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Garmin vívoactive 3
Garmin Venu (2019)
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Garmin vívoactive 3 vs Garmin Venu (2019)

Analysis:

The Garmin vívoactive 3 makes for a good, if unremarkable Smart Watch for people with a $160 budget. The Garmin Venu (2019), however, is merely mediocre when compared to other options at its price point and won't satisfy the needs of most people.

In both cases, however, you might want to look into some alternatives at the $160 price range - chances are that there are better options available.

If you're still interested in learning more about the Garmin vívoactive 3 and Garmin Venu (2019), however, we put together a summary of what we know:

The Garmin vívoactive 3 was loved by reviewers at BikeRadar, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "Best GPS and smartwatches for cycling: how to choose the right one for you" roundup where it was named its "Ranked 3 out of 5", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Returning to the Garmin Venu (2019), Tom's Guide, a source that's known for its high-quality in-depth testing, has great things to say about it. In fact, it was named its "The best Garmin smartwatch" in its "Best Garmin watch in 2021: Choose the right GPS tracker" roundup, which is quite a feat.

Our direct Garmin vívoactive 3 vs. Garmin Venu (2019) comparison of their review scores has shown that, out of sources that tested both Smart Watches, Expert Reviews and Pocket-lint preferred the Garmin vívoactive 3, whereas Techradar seemed to like both equally.

We also looked at which sources liked these products best and found that the Garmin vívoactive 3 got its highest, 10, review score from Expert Reviews, while the Garmin Venu (2019) most impressed reviewers at Lifewire, which gave it a score of 9.4.

Finally, we also compared their review scores to the rest of their competition - the Garmin vívoactive 3 earned an average review score of 8.6 out of 10 points and the Garmin Venu (2019) received an average of 8.3, compared to the 7.2 average of Smart Watches in general.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
TechGearLab
OutdoorGearLab
PCmag
BikeRadar
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
CNET
Tom's Guide
Expert Reviews
Android Central
rizknows.com
Tech. Specs Comparison
Garmin vívoactive 3
$129
Garmin Venu (2019)
$198
Cellular
No
No
GPS
Yes
Yes
NFC
Yes
Yes
Operating System
Garmin Watch OS
Garmin Watch OS
Higher than average expert review score
7.3
Overall Avg. for Smart Watches
8.3
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best Fitness Tracker” 
Last updated: 18 Nov 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Garmin Smartwatch 2021” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
rizknows.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Fitbit Ionic vs Garmin vivoactive 3 vs fenix 5” 
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best value Garmin sports watch
in “Best smartwatch 2021: The best wearables for iPhone and Android ” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Garmin for everyday wear
in “The best Garmin watch 2021: find the right Garmin fitness tracker for you” 
Last updated: 28 Nov 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 6
in “Best Running Watches 2020: The best sports watches with GPS” 
Last updated: 6 Sep 2019
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best cheap smartwatch for sports tracking
in “Best cheap smartwatch 2021: Affordable wearables from just £45” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 5
in “5 best wearables of IFA 2017: the tech you may soon be wearing” 
Last updated: 4 Sep 2017
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap multisport watch
in “Best fitness tracker 2020: Which fitness tracker is right for you?” 
Last updated: 15 Dec 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 7
in “7 best wearables of CES 2019: the top smartwatches and more from the show” 
Last updated: 10 Jan 2019
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best GPS Running Watch” 
Last updated: 16 Nov 2020
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Time to think about the best watch for back to school” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2019
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Garmin Watches” 
Last updated: 25 Nov 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Garmin watch in 2021: Choose the right GPS tracker” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “5 best smartwatches of IFA 2019: the top wearables announced this week” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Style
in “Best Garmin Smartwatch 2021” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Garmin smartwatch
in “Garmin UK watch models explained: Our pick of the best Garmin sports watches you can buy” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 9
in “The Best Smartwatches of 2021” 
Last updated: 7 Dec 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #10 out of 11
in “Best smartwatch 2021: Our top wearables for style, fitness and function” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: 2 days ago

Key things to consider when buying Smart Watch

Our super simple Buying Guide

A smartwatch is a wearable computer in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches bring notifications, apps, voice control, fitness tracking, and more to your wrist. Although they vary in their features and designs, smartwatches generally help increase productivity and keep track of fitness and health data, like heart rate and sleep tracking.

With exceptions of no-name brands and cheap knockoffs, smartwatches range from $100 on the low end and up to $2500 for the most premium devices. The price goes up significantly when looking at products made of luxury materials, or ones with a very specific use case. Most people will be satisfied with getting a mid-range smartwatch. An option that costs around $200 will typically offer all of the essential tracking and productivity features but may be missing some more premium ones, like cellular connectivity, NFC, or onboard music storage. For $500 you can get a fully-fledged smartwatch that will track a wide array of activities, have a large number of extra features, and will be made of high-quality materials. The high-end of the market is reserved for smartwatches that are aimed at fashion-conscious people who want their smartwatch to have premium looks, without offering any additional functionality over the more reasonably priced options.

The smartwatch market is evolving quickly, with products getting discontinued after two or three years and new flagships being released annually.

A few key players in the industry:

  • Apple enjoys the biggest share in the market and dominates it with their universally lauded, iPhone exclusive Apple Watch smartwatches. They feature great build quality, run on their well-developed wearOS, flawlessly integrate with the iOS ecosystem, and have a wide selection of applications.

  • Samsung mainly produces smartwatches for Android smartphones, but its wearables are also compatible with iPhones and Windows devices. The company's smartwatches run on Tizen OS, which has all of the essentials but lacks some popular apps.

  • Fitbit is known for its great lineup of fitness-focused smartwatches that come at a relatively low price. Fitbit built their own OS that's compatible with all types of smartphones.

  • Garmin offers smartwatches with advanced tracking functions and rugged build quality. The company is primarily focused on outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Xiaomi, in partnership with Huami, also produces good products and focuses on the budget end of the smartwatch market.

These are the most important specs to consider when buying a smartwatch:

  • iOS - This is arguably the most polished operating system for wearables currently available and Apple keeps constantly improving it by pushing regular updates to the OS. It only works properly when their Apple Watch is linked to an iPhone; Apple states that phones from other manufacturers aren't supported.

    WatchOS is the wearable operating system that's currently exclusively used by the Apple Watch. It's smooth, battery-friendly, has a large library of apps, and is well-connected to the iOS ecosystem.

  • Tizen - Tizen is a great OS choice for smartwatches because it's very battery-friendly and smooth to use. However, the current lack of apps and the inferior Bixby virtual assistant are considerable drawbacks to an otherwise good OS.

    Tizen is a custom operating system developed by Samsung. It's known for its versatility - it's used on smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, in-car entertainment systems, TVs, and other smart-home appliances.

  • Cellular - A cellular connection on a smartwatch allows you to do anything that requires data without having your phone nearby. That means that the watch can independently make calls, text, receive notifications, stream music, and more. However, it negatively affects battery life and usually comes at a premium - models that support a cellular connection are typically more expensive and incur extra costs in the form of monthly network operator fees.

  • GPS - Information from a smartwatch's GPS sensor is typically used to provide important workout metrics such as the distance covered, speed, and pace. There may be some small inaccuracies, but the error variation across different devices is typically insignificant for the majority of users.

    The Global Positioning System uses signals from satellites to determine the exact location using triangulation. GPS functionality in smartwatches is essential for certain sports, like cycling, running, golf, and swimming.

  • NFC - NFC in smartwatches lets you perform contactless payments, replacing credit or debit cards. The technology is convenient, fast, and adds versatility to the smartwatch.

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is a type of wireless data transfer that detects and enables other nearby devices to communicate with each other without internet connectivity.

    While you may struggle to find NFC functionality on older smartwatches, the majority of newer models come with an NFC chip.

  • Fitbit OS - This operating system was purpose-built for a more fitness-focused experience. It's optimized to be battery friendly and features an app store that's mainly populated by health and fitness applications. Fitbit doesn't have its own voice assistant and currently uses Amazon's Alexa.
    Fitbit OS is the operating system used by Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers.

  • Android - Wear OS is compatible with a wide selection of devices and can easily be synced with iPhones and Android smartphones alike. However, there are certain features that won't work with iPhones, such as iMessages, replying to messages through third-party apps like WhatsApp or Slack, and full integration with calendar and emails. Wear OS has a clean and simple user interface, Google Assistant integration, and a good amount of apps available on Google's Play Store. However, the OS can sometimes feel laggy and buggy; some apps can take a few seconds just to launch. Another major drawback of WearOS is its poor battery life - its competitors are delivering multiple days of battery life, whereas most Wear OS devices still need to be charged every night.

    Originally named Android Wear, Wear OS is Google’s Android-based operating system specifically designed for wearables and smartwatches. Because of its open platform, it's used by a variety of smartwatch manufacturers.

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
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