Garmin unveils Vivoactive 5 smartwatch – and it's a Venu 3 lite

Vivoactive brand back for the first time since 2020
Garmin Vivoactive 5
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Garmin has unveiled its new Vivoactive 5 smartwatch, and with a full AMOLED display, it’s very much a Garmin Venu 3 lite – in all but name.

It’s the first outing for the Vivoactive range since 2020 – so it’s been a long time coming.

The Vivoactive 5 brings a 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display and up to 11 days of battery. 

Garmin Venu 3: all the key details

It comes with an aluminum case, downgraded from the stainless steel on the Venu 3. But looking down the comparison list, these are two very similar devices.

In fact, Garmin has sent us a comparison table with the Venu 3 just to show us how similar it is.

Like the Venu 3 it brings 30 sports profiles, including walking, running, and pool swimming.

The similarities with the Venu 3 continue with the sleep coach features added, which enable you to get advice on how to be better rested, and includes the tracking of naps.

Elsewhere, it has all of the standard Garmin health and wellness features, from body battery and stress tracking to VO2 Max.

There are a few omissions. The Vivoactive 5 uses the previous generation Elevate 4 heart rate sensor and you can’t take calls, so Garmin has held back some of its advanced features and saved them for its flagship smartwatch.

It comes in at $299/$249, so a full $150 less than the Venu 3 ($449/£449) So it makes Garmin’s AMOLED smartwatch range even more accessible.

> Garmin Venu 3 vs Vivoactive 5

Wareable says...

But one has to wonder why Garmin has released this under the Vivoactive brand. With so little to pick between them, it could be quite confusing to consumers.

And given the huge difference in price, it makes things feel a little unbalanced.

It’s all part of Garmin’s mission to offer something at every price point for every conceivable user – but its range is becoming confusing in places.


How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories