Apple Watch Series 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR Comparison

Most smartwaches nowadays can perform a wide range of functions, such as smartphone interaction and physical activity assistance. Yet, they become a vital role in your daily life. What’s on your mind right now may be the consideration between Apple Watch Series 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Apple Watch Series 3 or Garmin Vivoactive HR?

Don’t worry. We got your back. In this article, we will layout 6 of the essential criteria for when it comes to choosing a smartwatch. Also, we will compare head-to-head Apple Watch Series 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Apple Watch Series 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Dustproof and Water-ResistantYesYes
Has Branded Damage-Resistant GlassYesNo
Sweat ResistantYesYes
Has a TouchscreenYesYes
Has a displayYesYes
Watchband is replaceableYesNo
Resolution312 x 390px148 x 205px
Waterproof depth rating50m50m
Has an OLED or AMOLED displayYesNo
Has sapphire glass displayYesNo
Has force touch/3d touchYesNo

As you can see in the table, dust proofing, water-resistance, and sweat resistance are the required features that both products possess. Those are quite common on a smartwatch. They also have touchscreen and display for users to present information and monitor them. For those who are swimmer and love diving, both manufacturers advise that the maximum threshold that the products can be able to withstand the water pressure is 50mm.

Moving to other features that make the difference between Apple Watch Series 3 and Garmin Vivoactive HR. Firstly, Apple equips their watch with a branded damage-resistant glass and sapphire glass display. At the same time, sadly, Garmin Vivoactive HR does not have, which might raise much concern about its condition and resilience for many people. Secondly, after time, the user might get pretty familiar with the product or even get bored by its outlook. Apple noticed that and give them a replaceable watchband, give them the flexibility to change the outward appearance, an ability that Garmin does not possess as well. Users could also be more convenient with force touch/3D touch technology on Apple Watch Series 3, and once again, Garmin loses another point on this feature. In terms of its resolution, Apple Watch Series 3 is entirely dominant Garmin Vivoactiove HR, which is 312x390px and 148x205px, respectively.

In conclusion, you can see that at the same price, Apple watch’s design has a compelling win against Garmin Vivoactiove HR and sufficiently convinced those who prioritize the design of the product.


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Has a heart rate monitorYesYes
Has GPSYesYes
Has a compassNoYes
Has an accelerometerYesYes
Monitors blood oxygenation levelsNoNo
Has a barometerYesYes
Has a gyroscopeYesNo

Digging deeper into their performance, sensors are the heart of a smartwatch, followed by many characteristics that depend on it so that it is the main factor that needs profound consideration. Firstly, both watches have some essential features similar to each other such as GPS, heart rate monitor, and accelerometer. They also possess a barometer feature which appears in very few smartwatches. The “No” similarity of both watches occurs at blood oxygenation levels monitor, a little bit drawback to people who are professional athletes.

For trekking and exploration purposes, Garmin Vivoactive HR performs more effectively than Apple Watch Series 3 due to a new compass. Gyroscope is a sensor that is missing on Garmin Vivoactive HR, which causes just a bit of inconvenience when on movement.

Activity Tracking

CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Tracks distanceYesYes
Tracks steps takenYesYes
Track your sleepNoYes
Counts how many calories you have burntYesYes
Measures paceYesYes
Provides activities reportYesYes
Provides sleep reportsNoYes
Detect activities automaticallyYesNo
Tracks elevationYesYes
Has a route trackerYesYes
Has multi-sport modeNoYes
Has goal settingYesYes
Has exercise taggingYesYes
Has a stroke counter for swimmingYesYes
Has weight trackingYesYes
Has stroke recognitionNoYes
Tracks water intakeNoYes
Design for golfNoYes

Here is the section most people would care thoroughly. You can see that both watches provides users plenty of features to support their exercises, motivate them and keep track on every progress that they have made, such as tracking distance, tracking steps taken, counting how many calories user have burnt, measuring pace, activities report, tracking elevation, tracking route, goal setting, exercise tagging. Both Apple Watch Series 3 and Garmin Vivoactive HR are also equipped with stroke counter for swimming and weight tracking, which very few smartwatch models have it, for better progress analyzing and monitoring.

The distinction is, while the Apple Watch Series 3 has automatical activity detection to save time for users from entering the data manually at a later time, Garmin Vivoactive HR has a feature with the same function but specifically for swimming, which is stroke recognition. Garmin is also more exceptional with the water intake tracking, sleep tracking, sleep reports, and golf specification features, make it a better health companion.

In conclusion, especially on this factor, the Garmin Vivoactive HR consistently outperforms Apple Watch Series 3 on health tracking overall, specializes in those who are professional athletes.


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Is compatible with AndroidNoYes
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
Support WifiYesNo
Bluetooth version4.24
Automatically syncsYesYes
Has NFCYesNo
Supports Wifi 4YesNo
Is compatible with IOSYesYes
Has a cellular moduleYesNo
Supports ANT+NoYes
Is compatible with Mac OS XYesNo

The ability to syncs wirelessly, automatically, and compatibility with Ios are all included in both models, an essential function of almost every model in the market.

But on the other hand, users would have to consider among all of their devices to choose one of these models, to synchronize their data flow. Both models are compatible with Ios operating system, yet Garmin Vivoactive HR does not cooperative with Mac OS X as well as Apple Watch Series 3 does not support Android. Moreover, Apple gives their products the ability to access the internet through wifi, widen their functions considerably. To compensate for what the product’s lacking, the manufacturer actively supports Garmin Vivoactive HR with ANT+ connectivity, which is super efficient in creating the connections between fitness monitoring devices and Garmin. But Apple Watch Series 3 has a more reliable connection with mobile through a cellular module and also a better version of the Bluetooth module, which is 4.2 and 4, respectively.


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Battery life0.75 days8 days
Has a battery level indicatorYesYes
Has a rechargeable batteryYesYes
Has wireless chargingYesNo
Battery life with GPS on18h13h

Either Apple Watch Series 3 or Garmin Vivoactive HR has a battery level indicator and rechargeable battery, which is quite familiar nowadays. The difference is in the battery life, which is up to 8 days with the Garmin Vivoactive HR model and just 0.75 days with the Apple Watch Series 3 model, a pretty large gap that requires a perpetual charge. But the paradox appears in the battery life with GPS on. The win is wholly given to Apple Watch Series 3, with 18h and 13h, respectively. Wireless charging would compensate for the battery life shortage of the Apple watch model, while Garmin Vivoactive HR does not have.


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Locates your phoneYesYes
Has notificationsYesYes
Has call controlYesNo
Has silent alarmNoYes
Can be used to answer callsYesNo
Has a stopwatchYesYes
Has vibrating alertsYesNo
Integrated with social networksYesYes
Has a voice commandYesYes
Has inactivity alertsYesYes
Has achievementsYesYes
Has a smart alarmNoNo
Has a built-in camera remote control functionYesNo
Access to online servicesNoYes
Has social featuresYesYes

Some of the basic features, namely locating your phone, notifications, stopwatch, voice command, are included in both models. They also possess practical and interpersonal features like social features, integrating with social networks that allow you to communicate information and experience with others, create a community by yourself. Furthermore, as your coach, they have features that regularly mark your new achievements and remind you to practice, not allow you to be idle for too long.

On the contrary, Apple does better in the synchronization between devices while it allows users to control their call. Apple also attains the vibrating alerts, which is suitable and necessary in some particular situations while Garmin does not have. But yet Garmin has the vibration feature to wake people up, less annoying but still efficient than the traditional one.

Access to online portal feature, which is only possessed by Garmin, indicates user’s data in the form of reports and graphs. It simplifies the data and makes it more attractive for people to see throughout the progress. Moreover, a built-in camera remote control function is a quite handy feature on Apple Watch Series 3, but sadly Garmin’s manufacturer does not concentrate on this factor.


CriteriaApple Watch Series 3Garmin Vivoactive HR
Free appYesYes
Has music playbackYesYes
Has an exercise diaryYesYes
Syncs to the cloudYesYes
Can be personalizedNoYes
Compatible with external heart rate monitorsYesYes
Has passcodeYesNo
Has period notificationsYesNo
Supports routesNoYes
Tracks BMINoYes
Has live trackingNoYes
Supports widgetsNoYes
Predicts start dateYesNo

Both manufacturers provide the users with all the essential internal and external features such as free software, music, ad-free, syncing to the cloud, and exercise diary. They acknowledge that their products are lack of heart rate sensor, and as a result, they compensate it by compatibility with external heart rate monitors.

Turning to other terms, Apple is well-known for its reputation of security, and because of that, a passcode is always provided on its product to secure user’s data. And also, because of that, users can not be able to interfere with the operating system so that they are restricted to personalize their devices while Garmin allows the users to do that. All of the features supporting exercise are also provided sufficiently on the Garmin Vivoactive HR such as, tracking BMI, live tracking, widgets, supporting route that does not appear on Apple Watch Series 3 features.

Conclusion: Apple Watch Series 3 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR – Which One Should You Buy?

It is hard to answer this question. It should depend on people’s purpose, perspective, and priority. Apple Watch Series 3 and Garmin Vivoactive HR are quite exceptional in their range. Their functions would please a vast majority of users. Yet they undoubtedly have their own advantages to sort out the interest of the customers.

Choosing Apple Watch Series if:

  • You are fascinated by its delicate outward appearance and its resilience.
  • You are a technology lover with all the requirements of up-to-date features.
  • You need remarkable connectivity.

Choosing Garmin Vivoactive HR if:

  • The data reported to you have to be thorough.
  • You are a golf player.
  • You need extended battery life.