More Than Just Tracking Bicycle Rides

vívoactive® HR

My first watch was actually the vívoactive® HR which was the successor to the original vívoactive® but added the heart–rate sensor. Of course it did more than just add that sensor but that was the driving force behind not just getting the vívoactive®.

I found that I used the watch a lot to track my bicycle rides and walks primarily (both indoor and outdoor) but was also making use of things like tracking my weight daily so I could be able to take action when I spotted a trend of the increasing variety. I had worked hard to take the pounds off so I truly didn’t want to just put them all back on. I wore it all the time in fact and was even letting it track my sleep. Unfortunately, one day while doing some work in the yard the screen actually popped out. Now I could have managed to just use a bit of silicone or something to hold it in since I wasn’t using it for swimming or anything which would test it’s water resistance but then I found the vívoactive® 3 had what looked to be a much nicer profile. It was thinner, more natural feeling due to being round like a traditional watch and even the heart–rate sensor was improved as it was now flat versus the small protrusion the vívoactive® HR had.

The vívoactive® 3 is definitely far more comfortable to wear. Once you spend a little bit of time customizing some of the settings in the individual activities you plan to use to your liking you are good to go. For example, I find that I prefer to turn on the Auto Pause® for biking (outdoor) but not for walking. There are plenty of ways to customize the watch including changing the watch face, adding different widgets and selecting your favorite activities for faster access to start them.





Lens Material Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Bezel Material stainless steel
Case material fiber–reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover
Quick Release Bands yes (20 mm, Industry standard)
Strap material silicone
Physical size 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm
Fits wrists with a circumference of 127–204 mm
Color display
Display size 1.2" (30.4mm) diameter
Display resolution 240 x 240 pixels
Display type sunlight–visible, transflective memory–in–pixel (MIP)
Weight 43.0 g
Battery life Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode: Up to 13 hours
Water rating 5 ATM
Memory/History 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data

Clock Features


GPS Time Sync
Automatic daylight saving time
Alarm clock
Sunrise/sunset times

Health Monitoring


Wrist–based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
Daily Resting Heart Rate
Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts yes (high)
Fitness Age yes (in app)
All–day Stress Tracking
Relaxation breathing timer
Hydration yes (in Garmin Connect and optional Connect IQ widget)



Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor
Barometric altimeter

Daily Smart Features


Connectivity Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+®
Connect IQ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
Smart notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Find My Phone
Find My Watch
VIRB® Remote
Smartphone compatibility iPhone®, Android
Pairs with Garmin Connect Mobile
Garmin Pay

Safety and Tracking Features



Activity Tracking Features


Step counter
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)
Calories burned
Floors climbed
Distance traveled
Intensity minutes
Move IQ

Gym & Fitness Equipment


Available gym activity profiles Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
Cardio workouts
Strength workouts
Automatic rep counting

Training, Planning and Analysis Features


HR zones
HR alerts
HR calories
% HR max
HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+ to paired devices)
GPS speed and distance
Customizable data pages
Customizable activity profiles
Auto Pause®
Advanced workouts
Downloadable training plans
Auto Lap®
Manual lap
VO2 max
Touch and/or button lock
Auto scroll
Activity history on watch
Physio TrueUp

Running Features


Available run profiles Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running
GPS–based distance, time and pace
Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)
Run workouts
Foot pod capable

Golfing Features


Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)
Yardage to layups/doglegs
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course) Automatic
Digital scorecard
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)
Garmin AutoShot
Green View with manual pin position
Hazards and course targets
Round timer/odometer

Outdoor Recreation


Available outdoor recreation profiles Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing
Back to start
Total ascent/descent

Cycling Features


Alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goals including time, distance, heart rate or calories)
Available cycling profiles Biking, Indoor Biking
Compatible with Varia radar (rear-facing radar)
Compatible with Varia lights
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor) yes

Swimming Features


Available swim profiles Pool Swimming
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories)
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) (pool swim only)
Basic rest timer (up from 0) (pool swim only)
Time and distance alerts