Garmin Vivofit 3
The Vivofit 3 is made up of a small, removable tech module and a silicone band that wraps around it so snugly that it seems to be one piece. The module, which is water resistant to 5 ATM, features a 64 x 64-pixel display that is .39 of an inch square. Beneath the screen is one solitary button which Garmin gets serious use out of.
Like the Vivofit and last year’s Vivofit 2, this is no frills tracking, so you don’t get the GPS or heart rate monitoring skills of the Vivosmart HR+. But Garmin is making a big push on making its wearables more pleasing on the eye and it’s even given the budget tracker a makeover.
The previous versions of Garmin have already been impressing us with its latest line of trackers and running watches. They have been tracking steps, sleep, runs and more.
It is designed to scroll the display through time, date, the number of steps, steps remaining to goal, distance traveled, and active minutes when the Vivofit’s buttons are repeatedly pressed. A press with a short hold turns on the backlight, a press with a medium long hold starts an activity. Hold it a little longer and it forces the Vivofit 3 to perform a sync with a paired smartphone. Longer still and the “pair” icon appears.
If you closely following the evolution of the Vivofit then you’ll notice two big changes with this version. The first is the screen, which has shrunk considerably since the first version and the micro updated Vivofit 2. The 64 x 63 resolution display is more than half the size than the one on the more expensive Vivosmart HR+ as well.
On the back of the module are four screws. They can be removed to replace the battery that will keep the Vivofit 3 for a year before it needs to be changed. The strap is light and comfortable to wear. It is available in regular and extra large sizes. Therefore, it should be accommodating for most wrists. There’s a new clasp mechanism that aims to make it fit more securely and largely it works.
It is a waterproof device and is provided with a 5ATM rating. This means that you can take it into a pool up to 50 meters depth.
The Vivofit 3 can record walking, running, cardio, and sleep time and quality. Activities are recorded on the device and then synced via Bluetooth to a paired compatible smartphone. But the smartphone must be running with Garmin’s free Garmin Connect smartphone app. The Vivofit doesn’t have any heart rate monitor, but it can connect to any compatible heart rate monitor. For this, it needs Garmin’s ANT+ wireless communication protocol.
When paired with the heart rate monitor, the device will display the heart rate and heart rate zone and record those metrics during activities.
The display of the Vivofit can be adjusted since the screen is small. There are five different watch face setting choose from. They are digital time, digital time with reversed minutes, time with an activity progress bar and two different versions of an old “big-hand-little-hand” analog watch face. The Vivofit 3 has one audible alarm that can be set to any combination of days. But, it doesn’t have a vibration alert.
The Vivofit 3 doesn’t use a rechargeable battery. It uses a CR1632 lithium coin cell battery that is commonly used inside an analog watch. This means that you need not remember that the device needs to be charged always. So there’s no proprietary charging cable to carry around. You’ll get a year long worth of tracking with that battery.
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