Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review: GPS Tracking Smartwatch

Garmin is known for exotic gps smartwatches that not only offer great functionalities but also come at the correct price range. With the all new Garmin Vivoactive, the brand hasn’t  disappointed at all, in fact it is indeed a great upgrade from the Vivoactive 3 series.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an ideal midrange gps smartwatch with massive display, great battery backup and impressive fitness/wellness features. The best part is that it isn’t competing with the company’s flagship models (forerunner etc), but yet it offers value for money for the consumers.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Vivoactive 4S – Main Differances between both Vivoactive 4 & Vivoactive 4S

Garmin Vivoactive 4

vívoactive® 4

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Garmin Vivoactive 4S

vívoactive® 4S

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Quick Release bands yes (22 mm, Industry standard) yes (18 mm, Industry standard)
Physical size 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm

Fits wrists with a circumference of 135-200 mm

40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7 mm

Fits wrists with a circumference of 110-175 mm

Display size 1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter 1.1″ (27.9 mm) diameter
Display resolution 260 x 260 pixels 218 x 218 pixels
Weight 50.5 g 40.0 g
Battery life Smartwatch mode: Up to 8 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 18 hours
Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 15 hours

Garmin has also launched the Vivoactive 4S variant with the same price tag. Though both the watches are quite identical in terms of price and looks, there are still a few features which set them apart.

The Vivoactive 4 variant boasts a massive 1.3 inch screen with a resolution of 260*260 pixels, whereas the 4S variant comes up with a smaller 1.1 inch screen with 218*218 pixels. In terms of weight, the Vivoactive 4 variant is 10grams heavier than its sibling.

One more major difference is that the Vivoactive 4 variant has only 3 color options but the 4S variant offers 5 color options. In conclusion, the standard model is best suited for individuals with larger wrists who also prefer a massive display, whereas the 4S variant is best suited for people with smaller wrist size who also prefer multiple color options.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Features that Makes it SpecialGarmin Vivoactive 4 Review

The smartwatch market has evolved over the years and became quite competitive. However, Garmin has always managed to keep its reputation intact by offering great products from time to time. Even with the Vivoactive 4, the brand has placed itself nicely in the midrange GPS multisport smartwatch market.

In this section I will talk about the Garmin Vivoactive 4 features, and also provide my own opinion as well. I have been using Garmin smartwatches from its very early days, and also a huge vocal advocate for its Vivoactive series, that’s why I am quite excited for this review.

Design & LooksGarmin Vivoactive 4 DESIGN and looks

The Vivoactive 4 is quite impressive in terms of looks, and there’s for sure no debate on that. Its big touchscreen “always on” display is quite visible even in extreme sunlight. Its transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display gives it an edge over its peers for sure.

MaterialsGarmin Vivoactive 4 MATERIALS

Garmin has never disappointed in terms of materials in any of its products. The Vivoactive 4 smartwatch comes with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 protection along with a stainless steel bezel and a silicon strap. The case is made with fiber-reinforced polymer with a polymer rear cover. In short, this smartwatch is very durable and you can wear it actively.

Body Battery™ Energy MonitoringBody Battery™ Energy Monitoring

Body battery feature is one of my favorites, as it helps me understand my body in a much better way. It helps me to pick my own time for exercising and hard core  physical activities. With the all new Vivoactive 4 model, this body battery™ energy monitoring system has become more accurate for sure.

Pulse Ox SensorGarmin Vivoactive 4 Pulse Ox Sensor

The Vivoactive 4 is also having the important pulse ox sensor. It helps to track blood oxygen saturation levels of our body. It also collects the data while we sleep which I believe is a great feature. Garmin is actually known for accuracy in terms of measuring the SpO2 value.

Stress TrackingGarmin Vivoactive 4 Stress Tracking

We don’t actually value our mental health much, and due to that we face various complications in our day to day life. In order to combat that, the Vivoactive 4 is having a dedicated stress tracking mechanism, which helps us to stay calm and composed. Imagine you’re having a stressful day, and then you receive a small alert at your watch to do a short breathing exercise. Won’t that be great?

Women’s Health TrackingGarmin Vivoactive 4 Women’s Health Tracking

Women can effectively track their menstrual cycle or pregnancy with this smartwatch. Not only that, they can also educate themselves with the right exercise and nutrition with the help of this smartwatch and the Garmin-Connect app.

Hydration and Respiration TrackingHydration and Respiration Tracking

It’s a known fact that if we stay hydrated then our body functions in a much more effective way. With this smartwatch, you can automatically set a goal for your water intake which adjusts based on how much sweat you lose.

You can also track your breathing pattern effectively throughout the day and night (even in your sleep) with the help of this GPS watch. It keeps remembering you to take a breathwork activity to help you relax.

Advanced Sleep MonitoringGarmin Vivoactive 4 Advanced Sleep Monitoring

We all know the importance of sleep, but we hardly track or monitor our sleeping patterns. With the Garmin Vivoactive 4, you will be able to do just that. You will be able to get a clearer understanding of how you’re actually sleeping with a proper and accurate breakdown of your deep, light and REM sleep modes.

Wrist-Based Real Time Heart Rate TrackingGarmin Vivoactive 4 Wrist-Based Real Time Heart Rate Tracking

It collects our heart rate data all the time, and also sends alerts if need be. It also works underwater which makes it even better.

On Screen WorkoutsGarmin Vivoactive 4 On Screen Workouts

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is bundled with hundreds of yoga, cardio, weight, strength, and Pilates workouts. It can easily be followed along, and if you invest even half an hour, then it can actually help you to stay fit. If you’re not satisfied, then you can even download many more workout routines from the Garmin Connect app. Not only that you can customize your own workout as well in the app, and download it to the watch.

Built-in Sports ModesBuilt-in Sports Modes Garmin Vivoactive 4

It is preloaded with as much as 20 different GPS and indoor sports apps which includes walking, biking, running, cycling, golf, pool swimming, and many more. With this smartwatch, you can even hire a private running coach for free of cost on your own wrist. The Garmin Coach feature helps you prepare for your next marathon.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: Pros and Cons


  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Enabled
  • High Pixel Resolution
  • On-Screen Workout Tracking
  • Respiration Monitoring
  • Oxygen Saturation Tracking
  • Touchscreen
  • Solid Battery Life


  • Frequent Buzzing of Notification Creates Distraction
  • Extra Badges
  • Display Could Be Brighter in Indoor

FAQ’s – Garmin Vivoactive 4

  • Can I answer calls on my Garmin Vivoactive 4? 

NO, There is no speaker. To hear anything, you have to connect bluetooth headphones. It does display the number or name of the caller (if you have it as a contact in your phone) and it does vibrate to alert you that you have a call.

  • How to connect Bluetooth headphone to Garmin Vivoactive 4?

Enable Bluetooth pairing mode on headphone, press B on watch and goto gear icon, Music>Headphones>Add New > Select your headphone name.

    • Can this watch pair with a Bluetooth speaker? Not just headphones?

    You Can attach any bluetooth supported device.

    • Can you text on Vivoactive 4?

    No texting, just reply back with pre selected text.


    In conclusion, I can safely say that the Garmin Vivoactive 4 won’t disappoint the core garmin fanboys. If you’re looking for a fantastic fitness midrange GPS smartwatch, then you can certainly go for it.

    Though it lacks some core smartwatch functionalities like voice assistant for example, it still helps to analyze a lot of fitness related data to compensate for that. In short, it is a pure value for money product, and I can truly recommend it to you all.