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Garmin Vivosmart 3 vs. Fitbit Alta HR

In the world of wearable activity trackers, many models are so similar that it can be difficult to choose among them. Case in point: the Garmin Vivosmart 3 and the Fitbit Alta HR. These two fitness trackers are remarkably similar, creating a tough decision for some potential buyers. This guide will compare these fitness trackers so that you can make an informed decision between the two options.


Currently, the Vivosmart 3 and Alta HR are about the same price, with some differences depending on where you buy, but probably not enough to influence your decision. They are also nearly identical in size – both wrist size and band thickness, though the Alta HR is slightly slimmer.

There are mostly similarities in the functionality of the two, with just a few differences – but significant enough that they will likely help you make a decision.


Both devices have heart rate tracking and keep track of steps and calories burned. Both offer quite a bit of sleep tracking and data. All of the basics that you would want out of a fitness tracker at this price point are available in both the Vivosmart 3 and the Alta HR.

Neither has a screen large enough to have handy notifications, but both devices do have reminders to get you active and will automatically log activity.

The Alta HR has a slightly better battery life, boasting 7 days, while the Vivosmart 3 can go 5 days without a charge. It also has more comprehensive sleep data than the Vivosmart.

The Vivosmart 3 wins for additional features, however. These extra features include:

    • Stress tracking
    • Waterproofing (the Alta HR is only splashproof)
    • Rep counting for weights
  • Fitness score/fitness age (based on VO2 max level)
  • Activity menu on device


To most, it would seem that the Alta HR has a better design, but it depends on what you want in a fitness tracker. The Alta HR has a sleeker, more stylish design for sure. But for those interested in a nondescript band (and one that seems to be unisex), the Vivosmart 3 would be a better choice. The Alta HR has the added benefit of being able to change out the bands, which Garmin’s device cannot do.

Neither device has exceptional user interface design on the screen, but you probably shouldn’t expect much at this price point (or on a non-smartwatch). The Vivosmart 3 has a few more options through the screen, but it’s a little tricky to use (lots of double tapping required).


When it comes to the app and the user experience there, the Alta HR is the clear winner. Fitbit’s app is far superior to Garmin’s, and it’s the best fitness tracker app out there right now. The Garmin app is comprehensive and has plenty of info, but the Fitbit app is far more intuitive and easy to navigate. It’s also less buggy than the Garmin app.


We don’t have a clear winner, simply because there are several differences that will appeal to different people. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each instead.


  • Vivosmart 3: Waterproof, stress and rep tracking, activity menu
  • Alta HR: Great app, stylish design, comprehensive sleep tracking


  • Vivosmart 3: Limited music control, app isn’t great, cannot change out bands
  • Alta HR: Not waterproof, fewer features than Charge 2, dim screen


Between these two, you should be able to find a fitness tracker at this price point that has the functionality you need.

Want specifics about either of these devices? We reviewed each of these individually. You can find them here: Garmin Vivosmart 3 and Fitbit Alta HR.

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