Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a smartwatch great, but we can agree that updates and enhancements are essential. Fitbit Sense and Garmin Vivoactive 4 are excellent examples of what constitutes a worthwhile update. Both of these timepieces have vastly improved over their forerunners.
There are just a few things to consider while deciding between the two. An essential question is whether you can survive without sophisticated health sensors that provide more information about your overall health. If you answered yes, you’d almost certainly choose the Garmin Vivoactive 4. It keeps track of your basic monitoring requirements and even throws in a few extras. However, the Fitbit Sense has all of the basic monitoring features as well as additional benefits and sophisticated health sensors. This is the best choice if you want everything.
What makes the Fitbit Sense and the Garmin Vivoactive 4 different?
The Sense includes several health-related features, whereas the Vivoactive 4 is designed for outdoor activities.
Fitbit Sense versus Garmin Vivoactive 4: which is better?
Because of the ECG, EDA sensor, and temperature sensor, the Sense is superior to the Vivoactive 4 for health-conscious people. However, for outdoor aficionados, the Vivoactive 4 is a better choice than the Sense because its battery life and light from the sun don’t impact how clearly you see the display.
Is a Garmin Vivoactive 4 a good investment?
Indeed, the Vivoactive 4 is well worth your money. It’s a multi-sport GPS wearable with a good battery life that can monitor your health and exercises, after all. It also offers a more simplified experience by emphasizing fitness aspects over smart features.
Is a Fitbit Sense a good investment?
The Fitbit Sense is a bold wristwatch that seems tailor-made for these trying times, putting as much focus on mental health as it does on monitoring physical activity. There is space for development on the software side, but if you’re keen on practicing mindfulness and taking tiny steps toward a better lifestyle, the Sense may be exactly the tool for you.
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Let’s look closely at the two.
Design and build
The battery life of the Vivoactive 4 is longer than that of the Sense.
The Vivoactive 4 features a touch screen AMOLED display, while the Sense sports an AMOLED display.
It’s very simple to figure out who their target demographic is based on their looks. In contrast, the Sense has a smaller and sleeker appearance, while the Vivoactive 4 has a sportier, almost rougher look.
The Sense comes in Carbon-Graphite or White-Gold. The Vivoactive 4 comes in a total of six colors: two for the standard model (silver and black) and four for the Vivoactive 4S (gold, rose gold, silver, and black).
Both have their own specific display spec, too. While both have Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the Sense’s AMOLED display is more vivid. The Vivoactive 4, on the other hand, has a transflective memory-in-pixel display, which is somewhat darker but more readable in direct sunlight.
The Sense’s battery life is 6 days or up to 12 hours with GPS turned on. The Vivoactive 4 takes things a step further, with a single charge lasting up to eight days or 18 hours in GPS mode. However, only the Sense offers rapid charging, with Fitbit claiming that you can obtain a full day’s worth of power in only 12 minutes.
Either one’s water resistance is adequate. They have the ability to live at depths of up to 50m. To put it another way, you can safely swim with them on.
With the Sense, you can better manage your health.
The Sense is the only device with an ECG, EDA sensor, and temperature sensor.
Both smartwatches can monitor common health indicators such as resting heart rate, stress, sleep, and, for those who need it, menstrual cycles. They will also notify you if your heart rate is unusually low or high.
The Sense, on the other hand, outperforms the Vivoactive 4 in this regard. The ECG, EDA sensor and temperature sensor all contribute to this. Simply said, it may provide you additional information about your health. It also comes with Fitbit’s PurePulse 2.0 technology, which means it’s the company’s most accurate tracker to date.
The Fitbit Sense is an “enhanced health wristwatch,” featuring new sophisticated EKG and EDA sensors that can monitor your heart rate and skin temperature.
You get more than 20 sport modes on each wristwatch.
Only the Vivoactive 4 offers animated on-screen exercises for cardio, weight training, yoga, and Pilates.
Steps, calories burnt, floors climbed, and distance traveled may all be tracked on both devices. They’re also packed with more than 20 routines and can recognize workouts automatically.
However, the Vivoactive 4 outperforms the Sense. After all, it includes animated on-screen exercises. That way, you can always double-check how to do activities correctly, from cardio and strength to yoga.
The Sense comes with both Alexa and Google Assistant, but the Vivoactive 4 lacks voice assistant.
Almost every smart function you’d expect from a smartwatch is accessible on both. However, there are a few minor variations. To begin with, the Sense can only store and manage music and podcasts from Deezer and Pandora and control Spotify. You could use the Vivoactive to download music from Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. Which one is superior here is largely determined by your music service.
The Sense is better in this round because it has voice assistants—Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, to be precise. The Vivoactive 4 lacks both, which is understandable given that its main selling point is its fitness-focused capabilities rather than its smart features.
On both, contactless payments are available. Fitbit Pay for the Sense and Garmin Pay for the Vivoactive 4, respectively. Both have notifications, but additionally, the Sense can allow you to take a call via the built-in speaker and mic.
They’re matched on notifications, payments, and music capabilities and applications as smartwatches. Fitbit offers many high-profile applications, while Garmin’s app store is ideal for adding additional data fields for sports monitoring.
A Closer Look
While the hardware choices will certainly influence your decision to choose one over the other, the accompanying apps and broader ecosystem are essential.
Those are the features that make you want to retain the gadget instead of tossing it aside when the novelty wears off.
It isn’t easy to declare one firm the top since this field encompasses so many different gadgets when it comes to simple tracking. We compare and contrast the features of Garmin and Fitbit to discover who is the best at what they do.
Tracking your fitness
Garmin’s fitness monitoring is outstanding, with its devices logging steps, sleep, and activity minutes. Body Battery energy monitoring and Stress Score are also filtered across the board. It will also monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day, much like a Fitbit.
Fitbit is famous for fitness monitoring, but it’s lately surged ahead. Updates like the new Health Metrics dashboard, that’s now available to non-Premium Fitbit customers, make the Fitbit ecosystem a lot more fascinating, regardless of your fitness level.
Here, Fitbit is the winner
In terms of overall health, we believe Fitbit has the upper hand because of the data’s simplicity and how resting heart rate is shown – but you won’t be losing out on any information if you go with Garmin.
You’ll also receive an ECG sensor with the new Sense health watch, which will provide medical-grade data. It also has a temperature sensor and other data, making it a potentially very useful health monitoring gadget.
In terms of heart rate through exercise, though, Garmin has the upper hand. Heart rate zones and VO2 Max are getting increasing attention, as well as more sophisticated data spins on training impact, load, stress, and recovery.
Draw (pick the Fitbit for every day and Garmin for sport)
Fitbit might have the upper hand in this category. Fitbit has the ability to utilize your heart rate to figure out and give complete sleep phases while you’re in REM sleep.
Garmin used to be behind the times when it came to sleep, but now it can track your light, deep, and REM sleep. On watches with the necessary sensors, it now takes into account breathing rate and monitors blood oxygen.
For a complete review of sleep trackers -see here
Garmin has also included new sleep summaries to evaluate your sleep quality better. It’s powered by Firstbeat, which uses heart rate data and other algorithms to determine if you’ve had a peaceful night’s sleep or a restless wakeful night’s sleep, for example.
It offers sophisticated analytics, but it may lack the more important information that Fitbit’s platform provides.
Fitbit is the winner
Stress management and recovery
The two businesses’ approaches to stress monitoring are also worth noting. Relax is a Fitbit app that utilizes the inbuilt heart rate sensor as well as HRV tracking to detect variations in heart rate and provide individualized breathing choices. See our detailed review of stress monitoring smartwatches.
It has also just added new features to its apps, such as reflections to track your current mood and stress ratings based on your resting heart rate, sleep, and exercise.
Fitbit’s Sense watch ups the ante by including an EDA scan app that detects electrodermal activity, which may signal your body’s stress reaction.
Garmin’s stress monitoring is similar, and it’s available on a variety of its wearables, including the Vivosmart 4, Vivoactive 4, and Fenix 6 series.
Garmin also investigates the consequences of training and the pressures placed on the body to ensure you’re not overtraining and in excellent condition for your next big session.
Garmin is the winner
Specifically, tracking the health of women
Female health monitoring capabilities are included on Garmin and Fitbit, allowing users to track cramps and headaches. Fitbit analyses your data to determine where you are in your menstrual cycle and forecast when the next one will occur.
With the Garmin Connect app, users can monitor their cycle, record symptoms, get period and fertile window forecasts, and learn more about their body. It will also allow women to keep track of their daily physical and mental symptoms, allowing them to pay greater attention to changes in sleep, mood, hunger, and sports performance.
Garmin has also released a pregnancy mode, which puts the physiological changes your device will be tracking into perspective.
Garmin is the winner
Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 – The verdict
In what ways is the Fitbit Sense better?
- It can take calls
- 1.6x higher resolution (336 x 336 pixel displays versus 260 x 260)
- 22% bigger screen (1.58 inch versus 1.3 inch)
- 0.4mm thinner (12.4mm versus 12.8mm)
- 6.36% higher pixel density (301 ppi versus 283 ppi)
- Has smart alarm
- Has voice commands
- 2.3g lighter (48.2g versus 50.5g0
In what ways is the Garmin Vivoactive better?
- 2 day longer battery life (8 days versus 6 days)
- Has a compass
- Will count swimming strokes
- Has a cadence sensor
- Supports Galileo
- 15°C higher max operating temperature (60°C versus 45°C)
- 10°C lower potential operating temperature (20°C versus 10°C)
- Supports routes
As you can see, each wearable has its own set of advantages.
The Fitbit Sense is an “enhanced health wristwatch,” featuring new sophisticated EKG and EDA sensors that can monitor your heart rate and skin temperature. Models in Carbon/Graphite and White/Gold are available.
Both are sophisticated smartwatches with unique features aimed at various people. To summarise, the Fitbit Sense is for health fanatics, while the Vivoactive 4 is for outdoorsy types looking for a simple and affordable GPS fitness wearable.
Hopefully, that’s helped you to choose. If you want to throw another alternative into the mix, I bet you’ll love our OnePlus Watch 2021 Review.
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Last Updated on December 16, 2022
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