Everything you need and more

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm)

Lifestyle and fitness combined

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

If you want a fitness-focused watch that comes with endless perks, you'll appreciate the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. You get optional LTE, GPS, activity and sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, ECG, Samsung Pay, and music storage.

From $199 at Amazon

Pros

  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Activity, sleep, and stress tracking
  • ECG and blood pressure monitoring
  • Running Coach

Cons

  • Shorter battery life
  • New model coming soon

Those who are searching for a fitness watch that offers plenty of lifestyle features should look no further than the Garmin Vivoactive 4. You get GPS, activity and sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Garmin Pay, music storage, and more.

From $257 at Amazon

Pros

  • Onboard GPS
  • Activity, sleep, and stress tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Pulse Ox and Body Battery
  • On-screen workouts

Cons

  • No LTE connectivity
  • No ECG or blood pressure monitoring

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Different experiences

Choosing between the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 can be tough, especially because they both happen to be some of the best Android smartwatches you can buy. You want to feel confident that you're buying a wearable that will meet your needs, so you should take some time to compare the two.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is ideal for users who want a lifestyle smartwatch that can handle casual fitness tracking. Those who want a more connected experience will prefer the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. The major difference in features is that this watch offers optional LTE connectivity. You also get more advanced health and fitness features, which is a bonus for active individuals who want to closely track their metrics.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a blend of fitness and lifestyle features

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central

Most people will be happy to learn that the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is available in two sizes: 45mm and a smaller 40mm, also known as the 4S model. Keep in mind that size and battery life are the only differences between the two models. The color options vary depending on the model. The smaller 4S comes in Light Gold, Rose Gold, Slate, and Silver. The standard Vivoactive 4, on the other hand, is only available in Slate and Silver. Fortunately, you'll have multiple third-party options to pick from when browsing for Garmin Vivoactive 4 bands, so you can choose your preferred material and style.

Both of these Garmin smartwatches offer a sunlight-visible, transflective display. You get two side buttons that make it easier to navigate through menus. The upper right button is used for selecting, starting, and stopping. The lower right button is used for going back to the previous menu and lapping during workouts.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 Vivoactive 4
Display 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED 1.1" or 1.3" transflective
Dimensions 44x44x10.9mm, 30g
40x40x10.9mm, 26g
45.1x45.1x12.8mm, 50.5g
40.0x40.0x12.7mm, 40g
Sensors HRM, accelerometer, electrocardiogram (ECG), gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor HRM, accelerometer, Pulse Ox sensor, gyroscope, compass, barometric altimeter, ambient light sensor
Connectivity Optional LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery life 2-3 days 7-8 days
Water-resistance Up to 50 meters Up to 50 meters
Mobile payments ✔️ ✔️
Music storage ✔️ ✔️
LTE connectivity ✔️
Electrocardiogram ✔️
Blood pressure monitoring ✔️

Another strong point for the Vivoactive 4 is battery life. The standard model offers 8 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, 18 hours in GPS mode, and 6 hours in GPS with music mode. If you opt for the Vivoactive 4S, the battery is slightly smaller. As a result, you get 7 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, 15 hours in GPS mode, and 5 hours in GPS with music mode.

No matter what type of activities you participate in, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 tracks important metrics that help you get a better picture of your health. For example, the Body Battery feature tracks your energy levels throughout the day. As a result, you'll have a better idea of when to schedule workouts and when to rest.

The Vivoactive 4 offers preloaded sports apps, preset workouts via Garmin Connect, and Garmin Coach training plans.

On the subject of workouts, there are many different ways to work out with your watch. The Vivoactive 4 offers preloaded sports apps, preset workouts via Garmin Connect, and Garmin Coach training plans. You even have the option of creating your own customizable workouts that can be saved and downloaded directly to the watch.

Another feature that users will find useful is the Pulse Ox sensor. This feature is designed to monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels. This gives you an idea of how well your body is absorbing oxygen during the day and while you sleep. You'll also have respiration tracking, which monitors the number of breaths you take per minute. The combination of these two features leads to more insightful sleep data, which is a nice bonus.

If you want to get a quick workout in but don't have time to head to the gym, you can always try one of the animated on-screen workouts. There are options for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. It's easy to follow along with the animations on your watch as it demonstrates proper form and technique.

You'll have smartphone notifications on your wrist, which are clear and easy to read. What's more, Android users can respond to texts right from the watch. Music storage is a standard feature, which is an improvement from the previous Garmin Vivoactive 3 model, which required you to pay more for a musical version of the watch. The Vivoactive 4 also has Garmin pay, so you can make contactless payments without your wallet.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a well-rounded watch with all the essentials

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 was designed with fitness enthusiasts in mind — it's got "active" in the name, after all! This smartwatch stands out from many other models on the market due to its LTE capability. If you want a connected wearable that allows you to leave your phone behind, this is an excellent option.

Most fitness fanatics are looking for a compact device that won't become a hindrance during workouts. Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is all that and more. It comes in a lightweight aluminum case that's available in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. If you opt for an LTE model, the case material is stainless steel. There are various color choices, including Aqua Black, Pink Gold, Cloud Silver, and more. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 bands are interchangeable, so your options are never limited. get a unique digital rotating bezel for seamless navigation without extra bulky hardware.

Perhaps the most impressive Galaxy Watch Active 2 feature is the fitness tracking suite.

Perhaps the most impressive Galaxy Watch Active 2 feature is the fitness tracking suite. One consistent perk that anyone can appreciate is automatic workout recognition. When you're in a hurry, you might forget to manually start a workout on your watch. When walking, running, or cycling, your device will track the activity for you through automatic detection.

In addition to automatic workout recognition, this Samsung smartwatch can track up to 39 different activities. It will also track your stress levels and monitor your sleep patterns. Another useful feature is Running Coach, which provides users with real-time pace metrics. You'll receive a breakdown of what you can expect from your workout before you get going. It also has an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which is designed to detect an irregular heartbeat. As you may know, this could be a sign of a more serious health condition.

While it's undeniable that LTE connectivity is the star of the feature show, there are other smartwatch perks to look forward to. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 also offers onboard music storage, contactless payments with Samsung Pay, and smartphone notifications with Android replies. Depending on which model you choose, the battery will last for around 2 to 3 days.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Which should you buy?

Deciding between the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 will depend on what type of experience you're after. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 may not offer LTE connectivity, but it offers detailed health and fitness tracking for active individuals who want to monitor their progress. The user interface is easy to navigate and you'll love having a solid week of battery life. If you don't mind it being slightly less advanced than the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a great fitness watch.

If you want to go a step further with your fitness tracking the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a better pick. It has some extra features that make it stand out, like LTE connectivity, Running Coach, ECG, blood pressure monitoring. It also offers a sleeker and more attractive design than the Vivoactive 4. It's worth mentioning that there's talk of a new Galaxy Watch Active 2 successor potentially being launched in the coming months. If you want the latest and greatest model, it might be worth waiting for the next release.

Everything you need and more

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

The essentials and beyond

If you want a watch with LTE connectivity, you'll love the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It has all the essentials and some extras, including health/activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, ECG, Samsung Pay, and more.

Lifestyle and fitness combined

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

A fitness plus lifestyle watch

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is excellent for those who want a lifestyle watch with fitness perks baked in. You get health/activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, and on-screen workouts.

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