Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245: Which one is better?

Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245
Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245

Overview (Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245)

Garmin’s smartwatches Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 245 have many beneficial features and some differences as well. Check out the article for more information on Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245

Vivoactive 3

Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with Contactless Payments and Built-In Sports Apps, Black with Silver Hardware
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution lets you pay for purchases with your watch (available for supported cards from participating banks)
  • Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ store
  • More than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more
  • Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and fitness made estimates, plus keep an eye on how you handle stress
  • Get connected features such as smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, Live Track and more when paired with a compatible smartphone

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 has a subtle, circular stylish smartwatch with interesting features like smart notifications, GPS and various sports tracking or training activities evaluation including both indoor and outdoor activities like cycling, skiing, snowboarding, etc.

Although this Garmin is focussed on training and fitness, it has a whole range of features like heart rate sensor, small notifications, Garmin Pay to pay for things in case you forgot to bring your wallet, sleep pattern tracking, and real-time stress tracking.

It comes in 3 different colors and materials namely black silicone and slate (premium-looking dark grey), silicone and stainless steel (silver), and white silicone and stainless steel.

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It is waterproof up to 50 meters which makes it ideal for swimming. The screen has a Corning Gorilla Glass and the case has a reinforced polymer for sweat-free experience.

It has GPS and GLONASS positional radios, a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, and thermometer. The screen display is activated when you raise your wrist.

Forerunner 245 

Garmin 010-02120-20 Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, Black
  • GPS running smartwatch with music advanced training features, Lens Material:Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Bezel Material: fiber-reinforced polymer, Strap material:silicone
  • Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 6 hours in GPS mode with music
  • Evaluates your current training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it; Offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Get free adaptive training plans from Garmin coach, or create your own custom workouts on our Garmin connect online fitness community
  • Provides advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more (When used with Running Dynamics Pod or HRM Run or HRM Tri monitors (sold separately))

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Forerunner 245

Forerunner 245 is a lightweight, compact watch, abound with features like GPS with GLONASS, elevate heart-rate sensor, strength training, swimming, running, cycling, etc.

There is a feedback option which determines your workout activities and tells you if you have undertrained or overtrained. It is not touchscreen which saves battery life and makes it easier to use.

It provides accurate results while tracking your training exercises. You can also add a lot of other metrics to improve your performance.

The screen is visible in direct sunlight. It has an accelerometer, a compass, Galileo satellite systems, and Pulse Ox sensor which monitors oxygen saturation in your blood.

You can also connect the watch via Garmin OS using Garmin Connect app. You can also text messages, feed app alerts, accept or reject phone calls.

Tip – Also Look at Forerunner 645 Music vs Vivoactive 3 & Different Triathlon Gears

Differences (Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245)

Both the watches are identical in display but there are other significant differences.


Both have GPS with GLONASS and Galileo sensor, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, Compass and accelerometer.

The additional features in which the two devices differ are Pulse OX, barometric altimeter, and thermometer. Forerunner 245 has Pulse Ox feature while Vivoactive 3 is inserted with barometric altimeter, and thermometer


Forerunner 245 is a better product when it comes to battery life. Vivoactive 3 can stay up to 7 days when the smartwatch mode is activated and 24 hours in GPS mode while Forerunner 245 can run for 1 week in smartwatch mode and only 13 hours in GPS mode. 


Forerunner 245 has fiber-reinforced polymer bezel and has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the watch while Vivoactive 3 is made of stainless steel and the glass is unavailable in it.


Vivoactive 3 has features like barometer, pulse oximeter, floors, Garmin Golf and Garmin Pay option.

However, all these features are absent in Forerunner 245.

Memory Storage

Another big difference is the memory storage. Forerunner can hold up to 200 hours of activity.

But Vivoactive is unable to match up to its level with only tracking service for 7 timed activities, and takes over 8 days to store 200 hours inside the memory.

Vivoactive is made to monitor activities constantly while Forerunner is for discrete workouts.


Forerunner 245 has bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity while Vivoactive 3 has Bluetooth Smart and ANT+.


Although both the watches are available in different colors but Vivoactive goes way ahead with colors like black silver, black slate, white silver, and white rose gold.

Forerunner model comes only in slate grey and berry color pattern.


Vivoactive 3 is more modern when we compare the two with a touchscreen display. Forerunner 245 model is way behind considering this feature.

Garmin Pay

Garmin Pay allows users to pay anywhere, anytime even if you forgot to bring your wallet or your smartphone.

This feature is easily accessible and easy to use. Unfortunately Forerunner 245 lacks this feature. With Vivoactive 3, you can use Garmin Pay.

Incident Detection

With Forerunner 245 you can take advantage of Incident Detection feature. If you need to send your current location to someone for some or the other reason, then this feature will help you send it to chosen contacts.

The best thing is that it is automatically activated when a particular incident is detected or you can activate it manually.

However, you need your smartphone for it. Vivoactive 3 does not have this feature.

Reviews (Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 245)

Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 is a comprehensive smartwatch with many features including barometric altimeter and pulse oximeter, contact less payment using Garmin Pay app, activity tracking for golf and other activities including both indoor and outdoor activities like climbing stairs, snowboarding, skiing, stand-up paddles, and rowing in open water.

It has a touchscreen display and has a pretty decent battery life.

Forerunner 245

Forerunner 245

Forerunner 245 is an ideal running companion, made keeping in mind the needs of runners.

It has advanced running metrics with a longer battery life. It has a better battery backup in the GPS mode. Additional features include Pulse Oximeter which is an added advantage to this Forerunner model.

However, it does not have Garmin Pay service. So if you are only focussed on your physical training especially running and do not care about these additional features, then you should definitely go for Forerunner 245. 

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One Comment

  1. Hello Mrs Thurston,

    I am currently using a Vivoactive 3 for my running sessions but I am not entirely satisfied by its GPS precision (I am living in France and use GPS + Galileo tracking), especially when I am changing my direction by 180°. The watch is struggling to understand that I am running at the opposite direction, often loses the signal – or it looks like it does – and shows 30-50% slower pace than normal. Did you notice a considerable performance improvement in this area on the Forerunner 245?

    Many thanks for your helpful review and also thanks in advance for your answer !

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