Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Samsung Gear Sport Comparison

Most sport watches 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 Garmin Vivoactive 3

vs. Samsung Gear Sport. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Garmin Vivoactive 3

or Samsung Gear Sport?

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 sport watch. Also, we will compare head-to-head Garmin Vivoactive 3

vs. Samsung Gear Sport and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Samsung Gear Sport


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Dust-proof and water-resistantYesYes
Branded damage-resistant glassYesYes
Replaceable watch bandYesYes
Screen resolution240x240px360x360px
Always-On DisplayYesYes
Water-proof depth rating50m50m
OLED or AMOLED displayNoYes
Screen size1.2’’1.2’’

When you look across both devices, it’s clear to see that the design approaches from Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Samsung Gear Sport are quite similar. They have the same 1.2’’ of the screen size and the same size in general. The difference is in which you have to put it on your wrist to recognize it, as Garmin Vivoactive 3 is 7g lighter than Samsung Gear Sport.

Both are quite decent sport watch to pick up, as their resilience is among the top-notch in the market. Dust-proofing, water-resistance, and sweat-resistance are all present. And they are even strengthened by the branded damage-resistant glass, plus the ability to withstand up to 50m of the water depth.

Regards to their display, both come with the touchscreen with the always-on feature. Garmin’s main focus on the sporty features has been fulfilled, and then Samsung Gear Sport surpasses its rival by the AMOLED display with the 360x360px resolution, while Garmin still sticks to the LCD with the 240x240px resolution.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Heart rate monitorYesYes
Blood oxygenation level monitoringYesNo

Both offer the same core sensors, including built-in GPS, lastest Elevate heart rate monitor technology, and an accelerometer to track activities like indoor running and steps for fitness tracking. Sleep monitoring is also accelerometer-based too.  The compass and barometer are also fitted into Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Samsung Gear Sport.

Yet Garmin Vivoactive 3 is finally making a big move to improve performance with the blood oxygenation level monitor, providing the insights into the VO2 max index as well as breath quality during your sleep. In turn, Samsung Gear Sport redeems it by the gyroscope, which is quite a smart feature, but it is not enough to bring it in-line with the competition.

Activity tracking

Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Distance trackingYesYes
Walking step taken trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Sleep reportingYesYes
Calories burnt trackingYesYes
Pace trackingYesYes
Activity reportsYesYes
Elevation trackingYesYes
Route trackingYesYes
Multi-sport modeYesYes
Goal setting modeYesYes
Exercise taggingYesYes
Stroke recognitionYesNo
Stroke counter for swimmingYesYes
Weight trackingYesYes
Water intake trackingYesYes
Golf compatibleYesNo
Automatic activity detectionNoYes
Calorie intake trackingNoYes

Other than that, undoubtedly that these two are well matched for sports tracking. Both feature the same core sports tracking mode, which includes running, cycling, sleeping, and activity reports afterward. They also have a range of activity sessions to choose from, which eventually sort out your data and analyze it.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 seems to have more specialty on this field compared to its counterpart, as some specifications for pool swimming and golf have been added. The flaw is that Garmin Vivoactive 3 lack the ability to automatically detect the activities as well as the data into your calorie intake, which Samsung Gear Sport does quite a good job.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Android compatibleYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Windows Phone compatibleNoNo
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
Automatically syncsYesYes
NFC connectivityYesYes
ANT+ connectivityYesNo
Supports Wi-Fi 4NoYes
Cellular moduleNoNo

In terms of connectivity, they are both quite harmonious with devices as they support the Android and iOS platforms, but neither of them is into the Windows Phone, unfortunately. The ability to sync wirelessly and automatically are also present on Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Samsung Gear Sport. Plus, you can be able to make contactless payments right on your wrist through the NFC connectivity.
Yet Garmin Vivoactive 3 shows its competence in the fitness field through the ANT+ connectivity to connect between fitness device, the thing that Samsung Gear Sport misses out. On the contrary, Samsung Gear Sport supports Wi-Fi 4, which delivers by far one of the fastest performance currently.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Battery life7 days3 days
Wireless chargingNoYes
Battery level indicatorYesYes
Rechargeable batteryYesYes

P1: Similarities between these two products

When you use Garmin Vivoactive 3 as a smartwatch, it compared favorably to other smartwatches when it came to battery life, and you are probably looking at 2-3 days of usage. However, you actually get more than that out of Garmin Vivoactive 3, which can last up to 7 days, while Garmin Gear Sport promises to last up to 3 days without any GPS antics.

A piece of good news for those who are after the technology advance that Samsung Gear Sport comes with the wireless charging, whilst Garmin Vivoactive 3 are still bundled itself with the regular one.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive 3Samsung Gear Sport
Phone locatingYesYes
Call controlYesYes
Silent alarmYesYes
Vibrating alertsYesYes
Integrates with social networksYesYes
Inactivity alertsYesYes
Achievement trackingYesYes
Access to online servicesYesYes
Social featuresYesYes
Can be used to answer callNoNo

Elsewhere, however, things are reassuringly familiar. Phone locating, notification, call control, silent alarm, stopwatch, vibrating alerts, inactivity alerts, achievement tracking, online services, and social features are what Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Samsung Gear Sport bring to the table. The only flaw is the cellular module on both models, which feed into the absence of direct call answering on your watch.

Verdict: Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Samsung Gear Sport – Which One Should You Choose?

At the bottom line, you can notice that Garmin Vivoactive 3 is quite prominent in the fitness tracker field, providing better data insights and metrics into your current health state while Samsung Gear Sport performs more like a smartwatch with some up-to-date features and smart sensors within. Other than that, both are quite decent sport watch, which we promise to give you quite an experience.

Choosing Garmin Vivoactive 3 if:

  • You are after a thorough index of your health.
  • You need a long battery capacity.

Choosing Samsung Gear Sport if:

  • You are seeking an elegant display.
  • You are a technology geek.