Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review – Top Health and Fitness Features


The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a smartwatch made by Garmin International Inc. The smartwatch was announced in September of 2019 as a follow-up to the previous installment, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 that had come two years earlier.

So what is the Garmin Vivoactive 4 all about? How different is it from its predecessor? 

What are some of the stand-out features that make it a better option for many people? 

And most importantly, is it worth your attention and money? This review is going to answer all those questions and clear all doubts.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Health And Fitness Features

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 combines sleek style with state of the art functionalities. In an industry that is dominated by higher-end products from Apple and Samsung, this device has been able to carve out a niche for itself while garnering raving reviews along the way.

The following are some of its prominent features:

Health Stats Widget

Garmin Vivoactive 4 has a health stats widget that keeps track of your heart rate, respiration, stress levels, and the pulse. All the resulting information is displayed on its round screen in user-friendly fonts that are easy to read. 

It has an inbuilt metric feature called the heart rate variability that takes note of the intervals between heartbeats to determine whether you are under stress or otherwise. 

It rates this by giving you a score ranging between 0-100.

A 0-25 score is an indication that you are calm and at rest. A 26-50 score means that your stress levels are low. 51-75 is rated as medium stress levels, while 76-100 is considered to be high. 

The smartwatch then suggests activities to help you bring down the stress levels, activities like relaxed breathing or physical exercises.

Advanced Workout And Fitness Features

While other smartwatches come with the usual fitness tracking features, Garmin Vivoactive 4 goes a step further. 

Not only are its fitness options highly advanced, but they also come with exercise animations that pop up on the screen to guide you through yoga, Pilates, or other strength exercises.

These animations act as guides, showing you what you should be doing. So far, it comes with 3 preinstalled workouts but will expand more in the future. You select the one you need by tapping and swiping and it automatically starts playing.

As you workout, the watch keeps track of your vitals: from heart rates, calories burned, and respiration rates. The real-time data is displayed on the screen for you to keep track of what’s happening.

Lastly, you can create your own workout routine through the Garmin Connect App. Simply tap Training > Workouts > Create a Workout, and that’s it. The only shortcoming of this is that animations do not accompany them.

Training Plan Features

If you are an athlete, then the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is what you need in your life right now.

The smartwatch has a training plan feature that gives you access to personalized training regimens for marathons and other shorter races. You start by signing up for the 5KM, 10KM, or half marathon plan.

The app then takes you through a series of questions to determine the distance you run on average in a week, your average pace, or the time goals that you usually use. 

Once that is covered, you are provided with an option of three virtual coaches. Once you choose your favorite, you get to now plan your running schedules.

The most exciting part of this training planner is the ability to set up a real race and invite other people to take part in it. It also provides information on any upcoming races within your location for you to link up with and compete.

The social aspect of this is what helps separate the Garmin Vivoactive 4 training plan features from it’s competitors.

How Does The Vivoactive 4 Compare?

A Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review is not complete without pitting the smartwatch against its closest competitor, the Fitbit Versa 2. Here is how they fared blow for blow:

Specification Garmin Vivoactive 4 Fitbit Versa 2
Operating System Proprietary Fitbit OS
Battery Life Over 7 Days Over 6 Days
Mobile Payments Garmin Pay Fitbit Pay
Voice Control Alexa None
Weight 1.52 oz 1.87 oz
Display Transreflective Chroma AMOLED
Water-Resistance 50 Meters Maximum 50 Meters Maximum
Charging Proprietary Proprietary
Display Brightness Sunlight Readable 1,000 nits
Music Storage About 500 songs About 300 songs
Body Material Stainless Steel Anodized Aluminum

Both of these wearables are pushing the smartwatch market, however based in this set of criteria, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 takes the cake in terms of specifications. 

It is surprising lightweight given it’s size compared to the Fitbit, yet is composed of a stainless steel body.

The battery life on the Garmin is better than the Fitbit out of the box and has more music storage which will allow for you to have more expansive workout playlists. 

While the Garmin Vivoactive 4 has many benefits compared to it’s top competitors, it does have some drawbacks.

The Drawbacks

There is no denying how much of a massive improvement the Garmin Vivoactive 4 has been compared to its earlier versions, but there are still things that need a bit of work. 

The following are the three main drawbacks:

Usefulness of Data

The data it collects on physiological processes like heart rates, respiratory rates, and stress levels is a bit superficial. They do not contain enough information that can be considered to be truly useful enough to be applied to the general improvement of the user’s health and fitness.

Some Apps And Features Drain The Battery

The Pulse Ox sensor, although touted as being among its unique add ons, drains the battery too much for a feature that is designed to keep track of physiological changes in the body. 

This is a feature that will certainly improve over time with it’s next installment.

Steep Price

Another area of concern is the price. Although it packs some features that are hard to beat, the price is still a bit steep. At the time of its unveiling, the smart gadget retailed at about $350. That may have too much on the higher side for most people back then.

Fortunately, in the highly competitive smartwatch market, prices tend to drop quickly, especially when the next version of a gadget is in the offing. You can now acquire the Garmin Vivoactive 4 at a discount here.


The market is awash with all sorts of fitness smartwatches that promise heaven but deliver disappointments. 

In their defense, the smartwatch world is just starting to pick up and has not peaked yet. However, gadgets like Garmin Vivoactive 4 are ahead of most.  

Overall, the gadget does do what it was made for and delivers what it promises. If dedicated fitness is your thing, then this is the smartwatch that should be on your wrist right now.

Not convinced? Check out the rest of our reviews on the top smartwatches in the market right now side-by-side.