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In this post, we are going to cover the major differentiating factors of the Garmin vivoactive 3 Music and Apple Watch 3. Naturally, since we’re focusing on the big stuff, plenty of smaller details will slip through the cracks, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you still have outstanding questions.
Why go Garmin vs Apple?
There are a few big reasons why we think the VA3M could be your next device, as opposed to the Apple Watch. That said, we’ve included a chart below if you want to see how the devices compare in a few key areas.
Vivoactive 3 Music Is More Affordable
Not much to discuss here. The vivoactive 3 Music has an MSRP of $300 and the Apple Watch 3 starts at $330. You will be saving at least $30 when you opt for the Garmin. Obviously, prices change, but strictly talking MSRP, the Garmin is more affordable.
Native Golf App On VA3M
The vivoactive 3 Music has a built-in, native golf app that shows information like yardage and your scorecard. Garmin has something like 40,000 courses that are available through the Connect app. You can select a few and upload them to the device. It really is a helpful app.
A look at the golf app on the VA3M.
Having said all of that, there are golf apps available for the Apple Watch, they’re just not pre-loaded.
Garmin is a performance wearables company. As such, the VA3M tends to feel more sporty and more like a running watch. It’s lightweight, thin and sleek, and we would prefer it for working out over the Apple Watch.
Just feels like a sport watch.
Battery life is getting increasingly difficult to quote now that these watches have so many features. That said, the VA3M has a battery life of 4 days, give or take. For Apple, it’s about 2 full days max. Big difference there. We aren’t exactly raving about the battery life with the VA3M, but it is noticeably better than with the Apple Watch.
Garmin vivoactive 3 Music vs Apple Watch Comparison Chart
There are, of course, a few major areas where the Apple Watch beats out the VA3M as well. Let’s cover those.
While, the VA3M feels more sporty, the AWS3 feels more premium and has a better display. It just feels like a nice watch, whereas the VA3M uses a lot of plastic.
You can’t argue this. The Apple Watch 3 is the better pure-play smartwatch. Since Apple makes both your iPhone and Apple Watch, the features sync up nicely and the whole smartwatch experience is just better.
Notifications are more engaging, widgets are interactive, and the software feels techy. It is more complicated than the VA3M, but if you want a proper smartwatch, the AWS3 wins.
And we haven’t even mentioned Siri. You get a voice assistant on the AW and not on the VA3M. You can debate the usefulness of Siri, but we’ve found it (her?) convenient for making calls, etc..
It’s more expensive and requires a separate data plan, but you can get a cellular-enabled Apple Watch that allows you to take and make calls completely phone-free. You can also access messages, various third-party apps, and stream music from Apple Music, all without the need for your phone.
Not sure how much you care about apps for your smartwatch. My guess is not much, but Apple does have the larger, more robust app ecosystem. Garmin has Connect IQ, which is fine, but it’s way behind what Apple has in terms of quantity and quality of apps.
Open Water Swimming
Both watches can handle ordinary pool swimming, but if you want to swim outdoors, the AWS3 can do that for you, while the VA3M cannot. Most people won’t care, but if you swim a lot, you will.