Garmin Vivofit 4 Review: Simple Yet Functional

How accurate is Vivofit 4, and is it worth buying? Although it has the most basic functions, it does its job well. Read more in our detailed review.

The fitness tracker Garmin Vivofit 4 is the fourth of the most basic Garmin’s lines. It doesn’t perform many smartwatch-like functions like smartphone notifications. It is a fitness tracker with essential functionality to fit all of your sports needs.

Garmin vívofit 4 overview

If you are looking for a fitness band with the most basic activities, this tracker might be the best choice. One more advantage of this device is a no-charge battery that can last for a year despite the colorful display. There are more things to admire about this fitness tracker – read on and see yourself.


Our verdict

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this device is its ease of use, great functionality for its money, and 1+year battery that you don’t need to recharge. On the other side, lack of GPS or heart rate monitoring might leave you confused.

Why we like it:

  • Affordable price
  • Durable battery
  • Covers most of the basics
  • Automatic detection of exercise
  • Waterproof

Why we hate it:

  • No GPS
  • Distance tracking is not the best
  • No heart rate tracker
  • Design is not for all
  • No phone notifications

 

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Design and Display

The design of this tracker is pretty reserved. Still, it offers many colors, such as plum, white, black, and lime green-speckled black. It doesn’t look very slick with its simple textured rubber band, small screen, and single button. Yet, this design is simple enough to be intuitive.

Garmin vívofit Design

This model takes up less room than the previous models and is lighter too. The plastic strap material is easy to clean after a sweaty run or any other kind of training. The strap is also secure. The band is from silicone that might not look great, but it is durable and fits for long periods of wearing. Also, it is small and not bulky.

The display is a small 8-color screen with a modest 88 x 88-pixel resolution. It can’t show much information at once, but you can glance at it quickly to check your goal progress. You can also choose various widgets to see while you exercise. You can reorder, move, or remove them as you wish. There are also different clock faces which you can choose from.


Controls and Use

Garmin vívofit 4 Display

 

 

The button in the middle serves to show key stats. They comprise steps, distance, calories, standing hours, and even temperature and weather. However, this single button might be tricky to perform some actions.

For example, to start an activity manually or synch the band with your phone, you need one long push and a few other taps to scroll through all necessary options. If you pass this option, you will have to do the same sequence again from the very beginning.

The rubber band is comfortable. If you intend to sleep with the device on, this feature gets very important. Not all fitness trackers are like this. Also, it is waterproof up to 5ATM resistance, so you can take a shower with a device on or use it when you swim.


Features and Tracking

First of all, the device doesn’t have GPS or a heart rate tracker. If these features are essential, better to choose another device. Still, the main advantage of the Vivofit 4 model is its battery because the tracking takes most of the battery life. You can run a year without changing batteries, and that is an advantage.

Still, if you are missing these features, you can connect a heart rate monitor. Also, you can use the GPS of your phone, but anyway, you will need other devices to exercise that might not be convenient.

Walk and Run Tracking

The device can track a variety of activities. You can do it manually or turn on the auto-tracking. The device will then activate Garmin’s Move IQ tech, so you will set the threshold for the amount of time that you want to spend on the activity.

Garmin vívofit 4 Run Tracking

This function is accurate, so the device will smartly detect where you started and stopped. This feature works only for walking or running. Still, it can incorrectly track distance due to the absence of the GPS. In any case, you can customize the distance length on your own manually.

The device will also give you accurate details about average speed, pace, time of the workout, and an estimate of calories you’ve burnt. Also, the device automatically starts swimming tracking and stops when you’ve finished. Still, many users mention that this function often lags. This tracker is not great when it comes to swimming tracking.

Sleep Tracking

When it comes to sleep tracking, the device is accurate. It tracks data based on movement, which is hard to do without knowing the heart rate. Still, it manages to recognize types of sleep due to movements in different stages of sleep. Also, it is correct in detecting the hours of sleep.

Garmin vívofit 4 Sleep Tracking

However, the device won’t tell if you lack hours or wake up in the middle of the night. If you want a more smart tracker that can give suggestions, better search for another model. Still, the device will give correct stats about the sleep movement, time asleep, and different levels of sleep.

Garmin Vivofit 4 is great for showing how restless your sleep was, which might be just enough. The device is very comfortable to wear at night, so it might be more useful than many other ones which you just won’t use because they’re inconvenient.


Performance

Vivofit 4 is a simple device. That is why it is fast and doesn’t drain the battery too much. If you cycle through the menus, you can enjoy the fast work of the device. It is reliable and doesn’t lag. The fitness data will always be on your device, so you don’t need to connect it to your phone each time.

Garmin vívofit 4 Performance

Still, the device stores only around four weeks of data, so it’s better to sync it now and then not lose data. There is no space to upload music and no support via Bluetooth, so the device is more of a simple tracker than an extensive smartwatch.


The App

To sync the tracker with the app, you need to do two long presses on the button. When you open the app, you will see the stats of your activity, including the most recent workout. It will also show your earlier statistics and a breakdown of the previous seven days. It will show your daily averages. All the information is simple and easy-to-read, so you don’t have to study all the information for a long time.

Garmin vívofit 4 App

In the app, you can choose numerous widgets that you can place on the clock. For example, you can choose the necessary metrics to display or a clock face. You can also edit workout and sleep data if it’s wrong. Also, you can see your recent run on the map of the places you’ve been. If you use GPS on the phone, the app will show you the time, distance, elevation, pace, and calories burnt.

You can also connect your Garmin platform to Facebook or Google account if you want to share your activity. Also, it’s possible to set friends and family challenges and compete against each other. To connect with Apple or Android the smartphone needs to be of a relatively recent version.


Battery Life

With this device, you can forget about charging. It has a year-long battery life that runs on two SR43 batteries. The apps and notifications do not drain it, and GPS doesn’t take much of it, hence the long battery life. The device can track activities, run a screen, and yet regain the battery.


Specs

Battery life1+ year, no charging
ColorsBlack, Black Speckle, Plum, White
Dimensions7.7 x 0.5 x 0.9 inches
Compatible withApple, Android
FeaturesMove IQ – automatically detects activity and classifies it
FunctionalityTrack steps, Track distances, Calories burnt, Sleep monitoring, Personalized sleep goal

Conclusion

Garmin Vivofit 4 is a simple device with basic fitness tracking functionality. It can automatically detect running, walking, and swimming, so you don’t have to click buttons each time. It has good sleep predictions and correctly tracks all parameters of physical activity.

It has a very convenient, durable battery and is waterproof up to 5ATM. Still, it lacks some style, as it is simple in terms of appearance. Also, it doesn’t have GPS or heart rate monitoring. However, if you can measure those parameters differently, for example, with the help of other devices, you can enjoy all the benefits of Vivofit 4 for its money.


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