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Garmin's new vívosmart 3 will track your stress levels and VO2 max

The new Garmin vívosmart 3 features stress tracking, VO2 max estimations, five-day battery life, a new Strength Training activity, and more.

Published onApril 12, 2017

Garmin’s vívosmart line of fitness trackers are sleek, packed with features, and, perhaps most importantly, don’t cost an arm and a leg. I’ve been a huge fan of the vívosmart HR+, which I’ve been using as my main fitness tracker for about six months now.

Now the company is looking to improve on the success of last year’s lineup with the introduction of the new Garmin vívosmart 3.

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One of the first things you’ll notice about the vívosmart 3 is its new design. Namely, that new “hidden display”, which is only visible when activated via gestures, alerts, or notifications. When you’re not using the display the screen disappears from view, allowing you to save a bit more battery life.

One thing Garmin has always done really well with their fitness trackers is notification support. Unlike most Fitbit devices, which only let you receive calls, texts, and calendar alerts, the vívosmart 3 lets you receive basically any notification you’d like. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram notifications are all supported, and you can even control the music that’s playing on your phone.

Garmin is also bringing a few new features to the vívosmart 3 that were previously only available on higher-end devices. The vívosmart 3 is the first device in the vívo lineup to feature VO2 max estimations, which will help you keep an eye on your cardiovascular fitness. The vívosmart 3 will translate your VO2 max score into a fitness level, ranging from poor to superior. Basically, the higher your VO2 max score, the better your cardiovascular fitness. VO2 max is also used to help determine a fitness age, which simply displays a user’s fitness level in terms of an age. Also new to the vívosmart 3 is a new Strength Training activity that counts reps, sets, and even rest times during free weight exercises.

The vívosmart 3 also sports a new feature that will help you stay relaxed throughout the day. The new feature is called “wellness monitoring”, and will track your heart rate variability, which will help calculate stress levels. If the device senses your stress level is too high, you’ll be able to follow along with on-device breathing exercises that should help encourage relaxation.

If VO2 max estimations and stress tracking sound familiar to you, that’s because Fitbit introduced both of those features in the Fitbit Charge 2. It’s obvious that Garmin is trying to catch up with Fitbit a little here, but we’ll have to wait for our full review to see which fitness band tracks these features better.

Fitbit introduced both of these new features in the Fitbit Charge 2

The vívosmart 3 will track your steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, heart rate, sleep, and more. There’s no GPS on board, though, so distance tracking and pacing won’t be super accurate. Garmin’s Move IQ feature is also supported here, which means the device will be able to automatically start and stop activity recording if it senses you’ve paused or resumed your workout. There’s no word on a specific water resistance rating in the press release, but it does mention you’ll be able to swim and shower with the device. We’d imagine it’s at least sporting an IP67 rating.

So, when can you get your hands on one of these bad boys? Garmin says the vívosmart 3 is shipping now in Black and Purple color options in a variety of different sizes for only $139.99. That undercuts the Fitbit Charge 2 by about $10.

As mentioned, we’ll have a full review of this device coming your way in a few weeks. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the vívosmart 3?

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