Some athletes are faced with the question of: Garmin Vivoactive HR, Vivoactive 3, or Fenix 5, which one should I choose? After all, the decision could be very interesting in terms of price, especially around Christmas time when the sports watches mentioned above can be given as a gift.
We tested all 3 models extensively, if you are interested in all the details:
That is why we compare the three attractive sports watches with each other and emphasize the differences.
Optics and Design
The outer appearance alone can suffice for a decision between the models. Angular versus round:
Compared to the Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive HR, the Fenix 5 is considerably more massive and heavier, but overall it makes a more solid impression. But there is also the lighter and more elegant version: Fenix 5S. This is slightly flatter and lighter, but has a smaller battery and therefore lasts less.
Then there is the handling: the Fenix 5 has 5 buttons and does not require a touch display. For wet environments and intensive sports training, it is the better choice.
The Vivoactive HR has two buttons and a touch display. If you have very large fingers, you may experience difficulties with the handling. It is partly not so intuitive.
The Vivoactive 3 has a button (right), a touch-sensitive left side of the housing (called Side Swipe) and a touch display. Side Swipe is used when you want to scroll through the pages and widgets and to set values in data fields. In addition, Side Swipe can help to handle the watch, even if you have wet or sweaty fingers. Side Swipe does not need to be used, however, as the watch can be handled very comfortably and completely via the touch display.
Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Vivoactive 3 vs. Fenix 5
The following table lists some important distinguishing features. Green indicates an improvement:
|VIVOACTIVE 3||FENIX 5||VIVOACTIVE HR|
|Watch glass||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Glass or sapphire glass||Chemically hardened glass|
|Dimensions||43,4 x 43,4 x 11,7 mm|
127 to 204 mm circumference
|47 x 47 x 15,5 mm|
Fenix 5S: 42 x 42 x 15 mm
|30,2 x 57 x 13,5 mm|
M: 137 to 195 mm circumference
XL: 161 up to 225 mm circumference
|Weight||43,0 g||Silicone band: 85 g|
Metal band: 156 g
Fenix 5S: 67 g
|M: 47,6 g|
XL: 48,2 g
|Waterproof||5 ATM||10 ATM||5 ATM|
|Ambient light sensor||yes||no||no|
|Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Stress Level||yes||yes||no|
|Rejecting and automating calls Send text (only Android)||yes||no||no|
|Pre-installed gym activity profiles||Indoor Rowing|
|% HF max.||yes||yes||no|
|Recording of heart rate during swimming||no||yes|
(with HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim)
|Running Training Programs||yes||yes||no|
|Virtual Partner & Virtual Racer||no||yes||no|
|Advanced Running Metrics|
(running efficiency, ground contact time and balance, vertical movement)
|Route guidance on routes||no||yes||no|
|Extended training statements (recreation time, training condition, training load, training effect)||no||yes||no|
|Outdoor & Navigation Functions|
|Swimming metrics (tracks, distance, pace, number of moves/trains, calorie consumption, swimming style recognition)||yes||yes||yes|
|Product page||Product page||Product page|
|Our review||Vivoactive 3||Fenix 5||Vivoactive HR|
All in all, it can be seen that the Fenix 5 offers much more advanced fitness and outdoor features that are intended to appeal to ambitious athletes and outdoor fans.
If you are looking for a good all-rounder with running training programs, you would probably rather choose the Vivoactive 3.
If you want to keep an eye on the price, you can have fun with Vivoactive HR, without having to forego a lot of things.
Reading tip: Choose the right Garmin Tracker