Running is the best exercise to keep your body fit and up to mark at all times.
However, given that you aren’t just another casual runner, but one who categorizes as the more athletically stern, your running regime would require expert monitoring management to help achieve definitive results.
This is where the purchase of a good GPS sports watch comes into great use.
Talking of which, the popular brand Garmin’s two new smart running watches, equipped with multiple high-tech features, is a tempting choice for any fitness enthusiast!
Nevertheless, with budget concerns, in this battle of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs. Forerunner 645, only one can be the winner.
Hence in this article, we will try and draw a fair comparison with their outstanding strengths in focus.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 645 – Comparison 2020
Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Garmin Vivoactive 3
First things first, the Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 (VA3) is an “activity-focused” watch.
Meaning, this watch’s main attention is dedicated to accurately tracking your fitness workouts and not into winning hearts with design or irrelevant feature hoodwinks.
That being said, the VA3 is a lightweight device with a simple touchscreen and one button maneuverability interface.
Comfortable on the wrists, the rubber strap of the watch provides a superb adjustability range of 170mm-204mm. This means the watch is suitable for thin as well as thick wrists.
Armed with inbuilt GPS tracker and GLONASS radio, the device is loaded with ample of sensors ranging from an accelerometer, heart-rate monitor, thermometer, compass, and barometric altimeter.
Needless to say, all these features combined help to flawlessly track and record your exercising location, pace, and distance coverage to minute details.
The heart monitoring technology of VA3 is also one of a kind.
It not only records your heart rate per minute but also evaluates the maximum oxygen intake (VO2max) during incremental workout sessions, your fitness age, and HRV (heart rate variability).
Knowing the fitness age and HRV count helps you figure out which exercise routine will suit your lifestyle the best and avoid putting excessive stress on the body.
Thus, it is helping to monitor and control stress levels at all times.
The battery life of Vivoactive 3 is also worth the mention.
In smartwatch mode, it lasts 7 days and on GPS activated mode, 13hours. Pre-installed with 15 apps, the watch is free to customize as you like once connected with Garmin’s IQ store.
Also, the VA3 smartly tracks down and records the progress of any sport that you could think of doing, such as running, swimming, cycling, yoga, and even golf! The only downside to this otherwise perfect device lies in its inability to play recordings with phone-free connection.
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Garmin Forerunner 645
Some people would argue that exercising feels downright mundane if it’s not accompanied by any listening experience like the recorded audio podcast to match the workout sets.
And being a person who can’t walk two-step outside the home without the faithful earphones, I couldn’t agree more!
So, if you are like me, then the Garmin Forerunner 645 is a perfect choice.
Built specifically for those runners who enjoy listening to audio tracks on the go, the smartwatch provides an option to download up to 500 tracks directly.
Easy to connect with headsets via Bluetooth, the forerunner 645 facilitates complete phone-free communication!
Moreover, if you are not into downloading, then the watch also presents the option to sync with selected streaming sites for convenient offline listening!
With the connection established, the device next pays its attention to fine-tuning your exercise routines.
It does so by tracking your biomechanical measurements like rhythm (cadence), stride, pace length, balance, ground contact period, and vertical oscillation and ratio.
All these records together help profile a “critical running metrics/advanced running dynamics” that allows to evaluate performance over time.
The heart rate sensor provided in the device, along with the performance monitor, also calculates your recent training status.
This, in general, will help you to set your work routines in accordance with the body’s limits and pushing capabilities.
Moreover, the forerunner 645 features a five-button maneuverability interface instead of a touchscreen.
This depends on people whether it will be considered as an advantage or a disadvantage.
However, the only 5-hour battery life on uninterrupted GPS mode is definitely a downside when compared to VA3.
But the battery span on the smartwatch mode is the same as VA3, i.e., 7 days.
Related Guide: Garmin Forerunner 935 vs 735XT
Difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645
To establish a fair verdict, noted the similarities and differences in them below.
Let’s get to know their differences here.
Phone-free Listening Experience
The Forerunner 645 comes with an app feature with 500 audio tracks downloaded and with selective streaming capacity.
While the VA3 is not completely absent in this regard, it does require phone connection at all times, which could be a carrying hassle during intensive exercise routines.
Performance Measuring Tool
Both the devices, although accurate at measuring performance status, rely on different techniques.
For example, VA3 uses VO2max, fitness age, and HRV count rates to monitor control and regulate an individual’s exercise and stress dynamics.
On the other hand, Forerunner 645 applies the measurement of the individual’s biochemical measures such as balance stride frequency, ground contact period, and even vertical oscillations and ratios to profile an elaborate “training status.”
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is very simple in design and offers a touchscreen one button maneuvering interface.
In contrast, the forerunner 645, clearly superior in the fashionable design aspect, provides a 5-button control interface in the absence of touchscreen functions.
Both these devices support contactless payment feature, in-built GPS with GLONASS radio, heart rate monitoring, and 7day battery charge on ‘smartphone mode.’
Most of these features are already explained, except for contactless payment. So, what this feature does is, it allows you to pay bills on the go by connecting to your credit card anytime, anywhere.
Forgot to bring your wallet to the café after a workout? Don’t worry, just tap on the smartwatch to pay for your coffee with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I play audio tracks in Vivoactive 3?
Yes. However, your phone has to be seamlessly connected to the watch throughout the time.
How close to the phone does a Vivoactive 3 watch needs to be to work properly?
If you are listening to audio tracks or checking out up-to-date notifications, about 20 feet.
However, it doesn’t need to be in range when working out as it will automatically update once back in connection range.
Which of these two watches supports the golf feature?
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 monitors and keeps the track record of your golf activities and statistics.
How long does the battery last on these two watches?
Approximately 7 days on only smartwatch mode. However, on activated GPS mode, the VA3 provides 15 hours support while the forerunner 645 affords only 5 hours.
Are these watches waterproof?
Yes. They both provide an approximate water-resistant range of 50 meters.
Can I check messages and email notifications with these watches?
Yes. But the notifications will appear in truncated forms.
Can I change the band strap on the watches?
Yes. They come with 20mm wrist bands that can be replaced with other straps if desired.
Currently, the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 are amongst the best GPS sport watches in the market, with both of them offering features catering to and compatible with different levels of fitness regimes.
Hence there is no way to conclude what the superior choice is in the battle between Vivoactive 3 vs. Forerunner 645 as the final decision will entirely depend on the individual athlete’s workout style, fashion preference, and of course budget concerns.