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Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Vivomove HR

Both manufactured by Garmin, and running very close to one another in price, there’s a good chance you’re comparing the Vivoactive 3 and the Vivomove HR as you shop for your next smartwatch. Don’t let the similar prices fool you—these two devices are quite different from one another, as much in design as they are when examining their built-in features.

Each of these two new offerings—— boast an impressive level built-in technology and offer solid value from a reputable player in the category. Though similar in price, Garmin clearly targeted two very different end users for these two smartwatches, so choosing the one that is best suited to your lifestyle and interests should be straightforward. Below we get into a breakdown of these key differentiating factors to help you pick the Garmin smartwatch that’s best suited to your needs.



At a first glance the differences in design between the two models are obvious. The Vivomove HR is designed as a hybrid smartwatch, as it combines a multifunction touchscreen display with time indication delivered via the hours and minute hands of a conventional “low tech” watch. Rather than going after the hardcore fitness fiend, the Vivomove HR is geared towards more day-to-day wear, focusing on features like notifications, sleep monitoring, and remote music controls. More than anything, it’s a good transitional piece for those less sold on the idea of a full-on touchscreen smartwatch.


Though also well designed in its own right, the Vivoactive 3 is much more of a fitness-focused device. Even visually it has of an active smartwatch/fitness tracker vibe to it than the Vivomove HR, and comes in four different case and bezel combinations. Offered on a rubber strap and boasting a modest 5ATM water resistance, the Vivoactive 3 is ready for you to run, swim, cycle, and sweat to your heart’s content.



One of the other big differences—a deal breaker for some—is GPS capability. The Viovactive 3 has it, and the Vivomove HR does not. This also means that the Vivoactive has several additional dedicated fitness tracking features that require GPS, giving it better overall data capture for those who prioritize fitness over style.


Additional Features

Aside from GPS, the Vivoactive 3 retains the upper hand in terms of features and functionality. It is the only one of the duo to include Garmin Pay, Garmin’s mobile payment function that lets you pay on the go without your wallet. This feature was a key addition for the Vivoactive 3 when it launched, as both the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch and the Apple Watch have built in NFC, and it since became a necessary feature for any smartwatch that wants to run with the big dogs.

The Vivoactive 3 includes 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps geared towards activities  including yoga, running, swimming, and others, which is another serious leg up on the Vivomove HR. Both devices are water resistant and both track steps, stairs, and reps, but the Vivoactive 3 has a much more comprehensive repertoire when it comes to tracking anything fitness related.


Bottom Line

The best way to look at the comparison between the Vivoactive 3 and the Vivomove HR is to consider it a matter of form versus function. Both are stylish, but the Vivomove HR is better suited to daily life—not to mention blending in significantly better with office-friendly attire. The Vivoactive 3 on the other hand is an ideal companion for an active lifestyle. It’s by no means a bad looking smartwatch, and above all else it delivers a host of useful features that will come in handy even on those days when you aren’t training.





  • Bob Wilhelm November 27, 2020 at 2:28 pm from Smyrna, GA, USA
    Great succinct review. Gave me all I needed to know without getting overly technical and "down into the woods" in description. Thanks
  • Joy Compuesto July 19, 2020 at 5:10 pm
    Good review. Was about to check out in an online store. This gave me the information I needed what to purchase based on my needs. Thanks a lot!

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