Examen approfondi de la montre intelligente Garmin Vivoactive 4

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Cela fait environ 5 mois que Garmin a introduit la série Vivoactive 4 (aux côtés du Garmin Venu). Les deux montres, à côté de l'écran, sont presque identiques. Et pendant ce temps, Garmin a également introduit un certain nombre de variantes à thème Vivoactive 4 (telles que celles de Star Wars, Avengers et Captain Marvel). Cependant, ils ont également légèrement modifié un certain nombre de fonctionnalités du Vivoactive 4, ce qui le rend un peu plus soigné qu'il ne l'était au lancement. Des choses mineures que vous pourriez ne pas remarquer, comme de plus jolis écrans de fin d'entraînement avec des cartes et des graphiques RH.

Le principal attrait du Vivoactive 4 était l'ajout d'un deuxième bouton – le rendant plus facile à utiliser pour les scénarios sportifs, mais également une multitude de fonctionnalités de remise en forme plus générales. Des aspects comme les séances d'entraînement de yoga structurées. Et contrairement au Vivoactive 3 / Vivoactive 3 Music, toutes les éditions du Vivoactive 4 ont de la musique. Il y en a maintenant un plus petit (Vivoactive 4s) et un plus gros (Vivoactive 4). Et tous ceux en édition spéciale.

Maintenant, bien que j'aie utilisé et éteint le Vivoactive 4 depuis août, je n'avais pas encore tout à fait écrit une critique. Vous vous souviendrez que j'ai publié ma critique de Garmin Venu au début du mois de décembre après plusieurs mois. Et le lendemain, je suis passé au Vivoactive 4. presque identique. Et il est sur mon poignet gauche depuis. Donc, des tonnes d'utilisation et des tonnes d'entraînements dans le sac. Ainsi, revoyez le temps.

Notez que, alors que j'utilisais initialement un média prêteur Vivoactive 4 de Garmin, cela leur est revenu depuis longtemps. Depuis lors, j’utilise mon propre Vivoactive 4 que je suis sorti et que je me suis procuré. Si vous avez trouvé cet avis utile, vous pouvez cliquer sur les liens à la fin du post comme d'habitude pour soutenir le site.

Quoi de neuf:

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Le Vivoactive 4 est, comme on pourrait le supposer, une progression de la gamme Vivoactive. Cependant, il convient de noter que le Venu l'est également. Le Vivoactive 4 et le Venu partagent pratiquement toutes les fonctionnalités, les seuls aspects différenciants du Venu étant ceux qui sont spécifiquement pilotés par l'écran. Ainsi, des animations de meilleure qualité et des cadrans de montre de meilleure qualité sur le Venu que sur le Vivoactive 4. En discutant des fonctionnalités avec Garmin, il n'y a pas de fonctionnalités associées non affichées qui sont dans Venu qui ne sont pas dans Vivoactive 4, ou vice versa. .

L'autre chose à noter est qu'il y avait auparavant des éditions distinctes de la gamme Vivoactive – une pour la musique (par exemple Vivoactive 3 Music) et une pour la non-musique (Vivoactive 3); maintenant, tout est réuni sous un même parapluie avec de la musique – que vous ayez Venu ou Vivoactive 4. D'un autre côté, vous avez maintenant deux unités de tailles différentes, et les choses coûtent plus cher. Le prix est le suivant:

Prix ​​aux États-Unis:
Vivoactive 4 / 4S US Prix: 349 $
Venu: 399 $

Prix ​​de l'UE:
Vivoactive 4S: 279 € et 299 € selon les lunettes / boutons
Vivoactive 4: 299 € et 329 € selon les lunettes / boutons
Venu: 349 € & 379 € selon les lunettes / boutons

Cependant, nous avons déjà vu des fissures dans cette tarification. À Noël, les choses étaient tombées à 299 USD, et même en ce moment, elles sont à 25 $ de rabais et Venu à 50 $ de rabais. Je soupçonne que cela deviendra la nouvelle norme pour la majeure partie de 2020.

Avec cela, parlons de toutes les nouvelles offres par rapport au modèle précédent – le Vivoactive 3:

– Musique désormais standard: y compris Spotify, Amazon Music et Deezer
– Vivoactive 4 mesure 45 mm et comprend un écran tactile couleur
– Vivoactive 4S mesure 40 mm et comprend un écran tactile couleur
– Bouton secondaire ajouté sur le côté: utilisé pour les genoux, le dos et l'accès au menu
– Ajout du suivi de l'hydratation pour suivre manuellement l'apport de liquide avec un widget et une application
– Ajout de la perte de transpiration estimée après l'entraînement
– Taux de respiration ajouté pour les mesures de la journée et du sommeil (et certains types d'entraînement)
– Ajout d'exercices respiratoires (bien différent des simples fonctions de stress respiratoire)
– Ajout d'une fonctionnalité d'animation d'entraînement: pour la force, le cardio, le yoga, le pilates
– Ajout de nouvelles séances d'entraînement intégrées de yoga et de Pilates: comprend des animations étape par étape
– Ajout de la possibilité de concevoir des entraînements de yoga dans Garmin Connect: Complet avec des animations de pose étape par étape
– Ajout de la possibilité de concevoir des entraînements Pilates dans Garmin Connect: Complet avec des animations étape par étape
– Ajout de PulseOx pour le suivi de l'oxygène dans le sang 24 × 7
– Widget de statistiques de santé remanié semblable aux derniers modèles Fenix ​​/ Forerunner
– Passé au chipset GPS Sony comme le reste de la gamme d'unités Garmin 2019/2020
– Passé au capteur optique HR Garmin Elevate V3
– Autonomie de la batterie à 8 jours en veille pour le VA4 et 7 jours pour le VA4S, et 6 heures de GPS + Musique

Comme vous pouvez le voir, la grande majorité des nouvelles fonctionnalités de la montre sont beaucoup moins axées sur l'athlète de natation / vélo / course, ce qui est plus courant dans la gamme Forerunner et Fenix ​​de Garmin, et se concentrent plutôt sur un peu plus de l'athlète de style de vie qui peut être plus varié dans leur activité quotidienne – ce qui, pour être juste, a toujours été la force / cible de la gamme Vivoactive, car c'est au sein de cette famille.

De plus, comme indiqué, il existe deux tailles de Vivoactive 4 (les 4 et 4S), mais en termes de fonctionnalités, elles sont identiques.

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Bien que batterie, il existe quelques différences:

Mode Smartwatch (pas de GPS): 8 jours pour le VA4, 7 jours pour le VA4S
Temps GPS (sans musique): 18 heures pour le VA4, 15 heures pour le VA4S
Musique + Animations en force Workout + Workout: 4,5 heures sur le VA4, 3,5 heures sur le VA4S

Enfin, pour ceux qui ne sont pas familiers avec la gamme Vivo plus large, voici toutes les fonctionnalités de base présentes sur les deux Venu et Vivoactive 4:

– Suivi GPS des activités (pas de dépendance au téléphone)
– Suivi d'entraînement de divers sports, y compris la course à pied, le cyclisme, la natation en piscine, le ski, le golf, la salle de sport et bien d'autres (liste complète ci-dessous)
– Support d'entraînement structuré via des entraînements téléchargeables
– Intervalles rapides à la volée
– Prise en charge du calendrier de formation
– Capteur de fréquence cardiaque optique dans la montre
– Suivi 24 × 7 des marches, des escaliers, des calories et de la distance
– Notifications smartphone depuis iOS / Android
– Garmin Pay pour les paiements sans contact

Depuis leur sortie, pratiquement toutes les nouvelles fonctionnalités de santé / fitness Vivoactive 4 & Venu ont également fait leur chemin dans la gamme Fenix ​​6, et certaines aussi les FR945 et FR245. Comme cela est courant avec l'écosystème Garmin, je ne m'attendrais pas à ce que ces nouvelles fonctionnalités reviennent au Vivoactive 3. Bien sûr, des bits comme l'écran sont pilotés par le matériel. Cependant, je m'attendrais à ce que le Venu et le Vivoactive 4 restent largement verrouillés dans leurs mises à jour / fonctionnalités du firmware.

Déballage:

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Les Vivoactive 4 et 4S sont identiques du point de vue du déballage. Je vais donc parcourir les parties du Vivoactive 4 lentement, puis vider une pile de photos de la variante Vivoactive 4S à la fin. Semble juste, non?

La boîte du Vivoactive 4 suit le même design que… eh bien… essentiellement toutes les autres boîtes Garmin:

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Ouvrez-le et vous verrez le Vivoactive 4 se détendre à l'intérieur en vous regardant, plein d'espoir pour sa vie à venir. Bien sûr, vous allez probablement battre la merde avec toute cette sportivité que vous prévoyez.

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Dans la boîte, vous avez exactement quatre choses:

1) La montre
2) Le câble de chargement / synchronisation USB
3) Un guide de démarrage rapide papier que vous ignorerez
4) Une carte de garantie que vous ne lirez pas non plus

Voyez, voici la photo de famille:

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Voici le dos du Vivoactive 4. Il y a un petit autocollant de numéro de série sur cette photo. Cela n'a duré qu'une semaine ou deux.

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Et voici le câble de charge. Il s'agit du même câble de charge utilisé sur la plupart des appareils portables Garmin ces dernières années.

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Et enfin, voici le poids de la montre. Le Vivoactive 4 arrive à 51g:

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Et voici les Vivoactive 4 et Vivoactive 4S côte à côte:

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Oh, et une galerie de déballage rapide du Vivoactive 4S:

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Vous avez tout ça? Bon, commençons à l'utiliser!

Les bases:

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Si vous recherchez un aperçu complet de l'interface utilisateur, appuyez simplement sur le bouton Lecture ci-dessous. Je passe par tout, des bases du suivi d'activité aux séances de yoga guidées en passant par la musique et les paiements. Et bien plus encore.

Mais, si les vidéos ne vous intéressent pas – pas de soucis, je suis toujours là pour vous. Commençons par les cadrans de la montre. Comme toutes les montres Garmin, vous pouvez personnaliser ces cadrans à partir d'une pile de modèles préchargés, ou vous pouvez télécharger des modèles tiers, ou créer votre propre cadran (comme à partir d'une photo).

Pour télécharger des cadrans de montre personnalisés, téléchargez simplement l'application Connect IQ, qui accède à la boutique d'applications Connect IQ. Cela inclut non seulement les cadrans de montre, mais également les applications et les champs de données pour le Vivoactive 4:

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La Vivoactive 4 est une montre toujours active, ce qui signifie que l'écran ne s'éteint jamais. Bien que cela fonctionne comme toutes les montres Garmin, à l'exception du Venu (et même avec une option toujours active), ce n'est pas aussi courant dans le monde plus large de la smartwatch. Donc, je voulais juste le souligner. Dans ce mode, la durée de vie de la batterie est revendiquée à «jusqu'à 8 jours» pour le Vivoactive 4 et à 7 jours pour le Vivoactive 4s. Je dirais que les choses sont à peu près dans ce stade, étant donné que j'ai une utilisation quotidienne de l'entraînement qui diminuerait cela. Étant donné que c'est l'hiver et que je fais moins d'activités GPS en plein air et plus d'entraînements en intérieur, la durée de vie de ma batterie est légèrement biaisée, mais je passe la majeure partie de la semaine sur une seule charge avec des entraînements quotidiens d'environ 1 heure et environ 1-2 de ceux-ci sont à l'extérieur avec GPS. Je le fais habituellement environ 5, peut-être 6 jours, sur une seule charge.

Les paramètres de rétroéclairage auront un impact, qui sont personnalisables dans le menu des paramètres. Cela inclut des choses comme lever pour se réveiller (pour activer le rétro-éclairage). Cependant, l'écran est parfaitement visible sans rétro-éclairage dans toutes les conditions, sauf dans une pièce noire. Fwiw, le rétro-éclairage de l'écran est aussi brillant que possible, et je l'ai utilisé presque tous les soirs pour changer la couche d'un bébé à 4 heures du matin dans une pièce sans lumière. Bienvenue dans mon monde.

Revenons un peu à l'interface de base – c'est un écran tactile, mais avec le Vivoactive 4, ils ont ajouté un bouton secondaire. Je trouve que les deux boutons décalent une énorme mise à niveau. Je n'ai jamais été fan de la conception de boutons singuliers. Mais les deux boutons sont parfaits pour leur usage, en particulier dans le sport (pour avoir un bouton dédié tour / marche / arrêt).

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Depuis le cadran principal de la montre, vous pouvez faire glisser votre doigt vers le haut / bas dans ce que l'on appelle les widgets. Ces widgets affichent toutes sortes d'informations sur la santé et la forme physique (et vous pouvez également télécharger celles de tiers). Ils fournissent également un accès rapide à des applications comme Spotify. Par exemple, voici celui de Garmin Health Stats, qui vous permet de voir des choses comme la fréquence cardiaque, le stress, la batterie corporelle et la fréquence respiratoire en un coup d'œil:

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Ou le widget "Ma journée", qui résume la plupart de vos mesures de base de fitness:

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Vous pouvez voir comment chacun des statuts est plus détaillé une fois que vous appuyez dessus:

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Quoi qu'il en soit, revenons aux bases et aux nouvelles fonctionnalités. Il y a la nouvelle fonctionnalité de suivi de l'hydratation. La façon dont cela fonctionne est que vous définissez trois «récipients» (ou tasses, comme vous les voyez), et chacun de ces conteneurs est essentiellement personnalisé. Ainsi, la tasse n ° 1 pourrait être une bouteille de 18 oz, la tasse n ° 2 pourrait être une tasse de 8 oz et la tasse n ° 3 pourrait être tout ce que vous voulez. Chaque fois que vous appuyez sur cette tasse, elle ajoute automatiquement la quantité appropriée de liquide suivi. Vraisemblablement, c'est de l'eau, mais peut-être que vous allez faire une longue tournée de bars, ce pourrait être de la bière.

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Tout cela peut être personnalisé en métrique au lieu de tasses, soit dit en passant. Et vous pouvez ajouter de l'eau dans Garmin Connect Mobile et elle devrait fusionner (pour l'instant, cela ne fonctionne pas pour moi). Le but de tout cela est en grande partie le suivi de l'eau. Pour ceux qui essaient de perdre du poids, l'une des meilleures façons de soutenir c'est de boire beaucoup d'eau (pour diverses raisons sur lesquelles Google peut vous aider). Vous verrez la progression de votre objectif (tel que défini dans les paramètres de l'application) à l'extérieur, et une petite animation lorsque vous l'atteindrez. S'il est configuré, le Vivoactive 4 vous rappellera toutes les 2 heures (10h, 12h, 14h, etc.) pour enregistrer la quantité que vous avez bu.

Garmin s'approche de cette fonctionnalité un peu comme la fonctionnalité de suivi menstruel féminin qu'ils ont ajoutée au printemps dernier en ce qu'il s'agit techniquement d'un widget Connect IQ qui est préchargé sur les montres Venu / Vivoactive 4, mais nous l'avons déjà vu s'étendre à d'autres montres.

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Ensuite, il y a les nouvelles fonctionnalités de respiration. Maintenant, contrairement aux fonctionnalités typiques de «respiration lente et expiratoire» que nous avons vues sur diverses montres, il s'agit d'un niveau de respiration complètement différent, souvent appelé respiration consciente.

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C'est ici que vous pouvez choisir une technique de respiration spécifique:

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Et puis il vous guidera à travers, avec le compte à rebours se déplaçant lentement vers l'intérieur et vers l'extérieur pendant que les anneaux:

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Maintenant, dans certaines activités, vous obtiendrez également les nouvelles données de fréquence respiratoire. La nouvelle fonction de fréquence respiratoire ne ne pas nécessite une sangle de fréquence cardiaque et travaille constamment en arrière-plan dans le capteur optique de fréquence cardiaque pour mesurer la fréquence respiratoire (essentiellement, la fréquence respiratoire). Vous pouvez le voir sur un widget dédié sur la montre – y compris les tendances au cours des 7 derniers jours:

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Et voici les données de Garmin Connect Mobile:

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Les Vivoactive 4 et Venu ont également la mesure PulseOx, rejoignant la liste croissante des montres Garmin qui ont la capacité. Vous pouvez le basculer pour mesurer automatiquement 24 × 7, juste en veille, ou uniquement sur demande:

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Comme pour mes expériences passées avec cela, je prendrais cela avec un grain de sel. Cependant, si vous prenez des mesures, vous devez à peu près suivre exactement ce qui serait fait dans un environnement médical: le garder bien ajusté, assis et ne pas bouger. Gardez également à l’esprit qu’il s’agit d’un chalumeau à batterie. Si vous l'allumez, vous augmenterez considérablement la fréquence de rechargement de la montre.

Ensuite, il y a le suivi du sommeil. Cela fonctionne automatiquement dans les coulisses de votre montre. Vous ne verrez pas les données sur la montre, mais plutôt sur Garmin Connect Mobile / Web. Je trouve que c'est généralement assez bon pour moi, même en ayant un nouveau-né à la maison qui me tient debout à toutes les heures étranges de la nuit. Cependant, je trouve que parfois, si je me lève à 6 heures du matin, puis que je me rendors encore une heure jusqu'à 7 heures du matin, il ne rattrapera pas toujours ce dernier morceau s'il est super court et que la qualité du sommeil n'est pas bonne. Mais, dans l’ensemble, c’est un critère parfaitement fin pour moi.

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Notez que je n'ai aucun moyen de juger tous les bits de sommeil profond / léger. Je l'ignore donc surtout. Tout comme Garmin ignore totalement les siestes. Malheureusement, il n'a aucun moyen de prendre en compte les siestes – elles ne comptent donc nulle part. En outre, ces rares 10 heures étaient dues à un glorieux décalage horaire de vol d'Europe vers l'Australie et retour.

Au-delà de ces fonctionnalités, vous disposez de notifications intelligentes, comme sur les anciennes montres Garmin. Notez que la montre ne se limite pas aux messages texte. Vous obtiendrez tout ce que vous avez configuré sur votre smartphone pour les notifications. Vous pouvez voir une variété de notifications ici ainsi que certaines de YouTube:

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Enfin, il y a aussi la synchronisation du calendrier – qui se synchronise automatiquement avec la montre à partir des calendriers que vous avez configurés. Tout comme la météo. Tous sont dans la galerie de widgets un peu plus tôt.

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Oh, attendez – encore une chose – voici une immense galerie de nombreux widgets. Il y a plus que cela, mais c'est ce que j'ai configuré sur ma montre à l'époque:

Maintenant que nous avons couvert pratiquement toutes les bases, c'est le domaine du sport!

Utilisation sportive:

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Dans la section précédente, j'ai parlé de nombreuses fonctionnalités de santé comme l'hydratation, le travail de la respiration et le suivi des activités, mais pour cette section, je vais glisser dans les éléments sportifs, y compris des éléments comme la course et les nouvelles animations liées aux types d'entraînement en salle. . Je vais d'abord couvrir ces nouvelles fonctionnalités, puis à partir de là, nous examinerons de plus près les modes sportifs pour les sports comme la course à pied, y compris le champ de données et les configurations des paramètres.

Nous allons commencer par les nouvelles animations d'entraînement. Ce concept n'est pas nouveau pour l'industrie, en fait Fitbit l'a fait il y a des années. L'idée étant de vous donner des conseils sur la façon de déplacer votre corps dans des positions pour certains types d'entraînement comme la force, le cardio, le yoga et le Pilates. Étant donné que ces types d'exercices sont plus susceptibles d'être mal effectués du point de vue de la forme corporelle, la pensée est de vous montrer exactement ce que vous devez faire pour chaque mouvement. En plus de cela, Garmin a inclus quelque 41 entraînements structurés différents entre ces catégories.

Pour commencer ce voyage, nous allons plonger dans le menu sport. C'est ici que vous pouvez choisir n'importe quel sport, que ce soit la course à pied ou le cyclisme, ou dans notre cas – Yoga:

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Ensuite, nous allons balayer vers le haut et choisir "Entraînements". C'est là que nous pouvons sélectionner l'une des routines d'entraînement pré-conservées. Tout comme une séance d'entraînement guidée dans votre studio local, moins tous les gens courbés autour de vous.

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Une fois que vous en avez sélectionné un, il spécifie et vous indique le nombre d'étapes. Dans ce cas, notre entraînement, «Réveillez-vous, dynamisez», comporte 77 étapes. Which sounds like a lot, but each time you do a pose that’s considered a step, so is any rest period between them. As well as any repeats. It goes by faster than you think.

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If we press to view one of the steps, we’ll see the number of seconds listed next to each one. You can see how at this pace things would go pretty quickly.

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However, if you tap one of those steps you’ll get a short animation showing you that specific pose:

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You can go through any of the steps if you want to ahead of time. Or you can just skip that and simply tap to start the workout. Which is what we’ll do. It’s at this point the timer starts, and it begins recording (including your heart rate behind the scenes). You’ll see that it shows a green circle around the outer edge of the watch, acting as a timer that slowly closes as the time completes.

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You can also swipe to the next screen to get a different style count-down timer clock. However, you’re essentially along for a ride here. When the time for that pose is up, it’ll vibrate your wrist and display the next pose/instructions.

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And finally, you can also display a normal data field layout, including your breathing rate and heart rate, as well as stress score.

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Both the stress and respiration rate data fields are new to Garmin with the Vivoactive 4/Venu lineup, and were specifically put in there for the Yoga activity. Of course, you can ignore this data during your session if you want. That’s because all the data is recorded, so once you finish your workout it’ll give you a workout summary that lists your poses, timings, and breathing rates.  Now the overall poses/animations concepts are essentially the same whether you’re in yoga, Pilates, cardio, or strength. Obviously the specifics for each workout are different, but the way the Garmin unit works is the same. With strength training, you’re also getting rep-specific information too.

However, where it really starts to get interesting is that you can create your own workout  from Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile:

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Note though that you won’t see any of the animations when you build your own workouts. So that’s a bit of a bummer.

From here let’s switch back to some traditional Garmin sport features. As you saw earlier, there are boatloads of sports to choose from. Even boat ones like rowing too. Many of these are customized to the specifics of the sport. For example, running is pretty straightforward, but something like downhill skiing/snowboarding will actually automatically count your runs and vertical, pausing correctly each time you take the lift back up.

To start a sport mode, from the main watch face you’ll simply tap the upper right button. You can then customize your favorites here, so that the ones you use most often are at the top of the list. In our case, we’re going to select Run by tapping it:

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Depending on the sport mode, it’ll start the GPS acquisition process. The GPS status is then shown at the top of the watch, and will go solid green once acquired. In most cases it’ll just take a few seconds to find GPS. In fact it downloads GPS pre-cache data from your phone to find satellites faster. It’ll also show any sensors you’ve got paired, as well as the status of the optical HR sensor:

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Oh, and sensor-wise it supports: heart rate, headphones, cycling speed/cadence, running footpod, Tempe (temperature sensor), ANT+ cycling lights, ANT+ cycling radar, as well as golfing club sensors. Note for most of those above it’ll support both the Bluetooth Smart & ANT+ variants of them.

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Back on the Run starting screen, you can swipe up from the bottom to go ahead and do a custom workout. These would be if you downloaded a workout from Garmin Connect or made one online or via the Garmin Connect Mobile smartphone app. In other words, if you made your own fancy interval workout, or have a training plan loaded (like a 5K/10K/etc plan, all of which Garmin has for free). Garmin also has pre-loaded a few individual workouts in here too.

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You can customize any of your sport screens.  You can do so within the settings on the watch itself (still not on phone app). You get three customizable screens, each with up to 4 data fields on them. You’ll also get a heart rate gauge screen too.

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You can further configure bits like auto lap (distance based), auto pause, auto scroll, and the GPS type (GPS/GPS+GLONASS/GPS+GALILEO):

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The Venu uses the same Sony chipset as every other Garmin watch released in 2019 (and every other watch released in the last year+ from Suunto, Polar, and COROS). We’ll get to GPS accuracy later.

With all that set, we’re ready to run. Simply press the upper right button again. Just pretty much like every other GPS watch out there it’ll show your running stats in real-time, including your pace, distance, time, heart rate, and any other metrics you’ve added.

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And here’s the heart rate gauge page:

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From a lap standpoint you’ve got both automatic laps (which you can define), or manual laps by pressing the lower right button to trigger a new lap. If you want to stop your workout (or start again), press the upper right button. Once you’ve paused the workout, then you’re given the option to save or discard it.

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If you choose to save it, it’ll show any PR’s and VO2Max changes first:

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Then it’ll show you the summary screen.  This screen has actually been updated considerably since the Vivoactive 4 launched. Now it shows both a breadcrumb outline of your run (like Garmin’s higher-end Fenix 6 & Forerunner 945 watches), but also shows a nifty heart rate chart of your run:

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After that, you’ll also get run totals, lap splits, and time in zone.

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Of course, all of this goodness is transmitted to Garmin Connect & Garmin Connect Mobile using WiFi or Bluetooth (depending on what’s in range). Then in the smartphone app you can pull up any of the stats for that workout:

It’s also on Garmin Connect online (website). Here’s an example of one, but you can click on this link to see the full thing and zoom around and such yourself.

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Atop that, if you’ve got an account on Strava, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks, or a pile of other apps – it’ll send the file immediately to them as well. It usually shows up within a few seconds of you finishing your activity. Here’s a run on Strava from the Vivoactive 4:

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Last but not least, there’s the newish Garmin Safety & Tracking features. These started rolling out last spring to Garmin watches, and are now baseline on most units including the Vivoactive 4 and Venu lineup. These are grouped into roughly two buckets:

– Incident Detection: If you crash your bike, or fall while running and walking (you can configure individually)
– Assistance Alerts: Will send an emergency alert to predefined contacts with your live GPS location

The assistance alerts are loosely based atop Garmin’s LiveTracking features, which are also available as well (so you can share your live location with friends/family each time you start a workout). Again, the main goal of assistance alerts is if you’re somewhere you feel unsafe and want to semi-discretely let someone know you may be in trouble – holding that upper right button for three seconds will start the alerting process. However, all of these require your cell phone to be within range (since it uses that for cellular connectivity).

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For the crash/incident detection, I’ve not yet had it false-trigger on the Vivoactive 4. I have had it false-trigger on the Venu once (in 3-4 months) and a few other units prior to that. The algorithm is looking for a high-g impact event followed by no movement (I was waiting for friends to catch-up). Still, you can simply cancel it within 20 seconds. For safety assistance alerts, you’ve only got 5 seconds though (those require holding it for 3 seconds though). Given it’s winter and I’m riding outdoors less, that’s probably why I haven’t seen much there.

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So about now you may be wondering how the Venu/Vivoactive 4 differs from a sports standpoint compared to something like the Forerunner 245/245 Music. The main thing is around the physiological tracking – so bits like training load or recovery, which aren’t tracked on the Vivoactive/Venu series. Additionally, there’s also course following (so the ability to follow a specific route navigationally).

However, inversely, the Venu/Vivoactive 4 actually has a barometric altimeter, while the FR245 doesn’t. A slightly odd quirk in Garmin’s watch hierarchy. In addition, the FR245 doesn’t have the advanced yoga, Pilates, or related animations either. In other words, it’s still a bit of a confusing mess to figure out which watch has which features.

Music:

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With all editions of the Vivoactive 4 containing music capabilities, that means you can pair it up to Bluetooth headphones (or even a Bluetooth speaker) and play back music or podcasts anywhere without a phone nearby. The Vivoactive 4 has 4GB of music storage on it (though slightly less usable space), and supports the following music streaming services for offline playback:

– Amazon Music
– Deezer
– Spotify

In addition, you can of course drag your own music files on there, as well as configure podcasts to download. Though, the podcasts bit is mostly a mess – since it requires you to connect to your computer. Instead, if you want podcasts, it’s better to do so within Spotify – which is what I do.

Everything else works great though. The Vivoactive 4, like most other 2019 watches from Garmin, are just so much better at music than older Garmin watches. And this is primarily a function of learning from the earlier Garmin music watches in 2018 – such as the older Vivoactive 3 Music. A lot of that was around hardware and antenna designs, but also the admission/realization that a huge chunk of people are using less than optimally designed headphones that simply needed to be accommodated for.

I’ve largely used mine with the AirPods or PowerBeats Pro, and dropouts are virtually unheard of.  For example, during yesterday’s track workout – not a single dropout with my PowerBeats Pro’s. Happy days.

To demonstrate the music bits, I’m gonna show Spotify since that’s what I use personally. But all the streaming services work pretty similarly within the Garmin framework (this is by design, and is why Garmin has more music streaming platforms on their wearables than anyone else – even Apple). First, you’ll get your account authorized. This is basically pairing your watch to Spotify. It only takes a second. After which you’ll be able to add new music from the watch. You’ll see you can choose from playlists, albums, podcasts, and playlists that were made for you or predefined by Spotify (such as workouts):

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Once you’ve selected something to download it’ll ask to sync the music via WiFi. This takes a bit of battery, so it’ll ask you to plug in your watch if under 50% battery. I keep wishing this threshold was lower, but it is what it is.

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Typically speaking you’re going to see download speeds at about 8-10 songs per minute. While not lightning fast, by the time you put on your running clothes or what-not, the watch is fully updated. And you certainly don’t have to update all the time, or really much ever. Just when you want new songs.

After download the music is available for you to play back with headphones. You can connect just about any Bluetooth headphones. In my case I largely just used the Beats PowerBeats Pro:

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You can pair multiple pairs of headphones as well if you’d like, which is kinda handy.

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From there you’ve got simple music controls on the watch, as well as from certain headphones that use standardized controls like volume up/down or skip track. There’s technically two ways to do this. The first is to simply swipe to the left mid-workout, which takes you into the more general widgets, which also has music. And the second (much longer) way is to long-hold the upper right button, getting you into the shortcuts menu and then accessing music there.

In any case, as noted I’m pretty happy with the music functionality on the Vivoactive 4 for my needs. No dropouts and access to Spotify, which is pretty much all I care about.

GPS Accuracy:

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There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS accuracy.  A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

Over the years, I’ve continued to tweak my GPS testing methodology.  For example, I try to not place two units next to each other on my wrists, as that can impact signal. If I do so, I’ll put a thin fabric spacer of about 1”/3cm between them (I didn’t do that on any of my Garmin Vivoactive 4 activities however, all workouts only had a single device per wrist).  But often I’ll simply carry other units by the straps, or attach them to the shoulder straps of my hydration backpack.  Plus, wearing multiple watches on the same wrist is well known to impact optical HR accuracy.

Next, as noted, I use just my daily training routes.  Using a single route over and over again isn’t really indicative of real-world conditions, it’s just indicative of one trail.  The workouts you see here are just my normal daily workouts.

I’ve had quite a bit of variety of terrain within the time period of my Garmin Vivoactive 4 testing.  This has included runs in: Amsterdam (Netherlands), French/Italian/Swiss Alps, Australia, Singapore, and Las Vegas.  Cities and mountains, trees and open-air, plus waterways and seas. It’s hit them all. For the most part though, I’m going to focus on the workouts in the last 4-5 weeks, since that’s the most current firmware versions and best represents what people should expect today.

First up we’ll start with something relatively easy, a run a few weeks ago in Adelaide, Australia. I say ‘easy’ because while there were some initial buildings, for the most part this route only had occasional trees and clear skies. The ending of the run did however have a tricky building section. Here’s that data set, starting off at the super high overview level:

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This comparison includes the Vivoactive 4 of course, but also the Polar Vantage V and Garmin FR945 for comparison. If we look at the start/ending points, you’ll see the right side of the track is reasonably good (also, the FR945 I mis-pressed the start button, so it started a couple mins later when I noticed). However, upon the return on the left side you can see the Vivoactive 4 ended up in the drink. Not substantially off, but this was a tricky point next to the building, and it seems to be incorrectly offset about a dozen meters into the water briefly. Not the end of the world, but worth noting.

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Mind you, the Polar Vantage V did nearly the same thing just seconds before. Albeit this time through some townhomes.

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Looking at the left side (the return), you’ll find the Vivoactive slightly offset from the path I was running on, just about 2-3 meters. Not massive of course, but notable.

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For the most part, the run was perfectly fine. However, if we zoom all the way to the top of the run, you can see where the offset started, when I made the turn back towards the beginning. It’s here that the unit offset itself for the remainder of the run by those few meters.

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But overall, you can see this didn’t appreciably change the distance much by itself. Compared to the Vantage V at 10.08km, it’s pretty similar. Note again that I started the FR945 late, hence why it’s a kilometer short.

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Next, let’s increment things again, to a track workout from this past Sunday. In this case a track workout in southern Amsterdam, but also inclusive of running to/from that location – which, turned out to be the most complex part of it. Ironic, given that track workouts are typically one of the most difficult things for a GPS watch to get right (due to the constant turning nature of it). Here’s that data set at a high level:

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Let’s work through this one starting at the track. That’s usually where things go wrong. Here’s all three watches overlaid atop the track:

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A couple of things to note (if you click to expand), is where the lines aren’t on the track. I basically followed the road in, yet the Vivoactive 4 and Garmin FR945 didn’t. They decided to cross the drainage ditch. Amazingly, the Apple Watch Series 5 actually got this right – which…is…unusual.

To make it clearer, I’ve changed the Vivoactive 4 to yellow below, and then got rid of the rest of the watches:

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You can see quite clearly that it totally fumbled the ball coming in/out of the track. I entered/exited in the upper right corner precisely the same way each time, right onto the extended zone on the track. Whereas the Vivoactive 4 thought I was on the football field next door. You’ll also see that accuracy-wise things are mostly within the track the entire time, but on the western edge, I often touched the trees. I was in Lane 1 the entire time however.

For comparison, here’s what the Apple Watch Series 5 on the other wrist looked like:

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I’m pretty sure that makes that fairly clear.

Now, getting to/from the track varied. On the way in, things were kinda all over the map, with the Apple Watch mostly being the most correct.

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Whereas on the way out, all three watches decided it was worth their while to stick together as a pack. The lines were spot-on there.

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Now, let’s talk about the start/ending of this route. It’s a mess. And nobody is spared, but the Vivoactive 4 clearly takes the cake for the biggest mess. It’s drunk, and out in the water. I changed it to pink here to make it easier to see than the yellow. Sorry for this color wheel confusion:

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The FR945 and Apple Watch Series 5 mostly stuck together on the return. Whereas on the way out the FR945 was most correct and the Apple Watch Series 5 was off in the buildings.

At the end of the day, some of this meandering cost the Vivoactive 4 some distance:

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But as always, using total distance in this scenario is a bit dangerous/messy, because something can undercut one area and overshoot another and be the same distance.

However, it’s not all bad news. For example, take this run in Singapore a bit over a week ago. The Vivoactive 4 did perfectly fine there:

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Even as I ran under the massive and sprawling building arches that extended over the running path for hundreds of meters, it nailed these sections perfectly:

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And again, I’m under the arches of this building, and the Vivoactive 4 was spot-on:

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All the units got slightly confused for a brief moment when I went entirely underground, but the Vivoactive 4 did just fine. And all units were spot-on perfect heading over the bridge:

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And distance-wise, things were pretty similar too:

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Finally, let’s look at a cycling activity up in the woods. I typically don’t see many issues on road bike riding, but it’s always fun to check anyway. Here’s that data set:

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The ‘city’ portions of this were perfectly fine. So I’m going to ignore that. Instead, let’s talk about the mountains. Here’s the initial climb up. This was relatively slow, because, well, it’s a steep climb. But, all the units were spot-on:

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And once up in the mountains and staying on relative flats, things were good too. But instead, let’s dig into the high-speed curving descents. These were at 30-40MPH and often were twisting. On a relatively tame section, things were pretty good:

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However, there was one spot where the Vivoactive 4 missed the turn signal apparently, seen in purple below:

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You will note however that the Polar Vantage V also skipped a turn or two there, just before the Vivoactive 4 did. But otherwise, beyond that one tiny spot, it was perfectly fine.

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Distance-wise these are fairly similar, but there’s no knowing exactly which one is correct:

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So – what’s the summary here?

Well, it’s a mixed bag. For those wanting super high precision, the Vivoactive 4 doesn’t seem to offer it. Sure, I’ve got some perfectly fine runs. But for every perfectly fine run, I’ve got a not-so-hot run to counter it. I could go one for one back and forth. Undoubtedly, no watch is perfect, but for whatever reason, I seemed to get better results out of the near-identical Garmin Venu than Vivoactive 4. Given we’re over 5 months since the release of this watch, and all these samples are on the latest firmware, largely in the last two weeks – I’m less optimistic this is an easy fix for some of these issues.

Still, I suspect it may not matter to many people. Some of my GPS issues are me nit-picking. Which, is what I do. You can decide for yourself whether or not it meets your needs.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Heart Rate Accuracy:

Next up we’ve got heart rate accuracy.  This roughly falls into two buckets: 24×7 HR, and workout HR.  As is usually the case with most devices these days, I see no tangible issues with 24×7 HR.  It works well across both normal daily routines as well as things like sleep.  Speaking of which, I talk about RHR values and 24×7 monitoring here and why it’s interesting.

Garmin-Connect-Vivoactive4-Daily-HR" width="357" height="770" border="0" src="https://media.dcrainmaker.com/images/2020/02/Garmin-Connect-Vivoactive4-Daily-HR_thumb.png"/><noscript><img style= GarminConnect-Vivoactive4-MonthlyHR" width="357" height="770" border="0" src="https://media.dcrainmaker.com/images/2020/02/GarminConnect-Vivoactive4-MonthlyHR_thumb.png"/><noscript><img style=

Before we move on to the test results, note that optical HR sensor accuracy is rather varied from individual to individual.  Aspects such as skin color, hair density, and position can impact accuracy.  Position, and how the band is worn, are *the most important* pieces.  A unit with an optical HR sensor should be snug.  It doesn’t need to leave marks, but you shouldn’t be able to slide a finger under the band (at least during workouts).  You can wear it a tiny bit looser the rest of the day.

Ok, so in my testing, I simply use the watch throughout my normal workouts.  Those workouts include a wide variety of intensities and conditions, making them great for accuracy testing.  I’ve got steady runs, interval workouts on both bike and running, as well as swimming – though, I didn’t focus on optical HR accuracy there.

For each test, I’m wearing additional devices, usually 3-4 in total, which capture data from other sensors.  Typically I’d wear a chest strap (usually the Garmin HRM-DUAL or Wahoo TICKR X, but also recently the Polar H9) as well as another optical HR sensor watch on the other wrist (lately the Polar OH1 Plus, as well as the new Mio Pod). Note that the numbers you see in the upper right corner are *not* the averages, but rather just the exact point my mouse is sitting over.  Note all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer, details here.

We’re going to start with something simple here first – a relatively straightforward 5KM run with not a lot of variability. This is compared against an HRM-DUAL chest strap, a Polar OH1 optical HR sensor, and the Polar Vantage V optical sensor. Here’s that data set:

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As you can see above, for the most part it’s pretty close. However, the first 4 minutes is accented with a number of offsets. Initially you’ve got a bit of a slower ramp from the Vivoactive 4. That’s not unusual, and is really only lag of a few seconds. However around the 90-second marker we see some splitting again, going a bit lower, which is shown more dramatically at the 4-minute marker being about 10BPM low.

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It however corrects itself and is perfectly fine the rest of the run.

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And again, while I dislike averages, you can see that the earlier differences had negligible impact on the run averages (Note the FR945 is showing the HRM-DUAL chest strap data):

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So let’s make things more difficult. Straight up outdoor track intervals. No need to mess around here, let’s go for broke. Here’s that data set, compared against an Apple Watch Series 5 and Polar H9 chest strap:

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This workout shows approximately a 14-minute warm-up/build, followed by 5x800m and then 4x200m intervals. The Vivoactive 4 is in purple, and as you can see, it’s actually pretty darn good for the most part. Not perfect, but likely more than acceptable in most people’s minds.

Let’s look at the 800m intervals specifically more closely:

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Here we see that while very close, there is a bit of separation between the Vivoactive 4 during the build and recovery of each hard effort. It’s not much, and you’d likely never notice it out on a track without comparative data. Essentially, it’s lagging by a couple of seconds. In the first interval it lagged by slightly more than I would accept, however for all the remaining intervals we’re only talking a few seconds of difference. This is actually a pretty good result for Garmin’s Elevate sensor. Also, we see that virtually all of the early Apple Watch Series 5 teething pains with their optical HR sensor are gone now.

Next there’s the 200m intervals. Well, technically they were 30-second sprints. Either way, the pace for these is about 5:00/mile, so cookin’ along. There’s 90 seconds of recovery between each one. In this case you’re mostly seeing the HR catch-up towards the end of each interval. That’s just normal for how your body reacts to this. Still, what we see here is that the Vivoactive 4 did the first one fine (build), but then struggled on the 2nd one quit a bit. The third one also has significant lag, but the 4th interval is pretty much spot on.

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It’s almost as if the Vivoactive 4 was…err…warming-up. Still, in this scenario nobody is using heart rate to pace 30-second intervals. It’s just not practical due to HR as an indicator lagging given the shortness of it. So this is more about post-run analytics.

Next, let’s look at an indoor bike workout. I’ve done a lot of indoor bike workouts over the last two months. And the trend I see tends to be about 80% of the time aligned to this first result, and about 20% of the time aligned to the second result. Here’s the first indoor bike example:

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As you can see, the Vivoactive 4 is drunk. Yes, it’s roughly on the same ‘highway’, but it’s all over the place. Totally loses the plot. And for this workout I’m not doing anything crazy – I’m just pedaling. This is a pattern I’ve repeatedly seen with the Vivoactive 4 on indoor cycling workouts, and is honestly unlike anything I’ve seen from Garmin previously. To validate these I’ve even got two totally different units sourced on two totally different continents months apart – both show the same patterns.

However, about 20% of the time I get something like below, which is better but not great. This workout was separated just two days from the above workout and on the exact same watch. There’s only the Polar H9 shown here as a secondary example, but that’s good enough to see that it’s better than above – though still wobbly:

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And again, another indoor bike workout with a crapton of different sensors, and only the Vivoactive 4 was drunk:

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So what about outside cycling? Glad you asked, here’s that data set:

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This was down in Australia on a ‘fun’ ride up into the hills/mountains and back again. You can see how the first 2/3rds has higher heart rates as we climb and pedal harder, then a short break at the top to check out the view, followed by lower heart rates as we descend. The purple of the Vivoactive 4 seems to stick out the most above, showing you where it’s offset from others. But let’s zoom in to a few of the climbing portions:

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You can see above that, for the most part, the different sensors are fairly close. However, there are a few drops around the 1:02 marker where the Vivoactive 4 is considerably off-beat from the rest. That massive climb in HR to 185 or so is when the grade painfully goes to 20% (on a road bike). It sucked. I suspect those two dips are when I’m holding tighter on the handlebars and that causes strain for the optical HR sensor. Whereas other climbing portions are mostly fine, albeit still with some little spikes on the Vivoactive (drops more accurately):

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As for descending, the Vivoactive 4 was a solid mess there. The Polar Vantage V was roughly in the ballpark with the Garmin HRM-DUAL and MioPod sensors, but the Vivoactive 4 basically flat-lined and gave up on life:

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This isn’t super unusual per se for wrist-based sensors during vibration-laden descents, but again, the Polar sensor here had no issues on my other wrist.

So ultimately, the Vivoactive 4 optical HR accuracy seems a bit mixed. On easier scenarios (which is any form of indoor cycling) it seems to fumble the most. Heck, even during some running warm-ups it fumbles a bit. Yet for harder scenarios like the 800m intervals, it actually does fairly well, which matches what I saw with other track workouts too. For outdoor cycling, it shows the occasional dips/spikes that we see indoors, albeit at less frequency. It did have trouble descending.

So again, like GPS, you’ll have to decide whether it fits your requirements or not. If you’re just looking for ballpark accuracy, for running it seemed mostly OK there. Whereas for cycling it struggled more than I typically see for Garmin’s Elevate sensor.

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Garmin Vivoactive 4 into the product comparison database, allowing you to compare it against other products that I’ve reviewed in the past.  For the purposes of below I’ve compared it against the Apple Watch Series 5, Fitbit Ionic, and Samsung Galaxy Active Watch 2 –  which are the ones most people will be comparing it against from a sports/fitness standpoint.

Note that with all these watches – but especially the Apple Watch, there are many cases below where “with 3rd party apps” can be used.  The same is largely true of Garmin, Samsung, and somewhat with Fitbit.  But the Apple Watch tends to offload more core fitness functionality to 3rd party apps than the others. I’ve tried to thread the needle of apps that I roughly know exist where I’ve listed that.  But it’s not perfection in terms of knowing every app on earth.  Ultimately, I don’t think any consumer does (or should). Plus, we’ve actually seen a pulling back of wearable apps from companies over the last year (basically, they stop updating them). Making it even harder to know an up to date app from a dysfunctional one dying on the vine.

Finally, I didn’t add the Garmin Venu into this set, because honestly the features as seen below are identical between the Vivoactive & Venu, save the differences in battery life due to the differences in display. So, here’s my two-second thoughts on the display differences:

The Garmin Venu display is by far the best display Garmin has made to date. It’s not Apple Watch level display, but it looks really damn good. After three months of daily Garmin Venu wearing, I ‘went down’ to the Vivoactive 4 for these last few months. And I’ll readily admit the first day it was like ‘Ugh.’ But after that first day, it became the new normal and didn’t bother me. And in fact, without a Venu display side by side, it seems quite nice to me. Plus, I get more days battery out of it – which is handy.

Ok, onto the full chart:

Function/Feature Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Copyright DC Rainmaker – Updated February 6th, 2020 @ 8:07 amNew Window
Prix $399/$499 (cellular) $229 349 $ 199 $
Product Announcement Date Sept 10th, 2019 Aug 28th, 2017 Sept 5th, 2019 Feb 20th, 2019
Actual Availability/Shipping Date Sept 20st, 2019 Oct 1st, 2017 Sept 5th, 2019 Mar 9th, 2019
GPS Recording Functionality Oui Oui Oui Oui
Data Transfer Bluetooth Smart Bluetooth Smart USB, BLUETOOTH SMART, WiFi Bluetooth Smart
Waterproofing 50m 50m 50 meters 50 meters
Battery Life (GPS) 6hrs GPS on time (18hrs standby) 10 heures 18 hours GPS Undeclared (claims 45hrs non-GPS)
Recording Interval Varie 1-second 1s or Smart Recording 1-second for GPS, 1-minute for HR
Satellite Pre-Loading via Computer Yes via phone Oui Oui Oui
Quick Satellite Reception Most times Great Great Oui
Alertes Vibration/Audio/Visual Visual/Vibrate Vibrate/Visual Vibrate/Visual
Backlight Greatness Great Great Great Great
Ability to download custom apps to unit/device Oui Oui Oui Oui
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc…) Oui Oui Oui YEs
La musique Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Can control phone music Oui Oui Oui Oui
Has music storage and playback Oui Oui Oui Oui
Streaming Services Apple Music Pandora, Deezer Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer Spotify
Paiements Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Contactless-NFC Payments Oui Oui Oui Yes (but only with Samsung phone)
Connectivité Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to Phone Non Non Non Non
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone Uploading Oui Oui Oui Oui
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc…) Oui Oui Oui Oui
Live Tracking (streaming location to website) With 3rd party apps Non Oui Non
Group tracking Non Non Non Non
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts) Oui Non Oui Non
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required) Yes (with cellular version) Non Non Non
Cycling Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Designed for cycling Oui Oui Oui Oui
Power Meter Capable Non Non With some Connect IQ apps Non
Speed/Cadence Sensor Capable Non Non Oui Non
Strava segments live on device Non Non Non Non
Crash detection Yes via 'Fall Detection' Non Oui Non
Fonctionnement Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Designed for running Oui Oui Oui Oui
Footpod Capable (For treadmills) With 3rd party apps No (but has treadmill functionality) Oui With 3rd party apps
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc…) Non Non Non Non
Running Power With 3rd party apps Non Non Non
VO2Max Estimation Oui Yes via app Oui Non
Race Predictor Non Non Non Non
Recovery Advisor Non Non Non Non
Run/Walk Mode With 3rd party apps Non Oui With 3rd party apps
Nager Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Designed for swimming Oui Oui Oui Oui
Openwater swimming mode YEs Non Non Oui
Lap/Indoor Distance Tracking Oui Oui Oui Oui
Record HR underwater Oui Non Oui Oui
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.) Basic stroke type only Non Non Non
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.) Basic stroke type only Oui Oui Oui
Indoor Drill Mode Non Non Non Non
Indoor auto-pause feature Oui Non Non Non
Change pool size Oui Oui Oui Oui
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths 1y/m to 1,500y/m+ 10m/y-100m/y 13M/15Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fields Very limited Oui Oui
Can change yards to meters Oui Oui Oui Oui
Captures per length data – indoors Oui Oui Oui
Indoor Alerts Yes (goals) Yes (distance) Oui Non
Triathlon Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Designed for triathlon Not really Non Non Non
Multisport mode Oui Non Non Sorta (can combine sports manually)
Workouts Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Create/Follow custom workouts With 3rd party apps No (Premium Coached only) Oui Non
On-unit interval Feature With 3rd party apps Non Sorta Non
Training Calendar Functionality With 3rd party apps Non Oui Non
Les fonctions Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Auto Start/Stop Oui Oui Oui Oui
Virtual Partner Feature Sorta (Pacing feature) Non Non Pace guidance only
Virtual Racer Feature Non Non Non Non
Records PR's – Personal Records (diff than history) Non Non Oui Non
Day to day watch ability Oui Oui Oui Oui
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean Data Non Non Non Non
Tidal Tables (Tide Information) Non Non Non Non
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting) Non Non Non Non
Geocaching Non Non Non Non
Weather Display (live data) Oui Oui Oui Oui
Naviguer Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints) With 3rd party apps Non No (but some 3rd party apps can) Non
Markers/Waypoint Direction With 3rd party apps Non Non Non
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS) With 3rd party apps Non Non Non
Back to start With 3rd party apps Non YEs Non
Impromptu Round Trip Route Creation With 3rd party apps Non Non Non
Download courses/routes from phone to unit With 3rd party apps Non NON 3rd party apps
Capteurs Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Altimeter Type Barometric Barometric Barometric Barometric
Compass Type Magnetic N / A Magnetic N / A
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internally Oui Oui Oui Oui
Pulse Oximetry (aka Pulse Ox) Non Oui Non
Heart Rate Strap Compatible Oui Non Oui 3rd Party Apps only
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap Capable Non Non YEs Non
ANT+ Speed/Cadence Capable non Non Oui Non
ANT+ Footpod Capable Non Non Oui Non
ANT+ Power Meter Capable Non Non Non non
ANT+ Weight Scale Capable Non Non Non nO
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym) Non Non Non non
ANT+ Lighting Control Non Non Oui non
ANT+ Bike Radar Integration Non Non Oui Non
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C) Non Non Non Non
ANT+ Remote Control Non Non No (Yes for VIRB camera control) Non
ANT+ eBike Compatibility Non Non Non Non
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX) Non Non non Non
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP) Non Non Non nO
Shimano Di2 Shifting Non Non Non Non
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap Capable Oui Non YEs 3rd party apps only
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Capable Non Non Oui Non
Bluetooth Smart Footpod Capable Non Non Oui 3rd party apps only
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Capable Non Non Non Non
Temp Recording (internal sensor) Non Non Non Oui
Temp Recording (external sensor) Non Non Oui Non
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools Non N / A Non
Logiciel Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
PC Application Aucun PC/Mac Garmin Express Non
Web Application Aucun Oui Garmin Connect Non
Phone App iOS only iOS/Android/Windows iOS/Android/Windows iOS/Android (iOS is limited though)
Ability to Export Settings Non Non Non Non
Purchase Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Amazon Link Link Link Link Link
Clever Training – Save with the VIP program N / A Link Link N / A
DCRainmaker Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Ionic Garmin Vivoactive 4 Samsung Galaxy Active
Review Link Link Link Link Link

And again – don’t forget you can make your own product comparison charts comparing any products using the product comparison database.

Sommaire:

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Overall the Vivoactive 4 is a solid upgrade over the Vivoactive 3, if for no other reason than the darn second button. Plus of course the music in all models and the other health bits. But really, that button. It might sound silly to those unfamiliar with sports watches, but the user interface is greatly improved when you’ve got two distinct and quick confirmation and back buttons. Many watches have this feature alongside their touch screens.

Now while the new health features are handy, I can’t imagine they’ll be a significant enough draw for existing Vivoactive 3 users. But if you’ve got an older Vivoactive, or perhaps are coming from a different watch – then they might just tip the scales. Or, perhaps it’s Spotify and Amazon Music offline support. Or just being a sport-first watch.

However, within that context it’s not perfect. I’ve found the optical HR accuracy a bit mixed. Oddly it seems to perform better in tougher conditions for me, but has oft struggled in easier conditions. For example, it handles indoor and outdoor running intervals breezily, yet fumbled over itself for relatively benign indoor spin/trainer workouts with minimal movement/intensity. For GPS, it was the same mixed bag as the heart rate was. Definitely not the best Garmin watch accuracy-wise I’ve seen in the last 12 months.

Lastly, is price. As I’ve said since the beginning – the Vivoactive 4 at $349 is overpriced compared to the competition (or even compared to Garmin), especially for less athletic focused folks where a $199 Apple Watch is probably a better all-round option. But I think Garmin sees that too. They dropped the price to $299 during the holidays, and it’s back at that again right now. To me that’s still a bit pricey but is a fair price and I suspect we’ll see it stay there.

Finally, the Vivoactive 4 feels more polished than past Garmin Vivoactive attempts. It feels less plastic-looking, primarily due to bezel design. I’ve been surprised at how many asked what the watch is (since it has no branding on it), liking the looks of it. Between the apparent looks, and the actual underlying functionality – overall it’s a solid option for a fitness/sport focused person.

Vous avez trouvé cet avis utile? Or just want a good deal? Voici comment:

J'espère que vous avez trouvé cet avis utile. À la fin de la journée, je suis un athlète comme vous qui cherche le plus de détails possible sur un nouvel achat – donc mon avis est écrit du point de vue de la façon dont j'ai utilisé l'appareil. Les critiques prennent généralement beaucoup d'heures à assembler, donc c'est un peu de travail (et de travail d'amour). Comme vous l'avez probablement remarqué en regardant ci-dessous, je prends également le temps de répondre à toutes les questions posées dans les commentaires – et il y a également pas mal de détails.

Je me suis associé à Clever Training pour offrir à tous les lecteurs DC Rainmaker des avantages exclusifs sur tous les produits achetés. En rejoignant le programme VIP Clever Training, vous gagnerez 10% de points sur cet article et 10% de réduction (instantanément) sur des milliers d'autres produits et accessoires de fitness. Les points peuvent être utilisés lors de votre tout prochain achat chez Clever Training pour tout ce qui concerne l'ensemble du site. Vous pouvez en savoir plus sur les détails ici. En vous joignant, vous soutenez non seulement le site (et tout le travail que je fais ici) – mais vous profitez également des avantages de partenariat importants qui sont réservés aux lecteurs de DC Rainmaker. And, since this item is more than $79, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 GPS Watch
Garmin Vivoactive 4S GPS Watch (select from dropdown)
Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger GPS Watch
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga GPS Watch (Star Wars)
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Captain Marvel GPS Watch
Garmin HRM-DUAL (dual ANT+/Bluetooth HR strap – review here)

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.