Garmin Vivofit 3 Review

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Today’s market is flooded with a wide variety of fitness tracking watches to help you stay active, burn calories, and improve your overall wellbeing. While the concept behind every tracker is mostly the same, not all of these high-tech wristbands are made equal.

Garmin vivofit 3, Activity Tracker with 1+ Year Battery Life, Sleep Monitoring...
  • AUTO ACTIVITY DETECTION Capture different activities automatically and view them on Garmin Connect online
  • 1 YEAR BATTERY LIFE No recharging needed. Regular:135 205 millimeter circumference X large:165 225 millimeter...
  • 24/7 WEARABILITY The sleek silicone band is comfortable to wear all day on land or in the water. Battery : One...

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is a lower range tracker that offers a surprising amount of benefits when compared to its competitors. To help you determine whether or not this band might be the best option for you, we’ve picked apart every last detail and put them under a microscope. Here’s everything there is to know about this product.[content-egg module=Amazon template=custom/compact]


garmin vivofit 3 reviewThe Garmin Vivofit 3 is a fitness tracker that offers automatic activity detection via Garmin’s new Move IQ technology. Like its predecessors, this revamped tracker monitors sleep, counts calories, and keeps track of your on-foot exercises. It sets itself apart by collecting data on how intense your workout was as well as differentiating between on-foot activities and something like biking or swimming.

While Garmin has always chosen functionality over a pretty design, this Vivofit is a little sleeker than the previous two models. It still features a gummy band design, which is easily interchangeable with different bands, but this time around Garmin has added a twisting buckle to keep the fit more secure.

Personally, I like the standard band’s non-flashy appearance, especially since it comes in a wide range of colors to choose from. However, Jonathan Adler has a line of designer bands if you’re looking for something more stylish.

Inside of the box, you will find the face of the watch itself inside the color band you have chosen and an instruction manual to help you navigate the one-button functionality. Through this one button you can control every feature that the fitness tracker has to offer.

The Garmin Vivofit 3 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants all of the benefits of today’s fitness trackers without making a dent in their savings account. While it might not have a GPS or heart rate monitor like higher end models do, it’s loaded with an impressive array of features that are cover everything from simple workouts to more intense ones.

If you’re more serious about your workouts, then you may want to consider Garmin’s HR or Swim models. Also, if you want an altimeter, you will have to look elsewhere. Athletes and those training for events will most certainly need a higher performance tracker.

The Vivofit 3 is made for anyone who wants to get a better handle on their exercise routine and improve their overall wellbeing. It’s designed for those with busy schedules who want to make every step count, as well as those who exercise regularly through the week. While higher end models might have a plethora of features, this device cuts to the core of what you want it to do without any distractions.


  • With a battery life of longer than one year, this watch can remain turned on at all times. It does not need to be charged, and the inexpensive batteries are easily replaceable.
  • This model features a waterproof design that allows it to be used when swimming (or left on in the shower). The ATM rating is 5, which means it can be taken up to 50 meters underwater.
  • The screen offers dual display, showing either two fitness statistics or a statistic combined with the time. Doubling as a watch makes this fitness tracker more versatile.
  • An intensity minute tracker takes into account how hard you are working out, which results in a more accurate recording of calories burned.


  • Unfortunately, there is no heart rate monitor on the Garmin Vivofit 3 Tracker. It can be paired with a chest strap heart monitor like previous models, though.
  • There is no altimeter either, which means it cannot accurately track activities like climbing or the added exercise of walking up stairs.
  • The new design features a smaller screen. While it is backlit for better visibility, it is roughly 1/3 the size of the previous model.

Fuss-Free Features

A unique feature of the Garmin Vivofit 3 is that it is entirely automatic. The Move IQ technology automatically detects what exercises or activities you are doing and relays that information back to the app, which it also automatically syncs with.

While similar devices require you to inform them when you are starting a run or heading to bed, the Vivofit 3 gives you one less thing to worry about when tracking your fitness and sleep patterns. Considering the battery lasts over a year, making it charge free, these two aspects combined deliver a virtually hands-free device.

This model also fairs well in the motivation department, which is worth mentioning. After all, what’s the point of owning a fitness tracker if you’re just going to forget it’s on your wrist? Garmin addresses this in two ways: the move alert bar and auto goal features.

The move bar fills up over time, continually growing during periods in which you are inactive until it sends out an audible beep to say, “Hey! It’s time to get up and start moving!” This has come in handy several times when working in my office for long periods.

The auto goal features drive the point home, however. The device automatically creates new daily goals based on your previous day’s steps, starting with the initial number of steps you wanted to reach. This gives you the motivation to outdo yourself each day while pushing you to exercise just a little more each day.

It isn’t always easy to stay motivated after you start a workout routine, at least not for me. Having a device I don’t have to fiddle around with that reminds me when I’m being lazy is a significant benefit in my book.

The Intensity Minutes feature is another upgrade from the previous Vivofit model. It’s no secret that a harder workout means more calories burned, and this watch takes that into consideration. If you pushed yourself as hard as you could on the last leg of a run, that effort would show up in your statistics.

Last, but not least, the screen itself is made from highly durable glass that adds to the overall durability of this device. It features a backlight that makes its high res display easily seen in any lighting and is securely held in by the band so you won’t have to worry if it gets bumped.


Knowing how many steps you’ve taken in a day is great, but any fitness watch needs to offer statistics and graphs to help you better understand the effectiveness of your activities. While the Vivofit 3 will start tracking metrics right out of the box, it will reset itself each day. That’s what the Garmin Connect app is for, though.

The app is free on both Android and IOS devices, can connect your data to Garmin’s online community where you can compete with other users, and offers important fitness information. With Move IQ capturing your movements instantly, all of your data will be there when you are ready to review it.

You can view daily steps taken compared to your daily goal, as well as calories burned and insights into how well you slept last night. More importantly, the Insights section of the app displays charts and graphs tailored to your habits. With the ability to view all of this information and compare it to your workouts from days or months prior, you can easily see how far your fitness has progressed since you started wearing the Vivofit.

The device doubles as a watch to help you keep track of the time, which has a few different faces to choose from in the app. You can also change the face to display two screens at the same time, which could be two metrics or one metric and the clock. There’s even a calendar display if you need to check the date.

All of these app synced features make tracking your daily activities simple. While higher end models like the HR offer slightly more in-depth statistics, the Vivofit 3 is an excellent option for those of us just trying to be a little more active in our days.

Top Features and Specs

  • Interchangeable Bands – While other fitness trackers head to the boneyard after their straps wear down, the Garmin Viviofit 3 can be placed inside of a new one. This increases the lifespan of the device itself while saving money over time. A new band costs far less than a whole new watch.
  • Auto Detection Activity – The ability to capture different activities without having to play around with the device is a major benefit over similar models.
  • Wearability – The silicone band fits comfortably around the wrist during day or night, and the waterproof factor means you won’t even have to take it off to shower. Plus, you can wear it while swimming.
  • Compatibility – While the device does automatically sync and send data to the app, you can still manually pull up the basic statistics on the app to view on the screen. Tracking your fitness goals can be as simple as pulling them up on your phone or checking your progress mid-run.
  • Community – Garmin’s online community is instantly accessible through the app or online. You can choose to compete against other users or join online challenges to help you stay even more motivated and active.

What Customers are Saying

vivofit 3The ultimate question when buying any high-tech device is whether or not this is a good deal. Is it worth the money? You don’t have to take my word for it; this is what users have to say about the Vivofit 3.

An overwhelming number of users rank the Garmin Vivofit 3 as the best in its price range for daily fitness tracking. Compared to the similar FitBit Alta and Jawbone UP2 models, users say that it’s easier to sync up and more convenient thanks to the extended battery life as well as the waterproof design.

Reviews on Amazon are incredibly positive overall, but there’s always a few negative points brought up that need to be taken into consideration. The intensity minute tracker counts anything 10 minutes or longer at a time. This means that high-intensity workouts that focus on intervals less than 10 minutes are not counted.

Other users note that while it does track cycling and swimming, it is not specifically designed for either. Some report that is does not track these activities as accurately as they would like. Others have stated that the screen is slightly too small to read when in dual screen mode.

Aside from a handful of minor critiques, most agree that the benefits heavily outweigh the few areas that could stand to be improved for the next generation of Vivofit. A secure strap, easy to use software, and customizable screen were some of the favorites mentioned in the review section.

The Verdict

This is an excellent choice for anyone looking to start tracking their daily fitness but not training for an event. It’s comfortable design and charge-free battery allow it to be work anytime, while the 5ATM waterproof capability allows it to be worn anywhere. If you are looking for a fuss-free fitness band, the functionality of the Garmin Vivofit 3 should be right up your alley.

The auto-detection capabilities via Garmin’s Move IQ helps you to focus on your day without pressing a button, while the customizable screen allows you to keep track of your daily activities and the time together in one place. The intuitive auto goal and move bar are helpful in keeping you motivated while integrating into the app so you can view all of your metrics in detail from your phone.

All in all, this tiny device is packed full of useful features that make it a great choice in fitness tracker for anyone interested in increasing their health and overall well-being.

Garmin vivofit 3, Activity Tracker with 1+ Year Battery Life, Sleep Monitoring...
  • AUTO ACTIVITY DETECTION Capture different activities automatically and view them on Garmin Connect online
  • 1 YEAR BATTERY LIFE No recharging needed. Regular:135 205 millimeter circumference X large:165 225 millimeter...
  • 24/7 WEARABILITY The sleek silicone band is comfortable to wear all day on land or in the water. Battery : One...