The Vivosmart 4 is Garmin’s proof that the brand doesn’t just cater for the athletes. This capable smartband doesn’t have all the bells and whistles present on other Garmin smartwatches, but it could be the perfect everyday wearable for the fitness-oriented individuals.
A selection of band colours and stylish metal accents – including the highly acclaimed rose gold – give this slim-profile fitness tracker a high-street fashion twist.
Wondering if it’s the right smartband for you? Read on to find it out.
Garmin is best known for its high-end sports-specific devices, such as the Quatix 5 or Approach S60 – expensive wearables designed for the wannabe athletes.
But you don’t really need high athletic ambitions or afford an eye-watering price to get your hands on some Garmin smarts.
The Vivosmart range, together with the Vivofit and Vivosport, are Garmin’s answer to the Fitbit devices. A line of affordable trackers for the everyday user rather than the aspiring sportsperson.
Vivosmart 4 is a slimline, swim-friendly wearable loaded with a wealth of well-being and some fitness features. It is designed to help you stay healthier and ward off stress and burnout while becoming more active.
The Vivosmart 4 is a smartband designed to keep you connected while you’re active, so you don’t have to stop walking or running to pull the smartphone out of your pocket.
Like most smart wearables, it features Bluetooth connectivity and delivers calls, texts, and social media notifications directly on your wrist. You’ll even be able to see what app the notifications come from, but you can’t actually see what a notification says.
Pairing the smartband with an Android device gives you the possibility to reply with preset text responses, though. The device also lets you control your phone’s music and access weather forecasts.
Interacting with the smartwatch through the touchscreen is a bit harder than imagined. The Vivosmart 4 doesn’t have a conventionally responsive display, and tapping requires some force if you want to get a response.
A physical button at the bottom of the screen makes it easier to return to the main menu or to access the settings, but it has limited functionality. No doubt, this isn’t your standard fitness tracker, but it’s still a quite nice device if you take the time to get used to it.
Garmin Vivosmart 4 has nothing to do with the ugly-looking, chunky fitness tracking devices you might be used to. It’s a comfortable wearable that doesn’t look out of place at the office or when paired with a sleeker outfit.
It’s almost as fashionable as the Fitbit; the only downside is the unibody design that doesn’t let you swap bands or change the sporty style. This isn’t an issue, though, as you’ll have plenty of colour choices.
The Vivosmart 4 comes in two sizes and five colours. Metallic accents around the display and on the band clasp boost up the aesthetic factor; I like the eye-catchy rose gold accents on the unisex band that give it a feminine touch.
I also like that it’s much thinner than the Fitbit Charge and the Alta HR, but all this style has a price. Garmin compromised on the display, which is truly tiny and quite hard to use.
Depending on your purpose, Garmin Vivosmart 4 can be the best activity tracker you’ve ever worn or one of the worst.
Starting off with the not-so-good, the device has pre-installed fitness profiles for a handful of activities, including running, walking, swimming, elliptical training, and cycling. However, it doesn’t excel in tracking any of these.
It lacks a GPS and doesn’t even have tethering capabilities to log mileage, which sometimes results in estimates that can be off even by a mile.
While it falls short when it comes to tracking activity, though, the Vivosmart 4 is a surprisingly capable health monitor.
It features sophisticated heart rate-based tools, including a SpO2 sensor that measures blood oxygen level while you sleep. The heart rate sensor also measures stress level, a useful feature that helps you understand which are your major stressors.
A Body Battery function estimates your energy reserves, and even if it’s not accurate at all times, it really is a useful feature.
- The OLED display is easily visible in all light conditions
- Advanced sleep and stress level metrics
- A fashionable takeover compared to other Garmin smartbands
- Swim capabilities
- Long-lasting battery
- Small and sometimes unresponsive screen
- No GPS or GPS-tethering options
- Sometimes inaccurate
|Fitbit Alta |
|Display||Polycarbonate||Corning Gorilla Glass||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Gorilla glass|
|Resolution||48×128 pixels||240 x 240px||Not specified||Not specified|
|43.4 x 43.4×11.7 mm||12.7 x 28 mm||15.24 x 41 mm|
|Weight||S/M: 16.5 g L: 17.1 g||43 g||30 g||29 g|
|Band material||Silicone||Silicone||Silicone / Woven||Silicone / Leather|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||Splashproof|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth||Bluetooth|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life||Up to 7 days||Up to 7d||Up to 7d||Up to 7d|
How We Tested
To test all the functions of the Vivosmart 4, we wore the smartband uninterruptedly for a week. The battery didn’t last up to 7 days, but that’s because we used all the features, including the Pulse OX advanced sleep tracking.
With the Pulse OX on, we got about five days of uninterrupted use; it charges fast and is ready to use again in about 2 hours.
While it wasn’t the most accurate for fitness tracking, it impressed us with its advanced health monitoring. No doubt, a great choice for the fitness-savvy yet not performance-obsessed individuals.
Garmin Vivosmart 4 is an amazing smartband that excels in pretty much all areas. It lacks a GPS; thus, it’s not quite as accurate as other Garmin wearables. It also has a really tiny screen. But as long as you can get past these two drawbacks, you’ll realise it’s one of the most stylish fitness trackers out there.
Whether this is the right device for you comes down to a few simple questions. Do you just want to keep tabs on your daily activity or need some motivation to work towards your fitness goals, or are you looking for advanced tracking features?
If you need advanced features, move on. In the other case, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 could be the right smartband for you.