The Garmin Vivoactive 3 was released two years ago, so it's been in dire need of an upgrade for a while now. The new Vivoactive 4 and Venu are here to answer those prayers. These two Garmin wearables might have different names, but don't be fooled. They offer nearly all the same features and functionalities. You'll be happy to know that both of the new smartwatches are a major step up from the Vivoactive 3. If you're not sure whether to choose the Garmin Vivoactive 4 or the Venu, it'll come down to aesthetics and battery life.
More similar than not
You'll find many similarities between the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Venu. In fact, the only true difference between these two new wearables is the display and, subsequently, the battery life. The Venu offers a gorgeous AMOLED display while the Vivoactive 4 offers a basic transflective display. Additionally, the Vivoactive 4 is available in 45mm along with a smaller 40mm form factor known as the Vivoactive 4S. You'll only be able to get the Garmin Venu in one size, which is 43mm. Other than these few factors, they might as well be the same watch.
|Garmin Vivoactive 4||Garmin Venu|
|Dimensions||45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm||43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm|
260 x 260 pixels
390 x 390 pixels
|Sensors||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometer||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate™ wrist
heart rate monitor,
altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer,
|Battery||Smartwatch mode: 8 days
GPS with music: 6 hours
|Smartwatch mode: 5 days
GPS with music: 6 hours
|Connectivity||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®|
|Water-resistant||5 ATM||5 ATM|
As far as battery life is concerned, you'll be able to squeeze eight days out of the Vivoactive 4 in smartwatch mode. It'll be six hours when in GPS and music mode. The Vivoactive 4S is smaller and therefore has a smaller battery, so it goes down to seven days in smartwatch mode. You'll get a total of five hours in GPS and music mode.
As we mentioned earlier, the Garmin Venu boasts a new AMOLED display, which is a joy to look at it. Naturally, you'll have to sacrifice some battery life for this level of beauty. The Venu provides five days of battery in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS and music mode.
Both The Vivoactive 4 and the Venu come with built-in GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, Garmin Pay, music storage, and smartphone notifications. You'll have access to more than 20 built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps including running, cycling, pool swimming, Pilates, yoga, golf, and more. There are also new features to help you slow down and recenter, namely the structured breathwork activities that are designed to promote focus and relaxation.
An essential feature on some other Garmin fitness smartwatches, the Vivoactive 4 and Venu 4 now come with a Pulse Ox sensor that monitors blood oxygen saturation levels. There's also respiration tracking for monitoring the number of breaths you take per minute. When you combine these two features, you'll have access to more insightful sleep data. You'll also be able to log daily water intake with the hydration tracking feature.
You'll also have Body Battery™ Energy monitoring, which is an innovative feature that allows you to view your energy levels throughout the day through the gathering of data from sleep, stress, activity, and heart rate variability (HRV). This will be instrumental in determining when to schedule workouts and rest time based on your energy levels.
There are many different ways to pick an exercise with these watches, too. Whether you choose one of the preloaded sports apps, the preset workouts from Garmin Connect, training plans from Garmin Coach, or you'd prefer to create customizable workouts, there's no shortage of options here.
Finally, the Vivoactive 4 and the Venu both bring an exciting new feature that will come in handy for fitness enthusiasts. You'll have more than 40 on-screen animated workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. This means you can easily follow along on your watch as the animation demonstrates proper form and technique for your workout.
Which should you choose?
The only way these smartwatches differ is in their display, battery life, and size options. While these are some important specs to consider when choosing a wearable, you'll likely be more interested in what it offers in terms of tracking and features. Both the Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S and the Garmin Venu are equipped with over 20 pre-loaded sports apps, on-screen workouts, heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and many more.
If you're partial to an AMOLED display with your smartwatches and you don't mind paying a little more for it, you'll be drawn to the Venu. While this also means slightly shorter battery life, it might just be worth it for a sharper, brighter screen.
However, the best option for most people we think will be the Vivoactive 4 or 4S. You have two different size options with the Vivoactive 4 and 4S while the Venu only offers a single size. The lack of an AMOLED display is disappointing, but in exchange, you get better battery life and a more affordable price tag.
Regardless of what your preferences are, both of these Garmin smartwatches are going to provide you with superior fitness tracking, more insightful sleep monitoring, breathwork activities, music storage, and more.
Tons of new features
Do it all and then some
In addition to your basic fitness tracking, the Vivoactive 4 offers other helpful features, like Pulse Ox, Body Battery, respiration and hydration tracking, and on-screen workouts.
Nw features plus AMOLED
Do it all with a lovely display
If you liked all of the features that were mentioned here, you can get them on the Venu as well. What's more, you'll have a gorgeous AMOLED display to go with it.
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