The Garmin Vivoactive 4

Overview

The most recent addition to the brand’s lineup of mid-range products is the Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch. Although it is positioned below the fashionable Garmin Venu and the triathlete-focused Fenix 6, this is because it is designed for people who are just moderately serious about their fitness.

It does a fair job of tracking your fitness and comes with some smartwatch functionality, although its look is more reminiscent of the latter than the former. In the end, though, it is a terrific piece for those serious about training but don’t want to change their watch to return to the office after a session.

If it becomes wet, using the screen might be a little bit of a hassle, which may discourage people who aren’t used to being outside in the elements. In addition, the app environment offered by Garmin leaves a little bit to be desired. Although it has a nice appearance, it cannot compete with other watches, such as the Apple Watch 6, recently released.

Design

You could be forgiven for believing the Garmin Vivoactive 4 was a Venu when it is turned off because it looks very similar, which is not a negative, as it has a rounded metallic face that gives it the appearance of being of higher quality than it actually is. In contrast to its chubbier twin, the Fenix 6, the Fenix 5 is sleek and compact.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a durable and functional fitness tracker. It is easy to personalize to suit your environment thanks to the availability of a 40mm or 45mm case as well as a wide variety of straps to pick from.

Credit goes to Garmin.

Additionally, its Chroma screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and it has a water resistance rating of 5 ATM. This means that it can accompany you on some underwater adventures and can withstand the occasional bump in the road.

Inside

Some pleasantly unexpected features may be found on the inside of the Garmin Vivoactive 4. To start, it has an internal storage capacity that can accommodate up to 500 songs. In addition, the user interface has been modernized, making it much simpler to navigate using the touchscreen.

In addition, each of the improvements made to the user interface is welcome. As was the case with prior iterations of the Vivo watch, you can scroll up and down the screens that you have customized to gain rapid access to data such as your health statistics, information about your workouts, music settings, and any other apps that you have loaded.

If you are interested in hybrid watches, you should be aware that the Garmin IQ shop is a little low in selection. If any disadvantages need to be called out in the interests of fairness, this would be one of them. Meaning that the app library has a limited offering, especially when considering apps not related to fitness, except the specialized Garmin Connect app. Even when the app does work, it may have a sluggish feel to it when compared to, for example, Fitbit apps. And that’s without even mentioning the experience you get with an Apple Watch. If the ability to receive notifications and manage your music is all you need, then this is an excellent shout.

Tracking

To make up for any deficiencies in its smart features, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 offers excellent capabilities for tracking one’s fitness progress.

You will, of course, obtain all of the normal capabilities that you would anticipate finding on a fitness tracker. These features include precise GPS and the ability to track various activities, ranging from jogging to yoga to skiing.

Activities

The newly developed guided workout animations for yoga and free weights activities are quite helpful. You will receive a graphical tutorial that will show you how to perform various activities, quite similar to what Fitbit provides. Downloading it to the Connect app is all that is required to gain access to this.

Sensors and Extra Metrics

Following this, there are some other measures that Garmin has introduced. In particular, the capability to view your estimated sweat loss, pulse oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate.

To begin, when they talk about estimated sweat loss, it is something that is incredibly difficult to evaluate, but it performs a good job nonetheless. This information is sent to you along with a plethora of post-workout statistics, such as an evaluation of how well you performed, your target heart rate zones, and a recommendation for appropriate rest hours.

Second, the pulse oxygen sensor is an essential innovation for those of you who are concerned about your health. This will tell you how much oxygen is currently present in your blood, which is an excellent predictor of the state of your health as a whole right now. And the presence of a considerable decline may suggest the existence of a problem. It should be noted that this function is now standard on all Fitbit devices. Thus, the Vivoactive family is not the only one to offer it.

Last but not least, recording one’s respiration is a fantastic addition to the guided breathing exercises. Compared to Fitbit Sense, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 monitors your heart rate to determine how stressed you are and how well you are overall. It is interested in your overall health and wellbeing. Overall, this feature works fairly well and is able to provide superior statistics than what can be obtained with a Fitbit.

Battery life

According to feedback from customers who have used the Garmin Vivoactive 4, the company’s promise that it can go up to 8 days between charges is accurate. However, in order to accomplish this, you will need to restrict the amount of time spent using pulse OX tracking.

To be more specific, you can track a workout that lasts between 30 and 45 minutes while listening to music and check your health metrics a few times each day for the next eight days without any problems.

As you may anticipate, using the pulse OX and GPS will reduce the battery life to anywhere between three and five days at most. In fact, considering everything, that is quite impressive.

Should I go ahead and get the Garmin Vivoactive 4

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is not a low-cost watch; rather, it is priced squarely in the middle of the watch market’s spectrum. On the other hand, it is an excellent option if you’re looking for a quality fitness tracker that provides extensive metrics, a few useful functions, and a stylish design to boot.

The GPS is precise, and it is of great use to runners and other people who enjoy being outdoors.

If there is one drawback that has to be mentioned, it is that the app library is not nearly as extensive as those offered by other companies. Consequently, less dedicated consumers who are looking for a smartwatch with fitness capabilities will be dissatisfied. If you are this kind of user, you should check out our reviews of the Apple Watch SE and the Fitbit Versa 3, two products that fall into a comparable pricing bracket.

Conclusion 

Although the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is not a significant upgrade from the Vivoactive 3, it is still an excellent fitness tracker that falls into the middle of the price range and has many useful functions.

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