Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Vivoactive 3

Garmin Forerunner 235 Garmin Vivoactive 3

Basic Info

Wear TypeWristbandWristband
Price$24995$21791Garmin Vivoactive 3 is 110% cheaper

Activity & Fitness

Activity Yes YesBoth track daily activity
Calories Yes YesBoth track calories burned
Sleep Yes YesBoth track sleep pattern
Heart Rate / Pulse Yes YesBoth have heart rate tracking
VO2 Max Yes YesBoth track VO2 Max level
Distance Yes YesBoth track your running/walking distance
Steps Yes YesBoth track how many steps you take
Pace Yes Yes
Speed Yes Yes
Stairs / Floors No YesGarmin Vivoactive 3 has built-in altimeter for elevation feature
Stress No YesGarmin Vivoactive 3 provides all-day stress level tracking
Exercise Tagging No YesOnly Garmin Vivoactive 3 provides exercise tagging
Smart Coach No NoBoth don't have coaching feature
Goal Setting Yes YesBoth can help with your goals setting
Inactivity Alert Yes YesBoth have move reminders

Additional Features

GPS Yes YesBoth have integrated GPS modules
Glonass Yes Yes
Compass No YesGarmin Vivoactive 3 has a compass
Watch / Clock Yes YesBoth have watch
Alarm Clock Yes YesBoth have alarm clock
Reminders No YesGarmin Vivoactive 3 has a reminder option
Stopwatch Yes YesBoth have stopwatch
Music Playback No NoBoth don't have music playback
Weather Yes Yes*Weather forecast
Temperature No Yes
ReportsActivity, SleepActivity, Sleep

Smartphone Remote Features

Notifications Yes YesBoth show smartphone notifications
Caller ID Yes YesBoth show caller ID notification
Music Control Yes YesBoth allow control smartphone music player
Call Control No YesGarmin Vivoactive 3 allows you control phone calls
Camera Control No NoBoth don't have camera control
Find Phone Yes YesBoth can help find your smartphone


Duration9 days7 daysGarmin Forerunner 235 battery life is about 1.3 times longer
Battery TypeRechargeable BatteryRechargeable Battery

Physical Specs

Weather Resistance Yes Yes
Waterproof Yes Yes
IP Rating5 ATM5 ATM
Weight42 grams43 gramsBoth are the same weight

User Interface

DisplayLCD ScreenLCD Screen
Display Size1,23 inches1,2 inches
Screen Resolution 215 x 180 pixels 240 x 240 pixels
Color Display Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
Gorilla glass No Yes*Specialized toughened glass: thin, light and damage-resistant


Android Yes YesBoth compatible with Android devices
iOS Yes YesBoth compatible iOS devices
OS X/Mac No NoBoth don't compatible MAC OS X devices
Windows Phone No NoBoth don't compatible with Windows Phone devices
Windows No NoBoth don't have a find phone feature
Web Portal Yes YesBoth have access to online web portal
Social Features Yes YesBoth have social features


Bluetooth Yes YesBoth have Bluetooth data transfer technology
Wi-Fi No NoBoth don't have Wi-Fi connection
NFC No NoBoth don't have NFC connectivity
ANT+ Yes YesBoth provide ANT+ wireless technology
Buy on AmazonBuy on Amazon

Which one should you buy?

Garmin is continuously working towards creating better fitness smartwatches for the health conscious crowd. Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Vivoactive are one of the finest smartwatches by the brand. They come at almost the same price and offer a wide range of smartwatch features. However, there are certain differences between the two that need some analysis before you decide to make a purchase.


Garmin Forerunner 235 comes in a wrist-band design with a sunlight-visible display that allows you to virtually increase the size of the display by 44%. Garmin Vivoactive 3 also comes with a LCD display with better resolution of 240x240 over Forerunner’s 215x180 resolution. Both of these watches come in waterproof bodies with an IP rating of 5 ATM. Both are extremely lightweight and easy to wear during heavy workouts as well.

Key Features

Both of these smartwatches track the basic health stats like heart rate, calories, sleep, distance and steps. Garmin Forerunner 235 does not have stairs tracking and exercise tagging feature. These smartwatches alert you when you’re inactive and help you with its special goal tracking feature. With an inbuilt GPS, these smartwatches allow you to track your activities on the go automatically. They also have the stopwatch feature to track your plank minutes! These smartwatches also have music control and caller ID feature. Vivoactive 3 is one step ahead in this aspect with call control feature as well. Garmin Forerunner 235 has a battery life of 9 days in normal smartwatch mode; in training mode the battery lasts for 11 hours. Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a battery life of 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours of life in GPS mode.

Both of these smartwatches offer the VO2 max estimate that allows you to calculate amount of oxygen you can consume per minute under a certain conditions. Garmin vivoactive 3 is the first smartwatch by Garmin with Garmin Pay option. It allows you to make payments with just a tap on your smartwatch. It allows you to go for your morning walks and workout sessions hands-free without having to carry your wallet or purse. It also connects with your smartphone apps and gives you notifications. For example, it connects to your Uber app and notifies you about your cab’s arrival time. Garmin Forerunner does not have these advanced features but has a weather widget which helps you to plan your adventure sports according to the weather when you’re travelling. Both of these Garmin products are waterproof and help you in tracking the calories you burn during a swim. They also have bluetooth connectivity but do not support Wifi connectivity. They also have ANT+ connectivity feature. They sync well with both Android and iOS phones, however, they do not sync with Windows phones.

The final verdict

Originally priced at $269, Vivoactive 3 offers more advanced features than Forerunner 235, which is priced at $329. Garmin Vivoactive 3 seems to be stealing the show among the two and is perfect for anyone looking for a really smart smartwatch. Both of these products are available on Amazon at discounted rates.

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Vivoactive 3