Garmin Vivofit 3

8.8 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.8)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Garmin Vivofit 3 Review Facts

Running offers the participant one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It is widely considered the most accessible sport because it can be done nearly anywhere with very little equipment. In fact, the only piece of equipment truly needed is a good pair of running shoes. Outside of running shoes, though, there are several pieces of equipment that can enhance the runner's performance. These are beyond supplements and range in assistance. This includes insoles, armbands, and heart rate monitors. We focus in a little more on heart rate monitors for this article, specifically the Garmin Vivofit 3. Heart rate monitors help the runner better understand their exertion and their endurance levels. This can help the runner monitor their progress, as well as monitor their calorie burn. This helps the runner also plan out their diet (especially if they are trying to lose weight) and know what exactly they should be eating before and after their run. Most monitors, as well, offer GPS services whereby they can actually track the distance, time and map out exactly where the runner ran when running outside. A heart rate monitor and GPS tracker can help any runner with their overall performance and help track their progress as well.

As mentioned earlier, this article focuses on the Garmin Vivofit 3. We looked through consumer reviews of this popular product to see what consumers thought of it. We wanted to know the monitor's features and functionality, as well as its durability and overall quality. We also looked at the company itself (Garmin) which is a fairly popular company, arguably the most popular company associated with GPS and monitoring services. This is our comprehensive review of the Garmin Vivofit. We hope that this article serves you in your next heart rate monitor and handheld GPS purchase. Enjoy!

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Extra-long battery life
  • Reliable waterproofing 
  • Reminders are the perfect motivator 
  • Good quality device 
  • Band is a little bulky/unattractive with dress clothes
  • Smaller community due to brand 
  • No heart rate monitor 


The Vivofit 3 is a great device for the purpose of tracking daily activity. The device isn't as intensive as some comparable products but rather something that is perfect to monitor day-to-day movements and sleeping. It offers an extra long battery life which means that it won't miss a minute of your day. The Vivofit 3 sends reminders for those sitting at a desk to get up and move a bit in order to help blood flow and to give the brain a rest. It also helps take pressure off of areas that usually experience more pressure when seated. It also shows steps and sets targets for those who want to push themselves further. The goals reset daily in order to keep the targets realistic and to help the individual wearing it gets better each day. Reviewers regularly praise it for keeping them motivated and helping them achieve their fitness goals at all fitness levels which is positive.


This watch offers mostly basic features but this is what most people liked about the watch. It offers steps and steps goals in order to keep the wearer motivated. It also offers calories which is a rough estimate based on its accelerometer (and not based on a heart rate monitor which should be noted). It also tracks activity and uses the accelerometer to determine both light and heavy exercise. With the goals, it does count as double when it senses heavier activity, however, it seems that the heavy activity needs to be done for more than 10 minutes at a time to count which doesn't work well if participating in HIIT interval training. Some reviewers found that frustrating. Because it is not accumulative but rather consecutive, they didn't feel their hard work paid off in regards to their goals. This is probably one area where a heart rate monitor is beneficial.


There aren't as many advanced features in this watch and for good reason- this watch offers a 1-year battery life which is unheard of. Yes, this battery does not need to be charged for 1 full year. This watch is also waterproof which is almost seems like it should be a no-brainer. When offering a watch that literally never has to be taken off (for a year at least) the watch should be waterproof and luckily this one is. It can be worn in the shower or in the pool which offers a really decent level of convenience. This watch also offers a backlit face so it can be looked at in the night and also offers sleep monitoring which is a nice additional feature. This way the wearer can monitor all aspects of their life and have a better idea of how their body is functioning, how well they are doing, they'll feel more motivated and get a better idea of how well they are functioning. Though it doesn't offer many advanced features this watch is ideal for all those looking for something basic, easy and reliable.


The connectivity of the watch has been a point of debate with online reviewers. People seem to be fairly evenly split in regards to how easily it connects to phones and tablets, how well it stays connected to phones and tablets, as well as the actual monitoring of the watch. First off, it seems that if the person connecting the watch follows the instructions exactly, that the watch connects fairly easily. One reviewer found that if starting to connect the watch with the Bluetooth turned off first helps the phone research for Bluetooth devices near and helps connect the watch easier. The other issue some found is that the watch doesn't start counting activity right away- that it timer would sit at 0 for about the first 15 minutes of the workout and then start. It seems that the accelerometer takes some time to recognize the activity at first but does eventually catch up without issues. This seemed to be a point of contention, as well, with some reviewers.


This watch, like all watches put out by Garmin, connects to the Garmin Connect app. The Garmin connect app offers specialize coaching based on the users fitness level, it monitors and tracks all activities for up to 4 weeks of activity, it allows the user to also track their overall progress over the course of a year, it also offers trails/tracks that were created by other users in order to participate on their routes (which is handy when in other/unfamiliar cities) and it allows sharing with a community in order to encourage one another. One issue that some reviewers found is because Garmin is not as popular as more competitive brands (like Apple and Fitbit) that the community isn't as big which creates less interaction opportunity for the existing users. As Garmin grows, though, this should stop being an issue.


This product offers a silicone band which can be changed out for different styles (this is discussed in more detail below). Those who wore this product found it quite comfortable to wear and didn't have issues keeping it on for extended periods of time which is important considering this product is meant to pretty much never be taken off.


One issue that some reviewers found is the appearance of this watch. Though it is not necessarily an ugly watch, it is not as stylish as some reviewers wished. It does not work well with other jewelry as it is a little bulky. There were also complaints that even with the additional styles, there were no options available that worked well with office attire which seemed to be the target audience for this watch. Though again, it is not ugly, it is not terribly stylish and this should be considered before buying this product.


This watch offers a band that locks on well but also is easily removable so, at the very least, this product will not be falling off your wrist when in motion. And because this watch is being worn for activity, it is even more important. The band itself is also made of a highly durable material that won't break down due to long-term use, which again, is very important. The faceplate, as well, is quite durable but is prone to scratching which can affect the visibility of the screen over time. Garmin does sell face plate covers at a relatively inexpensive price and this should be considered when buying this product just for extra security. Overall, though, this product is durable and there were not many complaints of the watch physically breaking down which is really positive.


The face of this watch is pretty simple. It is backlit which means it can be used in darker environments (like when in bed). It seems to be fairly durable as well which is positive. Again, we recommend buying the cover to protect it further though. This product is pretty bare bones though. Even though it does offer notifications, it isn't as technologically advanced as many others on the market. This watch is meant for bare bones tracking, motivators and monitoring. It isn't meant for someone who wants to make calls or text via their watch.


As mentioned above, the band of this product seems to a bit of an issue for some reviewers based on the fact that some found it bulky and others found it lacked style. Though this is the case many did find it nice that they could replace the bands. This allows for more customization and complimenting individual styles which is positive. The band itself is quite comfortable according to many reviewers which is also great. One issue is, again, the style which most white collar, office users found it to stick out a bit and not really blend well with additional jewelry. Overall though, the band on this watch is comfortable, durable and customizable which is positive.


This watch is fairly easy to use due to the lack of additional features. As mentioned earlier some found that it is a little hard to connect initially but once connected it seems to stay connected which is perfect. Reviewers regularly noted that you just have to be patient with this watch. It takes some time to get used to due to the fact that it is less intuitive than other watches but once it adapts to the individual wearing it, it becomes more reliable and easy to use which is positive.


The battery is this product's primary feature as it lasts for a year which means no daily charging. Those who bought this product bought it because of the battery. This product is meant to be worn all the time without having to take it off. It monitors all your daily activities for the purpose of giving the consumer a better idea of how they are doing on a day-to-day basis when it comes to resting, activity, and sleep. Those who used this product did find that the battery lasted forever which is positive. One benefit to less flare is the extended battery life and those buying this product have to understand that to appreciate it.


This product is fairly inexpensive. Though some might find it to be a little expensive for what it offers, this product is meant for someone who wants something that only monitors what is important. It offers a long and reliable battery. It is durable which means it won't need to be replaced as often. It also pretty much never has to be taken off due to its battery and waterproofing abilities. Overall, we definitely think between its long wear and reliability, this product is worth the cost as long as the user isn't expecting all the bells and whistles associated with much, much more expensive products.


Daily fitness and lifestyle tracker
1-year battery life
Comfortable, interchangeable band
Garmin connect app
4 weeks of detailed monitoring, 1-year progress monitoring
Easy to use
Relatively easy to connect


Overall this is a really good and reliable product. It seems to connect relatively easily if done when following the instructions exactly. It offers all the basic features that one needs when tracking daily activity, resting and sleep. There are no real advanced features outside of the battery and waterproofing features but both of those are pretty awesome. The basic features do exactly as advertised. This watch is probably better for those just starting out and who want to monitor at a basic level. It is also great for those who need reminders and motivation to get started. Overall, especially considering the price, this product is excellent and definitely worth consideration.