The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an excellent device for monitoring both sleep and light fitness

Garmin Vivosmart 4

7.8

DESIGN

7.5/10

EASE OF USE

7.5/10

APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION

8.0/10

MOTIVATION

8.0/10

PROS

  • Oxygen sensor Body Battery metric
  • Tracking one’s sleep in great detail
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Long life span for the battery

CONS

  • Display is rather limited in width

Garmin may be most recognized for its line of sports watches, but the company has also developed an extensive selection of fitness trackers. It is arguably the brand that competes with Fitbit for the title of most popular in this particular market area. Okay, there is also a company called Xiaomi, but its products are of the more affordable variety and are primarily sold in the Far East.

The company’s most recent activity band is an improvement on the immensely successful Vivosmart 3. In addition to all of its other fitness aspects, it also includes a few more. This contains a sensor that measures the oxygen level in your blood as well as a new metric that determines the amount of energy reserves in your body.

I’ve been sporting the band around my wrist since you last saw me. This is a complete review written by myself.

Design

When compared to Garmin’s previous fitness wearables, the Vivosmart 4 does not look much different from any of them. Over the course of its existence, the company has deviated from its original blueprint only a marginal amount, and there is no compelling reason for this to change.

The device comes outfitted with a silicone strap that has an athletic appearance, an aluminum bezel, and a polycarbonate lens. The most notable aspect, however, is how compact it is overall. It would appear that Garmin is on a crusade to reduce the size of everything! The Vivosport 4 is exactly what you would get if you imagined a Fitbit Flex 2 that also had a screen.

The device is obviously designed more for people who are into exercise than it is for people who are into fashion. In spite of this, it has a width of only 15 millimeters, a depth of only 10.5 millimeters, and weighs as little as a feather, making it an excellent choice for women or other people who have wrists that are not very thick.

This also has some negative repercussions. The resolution of the screen on the Vivosmart 4 is significantly higher than that of the previous model, the Vivosmart 3, and it also features a grayscale OLED display. However, while this does the trick when used inside, it is not going to cut it when taken outside into the bright sunlight. Because of the display’s limited width, reading it is quite challenging. If you are running, it will be quite difficult to accomplish.

You have the option of selecting either a small, medium, or large size from the available options. The initial variant clocks in at a scant 20.4 grams, while the larger one clocks in at 21.5 grams and is only a little heavier. Both versions of the screen have the exact same measurements, which come in at 6.6 mm by 17.7 mm. It is turned off by default, but it will start working when you lift your wrist, tap anywhere on the display, or receive a notification.

In addition to that, there is a haptic button located at the very bottom that is flush with the screen. You can use this to get started with activities, navigate through the menus, and wake up the tracker. Although this is helpful, it is far too simple to press the button when it is needed. I did discover that sometimes an action would be triggered simply because something would accidentally brush up against it. A nuisance despite the fact that it is not difficult to get rid of and does not require saving the activity. To our great relief, this did not take place very frequently.

Although the bands cannot be switched out, there is a selection of four colors available when making a purchase. These include black on black, berry with light gold, azure blue with silver, and gray with rose-gold accents.

It is always important to focus on the qualities that lie within. The Vivosmart 4 has a heart rate sensor, barometric altimeter, vibration alert, and a three-axis accelerometer in its standard packaging. Because of this combination, it is able to cover everything that is necessary for activity tracking for an average individual. However, its most impressive feature is the pulse oximeter, which can provide readings whenever they are requested during the day and can do so on its own while you are sleeping. It’s one of the first fitness trackers that has this capability, making it one of the first.

Although the tracker does not have a GPS receiver built in, it does offer Connected GPS. This indicates that it is able to obtain a GPS reading by tapping into the satellite signal transmitted by your smartphone. The ANT+ compatibility of the Vivosmart is limited to the transmission of heart rate data; as a result, the tracker is unable to link to third-party heart rate monitors, such as chest straps or finger sensors that measure heart rate. Due to the fact that its heart rate monitor performs to a satisfactory level, this is not too much of an issue.

The battery life is satisfactory despite the fact that it is so unbelievably thin. The tracker can run for up to seven days without needing a charge, although this time is reduced when the pulse oximetry sleep tracking feature is used. I went back to adding more every three to four days for about an hour each time. This was sufficient to restore it to its original level of operation each time.

Features

I won’t spend too much time going over the basic capabilities of the system. The Garmin Vivosmart 4 offers most of the features that you would anticipate finding in a contemporary fitness band. It can monitor your heart rate as well as your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, and the amount of sleep you get. There are also some more complex capabilities, such as monitoring your stress levels around the clock, your VO2Max, your fitness age, and the number of reps and sets you complete in the gym. All of these functions are executed exceptionally effectively by the gadget, which is to be expected from a Garmin product.

The wearable device also includes profiles for walking, running, cardio, elliptical, stair stepper, and yoga for the user to choose from. Swimming tracking is also available on this watch thanks to its water resistance of 5 ATM. The tracker is equipped with support for Move IQ’s automatic activity identification, and it will present these activities on the dashboard in Garmin Connect.

The statistics about the tracking of one’s sleep struck me as particularly impressive. You are provided with a detailed analysis of your total, deep, light, and REM sleep as well as your awake time each morning. A chart that illustrates the different stages of sleep is presented here for your perusal. In addition, there is information regarding your activities throughout the night as well as data from your pulse oximeter.

However, you might be wondering exactly what pulse oximeters are and how they work. The answer, of course, can be found in the title.

Pulse oximeters are highly helpful instruments that measure the extent to which oxygen is delivered to areas of the body that are located at a distance from the heart. Consider your arms or legs as an example. This particular kind of technology was first introduced by Garmin with the Fenix 5 Plus product range. The wrist-based pulse oximeter sensor is now available on the considerably cheaper Vivosmart 4, which was released earlier this year.

Your nighttime oxygen saturation levels are measured by the fitness tracker, which provides you with a better understanding of the quality of your sleep. This has the potential to be utilized to identify sleep problems such as apnea. However, Garmin will not diagnose these conditions.

In the morning, your pulse oximetry reading will provide you with an average reading for the previous night. The majority of the time, I got between 97 and 98 percent.You can see how it fluctuated by looking at the chart, which provides a full breakdown of the data. Because there was not much of a shift in the statistics, I did not find it to be really helpful. But it is a good addition that will be of assistance to folks who have breathing-related disorders such as sleep apnea or other similar conditions. In particular, those individuals who might be unaware that they are suffering from these diseases should be

Simply pressing a button during the day will give you an accurate reading of your oxygen consumption. When performing a manual check, you will need to maintain complete stillness for around a minute and a half. I am going to speculate that this is the reason why the device does not automatically test your oxygen levels while you are awake. Because you are moving around for the majority of the time, it would be quite difficult to accomplish.

Monitoring of what Garmin refers to as “Body Battery” energy is another one of the Vivosmart 4’s innovative new features. This will tell you when you should be pushing yourself hard and when you should be resting based on your stress levels, heart rate variability (HRV), how well you slept, and how active you were. The metric was initially introduced on the Suunto 3 Fitness and was developed by Firstbeat.

To put it another way, this is a single figure that goes up while you are at rest or sleeping and goes down when you are exercising or stressed out. In general, I thought it did a pretty good job of gauging how energetic I was feeling at the time. Bear in mind that it did not perform the tasks perfectly, but Garmin has the proper idea overall.

It can be really helpful to have a single number that lets you know at all times how prepared you are for a particular activity. You may, for instance, use it to improve the effectiveness of your workout programs. It ought to empower you to make better, more educated choices regarding the manner in which you train and when you should do so. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Garmin will continue to improve upon this in the years to come.

The data on the heart rate is reasonably correct. During the entire period of time, I wore a Vivosmart 4 on my right hand and a Forerunner 935 on my left. On the majority of mornings, the two individuals had resting heart rates that were within 1 bpm of one another, which makes sense given that they probably use the same gear. When it comes to running, things are exactly the same. The maximum heart rate was only off by a few beats, while the average heart rate was almost exactly right on the money.

To give you an example, I ran 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) this morning. The speed was 5:58 on the Forerunner 935. The average heart rate was 152 beats per minute, and the highest heart rate was 169 beats per minute. The cadence was 185. The following information was generated by Vivosport 4 for the same run: 449 calories were burned, with an average heart rate of 152 beats per minute, a maximum heart rate of 165 beats per minute, and a cadence of 184.The two are relatively close, but the disparities arise mostly from a distinction in the methods that are used to determine distance.

It is also important to note that you will not receive some of the more complex running data that is available on more expensive Garmin models. These metrics include anaerobic and aerobic training effects, as well as training status. You do receive VO2Max, but in my experience, it is really inaccurate. The Vivosmart 4 estimated that I was 50 years old, while the Forerunner 935 placed me at a significantly more accurate age of 43. If the two were given more time to calibrate, there is a chance that they would become synchronized.

In terms of its intelligent capabilities, the phone will notify you of incoming calls and text messages, among other types of notifications. However, because the display is so small, you won’t be able to do much with them. Text messages will identify the sender, while notifications will identify the app from which they originated. However, you will need to pull out your phone in order to read them in their entirety. In addition, there are some additional features, such as the ability to check the weather, manage your music, locate your phone, and more.

The final decision

In general, this is a good little fitness band that has a lot to offer despite its small size. An occasional user will get access to the majority of the tools necessary for monitoring activity around the clock. Because Garmin has a great deal of experience in developing products similar to this one, you may have faith that the information is correct. In addition, there is the Garmin ecosystem, which includes a smartphone app and a website dashboard. The smartphone app and website dashboard both do a fantastic job of explaining the statistics.

The tracker has been a huge success, and based on its diminutive size, I’m assuming that it’s especially well received by female consumers. The data on oxygen saturation is an excellent supplement to the data on the quality of sleep, and the newly introduced Body Battery metric performs admirably and brings a fresh perspective to your workouts.

If you do not mind using a device with a smaller screen, the Vivosmart 4 is an excellent choice that comes at a fair price. Runners who are extremely dedicated to the sport, on the other hand, may consider purchasing a watch that has a larger display and an integrated GPS system. The Vivoactive 3, or possibly the Vivosport, is the model that comes after this one.

We are a review website, and when you purchase certain products via our links, we may gain a commission, but the cost to you will remain the same. We are able to keep this website up and running thanks to your purchases of products after clicking on links within this post. We are not affiliated with any other company, and any thoughts expressed here are entirely our own. See our affiliate disclosure page for more details.

Leave a Reply