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Garmin Vivosmart 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 2

There are tons of wearable fitness trackers on the market today. On the one hand, that means that you can find precisely what you want, and prices are much more competitive. On the other hand, it can be pretty overwhelming to find the right fit for your needs.

Right now, plenty of future owners have narrowed it down to two: The Garmin Vivosmart 3 or the Fitbit Charge 2
This guide will take a look at these two fitness trackers in order to help you come to a decision about which one is best for you.

Overview

The price of both the Vivosmart 3 and the Charge 2 are about equal. Depending on where you buy, the Charge 2 might be just above. The Charge 2 has the advantage of being a Fitbit – the most well-known of the activity and fitness trackers. However, Garmin is no slouch; they have long had a good reputation of offering great products with cutting edge technology.

Size on both is also very close, though the small/medium size of the Vivosmart 3 goes just a little bit smaller and the large is a little bigger than the Charge 2. If your wrist size is on the low or high end of either, this might make a difference to you.

Because of the minute differences in price and sizing, choosing between these two devices comes down to particulars – in features, design, or the accompanying app. Luckily, there are enough differences between the two that it will probably become clear which one makes more sense.

Features

Battery Life: The battery life is about the same on these two devices.

Waterproofing: The Vivosmart 3 is waterproof, while the Charge 2 is only splash resistant.

Functions: Both offer similar tracking functions (sleep, exercise, heart rate) with a few exceptions. The Vivosmart 3 offers stress level tracking, swim tracking, and automatic rep tracking. The Charge 2 has more comprehensive sleep monitoring and stats.

Notifications: Neither have much in terms of notifications – these aren’t smart watches, anyway – but the Vivosmart 3 has a few more options (though its screen isn’t as clear as the Charge 2, so maybe they’re even?).

Design

If the look of the device is important, you’ll probably find the Charge 2 to be slightly better. Neither are overtly fashionable, but the Vivosmart 3 has a much more low-profile aesthetic happening. And the Charge 2 can change out straps, unlike the Vivosmart.

Neither of the trackers are exceptional in navigation or ease of use on the screen, though the Vivosmart 3 is slightly more intuitive. The touchscreen on both can be finicky, which can be frustrating.


fitbit charge

App

Any lost points in the features department are made up in the Fitbit’s app program, which is much more user-friendly than Garmin’s. The Fitbit app is the best on the market, so Garmin would have a lot of making up to do anyway. However, the Garmin app isn’t very intuitive and it is a little buggy.

The Charge 2 also makes up for the lack of GPS by connecting to your smart phone’s GPS. The Vivosmart 3 doesn’t have this feature (or built in GPS).

Verdict

As we mentioned, choosing between these two trackers will come down to personal preference and your specific activity tracking needs. Here’s a recap of where each excels:

  • The Garmin Vivosmart 3 is waterproof and it offers stress tracking and additional activity trackers (reps; swimming)
  • The Fitbit Charge 2 has a more pleasing design and a better app, as well as a more comprehensive look at your sleep

Whichever way you go, both of these fitness trackers offer great tools for the price point.

Our individual reviews of each can be found here: Vivosmart 3 and Charge 2.

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