After the release of the Venu 3, Garmin is preparing to revive a series that was thought to be dead with the vivoactive 5. While it came as a surprise to many and some thought it might be a fake, initial listings on online shops tell a different story.
The vivoactive series has a long tradition at Garmin, but doubts about the series’ survival persisted for a long time. Not without reason, because in 2019, alongside the vivoactive 4, the Venu appeared for the first time in Garmin’s lineup, featuring a large AMOLED display.
Initially, there was hope that Garmin would develop the vivoactive and Venu in parallel, with one featuring an AMOLED display and the other a MIP display. However, the isolated release of the Venu 2 brought a sense of disillusionment. The revamped user interface and the impressive battery life at the time clearly highlighted the significance and direction of AMOLED. It seemed like there was no longer a place for a successor to the vivoactive 4.
With the vivoactive 5, Garmin is breathing new life into the series, also to bridge the price gap with the approximately €500 Venu 3.
To clarify, the information comes from the online shop very.co.uk, which had pre-listed the vivoactive 5. Currently, the page is no longer accessible. However, the information, along with high-resolution product images, can still be found in the cache of common search engines. I will refrain from sharing images until the official product launch.
Garmin vivoactive 5 - Specs at a Glance
|vivoactive 5||vivoactive 4||Venu 3|
|Protection||Gorilla Glas||Gorilla Glas||Gorilla Glas|
|Resolution | PPI||390 × 390 | 325||260 × 260 | 200||454 × 454 | 324|
|Dimensions||42.2 × 42.2 × 11.1 mm||45.1 × 45.1 × 12.8 mm||45.0 × 45.0 × 12.0 mm|
|Weight||36g without strap||50g with strap||46g with strap|
|Battery life - Smartwatch||11 days||8 days||14 days|
|Battery life - GPS||21 hours||18 hours||21 hours|
In essence, the vivoactive 5 is similar to the Venu 3S, but it is slightly larger. Due to its 42mm diameter casing, it doesn’t accommodate a 1.3″ AMOLED display. However, with a display size of 1.2 inches, it offers a sharp resolution of 390 x 390 pixels at 325 PPI.
The 20mm band has a standard width and can be changed without the need for tools, thanks to the quick release mechanism.
Compared to the Venu 3, the vivoactive 5 lacks the fifth-generation Elevate sensor and instead uses the Elevate V4.
New and Familiar Features
Despite using the slightly older “Elevate V4” sensor, the Garmin vivoactive 5 offers a wide range of sports and fitness functions. It supports more than 30 sports, incorporating recent innovations seen in the Venu 3, including the wheelchair mode and associated activities.
The vivoactive supports Multi-GNSS for precise location tracking, but it does neither have Multiband GPS nor SatIQ.
In daily life, the vivoactive 5 tracks both athletic and everyday activities, counting steps and calculating calorie consumption and distance covered.
Thanks to the PPG sensor, it records heart rate and heart rate variability, allowing for detailed insights into sleep quality and physical as well as mental well-being. This includes tracking stress levels and HRV status. A significant part of this information is used to generate the Body Battery metric, which indicates available energy reserves for the rest of the day and how sleep contributes to recharging the body’s “battery.”
While stress tends to deplete these reserves, adequate sleep replenishes them. This includes short daytime naps, a monitoring feature introduced with the Venu 3, that is also available on the vivoactive 5. For those in need of guidance for healthy sleep, the Sleep Coach feature, introduced with the Venu 3 as well, is also included.
Garmin Pay, along with the built-in NFC chip, enables contactless payments.
The watch’s 4GB of storage allows for storing MP3 files as well as offline playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer.
Prices and Availability
The introductory price for the Garmin vivoactive 5 has been set at €299.99. This makes it significantly more affordable than the Venu 3 but comes with certain limitations in terms of features and is equipped with the older PPG sensor technology.
You can choose from the following color variants:
- Cream Gold / Ivory
- Slate / Black
- Metallic Blue / Blue
- Metallic Orchid / Violet
The official launch is expected to take place in the next few days or weeks. Typically, the watch will be available for immediate order through Garmin’s website. It may take a few days for the vivoactive 5 to appear in (virtual) retail displays.
All the vivoactive 5’s details will surely become known with the official product launch. However, the leaked information already provides a good impression. It seems like the vivoactive 5 could be considered a “Venu 3 Light” in some ways, as it offers many features found in the more expensive model. But it does not feature all of them and it is not using the latest generation of technology. With a price reduced by about €200 compared to the Venu 3, it should appeal to those who found the Venu 3’s price of nearly €500 too high.
There seems to be little standing in the way of another successful product in the “vivoactive” series.
Garmin vivoactive 5
390 x 390 pixels
26 g (with strap)
FeaturesClick for more information
|Time / Date|
|Playback via BLE|
|Calls (via Bluetooth)||k.A.|
Sport programs / featuresClick for more information
SensorsClick for more information
|Acceleration / Gyroskop|
|PPG / Heart rate|
Location servicesClick for more information
ConnectivityClick for more information
OtherClick for more information
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