Garmin Vivofit 3

Garmin Vivofit 3

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Tech Review

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FM Edition:

The Vivofit 3 is the latest iteration of Garmin’s popular Vivofit wearable activity tracker series. The device was launched earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but only recently hit the local market.

In appearance, it is not a drastic departure from the Vivofit 2, though the portrait orientation of the display is a welcome shift in terms of readability.

The Vivofit 3 strap is broad and basic compared with some competing brands. You would be unlikely to describe it as feminine or dainty, which makes it aesthetically neutral. It’s definitely not chasing one gendered segment of the market or another. There are other straps available that make much more of a fashion statement as part of the "style collection", but I’m referring to the default strap here.

Beyond the looks assessment, the Vivofit 3 is genuinely comfy.

The plastic strap is made of a wonderful, accommodating, non-irritating foam plastic that is so wearable you’ll forget it is there.

And you really can. The Garmin Vivofit range is designed to be especially low maintenance: it has a battery life of a year (using just one "button-style" watch battery, as opposed to the Vivofit 2’s double battery), and it is waterproof to 50m. You can wear it in the shower, the pool, washing dishes, wherever ...

The biggest departure from the previous version is the incorporation of a new auto-activity detection feature called Move IQ, which is able to detect and log sporting and gym activities, from running to biking, walking, swimming and even a sweat session on the elliptical trainer.

In my short review it certainly managed this, but should something be misidentified, you can correct it on the Garmin Connect app.

When it comes to swimming, the Vivofit 3 doesn’t count strokes, as some trackers do, but tracks times for the session.

The display cycles through steps, calories, distance and "intensity minutes", and shows the time when you push the single button on the strap.

The device also has an audible "inactivity" alert for when you’re being too idle.

Overall, the Vivofit 3 is a very convenient, "life-friendly" tracker. And the R1,899 price tag isn’t bad either.

Pros: Comfortable, long battery life, waterproof
Cons: Press to sync; basic broad design
Price: Basic model from R1,899; style collection bundles from R2,299
For more: Garmin Vivofit 3
Cool factor: ****
Usability: *****
Value for money: ****