Garmin Vivoactive 4 - smartwatch evolution

Garmin's Vivoactive 4 smartwatch is primarily an incremental improvement over its predecessor. But one that is extremely complete and integrates sports and general health measurements in a watch for daily use.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Price € 329,99

Colors Black, Pink, White, Gray, Silver, Gold

Weight 51 grams

Format 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.3 cm

Connectivity Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi

Website //buy.garmin.com 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Excellent app
  • Easy to operate
  • Solid and very complete version
  • Negatives
  • Blood oxygen meter consumes (very) a lot of energy
  • Screen is faded

The holy grail in the smartwatch world is called 'health and sport'. That's also where this VívoActive 4 excels. The successor to the two-year-old Vívoactive 3 mainly offers incremental improvements. The main changes outside of the design are music playback, a menstrual cycle check and a feature Garmin calls 'Body Battery': a number for your overall fitness.

If you buy a sports watch in the higher (or in this case) middle segment, it is now a device that is not only suitable for your workouts. This Garmin also tracks your activity: are you moving enough? If you sit still for too long, you get a signal: go for a walk! That's handy, because you often don't think about it yourself. And at night, Garmin VívoActive can track your sleep. The core function of this watch is also well developed. Name an activity: walking, cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing or yoga? We count twenty-two, you can keep up with this sports watch thanks to the built-in GPS, heart rate and even sensors to measure the oxygen levels in the blood.

Garmin Connect App

You can read your data using the Garmin Connect app. That almost goes without saying. Sometimes you have to give the watch-phone duo a push, but most of the times we looked, the data was already synced automatically. That Garmin app is very extensive. Whether you want to analyze your sleep pattern, track your calories, check heart rate, stress level or VO2 max? Everything is possible. In fact, Garmin also provides you with free video coaching to train for, for example, a five-kilometer run or half marathon. Your watch will then give you the instructions during your training. The possibilities are endless.

Display

The screen of this smartwatch deserves a separate consideration. Garmin uses a so-called transflective LCD screen. This ensures that light that falls on the watch is reflected: the lighting does not have to be on constantly and that ensures a longer battery life. But also that the colors of the screen always look a bit faded. So it's a compromise. If you do want the functions of this watch but a brighter screen, you can also look at the Garmin Venu, which will be released soon and is equipped with an AMOLED screen.

The case and the silicone strap of this Vivóactive are certainly not ugly, but we don't think they are very beautiful. You have to love the design. Especially if you plan to wear this watch on a daily basis, which the extensive functions certainly deserve.

Initially we had problems with the battery life, which turned out to be due to the blood oxygen measurement.

Blood oxygen measurement

Initially we had some problems with the battery life, which turned out to be mainly due to the constant blood oxygen measurement. After we turned it off, the watch lasted one day out of four on a charge, including two running workouts. The Vívoactive is available in a 4 and Vívoactive 4S variant, with the 4S at 40mm being half a centimeter smaller.

The built-in music function is nice and works well with a bluetooth headset. This only runs via services such as Deezer and Spotify: you have to download music offline after which you can play it while exercising. It is not possible to put individual MP3s on the watch.

Conclusion: buy Garmin VivóActive 4?

You get a lot for your money in this Garmin Vivóactive 4. Features that until recently were only available in high-end athletes watches are now included, as are things like sleep and activity tracking. The companion app is also excellent. The only thing that can hold you back is the somewhat dull screen, limitations in music playback and of course its appearance.

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