Garmin has been rolling out GPS watches with music playback for a while now, but the current options aren’t what you’d call trivial expenses for non-athletes. Thankfully, it’s pushing the price of entry down a bit. It’s launching the Vivoactive 3 Music, which (surprise) brings Bluetooth audio and 500-song storage to last year’s model. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing — you now have a soundtrack while you monitor 15 activities and shop with Garmin Pay. The seven days of battery life in smartwatch mode (five hours with GPS) doesn’t hurt, either. This is also one of the first watches to support Garmin’s advanced sleep monitoring in its Connect app, which might make it worthwhile by itself.
The new sleep tracking goes beyond basic movement tracking to include heart rate variability and other data. The result is far more accurate tracking that shouldn’t exaggerate the amount of deep sleep you get during the night. You don’t need to buy a new watch (it works with the original Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 645/935, Vivosport, Vivosmart 3 and Vivomove HR), but it’s good to know you’ll have it out of the box.
Garmin is shipping the Vivoactive 3 Music now for $300. That’s still not trivial if you just want music for your gym workouts, but it’s far more palpable if you insist on robust fitness tracking.