Garmin vívofit 4 activity tracker – a big step forward

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Garmin vívofit 4 – Version 4 Gives All That Remains

If you love minimalist designs, then the Garmin Vivofit 4 is a device you have to check out. The Vivofit 4 is plain and simple. Both its design and features reflect a show of simplicity and elegance. In a sense, the designers of the fitness wearable were very economical in adding features to the strap. The device offers what you need rather than what you want. It takes away what your phone can do, and gives you all that remains. It is a perfect complement to people who love minimalist designs.

First, you will notice that it takes away the GPS and the heart-rate monitor. It then deducts the various notifications channeled to your wrist from your phone unlike what most modern wearable devices do.

Also read: Garmin Vivofit Jr – An activity tracker for kids!

To compensate for the features it got rid of, the fourth version of Garmin Vivofit boasts of an 11mm by 11mm color-screen with improved visuals and a longer lasting battery life that lasts over a year (according to the producer). It also adds a few other software capabilities to track your regular activities with a bit of improved accuracy.

Fitness tracker for everyday use.

Fitness tracker for everyday use.

Gulp. Primarily, the fitness wearable does not offer much, but it offers enough features to track your fitness. As for me, that is the only reason I love the Vivofit 4. If you love great designs, I am afraid this fitness tracker might disappoint you; but if you care about something utilitarian, this gadget should be somewhere at the top of your favorite listing.

When compared to other fitness wearable devices by Garmin (itself), Fitbit or Moov, Vivofit 4 is not as complicated; but it seems better when viewed under the lenses of “little is much.” In this edition, we took down this fitness wearable and explored the finest details of the Vivofit 4. We also tried as much to remain neutral as we presented our thoughts about the device. Let’s begin with:

Build Specifications


Just like any fitness wearable, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is packaged with the Vivofit 4 wearable (with an already mounted battery) and a user’s manual.

The packaging.

The packaging.


As I had indicated in the beginning, the Vivofit 4 is not so good looking (in my opinion). This device’s shape takes after any conventional fitness devices with rectangular-shaped outlooks. The only noticeable divergence is the large shiny button placed at the base of the device to ease control and tilting of screens. Also as I had mentioned in the introduction, this wearable took an evident minimalist design.

It measures about 19mm wide and 9mm thick. This measure is a lot thinner than its predecessors (and by extension most other fitness wearable devices). The thinness makes the device take up a very small space on your wrist, which is positive.

Garmin vívofit 4 activity tracker in different colored bands.

Garmin vívofit 4 activity tracker in different colored bands.

The device is released in two main releases: the smaller release and the medium release. Of the two, the smaller release seems quite popular (perhaps due to its small size). But in case, you would love to have one that looks ordinary, well, you can go for the medium-sized. It doesn’t look too bad either.

Garmin Vivofit 4’s default straps are made of plastic. The company doesn’t offer options for leather or metallic straps. The plastic straps are light and easy to clean after a sweaty exercise. The straps were also rigid and made the device to have some fairly rigid oval-like shape that ensures that your Vivofit doesn’t fly off carelessly should the handle get loose.

Garmin backed up their device with four main colors: pure black, white, blue and purple colors. In essence, the pure white and the pure black options seem to be the market’s favorite. However, in case you would love to stand out, you can check out the purple option with some speckled effects to look classy.

But then, there is a tradeoff in its simple design and the rigid plastic straps; for “Mr. /Mrs. My-watch-is-better-than-yours“, there is nothing much to show off. Also, because of its small screen, the activity tracker performs in a manner that is just as economical as its design. It has a simple menu, less screen resolution and can at times get nagging when you want to snoop at it to check the time while working out.


The device uses a single CR2 battery. This battery is included during purchase. According to Garmin, the battery can last over a year without being recharged. Now, I admit that we were not too patient to wait for a whole year so that we can confirm this fact.

Even so, the underlying truth is that the battery does take a very long time before it demands to be replaced. This fact is also backed up by the absence of features that are popular for draining the battery like the GPS and the heart rate monitor. So, if you are tired of devices that require to be recharged every single day, you can let this device top your listing; it won’t disappoint.

Other Important Features

  • Color: The fitness tracker was released in black, white, blue and purple (spectacle)
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with iOS (for iPhones) and Android.
  • The device has an alarm, a stopwatch and a feature for finding your phone.
  • Move IQ technology: this feature learns about your activities and your training trends. It then develops goals to improve your training based on the trends and improvements.
  • Toe-to-toe feature: This feature allows you to connect and compete with a friend or child when training.
  • True Up: This feature enables the device to detect (much like predict) the activity you are engaging in and then switches the screen to display your progress in the activity.
  • Water Resistance: the device is also able to sustain submersion to some degree. At the moment, the Vivofit lacks IP-ratings. Thus the degree of resistance to water cannot be estimated even though other reviewers call it “Waterproof.”
  • Connectivity: The fitness gadget connect to smartphones and other similar wearables through the use of a Bluetooth.

Used for training and fitness.

Used for training and fitness.

Top 3 Main Competitors Of The Garmin Vivofit 4

Garmin Vivofit 3: Vivofit 3 is the immediate predecessor of Garmin Vivofit 4. When considering the design of the two devices, the Vivofit 3 seems to be a lot simpler than the Vivofit 4. However, the Vivofit 4 throws in the elegance of design with its shiny single button for navigation and customization. On performance, there seems to be no much difference besides the fact that the Vivofit 4 has a colored screen and the additional feature of Toe-to-toe challenge that allows users to compete.

Fitbit Alta HR: The Fitbit Alta HR is perhaps the most formidable competitor to the Garmin Vivofit 4. It has a thin and sleek design that is coupled with features that rival Vivofit 4. Besides the ordinary activity tracking features of the Vivofit, the Fitbit adds the feature of a heart-rate counter and more responsive design. Generally, Fitbit Alta HR is a better performer when compared to the Vivofit 4. But then, there is a tradeoff in their pricing as the Fitbit Alta is higher priced than the Garmin Vivofit 4.

Moov Now: When it comes to simplicity and accuracy, Moov Now is perhaps the world’s simplest looking and so far most accurate fitness wearable (I have ever used). It too lacks a GPS and a heart rate counter just like the Vivofit 4. But it doesn’t end it there; it does away with the screen too! So, the device rests as a disc and can only communicate via the phone. It performs much like the Garmin Vivofit 4, but it has a higher accuracy, longer battery life and it is more responsive. The only challenge with the Moov is its lack of a display or a better way to communicate.

Product video

The Garmin Vivofit 4 In A Nutshell

Garmin Vivofit 4 has attracted a lot of hype among fitness wearable device sellers. At this point, we would love to cut through the hype and the sales-promotion language and present some genuine facts about the Vivofit 4. Below is a summary of our review.

Vivofit 4 was a “hit” on:

  • Longer battery life: if a battery that lasts a week (like the one offered by smart watches) thrills you, then the one that lasts a year will throw you out of the water.
  • Awesome color display: the Vivofit 4 features an 88px X 88px color screen that measures 11mmon each side. The screen is simple and clearer than any fitness wearable device produced before the Vivofit 4.
  • Water resistant: The Garmin Vivofit 4 is water resistant, and it can tolerate rain/shower water and even swim in shallow depths. But it should not be submerged for long periods in water or any other liquid. At this point, I would also love to clarify that “water resistance” is not “waterproof” as posed by most reviewers. The device is water resistant, but it isn’t waterproof. If you submerge it deeply or for long periods, it can spoil.
  • It is cheaper: This wearable costs less than a hundred dollars and has features that are hardly available in devices that are priced so cheaply.
  • Durable: the device’s stripes are made from a combination of silicon and TPU that is hard to tear.
  • It is simple and slim: this device is also simple to operate and is very thin and won’t add much weight to your wrist while training.

Vivofit 4 Was A Miss On:

  • Lacks most features: this device lacked most of the modern features like the GPS and the heart rate monitor.
  • Has a poor interface: the Vivofit 4’s interface is fairly “sketchy” and hard to use.
  • It does not show most of the phone’s notifications like other devices.




Garmin Vivofit 4 introduces us to a view of the minimalist design. It has taken away most of the features that smartwatches and fitness wearable devices had dared to scoop from smartphones and instead presented only the remaining features that phones cannot match. I was personally attracted to the way in which Vivofit 4 has enhanced an intelligent way of predicting and tracking activities.

Of course, there is no such a thing as absolute accuracy in fitness wearable devices; there is always room for error. In the case of the Vivofit, the error seemed very small and honestly; tolerable. I too must admit that the lack of a GPS and a heart rate counter is a great drawback. But then, at its small price, I think it is tolerable to have it so. If you can find a way to move around the lack of features and tolerate the few notifications, you are likely to enjoy this device. As at the moment, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is honestly recommendable.

Where can I buy it?

Check the latest price on the first version and consider buying it from my favorite and trustworthy online store, Amazon both in Europe and the US.

Click the button to check recently updated price, user reviews and additional info.

More info & Questions

Write your questions, comments, concerns or thoughts in the commenting section below. The tracker doesn’t get a top score from all buyers, but here are some examples of what other happy Amazon buyers have to say about this activity tracker:

“Best device in doing what it does!” by MD

“Comfy on a small wrist” by Arlington Anne

“It really does a great job tracking my steps and my sleep” by Justin Woods

Another Cool Smartwatch: Fitbit Ionic

Hope you found my gadget review of this product useful. See you next time.


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