Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review

Garmin’s Vivoactive 4 touchscreen running watch is one of the company’s constantly expanding line of touchscreen running watches. You’re considerably less likely to mistakenly halt and interrupt activity monitoring with touchscreen swipes and prods thanks to smart improvements to the interface. It’s pricey, but it provides excellent value for money, earning our Editors’ Choice award for high-end fitness trackers.


The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a little bigger than the Forerunner 645, but it’s a lot thinner and lighter than the Fenix 6. It has a 5ATM water resistance rating, which means it may be used not just for showering but also for swimming. The regular silicone band is thicker and less flexible than the forerunner’s, but it’s still a pleasant watch to wear.


The Garmin Vivoactive 4 offers built-in music streaming, as well as support for Spotify, Deezer, and Spotify. The Connect IQ app is a pain to use at first, but once you get it up and going, it’s fantastic. Garmin Pay works with Chase, Bank of America, and Santander in the United States, but not in the United Kingdom. The watch doesn’t have a speaker, but you may use it with a pair of wireless headphones. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 does not have the feel of a super-fast, high-power smartwatch. We’re happy with the watch’s small app selection and recommend skipping Connect IQ’s games, which are all terrible and outdated.


The Garmin Vivoactive 4 has the same 1.3-inch screen as the Fenix 6, with a resolution of 260 × 260 pixels. This is in stark contrast to the LCD and OLED screens seen in many other smartwatches, which must boost the brightness to compete with sunlight rather than being ‘charged’ by it.

Setup and Navigation:

You enter a code on the watch’s screen after downloading the app and turning it on to connect it to the app through Bluetooth. Following that, the app walks you through basic instructions on how to use the watch. Widgets such as a hydration tracker help you effortlessly log each cup of water you drink throughout the day by swiping up or down. The built-in fitness tracking feature on the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch tracks your heart rate when swimming.

You may download apps and access data fields like estimated body temperature and weather using the Connect IQ app. I like that there’s a category for stand-up paddleboarding, which I like doing as a Floridian. Indoor cycle, elliptical, golf, indoor track, pool swim, row, row indoor, ski, snowboard, stair stepper, treadmill, and more are also available.

Interface and Controls:

Instead of the single button on the previous generation, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 includes two physical buttons. This is most likely a response to criticisms that the previous model makes it too simple to mistakenly pause or end an exercise. The screen is used to flick through information screens during exercise, but the buttons are used to pause and stop tracking. The Connect IQ app store is also used to add apps to the watch.

Music Controls:

The Vivoactive 4 fitness watch from Garmin offers up to 500 songs stored onboard. You can use Amazon Music, Deezer, Run casts, and Spotify to download music from your PC or third-party sources. In testing, connecting Spotify to the watch wasn’t quite simple, but I ultimately figured it out. Bluetooth headphones and GPS are also supported by the watch.

Exercise tracking:

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an excellent fitness watch. Lack of Performance Condition, which indicates whether you’ve worked hard enough to enhance or maintain your fitness in the last seven days. It also lacks “training load” metrics, which can be found in the Gamin Connect app when using a Forerunner.

The huge screen is also an excellent canvas for displaying exercise statistics, displaying duration, distance, pace, and heart rate all on one screen. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Garmin Forerunner 645 are two of the most advanced fitness trackers currently available. SpO2 from Garmin detects your oxygen saturation using infrared, whereas Pulse OX counts how many times you breathe in a minute.

Battery Life:

With regular GPS tracking, the Vivoactive 4 is said to have a five-day battery life, but we found it to be substantially shorter with no active tracking. It, like the Fenix 6 and Fenix 3, uses a plug-in charger and a small proprietary wire. It takes about an hour to charge from zero to full. Even with many GPS-tracked runs, the Huawei Watch GT 2 lasts more than a week.


  • Tracking your breathing 
  • Readings from a pulse oximeter 
  • Workout animations on the screen 
  • Pilates support with underwater optical heart rate monitoring


  • Uses a variety of smartphone apps 
  • Badges in excess


The Vivoactive 4 fitness tracker from Garmin includes features like contactless payments, downloadable apps, and onboard music storage, as well as insights into your breathing, sleep, and stress.

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