When the Vivoactive 3 came out last year I was immediately drawn to the improved form factor compared to my Vivoactive HR. Unfortunately, having just spent over $200 a year earlier on a smart watch I wasn't too keen on dropping even more money for an upgrade, plus I was a bit disappointed that the 3 did not have on-board storage for music, so I decided to hold off. When the Vivoactive 3 Music came out, I took some time contemplating whether to buy it or keep using my HR, considering I was quite happy with it, before ultimately deciding to go ahead and upgrade. I'm glad I did. This review will primarily draw on my experience with the HR, so if you are wondering whether to get this over say a Fitbit or Apple watch, I don't have much advice for you since I have not used those products. That being said, on to what I like.What I likeTouchscreen: At first I was unsure about whether I liked the 3 Music better than the Vivoactive 3, as I actually preferred the look of the metal bezel on the 3. I like the appearance it gives the watch and the protection it provides to the screen. Now that I've been using the 3 Music for a few weeks, I better appreciate the lack of a raised bezel, as I suspect it might get in the way when swiping the screen. This watch is very smooth when interacting with the screen, almost as if the glass were slicker than my HR. I suspect either an improved chip or more memory is the reason, but whatever the cause, it is a nice improvement from the HR. Swipes and taps are very responsive, whereas my old watch often had some lag to it. There is one exception which I will cover in the What I don't like section.Screen optics: Speaking of the screen, I love the round design, and the bigger screen is put to good use. It also has a higher pixel density which makes it easier on the eyes. Definitely not as nice to look at as the LED screen on your phone and watches like the Apple watch, but I prefer it for its better daylight visibility and vastly better battery life compared to those products. In any case, this is definitely a big improvement from my HR's screen.Battery: I plug it in while in the shower every day and battery never gets below around 85%. If I forget to plug it in I can go multiple days before needing to recharge it.Music: You never really know how much you will use a new feature, even if it's something you want. I use this feature pretty much every day. I put some of my favorite MP3s on there for workouts without the phone, and download podcasts to listen to during my daily walks. Garmin has created a means of putting these files on the watch via their app, but I find it easier to just sideload by opening the requisite folder on the watch and dragging the files there on my computer.Weight: This was a totally unexpected improvement. On paper this watch is slightly lighter than my HR. In daily wear, this watch is so light! I really never had any problems with feeling the HR was heavy, but now in retrospect it seems like it was, only because this watch is like a feather. It is extremely comfortable, especially with the velcro band I bought for it. The band is designed for the Samsung Gear Sport, but it works fine on this watch.Band: Yes, I'm calling out the watch band. Why would I do that when I replaced the one that came on the watch? Because it has a standard 20 mm band with quick release function. Super easy to replace, especially compared with the HR's band which required using 2! custom screwdrivers simultaneously to remove or add a band.App updates: This watch adds a few new tricks - stress level seems a little gimmicky, I don't really find it useful but others might. I do like the improved sleep tracking which adds REM calculations to the deep and light sleep of earlier models. It also includes VO2 calculations. I don't really use this one either, but it's still cool that they have added more functionality. If I weren't already in pretty good shape it would be useful to see my ratings hopefully increase over time as I got more fit.Accelerometer: My HR didn't have an accelerometer. Supposedly you could activate the backlight by bringing your arm up towards your face while twisting your wrist, but for me this never worked. It works every time on my Vivoactive 3 Music, presumably because of the added accelerometer.What I don't likeTouchscreen: whenever I do an activity and go to save it, for some reason it sometimes will not accept my tap to save. I don't know if the watch is still processing the activity in the background or what. This probably occurs somewhere around one out of every 10 times. Much less often than my HR, where I almost always had to wait several seconds or repeatedly tap the screen after going for a walk to save the activity. Big improvement but still not quite where it should be.Music: No support for any streaming apps except iHeart Radio, and ""coming soon"" Deezer. No company that I know of supports Amazon streaming, which is my preferred app, so of course I would like to see that one, but I don't see any reason that all streaming apps should not be supported - Spotify, Pandora, etc.Headphone connectivity: The first couple of weeks I tried syncing my headphones I had severe issues getting it to work. Now they almost always sync up within seconds, so I only add this to the negative side because I would expect quick syncing from the start, and I have some fear of having issues again in the future. Only time will tell if this was a temporary issue as it seems to have been.Microphone: If I could change one thing about this watch I would add a microphone to support phone calls and voice dictation for texts. I don't really want to hold a phone conversation through my watch, but when the phone rings downstairs it would be great to answer it on my watch and let the caller know that I'll be available as soon as I get to my phone. Being able to create texts on the fly would be nice as well.Running commentary: Having the watch vibrate as I complete a lap so I can look at my arm to see my overall time, pace, etc is great. Know what is even better? Having a voice come over my headphones to give me that information without having to hold my arm in front of my face. I should be able to tell my watch what info to give me for each sport, and when (every lap, every mile, etc). This technology has existed for over a decade. Get with the program Garmin.Apps: Probably the biggest shortfall of Garmin watches compared to Apple and maybe Android and Fitbit (don't really know) is their app store. More quality and quantity is needed. I wouldn't give Garmin an F here, but they aren't close to an A either, maybe a C+. Definitely lots of room for improvement.Materials: I haven't had this watch for long, but so far no scratches on the screen or case, which is good. That being said, the case is made of plastic and doesn't come across as high quality. It's hard to ding the watch for this, both because it looks fine to me and the lightweight feel is probably in part due to the plastic body. At the same time, a little more class would be nice, and it could be a turn-off for more fashion conscious folks.Bezel: I'm not talking about the external bezel here, but the black space around the screen that is useless. Every screen has a bezel of some size. Considering there is about a quarter inch outer bezel (the part with hatch marks for every minute), I don't see how Garmin was unable to put the screen inside that bezel without adding an additional small dead space around the screen. Hide the dead space under the outer bezel, Garmin! On the positive side, the screen bezel is really small and blends pretty seamlessly with the outer black bezel. You probably won't even notice it unless you look for it.Battery life: I consider the battery life a positive feature of this watch, but in full disclosure I have to point out that it does seem to be a little less than my HR had.Strength training: I like the concept, but the execution leaves something to be desired. If it doesn't accurately capture my number of reps every time, or at least most of the time, I would just as soon have it not try to capture reps. More importantly, when I create a workout based on the different exercises I am going to do, I would like to be able to change the order on the fly. If there is a way to do this I haven't figured it out. So if I was planning on starting with leg curls, but someone is using that machine at the gym and I instead to calf raises, it would be nice to be able to tell the watch I am doing calf raises. Instead, it just thinks I'm doing the leg extensions. I also can't figure out how to manually change the number of reps done until after the workout is captured on my phone's app. Either I'm too dumb or it's not intuitive enough, take your pick.That's everything I can think of worth saying. Overall, I really like my Vivoactive 3 Music, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a smartwatch that is more weighted towards fitness. It feels great, looks good and has lots of great functionality. The app that comes with it for viewing your stats on your phone is really solid as well, and battery life is phenomenal. There's definitely room for future models to keep moving the bar up, which is why I only give it 4 stars, but it is a large improvement over the Vivoactive HR and I believe a solid competitor to the other brands' smartwatches, depending on your personal preferences.