Garmin Vivofit 4 Review: Is It Up to The Mark in 2020?

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There are a lot of cheap fitness trackers available to buy, but often the cheap tag means getting fewer features. That’s still the case with Garmin’s new vívofit 4, but this product aims to bridge the gap between budget wearables and the other $100-plus devices out there.

The vívofit 3 was among well known fitness trackers in 2017. May be the vívofit 4 a worthy successor? Let’s find out.

Garmin vívofit 4 review notes: Our first vívofit 4 review unit had a bug that could stop these devices from counting steps. Our second review unit has already established no such issues.

I’ve been using the Garmin vívofit 4 as my main fitness tracker for roughly fourteen days. The Google Pixel 2 XL has been my smartphone companion of preference throughout this review.

Design


What goes on when you take among the finest fitness trackers in the marketplace and put in a new color display, all-day stress tracking, weight training, and more in a thinner form factor? You get the vívosport, …

Garmin has done a fairly good job at making the vívofit 4 appear to be the company’s pricier fitness trackers, just like the vívosmart 3 or vívosport. The vívofit 4 is slim, measuring just 11 mm thick and 23 mm wide – slightly wider than its predecessor. It’s light, too, at only 25 grams. I often experienced your day without realizing it’s still on my wrist, which is very important to a fitness tracker.

Among the big distinctions in design between your vívofit 3 and 4 may be the bump up to a more substantial, color screen. The vívofit 4 includes a slightly larger 11 x 11 mm display (the 3’s was 10 x 10 mm). The vívofit 4’s screen includes a backlight too, that can be fired up by pressing and holding the physical button for approximately a second.

The display is simple to read outdoors, though it really is difficult to learn in average-low light when you’re inside if the backlight isn’t fired up. It feels just a little odd the backlight doesn’t start when you click on the button, but that’s probably to keep that battery taking a full year.

The included strap is comfortable enough to continue your wrist all day long, though it feels more plasticky compared to the vívosport’s strap. In addition, it includes a standard watch-style clasp this time around – likely a welcome change for all those upgrading from any other vívofit model.

You can purchase the vívofit 4 in three different color options – black, white, or black/lime green speckle. All three of these bands can be bought separately for $19.99 a bit, or you can spring for both pack of merlot and navy speckle bands for $29.99.

Features and performance


The vívofit 4 costs $80 – $60 significantly less than the vívosmart 3 and $120 significantly less than the vívosport. Having less a GPS and a heartrate monitor means it isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely an attractive device for many who just need the fundamentals.

It’ll track your steps taken, calories burned, sleep, and distance traveled, although insufficient a GPS means you won’t get hyper-accurate distance data.

The best heartrate monitors and watches (November 2019)
Your heart rate can be an essential metric with regards to leading a wholesome lifestyle and increasing your fitness training. Thankfully, tracking your heartrate is pretty easy, because so many activity trackers and smartwatches come …

Normally lacking a heartrate sensor will be okay. Previous vívofit models allowed you to hook up to an external heartrate sensor because of ANT+ connectivity. For reasons uknown Garmin didn’t think it is essential to include ANT+ support with the vívofit 4, which is fairly frankly a shame. Heartrate sensor connectivity made the vívofit line stick out from other similarly priced trackers, and today it’s gone. This alone helps it be difficult to recommend over your competition.

Garmin says moving to a color display and including more features included in the software made the business worried about the volume of code space open to support ANT+ connectivity. A Garmin representative told Android Authority it may be added back “later on.” We sure hope this feature returns with the vívofit 5.

The vívofit 4 supports Garmin’s wonderful programmed activity recognition feature, Move IQ. Which means you won’t have to manually start a task before your workout. It auto-detects pursuits like walking, running, biking, using an elliptical, and swimming, though it won’t track your swims – you’ll have to spring for a far more expensive device if you need lap/speed data.

Even though it includes a rating of 5 ATM, the vívofit 4 won’t track your swims – you will have to spring for a far more expensive device if you need lap/speed data.

If you’re just considering the vívofit 4 as a pedometer, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s great a tracking steps. Directly after we received our second review unit, the vívofit 4 could match the vívosport and Fitbit Charge 2 regarding step count accuracy.

An added useful feature may be the move bar. During the day, the vívofit 4’s colored move bar fills up and notifies you when you’re stationary for too much time. Walking around for some minutes will clear the move bar, or you can change these notifications off in the event that you don’t desire to be bugged during the day.

During exercise, the vívofit 4 monitors your steps taken, total exercise time, and calories burned. It will demonstrate distance, pace, and speed information but these metrics derive from accelerometer data, so they’re not likely to be as accurate as you may like. Still, the actual fact that these devices attempts to supply these metrics can help give users an over-all idea on the performance level.

The vívofit 4’s accelerometer was hit and miss throughout our testing period, nonetheless it was mostly a miss. It often overshot distance and speed by a whole lot. I took a three-mile operate on the treadmill and kept a reliable pace of 7.8 mph. In the screenshots below, you’ll start to see the vívofit 4 recorded my distance as 2.57 miles, my best pace as 2:30 minute/mile, and my max speed as 23.9 mph!

Sleep tracking ranges from mostly accurate to wildly inaccurate, according to what you’re doing prior to going to bed. Periodically the vívofit 4 recognized I was reading in the living room before bed, and didn’t record that I was sleeping. Other times I wasn’t so lucky. Watching Netflix before bed led to the vívofit 4 entering sleep mode, this means it appeared as if I slept 12 hours multiple nights in a row. A whole lot worse, at that time that I was watching Netflix, these devices recorded that I was in deep sleep mode – not light sleep.

Garmin Connect records your sleep levels and movement through the entire night, and just how much of your sleep was deep, light, and in the event that you were awake. The iphone app offers weekly sleep trend graphs, though they’re not displayed in an exceedingly helpful fashion. We much choose the line graphs Fitbit’s iphone app offers.

Luckily you can transform mis-recorded sleep and activity

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