Fitness enthusiasts looking for a 24/7 wearable might be impressed with the Garmin Vivofit 4. Simplistic nature and no-frills functionality make it a reliable accessory for not-so-tech-avid users.
Its strengths are unbeaten battery life as well as improved design and comfort compared to the Vivofit 3.
The watch is perfect for the weekend warriors as well as those looking to become accountable for their daily activity, but who don’t really care about smart notifications on the wrist.
Is it the right activity tracker for you? Read our review to find out all you need to know about it.
Garmin Vivofit 4 is the upscale version of the Vivofit 3. It has sleeker lines and more stylish display design, but it doesn’t come with all those sassy bands the Vivofit 3 used us to.
If you don’t mind a simpler – and still fashionable – wristband, though, you’ll get higher resolution, a coloured display, and more clock and daily smart features if you opt for the Vivofit 4.
One of the simplest and cheapest Garmin wearables, the Vivofit 4 is a fitness tracker at heart with timekeeping functionality, but it lacks smartphone notifications, GPS, and a heart rate monitor.
Garmin advertises this smartband as perfect for those looking for an inexpensive fitness tracker. But with tough competition from the likes of the Moov Now and Fitbit Alta HR, it might need more than stellar battery life to stand out.
Garmin Vivofit 4 is what we can call a fitness tracker in the true meaning of the word. Smart features are limited to counting steps and calories burnt, as well as tracking your activity and performance.
Connectivity features include Bluetooth and ANT+, but they only serve to allow the device to communicate with the Garmin Connect app so that you can check your activity and progress.
The lack of smart notifications limits its features to those of a classic timepiece. You’ll still be able to access weather forecasts, though, and use the device as an alarm clock, timer, and stopwatch.
Although it lacks GPS and notifications, I like that it features Garmin’s Find My Phone feature you can use to locate your… ehmmm… misplaced mobile device.
If you want to motivate your kids to get some movement, you’ll love the Toe-to-Toe feature you can use to challenge your youngsters to a step competition by wirelessly connecting your tracker to a nearby Vivofit Jr. 2 or another Vivofit 4.
The Vivofit 4 is one of Garmin’s most elegant smartbands. It’s noticeably thinner than other Garmin wearables, meaning it looks sleeker on your wrist and is also lighter – an important aspect for an activity tracker designed to wear 24/7.
It comes with interchangeable TPU or silicone bands. Colour-wise, you can pick from solid black or white or speckle black, blue, and purple straps. No doubt, the speckle twist enhances the aesthetic factor and makes it more suitable for both adult women and younger ladies.
While the strap material doesn’t look exactly fashionable when you want to match it with more formal wear, it does feel comfortable when worn uninterruptedly for weeks.
The Vivofit 4 comes in two sizes for smaller or bigger wrists. Swapping bands is easy by simply pulling the tiny device out of its strap and placing it into another.
A big improvement compared to its predecessor is the colour display that enhances the user experience. A button below the touchscreen makes it easy to navigate through the menu and visualise the travelled distance, step count, or calories burnt.
Another nice twist compared to the previous Vivofit devices is the always-on display that lets you use the activity tracker as a regular timepiece.
Designed with the fitness amateur rather than the professional athlete in mind, Garmin Vivofit 4 is a rather basic activity tracker. If you’re after a wealth of preset sports profiles, detailed live stats, and performance metrics on your wrist, this isn’t the right smartband for you.
However, if you just want something to hold you accountable for your activity without too many frills, you’re gonna love this device.
Like most Garmin wearables, it incorporates the Move IQ feature that recognises when you’re training and starts tracking your activity without intervention from your side. It’s ideal for walking, running, and swimming, but don’t expect advanced monitoring profiles.
While it lacks a heart rate monitor, it tracks the sleep quite accurately. My favourite fitness feature is the Auto Goal, which basically learns your level of activity and assigns daily step goals.
The Vivofit 4 syncs with the Garmin Connect app, so you can visualise stats and performance on your mobile, and is swim proof.
- Unbelievable battery life – you can expect it to last for up to 1 year
- Simple battery change
- User-friendly interface
- Simple to use by the not-so-tech-savvy individuals
- Always-on colour display
- Lightweight and incredibly comfortable to wear
- No GPS or heart rate monitoring
- No smart notifications
- Limited smart and fitness tracking functionality
|Garmin Vivofit 4||Garmin Vivoactive 3||Moov Now||Fitbit Alta HR|
|Display||Transflective glass||Corning Gorilla Glass||N/A||Gorilla glass|
|Resolution||80 x 80px||240 x 240px||N/A||N/A|
|Size||19 x 11 x 9.4 mm||43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm||–||15.24 x 41 mm|
|Weight||25 g||43 g||15 g||29 g|
|Band material||TPU / Silicone||Silicone||Latticed rubber||Silicone / Leather|
|Water resistance||Swim proof||5 ATM||3 ATM||Splashproof|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth||Bluetooth|
|Heart rate monitoring||No||Yes||Yes – paired with Moov HR||Yes|
|Battery life||Up to 1 year||Up to 7d||Up to 6 months||Up to 7d|
How We Tested
One of the Vivofit’s 4 greatest advantages is that it’s equipped with a conventional battery. You won’t have to take it off to recharge it or worry about running out of juice right after you started training.
This feature allowed me to wear it uninterruptedly for two weeks – I could have continued to keep it on, but other smartwatches were calling for a test.
The activity tracker is truly lightweight and comfortable to wear 24/7. It’s swim proof, meaning you can also wear it while you shower; just take it off if you plan to snorkel or dive.
The activity tracking is not the most accurate, but that’s to be expected from a device that lacks GPS. It does keep you accountable for your daily activity though. It’s not for those who have Mo Farah’s ambitions, but great if you just want to lose some weight or boost your health.
Garmin Vivofit 4 is not a superb entry-level activity tracker. It won’t wow you with its capabilities, but it’s a nice choice if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable wearable. Like most Garmin smartwatches, it does what it’s supposed to do, and it does it well. You can even set competitions with your partner, friends, or kids to upscale your game and boost motivation.
Capable but not stunning, we recommend it for those who don’t mind the lack of smart feature and want a no-frills, budget-friendly activity tracker.