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Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Garmin Vivosport: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Charge 4 (Image credit: Fitbit)

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

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The Fitbit Charge 4 is the latest addition to the company's fitness tracker lineup. It's designed with in-depth activity and health tracking in mind, so you get every detail regarding your health easily. You'll also enjoy built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and seven days of battery life.

Fitbit Charge 4

Endless details

Onboard GPS with 20+ exercise modes
Heart-rate monitoring
Mobile payments
Spotify Connect & Control
Seven-day battery life
Slightly more expensive
Larger body

Garmin Vivosport

Garmin Vivosport

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If you want accurate fitness tracking but don't have a deep desire for extras, you might prefer something a bit more simplistic like the Garmin Vivosport. You'll still have the essentials, like built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and more.

Garmin Vivosport

For casual athletes

Onboard GPS
Heart-rate monitoring
Music controls
Always-on color display
Seven-day battery life
More affordable
Less appealing design

Whether you don't want to spend a fortune on a smartwatch or you prefer to keep your wearables small and lightweight, fitness trackers are a great option. They can still monitor your activity and progress but won't cost an arm and a leg. Two options to consider are the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Garmin Vivosport. Both of these devices come from reputable brands that are known for their high-quality product offerings. You get similar sets of features with a few important differences that should help you decide.

New and improved

Fitbit's newest release is the Charge 4, so it has the newest features and upgrades. It not only has built-in GPS but also comes with mobile payments via Fitbit Pay, Spotify music controls, and the new Active Zone Minutes feature. Without a doubt, this is the best tracker for detail-oriented users who want all the details. The Garmin Vivosport has been on the market for nearly three years now, so it's not as new as the Charge 4. However, it still has essential features like activity and sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and built-in GPS.

Fitbit Charge 4Garmin Vivosport
Display.76-inch Garmin Chroma Display1-inch grayscale OLED
Water resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Battery life7 days
5 hours in GPS mode
7 days
8 hours in GPS mode
Onboard GPS✔️✔️
NFC payments✔️
Music controls✔️✔️
Heart-rate monitoring✔️✔️

There's a lot to say about the Fitbit Charge 4, which is largely due to just how many features you get. Some of the key benefits include GPS, automatic activity tracking, 20+ exercise modes, advanced sleep monitoring, a Cardio Fitness Score, 24/7 heart rate tracking, female health-tracking, guided breathing sessions, and smartphone notifications. Users can also look forward to a new software update that will add the "smart wake" feature, which uses machine learning to find the ideal time to wake you up in the morning.

There's a lot to say about the Fitbit Charge 4, which is largely due to just how many features you get.

The Fitbit Charge 4 has some amazing new perks, like Spotify Connect & Control, so you can control your Spotify tunes from your wrist. Another new feature is Active Zone Minutes, which uses the heart rate sensor to ensure you have an optimal workout. It calculates fat burn, cardio, and heart rate zones so you can earn credit when you get your heart pumping. The goal is to provide more in-depth tracking while offering a new personalized standard to work toward.

Simplicity has its perks

Garmin Vivosport

Source: Garmin PIctured: Garmin Vivosport (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

The Garmin Vivosport may not be the newest fitness tracker out there, but it was definitely ahead of its time when it was first released. This compact device has an always-on color display while still offering up to seven days of battery life, although that figure drops down to eight hours when you're in GPS mode. Speaking of GPS, this is a built-in feature on the Vivosport, so you won't have to keep your phone with you during workouts. It offers standard music controls, which does require your phone to be nearby.

Garmin has done a nice job of filling the Vivosport with the essentials.

As far as activity and sleep tracking, Garmin did a nice job of filling the Vivosport with the essentials. You have heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, cardio and strength training, stress tracking, as well as activity profiles for walking, running, and cycling. Your information will automatically be uploaded to Garmin Connect, which includes an online fitness community where you can connect with others.

Bottom line

The good news is that you can't go wrong with either of these trackers. They're both great picks at affordable price points. Plus, you get many impressive features without breaking the bank or having to commit to a smartwatch. Whether you prefer a lightweight tracker that won't weigh you down during workouts or you're simply not a fan of smartwatches, the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Garmin Vivosport are ideal alternatives.

If you want the latest and greatest tracker on the market that's built to provide you with detailed information on your health and fitness, the Fitbit Charge 4 is the way to go. If you're content with a broader activity tracking experience and don't have a need for mobile payments, the Garmin Vivosport is a fine choice.

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.