Pick Them Up Here
|Fitbit Charge 2 Pros||Garmin VivoSmart 3 Pros|
|Premium Design||More Comfortable To Wear|
|Amazing App||Water Proof|
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A new wearable gets released every few weeks from different companies. And the newest fitness tracker to get released as of now is the Garmin Vivosmart 3. But who knows, in about a few weeks there might be a brand new wearable to review. But until then, I thought it would be a good idea to put the brand new Garmin Vivosmart 3 up against the now 6 month old Fitbit Charge 2. So which should you get? Lets find out.
Price wise, both of these fitness trackers are competitively priced. The Fitbit Charge 2 comes in 6 color ways, and currently retails for $148.95 or $179.95 depending on the color. Amazon also randomly puts the Fitbit Charge 2 on sale from time to time. The Garmin VivoSmart 3 on the other hand currently only comes in 2 color ways, black or purple. Im not sure if more color ways will be released in the future. But both color ways retail for $139.99. I’ll have links in the description if you want to pick either of these up.
When it comes to the design these fitness trackers are pretty different. The fitbit Charge 2 is slightly more premium with its stainless steel housing, removable wristbands, and a side button that has a very satisfying click to it. Where as the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is mostly made out of silicon, and when the screen is off it just looks like a black live strong bracelet. Fitbit gives you the option to mix and match your wearable with your outfit if you'd like with swappable wristbands, where as with garmin what you get is what you're stuck with. But when it comes to actually wearing these things i have to say the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is more comfortable. Its slightly lighter and a bit slimmer and some times i forget I'm even wearing the thing compared to the Fitbit Charge 2. The wrist band on the vivosmart 3 is also slightly more flexible and stretchy than the charge 2’s which allows it to conform a little better to your wrist. its just a small observation of mine.
When it comes to features both fitness trackers have a built in heart monitor and can track your heart rate all day, they both have an OLED screen thats easy to read in most environments, they both connect via bluetooth and have a 30 foot range, they're both rechargeable with a battery life of around 5 days depending on how active you are, they both track your steps taken, distance walked, flights climbed, calories burned, they can both automatically start tracking your workouts, they track your sleep quality, and they both can show you basic phone notifications. But these trackers do have some big differences between them.
For Starters the garmin VivoSmart 3 is water proof while the fitbit charge 2 is not. If youre a swimmer and you're looking for something to track your stats and count your laps while you swim then the Garmin is for you. The Vivosmart 3 can also track your stress levels. But like i said in my initial review, tracking my stress levels and having guided breathing sessions on my fitness trackers isn't a must have feature. I honestly feel like its just a gimmick. One cool feature the Garmin Vivosmart 3 has that i wish the fitbit charge 2 did as well is rep counting capabilities. Again like i said in my initial review, its not 100% accurate and is really suited towards full body or upper body exercises but its still cool to have. and probably with future firmware updates garmin will improve it. Also, keep in mind neither of these fitness trackers has a built in GPS, so if you're a runner you’re still going to need to bring your phone along.
When it comes to accuracy, these fitness trackers performed relatively the same. first you have to understand the accuracy and precision of a wrist mounted heart rate monitor is not as good as a chest strap or any medical grade equipment for that matter. So their readings will be off from time to time. For the most part, the heart rate reading at rest were between 2 or 3 beats of one another. When actually working out i found the heart rate difference between the two was as high as 10 beats beats per minute at times. And I did find the garmin was consistently reporting a similar Heart Rate reading to the heart rate monitor found on the treadmill i did my morning cardio on. But there were times where the garmin couldn't pick up a heart rate at all or was completely wrong while the fitbit was spot on. and vice versa. If you want to get the best heart rate reading from a fitness tracker you have to play around with how tight you wear it. I found the garmin likes a tighter fit, while the fitbit preformed better with a looser fit.
Although the screen on these trackers are similar in size, the way you interact with them and the way they are used is pretty different. Fitbit opted in to use a screen that isn't a touch screen, but instead reacts to the force from tapping. its a good solution so you can still use the screen even when its drenched in sweat. but it can be a little annoying when the screen dosnt pick up the taps so you sometimes have to try multiple times. But for the most part you scroll through the different menus and initiate workouts through a series of taps, and button presses. Garmin on the other hand uses a more conventional touch screen that you navigate through via a series of taps, swipes, and long presses. Its also fairly accurate when its wet as well, but still has a few missteps. its not perfect. But Garmin does take better advantage of the screen real estate. But like i also said in my initial review, the screen on the garmin vivosmart 3 can look a little cloudy at times, which is pretty annoying. I just feel like it lowers the over all quality.
And just as you'd expect, both of these fitness trackers have their own phone application. And like i said in the Garmin Vivosmart 3 review, Garmin's connect app is to windows and Fitbit’s App is to Apple. Both apps will display the information thats collected by their respective trackers and gives you a better understanding of your physical activity. They both also have social aspects to them and have medals and challenges to win to help keep you motived. They try to make fitness into game. But Fitbit’s app manages to show you your information in a much more elegant manner and its much easier to navigate. Garmin’s app on the other hand manages to go a little more in-depth, but the app isn't as well laid out and the UI has some room for improvement. For those thinking about giving the vivosmart 3 as a gift to an older, non tech savvy relative just be ready to constantly walk them through the app. Cause I'm still trying to figure it out. If you’re looking for something thats dead simple and looks nice, Fitbit’s app is the way to go.
So which would I pick? Although I really like the Garmin’s slimmer and lighter design, its more flexible wrist band which helps with comfort, its water proof design, and its touch screen user interface… its foggy screen and the dated Garmin Connect app design make me lean towards the Fitbit charge 2. Im a fan of the hardware for sure, but they need to update the Garmin Connect App. And maybe they will, but i do like the garmin connect app because it lets me input way more stats about my workout and does go deeper into the break down. But in general, i would still recommend the Fitbit Charge 2. Its simple to use and its app shows you more than enough information. And fitbit is constantly improving it. But if fitbit is working on a Charge 3 I would like to see it be water proof, have a slimmer design, a more flexible wristband, and maybe a larger screen with smaller bezels.