Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review

Garmin presented its Garmin Vivoactive 4 at the International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA) in early September 2019. The predecessor of this model had already been unveiled two years earlier. A few things have changed compared to this one.

One major change is that the fitness watch is now available in two sizes. The Vivoactive 4s indicates by its name that it is the more compact version. The wearable includes a memory for music, measures the pulse and the oxygen saturation in the blood, has profiles for a total of 36 sports and provides its owners with animated workouts on the display if desired.

The technical details of the Garmin Vivoactive 4

Screen size1.30 Inches
Wrist materialSilicon / Rubber, Synthetic Materials
Size watch case44,3 mm
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, Ant+, NFC
Battery lifeup to 8 days
Supported systemsAndroid, iOS
Water resistanceup to 50 Meters
SensorsAccelerometer, GPS, Pulse monitor, Pulse monitor without chest strap, Sleep monitoring, Ambient light sensor
Microphone includedNo
Speaker includedNo

Vivoactive 4s or Vivoactive 4?

At first glance, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 may seem only slightly different from its predecessor. However, a closer look quickly reveals that quite a few things have changed. For the first time, the manufacturer has given this series two different case sizes. Customers can choose between the more compact Vivoactive 4s with a diameter of 40 millimeters and the more generous Vivoactive 4, which measures 45 millimeters.

Garmin offered the slimmer version in four versions at launch. These include a completely black option or the combination of a silver casing with a gray wristband. In addition, a rose-gold case with a white strap is given a coherent look, and the manufacturer equips a case in a golden hue with a strap in pink.

This makes it clear that at least two of these models have been designed in a very feminine way and are accordingly aimed at the ladies’ target group. Especially for men who prefer the slimmest possible accessory in everyday life and sports, the other two versions may be suitable.

For all those who want a slightly larger fitness watch, the 45-millimeter variants are a good choice. These include a completely black specimen as well as the combination of a silver bezel with a dark gray strap.

Different sizes for men and women

The two sizes are also accompanied by various differences. One of the most obvious ones is the display’s dimensions. Garmin installs a color MIP display (Memory in Pixel), which displays content on 1.1 inches on the more compact watches and 1.3 inches on the larger ones. The corresponding resolution is either 218 x 218 pixels or 260 x 260 pixels. The touchscreen, which is protected by the robust Corning Gorilla Glass 3, allows comfortable operation.

The differences in weight are also subtly noticeable: Smaller also means lighter and thus the Vivoactive 4s with 40 grams moves below the classic Vivoactive 4 with 51 grams. The wristbands of the more compact model are 18 millimeters wide and 22 millimeters for the more generous variant. What all watches have in common is that they remain waterproof up to 50 meters and have two buttons on the right edge of the case.

Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes in two different sizes.

Sporty companion, coach and motivator – all in a watch format

The Vivoactive 4 undoubtedly lives up to its claim of being a versatile fitness watch. The fact that it tracks steps, distances traveled and calories burned in everyday use needs practically no further mention.

As befits its status, 20 activities are installed as profiles, so that the watch can be used to complete and record workouts ranging from running to strength training in the gym to yoga. Thanks to the reliable GPS technology, routes in the outdoor area are easily recorded and peppered with all the necessary information, from the average speed to the pace value.

A new feature introduced in 2019 is the on-screen workouts. Wearers of the Vivoactive 4 can call up more than 40 training plans on the display, which offer different levels of difficulty. The smartwatch then shows the exercises on the display in animated form.

The wearable also offers coaching when it comes to running. In cooperation with the Garmin app, it generates an individualized plan for reaching a target, such as a 10-kilometer run or the first half marathon.

The Body Battery serves as a guide to ensure a harmonious balance between workload and recovery. This indicator can be used to assess whether it makes sense to take a break or whether the next unit can already be started. In order to be able to count on motivation during sports, the Vivoactive 4 is equipped with an internal memory that can either store favorite tracks or playlists from providers like Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music.

Health features and smartwatch functions are also not missed

The fitness watch also devotes itself to the health of its wearer in abundance. One of the functions provided for this is measuring the oxygen saturation via the Pulse Ox sensor. The wearable determines this value day and night if desired. Among other things, this allows a statement to be made about how well the body is able to absorb oxygen. The Vivoactive 4 also provides a respiration recording that can be used in everyday life as well as during sleep or training, such as the next yoga session.

This versatile companion also recognizes your personal stress level and can counteract excessive stress with relaxation exercises if necessary. Another indicator for this is possibly a too high heart rate during a rest phase. Since the watch constantly measures the pulse, it is better able to assess this and also the efficiency of a workout.

For female wearers, it gives them the option of using the menstrual cycle tracker. With this, they record their period and receive tips for training and ideal nutrition during the individual phases. All users also benefit from reminders to drink regularly.

Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 has up to 8 days of battery life.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Log your own water intake

Owners of the Vivoactive 4 determine their water consumption themselves and can log it. A detailed sleep analysis with the differentiation of the individual phases ultimately rounds off the capabilities in terms of health. The watch also ensures safety by sending a notification to specified contacts in an emergency – provided that it is paired with the cell phone. It then also transmits its current position.

Garmin wearables are always equally compatible with Android and iOS. This also applies to this model, which provides information about calls and messages and even allows replying to text messages directly via the display. A weather display and contactless payment via Garmin Pay complete the smartwatch features of this sports watch.

It promises a maximum battery life of seven days at a stretch. If the GPS module is active and music is played at the same time, the Vivoactive 4 still lasts for five hours at a stretch.


Author: Smartwatch Fans