It must not be always expensive top-of-the-art technology. We were looking for a cheap sport watch that is suitable for regular Measurement of the physical exercise. Cheap sports bracelets at prices of 100 euros or less are quickly broken, and in Training you can see, most of them much to small to Display much of anything. Reliable results when recording Cycling, running and elliptical machine activities were also required, and finally, the candidate should be involved in one of the large Ecosystems for the sports Analytics.

Michael Spehr

editor in the Department “technology and Motor”.

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The choice fell on the Vivoactive 3 from Garmin, which comes in two versions. A with music support for recommended 330 Euro and the us tested without music for 300 Euro. The cheaper Version is 11.7 mm, significantly flatter than the expensive, which measures 13.6 mm. The difference seems to be small, but noticeable, if you want to wear the watch that go beyond sporting activities in everyday life. The Vivoactive is not quite as flat as an Apple Watch (10.7 mm), but they fit anyway, still under the shirt sleeve.

In the comparison with the professional sport watches for a particularly ambitious people, some of the differences, however, beyond the size immediately: There is only a single side button to operate, while the professional models with multiple keys, Use a precise with little attention also then allow, if it is fast or hectic. Garmin uses for the Vivoactive in addition to the physical button, a touch-sensitive display, scrolling with a vertical finger swipe through different screens. The left side edge of the watch is a sensor surface, which also allows for string movement operation. This all works quite well, but the last bit of professionalism missing. You do not want to make so many thoughts about the operation. At the end of a Swim session, we pressed the page button too long, and the entire recording was gone.

The Display is easy to read

The processing quality of the Vivoactive is fine, the housing is made of Polymer, that includes gorilla glass, the bezel looks cheap, however. At the bottom of three green continue to measure the light-emitting diodes while the heart rate. With the three pin charging adapter from Garmin the watch battery can be filled again. He gave us a sport activity per day – approximately four to five days. The watch is water resistant to a depth of five metres, and the Display with and without illumination, easy to read.

15 sports, along with data fields that are available, you can shop online. The watch measures VO2max, the maximum oxygen uptake, endurance performance. The measured values were identical with those of the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. A chest strap with Bluetooth or ANT+ to connect, and there are, of course, the connection to the Smartphone with Push-messages and call signaling. Only you can not make calls with the watch, W-Lan for data transfer is missing, and the accuracy of GPS in runs in the city leaves much to be desired as had an old Garmin Problem.