Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235 Comparison for 2022

Before we get to the Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235 debate, it’s important to keep in mind that these are two solid fitness devices. They both give you excellent insights into your fitness and cycling journey and they have several intuitive features that make them so enjoyable to use.

While they are many distinguishing attributes, no matter which product you choose, you can be sure there will be something you’ll love about it.

But having said that, you may still wonder what the purpose of this review is anyway. After all, if each of these products has something to offer, why not just go and pick any one of them? Well, it’s not that easy. As much as these devices play the same role, there are things that may make you choose one over the other. For example, if you’re just looking for nothing more than a fitness tracker, pick the Forerunner 235.

However, if you want a smarter device that has more features, you’d be better off with the Vivoactive 3.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs Garmin Forerunner 235

Well, we understand that most of you guys will need way more information about these devices to be able to distinguish between them.

Besides, it helps a lot of people if they can make a decision from a position of knowledge. This is why in the next section we go into a detailed discussion about the distinguishing features between these two devices and why they matter.

Just check our well-researched Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Vivoactive 3 review here below:

1. Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review

Let’s kick off by looking at what the Vivoactive 3 has to offer. Keep in mind though that this is a low-middle level device.

It’s, therefore, something for the budget-conscious buyer but don’t let this fool you. It still has a lot to offer.

Battery Life

You’ll love the battery life of the Vivoactive 3. The battery life depends on the GPS though. If the GPS is on all through then the maximum battery life is roughly 13 hours.

But if you decide to keep the GPS turned off, you can get up to 7 days. The battery life isn’t a huge factor though.

Smartphone Connectivity

You’ll also be able to connect your Vivoactive 3 with your smartphone. This will then allow you to get notifications from your smartphone right on the watch.

This feature is especially important when you’re out there working out. The last thing you want is to get distracted by your phone.

Well, the Vivoactive saves you from this by making sure that any notification comes through the watch so that your phone stays away as much as possible.

Fitness Apps

Vivoactive 3 is, of course, a fitness watch so you can expect it will come loaded with fitness apps and it does very well in this regard. The watch has apps for swimming, yoga, and others that will be unavailable in your fitness journey.

We also loved that it’s fitted with a GPS tracker app that will tell you the distance you’ve covered in your morning walk or run. The GPS tracker also keeps count on your steps as well for the rest of the day.

Personalization Options

The Vivoactive gives you very good personalization options. For example, you can change the theme, the backdrop of the watch, and even generally the interface and the way the watch looks.

Garmin Pay

Paying via mobile devices isn’t something new or uncommon. However, not many watches have this feature. The Vivoactive 3 is, of course, different.

You’ll be able to pay on the go using it. The only downside to this feature is the fact that it’s not universal. In other words, just because you have a Vivoactive 3 or other Garmin devices doesn’t mean you can pay.

  • Offers accurate tracking of distance
  • Responsive and clear touchscreen display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Heart rate monitor and reliable GPS tracking
  • The accuracy of sleep tracking is questionable

2. Garmin Forerunner 235 Review

So, if you just want a fitness tracker that has no too much fuss, this is the product for you. It’s simply a fitness tracker without too many unnecessary fancy features. For this reason, you’ll notice the Forerunner 235 is pocket friendly for most people.

Let’s check out some of its key features:

Battery Life

Again, the battery life here depends on whether the GPS is on. If you decide to keep it off for most of the time, you can get up to 9 days out of a full charge.

But if the GPS is on, the battery life goes down massively. At best, the Forerunner 235 will get a modest 9 hours. But it’s still good seeing that you just have to charge the watch maybe once a day.

Smartphone Connectivity

The Forerunner takes convenience in pairing the watch to your phone to a whole new level. Instead of going through dozens of settings, you can simply use a voice command prompt to do so.

In essence, just tell your watch to pair up with your smartphone and it will do it automatically. Once the phone is paired to the watch, you’ll get all the notifications on your wrist.


This fitness watch also has a large display as well. We all love a large screen, don’t we? First, it just looks great. Secondly, a bigger display means that you’ll easily be able to find apps faster without having to scroll too much.

Despite this, the watch still fits perfectly on your hand. It’s not like the screen is that big. But it’s relatively better than most fitness watches.

Heart Rate Monitor

We all know that one of the key metrics that you have to track when you work out or ride your bike is the heart rate. The thinking is simple. The heart rate is basically a response to the stress you are applying to your body every time you exercise.

It tells you how intense your workout is and the Forerunner 235 comes fitted with a very accurate and reliable heart rate monitor. Here we compare it to the Forerunner 230.

  • You get resting heart rate stats
  • Affordable watch that delivers amazing value for money
  • Lightweight design
  • Looks sleek and sharp
  • Respectable battery life
  • Sleep tracking could be better

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 235 waterproof?

Yes, both of these watches are waterproof and also sweat proof as well. Whether you’re working out a sweat or riding your bicycle on tough terrain, they will work out just fine.

Is the GPS accurate in these watches?

It depends on where you are. From our experience, the GPS readings tend to be a bit off when you’re inside a building but work just fine when you’re out and about. The GPS may also not work accurately if the watch is covered with clothes or thick fabrics.

Can I receive calls with Garmin devices?

It’s only the Forerunner 235 that allows you to pick calls. The Vivoactive 3 doesn’t have a mic or a speaker so naturally, it won’t be of any help here.


From the Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235 discussion above, you can clearly see that both of these devices are reasonably good. But if you were to choose between the two, we’d recommend the Forerunner 235. First, it’s pocket friendly and offers great value for money.

The watch is sleek and comes with a great design as well. It also lets you pick phone calls as long as it’s paired with your smartphone. It’s definitely better compared to Vivoactive 3.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out cycling through the best routes, reviewing the latest gear, and sharing tips on everything biking.

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