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If you’re tired of square smartwatches and want something that offers excellent fitness tracking, take a look at the Garmin Vivoactive 3.
The watch offers a simple yet attractive round face. Although it is minimalistic, it’s still quite large with a diameter of 1.75 inches. It’s also a bit on the bulky size at 0.5 inches thick and a weight of 43 grams. While this isn’t heavy enough to be a bother, the original Vivoactive weighed 7 grams less than the Vivoactive 3.
But with that extra weight comes an optical heart rate monitor. While not everyone will want to know their heart rate 24/7, for those who do, the extra weight might be worth the benefits. You can see your resting and active heart rate throughout the day, which can help you improve the effectiveness of your workouts.
A heart rate monitor isn’t a new feature for smartwatches. But, when experts compared it to others, it proved to be one of the most accurate on the market.
Besides the heart rate monitor, there’s also a built-in GPS. It’s also water-resistant up to 160 feet, so you don’t need to take it off when showering or a enjoying a dip in the pool.
While the watch sports some impressive features, the 1.2-inch, 240-by-240 pixel screen wasn’t a strong point in many reviews. It’s not the sharpest or most vibrant. But, it has decent overall brightness -- so you can use the tracker while jogging, hiking, or enjoying the outdoors.
With a screen this small, navigation also gets tricky. To make it easier, Garmin has introduced “side swipe” using a gesture sensor along the side of the watch. For the most part, it worked well. However, critics noticed it was easy to accidentally swipe screens. Luckily, it has the option to change to standard left swipes for navigation if you don’t like the side swipe feature.
Although Garmin has focused much of its attention on the fitness side of things, the Vivoactive 3 is also a smartwatch. Once paired with an Android phone, it mirrors all of your notifications. Sadly, there’s no way to toggle specific app notifications from the watch.
The biggest addition is the inclusion of Garmin Pay. This allows you to enter your card details for one-touch payment and works anywhere that accepts contactless payment.
You’d think with its various features the Vivoactive would require daily charging but that’s not the case. Reviewers could get around 5-6 days with GPS turned on only during runs. While good, it’s still below Garmin’s estimated 7 days. Once you kill the batteries, a half hour on the charger will get you back to full.
Overall, reviewers highly recommend the Vivoactive 3 for people who want a great fitness tracker with some smartwatch capabilities. PC Magazine states, “The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has just about every feature you'd want and expect from a fitness tracker… it's still one of the best fitness products we've tested.” Digital Trends adds, “The Vivoactive 3 is a powerful, small, mid range GPS multisport watch.”
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