Garmin Vivoactive vs. Garmin Forerunner 935

Forerunner 935
 GarminVivoactiveBuy NowGarminForerunner 935Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$500

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 hours to 11 daysUp to 2 weeks


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution205 x 148240 x 240
Size1.38 inches1.2 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive

Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Vivoactive are two popular smartwatches focused on fitness enthusiasts. These wearable devices come packed with features to help track and improve performance in various exercise routines. When it comes to picking the right watch for your needs, several factors such as design, features, and price need to be considered.

Garmin, a leading brand in GPS technology, has been transferring its expertise to sports and fitness wearables. The company has built a reputation for producing reliable, high-quality fitness trackers and smartwatches that cater to different user profiles. Before delving into the details comparison of Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Vivoactive, let’s discuss the brands, their history, and reputations.

This comprehensive content piece will cover design and build, features and functionality, user interface and experience, and the price and value of both smartwatches. Armed with this information, you will be able to make an informed decision on which wearable device best meets your requirements.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 935

Materials: Fiber-reinforced polymer case, Silicone strap
Size: 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm
Weight: 49 g
Display: 240 x 240 pixels, 1.2 inches, sunlight-visible, transflective, memory-in-pixel (MIP)

Garmin Vivoactive

Materials: Plastic case, Silicone strap
Size: 43.8 x 38.5 x 8 mm
Weight: 18 g
Display: 205 x 148 pixels, 1.38 inches, sunlight-readable, color touch screen

Comparison of design and build quality

Both watches sport similar designs, utilizing durable materials like fiber-reinforced polymer and plastic casings with silicone straps. However, the Forerunner 935 is larger and slightly heavier than the Vivoactive, providing a bigger display with higher resolution. They each have sunlight-readable screens, ensuring visibility during outdoor activities. One key difference is that the Forerunner 935 features a transflective memory-in-pixel display, allowing for better battery life.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 935

Operating system: Proprietary OS
Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, heart rate monitor, barometer, thermometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Battery life: Up to 2 weeks
Fitness tracking: Running, cycling, swimming, multisport, sleep, oxygen levels, steps, calories, distance

Garmin Vivoactive

Operating system: Proprietary OS
Sensors: GPS, heart rate monitor, accelerometer
Battery life: 14 hours to 11 days
Fitness tracking: Running, cycling, swimming, golf, sleep, steps, calories, distance

Comparison of features and performance

Both smartwatches share a proprietary Garmin operating system and offer a robust selection of fitness tracking options, including running, swimming, and cycling. The Forerunner 935 boasts additional tracking features, such as oxygen levels and multisport tracking, and more sensors, like the barometer and thermometer. Battery life is similar, with both devices capable of lasting up to 2 weeks on a single charge. GPS functionality is available on both watches, with the Forerunner 935 also supporting GLONASS for improved tracking accuracy.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 935

Display: 240 x 240 pixels, 1.2 inches, sunlight-visible, transflective, memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Navigation: Five physical buttons
Apps and customization: Connect IQ support for watch faces, apps, and widgets
Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Garmin Vivoactive

Display: 205 x 148 pixels, 1.38 inches, sunlight-readable, color touch screen
Navigation: Touchscreen and one physical button
Apps and customization: Limited preloaded apps, no support for third-party apps
Compatibility: Android, iOS

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The user interface of the Garmin Forerunner 935 includes a high-resolution display and five physical buttons, allowing for quick navigation of features. In contrast, the Vivoactive provides a touchscreen interface alongside a single physical button. The Forerunner 935 offers a more customizable experience with the availability of Connect IQ for watch faces, apps, and widgets, while the Vivoactive has limited preloaded apps and no third-party app support. Both devices are compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 935

Cost: $500
Value for money: Geared towards serious athletes who require advanced tracking and customization

Garmin Vivoactive

Cost: $250
Value for money: Designed for fitness enthusiasts looking for essential tracking features at a lower price point

Comparison of price and value

The Forerunner 935 offers advanced tracking features and customization at a higher price point, catering to those serious about their sport. Conversely, the Vivoactive provides essential tracking features and a lower price, making it more ideal for users who require entry-level fitness monitoring.


The Garmin Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive cater to different user profiles. For dedicated athletes seeking advanced tracking and customization options, the Forerunner 935 may be worth the higher investment. On the other hand, the Vivoactive offers essential tracking features and a lower price point, suitable for users who require basic monitoring capabilities. Making a decision between these two smartwatches comes down to individual priorities, personal preferences, and budget constraints.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which watch is more suitable for triathlon training?

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is more suitable for triathlon training, as it offers multisport tracking features and a more extensive sensor array.

Does the Vivoactive support third-party apps?

No, the Vivoactive does not support third-party apps and only comes with preloaded apps.

Can I use these watches for swim tracking?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive are water-resistant up to 5 ATM and offer swim tracking features.

Do either of these watches have music storage and playback capabilities?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive support music playback, but only when connected to a compatible smartphone. Neither device has onboard music storage.

Can I receive notifications on these watches when connected to my smartphone?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive can display smartphone notifications such as calls, text messages, and emails when connected via Bluetooth.

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