- Simple, durable, easy to use
- Improved display
- Affordable price point
- 1-year battery life
- Does not pair with ANT+ HRMs
- Data tracking is not perfectly accurate
- No wrist HRM
- No smart notifications
The vívofit 4 is a good activity tracker. It’s not necessarily better than its predecessor, though, and we wish it still paired with ANT+ HRMs.
Garmin is one of our favorites when it comes to fitness trackers. They tend to put out quality products, including their vívofit activity trackers, which seem to be their answer to the Fitbit Alta or Misfit Shine. Garmin recently released the vívofit 4 at an MSRP of $80 [check price on Amazon], which is (obviously) the fourth iteration of their vívofit activity tracker.
The vívofit 4 got a slight redesign that we think is an improvement on the 3, if not a game changer. It’s a little smaller, but the display is actually a little bigger and now in color as opposed to black and white. The band is also better than on the 4’s predecessors, particularly because it now has a buckle which keeps it from falling off so easily. It fits like a small watch rather than a bracelet.
The 4 also got a couple upgrades to its clock functions and smart features. It has a timer and stopwatch, and can now show the weather and find your phone. Another new feature is the Toe-to-Toe challenge, which allows you to compete with your kids if they have a vívofit JR 2 wearable, but that’s probably not going to be a huge selling point for a lot of people.
While the vívofit 4’s new additions are nice, it’s actually what has been removed from the new tracker that we consider to be more consequential, and that is the vívofit’s ability to pair with a HR monitor. The vívofit 1, 2, and 3 [check price on Amazon] could all be paired to an ANT+ HRM, but the 4 cannot, and that’s certainly a downside. We used to tell people that the vivofit tracker is the best fitness tracker for strength training and cross-training, simply because of its size and ability to pair with a chest HRM. Now, it seems, the VF4 is just a very basic fitness tracker.
vívofit 4 Fitness Tracker Review
Like previous Garmin trackers and similar to the Fitbit Alta and Misfit Shine, the vívofit 4 is simple, aims for comfort, and is really easy to use. You don’t even have to worry about charging it because it’s powered off a coin cell battery that will last about a year before needing to be replaced.
In terms of comfort, the vívofit 4 is comfortable for most people. If you happen to have very petite wrists, you might find yourself having to adjust it up or down throughout the day and during workouts. The piece that holds the tracker is also very stiff, so on a small wrist, it can feel rather large and restrictive. However, for anyone who isn’t tiny, it is comfortable for all-day wear.
Compared to the vívofit 3, the 4 is a step in the right direction as far as looks go. It’s a little smaller, making it more streamlined. It does look like an activity tracker, though. There’s just no getting around that.
The vívofit 4 is waterproof, durable, and only has one button for navigation, which lends to its simplicity. It will track all of your basics, including steps, calories, distance, and sleep. However, the accuracy is just okay, but that’s to be expected considering it uses an accelerometer to estimate activity. This means it sometimes miscounts steps or assumes you’re sleeping when you’re actually just on the couch, enjoying a Netflix binge.
We’re not too put off by the hit-and-miss accuracy, though, because the device still succeeds in pushing you stay active with a personalized daily goal, move reminders, and the move bar displayed on the screen.
And, of course, all of your data will sync wirelessly with the Garmin Connect app, which you can find on iOS, Android, and online. The app itself is still behind Fitbit’s, but we like it well enough and Garmin is continually making upgrades to it.