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Garmin Vivoactive 4 Specifications | VA4s Venu | VA4 VA3M Comparison

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Garmin Vivoactive 4 Specifications, Comparisons & Opinion – Venu too

Garmin’s demi-flagship watch is the Vivoactive. Along with the Fenix, this makes Garmin shareholders sleep soundly at night. There should be NO restless nights ahead as Garmin make some predictable moves forward with the Vivoactive range as well as throwing in a few profitable & interesting moves. I’m probably not going to be reviewing the VivoActive 4 series so all questions below, please.

Further below is a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of the detailed specs of the 3 (2? 5?) new Vivoactive models, also showing the improvements from the earlier Vivoactive 3 Music. Don’t forget that recent announcements like support for AmazonMusic will work equally on the old Vivoactive 3 as on the new Vivoactive 4.

Garmin Vivoactive 4, 4S and Venu (4v) – The Headline Changes & Commentary

Let’s take a brief step back a year or so as we saw the original Vivoactive 3 morph into a MUSIC version and then an LTE version that was tied to work with Verizon. There was also a Mercedes partnership which has some relevance to the present, so let’s not forget that even though I didn’t cover it on this blog at the time (I had some paint to watch dry).

Sizing – Garmin has obviously realised by now that some people have thin wrists. Garmin’s sales volumes justify the introduction of the smaller-format Vivoactive 4s alongside the regular-sized Vivoactive 4.

Premium Versions – Garmin will continue to face pressure at the lower end of its ranges and must continue to position itself as a ‘generally premium’ vendor. To that end, we’ve seen the introduction of the MARQ version of the Fenix and so the VENU is the exact same move for the Vivoactive 4. The interesting point of difference with the VENU is Garmin’s first foray into AMOLED screens. These screens are essentially ‘the pretty ones’ that you often see around town. In my opinion this is a MASSIVE strategic step for Garmin that is long overdue and I suspect that this awesome screen will gradually spread through Garmin’s ranges, certainly initially to the models that are more ‘smart’ than ‘sport’, essentially competing on LOOKS against the like of the Apple Watch. The battery lives are now good enough for Garmin to properly support AMOLED, so that old chestnut of an argument appears to be no more.

Weird branded stuff – We also see the introduction of the MARVEL-branded watches. If it sells…why not? And towards Christmas, we will see some Star Wars versions too. Yay!

LTE – The notable absence is LTE (a mobile phone connection to the internet within the watch). This is not on the Vivoactive 4 at present but I would be very surprised if this is not added in with another VA4 model within 6 months. Indeed I would expect other lines within Garmin to also have LTE in 2020. The VA3 achieved this with a link-up with Verizon in the USA and the problem here for taking this functionality forwards is that Garmin will have to get multiple agreements with many cellphone companies worldwide and it is that which will limit the global rollout of LTE rather than Garmin’s ability to make the kit that can do it (which clearly they can).

Music – There is also a notable absence of watches branded as a ‘music version’. All you can read here is that music is becoming standard, just like Garmin Pay and maps.

Garmin Vivoactive 4, 4S and Venu (4v) – What’s Different

The new models are highly similar apart from the size, screen and battery life. The exact details are shown below in the table. I’ll summarise them here and also add in some other feature differences for good measure

Price:

Display:

Battery Life

Other

Garmin Vivoactive 4 – Q: Is it worth the upgrade?

A: No

No, it’s not worth the upgrade unless you specifically want either a better AMOLED screen or a smaller format (VA4s)

 

Garmin Vivoactive 4, 4S and Venu (4v) Pricing & Availability

 

The prices vary by options and more options will be introduced over time. Broadly it’s this:

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Specifications

Venu vívoactive® 4S vívoactive® 4 vívoactive® 3 Music
$399.99 USD $349.99 USD $349.99 USD $249.99 USD
GPS smartwatch features AMOLED display, built-in sports apps, contactless payments, music and all-day health monitoring Smaller-sized GPS smartwatch features built-in sports apps, contactless payments, music and all-day health monitoring GPS smartwatch features built-in sports apps, contactless payments, music and all-day health monitoring GPS smartwatch with built-in sports apps, wrist-based heart rate, Garmin Pay contactless payments, and music
General
Lens Material Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Bezel Material stainless steel stainless steel stainless steel
Case material fibre-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover fibre-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover fiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover polymer
Quick Release Bands yes (20 mm, Industry standard) yes (18 mm, Industry standard) yes (22 mm, Industry standard) yes (20 mm, Industry standard)
Strap material silicone silicone silicone silicone
Physical size 43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm 40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7 mm 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm 43.1 x 43.1 x 13.6 mm
Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 110-175 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 135-200 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 127-204 mm
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Display size 1.2″ (30.4mm) diameter 1.1″ (27.9 mm) diameter 1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter 1.2″ (30.4mm) diameter
Display resolution 390 x 390 pixels 218 x 218 pixels 260 x 260 pixels 240 x 240 pixels
Display type AMOLED sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Weight 46.3 g 40.0 g 50.5 g 39.0 g
Battery life Smartwatch mode: Up to 5 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 8 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hours GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hours
GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 13 hours
Water rating Swim, 5 ATM Swim, 5 ATM Swim, 5 ATM Swim, 5 ATM
Colour display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Memory/History 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data
Clock Features
Time/date Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS Time Sync Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic daylight saving time Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alarm clock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stopwatch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sunrise/sunset times Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sensors
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
GLONASS Yes Yes Yes Yes
Galileo Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric altimeter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thermometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pulse Ox Yes Yes Yes No
Connectivity
Connect IQ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smart notifications Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connectivity Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Yes Yes Yes Yes
Controls smartphone music Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plays and controls watch music Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music Storage up to 500 songs up to 500 songs up to 500 songs up to 500 songs
Find My Phone Yes Yes Yes Yes
Find My Watch Yes Yes Yes Yes
VIRB® Camera Remote Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone compatibility iPhone®, Android iPhone®, Android iPhone®, Android iPhone®, Android
Compatible with Garmin Connect Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Pay Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safety and Tracking Features
Incident Detection during select activities Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assistance Yes Yes Yes Yes
LiveTrack Yes Yes Yes Yes
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calories burned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distance travelled Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intensity minutes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TrueUp Yes Yes Yes Yes
Move IQ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fitness Age yes (in app) yes (in app) yes (in app) yes (in app)
Body Battery Energy Monitor Yes Yes Yes No
All-day Stress Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gym & Fitness Equipment
Available gym activity profiles Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
Cardio workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Strength workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yoga workouts Yes Yes Yes No
Pilates workouts Yes Yes Yes No
On-screen workout animations Yes Yes Yes No
Automatic rep counting Yes Yes Yes Yes
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
GPS speed and distance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable data pages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable activity profiles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Pause® Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Downloadable training plans Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Lap® Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manual lap Yes Yes Yes Yes
V02 max Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touch and/or button lock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto-scroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
Activity history on the watch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physio TrueUp Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heart Rate Features
HR zones Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR calories Yes Yes Yes Yes
% HR max Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+ to paired devices) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Respiration rate (during exercise) yoga and breathwork only yoga and breathwork only yoga and breathwork only No
Respiration rate (all-day and in sleep) Yes Yes Yes No
Running Features
Available run profiles Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running
GPS-based distance, time and pace Yes Yes Yes Yes
Run workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Foot pod capable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Golfing Features
Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yardage to layups/doglegs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course) Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Digital scorecard Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin AutoShot Yes Yes Yes Yes
Green View with manual pin position Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hazards and course targets Yes Yes Yes Yes
PinPointer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Round timer/odometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory) Yes Yes Yes No
Outdoor Recreation Features
Available outdoor recreation profiles Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing
Back to start Yes Yes Yes Yes
Total ascent/descent Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cycling Features
Available cycling profiles Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking
Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compatible with Varia radar (rear-facing radar) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compatible with Varia lights Yes Yes Yes Yes
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor) yes yes yes yes
Swimming Features
Available swim profiles Pool Swimming Pool Swimming Pool Swimming Pool Swimming
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) (Pool Swim Only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Basic rest timer (up from 0) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Time and distance alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Underwater wrist-based heart rate Yes Yes Yes No

Garmin Vivoactive 4 – Is it worth the upgrade?

A: No

No, it’s not worth the upgrade unless you specifically want either a better AMOLED screen or a smaller format (VA4s)

 

Garmin Vivoactive 4, 4S and Venu (4v) Pricing & Availability

 

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