Garmin VivoActive

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Following on from the Garmin Venu announcement, I can (and will) copy and paste the details of the Vivoactive 4.

Functionally the two watches are almost identical, however, Garmin has used the Venu name to launch its first watch with AMOLED. This seems like a sensible move to me, allowing them to try out AMOLED without damaging one of their established models. The fear of AMOLED is how it will affect battery life, so for those concerned about that, or just don’t care about AMOLED, then the Vivoactive 4 is here with its 218 x 218 pixel display.

The Vivoactive range is designed more the casual market, rather than the athlete focussed Forerunner and Fenix ranges. This, therefore, means that there are less sports orientated features available. The amount of data the watch produces is massively cut back with just five FirstBeat features, compared to the 18 of the £500+ FR945 and Fenix 6 models. For you casual runner or gym enthusiast, this is more than enough.

It is the battery life that is interesting with Garmin, this watch is effectively competing with Smartwatches, however, due to it not using a fully-fledged OS the battery life is phenomenal compared to its WearOS counterparts, which struggle to get a day of tracking.

The vívoactive 4 (45mm) has a battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 6 hours in GPS + music mode. The vívoactive 4S (40mm) has a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 5 hours in GPS + music mode.

The Vivoactive 4 basic features

  • GPS tracking of activities using built-in GPS
  • Workout tracking of range of sports including running, cycling, pool swimming, skiing, golf, gym and many more (full list down below)
  • Structured workout support via downloadable workouts
  • Quick on the fly intervals
  • Training calendar support
  • Optical heart rate sensor in watch
  • 24×7 tracking of steps, stairs, calories, and distance
  • Smartphone notifications from iOS/Android
  • Garmin Pay for contactless payments
  • Music streaming

What does the Vivoactive 4 have the older Vivoactive 3 doesn’t?

  • Music now standard: Including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio
  • Venu features 1.2” AMOLED display: Super vibrant, lots of colours
  • Venu also adds ‘always-on’ mode despite AMOLED display
  • Added ambient light sensor tied to the new display
  • Added new ‘Live’ Watch faces with small animations
  • Added secondary button to side: Used for lap, back, menu access
  • Added hydration tracking to manually track liquid intake with widget and app
  • Added Estimated Sweat Loss post-workout
  • Added Respiration Rate for all-day and sleep metrics (and certain workout types)
  • Added Breathwork Exercises (way different than simple breathing stress features)
  • Added Workout Animation functionality: For Strength, Cardio, Yoga, Pilates
  • Added new Yoga and Pilates Built-in workouts: Includes a step by step animations
  • Added ability to design Yoga workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step pose animations
  • Added ability to design Pilates workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step animations
  • Added PulseOx for 24×7 blood oxygen tracking
  • Revamped health stat widget akin to latest Fenix/Forerunner models
  • Switched to Sony GPS chipset
  • Switched to Garmin Elevate V3 optical HR sensor
  • Connect IQ Developers will have access to create live watch faces
  • Battery life at 5 days standby, and 6 hours of GPS+Music


  • Suggested RRP in the UK and Ireland is £259.99 and £279.99 depending on the model and they are available for pre-order now on Garmin and other websites soon.

Full Press Release

today announced the vívoactive 4 and 4S GPS smartwatches with the broadest available range of 24/7 health monitoring features in the market. These innovations include advanced sleep with pulse ox1, new respiration tracking, Body BatteryTM energy monitoring, abnormal heartrate alerts, menstrual cycle tracking, stress tracking with relax reminders, new hydration tracking and more. With an always-on screen available in two sizes (40mm and 45mm), a multitude of colour options and metal finishes, and a battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, the vívoactive 4 series is styled and featured for life on the go. The vívoactive 4 is one of many new wearables launched by Garmin at IFA in Berlin, Germany, September 6-11, and will be on display at the Garmin stand in Hall 4.2, Booth 232.

 “At Garmin we believe that health should be measured by more than just miles logged,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “The vívoactive 4 series is a tool for customers who want to track and improve their overall well-being, and that includes things like making sure you drink enough water or checking your Body Battery to see whether a workout over lunch is a good idea. When it is time for a workout, the vívoactive 4 offers a ton of options, from preloaded strength training to Pilates activities.”

For those looking to switch up their fitness routine, the vívoactive 4 introduces 40+ on-screen animated workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga and Pilates. These easy-to-follow workouts demonstrate proper form and technique right on the user’s watch. Animated workouts are just the latest addition to the vívoactive 4’s robust suite of workout options which include: preloaded workouts on the watch, preset workouts available to download from Garmin ConnectTM, “create your own” customisable workouts, and Garmin Coach training plans (these free training plans adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance with a coach to guide and motivate).

And because music makes it better, the vívoactive 4 series lets users download their favorite songs or playlists2, including those from third-party music services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer, right to their wrist. Safety and tracking features built into the vívoactive 4 provide peace of mind and include incident detection (during select activities3) and assistance3, both of which send real-time location to emergency contacts.

The innovative Body Battery energy monitoring feature lets users check their body’s energy levels at any given moment, which can help with scheduling workouts, rest times and sleep. Using a combination of data gathered from stress, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep and activity, a higher Body Battery indicates the time is optimal to be active whereas a lower number suggests rest is in order.

When it’s time to wind down for the day, advanced sleep monitoring estimates light, deep and REM stages of sleep. New respiration tracking measures the number of breaths per minute and Pulse Ox gauges blood oxygen saturation levels while asleep. Together, this data can demonstrate sleep quality.  Upon awakening, users can review their sleep stats in Garmin Connect. 

With GPS, ElevateTM wrist-based heart rate5, and over 20 built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps including Pilates, yoga, running, swimming and more, the vívoactive 4 series is packed with features to keep up with a varied active lifestyle. Need to take a breather? The vívoactive 4 offers new structured breathwork activities designed to promote focus and relaxation.

Staying connected is key with smart notifications3 for incoming calls, text messages, social media updates, calendar reminders and more. The vívoactive 4 series also includes Garmin Pay™, a contactless payment solution4, so users can leave their cash and cards at home. Garmin Pay can now be used at major transit systems around the world. Commuters simply tap and pay-per-ride with their watch – no transit card, phone or wallet needed. Personalisation is fun and easy with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from the Garmin Connect IQTM store app. Users can even upload their own photos and turn them into watch faces.

The vívoactive 4 (45mm) has a battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 6 hours in GPS + music mode. The vívoactive 4S (40mm) has a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 5 hours in GPS + music mode. Both sizes are available now on, RRP between £259.99 and £279.99 depending on the model.

The vívoactive 4 series is the latest innovation from the ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment that develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a Garmin product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

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