Garmin Vivofit 3 Review – Best Fitness Activity Smartwatch Tracker?

Garmin Vivofit 3 Review

The Vivofit 3 is a fitness tracker created by GPS company Garmin. The fitness tracker was announced at the beginning of 2016 and just recently launched. Here’s our review.


What is the Garmin Vivofit 3?

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is a fitness tracker priced at around $100. The fitness tracker shows steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes, and time of day on a wrist-mounted backlit display. When you wear it at night, it can also monitor your sleep.

Garmin wants you to wear the Vivofit 3 when you’re walking, running, biking, swimming, using an elliptical, and performing all other types of movements. Best of all, the Vivofit 3 promises that you won’t need to tell your tracker that you’re performing a new activity: it will automatically recognize your new activity on-the-fly. So when you stop running and start walking, the Vivofit 3 will recognize that.

All data is synced to the Garmin Connect mobile app, letting you view more detailed information about your activity and movement for the day.

Let’s take a look at some of the key features on the Garmin Vivofit 3.

Garmin Vivofit 3 Features

-1 year battery life

-Shows steps, calories, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and time of day

-Monitors sleep

-Auto-activity detection classifies activity type on Garmin Connect

-Reminds you to stay active with move bar and audible alert

-Automatically syncs to Garmin Connect app on your mobile device so you can track, plan, and share progress

-0.39” x 0.39” display with 64×64 resolution

The tracker is designed to be worn 24/7. It monitors your activity whether you’re moving, sleeping, or watching TV. It’s also water-resistant so you can wear it in the pool or the shower.

If you stop moving for too long, the Garmin Vivofit 3 will start to display a red “move” bar on the display. After 1 hour of inactivity, the tracker will emit a gentle alert sound. The move bar will build every 15 minutes until you reset it by walking for a couple minutes.

Your Garmin Vivofit 3 will automatically sync to Garmin Connect throughout the day. This free app displays information on your fitness achievements from yesterday – including how you can beat those achievements tomorrow. The app also delivers healthy tips from experts – so it’s kind of like a virtual coach and fitness tracker rolled into one.

It’s important to note that the Vivofit 3 itself does not come with a heart rate monitor. However, you can purchase an additional heart rate monitoring chest strap for detailed heart rate information.


Garmin-Vivofit-3-reviewOne of the most striking things about the Garmin Vivofit 3 is its wide variety of styles and wearable options. You can choose from accessory bands in a variety of color schemes, letting you coordinate your Garmin Vivofit 3 to your wardrobe. In addition to choosing the color, you can choose the physical design of your band – including checkered patterns, line patterns, interweaving ropes, and much more.

You can swap out your Garmin Vivofit 3 into any of these bands whenever you like. Pop it out and pop it back in to suit whatever outfit you’re wearing today.

If you want to get even more fashionable, then you can purchase one of the Jonathan Adler-designed Vivofit 3 bracelets, which include unique shapes, patterns, and designs.

As Garmin explains,

“Now there’s a band for every occasion, so you can look your best while continuing to beat yesterday.”

Garmin Vivofit 3 Pricing

Garmin Vivofit 3 is priced at $99.99 for the regular and extra-large black and white versions.

The Camo version is priced at $109.99 and the “Gabrielle Style Collection” is priced at $119.99.

Accessories include a carrying case ($20), belt clip ($25), the Soft Strap Premium Heart Rate Monitor ($70), USB ANT Stick ($50), and extra bands ($30 to $40).

What Do Customers Have to Say About the Garmin Vivofit 3?

The Garmin Vivofit 3 has received average reviews since launching on, where it currently has an average rating of 3.3 stars out of 5 (although there are just 37 customer reviews). Some of the pros and cons we got from the reviews include:

-Accurate fitness tracking when transitioning between activities, including biking, running, and swimming

-Easy setup through the Garmin Connect app

-Bands for a regular-sized wrist were “far too large”, with one customer stating that he had to take a pair of scissors to the band to make it fit more comfortably (the wrist is designed to fit a circumference of 5.4” to 7.7”)

-Comfortable wrist-strap that can easily be worn as long as you like

-Some people may not like wearing a chunky piece of plastic around their wrists 24/7, as the Vivofit 3 is quite large and many of the designs are vibrant and immediately noticeable on your wrist

-Flexible warranty

Ultimately, the Vivofit 3 received good – but not great – reviews across most of the internet. Most of the complaints appear to revolve around the aesthetics and physical appearance of the watch instead of its actual technical features.

About Garmin

Garmin is best-known for its GPS navigation systems, but it also makes a wide variety of tech accessories and fitness trackers.

The company’s About page describes its mission as “creating superior products for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports that are an essential part of our customers’ lives.”

Garmin maintains its US headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas (which is also where it was founded) but is now based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Should You Use the Garmin Vivofit 3 as Your Next Fitness Tracker?

The Vivofit 3 is a well-reviewed fitness tracker priced at a reasonable rate of $100. It never needs to be charged and is designed to be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t have to touch the device to record new activities: it automatically detects new activities for you. So you can seamlessly transition from running to biking to swimming without ever needing to adjust it.

At a price of $100, Vivofit 3 is easily the best fitness tracker in its category. The few complaints about the device – like a strap that’s slightly too big or designs that you may not like to wear – are unlikely to have a major effect on most users. If you’re looking for a convenient fitness tracker that keeps up with all your activities (and inactivities), then the Vivofit 3 may be the right choice for you.



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