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Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Garmin Targets Apple Watch With $299 Vivoactive 3 Music Smartwatch

Garmin announced a new version of the Vivoactive 3 with a feature that brings the device up-to-par with the newest versions of its competitors, the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Fitbit Ionic: music storage.

Featuring Garmin Pay contactless payments and thousands of ways to customize with free watch faces, widgets, data fields and apps through the Garmin Connect IQ store, the vivoactive 3 Music has been designed for running errands, running a 10K, and everything in between.

Featuring the same fitness, wellness and smart connectivity features first introduced on the vivoactive 3, the vivoactive 3 Music gives users an extra pep in their step with on-device music storage of up to 500 songs. Download offline music playlists from select music streaming services like Deezer (coming soon), iHeartRadio, or transfer music from a computer directly to the watch. Once the music is loaded, pair the vivoactive 3 Music with a set of compatible Bluetooth headphones (sold separately) and go.

Connecting the device to your PC and opening Garmin Express allows you to do a number of things: download music, install software updates, manage Connect IQ apps, and change device and profile settings. The Music program automatically identifies the default music program on your PC and mirrors the folders you have in that program such as playlists, albums, songs, and more.

Garmin Pay, a contactless payment solution, means vivoactive 3 Music wearers can leave their cash and credit cards at home and still stop for a coffee, pop in a store, or grab a bite to eat throughout their day. Utilizing their Garmin Pay wallet, users have the same rewards and benefits of the physical cards, with the convenience of having them right on the wrist for contactless payment.

With Elevate wrist-based heart rate and over 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps including yoga, running, strength training and more, the vivoactive 3 Music is packed with features to keep up with a varied active lifestyle. Like all of Garmin's wearables, it is safe for swimming and showering and has a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 5 hours in GPS with music mode.

The redesigned Garmin Connect makes it easier to beat yesterday with colorful activity cards that give users an at-a-glance to the most important stats. Simply scroll down to compare today's totals to past results or tap in for more detailed information. Activities and other stats captured by the device are presented in detail with data customized and filtered so that the user is only seeing what is most relevant to his or her goals. Users can connect with friends and family to motivate one another, join challenges, engage in friendly competitions and score colorful new Garmin Connect badges when goals are crushed.

The vivoactive 3 Music comes with a black silicone 20mm quick release industry standard band and has a suggested retail price of $299.99 and is available now. Accessory bands in different sizes are available for purchase separately for $29.99.

While Garmin devices work with Android and iOS, keep in mind that Android users get a few extra perks thanks to the openness of the platform. Android users can send quick-replies to text messages directly from the watch, while iOS users are limited to reading and dismissing message alerts. Android users can also use smart notifications to pick and choose apps to receive alerts from on the watch-for iOS users, it's all alerts, calls only, or calls and texts only.

Compared to the Apple Watch and Fitbit's devices, the Apple Watch makes a better smartwatch if you have an iPhone, allowing you to respond to messages and even make and receive calls if you have the LTE version of the Series 3 Watch.

Fitbit's devices have a friendlier mobile app than Garmin's, and Fitbit's social features make exercise a communal activity. Garmin has social features as well, and some athletes may even prefer them, but Fitbit's challenges, activity status and photo sharing, groups and other social features will appeal to a wider variety of users with different fitness levels.


Lens Material

chemically strengthened glass

Case material polymer
Quick Release Bands yes (20 mm, Industry standard)
Strap material


Physical size

43.1 x 43.1 x 13.6 mm

Fits wrists with a circumference of 127-204 mm


39.0 g

Water rating Swim, 5 ATM
Touchscreen yes
Display type sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Display size 1.2" (30.4mm) diameter
Display resolution 240 x 240 pixels
Color display yes
Battery life Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 13 hours
Memory/History 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data


Clock Features

Time/date yes
GPS Time Sync yes
Automatic daylight saving time yes
Alarm clock yes
Timer yes
Stopwatch yes



GPS yes
Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor yes
Barometric altimeter yes
Compass yes
Gyroscope yes
Accelerometer yes
Thermometer yes


Daily Smart Features

Connectivity Bluetooth Smart and ANT+
Connect IQ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) yes
Smart notifications yes
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only) yes
Calendar yes
Weather yes
Controls smartphone music yes
Plays and controls watch music yes
Music Storage up to 500 songs
Find My Phone yes
Find My Watch yes
VIRB Camera Remote yes
Smartphone compatibility iPhone, Android
Compatible with Garmin Connect Mobile yes
Garmin Pay yes


Activity Tracking Features

Step counter yes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it) yes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal) yes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep) yes
Calories burned yes
Floors climbed yes
Distance traveled yes
Intensity minutes yes
TrueUp yes
Move IQ yes
Fitness Age yes (in app)
All-day Stress Tracking yes


Fitness Equipment/Gym

Preloaded gym activity profiles Strength Training, Cardio Training, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
Cardio workouts yes
Strength workouts yes
Automatic rep counting yes


Training, Planning and Analysis Features

GPS speed and distance yes
Customizable data pages yes
Customizable activity profiles yes
Auto Pause yes
Advanced workouts yes
Downloadable training plans yes
Auto Lap yes
Manual lap yes
Configurable lap alerts yes
V02 max yes
Customizable alerts yes
LiveTrack yes
Touch and/or button lock yes
Auto scroll yes
Activity history on watch yes


Heart Rate Features

HR zones yes
HR alerts yes
HR calories yes
% HR max yes
HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+ to paired devices) yes


Running Features

Preloaded run profiles

Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running

GPS-based distance, time and pace yes
Run workouts yes
Foot pod capable yes


Outdoor Recreation Features

Preloaded outdoor recreation profiles

Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing

Back to start yes
Total ascent/descent yes


Golfing Features

Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green) yes
Yardage to layups/doglegs yes
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course) Automatic
Digital scorecard yes
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit) yes
Garmin AutoShot yes
Green View with manual pin position yes
Hazards and course targets yes
PinPointer yes
Round timer/odometer yes


Cycling Features

Preloaded cycling profiles

Biking, Indoor Biking

Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal) yes
Compatible with Varia radar (rear-facing radar) yes
Compatible with Varia lights yes
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)



Swimming Features

Preloaded swim profiles

Pool Swimming

Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, calories) yes
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) yes
Swim efficiency (SWOLF) yes

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