The first try into the fitness tracker world from Garmin was the original Vivofit and even if it was a good intent, it wasn’t good enough to compete with the big players on the market.
The company then release the second and upgraded version the Vivofit 2 and addressed some of the main problems that the first version had while maintaining the same design.
The Vivofit 3 is the latest upgrade from the series and comes with extra improvements that his predecessors and it also looks different than the previous models. But are those improvements good enough? Is the Vivofit 3 able to compete with the big brands on the market? Read down below an find out all about it!
Garmin Vivofit 3: Design
Comparing with the first and second versions of the Vivofit models the 3rd one has two big differences. The first one is the screen, that has shrunk considerably compared with the original model and the micro updated Vivofit 2. The 64 x 63 screen resolution is close to half the size compared with the high-end Garmin models such as the Vivosmart HR+. In our opinion, the smaller screen is not the best to have but seems like the decision to go smaller is linked to the second big change in the design.
Garmin put always first functions rather than the design on every one of their trackers. But the market got wider and if you try to compete with watches like the Fitbit Alta o Flex, or the Misfit Ray or even Jawbone you need to step up to the challenge, and that’s what Garmin is trying to achieve with this small wristband.
Featuring a wide range of different bands that allow you to pop out the sensor module and drop it into another totally different case and get a practically new watch. You can get packs of 2 for really affordable prices like $30.The bands are light and comfortable to use all day and night! you can get in regular and extra large sizes so in most cases you are going to be fine with the fit. You also have a clasp mechanism that will help you adjust the tracker perfectly into your wrist. There’s also a twisting buckle to clip the clasp into place
A good news that comes along with the Vivofit 3 is that you can swim with it! is waterproof up to 5 Atm (50 meters) so you can also dive with it and shower, so you can get it on 24/7 with no problem and track your health and fitness levels all day long.
Below the screen, you will find a single physical button that will help you navigate through the different menus and screens, including a watch face and calendar date. If you maintain the button press you will have a dim backlight.
Garmin Vivofit 3: Fitness and Activity Tracking
The Vivofit 3 is a tracker that is simple and affordable and as you can expect when it comes to tracking features is simple as well.
Although you will have your basic tracking needs cover, you will have an accelerometer-based pedometer, the tracker can also count and measure steps, distance, calories and automatically track sleep.
The built-in accelerometer is also able to track treadmill running although accuracy can be hit and miss.
On the downside, you will not have a GPS or an altimeter to measure elevation or an optical heart rate sensor on board, although you can always pair the tracker with a heart rate monitor chest strap and get heart statistics that way.
A cool feature that comes along is exercise recognition. By just maintaining the button press the tracker will start to record exercises and activities, logged as separate entries in the companion app, as well as adding to your daily steps count.
It also records intensity minutes to give you a more accurate time tracking of the time that you spend during the exercise. Another cool thing is that the tracker has support to use the Garmin Move IQ software, that will allow you to get automatic track of different sports and activities such as running, cycling and swimming and record them in the Garmin Connect companion app.
Garmin Vivofit 3: App
Just like all the Garmin devices, you will be able to use the Garmin Connect app that has a big variety of apps to choose from with depth analysis. Is good to have all these options to choose from but it that can get a bit overwhelming at least as a first time user. There are so many tabs, drop-down menus and different sections that you can get lost quickly.
On the Snapshots section, you will get a quick overview of metrics such as steps and sleep, you can also connect the app with MyFitnessPal and get accurate data from your calorie count. If you keep swiping you can get more in-depth data for each section.
Then you will have a lot of different sections that you’ll probably never end up using just like the Garmin Connect IQ store that’s only built for Garmin’s sports watches and smartwatches, not for a simpler tracker like the Vivofit 3
From the App, you can adjust some basic device settings like turning off the Move alert tones or pick a new watch face, although the split screen mode is pretty unnecessary on this type of screen since they are not wide enough to get all the information.
Last but not least you will also have access to the Garmin Insights. That is the way that Garmin points out that it’s not enough to just record your data, now it’s time to put it into context. You will get messages on how to perform better depending on your personal data, so in case you want to get fitter, or reduce some weight the tracker will inform you when is a good time to push your goals a little bit further and how to improve.
Garmin Vivofit 3: Battery Life
This is the best part from the whole tracker there close to none tracker that can perform the same as the Vivofit 3 when it comes to battery life, you will have a year-long of juice without the need of a charge!
With a powerful CR1632 coin cell battery that is common to be placed in analog watches, so you will not have a proprietary charging cable to carry around, and even more importantly you will not need to worry about charging the tracker every couple of days.
To replace the battery you can do it yourself as long as you have the right tiny crosshead screwdriver at home. The price of the new battery is $2 and you can even get cheaper options on Amazon. We tested out urself and the battery was really easy to get out and replace so you probably dot have a problem doing it yourself.
The battery compartment is isolated from the other parts of the watch, so you will never have any problems or risk to touch an important part of the tracker whenever you want to change the battery your self
The Garmin Vivofit 3 comes with some amazing features such as the long-lasting Battery Life that will get you a year-long of juice. You will also have an always-on screen that’s very clear in daylight and outwards so you will have a good at a glance check of your stats and trust us this is a big deal.
And the third good point is the cheap price that you will not have with other trackers on the market that can perform all the fitness tracker metrics that the Vivofit 3 can and don’t forget that is waterproof up to 50 meters so is a pretty good deal after all.
On the downside, the tracker is not the most pretty from the bunch and is not able to get phone notifications on your wrist.
Garmin Vivofit 3
The Garmin Vivofit 3 is slim, very comfortable to wear and is really cheap.
With a solid fitness tracking capability that can track your basic needs. The downside is the small screen that makes stats not so easy to read.