Fitbit Ionic VS Garmin Vivoactive 3

fitbit ionic vs garmin vivoactive 3

Fitness trackers are more than just devices that monitor your heart rate and calorie intake, these are high tech bands that do so much more. The Fitbit Ionic and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 are smartwatches that look and work like a watch with a touch screen and access to applications.

Today we will be exploring the Fitbit Ionic and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 to decide which of the two is best by comparing their features and ease of use.

Fitbit Ionic is the first we are going to have a look at, so let’s get started.

Fitbit Ionic Fitness Watch

The Fitbit Ionic is a high tech smart watch with many phone-free features such as apps and GPS. Introduced in September 2017, it has since then been used by fitness and tech fanatics worldwide.

  • Guided Breathing Tools
    1. Access the Relax app directly from your smartwatch and enjoy a guided breathing session from 2 to 5 minutes long. Specially designed to calm and wind you down after a workout. The app uses information collected during the workouts to guide you in achieving an optimal relaxed heart rate.
  • Contactless Payment
    1. Yes, we all have some sort of card or a contactless payment method on our phones. How annoying is it when you are in a rush to catch the train into work and you have to rifle through your pockets or bag like a mad person just to pay for a bottle of water? It has happened to us all, believe me. The Ionic offers access to the contactless payment app at the flick of your wrist.
  • Fitbit Coach
    1. It doesn’t matter if you prefer exercising at home or in the gym, having some sort of activity to push through during a workout sure does help. The Fitbit coach has short activities you can follow that are timed and tracked.
  • Silent Alarm Clock
    1. Waking up without an alarm clock is the best way to get up but let’s face it only the lucky few can do so naturally at 6 or 7 AM on a workday. The next best thing is to have a silent alarm to gently nudge you out of bed in the morning.
  • Automatic Activity Tracking
    1. You will not need to activate ‘resting more’ or ‘workout mode’ in order for your Ionic to collect information. The Fitbit recognizes when you are active and when you aren’t and calculates your calorie output and average heart rate accordingly.
  • GPS Route Mapping
    1. Those of you that enjoy outdoor exercises will really like this. You can leave your mobile phone at home when you are out for your run. The Fitbit Ionic maps out your running route and calculates your average speed, calories burnt and heart rate zones for your analysis later.
  • Music
    1. Now, this is probably the best feature yet. You can store music and audiobooks on your smartwatch and connect to it via Bluetooth to enjoy during your workout.


    Wireless headphones are great but you still need a place to put your phone or MP3 during your workout. With Ionic you can leave all the unnecessary gadgets at home and sync your headphones to your smartwatch to make life easier.


  • Waterproof
  • Offers fitness related advice, from breathing to heart rates and more
  • 4 hour’s worth of battery when fully charged
  • Can leave your phone at home most of the time


  • Cannot answer calls or reply to messages
  • Battery life is less than others on the market

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Fitness Watch

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a smartwatch with fitness at the forefront of its innovation. Its sporty use is almost completely blended into its sophisticated appearance.




  • Sleep Assessment
    1. A graph showing how deeply or lightly you slept at certain stages through the night will be accessible through the Garmin Connect app. You will be able to see at exactly what stages during the night you slept the best.


    1. This is surprisingly one of the only smartwatches that allow you to not only view your messages and notifications but reply to them too.


  • Tracking Ability


    1. Choose from a number of sports modes such as swimming, yoga or cycling and collect your fitness data for that activity. Not only can the tracking be activity-specific, but it also collects your general resting information too, just like the Fitbit Ionic.


  • Battery Life


    1. Enjoy a whole 7 long days’ worth of battery life with your Garmin Vivoactive 3. Remember to turn off GPS mode when you do not need it, if not the battery only lasts 13 hours.


  • Contactless Payment Options


    1. Just like the Fitbit Ionic, the Vivoactive 3 can make contactless payments.


  • Visuals


    1. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a really unique design. A round clock face, very different from other smartwatches on the market. It is lightweight and although it is still rather big, it looks less bulky than other designs.


  • Music


    The Garmin Vivoactive doesn’t store music directly on the watch.


  • Fashionable and professional looking
  • Constantly monitors heart rate
  • A huge range of individual activities can be tracked
  • USB charger clicks in and out of the back of the watch with ease


  • Can’t directly store music
  • Lacks an on-screen fitness coach

Winner – Garmin Vivoactive 3

There can be only one winner and that is the Garmin Vivoactive 3. It just seems to tick all the boxes.

It was a lot harder finding fault with the Vivoactive 3 than the Ionic. Don’t get me wrong, both smartwatches are top-notch and will give you thorough enjoyment, but the Vivoactive is just more professional.

The Garmin smartwatch is more accurate and offers a higher standard of tracking, especially when the GPS is being used.

Don’t hesitate to try it for yourself.


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