Leave Phone at Home: Garmin vívoactive 3 Goes 4G

Garmin’s latest GPS smartwatch, the vívoactive 3 Music (Verizon), even senses a crash and notifies emergency contacts — no phone needed.

Download music. Send text messages. Even tell your family where in the world you’re running. The vívoactive 3 Music (Verizon) from Garmin lets you do it without a phone.


If you spend a lot of time running, you know that carrying extra stuff on workouts is a bit of a drag. Phones add weight and require a carrying device of some sort — sometimes your entire palm. And when trail running, they can be an expensive liability if you happen to faceplant on the singletrack.

Announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show, Garmin’s newest smartwatch puts many cellphone features right on your wrist. This means you can leave your phone at home when adventure calls.

The launch takes aim at Apple, whose Series 3 watch is also LTE-enabled.

Garmin vívoactive 3: Smartwatch Untethered


Garmin’s new watch looks to keep the endurance athlete linked to the grid without a phone. Here are some of the new features outlined in today’s release:

  • New built-in safety features include assistance that lets the user trigger a discrete message with a real-time location to preloaded emergency contacts as well as incident detection that senses when the wearer experiences an impact while walking, running, or cycling
  • Users can download and play songs or playlists, including those from Deezer and Spotify (coming soon)
  • The same fitness, wellness, and smart connectivity features first introduced on the nonconnected vívoactive 3 Music, including Garmin Pay, wrist-based HR, and Connect-IQ compatibility
  • Battery life up to 5 days in smartwatch mode or up to 4 hours when connected to GPS, playing music, and using the LiveTrack feature over 4G LTE
  • Pricing will be announced with availability in the first quarter of 2019

A New Training Tool

We haven’t tried the new vívoactive 3 yet. But it looks to be a powerful new training tool that could simplify workout routines.

I imagine leaving my phone at home when heading out on an afternoon run but still having modest connectivity. I can see this easily stretching into other outdoor sports like mountain biking, where the emergency sensors could really come into play during solo missions.

Look for the Garmin Verizon-connected vívoactive 3 Music to hit shelves in five to eight weeks.

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.