Garmin Vivoactive

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review

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Are you planning to buy a fitness smartwatch that balances function and form? If yes, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is what you are looking for. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes with a sleek design, supports Bluetooth headsets, onboard music, and over 20 sports apps. Garmin is a renowned manufacturer of GPS wristwatches.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is designed for active lifestyles. The Garmin Chroma Display technology powers this wonderful fitness tracker. Tuning your body is made easy with this smartwatch. With a single charge, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 can last for up to 8 days. The Vivoactive 4 is the most appealing fitness smartwatch you can buy.

Table of Contents

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Features at a glance

Garmin Vivoactive 4: An overview

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the newer model to Garmin’s popular fitness series Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 3 Music. The Vivoactive 4 forms the basis on which the other Garmin fitness smartwatches are built. These include the Legacy Hero series, Legacy Saga series, and the Garmin Venu.

There are visible differences between the three variants. The Legacy Hero series consist of Captain Marvel and Captain America-themed watches and the Legacy series is based on Star Wars. Whereas, the Venu has an AMOLED display screen. Apart from that, all the functionalities are the same for each product line.

Both normal and professional outdoor enthusiasts who don’t like spending $1000 on a fitness tracker can go with the Garmin Vivoactive 4. If you find yourself engaged more in outdoor events, this device is for you. This time around, you can have two sizes for Vivoactive watches.

The 44mm Vivoactive 4 variant is perfect for wrist sizes between 5.3 and 7.8 inches. They have a 1.3-inch memory-in-pixel display and comes in slate/black or silver/gray color options. The 40mm Vivoactive 4S features a 1.1-inch display. It is for wrists measuring between 4.3 and 6.8 inches. They are available in slate/black, silver/gray, rose gold/white, and gold/pink color variants.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Designing

It appears that Garmin has been actively working towards the premium fitness tracking market. And, it is evident from the Vivo series of smartwatches. The circular touch screen houses a 260×260 display with great visibility even under direct sunlight. The responsiveness of the smartwatch in connection with a smartphone is amazing.

Compared to its predecessor, the Vivoactive 4 has altered the controls to a great extent. The two slim buttons replace the old central button. And, the touch-sensitive pad on the left side is no more. The smartwatch retained the same glossy finish as the previous models.

The attractive black bezel gives the fitness tracker a sense of freshness.  The 18mm quick release band from Garmin keeps the tracker in place. Also, you get the liberty to swap in another strap. The Vivoactive 4 smartwatch comes with 5ATM water resistant feature. As such, you can swim up to 50 meters deep wearing the watch.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 packs in great hardware, as well. The heart rate and Pulse Ox sensor in this smartwatch make it even more special. Also, you can have the latest motion tracking and GPS sensors. Now, that’s the kind of hardware you can see on premium Fenix and Forerunner watches.

When it is about sensors, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 houses a barometric altimeter, gyroscope, pulse oximeter, heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and GPS with Galileo and GLONASS satellite systems. The pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation in your blood.

Furthermore, it keeps track of the distance traveled, stress level, steps, sleep, intensity minutes, calories burned, and more. You can even enable the heart rate alerts from the Garmin Connect App. It notifies you when your heart rate is either high or low.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Navigation

The overall navigation of the Vivoactive 4 consists of both the button and touch-based controls. Swiping right/left/down/up helps you with the screen navigation. Whereas, by pressing the up and down buttons, you can complete the action items. From the home screen, you can begin a workout by pressing the start option.

Or, you can swipe up or down to get your health stats. The touchscreen makes navigation more intuitive. Garmin sorted out what should be a touch action and what should be a button action. For example, you need to press the upper button if you want to start and stop your workout.

And, use the touchscreen to save or delete your workout stats. Garmin uses the curved segments on the screen and indicates you to swipe so that you can access the area. Some people might find that hard to control.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Accuracy

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the best device for recreational cyclists or joggers in terms of accuracy. In short, it can challenge the Fenix and Forerunner line of smartwatches. The accuracy of time data, speed, and position is quite impressive. The Elevate heart rate monitor gives you accurate heart rate readings.

During workouts, you can view the heart rate levels and receive related alerts that you have set earlier. Also, there is support for broadcasting the heart rate information over a paired device. The heart rate sensor in Vivoactive 4 is reliable for most workouts. However, you can grab a chest strap for more accurate data while doing high-intensity workouts.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Battery life

The battery life depends on certain features that you have activated on the smartwatch. When you use it to track the heart rate and occasionally check daily stats, the battery lasts for 5 days. However, the Company claims that the battery should last for up to 8 days with normal mode.

It means you cannot put GPS or tracking sensors to normal use. With music streaming and GPS, you can have around 6 hours. It appears that you should get a week’s worth by mixing a bit of sport and fitness tracking alongside certain features. However, some features on the watch have a great impact on the battery life.

For example, music streaming and using the Pulse Oximeter all day long. For hardcore users involved in marathons or full walking on the weekends, the watch might not deliver. If you are looking for a sports-based smartwatch that helps you sail through the week, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a good choice.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Other interesting features

There are certain interesting features you can find on Vivoactive 4. It consists of a body battery indicator, stress level indicator, Garmin Pay, and exclusive music playing abilities. As the term is self-explanatory, the body battery estimates the amount of energy you have in your body.

When you sleep, the level rises. When you are awake, the level goes down. And, during the workout sessions, the level drops faster. So, what happens when you feel great bu

Garmin Vivoactive 4

t the indicator show otherwise? Hence, this kind of body feedback appears a bit gimmicky if you consider it seriously.

However, the concept is interesting as you can know how much workout to do. The stress level indicator, on the other hand, works almost the same as the body battery indicator. However, the indicator considers the heart rate along with other scientific data to get results.

The indicator tells you when you are stressed and you need to relax. It is a great way to discover how stressful situations you might have. And, still manage some time to relax. Sometimes it might give you false positives, as well. For example, when you are having a good time with your friends.

Garmin’s data-driven health analytics are pretty much useful. Let’s talk about the two other features Garmin Pay and Music. You can link your card to the smartwatch using Garmin Pay. Use the Garmin Connect app and add a pin code to set it up. Moreover, you can use your watch on all NFC compatible payment devices to make the payments after your purchase.

Next, comes the music playing feature of this fitness smartwatch. You can load the device with lots of MP3 files. Also, you can sync Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, and many other apps. However, you need to have a Bluetooth headset to play your favorite music. Next/previous and play/pause functionalities are accessible via touch on the watch.

Garmin claims to hold up to 500 songs on the device. That’s around 3.5GB of space of music. The process of setting up Spotify involves two steps. Connect your Spotify account through the Garmin Connect app. And, let the watch download the music of your choice.

So, what about connecting to a different music service provider? Tap the Get Music Apps and download it from your Connect IQ Store. Connect your watch to the Wi-Fi network by entering the login details. Open the music widget on your watch. Choose your desired music provider and select a playlist to download and listen to.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 pros

  • Improved and sleek design
  • Great value for money
  • Crammed with features
  • Offline music listening
  • Underwater heart rate monitoring

Garmin Vivoactive 4 cons

  • Pulse oximeter drains the battery
  • Many banks don’t support Garmin Pay

In conclusion

To sum up, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an amazing sports-focused smartwatch. It’s a worthy upgrade from your previous model. The Garmin’s ecosystem paired with the hardware makes the Vivoactive 4 a perfect choice compared to competitors like Samsung and Apple. You get lots of features with less money and great battery life.