interested in knowing all the details of the Garmin Vivosmart , I recommend you to read the complete review by clicking here.

Today Garmin presents the renovation for the Vivosmart range, with the name Vivosmart 3, succeeding the Vivosmart HR in the range of activity monitors with optical pulse sensor. And I make this point because it does not have a GPS receiver, so it is not called to replace the Vivosmart HR+ who does have that option.

In short, the new Vivosmart 3 comes as a renewal of the range focused on fighting with other bracelets of similar performance and price, as the Fitbit Charge 2 or the Polar A360But let's see what's new in this new Garmin proposal.

What's new at Vivosmart 3

There are several new features that the new Vivosmart 3 compared to the model it replaces, Vivosmart HR. Of course what stands out at first glance is the change in design, not only by different forms but mainly by its size. It is much smaller, with a width of 18.5 mm (21mm had the model that replaces), and especially in thickness, which goes from 12.3 mm of the old model to 9.8 mm. This difference in thickness is due mainly to the adoption of the new optical pulse sensor that we have already seen in the Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935.

Garmin Vivosmart 3 - Optical Sensor

Thanks to this new optical sensor, the recording of heart rate is much more constant. Now the sensor is always on and recording data, when before it did so variably and depending on the movements. As a sample you only have to look at these two examples, first a day recorded with the Garmin Vivosmart HR and secondly with the Garmin Fenix 5.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - All-day pulse monitoring

Garmin Fenix 5 - Heart rate 24/7

You can see a little difference, can't you?

Measuring more consistently brings with it new possibilities in terms of metrics and algorithms. For example, Vivosmart 3 will now display your stress level throughout the day, offering a value between 1 and 100 determining whether your stress is low, medium or high.

Garmin Vivosmart 3


This recording is done, in theory, through pulse variability, and I say in theory because until now optical sensors were not able to detect pulse variability, at least during activity. It is possible that Garmin is recording it roughly on a day-to-day basis (which is less demanding than during activity).

Similarly, there is VO2Max estimation, something we've seen on virtually the entire range of Garmin devices, and now it's coming to the activity wristbands as well. And just like with watches, the VO2Max value is recorded at the time we're training or walking, not during day-to-day activity. You can then track it through Garmin Connect, in its reporting section.

VO2Max Garmin Connect

It is therefore a novelty in quotes. It is not new to Garmin, but it is new to this product range.

But there are more new features that you see for the first time in a product of the brand. There is a new function that guides you in breathing exercises. This guide will ask you to inhale and exhale air in four second periods to help you relax. By default the period of breathing exercises is 2 minutes, although it is possible to vary the duration.

In the exercise section, in addition to monitoring the classic functions of this type of device (walking, running, heart rate recording, etc.) there is a new sport profile for strength training. In this mode, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 will count the reps of strength training exercises that you perform, provided that the wrist is involved. Therefore it will count bench press reps, but not abductor exercises. And the counting of reps includes identifying the type of exercise performed.

Garmin Vivosmart 3 - Repetitions

And as for the clock part, there are new dial designs and a stopwatch with a countdown timer. And where there is a major change is in the display, which is now backlit. This offers greater visibility to all data, but on the other hand it is no longer always on and will now only show data when you turn your wrist or when you double-tap the screen.

Therefore, and to quickly summarize what all the news are, you can see them below.

  • New optical sensor, the same one present in Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Monitoring of stress throughout the day.
  • VO2Max calculation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Strength training mode
  • New designs for the sphere
  • Stopwatch and countdown.
  • Backlit display but not always on.

Buy Garmin Vivosmart 3, availability and price

The Garmin Vivosmart 3 bracelet will be available soon. There are two colors available: black and purple. Although the color purple is reserved exclusively for the small/medium size. The color black is available in both sizes.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

As for its price, it will be $140 in the United States, but Garmin has not yet decided how it will translate into its arrival in Europe.


It is already available for purchase in Spain. Do you want to help the site? Then buy your Vivosmart 3 through the Amazon links that I provide. Not only will you have the best price with an unmatched level of service, but you will be helping the site with a small commission.


My opinion

Since Garmin has a new Garmin Elevate sensor with improved performance, especially in measuring the pulse throughout the day, it makes sense for the manufacturer to update their devices with this new optical sensor. And it makes sense to start with the activity bracelet, which will benefit you the most.

As for the rest of the news, on paper they promise quite a lot, but I don't want to pronounce on them until I test the device, so stay tuned, because as soon as the Vivosmart 3 is available in our country it will be on my wrist so I can have the test as soon as possible.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Do you have any idea if they will soon update (to provide it with the same features) the Vivoactive?
    Thank you very much.

    1. These new metrics depend mainly on the new optical sensor. They are in the Fenix 5 and 935, but not in previous models.

      1. I'm sorry if I expressed myself badly, what I wanted to ask is if you think Garmin will release a new model of the vivoactive soon, incorporating the new sensor.
        Thank you very much.

        1. With Garmin you never know... but the Vivoactive HR still works quite well on a sales level. I think we won't see any renewal until the end of the year.

  2. Hi, I'm looking forward to buying a heart rate monitor/GPS that is not too bulky... and this one would be almost perfect if it had GPS. Do you think Garmin is going to launch this model with GPS soon?

    Thank you.

    1. The Vivosmart HR+ was not really very successful. I don't think Garmin will repeat the recipe this time.

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