Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Review

If you have ever used a Garmin Vivoactive 3 before then you’ll pretty much already know what I’m going to be talking about.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is just an upgraded version of it. It basically took over all of the functionality and added a music feature to it.

It’s actually Garmin’s second smartwatch that brings music to your wrist. The first model that got this feature was actually the Forerunner 645 Music.

This feature is useful as you can leave your phone at home the next time you work out. Just save enough music, podcasts or audiobooks to the smartwatch, pair up with wireless headphones and forget your phone!

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music: Design

The Vivoactive series received a huge design upgrade when they came out with the 3rd version.

Which is why the Music version didn’t receive any major changes in the look department.  That said, there are still some minor changes.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Review

The stainless steel bezel has been replaced with glass. It gives the watch a smoother and more modern look.

Even the screen looks bigger, even though it’s exactly the same size. Garmin has also kept the same wrist strap, which can easily be swapped out.

The watch comes with a silicone strap that’s perfect for working out and doesn’t irritate the wrist.

Most of the watch is covered by the touchscreen.

There is also a single button on the side as well. You can use it to start and end a workout. It’s pretty useful if your hands get sweaty while exercising.

What’s been removed is the touch screen function on the side of the case. I’m not sure why they have specifically removed it but I don’t really miss it either.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music: Functions & Music

Like I mentioned before, the Vivoactive 3 Music has the exact same functions as its predecessor.

It’s just as smart, as in you can view all notifications that pop on your phone and you can also reply to messages straight from the watch.

That’s if the smartwatch is paired up with an Android device. You can’t really type any messages but there are some common pre-written ones that you can use. Such as “Yes”, “No” or “Love you!”.

All of these can be rewritten and you can also add new ones.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music has enough space to store plenty of music.

It can fit around 500 songs. There are currently 2 ways that you can load music to the watch. You can either use Garmin Express or iHeartRadio.

Hopefully, in the future, it will support both Deezer and Spotify. There are a couple of Garmin smartwatches that already support them, so it shouldn’t take too long.

If you are part of the MP3 player generation then you won’t have any problems with uploading music.

All you have to do is install Garmin Express on your computer and log onto it with your Garmin account. After that connect the smartwatch to your computer with a USB cable.

Open up the “Music” tab from the Express and the program will automatically find your music folders.

Next, pick your favorite songs and press “Send to Device”. That’s it!

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music: Working Out & Sensors

All of the Vivoactive models are mentioned as smartwatches.

Truth be told, despite being smart, they are mainly still GPS sports watches. Just like the basic version, Music is also packed with numerous exercise modes.

For example, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, skiing, yoga, etc. You can also create your own workout modes by choosing a premade one and configuring it.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Gps Sensor

The smartwatch contains a GPS receiver, a barometric pressure sensor for altitude, an electronic compass and also an optical heart rate sensor called Garmin Elevate.

All of these sensors are used to save and analyze information about your workout.

It’s also incredibly easy to start the workout mode.

All you have to do is press the single button on the side. You’ll get a list of exercises that you can directly choose your favorite one.

Once you activate it, the watch will open up the GPS screen and start tracking your location.

Oh and the watch even measures your VO2max, which is a fantastic indicator for your overall physical condition. You can also use it to track your progress.

There are also exercise plans for running and weight lifting.

They tell you exactly how many repetitions you should be doing and when you should rest. You can also create workout plans yourself through the Garmin Connect app.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music has the exact same heart rate sensor as its predecessor.  Which means that it has also got the upgraded algorithms that are incredibly accurate.

Unfortunately, watches are still slower than sensor belts.  So it can take some time to get the right reading. Once you do, it does a really good job of staying accurate.

If you want an even more accurate reading and don’t want to wait, then you’ll need to get a sensor belt. This smartwatch does support it and you can pair it up with both Bluetooth and ANT+.

The watch has also got all of the typical activity monitor features. It counts all of your steps, burned calories, heart rate while both exercising and relaxing. It also keeps an eye on your stress levels throughout the day.

Garmin has realized that everyone needs small goals in their life. That’s why the watch creates daily step goals that are different every day.

They adjust based on how active you were during the previous day. So if you have been a couch slough for the entire week, then the watch won’t punish you wish insane expectations. Instead, it gives you small achievable goals.

My most favorite feature is the sleep tracker. The watch tracks how well you have been sleeping. You can view all of this data straight from the watch. Even the graphs that it creates!

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music: Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect is a piece of software that can be viewed straight from your browser or you can also install it on your phone.

It’s an incredibly useful environment as it’s where you can view all of the information that the watch has saved. It also has a bunch of graphs that they have automatically created.

Garmin Connect Vivoactive 3 Music

You can analyze everything about your activity. It even saves your history and you can view it all later.

There are so many different types of tabs and functions that it can take some time to discover all of the possibilities that the app offers.

The Connect environment also lets you friend people. Which lets you compete with them and earn virtual achievements.

If that doesn’t motivate you enough, then Garmin has an Insights function that tries to steer you in the right direction.

All of the settings and configurations that you set on your watch can also be adjusted from the app. It also has access to the Garmin Connect IQ app store, from where you can download different apps and screen covers.

The watch and app work really well together. It automatically synced instantly every time I made some changes through the app. It also works the other way around.

So you can open up the app right after you have finished your workout. All of the data will be available instantly.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music: Battery Life

According to Garmin, the Vivoactive 3 Music should enough battery life for a whole week. That includes all the fancy functions.

With constant GPS usage, they promise up to 13 hours. Reality is that you can definitely use it for a week before you have to charge it again.

But it comes down to how much you use it. If you use it really intensively throughout the day then you’ll probably need to charge it after 4 to 5 days.

On a positive side, the watch fully charges in only 1.5 hours. So it won’t take you that long to start using it again.

Should You Buy The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is the perfect companion for working out. You can keep your phone in a bag and never take it out.

Besides the fantastic music feature, the smartwatch can also keep track of all your steps, burned calories and much more.

All of the sensors are incredibly accurate and they work almost instantly. So you don’t need to worry about it missing any of your workouts. Besides all of these activity tracker features, the Vivoactive 3 Music also works as a smartwatch. It’s a perfect balance!

Written By Marcus Hagen. He is a journalism student from Columbia University. He enjoys working out and hopes to run a marathon in 2019. In his spare time, he writes reviews for a blog called, where he mostly covers workout related devices.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
Author Rating

Related Articles