Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Venu: Which should you buy?

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Venu: Many similarities

If you're trying to find an Android smartwatch that offers plenty of health/fitness tracking features and other perks, you might find yourself choosing between the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Venu. These two wearables might have different names, but they offer nearly all the same features and functionalities. If you're unsure whether to choose the Garmin Vivoactive 4 or the Venu, your decision will likely come down to aesthetics and battery life.

We feel confident that most people will benefit from the Garmin Vivoactive 4, thanks to its superior battery life and two different size options. However, if you're more interested in a watch with attractive design elements, the Venu might be a more suitable choice. Other than these minor differences, these two Android smartwatches are nearly identical.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Venu: Design, display, and battery life

Garmin Vivoactive 4 yoga mode

Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central Pictured: Vivoactive 4 (Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)

You'll find many similarities between the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Venu. In fact, the only true difference between these two wearables is the display, size, and battery life. The Venu offers a gorgeous AMOLED display, while the Vivoactive 4 provides a basic sunlight-visible, transflective display. If you want options when it comes to your watch size, you'll be happy to know the Vivoactive 4 is available in a 45mm case along with a smaller 40mm option, which is also known as the Vivoactive 4S.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Garmin Vivoactive 4Garmin Venu
Dimensions45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8mm40 x 40 x 12.7mm43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4mm
Display1.3-inch transflective, 260x2601.1-inch transflective, 218x2181.2-inch AMOLED, 390x390
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, HRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometerGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, HRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometer
BatterySmartwatch mode: 8 days (45mm)Smartwatch mode: 7 days (40mm)Smartwatch mode: 5 day
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Water-resistant5 ATM5 ATM
AMOLED display✔️
Two sizes✔️
Garmin Pay✔️✔️
Music storage✔️✔️
On-screen workouts✔️✔️

The Garmin Venu is only available in one size, which is 43mm. Other than these few factors, they might as well be the same watch. Both of these watches are compatible with quick-release bands, so it's easy to find a variety of third-party options for your wearable. Garmin Venu bands come in the 20mm size while Garmin Vivoactive 4 bands come in the 22mm size. If you opt for the smaller 4S model, you'll need to look for 18mm bands.

You'll have longer battery life with the Vivoactive 4.

You'll have longer battery life with the Vivoactive 4. In smartwatch mode, you'll be able to squeeze up to eight days out of the larger Vivoactive 4 model. 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 and five hours in GPS and music mode. All things considered, this is still excellent battery life for a smartwatch that's packed with so many features.

As we mentioned earlier, the Garmin Venu boasts a crisp AMOLED display, which is truly a joy to look at it. So naturally, you'll have to sacrifice some battery life for this level of brilliance and beauty. The Venu provides up to five days of battery in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS and music mode. It's a bit less than the Vivoactive 4, but still much better than most competitors on the market these days.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Venu: Premium features all around

Garmin Venu

Source: Garmin Pictured: Garmin Venu (Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Venu both have 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, and golf. You can slow down and recenter with the structured breathwork activities that are designed to help promote focus and relaxation.

You'll also have Body Battery Energy monitoring, an innovative feature that shows you your energy levels throughout the day by gathering 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.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Venu both have a Pulse Ox sensor.

The Pulse Ox sensor monitors blood oxygen saturation levels, an essential feature found on many other Garmin smartwatches. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Venu both have a Pulse Ox sensor. There's also respiration tracking that monitors the number of breaths you take per minute.

There are many different ways to select an exercise with these watches, too. Whether you choose one of the pre-loaded 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, which is great for versatile athletes who want to switch up their routine now and then.

Finally, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Venu both offer an innovative feature that will come in handy for fitness enthusiasts. You'll have access to over 40 on-screen animated workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. You can easily follow along on your watch as the animation demonstrates your workout's proper form and technique.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Venu: Which should you buy?

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central (Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)

The only way these two fitness smartwatches differ is in their display, battery life, and size options. While these are some important specs to consider when choosing a wearable, most users will likely be more interested in tracking features and other extra perks. The Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S and the Venu are both equipped with built-in GPS, over 20 pre-loaded sports apps, on-screen workouts, heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and many more.

When it comes down to it, the Vivoactive 4/4S will likely be the best option for most people. After all, when comparing the Garmin VIvoactive 4 and 3, you'll notice the successor offers many upgrades and improvements. You also get two size options with the Vivoactive 4/4S, while the Venu only offers one size. The lack of an AMOLED display on the Vivoactive 4 may be disappointing, but you get longer battery life in exchange.

It's also worth mentioning that the newer (and more expensive) Garmin Venu 2/2S models offer some great upgrades in terms of health/fitness tracking. You get two size options and more advanced features, so it might be a better option for some users. The newest release in the lineup is the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, which also comes in a 43mm case. However, this premium model has a built-in microphone, so you can use voice assistants and take calls.

Regardless of your preferences, both the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Venu are great smartwatches that will provide you with superior fitness tracking, more insightful sleep monitoring, breathwork activities, music storage, and more. If you're focused on fashion and prefer a lifestyle watch, go with the Venu. If you prefer a more basic design geared toward fitness enthusiasts, choose the Vivoactive 4 instead.

Courtney Lynch

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.