Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3: What’s The Difference?

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3You’ve narrowed down your choices in the fitness trackers’ department to the ones produced by Garmin, what with how it provided the market with amazing gadgets that do a variety of functions.

Two of Garmin’s best are the Forerunner 235 and the Vivoactive 3, and in this article, we’ll settle the issue of the Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3.

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3 Comparison

Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3 | Design:

Garmin Forerunner 235

The dimensions of the Forerunner 235 are 1.8 x 0.5 x 1.8 inches and weighs 1.4 ounces. Its lens has chemically strengthened glass and a strap made of smooth silicone.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Like the former, the Vivoactive 3’s lens is made of chemically strengthened glass and its strap is made of smooth silicone. However, its design is taken a further step with a stainless steel bezel, and a case that is made of fiber-reinforced polymer with a stainless steel rear cover. Its dimensions are 1.7 x 0.5 x 1.7 inches and it weighs 1.5 ounces, so it’s a bit smaller than the former but a bit heavier as well. However, the slight change in dimensions is negligible when a comparison is drawn between the features.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

Vivoactive 3 or Forerunner 235 | Display

Garmin Forerunner 235

The transflective screen on the Forerunner 235’s display makes up for the lack of colors as it makes it very easy to read even when you’re outdoors. It functions just as well in dim-lit places because it has a backlight that provides sufficient illumination. For a 1.23-inch display with 215 x 180 pixels resolution, compromising some extra colors for the extended functionality would seem like a sensible decision.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

All the information displayed on the Vivoactive 3’s display such as mileage, pace, heart rate, and even a map of your route after connecting it to the Garmin connect app can be easily read thanks to the quite bright display it is equipped with. The information is also displayed in attractive colors that hype you up for your workout. Furthermore, the display is a touchscreen, so it makes dealing with the watch very easy and seamless. Being 1.2 inches in size with a 240 x 240 pixels resolution just adds to the pros.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Vivoactive 3 | Heart rate monitor:

Heart rate monitoring has become one of the most important and vital features on a fitness tracker to keep solid stats on your heart rate throughout the day and during activity, which in turn gives you a general background on your heart’s healthiness and functioning.

Both the Garmin 235 and the Vivoactive 3 provide you with a detailed focus on your heart rate stats as they have heart rate alerts to grab your attention to when your heart rate is above or below a target zone or a custom range that you set. Furthermore, they keep information on your heart rate zones to calculate the heart rates that will most efficiently burn fats for you. They also have HR broadcast that broadcasts your heart rate data over ANT+ to paired devices.

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 beats its rival in that it is able to estimate your heart rate recovery time so that you know the amount of time your heart needs to return to its usual rate.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 beats its rival in practicality as it uses % HR max to determine the best exercise intensity for each workout you do with accurate precision. It’s more precise than the conventional 220-age multiplied by specified percentages, which failed to be a reliable method of calculation.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is also equipped with V02 max which is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that your body is capable of burning during intense activity.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

Vivoactive 3 or Forerunner 235 | Sport recognition:

Garmin Forerunner 235

Track your step count, calories burned, floors climbed, distance traveled, and duration of intense workouts with the Garmin Forerunner 235. You can also use it with your cycling where it keeps a profile and notes info like distance and time cycled, preloaded cycling profiles, and a speed and cadence sensory support. When you reach your cycling goal, it triggers an alarm to let you know and celebrate your achievement. However, it doesn’t keep track of other activities like dancing or kickboxing.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 recognizes and records activities like running, biking, swimming, and elliptical training (only if done for at least 10 minutes). This is due to the help of the Move IQ feature that recognizes activity patterns and has the capability of discerning between a variety of them, as well as documenting them. Besides walking, running, and cycling, the Vivoactive 3 has your back when it comes to golfing where it keeps track of yardage, displaying a digital scorecard, and tracks your strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit. Furthermore, it has preloaded swim profiles and stores information like lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, and calories. It’s also capable of detecting the stroke you use to swim such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235 | Floors Climbed:

Garmin Forerunner 235

Due to the lack of a barometric altimeter sensor, the Forerunner 235 is incapable of keeping track of the number of floors you’ve climbed throughout the day.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

It’s a great addition to keep track of the number of floors you’ve climbed during the day because more effort is exerted into it. The Vivoactive 3 is equipped with an altimeter that lets you do just that.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3

Which Is Better The Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3 | Notifications:

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 delivers your notifications as well as events and appointments you’ve saved to your calendar, the weather, and allows you to control your smartphone music. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android and is equipped with a “Find My Phone” feature.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 does all of the previously mentioned functions that the Forerunner 235 and extends the functions to respond or reject phone calls with a text (this feature is available for the Android operating system only), and also an ability to make payments through Garmin Pay.

Winner: Garmin Vivoactive 3.

GPS

Both trackers are equipped with GPS sensors that keep track of distance, time, and pace. When you connect them to the Garmin Connect app, they send a map of your route.

Winner: Tie.

Water Resistance

Garmin Forerunner 235

Although the Forerunner 235 isn’t swim-proof, it can endure water down to 5 ATM.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive is both water-resistant down to 5 ATM and swim-proof. This means you can go swimming with it and take showers or baths while you’re wearing it.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

Sleep tracking

Both these trackers have sleep tracking where you set your regular sleep hours in the user settings on the Garmin Connect app, and then the devices recognize your sleep patterns automatically and monitor your movements while you sleep. After that, the trackers build stats on your total hours of sleep, sleep levels (light, deep, and REM), and sleep movements so that you can view them later on the Garmin Connect account.

Winner: Tie.

Battery life

Garmin Forerunner 235

Keeping in mind the Forerunner 235 can be set to two modes: smartwatch or GPS, you’ll get two different battery lives.

The first is smartwatch mode which makes it last up to 9 whole days. Whereas the second is GPS mode on which it lasts 11 hours only.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

With the two modes available on the Vivoactive 3 also, you get 7 days of functioning on the Smartwatch mode and 13 hours on the GPS mode.

Winner: The Garmin Forerunner 235.

Memory/history.

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 keeps activity data on its storage for 8 days and a half.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The Vivoactive 3 keeps activity data on its storage for 14 days so you can go back and compare your stats. It also delivers 7 timed activities.

Winner: The Garmin Vivoactive 3.

TrueUp

This feature is exclusive to the Garmin fitness trackers. The TrueUp feature on the Garmin Connect app allows you to store all your data and stats on one single account which you can log into from several devices. This facilitates tracking your activities from multiple activity trackers. Garmin Connect merges the data and sends it to any other compatible devices.

Winner: Tie.

Conclusion: Which Is Better The Garmin Forerunner 235 or Vivoactive 3?

Bottom line, both smartwatches share many similar features, although the Vivoactive 3 is a bit more upgraded. However, the Forerunner 235 can be seen as a tracker made for the more practical customer as it focuses more on fitness, and running especially.

That’s why its battery lasts longer, as its durability isn’t distributed on other activities that may stir away from fitness.

While the Vivoactive, which has turned out to be the winner in many of the compared aspects in our review, has way more extensive features. The most notable are the touch screen and payment service.

In conclusion, in the battle between the Forerunner 235 vs the Vivoactive 3, you can easily decide if you put a priority.

If you’re more keen on the practical functions and use of the tracker and would like to enjoy a long battery life with more choices for colors, then go for the Garmin Forerunner 235.

But if you want all the extras, more stylish design, a display that pops, additional features and would like to use your smartwatch in multiple ways, then you should opt for the Garmin Vivoactive 3.

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