Friday 18 October 2019

Garmin Vivoactive 3: Is this the perfect tracker for the all-rounder on the go?

Enthusiastic cyclist - and sleeper - takes the subtle watch for a whirl

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

I love a good sports watch and this Garmin, which comes in at the lower end of its pricing scale, is the ideal watch for someone looking for basic sporting analysis.

However, it’s a bit complicated for a basic sports watch and just not as straight up as say a Garmin Edge 500, which I have also been using.

I’ve just finished a cycle, I want to see details directly in front of me including distance and time, but with the Vivoactive it’s quite the chore to go and find those stats.

The watch has the functionality of sending notifications for emails, messages, calls and the like. This might appeal to some but I had to turn off as many notifications as I could to prevent my wrist buzzing every few minutes. I don’t need a sports watch to start vibrating on my wrist every time my phone rings.

Also, Vivoactive 3 might not be ideal for the light sleeper. The sensors on the watch face were very sensitive, so the watch face lights up lots when in bed, unless the 'sleep' mode is engaged. But again, this is another fiddly set up in order to disable the automatic settings on the watch.

I found the accuracy rather hit and miss; while it counted every step I took while wearing it, it failed to recognise a couple of mammoth 12-hour plus sleeps I had while wearing it. This is a pity as one of my favourite features with the tech was the sleep analysis details.

Overall, the battery life on the watch was super, it lasted days before needing recharging, and even then, recharging to full capacity takes a matter of minutes.

However, wearing Vivoactive 3 all the time might be an issue. While the design of the watch is really functional, it's comfy to wear and a huge range of adjustment in the strap, it’s not the prettiest for a watch that’s designed to be worn outside of the gym. 

Garmin Vivoactive 3 is being sold for around €290 at the moment

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