The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is currently $50 off. Mine will be arriving today and I’m looking forward to putting it through its’ paces. I’m not sure how long the sale will last but if you’ve been waiting for a price drop now would be a good time to take advantage and save some money.

>>View the Vivoactive 3 Music on Amazon.

The regular Vivoactive 3 without music is also currently $199 and when it was first released at $299. A lot of times it pays to wait.

The Vivoactive 3 Music is the second GPS watch Garmin released to support music. The first was the Forerunner 645 Music and now the latest versions of the Fenix supports music.

Support for Spotify has been added for the Forerunner 645 Music and the Fenix but hasn’t come to the Vivoactive 3 Music yet. Hopefully, it too will support the popular music streaming service.

I’ll be creating tutorials on how to get music on the Vivoactive 3 Music since I’ve seen a lot of people asking that question.



Besides being able to support music storage of up to 500 songs, the other major difference between the regular Vivoactive 3 and the Vivoactive 3 Music is style.

The non-music Vivoactive 3 features a wider bezel and more options in colors and finishes while the Vivoactive 3 Music has an edge-to-edge screen and is available in two different colors,- black and Granite Blue. The black version has chrome accents for the button and buckle while the Granite Blue has rose gold. I chose the Granite Blue because I liked the contrast between the case and the watch face. Plus, I have a zillion black watches as you can imagine!

The other Garmin GPS watch that I have is the Fenix 5s which has been a terrific GPS watch and pretty much the standard I use against everything else I review because it is so reliable for GPS accuracy and heart rate. I’m expecting good things from the Vivoactive 3 Music too as reviews I’ve read and watched claim that the GPS and HR sensor are very good.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music in Black

It will take some getting used to not using physical buttons to navigate through the screens. The Fenix 5s has 5 buttons which takes a little time getting used to but physical buttons are preferable for outdoor activities.

If your fingers are wet or if you’re wearing gloves physical buttons make a lot of sense. The Vivoactive 3 and 3 Music have a single button while the screen is touchscreen but I’ve been reading up on it and it looks very intuitive to use.

The original Garmin Vivoactive 3 without music support

The screen uses the same technology as most Garmin watches with a transflective display. These are displays that look amazing in the brightest sunlight. OLED displays can be tough to read in such conditions depending upon how bright the screen will adjust. The transflective display will also allow for a much longer battery life.



For a watch that was made for outdoor activities (and indoor) you’ll come to appreciate the reflective display, and speaking of outdoor activities, Garmin excels at tracking those workouts in the great outdoors and that’s what I love about their products because I enjoy hiking and kayaking. The Fenix 5s is a great GPS watch for both activities and I’m eager to see how well the Vivoactive 3 Music will do in comparison.

The Fenix 5s is terrific for kayaking since it determines distance and also the number of strokes. I’m not sure that the Vivoactiver 3 supports this. I’ll update this when I find out. Of course, it’s December and I live in Illinois so it may be a few months!

Navigation is supported on both Vivoactive 3 versions which means you can save your GPS location and navigate your way back to it with on-screen prompts. You can also navigate to a previously saved location. A compass is also built-in which is an essential tool for hiking.

Like other Garmin devices, external heart rate sensors are also supported. While the built-in optical wrist heart rate sensor is good for most activities, a chest strap is more accurate for weight lifting or any activity in which a lot of flexing of the wrist is involved. Also, if you do a lot of high intensity workouts a chest HR strap might be the best choice.

But for most activities the built-in HR sensor should be more than capable. It does have 24/7 heart rate monitoring which will let you know your resting heart rate. Resting heart rate is a good indicator of overall heart health. VO2 Max is also supported which is another good indicator for how physically fit you are.

The differences between the Vivoactive 3 Music and the Forerunner 645 Music are few but important depending upon your needs.

The Forerunner 645 Music is a runner’s watch with advanced running metrics. Like the Fenix 5 the 645 Music has physical buttons to navigate through the various menus. Again, the Vivoactive 3 has a single button and a touchscreen. Golf is supported with the Vivoactive and the Fenix 5s but not on the 645 Music.

>> View the Garmin 645 Music on Amazon
>> View the Garmin Fenix 5s Plus on Amazon

The 645 Music and Vivoactive are water resistant to 5 meters and will track pool swimming. The Fenix 5 watches are water resistant to 10 meters and support tracking both pool swimming and open water swimming.

Garmin Pay is supported on all three of the latest versions. My Fenix 5s released in 2017 doesn’t support Garmin Pay or music but the newer version of the Fenix does.

Yeah, it gets confusing! But I will be comparing the Vivoactive 3 Music against the Fenix 5s and the Apple Watch Series 4.

The Apple Watch Series 4 was my choice for the best smartwatch of 2018 but its’ fitness tracking abilities aren’t equal to Garmin, especially when it comes to hiking and other activities I enjoy doing but I’ll be getting into all that.

Until then, if you’ve been waiting for a price drop. now is the time to grab a Vivoactive. I would expect the Vivoactive 4 to be released in 2019 but I’m not sure what features the current one is lacking to make me want to wait.

>>View the Vivoactive 3 Music on Amazon.

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Last Update: December 28, 2018