In an era where smartwatches dominate the wrists of fitness buffs, not everyone is drawn to the allure of a mini-computer on their wrist. Recognizing this, are Samsung’s and Garmin’s answers. They come in the form of Galaxy Fit3 and Vivosmart 5 – two compelling alternatives for those seeking a more focused, less intrusive wearable experience. Released in February 2024 and April 2022 respectively, these devices are tailored for individuals who prefer the simplicity and specificity of a dedicated fitness tracker over the multifunctionality of a smartwatch.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
This comparison delves into the unique offerings of the Samsung Galaxy Fit3 and Garmin Vivosmart 5. Read on to find out how they stack up. A note for the reader, at the time of writing this article – the Samsung device is not official yet. But thanks to a plethora of leaks, its technical specs and design leave nothing to the imagination.
These two devices showcase the variety in the fitness band market. The Fit3 will appeal to those focused on wellness and daily tracking through its stylish design, large display and comprehensive health features. A key detail is that it only works with Android phones. Meanwhile, the Vivosmart 5 targets athletes with its advanced fitness tracking and ANT+ support. However, its smaller display may not suit all preferences.
Samsung Galaxy Fit3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 5: Hardware
Look & feel
Both of tthese devices adopt a rectangular shape. This is a common design choice that maximizes screen real estate for displaying health metrics and notifications.
However, the materials used in their construction set them apart. The Galaxy Fit3 boasts an aluminium case, giving it a sleek, premium feel that’s both lightweight and durable. In contrast, the Vivosmart 5 opts for a polycarbonate body with an acrylic lens and silicone strap, prioritizing ruggedness and flexibility for active users. Size options further differentiate the two; the Fit3 is available in a single size, while the Vivosmart 5 offers small/medium and large variants, catering to a wider range of wrist sizes and ensuring a comfortable fit for more users.
Physical buttons are another area of divergence. The Galaxy Fit3 features a single physical button on the side, maintaining a minimalist design that’s both stylish and functional. The Vivosmart 5, however, places its physical button on the face, making it easily accessible.
Display, colour options, water resistance
When it comes to the screen, both devices showcase technology designed to enhance visibility and user interaction. The Fit3’s smartwatch sized 1.6 inch AMOLED display is easy to read in various lighting conditions. The Vivosmart 5, with its OLED display, also delivers clear and crisp visuals. However, it may not match the AMOLED’s color depth and contrast.
What’s more, the Fit3’s larger and higher-resolution screen is suited for those who prioritize display quality and ease of navigation, while the Vivosmart 5’s more modest display focuses on delivering essential information efficiently. Having said that, a large display may not be to everyone’s liking.
Water resistance is a shared strength, though, with both devices boasting a 5 ATM rating. This ensures they can withstand activities like swimming and showering.
Color options allow users to personalize their devices to match their style. The Galaxy Fit3 is available in Prism Crush White, Pink, and Dark Gray, offering a choice between bold and subtle aesthetics. The Vivosmart 5, on the other hand, comes in Black, White, and Cool Mint, providing options that range from classic to refreshing.
The Galaxy Fit3 is equipped with an impressive array of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen monitoring, a barometer for altitude measurement, and an ambient light sensor for adjusting screen brightness according to environmental light conditions. This comprehensive sensor package enables the Fit3 to offer detailed health and fitness tracking, from basic step counting and heart rate monitoring to more advanced metrics like blood oxygen levels.
The Garmin Vivosmart 5, alsos featuring a decent sensor lineup, includes a 3-axis accelerometer, heart rate monitor, vibration alerts, ambient light sensor, and a Pulse Ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation measurements. Although it shares several sensors with the Fit3, the Vivosmart 5 lacks a gyroscope and barometer, which may limit its ability to provide certain fitness metrics such as floor climbing and more precise activity recognition. However, it still offers a solid foundation for tracking daily activity, workouts, and health metrics.
When it comes to GPS and other connectivity options, both devices utilize connected GPS, relying on a paired smartphone to track location during outdoor activities. This approach allows for detailed route tracking without the need for a built-in GPS module, which can conserve battery life and reduce the device’s cost. However, it does mean that users must carry their smartphone with them to use GPS features, which might not be ideal for everyone.
The inclusion of ANT+ in the Garmin Vivosmart 5, and its absence in the Samsung Galaxy Fit3, highlights an important difference in connectivity options between the two devices. ANT+ allows the Vivosmart 5 to seamlessly connect with a wide array of external sensors, such as heart rate straps, foot pods, and bike speed and cadence sensors.
Neither the Galaxy Fit3 nor the Vivosmart 5 includes NFC capabilities, meaning users cannot make contactless payments directly from their wrist. Music storage is another feature where both devices show restraint, as neither offers onboard music storage.
The Galaxy Fit3, equipped with a 208 mAh Li-po battery, promises up to 13 days of usage on a typical charge. That’s quite good, particularly given its large display. Samsung also highlights the device’s fast charging capability, which can reach 65% battery in just 30 minutes, adding convenience for users on the go.
On the other hand, the Vivosmart 5 maintains a competitive edge with its battery life, capable of lasting up to 7 days depending on usage. Most Garmin wearables have decent battery life, and its flagship fitness band is no different.
Samsung Galaxy Fit3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 5: Technical specs
Here’s a detailed tech specs comparison table for the Samsung Galaxy Fit3 and Garmin Vivosmart 5:
Samsung Galaxy Fit3
Garmin Vivosmart 5
Aluminium body, 2.5D Glass display
Polycarbonate body, acrylic lens, silicone strap
1 physical button on the side
1 physical button on face
42.9 x 28.8 x 9.9mm
S/M: 19.5 x 10.7 x 217 mm; L: 19.5 x 10.7 x 255 mm
256 x 402 pixels
88 x 154 pixels
0.26″ x 0.70″ (6.6 mm x 17.7 mm)
Weight (without strap)
S/M: 24.5 g; L: 26.5 g
Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate, SpO2, barometer, ambient light sensor
3 axis-accelerometer, heart rate monitor, vibration alert, ambient light sensor, Pulse Ox
5 ATM + IP68
Bluetooth and ANT+
208 mAh Li-po
Up to 13 days (typical usage)
Up to 7 days
Prism Crush White, Pink, Dark Gray
Black, White, Cool Mint
Samsung Galaxy Fit3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 5: Features
The Galaxy Fit3, with its advanced sensor array, offers a comprehensive suite of health monitoring tools. It tracks heart rate, sleep patterns, and blood oxygen levels, providing users with a detailed overview of their health status. The inclusion of a barometer further enhances its utility. It can be used for floor counts and for outdoor sports by enabling altitude tracking, a boon for hikers and mountain bikers. The Fit3’s focus on wellness is evident in its stress tracking and breathing exercises, aimed at promoting overall well-being.
The Garmin Vivosmart 5, while sharing some health tracking features, distinguishes itself with its fitness and sports tracking prowess. Garmin’s reputation in the sports technology field is reflected in the Vivosmart 5’s accurate activity tracking, from step counting to more specialized metrics for running, swimming, and cycling, thanks to its ANT+ connectivity. This allows for seamless integration with external sensors, providing athletes with detailed insights into their performance. The Vivosmart 5’s strength lies in its ability to cater to a wide range of sports activities, making it a versatile companion for users with diverse athletic interests.
A notable capability of the Fit3 includes its Fall Detection and Emergency SOS function. Upon recognizing an unusual fall, it automatically links you to emergency responders. Alternatively, you can initiate this process manually by quickly pressing the side button five times, which dispatches a message containing your location to your designated emergency contacts.
When it comes to smartwatch-type features, both the Galaxy Fit3 and Garmin Vivosmart 5 provide users with a suite of functionalities that extend beyond fitness tracking. Notifications for calls, messages, and apps are standard, ensuring users stay connected without needing to reach for their smartphones. However, the absence of NFC in both devices means that users cannot make contactless payments directly from their wrist, a convenience offered by some competitors. Neither device supports cellular connectivity, focusing instead on a Bluetooth connection to the user’s smartphone for data syncing and notifications.
Worth noting is that Fit3 only works with Android phones. Meanwhile the Garmin works both on Android and iOS.
Samsung Galaxy Fit3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 5: Price
With its premium build and extensive health tracking features, the Galaxy Fit3 is priced in at around $70. This is quite reasonable.
Which means it is cheaper than the Vivosmart 5, priced at $150. The higher price of the Garmin reflects its more robust fitness and sports tracking capabilities.
Samsung Galaxy Fit3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 5: Final thoughts
The Samsung Galaxy Fit3 and Garmin Vivosmart 5 emerge as standout alternatives to traditional smartwatches, showcasing the expertise of two renowned brands in the wearable tech industry. Together, these devices highlight the diversity available in this space.
The Galaxy Fit3, with its stylish design, caters to Android phone users prioritizing wellness and daily activity tracking. Its comprehensive health features and large AMOLED display make it an attractive option for those seeking a blend of functionality and aesthetics.
On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 is tailored for the more athletically inclined. It offers detailed fitness tracking, sports analytics, and ANT+ support. However, its smaller display might not be to everyone’s liking.
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