The vivoactive 3 is simply groundbreaking.
First of all, this is one of the smallest Garmin GPS watches on the market. To illustrate the progress from Garmin is a picture below of a Garmin fenix 3 and a Garmin vivoactive 3 side by side.
What we really like with the Garmin vivoactive 3 is the touchscreen. Over the years we’ve seen touchscreens come and go with GPS watches. The reason being is that they were really clunky and just counter-intuitive due to slow response times from the devices. The screen used in the Garmin vivoactive 3 is the complete opposite. It’s just like using your smartphone, it’s very intuitive.
Another new feature we like from Garmin is the sideswipe bar, which allows for easy navigation. However, we had a few troubles with its sensitivity. We expect further updates to allow for greater customisation however, it takes a little while to get used to. We found we were using the touchscreen far more, though we think it will be handy whilst running.
Garmin Pay is here and three of the major banks are currently supporting it. It takes roughly five minutes to set up, as the Banks need to verify the card is yours.
Whilst setting it up a card with ANZ (as we tested), ANZ sent through a text message to the corresponding phone whom that card is attached to with a verification code. Every bank is different and these steps could change.
With Garmin Pay, it is very easy to use. All you need to do is enter the desired pin (on the watch) and tap away. You don’t need to psychically touch the card reader just be a couple of centimeters within range. The perfect thing with Garmin pay is that it is secure due to a pin requirement and that no phone is required. You can leave the house without your phone and make payments on the go.
For its fitness features, there are some new apps and updates to the majority of the familiar activities. Most noted updates are with gym workouts. Updated apps include strength training (now records sets and reps) and now there is an app for yoga. The vivoactive 3 also includes the ability for you to load custom training plans and custom workouts.
The elephant in the room?
How does it compare to a fenix 5. It’s different, but the same. Essentially, the vivoactive has all the features of the fenix 5 (with some exclusions) but is packaged differently. For starters it is lighter, smaller, features a touchscreen and side swipe bar. These differences change the way you interact with the watch and overall your experience.
If it was our money, we would be leaning towards the vivoactive 3. Rarely do you need or assess “advance running metrics”. Further, it has all the outdoor apps that the fenix 5 has, which we were surprised about. And lastly, it has another one up on the fenix 5, Garmin Pay which is already supported by CBA, NAB, ANZ and more to come.
If you’re after a top of the line smartwatch, with all the fitness features apps and fitness tracking, with an amazing price, the vivoactive 3 is simply for you!