Garmin Instinct vs. Garmin VivoActive 4

VivoActive 4
 GarminInstinctBuy NowGarminVivoActive 4Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$300$349

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 days8 days


Windows Phone




Resolution128 x 128260 x 260
Size0.9 inches1.3ionches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance10 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemWear OS

Comparing VivoActive 4 and Instinct

The Garmin Instinct and VivoActive 4 are two popular smartwatches by Garmin. These watches offer advanced fitness tracking and smart features which make them suitable for a wide range of users. When choosing a smartwatch, it is important to find the right balance between functionality, design, and value for money.

Garmin, a multinational technology company founded in 1989, has a history of providing top-quality and innovative products in the wearables and fitness tracking market. With a strong reputation, Garmin consistently creates products that cater to the needs of its target audience.

In this article, we will compare the design, build, features, user interface, price, and value of the Garmin Instinct and VivoActive 4. Furthermore, we will address frequently asked questions about these fitness trackers.

Design and Build

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct features a fiber-reinforced polymer case, making the watch rugged and tough. Its dimensions are 45 x 45 x 15.3 mm and it weighs 52 grams. The Instinct’s monochrome screen has a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels.

Garmin VivoActive 4

On the other hand, the VivoActive 4 is made from lightweight polymer, with a stainless steel bezel. The dimensions are 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm, and it weighs 50.5 grams. The watch has a 1.3-inch color touchscreen display, boasting a resolution of 260 x 260 pixels.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both watches have distinct designs and a robust build. The Instinct’s rugged construction and monochrome screen make it suitable for outdoor enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the VivoActive 4’s sleek design and color touchscreen display cater more towards everyday use and style-conscious users.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct runs its own proprietary operating system and has numerous features such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, steps counting, calories burned calculation, and swimming tracking. The watch also has GPS and Bluetooth functionality. Its battery life lasts up to 14 days.

Garmin VivoActive 4

VivoActive 4 runs on Wear OS and has a similar set of features as the Instinct, with additional options like bicycling tracking and oxygen tracking. The watch also includes Wi-Fi connectivity. The battery life of the VivoActive 4 is about 8 days.

Comparison of features and performance

Both watches have a range of features catering to different needs. While they share several common options, the VivoActive 4 offers some extra features like bicycling tracking and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, the Instinct has an edge in battery life, lasting up to 14 days compared to 8 days on the VivoActive 4.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct has a monochrome display and a simple interface, with navigation by using side buttons. Smartphone compatibility is available for both Android and iOS devices. The watch offers basic app customization.

Garmin VivoActive 4

Conversely, the VivoActive 4 features a color touchscreen display and a versatile interface with navigation using touch and side buttons. App customization is more advanced than the Instinct, and smartphone compatibility covers Android and iOS devices as well.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The Instinct offers a basic user interface, while the VivoActive 4 provides a more advanced and customizable experience with its touchscreen display. Both devices maintain compatibility with the most common smartphone operating systems, allowing seamless integration into users' daily lives.

Price and Value

Garmin Instinct

With a price of $300, the Instinct offers an affordable and functional option for outdoor enthusiasts or those requiring a rugged smartwatch.

Garmin VivoActive 4

The VivoActive 4, priced at $349, is a more expensive choice but offers additional features, customization options, and a sleek design targeted for daily and fitness use.

Comparison of price and value

By evaluating the design, features, and user experience, the Instinct offers better value for those seeking a durable, functional smartwatch at a lower price point. However, the VivoActive 4 provides increased versatility and extra features for those willing to invest in a higher-priced device.


Ultimately, the choice between the Garmin Instinct and VivoActive 4 depends on the personal needs and preferences of the user. If ruggedness, battery life, and affordability are priorities, the Instinct is an ideal choice. For users seeking a more advanced, feature-rich option with a sleek design, the VivoActive 4 is the preferred alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you receive notifications from your smartphone on both watches?

Yes, both devices provide notifications for texts, emails, and phone calls when connected to a compatible smartphone.

2. Are both watches water-resistant?

Yes, the Instinct has a water resistance rating of 10 ATM, while the VivoActive 4 is rated at 5 ATM. Both watches can be used for swimming and other water-based activities.

3. Do both watches have built-in GPS?

Yes, both the Garmin Instinct and VivoActive 4 come equipped with built-in GPS functionality for accurate activity tracking.

4. Which watch is better for outdoor activities?

The Garmin Instinct with its rugged design and monochrome display is better suited for outdoor activities and harsh environments.

5. Can I control music on both devices?

Yes, both the Garmin Instinct and VivoActive 4 allow you to control music playback from your smartphone, providing convenience during workouts or daily activities.

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