Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Instinct

Vivoactive HR
 GarminVivoactive HRBuy NowGarminInstinctBuy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$300

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration13 hours to 8 days14 days


Windows Phone




Resolution148 x 205128 x 128
Size1.38 inches0.9 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM10 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Instinct and Vivoactive HR

Garmin Instinct and Garmin Vivoactive HR are two smartwatches designed for active individuals who value fitness and outdoor activities. Both products boast a range of features that track various aspects of physical activity and health. Choosing the right watch is essential to meet the desired goals and ensure a smooth experience.

Garmin is a reputable brand known for its high-quality GPS and fitness devices. Their long-standing history in creating innovative products has established them as a trusted name in wearable technology. In this article, we will delve deep into the details of Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR, assessing their design, features and performance, user experience, price and value, and provide a comprehensive comparison between these two models.

Design and Build

Product 1

Garmin Instinct comes with a sturdy build, designed to withstand harsh environments. It uses durable materials, including chemically-strengthened glass and fiber-reinforced polymer. With a weight of 52g, it has a compact size and features a 0.9-inch color display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels.

Product 2

Garmin Vivoactive HR sports a sleek design, featuring a rectangular face and a 1.38-inch color display with a resolution of 148 x 205 pixels. The watch is made of high-quality materials, ensuring it can endure everyday wear and tear. The lightweight smartwatch weighs 47.6g which makes it comfortable for extended periods of use.

Comparison of design and build quality

While both devices have a robust build and utilize quality materials, there are some notable differences. Garmin Instinct leans more towards ruggedness and durability, whereas Vivoactive HR has a sleeker design suited for everyday use. Their dimensions, display sizes, and resolutions also differ. Given these variations, user preference and intended use play a significant role in determining which design is more appealing.

Features and Functionality

Product 1

Garmin Instinct offers a variety of features without a dedicated operating system. The watch includes sensors like GPS, heart rate monitor, barometer/altimeter, and accelerometer. The 14-day battery life is impressive and outlasts the Vivoactive HR. Instinct tracks activities such as calories, distance, heart rate, sleep, steps, and swimming.

Product 2

Garmin Vivoactive HR possesses various functions powered by Garmin’s proprietary operating system. The sensors include GPS, heart rate monitor, barometer/altimeter, and accelerometer. It has a battery life ranging from 13 hours to 8 days, depending on usage. Vivoactive HR tracks cycling, calories, distance, heart rate, sleep, steps, and swimming.

Comparison of features and performance

Both Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR offer an array of features that cater to fitness enthusiasts. They share several common tracking capabilities, such as calories, distance, heart rate, sleep, steps, and swimming. However, the Vivoactive HR has an additional cycling tracking function not found in the Instinct model. Battery life is another area of difference, with Instinct leading the game with 14 days of battery life versus the Vivoactive HR’s variable 13-hour to 8-day life.

User Interface and User Experience

Product 1

Garmin Instinct has a user-friendly display and a simple navigation system. The watch lacks dedicated apps but offers customization and smartphone compatibility with both Android and iOS devices. The interface of Instinct is easy to read and operate, ensuring a seamless user experience.

Product 2

Garmin Vivoactive HR features a crisp display and intuitive navigation system. It supports apps through the Garmin Connect ecosystem and offers customization options. The watch is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows Phones, offering a broader range of connectivity options.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

When comparing the user interfaces and experiences, Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR are similar in many aspects. Both feature user-friendly displays and straightforward navigation. However, Vivoactive HR’s compatibility with apps and Windows Phones gives it an advantage, providing a more versatile user experience.

Price and Value

Product 1

Garmin Instinct comes with a price tag of $300. With its durable build, array of features, and lengthy battery life, it offers excellent value for those seeking a dependable and rugged fitness watch.

Product 2

Garmin Vivoactive HR is priced at $250, which is $50 less than the Instinct. Despite the lower price point, it provides a wealth of features, including cycling tracking and app compatibility, making it great value for money.

Comparison of price and value

In terms of price and value, both Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR offer compelling reasons to choose either product. While the Instinct boasts a more rugged design and longer battery life, the Vivoactive HR provides additional features and better app compatibility for a lower cost.


In summary, both Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR are excellent choices for fitness enthusiasts, catering to different preferences and budgets. For those who prioritize durability and battery life, Instinct might be a suitable option. However, if app compatibility and additional tracking features are desired, Vivoactive HR has an edge. Ultimately, the choice comes down to individual needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are both the Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR water-resistant?

Yes, both smartwatches offer water resistance. The Garmin Instinct has a rating of 10 ATM, while the Vivoactive HR is rated at 5 ATM.

Do both watches support smartphone notifications, such as texts and emails?

Yes, both Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR support smartphone notifications, including texts and emails, when connected to compatible devices.

Can I control music playback on my smartphone with these watches?

Yes, both the Garmin Instinct and the Vivoactive HR allow you to control music playback on your smartphone when connected.

What is the difference between Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR in terms of weight and display size?

Garmin Instinct weighs 52g, and its display size is 0.9 inches. Garmin Vivoactive HR weighs 47.6g, with a display size of 1.38 inches.

Do both watches feature rechargeable batteries?

Yes, both Garmin Instinct and Vivoactive HR have rechargeable batteries.

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