Garmin Vivosmart 3 vs. Garmin VivoActive 4

Vivosmart 3
VivoActive 4
 GarminVivosmart 3Buy NowGarminVivoActive 4Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$139.99$349

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration5 days8 days


Windows Phone




Resolution64 x 128260 x 260


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemWear OS

Comparing VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3

When it comes to fitness trackers and smartwatches, Garmin is a leading brand. With the VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3, Garmin offers two product lines to cater to different user needs. In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricate details of these two wearables, comparing their design, build, features, user interface, and value to help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right smartwatch is essential as it can help you monitor your daily activities, health, and fitness goals, and stay connected with your smartphone. Garmin, a company known for its GPS technology, has a strong reputation for creating innovative products and providing quality services to its customers.

In this article, we will take a close look at both the VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3, highlighting their similarities and differences, so you can decide which one is the best choice for you.

Design and Build

Garmin VivoActive 4

The Garmin VivoActive 4 features a sleek design with a round watch face made from fiber-reinforced polymer. The watch has a stainless-steel bezel for added durability and style. It is lightweight and comfortable at 50.5 grams, with a 1.3-inch sunlight-visible, always-on MIP display with a resolution of 260x260 pixels.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

With a slightly different form factor, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 is a fitness tracker that comes in a band design. It has a less conspicuous display than the VivoActive 4, with a hidden OLED touchscreen panel that measures 64x128 pixels in resolution. The Vivosmart 3 weighs only 20.4 grams, making it an effortless fitness companion.

Comparison of design and build quality

While both the VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3 sport minimalist aesthetics, their differences in design are notable. The VivoActive 4 has a more traditional watch-like appearance, whereas the Vivosmart 3 is a compact fitness tracker. Both devices are water-resistant up to 50 meters, making them suitable for swimming and other water activities. The VivoActive 4 boasts sturdier materials and a higher-resolution display, while the Vivosmart 3 shines for its lightweight build.

Features and Functionality

Garmin VivoActive 4

The VivoActive 4 operates using Garmin’s efficient and user-friendly Wear OS, enabling users to access an array of features such as GPS, health monitoring, fitness tracking, and smartphone compatibility. The device is equipped with various sensors, including an accelerometer, barometer, altimeter, and heart rate monitor. Its battery life is impressive, with a standby time of up to 8 days.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Although the Vivosmart 3 does not use Wear OS, it still manages to pack a series of features into its compact form. Users can enjoy fitness tracking, sleep monitoring, stress tracking, and smartphone notifications. It is limited by the lack of GPS and a shorter battery life at 5 days.

Comparison of features and performance

Both wearables demonstrate Garmin’s excellence in providing useful features for their target audience. The VivoActive 4, however, gains an edge over the Vivosmart 3 due to its Wear OS and a broader range of functionality. The Vivosmart 3 holds its own as a fitness tracker for general use, but for users seeking a more comprehensive solution, the VivoActive 4 is the better choice.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin VivoActive 4

The VivoActive 4 offers a clear and easy-to-read display, with touchscreen, button-based navigation, and customizable watch faces. It is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and allows for app downloads from the Garmin Connect IQ store.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

The Vivosmart 3 features a hidden OLED display with touch navigation, which helps maintain its discreet appearance. The device can be easily synced with Android, iOS, and Windows phones, but does not support app downloads.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The usability of both wearables caters to their target market. For those seeking a more feature-rich and customizable experience, the VivoActive 4 stands out with its compatibility and user interface. The Vivosmart 3, on the other hand, is an excellent option for those who prefer a simple and straightforward fitness tracker.

Price and Value

Garmin VivoActive 4

With a price tag of $349, the VivoActive 4 offers a powerful combination of features and performance that justify its cost. It is suited for fitness enthusiasts and those who require a robust smartwatch experience.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

At $139.99, the Vivosmart 3 is significantly more affordable and serves as an excellent entry-level fitness tracker for casual users who seek simplicity and effectiveness.

Comparison of price and value

While the VivoActive 4 comes with a higher price tag, its additional features and capabilities make it an investment worthwhile for serious fitness enthusiasts. The Vivosmart 3 is a budget-friendly option for those looking for an efficient device without extraneous features.


Ultimately, the choice between the Garmin VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3 depends on personal preferences and needs. The VivoActive 4 is the go-to option for those seeking a feature-packed smartwatch with a stylish design and numerous customization options, while the Vivosmart 3 is a fantastic choice for the budget-conscious who want a simple yet powerful fitness tracker.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the VivoActive 4 worth the additional cost compared to the Vivosmart 3?

Yes, if you require all the advanced features and customizations the VivoActive 4 has to offer. If you are a casual user, the Vivosmart 3 will suffice for basic tracking needs.

Which Garmin device has a longer battery life?

The Garmin VivoActive 4 has a longer battery life of up to 8 days, compared to the Vivosmart 3's battery life of up to 5 days.

Can I swim while wearing either the Garmin VivoActive 4 or Vivosmart 3?

Yes, both the VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3 are water-resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM) and are suitable for swimming and water sports.

Do both devices work with Android and iOS smartphones?

Yes, the VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3 are compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. The Vivosmart 3 is also compatible with Windows phones which is not the case for the VivoActive 4.

Can I store and play music on both devices?

Yes, both the Garmin VivoActive 4 and Vivosmart 3 can store and play music during workouts and daily use.

All Wearables