Garmin has today announced its Vivoactive 3 smartwatch, bringing NFC payments as well as a fresh, clean design, new controls and an updated user interface.
- Best GPS watches for cycling: how to choose the right one for you
- Garmin VivoActive GPS smartwatch review
Garmin VivoActive 3 specs
To start, here’s a quick run down of the key specs of the new smartwatch:
- Lens: Corning Gorilla Glass
- Bezel: Stainless steel
- Case: Reinforced polymer or stainless steel
- Strap: Sillicone
- Size: 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7mm
- Waterproof: Rated for swimming only
- Screen: Sunlight visible, 1.2” diameter, 240x240px touchscreen
- Battery life, GPS mode: 13 hours (claimed)
- Battery life, ‘Smart mode’: Up to 7 days
- Memory; up to 14 days of activity tracking
- Sensors; GPS, GLONASS, Garmin Elevate HR monitor, altimeter, compass, accelerometer, thermometer
- Connectivity; Bluetooth, ANT+
A full breakdown of the features can be found on the Garmin website.
New ambidextrous design
The Garmin Vivoative 3 presents a radical design departure from the boxy, dare we say it, rather clunky looking Vivoactive 2, with the new watch featuring a circular metal bezel and a premium looking silicone strap.
The case is available in either black or silver with the strap coming in black or white.
The Vivoactive is almost entirely controlled via its touchscreen, with only one button on the exterior of the case to speak of.
The display can be flipped, so you can wear the watch on either your left or right arm, with the watch straps being detachable to suit whatever orientation you prefer. Flipping of the display and most other settings can be controlled via the Garmin Connect mobile app.
New controls, updated user interface
There is also a new control area on the outside edge of the case that Garmin is calling Side Swipe. This small, ribbed surface offers haptic feedback and is designed to be an easier way to scroll through menus during training.
The watch’s user interface has been slightly modified to reflect these changes, but we reckon it’ll a pretty easy transition for those accustomed to how Garmin’s other products work.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 features two styles of customisable pages — one with two fields and the other four. These can be customised via the watch itself, but it’s not totally clear whether these can also be modified via the Garmin Connect app yet.
Leave your wallet at home with Garmin Pay
The watch now includes NFC connectivity, so you can pay for your trendy post-ride beverage without having to reach into your wallet or for your phone. This isn’t a groundbreaking feature; the Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch both offer contactless payment, but it is a first for Garmin, and it’s a welcome addition.
Right now, Garmin Pay is only available on the Vivoactive 3, though we suspect it’ll make it into the next iterations of Garmin’s other smartwatches, and perhaps some of its fitness bands, too.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 sees some trickle-down tech from the brand’s more expensive watches, including VO2Max estimation, stress monitoring, fitness age estimation, the new Garmin Element optical HR sensor and more.
Like we saw with the new Garmin Edge 1030 GPS, you can now reply to messages from a set of pre-programmed responses built into the
As you would expect, the watch has both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
Garmin Vivoactive price and release date
The Garmin Vivoactive is expected to ship towards the end of this year with pricing starting as follows;
- US: $299
- UK: £279.99
- Eur: €329.99
- Aus: $449
We’ll be getting one of these new watches in for review soon, so well give you our full verdict once we’ve put some miles on one.