Garmin Unveils Its Vivoactive 3 Smartwatch

It’s a big week for the wearable industry’s top players.

On Monday, Fitbit debuted its highly anticipated Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (see our story on it here). And now Garmin has debuted its long-awaited Vivoactive 3 smartwatch.

And with its longer-than-average battery life (seven days in smartwatch mode; 13 hours in GPS mode) and accessible pricing ($299.99 to $329.99 depending on model), it looks well positioned to compete with Apple and Fitbit in the category.

For a pure-play sports wearable, it’s fairly attractive. The Vivoactive 3 has a relatively slim, round face—a welcome change from the thick-and-blocky faces of past Garmin smartwatches.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 models
Top and above: Garmin Vivoactive 3 models (courtesy of Garmin)

Naturally, it’s packed with high-tech goodies: a top-notch GPS system and heart rate sensor; more than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, and swimming; stress monitoring and VO2 max calculation features; and support for third-party watch faces and apps.

And like the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Ionic, the new device packs NFC for contactless payments. The Vivoactive 3 also debuts Garmin’s proprietary app for payments, Garmin Pay, which supports Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards through a virtual Garmin Wallet.

So you can track your jog up to the Starbucks, swipe your wrist to buy a chilled espresso, and monitor your run back home.

JCK Magazine Editor