The Garmin Vivoactive 5 is the brand’s eagerly awaited next release. In fact, the original Vivoactive was Garmin’s first attempt at a smartwatch until the arrival of the Venu.
As a square, feature-packed Garmin alternative that initially appeared back in 2015, we were great admirers of the Vivoactive and its subsequent revisions.
A midrange, multipurpose Garmin gadget, the Vivoactive is designed for sports enthusiasts and active individuals who aren’t looking for prosumer-level statistics. As the new Garmin Forerunner 965 is already out and incorporates a touchscreen display, and many new features we expect the Vivoactive to focus on the multisport aspects and come at a lower price range.
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The number and variety of sports it tracks are comparable to those recorded by the Fenix 7, however, the degree of stats and information for each is significantly lower. However, for individuals who enjoy running, swimming, golfing, and keeping an eye on their fitness, it is a strong tool.
Vivoactive 4 arrived in the second part of 2019 and has been a huge hit.
Venu 2 (and Venu Sq) have replaced Vivoactive 4 as Garmin’s flagship smartwatch, however, the Vivoactive 4 remains popular because of its longer battery life and lower price. Also add to that the recent release of the Venu 2 Plus which is a great new touchscreen watch maybe there isn’t a need for a new Vivoactive 5? We don’t think so.
Garmin have recently filed for 2 new smartwatches permissions with the US Federal Commission. This is for getting wireless approval. It is a clear clue for us that the release of the Vivoactive 5 is closer than ever.
Read more: Fitbit Charge 6 Rumors for the 2023 release.
So what about the Garmin Vivoactive 5? What can we expect?
Has the rumor mill been able to dish up any new information? What can we learn from the Garmin watches that have come out since the 4 in terms of what could be coming next? Here are our predictions for the upcoming Vivoactive 5 from Garmin.
Garmin Vivoactive 5 release date
While we are not sure if this release will make it for the first quarter of 2023 or have any internal Garmin product information. Releasing the watch in the beginning of 2023 is somewhat overdue. Nonetheless, Garmin has introduced many new watches recently, some clearly bridge the gaps between high-end and mid-range product lines. (e.g. the new Forerunner 955). It must be noted that Garmin often releases its new products in late summer or early autumn. With this in mind, this may be a release for this winter? Exciting news to be confirmed!
The Vivoactive 3 was first released in 2017, and the Vivoactive 4 then followed in 2019. If Garmin follows that trend, then we should expect a new device announcement and release before 2023 last quarter ends – giving us all something to look forward to.
The Vivoactive collection
Let’s review the Vicoactive collection before speculating on what features the Vivoactive 5 may have. Garmin’s Vivoactive watch is one of its core models. It is designed for sporty and active people who want to track their activity with data. From running to swimming to golf, it will accompany you in all sports activities. It is visually quite similar to Garmin’s Fenix collection.
However, the data provided is somewhat less detailed and more basic. This watch collection has stayed extremely popular through the years for its reasonable price range and long battery life. We also think it’s a bit more stylish and has a more refined look.
The Garmin Venu 2 and the 2 Plus have recently taken over Garmin as the midrange flagship model. However, it still does not replace the Vivoactive collection which usually costs a bit less and offers similar features.
So what should we be expecting from the Garmin Vivoactive 5?
We are probably expecting a round watch, similar to the previous model. There has not really been any talk of Garmin changing to a square quadrant. Indeed, some earlier models of the Vivoactive did sport a more square look which was eventually abandoned. Nonetheless, we must note that the newest version of Garmin’s Venu watch has switched back to a square version.
The Garmin Vivoactive 5 is likely to feature a sleek and modern design with a slim profile, lightweight materials, and a vibrant touchscreen display. The display may offer improved resolution and visibility even in bright sunlight.
The main difference and uniqueness of the Vivoactive range is the softer, classier appearance compared to other Garmin models. Most likely this is what current Vivoactive 4 owners look up to and expect from the design of the Vivoactive 5. That is also the main reason one should be coming soon.
This watch previously had a round display, leaving space for speculation on the new Vivoactive model. The change in shape for the Venu model drove down the cost of the watch. It could be that a similar strategy will be adopted for the Vivoactive 5. This would allow Garmin to stay competitive, even faced with new releases from brands such as Huawei, Amazfit and even Fitbit or Google.
The predecessor also came in 45mm and 40mm sizes, allowing people to choose the optimum fit for their wrist. So, we also expect this new watch model to come in two sizes, as the Vivoactive 4 does.
Garmin Vivoactive 5 features
In terms of features, the Vivoactive 5 model will surely comprise all the previous model’s functionalities and more. Key functionalities of the Vivoactive 4 include energy level tracking, pulse Ox, downloadable music, GPS, indoor sports mode, and more.
The Vivoactive 4 also incorporated the Body Battery function, which the new version is expected to keep. What this does, is that it measures abnormal heart rate through the upgraded heart monitoring sensor. This high-technology heart monitor can even monitor your heart rate underwater!
Advanced Health Monitoring: Building upon the health-tracking capabilities of its predecessor, the Vivoactive 5 is expected to introduce more advanced health monitoring features. It may include an upgraded heart rate sensor for more accurate readings, as well as the ability to monitor blood oxygen levels (SpO2), stress levels, sleep patterns, and menstrual cycles for female users.
Another new sports feature with Vivoactive 4 was the incorporated Yoga and Pilates workouts. These benefitted from on-screen animation to accompany you in your practice. Tennis players and coaches are looking forward to maybe seeing more Tennis support features. Feedback on the Tennis strokes. How many Forehands, backhands, volleys Balls, and more.
Similarly, we also expect this fun feature to be one that will stay in the Vivoactive 5 watch. It could very well be that some new sports features will be added. Indeed, many expert reviews state that we can anticipate a new variety of training tools for the new model. This would include new measurements and new metrics.
Enhanced Sports Tracking: The Vivoactive 5 is likely to cater to fitness enthusiasts with a wide range of sports tracking capabilities. It may support various activities such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, and even more specialized activities like yoga or strength training. The watch could offer improved GPS accuracy and additional metrics to track performance, such as advanced running dynamics or swim stroke recognition.
What we would like to see
With smartwatches gaining extensive health-tracking functions, an increasing number of individuals are utilizing them as everyday drivers. Aside from SpO2 and heart rate tracking, many low-cost smartwatches now have a built-in skin temperature sensor (as seen with the Apple Watch 8), which we’d love to see incorporated here.
The FDA has just approved Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus to show ECG readings (Electro Cardio Gramm). It is only available in the US for now. The ECG feature is operative with the ECG APP downloaded on Garmin Connect. We can convert the ECG strip into PDF and show our Cardiologist. The ECG sensing is available on the Venu 2 due to a special optical sensor ring added to the watch sensors. We believe that Garmin will carry out this addition to all its new coming releases including the Vivoactive 5.
AMOLED touchscreen display
As the Vivoactive 4 is essentially very similar to the Forerunner 245 Music with a touchscreen display, a touchscreen for the Vivoactive 5 is a given. There has been speculation about whether or not the Vivoactive 5 would have an AMOLED screen like the Epix 2. Ultimately, incorporating an AMOLED display could reduce battery life. However, as Garmin has successfully done it in the Epix 2 model and given it a decent battery life of over a week, it’s doable. It would most probably increase the cost of the watch too.
If there are two things that Garmin does not compromise on with the Vivoactive range, it is cost and battery life. Add to that that you can get the OLED display with the more expensive Epix model. This leads us to think that the screen will not be an AMOLED screen despite the speculation.
We think the main benefit of the current Vivoactive family is the transflective display which can be a game-changer outdoor, especially in the sun. Add to that the more affordable price, substantially lower than that of the Venu 2 which make it a winner for a lot of people. That is why we are constantly monitoring announcements from Garmin and waiting for news regarding the Vivoactive 5.
In early 2019, Garmin announced the Vivoactive 3 Music Connected by Verizon, which already has LTE connection. That’s what the name implies: Verizon alone had access to this product. Later, Garmin released the Forerunner 945 LTE which is already a popular watch based on this important feature.
Garmin is somewhat under pressure to add a cellular feature to their watches. Indeed, going to training without carrying your phone along is something many users need. A cellular model would also address the accuracy of measurements when training without a phone, as well as safety aspects.
Having observed how utilizing LTE on watches that currently support it may have an influence on battery performance, Garmin will no likely want to be able to give it without affecting it.
The benefits of LTE are numerous but mainly it is the ability to run, swim, cycle or practice and track and sports activity while staying connected at all times, without a phone.
Cheaper Sq version
A nice idea, but sadly there is no indication that a square replacement is being considered by Garmin as it would move away from the Vivoactive’s original form. As a result of this, the company changed its intended design for its first color display to the square Venu.
The Venu Sq and the reshaping both helped to lower the price. A cheaper Vivoactive may be in the works to counter Huawei and Amazfit’s threat to its market share.
Garmin may consider bringing back the square or a more rectangular design this time if there’s demand for it, but we’re delighted with the switch to a round face.
We wouldn’t rule it out as it currently provides two sizes of the current Vivoactive.
Increase of Memory
As the current version of the Vivoactive 4 has only 200 hours of tracking data, it would only be wise to increase the data storage capacity in the next generation of the Vivoactive 5. Music storage space will have its upgrade as well for now it is only 500 songs.
Improved battery life
Battery life on Garmin watches is superior to other brands such as Fitbit or Apple, and it’s ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
Garmin is likely to focus on improving the battery life of the Vivoactive 5. With optimized power management and more energy-efficient components, the watch could provide an extended battery life, enabling users to track their activities and enjoy smart features for longer periods without needing frequent recharges.
The battery life of the Vivoactive 4 is eight days. However, we can only hope that the new Vivoactive 5 will have a battery life of up to two weeks.
As for the wireless charging feature, we expect to see this option with the release of the next Vivoactive 5. This is because this feature is now available with the new release of the Garmin Vivomove trend. By adopting this feature, the Vivoactive 5 will keep up the pace with its competitors using this function. Feedback from our Garmin Vivomove Trend users, is positive, so why not?
Besides LTE, Garmin has so far opted out of integrating an onboard voice assistant into its devices. The Amazon Alexa integration on Fitbit’s smartwatches and even the offline voice assistant on Huami’s newest Amazfit smartwatches have shown potential, but this function has been mainly underwhelming on watches.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch for sports, having a smart assistant on board makes perfect sense. In particular, when you’re working out and don’t want to grab your phone.
However, we haven’t seen any evidence from Garmin that they plan to implement an offline voice assistant like Amazfit’s in the Vivoactive series, but the notion of something like that is appealing to many people.
App Ecosystem and Customization
Garmin may continue to expand its app ecosystem, allowing users to personalize their Vivoactive 5 experience. This could involve a wider selection of watch faces, widgets, and third-party apps to cater to individual preferences and specific needs.
Music and Connectivity
Music and Connectivity: Garmin may integrate music storage and streaming capabilities into the Vivoactive 5, allowing users to store and play their favorite songs directly from the watch. Furthermore, it might provide enhanced connectivity options, such as Bluetooth 5.0 or even Wi-Fi, for seamless syncing with smartphones and other devices.
Garmin Vivoactive 5 price
So, what to expect in terms of price? We expect the Vivoactive 5’s price to sit around a similar benchmark as the older model. Both the Vivoactive and 4s were priced around $350 at launch, which is what is to be expected. However, it could be that Garmin decides to release two models priced differently. The more expensive model could be the cellular-enabled watch, and the less expensive model would not have that feature included.
Guessing the price of a device is risky business, especially with no confirmed features or design specs. However, Garmin doesn’t tend to overprice their watches, and the last Vivoactive 4 dropped at $189 for the small version and $279 for the large version. As we have already seen with recent Apple Watch releases smartwatch prices tend to go down over time. So, our overall expectation is for the price of the Vivoactive 5 to remain low and potentially even come under $300 for the Vivoactive 5s. However, this estimation doesn’t take the current inflation situation or chip shortage into account.
As with all new releases, if you are able to wait a few months before you purchase, you are more likely to get a discount or lower price, so take your time to figure out whether you want to get it right away or if you are happy to wait.
Will the Garmin Vivoactive 5 be Worth Purchasing?
Whilst the information on the new Garmin Vivoactive 5 is not as forthcoming as we would like, our guess is that it will be well worth the wait, especially if the other Vivoactive watches are anything to go by! We all know that Garmin makes high-quality and durable watches that provide the support we need to live well and exercise frequently, so if this sounds like the kind of life you want to lead, then the watch is worth considering, especially if you already own a previous Vivoactive model and like what it offers.
Vivoactive 5 features are yet to be published by Garmin. If you’re looking for a high-quality watch with a long-lasting battery, any Garmin watch is a fantastic option. This post will get an update as soon as we learn more about the new Vivoactive 5.
Do stay tuned for this upcoming release! Building on our knowledge of previous Garmin models, we are sure this release will not disappoint. Rest assured that we will be publishing an article reviewing all of its features as soon as it is out. Make sure to check back in to keep yourself in the loop! As soon as we have more information, we will share it!
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Last Updated on July 13, 2023