Garmin has quietly added a new device to its stable of kids wearables a few days ago. Unlike its predecessors, this one looks more like a smartwatch. Availability is listed as Q4 2020. In this article we compare Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 vs Jr 2.
The company now has three fitness trackers for kids to choose from. Well, two considering Garmin has removed the first generation from its website so is obviously phasing it out.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 vs Jr 2: design and hardware
Designed for ages 4 and above, Vivofit Jr 3 is built to last. It comes with an adjustable silicone band fits that 130-175 mm wrists and 5 ATM water-resistance rating.
The size of the transflective 64-colour memory-in-pixel (MIP) display is larger than before coming in at 14.11 x 14.11 mm. It is also more-high res (112 x 112 pixels vs 88 x 88 pixels). This gives it the appearance of a smartwatch rather than a fitness tracker. The whole thing weighs just 25 grams.
As before, the wearable is powered by a single coin cell battery. You can’t recharge this so will need to replace it when it runs out which should not be more often than every twelve months.
Vivofit Jr 2, on the other hand, resembles a robust fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch. It also has an adjustable band that fits the same size wrists as is successor. In fact, you can switch bands around on Vivofit Jr 3 and 2, the same ones work on both.
The display is smaller (11 x 11mm) and has only 8 colours as compared to the 64 of the latest generation. This means the tracker is lighter (17.5 grams). Battery life, water-resistance and Bluetooth connectivity is the same across the generations.
Both Vivofit Jr 2 and 3 come in a number of different styles and “story-lines”. Currently your choice is wider with the older device.
That one can be picked up in six different themes including Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Star Wars, The Resistance, First Order, Marvel Spider. The newer iteration is only available in Marvel Studio, Disney Princess and Garmin’s own stock version. We are pretty certain Garmin will expand on this selection over time.
Here’s how the specs compare.
|Vivofit Jr 3||Vivofit Jr 2|
|Physical size||Stretchy bands accommodate wrists up to 147 mm (ages 4-7)
Adjustable bands fit 130-175 mm (ages 4+)
|Adjustable band fits 130-175 mm (ages 4+).|
|Display type||Color, sunlight-visible, transflective 64-color memory-in-pixel (MIP)||Color, sunlight-visible, transflective 8-color memory-in-pixel (MIP)|
|Display size||0.56″ x 0.56″ (14.11 x 14.11 mm)||0.43″ x 0.43″ (11 x 11 mm)|
|Display resolution||112 x 112 pixels||88 x 88 pixels|
|Weight||25 g||17.5 g|
|Battery||Up to 1 year (1 x CR2025 user-replaceable)||Up to 1 year (1 x CR1632 user-replaceable)|
|Water rating||50 meters||50 meters|
|Memory/History||7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data||4 weeks of activity data|
|Editions||Disney Princess, Marvel Studio, Garmin||Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Star Wars, The Resistance, First Order, Marvel Spider|
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 vs Jr 2: Functionality
The features are not all-to-dissimilar between the two generations. Both keep tabs on steps, sleep and daily activity. Depending on the style chosen, kids can unlock educational app adventures by meeting real-world goals. As young ones reach their daily 60-minute activity goals, fun facts and a mobile adventure trail are unlocked.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers for kids – make fitness a habit, not a chore
A difference is that Vivofit Jr 3 also tracks distance travelled. But it lacks the Move bar of the previous generation which displays on device after a period of inactivity. It’s a bit strange Garmin has decided to remove this.
A great feature is that parents can use the Garmin Jr. app to manage chores and give rewards in addition to viewing their kids activity. The tasks you enter will make their way to the device letting them know what needs to be done. Your kids will be rewarded with virtual coins, but it will be down to you to then turn this into real-world awards.
Another Garmin-first is that parents are able to input their child’s emergency contact information into the ICE (In Case of Emergency) widget on Vivofit Jr 3. This way it can quickly be accessed quickly if needed.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3 vs Jr 2: The bottom line
The look is the main distinguishing factor between Vivofit Jr 3 and 2. The first comes in the form of a smartwatch with a 64 colour display. The second in the form of a fitness band with an 8 colour screen. Most of the internals are identical.
As far as functionality, the two generations keep your kids engaged by unlocking educational app adventures. Parents also have the ability to set chores and tasks giving your little ones an opportunity to earn rewards.
Distance travelled is the only thing added to the third generation but it loses the move bar. The other thing it gains is a widget that holds your child’s emergency contact information.
As there is so little to separate Vivofit Jr 3 and 2, it mostly comes down to style. Does your kid want something that looks like a smartwatch or a fitness tracker? It’s as simple as that.
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