Garmin Vivoactive vs. Garmin Vivosmart 4

Vivosmart 4
 GarminVivoactiveBuy NowGarminVivosmart 4Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$130

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration14 hours to 11 days7 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolution205 x 14848 x 128
Size1.38 inches0.74 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Vivosmart 4 and Vivoactive

For those interested in fitness tracking, smartwatches and wearables are becoming increasingly popular, with Garmin offering two products that stand out - the Vivoactive and the Vivosmart 4. Choosing the right device is paramount, as each serves different purposes and offers a range of features catering to varying user preferences.

Garmin, a brand with a strong reputation for reliability and precision, initially built its name in the GPS industry. As technology has advanced, so has the brand, evolving to include wearables and fitness trackers in their product range. In this article, we will delve into an in-depth comparison of the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4, exploring their design, functionality, user interface, and price to help you make an informed decision when choosing the ideal wearable for your needs.

Design and Build

Garmin Vivoactive

The Garmin Vivoactive features a sleek and practical design, incorporating a 1.38-inch color LCD display with a screen resolution of 205 x 148 pixels. It weighs a comfortable 43 grams and boasts a durable build with water resistance up to 5 ATM. The watch face is constructed using materials such as:

  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Fiber-reinforced polymer case
  • Silicone band

Garmin Vivosmart 4

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 sports a compact and lightweight design, weighing just 20.4 grams. The device features a 0.74-inch OLED display with a screen resolution of 48 x 128 pixels. The Vivosmart 4 is also equipped with a 5 ATM water resistance rating. The fitness band’s construction uses materials such as:

  • Anodized aluminum bezel
  • Polycarbonate lens
  • Silicone strap

Comparison of design and build quality

When comparing the design and build of these two devices, the Vivoactive is a more versatile option with a larger display, making it easier to read and navigate. Conversely, the Vivosmart 4 is lightweight and smaller, ideal for those looking for a more compact fitness tracker. While both offer water resistance and durable build materials, the choice ultimately depends on the user’s preferences and needs.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Vivoactive

The Garmin Vivoactive runs on Garmin’s proprietary operating system and offers several useful features, including GPS functionality and smartphone compatibility with both Android and iOS devices. The device incorporates a range of sensors, such as an accelerometer, and allows for comprehensive fitness tracking (cycling, swimming, sleep, etc.). The Vivoactive boasts a battery life of up to 11 days and includes additional features like music control and phone functionality via Bluetooth.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Similar to its counterpart, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is also compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. It lacks GPS functionality, but it makes up for this with the inclusion of a barometer and altimeter, further enhancing its tracking abilities. The Vivosmart 4 provides extensive fitness tracking options as well, such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and blood oxygen saturation measurement. With a battery life of up to 7 days, it offers a more compact alternative to the Vivoactive.

Comparison of features and performance

Both devices provide comprehensive fitness tracking solutions; however, the Vivoactive holds an advantage over the Vivosmart 4 with its GPS functionality and larger display for easier use. On the other hand, the Vivosmart 4 is a more budget-friendly option, offering a similar set of features while sacrificing GPS and screen size.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Vivoactive

The user interface of the Garmin Vivoactive is intuitive and easy to navigate, offering customizable options to tailor the experience based on user preferences. The touch screen display allows for seamless interaction with the device, while compatibility with Android and iOS smartphones provides a seamless connection to receive notifications, control music, and more.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Likewise, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 offers an excellent user experience, with a touch-capable OLED display and compatibility with Android and iOS devices. The device also provides customization options for users to personalize their experience. Although the screen is smaller than the Vivoactive, it remains highly functional and easy to navigate.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

While both the Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4 ensure a pleasant user experience, the larger display on the Vivoactive allows for more comfortable interaction and improved readability. Nevertheless, if a compact form factor is more important to you, the Vivosmart 4 remains a viable alternative for a user-friendly fitness tracker.

Price and Value

Garmin Vivoactive

At a price of $250, the Garmin Vivoactive offers extensive features, including GPS functionality, a color display, and comprehensive fitness tracking. While it falls on the higher end of the price spectrum, it provides excellent value for those seeking a versatile and feature-rich smartwatch.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

For more budget-conscious individuals, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 comes in at $130, providing a wide range of features with a few trade-offs, like the lack of GPS and a smaller display. However, for those prioritizing affordability and a compact design, the Vivosmart 4 offers great value for money.

Comparison of price and value

When assessing price and value, the choice between the Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4 depends on individual preferences and budgets. The Vivoactive appears more attractive to those seeking a GPS-enabled smartwatch with a larger display, while the Vivosmart 4 appeals to those looking for a compact, budget-friendly fitness tracker.


Throughout this comparison, it becomes evident that the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4 each cater to different needs and preferences. The Vivoactive excels in GPS capabilities, a larger display, and access to more features, while the Vivosmart 4 offers a compact and more affordable option. Make your decision based on your priorities and desired features to ensure the best wearable experience for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which device is better for outdoor activities?

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Garmin Vivoactive is a better choice due to its GPS capabilities and more extensive fitness tracking features, such as cycling tracking.

Is the Vivosmart 4 suitable for swimming?

Yes, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is suitable for swimming, with a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, just like the Vivoactive.

Which device offers better battery life?

The Garmin Vivoactive offers a longer battery life, lasting up to 11 days, whereas the Vivosmart 4's battery lasts up to 7 days.

Can I control music on both devices?

Yes, both the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4 have music control functionality via Bluetooth.

Do both devices offer sleep tracking?

Absolutely, both the Garmin Vivoactive and Vivosmart 4 offer sleep tracking to help monitor and improve your sleep quality.

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