Garmin Vivoactive vs. Garmin VivoActive 4

VivoActive 4
 GarminVivoactiveBuy NowGarminVivoActive 4Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$349

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 hours to 11 days8 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution205 x 148260 x 260
Size1.38 inches1.3ionches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/aWear OS

Comparing VivoActive 4 and Vivoactive

The Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin VivoActive 4 are both popular smartwatches that offer a range of features and functionalities. Both devices are designed by Garmin, a brand well known for its high-quality wearable technology and GPS navigation systems. Choosing the right watch can greatly impact your fitness and daily life, making it essential that you understand the differences and features of each device.

Garmin has a history of producing innovative and reliable devices, earning a solid reputation in the world of wearable technology. Before diving into their respective features and comparisons, let’s briefly explore the history and background of Garmin, a company that has been around for over three decades and continues to shape the wearables industry.

In this article, we will compare these two models by examining their design and build, features and functionality, user interface and experience, price and value, followed by frequently asked questions regarding both devices.

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive

The Garmin Vivoactive, released in 2015, has a sleek and lightweight design. Some essential information about its design includes:

  • Materials: Plastic and stainless steel
  • Size: 43.8 x 38.5 x 8 mm
  • Weight: 38 grams
  • Display: 1.38-inch LCD color screen
  • Resolution: 205 x 148 pixels

Garmin VivoActive 4

On the other hand, the Garmin VivoActive 4, released in 2019, offers a more attractive design with enhanced technology. Here are some important characteristics:

  • Materials: Polymer and stainless steel
  • Size: 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
  • Weight: 50.5 grams
  • Display: 1.3-inch MIP color screen
  • Resolution: 260 x 260 pixels

Comparison of design and build quality

Though both devices share similar design language, there are noteworthy differences. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 has a larger screen with a significantly higher resolution, offering a clearer and more vivid display. On the other hand, the Vivoactive is comparatively lighter and smaller, making it a suitable option for those favoring compact and lightweight design.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive

The Garmin Vivoactive offers the following features and functionality:

  • Operating System: Garmin Connect
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, GPS, and heart rate monitor
  • Battery life: Up to 11 days in smartwatch mode and up to 14 hours in GPS mode
  • Fitness tracking: tracks steps, calories, distance, heart rate, and sleep, and offers activity-specific tracking for swimming, cycling, and running

Garmin VivoActive 4

Meanwhile, the Garmin VivoActive 4 comes with the following features and functionality:

  • Operating System: Garmin Connect
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, barometer, GPS, heart rate monitor, and Pulse Ox
  • Battery life: Up to 8 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music
  • Fitness tracking: Similar to its counterpart, but also includes stress tracking, oxygen tracking, and additional activity-specific tracking options

Comparison of features and performance

When comparing the two devices, the Garmin VivoActive 4 clearly comes out on top due to its additional features and improved performance. With additional sensors, enhanced fitness tracking capabilities, and a more extended battery life in smartwatch mode, the VivoActive 4 has the edge in terms of both features and performance.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive

Regarding user interface and user experience, the Garmin Vivoactive offers:

  • Display: Touchscreen LCD color display
  • Navigation: Swipe-based navigation with home button
  • Apps and customization: Limited apps available, watch face customization
  • Compatibility: Android and iOS smartphones

Garmin VivoActive 4

The Garmin VivoActive 4's user interface and user experience include:

  • Display: High-resolution MIP touchscreen color display
  • Navigation: Side-swipe interface with additional physical buttons
  • Apps and customization: Access to Connect IQ store for apps and customization options
  • Compatibility: Android and iOS smartphones

Comparison of user interface and user experience

While both Garmin devices offer a similar user experience in terms of compatibility and navigation, the VivoActive 4 provides a superior experience due to its high-resolution display, easier access to apps, and more customization options. This is an essential consideration for users seeking a more personalized and interactive smartwatch experience.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive

With a price tag of $250, the Garmin Vivoactive offers essential smartwatch features and fitness tracking capabilities at an affordable price point. This model is best suited for budget-conscious buyers or those seeking basic fitness tracking features without breaking the bank.

Garmin VivoActive 4

At $349, the Garmin VivoActive 4 provides a more comprehensive experience with additional sensors, an improved display, and better navigation. Although more expensive, the device offers exceptional value through its advanced features, aesthetic appeal, and enhanced performance capabilities.

Comparison of price and value

Ultimately, the choice between the Vivoactive and the VivoActive 4 comes down to personal preferences and budget. If cost is a significant factor, the Vivoactive is a viable option. However, for those willing to invest extra for advanced features and an improved user experience, the Garmin VivoActive 4 is the better choice.


When comparing the Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin VivoActive 4, there are several key factors to consider. For users seeking a basic, budget-friendly option, the Vivoactive may be a suitable choice. However, those who prioritize advanced features, an improved display, and additional customization options would likely prefer the VivoActive 4. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your priorities, budget, and intended use when choosing between these two Garmin devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between the Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin VivoActive 4?

The main difference between these two devices is that the VivoActive 4 offers enhanced features, a larger and higher resolution display, a longer battery life in smartwatch mode, and additional customization options. However, the Vivoactive is more budget-friendly and lightweight.

Is the Garmin Vivoactive suitable for swimming?

Yes, the Garmin Vivoactive is suitable for swimming, as it features a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, which allows it to be used during swimming activities.

Does the Garmin VivoActive 4 have built-in music storage?

Yes, the Garmin VivoActive 4 has built-in music storage, allowing users to download and listen to their favorite tunes during workouts directly from the watch.

How do I sync my Garmin Vivoactive devices with my smartphone?

To sync your Garmin Vivoactive devices with your smartphone, you will need to download the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone and follow the on-screen instructions to pair your device with your smartphone.

Can I view my text messages on the Garmin Vivoactive and VivoActive 4?

Yes, both the Garmin Vivoactive and VivoActive 4 are capable of displaying your text messages when connected to your smartphone.

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