Garmin Vivoactive Review

9.5/10 (Expert Score)
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Last updated on October 6, 2018 11:43 pm


Garmin vivoactive is probably the most complete fitness watch for the price: In one watch you will find here a fitness tracker for everyday life, a GPS sports watch for various sports and sometimes a smartwatch.
The Garmin vivoactive is available in white or black – individually or bundled with chest strap. The price is in view of the comprehensive range of services in our view absolutely fine, we rate the price-line ratio as very good.

The vivoactive is perfect for ambitious amateur athletes, and even casual athletes and professional athletes will enjoy the watch.

Garmin app

garmin app

garmin app

In the category “application and handling” the Garmin vivoactive performs very well.
In the application, the Garmin vivo active makes almost everything right: operation, comfort, water resistance, battery life and charging – everything makes a great impression in our test. That’s why Garmin vivoactive receives the highest mark in this category.

In the design of the Garmin vivoactive outstripped the competition

With a very low 38 grams for a GPS sports watch, you hardly notice the Garmin vivoactive on the wrist. The workmanship is excellent; but you have to know that the clock is made of plastic. But it looks very handsome, especially when compared to Polar models. The thickness is only 8 millimeters – during the MPolar 400 with a good 11 millimeters already thin is relatively thin, the vivoactive can beat this once again noticeably.

The design is thus discreet and slim. The display design is changeable, you can also download more in addition to the existing ones. Garmin has black and white as color options on offer. The bracelet is changeable, there are even leather bracelets * (sold separately).


Garmin vivoactive

Garmin vivoactive



Garmin watch faces

A positive eye-catcher is a display, which offers a higher resolution than displays of the competition and can also display colors. There is enough space on the display to display the apps. The decent display makes the vivoactive almost like a smartwatch.
The transflective display is not lit in the passive state but still readable (it is not “off”). In the case of light, the readability is very good, but if it is a bit darker you have to activate the display illumination to be able to read it. This works by briefly pressing the on / off switch: then the display is illuminated for a few seconds.

garmin watch faces

garmin watch faces



Is a Garmin Vivoactive waterproof?

As it is also intended for swimming, the Garmin vivoactive is naturally also waterproof (up to 50 meters) and of course you can keep it in the shower or bath.


Garmin activity tracker

The Garmin vivoactive is a full-featured activity tracker with the following features:

  • It measures the number of steps, and very precisely. For example, when brushing your teeth, only a few extra steps are measured.

  • Activity Alert: During prolonged inactivity, Garmin vivoactive encourages you to move again. Certain display settings on the display also show the inactivity bar, which is also familiar from the vivofit series.

  • The clock gives you individual daily goals. If you can do a certain amount of work, the watch keeps increasing the goal over time. Of course, you can also set your own daily goals via the app and can switch off the automatic target.

  • The watch also has a sleep recording function and automatically detects when you are sleeping. So you know how many hours you slept. Unlike other fitness trackers, however, there is no analysis of the sleep phases.

  • Last but not least, the fitness watch also measures your calorie consumption, for which the distance covered or, depending on the sport, other aspects besides your body weight are taken into account.

Garmin vivosport gps

The Garmin vivoactive offers extensive multisport functions and is therefore also suitable for people who want to do more with their fitness clock than just walking.

Apps for the triathlon sports of running, cycling and swimming as well as an app for playing golf are installed right from the start, numerous golf courses are stored in the app. With the apps you can track your progress in swimming sports (as well as in activity tracking, of course). For this you need no connection to the smartphone, as the information can also be displayed on the clock itself.

The level of detail of the apps is good – for example, when swimming, the laps and strokes are counted and the distances measured, there is also an interval counter.

GPS “included”

The fitness watch has a GPS transmitter and GLONASS (the Russian variant of GPS). When you start an activity and turn on the GPS, it will be found in about five seconds. The signal detection is good – so the distance traveled is measured accurately.

Heart rate measurement via chest strap

As the Garmin vivoactive – unlike the Garmin vivoactive HR – not via a wrist pulse measurement, but via a chest strap. This can be purchased separately or directly in the bundle (package) with the clock together. The advantage of heart rate monitoring with a chest strap is that it is a very accurate method of measurement and the watch itself can be slightly smaller.


In the “App” category, Garmin vivoactive performs well or satisfactorily . The app works well and offers good evaluation and setting options. These are however partially hidden, the clarity could be better. Synchronizing the vivoactive with the smartphone via Bluetooth is quick and easy.
Note: Unlike with fitness bracelets, vivoactive relies less on the app, as you can already see the results on the watch’s display (in much less detail).

Extensive functions

There are the main categories “running”, “cycling” and “swimming” and “golf”, as well as “My Community”, where you can network with other Garmin Connect users and, for example, challenge against each other. You can also join groups. In addition, training plans are offered. This helps with training and can also motivate!

Screenshot Garmin Connect app

There are also two statistical areas: the activity statistics and the health statistics (“Activity stats” and “Health stats”). When Activity stat you can look at all the activities (and activities in which you have not taken the fitness watch, add them manually). With the “Health stat” one can follow the course of the own weight (which one must indicate of course of course) and the course of calories consumption and calorie intake over the food. Ingested calories are not entered in the app – the app Garmin Connect works with the app “MyFitnessPal” where they can be entered.

Well solved is that you can enter individually in the phone functions, which you want to retrieve the clock and which not. So you can set that you see incoming calls, but not the incoming messages.

In addition to the app, there is also the option of using the browser on the Garmin website to make evaluations.

Clarity brings minus points

Visually, the app makes a good impression. However, the clarity could be better, it takes some time to understand what you can find where in the app. This is better solved in the Fitbit app, for example. Functions such as setting the alarm time are also somewhat hidden. This gives a slight deduction.

Further information about the Garmin app:

You should also know the following about the Garmin Connect app:

  • Synchronization without problems Syncing with the app is fast and easy.
  • Compatibility: The Garmin Connect app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
Test result
Value for money
+ Positives:
  • Very good quality
  • Accurate pulse measurement via chest strap
  • Can also be used as an activity tracker in everyday life
  • Good multisport features
  • High accuracy pedometer
  • Touchscreen in color
  • Slim design and very light
  • Extensive smartwatch features
  • Very good price-performance ratio
- Negatives:
  • No pulse measurement on the wrist
  • Display in the dark a bit difficult to read

Additional information

Specification: Garmin Vivoactive Review





Catalog Number List

010-01769-00, 90710636




EAN List

EAN List Element: 0753759173159

Item Dimensions

Height: 171, Length: 171, Weight: 9, Width: 46



Legal Disclaimer

Please note that by making a purchase from this store you will be acting as the importer of the product for customs regulations, copyright and trademark laws.







Number Of Items


Package Dimensions

Height: 394, Length: 402, Weight: 68, Width: 394

Package Quantity


Part Number


Product Group

GPS or Navigation System

Product Type Name




Release Date







Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch with Built-In Sports Apps and Wrist Heart Rate – Black



UPC List

UPC List Element: 753759173159

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