Garmin’s new vivosmart 3 activity tracker counts steps and exercise reps


In a sea of wearable fitness trackers, it’s tough to stand out when most of them can track steps, heart rate, and sleep. But Garmin has added a new trick to their latest vivosmart 3 fitness tracker. It can count strength training exercise reps and sets.

Whether you’re doing curls with free weights or body weight exercises, each rep is counted when the arm wearing the device returns to the starting position.

The vivosmart pairs with an iOS or Android device to provide additional features like notifications from texts and calls, weather info, music controls, find my device, and more.

Garmin’s vivosmart 3 is available in black or purple and is priced at $139.99. You can read more about it at garmin.com and order one from Amazon.

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9 comments… add one
  • simon D. April 23, 2017, 5:42 pm

    I’ve got a Garmin watch. The watch is OK and works well on runs, swims and bike rides. The Garmin website (which collates information on runs, rides, etc) is awful. Garmin support is non-existent at best and downright rude at worst. One of my tickets is coming up to 2 years old with no resolution and no further response from them. Once Garmin has your money they don’t care any more and based on my post-purchase support I’ll never buy from them again. Caveat Emptor.

    • Julie Strietelmeier April 23, 2017, 7:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing that info. It’s good to know!

    • Jackie Cheng April 23, 2017, 11:11 pm

      I have their Fenix 3 HR, which for a $600 watch is really good. But I agree with the online/social aspect of it. Definitely not as “fun” and “pretty” as Fitbit’s. It’s definitely geared towards hardcore athletes and by that I mean real professionals not your normal gym workout people.
      My cousin got this new Vivosmart 3 and the display is definitely not as bright as advertised. Barely readable outside on a sunny day.

      • Julie Strietelmeier April 24, 2017, 6:17 am

        That’s disappointing. The only feature that makes it interesting to me is the rep counter.

        • James April 24, 2017, 8:18 am

          Yup,
          I was all meh until I saw the rep counter.
          Might be interesting.

      • simon D. April 24, 2017, 7:32 am

        Jackie – Strava and Smashrun can download from Garmin Connect – and I’m sure other apps are also compatible, so maybe you should give them a try. I’ve given up completely with Garmin Connect.

        Julie – it might be worth a bit of research online to see if there are better sites out there to use the Garmin reps data.

  • Richard Kingston April 24, 2017, 10:59 am

    I loved my Jawbone UP3 since it was unobtrusive and looked like a fashion band on my wrist (so I could wear a smartwatch on the other and not look like a geek), had 5 day battery life and a heart rate monitor. Then it broke and Jawbone went underground.

    I swapped to a Garmin VivoFit 2 (which my sone now has) and then the VivoFit 3. Excellent bands with a year of batter life (replaceable disc batteries). But no heart rate monitor. So I was really excited by the Vivosmart 3 and bought one the week it was released from Best Buy (they had a couple, neither of which was yet on display).

    Have to say, I love it. Not quite as unobtrusive at the Jawbone, but because the display is built into the strap (or rather shines through it), you can get away with it being a band, wear short sleeves and a smartwatch on the other arm. It lights up with a gesture, or the display can be switched off to only come on when you tap it. The display is not as crisp as a Fitbit (it really does shine through the black band), and the Jawbone never had a display at all.

    I find it incredibly accurate for steps and miles, and the heart rate and stress level seems reasonable (not sure what to measure it against). This Saturday I had the need to ask a coach at my 10 years old son’s soccer match to be more respectful to the Referee in front of the kids, and the Vivosmart accurately measured the “peak” in heart rate when the coach “took offense” and suggested something that I doubt a professional gymnast could do!!

    I am getting about 6 days per charge down to 15% battery life left, though I do not have the smartphone notifications switched on. When I am working in the garden or on “honey-do” projects I take my smartwatch off leaving the Garmin on as a tracker (need the steps recorded), and it acts as a watch too, is waterproof, and the strap should withstand knocks and bumps.

    On the downside, the strap is not replaceable. It looks sturdy, certainly is comfortable, but should it break or if the part that covers the screen gets scratched, then I suppose it is a trip back to Garmin for repairs – I suppose. I got mine for $137, so not too steep.

    It always syncs easily with Garmin Connect, and while the Garmin application is fussy with lots of data, it does what I want it to do. Agreed it could be simplified and made more logical. For example, there are a number of “snapshots” you can scroll through: MyDay (steps, sleep, active calories, intensity minutes, etc), detailed steps, detailed sleep, weight (I am ignoring that one at the moment), my community, All Day stress, etc. But to look at heart rate, there is a normally hidden slideout at the bottom of the My Day screen, or you have to go back to the menu. A touch awkward. But, while not as motivational as the Jawbone app, or simple as the Fitbit, it does a decent job. By the way the band does not measure floors climbed.

    So, was it a good buy. It was a best buy! (English “humour” there). I am glad I bought it, and for me, and my needs, it is just about perfect.

    • Julie Strietelmeier April 24, 2017, 11:04 am

      What about the rep and set counting feature? Have you used that?

      • Richard Kingston April 24, 2017, 12:58 pm

        I have not used either. It will be on my list.

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