Garmin has clearly made music a priority with its latest wearables. Earlier this year, the Forerunner 645 Music ($450) — read our review, here — added built-in music to the already excellent Forerunner 645 ($400). And now the company has announced the Vivoactive 3 Music ($300), which adds built-in music to the Vivoactive 3 ($250). See the pattern? For reference, the Forerunner 645 and the Vivoactive 3 are both excellent GPS-equipped smartwatches, but the former is smartwatch with more features for serious runners (instead of just athletes).
As stated, the main difference with the Vivoactive 3 Music — and the reason that it costs $50 more than the Vivoactive 3 — is that it has built-in storage and can hold up to 500 songs. Those songs can be transferred from your computer or downloaded from a music streaming service. It’s a great and sensible move for Garmin, as most people who workout with music would love to leave their smartphone at home; however, it should be noted that at launch the Vivoactive 3 Music will only work with iHeartRadio at launch. Support for Deezer is coming soon, as well. Unfortunately, if you’re a subscriber to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or Google Play Music, offline listening is off the table for you (for now).
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is really for those who will take advantage of its music storage and offline listening. Otherwise, it’s virtually identical in design and abilities as the Vivoactive 3. It has GPS, a heart-rate sensor and built-in Bluetooth to connect to your favorite pair of wireless running headphones. It works with Garmin Pay and is waterproof, too. The other big feature is battery life: it can last up to seven days in smartphone mode, and up to 5 hours when in GPS with music mode.
If you’re interested in a Garmin smartwatch with onboard storage for music, the Vivoactive 3 Music is a significantly more affordable option than the Forerunner 645 Music. The Vivoactive 3 Music is available in black, with stainless steel hardware. You can order it today for $300.
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