On the market for a new fitness tracker? On April 12, Garmin released its newest wearable, the Vivosmart 3 ($140; amazon.com), the update to its Vivosmart HR+ fitness tracker that was released almost a year ago.
The Vivosmart 3 comes with a few new features that make it useful not only for cardio fanatics, but also your run-of-the-mill gymgoer. As a self-proclaimed cardio hater (sorry, but you�ll never catch me “just going for a jog”), I decided to put the Vivosmart 3�s features to the test. Here�s what I thought.
Fitbit diehards may have a run for their money when they see how slim (and Fitbit-like) Garmin�s newest model looks. According to Garmin, this wearable is �a master of subtlety.� The touchscreen is smaller than the tracker’s previous versions, so it doesn�t look like a clunky brick on your arm. Plus, the display isn�t perpetually lit up�the screen only brightens when you tap or lift your wrist slightly to check the time. Other features include the traditional watch-buckle band and two color options: black or a grayish-purple.
New standout features:
Garmin has always offered step and mileage counting in its fitness trackers, but now you can also use the device to long your strength-training workouts. A rep-counting feature can be turned on to track your reps and sets and record them in the Garmin Connect app.
The Vivosmart 3 can also track your VO2 max�the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use at any given moment�and translate that data into your �fitness age.� For challenge-loving exercisers, it�s an easy way to notice changes in your athletic ability over time.
The coolest new feature, in my opinion, is the device�s ability to track your stress levels. The Vivosmart 3 uses your heart rate variability to estimate how stressed you are on a four-level scale. If it turns out you�re feeling the pressure, the watch can help you calm down with a breathing exercise. Set the duration (1 to 5 minutes) and hit start; the watch then commands you to breathe in and out in counts of four.
Features like sleep tracking, a heart rate monitor, a 5-day battery life, and a waterproof shell have been passed down to this latest installment.
The bottom line:
This watch provides all the features you’d expect�smartphone notifications, heart rate and step tracking, and other fitness tracking features�but it�s the new abilities that really make the Vivosmart stand out. I love to lift (and hate cardio), and now, there’s finally a watch that can help me achieve my goals in the gym. I’m also a fan of the stress-level indicator. The streamlined design makes the watch much more attractive than its predecessors, and is something I’m not embarrassed to wear all day.
At $10 less than Fitbit�s newest wearable, the vivosmart 3 could be a top fitness-tracking contender. I give it an A+ in my cardio-loathing book.
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