Vivoactive 3 vs. Vivoactive 4: Garmin's Smartwatches compared

Vivoactive 3 vs. Vivoactive 4: Garmin's Smartwatches compared

The Vivoactive 4 is here – almost exactly two years after the release of the Vivoactive 3. What distinguishes the two smartwatches from Garmin, reveals our comparison.

Design & Display: One more button on the smartwatch

Visually, Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 4 hardly differ, relying on a classic round look with a stainless steel bezel. In addition, both have a so-called transflective color display, which uses the ambient light to display. Most striking difference: The 4 Series model has another physical button, it has two buttons on the right side of the housing. The Vivoactive 3 has only one.

garmin vivoactive 4

The Vivoactive 4 has gotten an additional control knob.

The Vivoactive 4 comes in two sizes: as a standard model and as a Vivoactive 4S for narrower wrists. The housing of the standard variant measures 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 millimeters, the 4S is a little slimmer with 40 x 40 x 12.7 millimeters. The resolution of the Vivoactive 4 is 260 x 260 pixels, the S-model is 218 x 218 pixels. The Vivoactive 4 weighs 50.5 grams, the 4S 40 grams.

Garmin vivoactive 4 s

© 2019 Garmin Germany GmbH

Garmin vivo active 4 s

For delicate wrists, the Vivoactive 4 is also available as S model. For comparison: The Vivoactive 3 measures 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 millimeters, displays 240 x 240 pixels and weighs 43 grams.

Vivoactive 4 with additional sensors

For the sensors Garmin relies on old strengths. The Vivoactive 4 as well as the Vivoactive 3 has installed accelerometers, barometric altimeter, compass, thermometer and heart rate monitor. The Vivoactive 4 measures the heart rate even when swimming underwater. The location services GPS, GLONASS and Galileo are also available.

garmin vivoactive 4

Heart rate, stress levels and more have the Vivoactive 4 in view.

The Vivoactive 4 also has a gyroscope (gyro instrument) and an SpO2 sensor (for Garmin "Pulse-Ox-Sensor"). The gyroscope can detect rotational movements, the SpO2 sensor measures the oxygen saturation in the blood and determines how well the body absorbs oxygen. This provides information about how your body deals with training and stress. For the measurement, the skin on the wrist is illuminated and the light absorption is measured.

Extended fitness and health tracking

Steps, sleep, calories burned, distances traveled, floors, stress levels: all this measures the Vivoactive 4 as well as its predecessor. This is now one of the basic features of fitness trackers and smartwatches.

New in the Vivoactive 4 in addition to the sensors already mentioned the function Body Battery. It is designed to determine the energy reserves of the wearer based on values such as heart rate, activity and sleep quality and to indicate this on a scale of 0 to 100. Also new is breath tracking: it measures the number of breaths both during the day and during sleep. The measurement at night and the values of the SpO2 sensor provide additional information about the quality of sleep. For relaxation, there are also breathing exercises.

In addition, the Vivoactive 4 offers some tracking features that are relatively fresh fed to Garmin's wearables. This includes Garmin's drinking tracking feature. This allows carriers to save their daily fluid intake, set goals and stop drinking alarms. The entry is possible on the Vivoactive 4 directly on the display of the Smartwatch via Widget. Although the feature can also be used with the Vivoactive 3, it can only be used via the app and without an extra widget. The women's health tracking tracking cycle is available on both models.

Garmin Menstruations-Tracking-Garmin Deutschland GmbH

© 2019 Garmin Germany GmbH

Garmin Menstrual Tracking Garmin Germany GmbH

Yoga and Pilates have been added to the extensive range of workouts. During yoga training, the Vivoactive 4 also measures the respiratory rate. In addition, the Vivoactive 4 has 40 pre-installed, animated workouts that you can track directly on the screen of the smartwatch. There are also 20 sports apps pre-installed on the Vivoactive 4 and 15 on the Vivoactive 3.

Music on the ears & smart payment

With the Vivoactive 4 music is in the air, the memory can accommodate up to 500 titles. Alternatively, you can download third-party audio content, such as Spotify and Deezer, and listen to it via Bluetooth headphones. The predecessor reserved the music function of the special edition Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music .

garmin vivoactive 4 spotify

With Vivoactive 4 you can listen to music from Spotify and other streaming services.

The proven smart functions of the Vivoactive 3 of course also offers the successor model: news, appointments, weather and other things you can receive directly on the wrist. NFC radio for contactless payment via Garmin Pay is also available.


Contactless payment is already possible with the Vivoactive 3 (photo).

Vivoactive 3 lasts longer in GPS mode

The battery life of the two smartwatches does not differ in standard mode, each lasting up to eight days. In GPS mode, the Vivoactive 3 lasts up to 13 hours, whereas the Vivoactice 4 only manages a maximum of six hours in GPS and music mode, according to Garmin.

The price: small jump to the top

The Vivoactive 4S is available for 280 euros, the standard model costs 330 euros (each RRP). For the Vivoactive 3, the EIA was between 230 and 300 euros depending on the model, but now the smartwatch is much cheaper. Whether the additional features of Vivoactive 4 compensate for the price difference, everyone has to decide for themselves.

Garmin vivoactive 4-Garmin Germany GmbH

In terms of price, Garmin's Vivomove series does not make big leaps.

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