Garmin has officially unveiled its newest smartwatch: the Garmin Vivoactive 3 (styled as vívoactive 3) aims to take on the Apple Watch
, Samsung Gear
Sport and other smartwatches for athletes.
The Vivoactive 3 kills it in terms of battery life
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 comes as the spiritual successor to the Vivoactive HR, but it has taken the rather unsightly boxy look of the HR and turned it into a Fenix-like device that has true smartwatch appeal, with a round display and it supports the new Garmin Pay NFC wireless payment system.
The new Vivoactive 3 sports Garmin's Chrome screen, a full-color and sunlight readable display and it is an actual touchscreen like the one on the Vivoactive HR (Garmin's popular Fenix 3 has a similar display, but it's not a touch screen). There is a brand new interaction mode: you can now swipe on the side of the watch case, a "side swipe" as Garmin calls it. It's useful for those times when your hands are dirty or when you don't want to obstruct the already tiny display of your watch.
Here are the six highlights of the new Vivoactive 3:
• Garmin Pay mobile payment solution lets you pay for purchases with your watch
• Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ store
• More than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more
• Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and fitness age estimates, plus keep an eye on how you handle stress
• Get connected features such as smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, LiveTrack and more
• Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; 13 hours in GPS mode
The other big new feature is wireless payments. The new Garmin Pay system here uses NFC and is actually powered by FitPay, a third-party developer company that creates contactless payment systems for wearables. So this is not a completely new system that Garmin built, it's just a different name for an already existing payment system. Garmin Pay Visa, MasterCard, and other credit cards with select banks. And wireless payments make a lot of sense on such wearables, as you often want to leave your phone and wallet when you go for a run or a swim, and still be able to buy groceries on your way back home.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
Garmin is also bringing sport profiles and a very welcome strength-training profile that tracks reps and sets for gym rats. There are now 15 indoor and outdoor sport profiles that you can track with the new watch, including cardio and yoga.
The watch also ships with built-in GPS and with a compatible phone, you can use the Garmin Live Track feature to share your location live, a feature that might be a life-saver in quite a literal sense.
Vivoactive 3 price and release date
The new Garmin Vivoactive 3 will be available in big box retailers like Best Buy, so you should not find it hard to buy one.
The Vivoactive 3 price starts at $300, and the release date is not yet set in stone, but we know that the wearable will be available by the end of the year.