Garmin VivoSmart 3 Review

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Garmin VivoSmart 3 Pros Garmin VivoSmart 3 Cons
Great Hardware So So Phone App
Intuitive UI Not Very Stylish
Water Proof Rep Counting Is Not Perfect

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Well, nothing is guaranteed in life except for a few things like death, taxes, Marvel super hero movies, cliche intros, and smart watches slash fitness trackers. And the majority of these fitness trackers are coming from Garmin. And today, we’ve got the VivoSmart 3 for review. we’re going to find out whats new, is it good, the bad, and if you should shell out the cash for the garmin vivosmart 3. 

The Vivosmart 3 currently comes in 2 color ways, Black or a plum looking purple. it is also very competitively priced at $139.99. which is ten dollars cheaper than the fitbit charge 2 or fitbit alta hr. i’ll have a charge 2 vs vivosmart 3 video up shortly after this video so keep an eye out for that one. if you do decide to pick this garmin up, just make sure you get the right size for you. if you wanna pick the vivosmart 3 up, i’ll have a link in the description below. 

garmin vivosmart 3 review

Ok, so lets get this thing out of the box. Garmin has never really been good on delivering on the unboxing experience like fitbit does and the vivosmart 3 is no exception. inside you’ll find the fitness tracker, a predator style charging cradle, a user manual, and a tab instructing you to download gamin’s connect app to your phone. Now, I’ll get into the app shortly, but for now lets look at the hardware. 

The Garmin Viviosmart 3 is a well put together fitness tracker for its price. its not as premium looking or feeling like lets say the fitbit alta HR. instead the vivosmart 3 is made mostly out of silicon and has a very minimalist design. when the screen is off it basically looks like youre wearing a black wrist band. when you double tap the screen or raise your arm the OLED screen turns on. Honestly, I'm a fan of the OLED screen, its bright and very easy to read in direct sunlight. I also like the resolution you get from this screen. you get slightly more detail than other screens found on other fitness trackers. One problem i do have with the screen though is that it just looks foggy for some reason. i don't know if its because of the silicon layer over the screen or what, but it really takes away from the over all experience. This Fitness Tracker has a 5 day battery life, but if you're a power user you should get around 3 or 4 days. and this fitness tracker connects via bluetooth and has a range of 30 feet. But over all the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is a very compact and light weight fitness tracker. its slightly smaller than the fitbit charge 2, but manages to squeeze in a screen that is able to show you much more information. just keep in mind you cant swap out bands, so you're stuck with what ever you get. which means if you work in an office it'll stick out if you ask me regardless what garmin tells you. 

garmin vivosmart 3 colors

The garmin vivosmart 3 does all the things you'd expect a basic fitness tracker should do these days. it Tracks your steps, distance walked, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, and it tracks your sleep so you can get a better understanding of your sleep quality. And with Move IQ it’ll automatically detect exercises and log them for you in the garmin connect app. This tracker also has a heart rate monitor on the back which is also very low profile. But the garmin vivosmart 3 does have a few other tricks up its sleeve. first up, its water proof so you can swim with it on and it'll track your laps. which not all fitness trackers in this price range or with this feature set can do. IE the Alta HR or Charge 2. Garmin also claims the Vivosmart 3 can track your stress levels and displays it to you on both the tracker and in the garmin connect app.  is it something i really need to know? not really, and seeing my stress level climb above 80 on my vivosmart 3 on a regular basis does nothing more than just stress me out even more. The Vivosmart 3 also has guided breathing sessions like the fitbit charge 2, but again i feel like its another gimmick. it not something i look for in a fitness tracker. One really cool feature i do like on this fitness tracker is the new rep counting capabilities. it not 100% accurate and doesn't work if you're using leg excise machines like the leg press, leg extension, leg curls and so on. But if you're somebody that does a lot of full body circuit training, or crossfit then this feature can be pretty handy. you might have to go into the app and make some corrections but the concept is there. just keep in mind, core exercises and pull ups don't get logged to well either. its more suited towards full body or upper body movements. 

the Garmin Vivosmart 3 also has a few other features baked into it. For starters, you can see the weather, your smart phone notifications, and control your music playback. you also get a stop watch and a timer built in, so if you don't want to take your phone out, you have options. But i think my favorite feature is the find my phone feature. right from your vivosmart 3 you can play a ring tone on your phone so you can find it. 

garmin vivosmart 3 stress level.jpg

although the hardware does have its pros, like I've said in the past when buying a fitness tracker you're not just buying the hardware, you're also buying into the software. And here Garmin connect is to windows and Fitbit’s App is to Apple. where Fitbit’s app is very easy to use and has everything laid out for you in a very elegant manner. Garmin’s connect app can be a little harder to navigate at times but does give you much more in-depth breakdowns of your work outs. especially if you're a runner. Garmin’s app will show you your stats like distance walked, your sleep quality, weight loss progress, and it'll quantify your heart rate readings and stress level measurements just to name a few. and like i said if you're a runner the app will map out your run and show you information regarding timing, running dynamics, elevation, temperature, pace, cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time. Just a heads up for anyone considering giving the vivosmart 3 to an older, non techsavy relative, be ready to constantly walk them through this app, cause I'm still trying to figure it out. i just personally think the user interface has some room for improvement and i would like to see a better summery page that shows you your daily stats like fitbit does. 

So would i recommend the Garmin Vivosmart 3? If you need something water proof cause you swim a lot and you want something with a heart rate monitor built in. or if you're already used to using garmin fitness trackers and you haven't upgraded in awhile or if you’re really into running. Then yeah this one is for you. Just keep in mind, theres no built in GPS on the Vivosmart 3. they're probably saving that for the Plus model later. if you're looking into your first wearable and you're just getting into fitness or if you want something really simple to use i would recommend you look into Fitbit’s Offerings like the charge 2 or fitbit alta hr, I’ll have links to their reviews posted below.