When the newly-released Fitbit Charge 4 faced off against Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 in our previous comparison article, we weren’t able to crown a clear winner based on the fact that both units are quite different in the sense that one is a fitness tracker and the other is a smartwatch.
Today, however, the Fitbit Charge 4 is squaring off against one of Garmin’s consummate activity trackers, Garmin’s Vivosmart 4, so we’ll certainly have a victor ludorum by the end of this article. Grab something to sip on and prepare for the Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Garmin Vivosmart 4 rumble.
Fitbit Charge 4 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4 – Short Answer:
While it does have a lot to offer, we feel like the Garmin Vivosmart 4 falls short compared to the Fitbit Charge 4. There are some trade-offs that you’ll have to make if you opt for either one, but you’ll be compromising less if you decide to purchase the Fitbit Charge 4.
Fitbit Charge 4 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4 – Specs Comparison:
|Product||Weight||Display Size||Display Type||Resolution||Battery Life|
|Charge 4||30g||42.7 x 28.8mm||OLED||100 x 160||7 Days|
|Vivosmart 4||17g||17.7 x 6.60mm||OLED||48 x 128||7 Days|
Fitbit Charge 4 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4 – Full Comparison:
If you’re still reading, it means that you’re looking for more than just a quick answer. This section will compare various facets of both fitness trackers, which will help you make a sound decision.
1. Style and Design
The design differences between the Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosmart 4 are striking, to say the least, but both devices look like traditional fitness trackers, so you don’t have to worry about either one of them being mistaken for a smartwatch. But the two aren’t similar whatsoever.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is quite larger and therefore heavier than the Vivosmart 4, as it measures in at 30 grams, compared to the Vivo’s 17g construction. Garmin’s device is exceptionally slim and lightweight, which makes it an ideal pick for women, whereas Charge 4 looks more masculine.
Both units share a rubberized, water-resistant design that consists of an aluminum casing and a silicone strap. This combination grants both units their lightness in contrast to devices that boast steel casing. In terms of durability, both devices are capable of handling some serious knocks.
One of the main design differences between the two units is the bands. Fitbit’s Charge 4 comes with two bands that you can choose from depending on the size of your wrist. The only decision you need to make with regards to band selection is choosing the colors that appeal to you.
The Garmin Vivosmart 4, on the other hand, is available in two sizes that you have to pick from: small/medium and large. In other words, with the Vivosmart 4, you’ll need to measure your wrist in order to ensure optimal sizing, whereas, with the Fitbit Charge 4, that won’t be necessary.
Another angle that you need to take into consideration is that Fitbit Charge 4 allows you to swap the band if you ever get bored of the way it looks, and you have a broad selection to select from. This isn’t the case with the Vivosmart 4, though. You’re stuck with what you purchase.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 4
2. Display Screen
Both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosmart 4 share an OLED grayscale touchscreen with a resolution of 100 x 150 and 48 x 128, respectively. As far as display specs, the Fitbit Charge 4 has a 42.7 x 28.8mm screen, whereas the Vivosmart 4’s screen is quite limited at 17.7 x 6.6mm.
We don’t like our screens to be so big that they add extra weight, but the Vivosmart’s display is just too small for us. And if you’re someone that has eyesight issues, the Vivosmart won’t be fun to deal with. Charge 4’s screen, on the other hand, is commodious and easier to interact with.
With both devices, you have to raise your wrist or tap on the screen in order for it to switch on. It also switches on whenever you receive a notification. Both devices also feature buttons for ease of navigation. Charge 4’s button is on the side, whereas Vivosmart’s button is below the screen.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 4
3. Device Navigation
When it comes to navigation and responsiveness, both devices are excellent. You don’t have to worry about either one of them giving you a hard time whenever you attempt to launch the apps. The navigation button equipped on both devices makes the navigation process even easier.
However, due to its smaller display, you might encounter a lot of tapping issues with the Garmin Vivosmart 4. This issue isn’t present in Fitbit’s Charge 4, thanks to its more commodious screen. For that reason alone, we have to give the win to the Fitbit Charge 4 over the Vivosmart 4.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 4
4. Featured Sensors
We’ve already mentioned that there are some trade-offs that you need to make whether you opt for the Fitbit or the Garmin, and one of those trade-offs are sensors. Considering how both units are designed mainly for activity tracking, you’re going to find a lot of basic sensors in the two.
However, with Fitbit’s Charge 4, you get built-in GPS and NFC, which are two functions that are lacking in the Vivosmart 4. What it does offer, however, is the Pulse Ox sensor, which monitors blood oxygen levels, which is something that the Fitbit Charge 4 cannot provide.
|Sensor||Fitbit Charge 4||Garmin Vivosmart 4|
|Optical Heart Rate Tracker||Yes||Yes|
|Pulse OX||No (Offers SpO2)||Yes|
We champion the Fitbit Charge 4’s GPS and NFC more than we value the Garmin Vivosmart 4’s
Pulse Ox feature and ANT+ connectivity, especially when the Fitbit Charge 4 is equipped with a SpO2 sensor, but that may not be the case for you, so pick the one that suits you the most.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 4
5. Apps and Notifications
With either of the two activity trackers we’re discussing today, you don’t have to worry about not staying connected, as they both allow you to receive smart notifications. Both devices also allow you to respond using preset text responses, but that option is available for Android only.
As far as software and apps, both devices boast a rich and integrated ecosystem. However, the approach that Fitbit takes with its software is simplistic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re into tons and tons of stats, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is definitely the way to go.
It’s also worth pointing out that both units allow you to control the music on your phone. But with the Fitbit Charge 4, you need to have a Spotify Premium account in order to access this feature, which isn’t something that we’re fond of. But if you have an account, you’ll find it very useful.
Winner: Garmin Vivosmart 4
6. Health and Fitness
This is by far the most important section of this article, so you may want to pay close attention to what we have to see. Both the Charge and Vivosmart are designed primarily for fitness tracking, so they share a lot of the same features and do a great job of covering all of the basics.
Both units are capable of keeping tabs on distance, steps, floors climbing, sleep, and heart rate, and more. However, each one of these devices boasts a few distinct features that help set them apart like the Pulse Ox sensor with the Vivosmart and Active Zone Minutes with the Charge.
The Pulse Ox function present in the Garmin Vivosmart 4 allows you to keep tabs on your blood oxygen levels. The Charge 4’s Active Zone Minutes function allows you to arrange personalized workout results by alerting you whenever you reach the desired heart rate zone.
The Active Zone Minutes functionality defines the heart rate zones based on the information that it amasses from fat burn, cardio, and peak heart rate metrics. Not only that, but the Fitbit Charge 4 offers the Workout Intensity Map feature where the defined heart rate zones are recorded.
Another thing that you must be aware of, especially if you’re a female, is that the Fitbit Charge 4 offers female health tracking. Garmin offers a Menstrual Cycle Tracking feature that you can get from the Connect IQ store, but sadly, this function isn’t compatible with the Vivosmart 4.
Garmin also has a couple tricks up its sleeve, with the 24/7 stress tracking and the Body Battery energy monitoring functions. Both functions work in unison to alarm you when it’s a good time to destress, train hard, or take a day off. All in all, both units offer remarkable fitness tracking.
7. Battery Lifespan
When it comes to battery life, there really isn’t much to discuss, considering that both units boast similar battery lives. You’ll be able to go up to a week with whichever unit you choose. However, keep in mind that with the Charge 4’s GPS feature enabled, it’ll last you for about 5 hours.
Both fitness trackers aren’t priced that far apart from each other, with the Fitbit Charge 4 starting at $150 and the Garmin Vivosmart 4 valued at $130. But considering how the Charge 4 seems to offer a lot more than the Vivosmart 4, we’re not mad at the fact that it costs an additional $20.
Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Garmin Vivosmart 4: Pros & Cons:
1. Fitbit Charge 4
- Larger display screen
- Built-in GPS and NFC
- Female health tracking
- Actives zone minutes
- Has swappable bands
- Lacks color display
- Same Charge 3 design
2. Garmin Vivosmart 4
- Superb fitness tracking
- Boasts Pulse Ox sensor
- Has ANT+ connectivity
- Super lightweight design
- Excellent battery lifespan
- Lacks GPS and NFC
- Very limited screen size
Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Garmin Vivosmart 4: Final Thoughts
To sum up this entire article, we’ll just say that both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosmart 4 have a lot to offer and that it all boils down to your personal preference. In our opinion, the Fitbit Charge 4 is the superior unit because of its larger display and additional built-in features.
However, we’d like to remind you that the Garmin Vivosmart 4 has some bells and whistles that aren’t present in the Charge 4 like ANT+ connectivity and Body Battery energy tracking function, so it’s not by any means an inferior fitness tracker. Which unit do you think is the best?