- Comfortable and water resistant
- Thin, sleek design
- Built-in wrist heart rate monitor
- Smartphone notifications + control for music and VIRB action camera
- Moderate price point
- Strength training feature is disappointing
- Does not connect with external HRM
- Display is average at best
Valiant effort from Garmin to incorporate support for strength training (rep/set counting + exercises recognition), but it mostly disappoints. Overall, the vivosmart 3 is not a meaningful upgrade over the vivosmart HR.
The Garmin vivosmart 3 is essentially a sleeker vivosmart HR with support for strength training. Unfortunately, this new strength training feature mostly disappoints us. In theory, the VS3 is supposed to quantify your reps, sets, and rest times as well as automatically recognize exercises. In practice, however, almost all of this is off and inaccurate. Regardless of the exercise you will end up manually adjusting the rep count after every set and for exercises that don’t incorporate arm movement (push-up, pull-ups, leg curls, etc.) often times the device won’t count any reps. Even more, for exercise recognition, it’s nearly always wrong. This requires you to manually change your workout later within Garmin Connect, which is cumbersome and annoying. To be fair to Garmin, however, this strength training feature is insanely difficult to get right and no one has cracked the code yet (not ATLAS, not Push, not GYMWATCH, not Gymatic, no one). Now beyond strength training, the VS3 does everything that the VSHR can. Activity and sleep tracking, 24×7 heart rate tracking, smart notifications, VIRB and music controls, all of it. The price point isn’t crazy with the VS3, but we still think the vivosmart HR is probably the better buy (especially since the price will inevitably be coming down—see on Amazon).