Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review: The Complete Guide to this Smartwatch

garmin vivoactive 4 review

The Garmin Vivoactive series is perhaps the best line in the Garmin smartwatch company for those who love an abundance of apps and available features. The new Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a must for those who want a large variety of sports and fitness apps with new upgrades in style and performance tracking as well.

With all of these new features in mind, what are the standout features of the Garmin Vivoactive 4?

garmin vivoactive 4 gps smartwatch review

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Review

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 features an array of health statistics and performance tracking metrics that live up to the Vivoactive series. With over 40 sports and fitness apps, as well as new animations that guide users in how to perform movements in workouts, the Vivoactive 4 is an app lovers dream. 

Overall Rating98/100
Ease of Use98/100
Ease of Assembly98/100

This sports and fitness watch scores high marks in all the important key points for rating a fitness watch. This article will explore everything that needs to be known about this product, including its pros and cons as well as if the watch is worth buying for your fitness needs. Read on to find out more.

[amazon box=”B07W7W8WBH”]

Pros of the Garmin Vivoactive 4:

  • New health statistics. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is filled to the brim with new and exciting features, making this one of the most app-friendly models in all the many Garmin lines. With this model, you can now keep up with new respirations tracking during your fitness session. Additionally, you can take advantage of the new underwater optical heart rate tracking.
  • On-screen animations. The most exciting new feature of the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the inclusion of pre-loaded animation workouts. Now you can look at your watch to see a wide range of workout movements that you may be unfamiliar with. The animations are crisp and clear and feature easy to understand commands that are timed to the animations.
  • Great for triathletes. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is designed with users in mind who want the knowledge that their smartwatch will be able to keep up with a wide range of performance statistics across a triathlon if need be. Through updated and improved features to measure cadence, ground contact time, stride lengths, and all of the capabilities that sync with accurate heart rate readings and performance statistics.
  • Comes with preloaded activity profiles. Vivoactive 4  is designed to appeal to a wide range of fitness activities. Innovative and detailed activity profiles for swimming, running, bicycling, and triathlons, are all part of the profile selections that you can pick from with this model. This model also includes a range of recommendations if you wish to have some ideas to change up your fitness routine.
  • V02 Max indicator. When you are training hard, you sometimes have technology that can give accurate readings that account for variables outside of your control. Wind, altitude, and outside heat and cold temperature variations can all collide to give a slightly skewed performance reading but the V02 Max indicator in the Vivoactive 4 lists accurate variabilities with this in mind, and gives you an accurate reading.
  • Innovative performance condition technology. Like most models in the Garmin Vivoactive series, the Vivoactive 4 also analyzes heart rate, heart performance conditioning, and heart rate variability based on a wide range of different performance types to give real-time assessments of how you are faring during your workout and how long you can continue before you reach various thresholds.
  • Multiple GNSS navigation protocols. The Vivoactive 4 is equipped with both Glonass and Galileo GPS protocols which allow it to track in a wider range of environments and terrain than what can be achieved with traditional GPS technology.

Cons of the Garmin Vivoactive 4:

  • Subpar battery life when compared to other models. Unfortunately, the Vivoactive 4 just doesn’t do well with battery life capabilities, especially compared to other models in the series. This can be expected though due to the increased amount of superior features that have been added to the Vivoactive 4.
  • Doesn’t work well with other apps. One of the convenient abilities that come with some smartwatches is the ability to customize the watch with other apps that track running or jogging in ways that you enjoy. With the Vivoactive 4, you have to use its features exclusively, which are plentiful with this model, yet still limiting in terms of outside apps.
  • Expensive. The Vivoactive 4 is not moderately expensive like some other models, it is downright expensive. This is to be expected with the addition of many new features, however, the price is substantial for this model.
garmin vivoactive 4 key features

Key Features

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 features many new updates to previous models in the Vivoactive line. For one, the watch itself is completely changed in its design scheme from a more square-shaped design to a circular shape. This is more in line with traditional wristwatches and is well-calibrated to handle the influx of new features.

What is also great about this model is the two available sizes that you can choose from, 40mm or 45mm. Not all runners wish to have a large and bulky wristwatch, even though the display screen is the same size, which works well with the many different types of performance capabilities that are compatible with this model.

Additionally, the Vivoactive 4 has pushable buttons, which eliminates the need to go through an app to change settings, you can now interchange settings and customizations through a simple push of a button. This comes in handy due to the overwhelming amount of new apps that can be accessed with this model.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is brimming with many additional features, and the improvements upon the design scheme of the watch are also great. With new additions to measure training effect, recovery time, and race predicting for triathlons, the Vivoactive 4 stands atop the series as one of the best models of the Vivoactive brand.

garmin vivoactive 4 gps smartwatch

Should You Get The Vivoactive 4?

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is all about variety. A variety of fitness selections and variety when it comes to what you need to be tracked and monitored and how. The Vivoactive series is all about running and jogging. However, this model is the one that many Garmin enthusiasts have been waiting for due to the inclusion of so many new apps for a wide variety of fitness routines and types.

If you enjoy cycling, you can now use the convenient cycling power meter to log and display your performance specifics and health targets when you are bicycling. If you want swimming mode, this model now has a fully integrated swimming mode performance meter. You can use this to record your underwater movements and suggest ways to improve to reach targeted goals.

The Vivoactive 4 is all about improving upon past exclusions in this popular Garmin line, and with this in mind, this makes the Vivoactive 4 a great investment as this will likely turn out to be the only Vivoactive model that you will ever need.

Why the Garmin Vivoactive 4 Is Worth It

So, what makes this model of Garmin watch worth the price? The Vivoactive 4 is all about convenience; this model is a complete evolutionary upgrade in the line. This means that some previous concerns with other models have been improved upon for your convenience. Such as the inclusion of various types of sports and fitness performance dynamics as opposed to just running or jogging.

The technology is improved upon, which goes beyond simple velocity. This watch can even pinpoint performance targets in various areas of the body as opposed to just an overall assessment. The watch is comfortable and lightweight Therefore, you can rest assured that this model is definitely worth the purchase.

The Downsides

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 does not have many downsides to mention, yet the substantial price is likely going to be the big sticking point to many potential buyers. This can be easily overcome once you consider some of the useful and innovative technologies that you get with the Vivoactive 4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Garmin Vivoactive 4 a good running watch?

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an excellent watch for running. With new animated workouts that accurately display performance suggestions for enhancing your run, this model is a comprehensive interactive smartwatch.

Should I get the Vivoactive 4 or 4S?

The biggest difference between these two Vivoactive models comes down to size; the Vivoactive 4 is much larger than the 4S. If you want a smaller watch, then by all means choose the Vivoactive 4S. Apart from size variations, there are no major differences between the two models.

Can you answer calls on Garmin Vivoactive 4?

Yes, you can easily answer calls from your Garmin Vivoactive 4. The watch has a built-in speaker and microphone that allows you to answer calls and speak clearly. Be sure to use Bluetooth if you want to make the call answering and speaking process easier.

Can the Garmin Vivoactive 4 text?

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 can text; however, this can only be done with compatible Android smartphones. To make the process a bit easier, you can select from a range of standard messages to send a reply to your text. In the Garmin Connect App, you can customize messages you wish to send.

Can I wear my Garmin Vivoactive 4 to bed?

Yes, you can wear your Garmin Vivoactive 4 to bed. While you are sleeping, the watch is able to detect sleep and monitor your movements to calculate accurate sleep patterns and movements. For automatic settings, you can customize your sleep hours in the Garmin Connect App.


If you are looking for a smartwatch that makes the process of checking your performance statistics easy to navigate. In addition to enhanced performance features and project charts, then the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is certainly a model worth considering. There are very few downsides to this watch, and the sheer compatibility enhancements of this model are hard to resist.

Rather you enjoy running and jogging or, swimming, bicycling, or triathlons, the Vivoactive 4 is certainly one of the highlights of the Vivoactive series. This is one of the best Garmin watches if you love to have a wide range of apps to choose from.

Best GPS Tech

At Best GPS Tech we found it frustrating that there were limited websites available, willing to provide an honest opinion on the latest GPS technology to aid our interests. We enjoy creating content around GPS products from the industry leaders such as Garmin, FitBit and more. We hope you find the site informative in helping you make the right buying decisions.

Recent Posts