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Should I buy a Garmin Vivomove 3?

Garmin Vivomove 3
(Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Vivomove 3 is a stylish hybrid smartwatch with a stainless steel bezel, which offers smart notifications and a connected GPS for tracking your daily activities.

It looks very similar to watches in the Garmin Vivoactive range, but the two are in fact very different, and the Vivomove 3 still may be a better fit, depending on what you want a watch for. And it’s a very good time to be thinking about it, as we’re optimistic there’ll be some generous discounts on the Vivomove 3 soon for Black Friday.

Should I buy a Garmin Vivomove 3?

The short answer is yes, if you want a lovely-looking Garmin watch that keeps track of basic activity statistics, but no if you’re serious about training and need a dedicated sports watch. 

As we explain in our article Garmin Vivomove 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive 4, the Vivomove 4 has many more sports-specific features, including a wider range of training programmes and in-built GPS, GLONASS and Galileo for tracking your movements accurately. So if you’re serious about in-depth analysis of your performance, that’s really a better watch to be looking at. 

If, however, you just want to keep on track with your health and fitness goals and don’t need specific sports training programmes or pinpoint-accuracy location tracking, the Garmin Vivomove 3 is an excellent choice. 

Firstly, because it’s considerably cheaper: you can get one for around $200 / £190 / AU$310 at the time of writing. And secondly, because it’s a much more stylish design. In fact, we’d argue it’s one of the best looking smartwatches on the market today.

What’s different about the Garmin Vivomove 3?

Garmin Vivomove 3 watch

(Image credit: Garmin)

The most powerful and feature-rich smartwatches are often a bit oversized and ugly on the wrist. But the Garmin Vivomove 3’s case, at 44 x 44 x 11.3mm, is sized much more like a normal watch, and features a traditional analog dial with an elegant look and feel. Behind this lies a hidden digital display (64 x 132 pixels), which you can reveal with a double tap or by sharply raising your wrist. Cleverly, the analog hands then move out of the way, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Functionally speaking, we’ve seen this approach falter on other smartwatches. But here it works beautifully, with no lag or glitching. And this means you can enjoy the benefits of a good-looking traditional watch for occasions you dress up for, and a smartwatch for your runs and gym visits, in one device.

What features does the Garmin Vivomove 3 offer?

As we mentioned earlier, the Garmin Vivomove 3 shouldn’t be considered to be a fully fledged sports watch. However, for pursuing casual exercise, health and wellness goals, it provides all the features you’re likely to need. 

While it doesn’t have in-built GPS, it can connect with a compatible smartphone’s GPS during walks and runs. And while that’s going to be a little less accurate, that’s not really a problem unless you’re pursuing a strict training scheme. 

The watch also allows you to track your steps, plus the number of floors climbed, using its built-in altimeter. You can use it to measure your stress levels, respiration rate, heart rate, hydration and menstrual cycle. There’s a pulse oximeter to measure your blood oxygen saturation. And you can get relaxation reminders, and mindfulness and breathing exercises to reduce daily stress. 

You'll find a good range of general smartwatch features here too, including a calendar, a weather app, ‘find my phone’ and ‘find my watch’ tools, and the ability to respond to, or reject, a call via text (Android only). There’s no onboard storage for music, but you do get the ability to control music from your phone. 

Conclusion

In summary, the Garmin Vivomove 3 is by no means the most powerful or feature-rich smartwatch on the market, particularly when it comes to sports and activities. So if you’re serious about your training, and need accurate performance figures, you should look elsewhere.

If, however, you’re happy with pairing your watch with your phone for some tasks, and don’t need super-accurate location tracking or detailed sports training programs, then the Garmin Vivomove 3 offers excellent value for what’s on offer. Especially if you like the idea of an elegant display that you can switch between dress watch looks and smartwatch functionality at will.