Enlarge (credit: Garmin)
The battle between Fitbit and Garmin continues as Garmin updates arguably its most valuable Fitbit competitor device.
The company announced the Vivosmart 3 today, an update to the Vivosmart HR that came out in 2015.
At $139, Garmin slightly undercuts Fitbit on price while taking some notes from Fitbit’s playbook: Garmin has added guided breathing exercises, easy-to-understand fitness level scores, and more to its new device.
The differences between the Vivosmart HR and the Vivosmart 3 are immediately noticeable, but not because they’re garish deviations from Garmin’s design language.
The new device is thinner, lighter, and has a Chroma display “hidden” behind the band. “Hidden” here only means that the soft-touch material of the band extends over the display and gives the entire device a universal texture.
The display on the Vivosmart HR was exposed and clearly separate from the band, but the new device takes a different approach.
The display still responds to taps and swipes for navigation, and it will automatically turn on when it senses your wrist turns upward to check the time.
The bands are not interchangeable, so you’re stuck with the color that you choose when you buy the device.
But the Vivosmart 3 comes in different colors and in small, medium, and large sizes.
Garmin adds three new features to the Vivosmart 3, and arguably the biggest is automatic rep counting. Now the device can count reps and sets of strength-training exercises like lifting weights.
Garmin representatives told me that, when you choose the strength-training workout option on the device, it automatically senses every rep you do. Once that activity is uploaded into the Garmin Connect mobile app, the company’s software divides up your sets and tries to decipher which exercises you did.
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