Vivoactive 3 Vs Forerunner 235 – An Expert Guide

Running watches have earned an important place in the fitness world today. These watches not only calculate the distance or track pace but also give great insights into our health and how we can improve simultaneously. Garmin watches have taken on the world of smart watches and are still going further. Two of the best bets are Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 235. Here i lay out some of the facts on choosing Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235.

Overview On Vivoactive 3 VS Forerunner 235

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09/22/2021 12:52 pm GMT
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/22/2021 12:53 pm GMT

Both have their good and bad points. Our guide will help you choose your ideal one. I am going to start with a brief overview of both the watches.

Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 are two of the best running watches in the market introduced by the same American brand, Garmin.

These are high tech running watches with several interesting features like GPS tracking, heart rate sensor, music controls, smartphone compatibility and can even guide you on your training and workout sessions.

Both have the circular, flat dial design and the display is of 1.2 inches.

Both Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive 3 tracks your basic health by measuring heart-rate, sleep, distance, calories and steps.

There is a common feature called VO2 max estimate in both the watches which calculates the amount of oxygen intake happened per minute.

The watches are water-proof. You can connect the watches via bluetooth and not via WiFi. In addition to that, there is also an ANT+ connectivity service.

They can sync with Android and iOS phones. Windows phones cannot be connected with these watches.

Differences (Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235)

Talking about the differences, it is important to know beforehand that Forerunner 235 was released in 2015 and Vivoactive 3 was introduced 2 years after it.

Therefore, there are many significant differences between the two watches and for obvious reasons, Vivoactive 3 has better, enhanced features than Forerunner 235.

Activity and Fitness

Forerunner 235 is manufactured keeping in mind the basic training exercises, particularly running. It tracks heart-rate, pulse-rate, calories lost, sleep pattern, VO2 max, distance, steps, pace, and speed.

Moreover, it has a Smart Coach service which helps you determine on subsequent fitness exercises.

Vivoactive 3 too have all the above-mentioned features except Smart Coach. It is more of a multisport device for tracking several new workout exercises like an in-built altimeter for elevation feature, all-day stress level tracking, exercise tagging, a goal setting option to feed your targets, and an activity alert to move reminders.


Garmin Forerunner 235 battery life is much better than Vivoactive 3. The former can last up to 9 days after one time charge which is only 1 week in Vivoactive 3.

Therefore, Forerunner battery is 1.3 times longer than the other version.


Both the watches are compatible with Android and iOS devices. They also support online web portal and social features.


The connectivity is also similar. Both have Bluetooth data transfer technology and ANT+ wireless support.

Smartphone remote features

Both offer smartphone notifications on the watch. There are also options for caller ID notification, and control smartphone music player.

However, Forerunner 235 does not allow call control, but in Vivoactive 3, you can control your phone calls with your watch.


Moreover, the designs for both of them is the same. They have an LCD display but Vivoactive 3 has a better resolution of 240X240 against 215X180. They have waterproof bodies and are extremely lightweight.

Review (Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235)

To put it in simple words, both the running watch performs extremely well. However, there are a lot of features which are absent in Forerunner 235 and many others in Vivoactive 3.

Read the review for both the products for better insights and take a thoughtful decision.

Forerunner 235

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Gramin Forerunner 235
Forerunner 235

Forerunner 235 is a very good choice for those who are dedicated to their fitness regimen. Most of the features are the same in the two watches, plus the Smart Coach interface which helps you plan your workout better.

The batter life is much better and much longer which can last over 1 week in normal smartwatch mode and in training mode, it can go up to 11 hours. The in-built GPS system tracks your activities easily.

It is ideal for both casual or serious runners. The GPS tracker works by measuring our pace and the distance we have traveled during a particular duration. It includes support for GLONASS which offers location service even where the GPS is limited.

The price is slightly more than Vivoactive 3 available for aprox $329. It is also available on Amazon at reduced prices.

Vivoactive 3

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Gramin Vivoactive 3
Vivoactive 3

There are many advanced, extra features available in Vivoactive 3 like stairs tracking and exercise tagging feature.

You can also use the stopwatch to measure your plank time. Along with the music control and caller ID feature, it also offers call control feature.

The other interesting features are a compass, reminder facility, temperature tracking.

The battery life is weak which can go upto to only 1 week in the smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode.

It has a Garmin Pay option. With this feature, you can pay anyone and even connects to the Uber app to give your cab’s arrival details. Just a tap on your smartwatch and the payment is done.

If you are a fitness enthusiast and love these extra features, then you should definitely go for Vivoactive 3.

The price is also comparatively low and is available for around $269. It is available on Amazon at great discounts.

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