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Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music review: Music comes to the mid-range


Symbol: Garmin

3 months in the past I examined out Garmin’s first GPS sports activities watch with offline track fortify, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Song. It is a very good GPS sports activities wait for multi-sport athletes, however it’s expensive at $450.

The brand new Garmin Vivoactive three Song launches on the identical $299.99 that the Vivoactive three introduced at six months in the past. The Vivoactive three has additionally now dropped to $249.99 so there’s a $50 worth distinction between those two mid-range fashions.

Garmin did not simply incorporate offline track fortify within the new Vivoactive three Song. We additionally see slightly extra chic design with glass extending the entire manner out to the threshold of the watch the place the Vivoactive three had a steel bezel across the viewable touchscreen show, very similar to the Garmin Forerunner 645. It appears to be like nice, however I do surprise how it’s going to grasp up over the years, as in comparison to the steel bezel noticed at the others.

You’ll nonetheless to find Garmin Pay, Attach IQ fortify, multi-sport GPS capability, good notifications, and a week-long battery lifestyles in smartwatch mode. It is a GPS smartwatch for the loads and I loved my couple of weeks with it.


  • Show: 1.2 inch (30.4mm) 240 x 240 pixels answer transflective colour display
  • Garage: About three.6GB of interior garage for as much as 500 songs and 200 hours of task information
  • Water resistance: Swim,five ATM
  • Bands: Same old 20mm bands for large number of band choices
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth Sensible, ANT+, GPS, GLONASS, optical HR, barometer, compass, accelerometer, thermometer
  • Battery: Rated for 13 hours in GPS coaching mode, five hours in GPS mode with track taking part in, and seven days in smartwatch mode
  • Dimensions: 43.1 x 43.1 x 13.6 mm and 39 grams


The Garmin Vivoactive three Song is spherical, however is way smaller and lighter (part the load) than my Fenix three HR. It’s about the similar dimension and weight because the Garmin Forerunner 645.

The show is a slightly delicate show with a unmarried button at the proper facet. The Vivoactive three had a steel bezel across the viewable show and the left facet of this used to be tricky delicate. To be fair, I by no means used that capability so am completely positive with Garmin transferring to a curved glass entrance and disposing of the steel bezel.

The contact display works neatly and the curved glass is sexy, however I nonetheless choose GPS sports activities watches with simplest buttons as I to find that unintended display activations are much less most probably. I used to be the use of the Vivoactive three Song throughout my part marathon race ultimate weekend and will have to have unintentionally hit a button or the show as my monitoring stopped at 11.85 miles. Fortunately, I had the Forerunner 645 Song on my different wrist and that tracked your entire part marathon.

You’ll be able to additionally reorient the button and interface by way of the Garmin Attach smartphone app, which is a smart characteristic for individuals who put on the Vivoactive three Song on a unique wrist or like a unique button orientation.

Urgent the button takes you to the exercise display the place you’ll make a selection your workout and faucet to get began. Merely swipe up and all the way down to scroll in the course of the listing of actions. I to find the total glass show extra simply facilitates the power to swipe and scroll round for navigation.

Press and grasp at the unmarried proper button to get entry to the controls menu that comes with the next via default; Garmin Pay, track participant, telephone connection toggle, don’t disturb toggle, to find my telephone, brightness settings, lock the show, and tool down. Garmin has a pleasing new interface, noticed at the Garmin Forerunner 645 Song, the place the choices seem with colour icons in a round structure that appears very similar to a Samsung Tools rotating dial.

The colour show is ok for indoor and out of doors use, but it surely does not grasp a candle to the brilliance of an Apple Watch, Fitbit Ionic, or Samsung Tools show. It additionally lasts for much longer than the Apple Watch and Samsung Tools.

Same old 20mm bands can be utilized at the Garmin Vivoactive three Song so you’ll simply to find possible choices on Amazon and turn on your middle’s pleasure. The incorporated silicone band may be very malleable and relaxed whilst securely keeping the Vivoactive three Song in position.

The charging port and optical middle price track are discovered at the again of the Vivoactive three Song and the similar charging connection used at the Vivoactive three is provide.

Watch tool

To navigate the instrument, you press the button or faucet/grasp/swipe at the show. Swiping up and down from the watch face will scroll you via more than a few abstract monitors (energetic mins, steps taken, flooring climbed, ultimate run, ultimate task, track participant, middle price, and extra) so you’ll see the entirety about your day or earlier exercise.

Faucet and grasp to peer the battery standing and get get entry to to settings for the watch face, clocks, historical past, stats, and all the settings. Swipe from left to proper to return one display at a time.

The tool at the watch is principally the similar as what you to find on different Garmin units, such because the Garmin Forerunner 645 Song. You’ll be able to consult with the Attach IQ retailer to put in watch faces, information fields, and different apps to customise the watch on your personal tastes.

You’ll be able to use the Garmin Vivoactive three Song to trace operating, cycling, climbing, triathlon, rowing, stand-up paddling (SUP), open water or pool swimming, mountain climbing, snow snowboarding, path operating, golfing, and extra. In my take a look at duration, I attempted the operating and cycling capability.

There are numerous settings and customization choices to be had for every form of task. As an example, within the operating app you’ll customise as much as 3 information monitors in a structure from one to 4 fields with timer, distance, tempo, pace, middle price, cadence, temperature, elevation, and different fields. I like to recommend you spend some high quality time customizing the entirety precisely how you wish to have it after which be in a position to tweak issues as you carry out your task and to find you wish to have to view your information in a different way.

Along with customized information fields for every task, you’ll keep watch over signals, auto-pause, laps, auto scroll, background and accessory colours, and a lot more. The revel in will also be fast and easy the use of the defaults or as explicit as you want with slightly of time spent customizing the watch information fields and settings.

To get began on a run, carry up your arm, press the button, faucet run, after which press the button once more after GPS is attached. Press the button once more to pause. If you wish to proceed, press the button once more. In a different way make a selection Executed at the show to finish your exercise. It is all very fast and simple.

You additionally find a way to pay with Garmin Pay at the Vivoactive three Song. Cling the button, choose the pockets icon, input your PIN, after which grasp your watch with reference to the wi-fi reader to pay. A PIN is wanted for safety and is one thing you setup while you input your financial institution knowledge.

Smartphone tool and web page

Amassing the knowledge is essential, however the use of that information for monitoring developments, bettering efficiency, difficult pals, and figuring out areas of difficulty may be crucial. Garmin is likely one of the few corporations that gives the Garmin Attach app for iOS, Android, and Home windows 10 Cellular. The app may be very helpful and gives an amazing quantity of knowledge. It has gotten even higher with the hot interface enhancements.

While you first release the smartphone app you’ll see the My Day display that displays your most up-to-date exercise, middle price, tension stage, energy in/out, weight, the previous day’s stats, and stats for ultimate 7 days. You’ll be able to make a selection which order the playing cards seem and which playing cards seem via tapping at the Edit My Day button on the backside. I choose this over the former show of knowledge.

Different tabs come with demanding situations, calendar, information feed, and the Extra web page for all the different settings you may have come to like on a Garmin instrument.

On an Android smartphone you’ll additionally positive song your good notifications via settling on the particular apps that will likely be allowed to ship notifications on your Garmin Vivoactive three Song. On iOS, you get no matter notifications you may have enabled within the iOS settings so I in my view choose the Android smartphone revel in.

The Garmin Attach web page revel in is similar to what you spot within the smartphone software, with much more capacity to generate stories, import or export information, setup connections to different packages (equivalent to Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and extra. Very similar to the snapshots interface at the telephone, you may have a dashboard on Garmin Attach that you’ll customise.

I created dashboard tabs for day by day task, operating, biking, and climbing since the ones are my number one actions. You’ll be able to then customise the view that looks to your dashboard or make a selection to leap to a complete web page view of the chosen information.

You’ll be able to additionally use the Garmin Specific desktop app to regulate firmware updates and simply get entry to the Attach IQ retailer for extra customization of your Vivoactive three Song. The brand new distinctive characteristic for this watch is clearly track. Settling on the track choice in Garmin Specific takes you to a display appearing My Song and Song Apps. Song to your pc will also be arranged via playlists, artists, albums, songs, genres, podcasts, and audiobooks. You choose the folders to your pc the place you wish to have to scan for such content material. It is not probably the most chic resolution, however will get the process performed.

After discovering content material to your pc, you choose that content material and make a selection to switch it to the Vivoactive three Song. You’ll be able to browse your pc and watch track content material inside of this software.

The opposite direction to get track loaded onto your Vivoactive three Song is by way of the iHeartRadio app that you simply set up onto the watch. You want to pay the per month subscription charge of $nine.99 to get All Get entry to carrier as a way to sync to the Vivoactive three Song and after getting entered the code and feature the app setup to your watch then you’ll make a selection which track to sync by way of WiFi on your watch and revel in content material via this carrier. Garmin might upload different track suppliers at some point, however no different partnerships haven’t begun been introduced.

Vivoactive or Forerunner?

As you take a look at the 2 present Garmin units that fortify offline track, the primary query that involves thoughts is whether or not or now not the Forerunner 645 Song is price the extra $150 over the cost of the Vivoactive three Song. The Forerunner collection has all the time been targeted totally on run fortify and that’s nonetheless the case right here, however the Vivoactive three is attaining close to parity with the Forerunner 645 too. Listed here are some variations between the 2 that would possibly assist you make a decision which is absolute best on your wishes:

  • Show sort: The Vivoactive three Song has a touchscreen show and that is the main manner of navigation whilst the Forerunner 645 Song makes use of 5 buttons to navigate round. I’m keen on buttons as I’m much less prone to press them unintentionally and frequently run within the rain the place touchscreen wearables can revel in some problems.
  • Period coaching: I finished some period coaching throughout my contemporary part marathon plan and used to be ecstatic to find I may create customized period plans and practice them at the Forerunner 645. Period coaching isn’t supported at the Vivoactive three.
  • Coaching Impact and Standing: An invaluable metric discovered at the Forerunner 645, however now not at the Vivoactive three.
  • Multi-sport or triathlon actions: Now not supported on Vivoactive three, however to be had for the Forerunner 645.
  • Operating dynamics: The Forerunner 645 can pair to the HRM-RUN or Operating Dynamics Pod to measure cadence, flooring touch time, stride duration, vertical oscillation, vertical ratio, and flooring touch time steadiness. Those metrics don’t seem to be fortify via the Vivoactive three.
  • Golfing: Surprisingly, golfing isn’t supported at the dearer Forerunner 645, however is to be had at the Vivoactive three.

The Garmin Vivoactive three Song shall be extra interesting to the loads and now with track fortify on the identical release worth because the Vivoactive three ultimate yr it competes neatly in opposition to the Apple Watch, Fitbit Ionic, and others.

Day-to-day utilization stories and conclusion

All over my trying out, the smartwatch connectivity used to be now not enabled so I needed to load track in the course of the PC Garmin Specific manner. Fortunately, track playback in the course of the wi-fi earbuds I examined used to be flawless when dressed in the Vivoactive three Song on both wrist. Song controls had been simple and quantity used to be loud.

I just like the transfer to the all glass show for the aesthetics and the benefit of swiping round at the display. It should provide problems for individuals who bump their watch on issues so much as that stainless bezel is lacking, however the watch appears to be like and feels nice as recently designed.

The GPS did neatly at monitoring, sleep used to be robotically measured, and my day by day task appeared to fit different units. I inadvertently stopped monitoring on one run, which is one reason why I choose non-touch display units for my task monitoring wishes.

The tension widget used to be useful for serving to me refocus throughout busy days after I let an excessive amount of pile up. Having an consciousness of your sleep and tension are key to bettering in those spaces that a great deal impact your lifestyles and well being.

The $300 worth places it in direct festival with the Apple Watch, Samsung Tools, and Fitbit Ionic so with the addition of track the Garmin Vivoactive three Song is a lot more aggressive. It provides longer battery lifestyles and a lot more customization of exercise monitoring with a ways much less smartwatch capacity.

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