Apparently there is some kind of tech or gadget or phone conference or congress going on at the moment. Not sure myself as I must have missed it. In amongst all this news of new phones one of the world’s leading GPS and fitness tracking companies, Garmin released a new range of fitness trackers to the Australian market.

Late last year I reviewed the Garmin Vivosmart HR and was so impressed with it I bought one for my better half for Christmas. It was a great step towards the top of the fitness tracker market space. In another attempt to unseat Fitbit at the top of the fitness tracker pile Garmin have now announced the new Vivoactive HR and the Vivofit 3 with interchangeable bands.

The Vivoactive HR

The Vivoactive HR, similar in looks to the Fitbit Surge, is a GPS smartwatch with Garmin Elevate (their wrist heart rate technology). Not only does it add a GPS to its predecessor but also barometric altimeter allow it to track all types of exercise including stair climbing. The Vivoactive HR allows the user to track active moments throughout the day with its functionality including the usual counting of steps, floors climbed, intensity minutes and sleep monitoring. Alongside all this Garmin have included GPS-enabled sports apps for sports such as running, cycling, pool swimming, golf, stand up paddleboarding and rowing and skiing and snowboarding. These apps allow the user to use their Garmin smartwatch to aid them in their sports, such as measuring the shot distance in golf as well as pointing you in the right direction (when on the wrong hole I would suspect which would be very handy for me). The pool swimming app tracks distance, pace, stroke count, stroke type and can also calculate swolf (which is actually a thing- a measure of swimming efficiency).

vivoactive HR, Standard Views, United States
vivoactive HR, Standard Views, United States

Not only can you install these apps on the Vivoactive HR but you can also personalise it with other apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields from the Garmin Connect IQ store. Sounds a lot like an Android Wear watch doesn’t it? It’s not far off it in that it has an always on touchscreen and when connected to your phone can keep track of incoming calls, texts, emails, calendar reminders, weather information and even social media alerts.

The Vivoactive HR will be available in Australia in April of this year at AU$399RRP and comes with a black band. Accessory bands will be available for AU$49 in black, white, force yellow and lava red.

The Vivofit 3

The Vivofit 3 is Garmin’s daily activity tracker that has an unbelievable 1 year battery life! It allows the user to track the usual activities including walking, running, biking, swimming and elliptical training using Garmin’s Move IQ. It also tracks the usual “inactivity” in the form of sleep patterns and trends. The basic backlit display on the Vivofit 3 shows steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes and time of day with an audible alert for when a user has been inactive for too long.

The Vivofit 3 will be available in Australia in March/April and will be bundled with a regular or XL sized band black band and white band for AU$169, or a regular sized white or black band for AU$159. Interchangeable accessory bands will be available for the Vivofit 3 as well with a 2 pack setting you back AU$49 each for the standard designs and AU$59 for the designer bands.

Garmin seem to be certainly stepping up their game with their fitness trackers and we hope to bring reviews of these products when they are released so keep an eye out here if you are interested in either of these.

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Phill Edwards

I like the look/sound of the HR. Do you know what battery life will be?
Also, you’re right in that it does sound similar to an Android Wear watch. Why, do you think, did Garmin go with their own OS rather than Android Wear?


I have the current vivoactive without the HR and its battery life is amazing. Better than my original pebble. Uses up approx 8-10%/day – more if GPS is used while running or riding etc.
android wear might not be compatible with the GPS in watch!!