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Garmin vivoactive 4 – Fitness smartwatch with sophisticated health tracking

Again it was the trade fair IFA in Berlin that Garmin used to launch a new fitness wearable. This time it was the Garmin vivoactive 4 – a revamped version of the Garmin vivoactive 3 that offers more health tracking features and music functions that once were exclusive to the vivoactive 3 Music edition only.

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

The Garmin vivoactive 3 has been a tremendous success to the company as the product was able to close the gap between Garmin’s fitness trackers and sports watches. Unlike the previous fitness bands, the vivoactive 3 was closer to the Fenix or Forerunner family, offering a round housing with a transflective, touch enabled, memory-in-pixel display.

Garmin vivoactive 4 available in two sizes

The vivoactive 4 will hit the shelves in two different size. The smaller vivoactive 4S will feature a 40 mm watch body, while the larger vivoactive 4 has a 44 mm diameter housing. The housing makes use (at least partly) of stainless steel. Concerning the colors, the vivoactive 4S will be available in Light Gold / Dust Rose, Rose Gold / White, Silver / Powder Grey, Slate / Black. The larger vivoactive 4 will be available in Silver / Shadow Grey and Black only.

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

With the vivoactive family being advertised as a product for active people, Garmin sticks to the transflective display, allowing for superb readability (even in bright sunlight) and long battery life. Compared to the vivoactive 3, Garmin doubled the number of buttons – fondly named button A and B. Button A is used for starting and stopping recordings, entering menus and confirming selections. Button B is used for laps / split times as well as going back in menus.

 vivoactive 3vivoactive 3 Musicvivoactive 4Svivoactive 4
Dimensions43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm43.1 x 43.1 x 13.6 mm40 x 40 x 12.7 mm45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
Display size30.4 mm30.4 mm27.9 mm33.0 mm
Display resolution240 x 240 Pixel240 x 240 Pixel218 x 218 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Weight43 g39 g40 g50 g

Evolutionary enhancements

Concerning its enhancements, the vivoactive 4 is moving with a steady pace. Compared to the vivoactive 3 Garmin added animated fitness workouts, pulse ox monitoring, body battery, respiration rate monitoring, menstrual cycle tracking and incident detection to the list of features.

 vivoactive 3vivoactive 3 Musicvivoactive 4Svivoactive 4
Activity tracking++++
Sleep tracking++++
Stress monitoring++++
Body Battery--++
Pulse Ox--++
Respiration rate--++
Menstrual cycle tracking--++
Garmin Pay++++
Internal Storage-4 GB / 500 songs4 GB / 500 songs4 GB / 500 songs
Offline Playlists-+++
Incident detection--++
  • Support for Spotify / Deezer / Amazon Music

    The Garmin vivoactive 4 is having support for Deezer, Spotify and Amazon Music. The year Garmin introduced a music storage and player to the Forerunner 645 Music and vivoactive 3 Music, the feature was an addendum to existing products. Almost two years later, Garmin doesn’t differentiate between models with and without music anymore – at least with the vivoactive 4.

    Garmin vivoactive 4 - Deezer support (Source: WinFuture)

    Garmin vivoactive 4 – Deezer support (Source: WinFuture)

  • Music storage

    By now, the support for streaming services has been implemented by downloading offline playlists. To store the downloaded songs / podcasts, the vivoactive 4 features a 4 GB internal storage, that is not exclusive to offline playlists only. You may use it for uploading tracks from a computer as well. Having 4 GB of internal storage allows for storing up to 500 songs.

  • Latest Firstbeat technology / Respiration Rate

    The vivoactive 4 is having the latest set of Firstbeat technologies, though the full set of features is exclusive to the high-end Forerunner and Fenix models. Nonetheless, all the features that have been added to Garmin’s mid-price fitness trackers are available on the vivoactive 4. This includes heart rate and stress monitoring, VO2max, SpO2 as well as the body battery feature.

    Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: WinFuture)

    Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: WinFuture)

    In addition the vivoactive 4 is able to detect your respiration rate (see FirstBeat).

  • Animated fitness workouts

    Garmin added animated fitness workouts to the vivoactive 4, a feature that you may already have seen on the Fitbit Ionic and Versa. A first hands-on experience at IFA’19 showed that, compared to the flip-book like animation on Fitbit’s devices, the animation is way more detailed and fluent on the vivoactive 4.

    Garmin vivoactive 4 - Animated workout sessions (Source. WinFuture)

    Garmin vivoactive 4 – Animated workout sessions (Source. WinFuture)

  • Menstrual cycle tracking

And if you missed the whole step counting stuff, the vivoactive 4 offers all the basic activity tracking features, like step counting, calories, distance, sleep monitoring and the like.

Battery life

 vivoactive 3vivoactive 3 Musicvivoactive 4Svivoactive 4
Smartwatch mode7 days7 days7 days8 days
GPS13 h13 h13 h15 h
GPS + music5 h5 h6 h

Expected Models

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

Garmin vivoactive 4 (Source: Amazon)

When hitting the shelves, these color options will be available:

Release date and prices

Garmin has released the vivoactive 4 one day ahead of IFA’19. Though Garmin presented the vivoactive 4 on their booth, the complete lineup won’t be available until Q4/2019. If you place an order for the vivoactive 4S at Garmin, it will be processed in 1-3 business days. The vivoactive 4 will be available in 3-8 weeks.

The vivoactive 4 will be $ 349.99 in the US for both sizes. In Europe the vivoactive 4 / 4S is 299.99 EUR, except for black colored vivoactive 4 which is 329.99 EUR.

Garmin vivoactive 4

1.30 inch
LCD (farbig)
260 x 260 pixels
200 PPI
8days (Smartwatch)
18hours (GPS)
45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
50 g (with strap)
Battery life



Activity Health Sports Smart Features Connectivity GNSS Music 100 75 65 100 67 75 100
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Garmin vivoactive 4

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