Garmin Vivofit 4: An In-Depth Review [Updated 2018]
- Editor Rating
- Rated 3 stars
- Garmin Vivofit 4
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Heart Rate functionalityEditor: 0%
- Activity Tracking featuresEditor: 85%
- Running functionsEditor: 35%
- Fitness monitoring featuresEditor: 70%
- Ease of UseEditor: 95%
- Battery LifeEditor: 99%
If you’re in the market for an entry level activity tracker / fitness band then this new Garmin Vivofit 4 should be on your short list.
A key feature of the Vivofit 4 is the use of a removable coincell battery – no more messing about with charging cables.
The range of Vivofit models includingthe Vivofit 4’s predecessor, the Vivofit 3 & the Vivofit Jr, all come with a coincell battery installed. With normal use, expect to get a minimum of 1 year from this battery.
When the battery is depleted either self change the CR1632 battery yourself (easily done) or pay a jeweller to do it for you. This review of the Vivofit 4 has been brought to you by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic
Released – January 2018
Product it Replaced – Garmin Vivofit 3
Price at launch – $79 / £69
Who’s it For?
The Garmin Vivofit 4 is for anyone seeking a smart & discrete fitness tracker with time of day, smartphone connectivity (App support) and all the essential activity tracking functions. Like most fitness trackers it will keep track of daily steps and calories burnt plus estimated distance.
The Garmin Vivofit 4 features Garmin’s popular “move bar” – a useful tool at promoting activity throughout the day. An attractive feature of the Vivofit 4 is the internal coincell battery – assuring the user of 1 year charging free use. The Vivofit 4 is further enhanced by the brilliant Garmin Connect App.
The Vivofit 4 is an entry level activity tracker that will count steps, calories and distance, plus, it monitors your sleep duration and quality.
Like the models before it will synchronise with an iOs or Android phone via the Garmin Connect APP. The Vivofit 4 also features Garmin’s Move IQ software that automatically understands when you are running, cycling or swimming.
And don’t forget the red MOVE bar along the top informing you of extended periods of inactivity…
What it does NOT do ….
The Vivofit 4 does NOT feature smartphone notifications (incoming call alerts etc) – although it does feature “Find My Phone” and a weather forecast app (data gathered via phone connection)
If you want heart rate monitoring, it is not for you either. Neither does it have a built-in GPS. It’s a simple activity tracker for those who aren’t overly bothered with smartphone connectivity, don’t need accurate speed and distance feedback and do NOT want off the wrist heart rate.
Pros & Cons
Next model UP
The next model up from the Vivofit 4 is either the Vivosmart 3 with built-in heart rate or the brilliant Vivosport (Top Fitness Tracker of 2018) with built-in heart rate sensors and a discrete GPS chip. The Vivosmart & Vivosport series offer far more smartphone functionality including music control, incoming call / message alerts, find my phone and more.
These superior models also include built-in barometric pressure sensor providing “floors climbed” feedback as well as horizontal steps and distance etc.
For those interested in a holistic approach, the Vivosmart 3 and Vivosport also feature breathing exercises, VO2 Max and Fitness age score.
- Garmin Vivosmart 3 review – wrist based HR and much more – new in 2017. Features in the best fitness trackers 2018
- Garmin Vivosport review – with built in Heart Rate sensors and a GPS for accurate speed and distance monitoring
Next model DOWN
The Vivofit range are Garmin’s entry level fitness trackers. The next model down from this Vivofit 4 is the previous model, the Vivofit 3. For those looking for something different, try the Vivomove & Vivomove HR with ANALOGUE hands, more like a traditional watch.
For the youngsters in the family there is also the Vivofit Jr, similar features but attractive junior styling supported by an FUN application.
If you want to take advantage of Garmin’s Toe to Toe challenge, your children must be using the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
- Garmin Vivofit 3 Review – predecessor to this model – originally released March 2016
- Garmin Vivofit Jr Review – with kids styling and a motivational / fun smartphone APP
- Garmin Vivomove Review – with traditional analogue hands and round metal case. A “proper watch”
- Garmin Vivomove HR Review – with traditional analogue hands, hybrid display and off the wrist heart rate
Alternative products from competitive bands with the closest functionality are the Fitbit Alta HR or the Fitbit Charge 2 with enhanced functionality.
- Fitbit Alta HR Review – small and stylish, let down a little by it’s OLED display
- Fitbit Charge 2 Review – the best value for money Fitbit fitness tracker
Challenge your Children – Toe to Toe
The Vivofit 4 comes with the new Toe-to-Toe feature. This fun new feature allows you to challenge your kids to a step competition. It can wirelessly connect to your child’s nearby Vivofit Jr 2 or even another Vivofit 4.
Everything is controlled directly from the wrist, and once the competition is over, you’ll both see the total number of steps during the one-on-one challenge and find out who triumphed
Connect to the App – Garmin Connect (iOS / Android)
the Garmin Vivofit 4 will wirelessly transmit your daily activity data over a secure Bluetooth connection to the Garmin Connect app installed on your iOs or Android device. The Garmin Connect™ app makes it easier than ever to #beatyesterday.
All your statistics are available in on the bold and clear activity cards. Compare today’s totals to past results – more detailed information is just a tap away.
Activities and other health measurements recorded by your device are presented in vivid detail. And the data you see is customised just for you and the way you move, without all the filler.
The product has only been available for a very short time.
So, is it any good, or is the Vivofit 4 a rare flop from Garmin.
We’re awarding the Garmin Vivofit 4 an acceptable, but not stunning 3/5 Star review rating.
A majority of the negative reviews are related to water ingress from swimming and showering and other terminal reliability matters.
Functionally, for those looking for an entry level fitness tracker, it’s perfect. However, Garmin do need to work on the reliability of the unit both from a software and hardware perspective.
Would CardioCritic buy one?
In all honesty,currently (January 2018) I’d buy the more functional and better received Garmin Vivosmart 3 (with Heart Rate and smartphone alerts). Alternatively, it’s worth checking for discounts on the the predecessor – the Vivofit 3