Garmin Vívosmart 4

Last updated date: April 29, 2019

DWYM Score
7.7

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We looked at the top 1 Fitness Trackers and dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Tom's Guide, Wired, Audio Authority, Wearable, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter, ARS Technical's, PG Magazine - SE Asia, Expert Reviews - UK, Gadgets & Wearables, DC Rainmaker, Tech Crunch, Cardio Critic, ZD Net and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fitness Tracker you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 129 expert reviews, the Garmin Garmin Vívosmart 4 placed 7th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Fitness Tracker for a detailed review of all the top fitness trackers.

Expert Summarized Score
7.5
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.1
894 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The Vivosmart 4 has 5ATM waterproofing, which means you can wear it in the shower and take it for a swim.
- Tech Radar
October 24, 2018 | Full review
Garmin added an SpO2 sensor to the device, which measures blood oxygenation levels while you sleep.
- Tom's Guide
September 23, 2018 | Full review
The Vivosmart 4 also measures several different other health markers, like your VO2 max and your SpO2, or your level of blood oxygenation, via a small pulse oximeter.
- Wired
October 2, 2018 | Full review
The tracker supports automatic activity recognition with Garmin Move IQ. Move IQ only automatically records “familiar” activities like biking, running, and using the elliptical.
- Audio Authority
September 12, 2018 | Full review
You can take pulse ox readings at any time from the device itself. This requires you to stay as still as possible, preferably holding your wrist up to heart level, while an ominous red light spills over your arm to test how much red and infrared light is absorbed by your blood.
- Wearable
October 9, 2018 | Full review
The Vivosmart 4 may miss the mark on distance, but it excels in health tracking, with advanced metrics that are surprising given the entry-level status of the device. It includes a pulse oximeter for blood oxygen measurements and an exciting parameter known as body battery.
- Digital Trends
April 29, 2019 | Full review
The Garmin Vívosmart 4 is remarkably small—as small as the devices we tested that lack displays—yet it makes good use of its itty-bitty touchscreen. (For instance, smartphone notifications scroll horizontally across the face like a ticker tape.)
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 11, 2019 | Full review
The two stand-out features of the Vivosmart 4 are Body Battery and SpO2 monitoring. The former quantifies everything that both drains and powers your body, giving you a score that shows how much "battery" your body has throughout the day.
- ARS Technical's
October 27, 2018 | Full review
It can also measure blood saturation levels during sleep thanks to its Sp02 sensors.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
September 18, 2018 | Full review
The headline new feature, Body Battery, is at the centre of everything. Calculated using a combination of data, including heart-rate variability, activity levels and sleep quality, Body Battery gives you a score between 1 and 100 to tell you how much you have left in the tank in energy terms at any given moment.
- Expert Reviews - UK
December 6, 2018 | Full review
The fitness tracker gauges your oxygen saturation levels at night, allowing you to better understand your sleep quality. This can potentially be used to identify sleep conditions such as apnea, although Garmin will stop short of diagnosing these.
- Gadgets & Wearables
February 17, 2109 | Full review
Sleep Pulse Ox readings: Tracks SpO2 readings during sleep and shows on mobile app.
- DC Rainmaker
August 30, 2018 | Full review
One other interesting feature includes stress level measurement tool that will remind you to relax and take a breath throughout your busy work day.
- Tech Crunch
Garmin Move IQ™ - automatically detects activity and classifies activity type on Garmin Connect app.
- Cardio Critic
March 28, 2019 | Full review
The new Vivosmart 4 has this sensor, but rather than focusing on high altitude training monitoring, the sensor is being used to help Garmin better define sleep quality.
- ZD Net
August 30, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
One of the biggest downsides of the Vivosmart 4 is the fact the screen is so small. Sure this is necessary for the device to take on a slim form factor, so we can’t complain too much.
- Tech Radar
October 24, 2018 | Full review
The Vivosmart 4 is Garmin's most basic activity tracker, which means it lacks GPS on the device itself, and you cannot use your phone's GPS to log mileage.
- Tom's Guide
September 23, 2018 | Full review
Its tiny touch screen is a tricky to navigate, and even more so if it’s wet or dirty. It can’t even display a full word, and it can be infuriating to scroll through the menu, waiting to find out what “Set Do…” means.
- Wired
October 2, 2018 | Full review
Due to the lack of built-in GPS or phone tethering options, the vivosmart 4 can’t track distance or pace metrics.
- Audio Authority
September 12, 2018 | Full review
The very narrow screen also means it also struggles to display much information at once, often leaving words and sentences truncated so you have to wait for them to scroll across the tiny display.
- Wearable
October 9, 2018 | Full review
Garmin failed to include GPS, a useful addition that is becoming a standard feature on fitness trackers, as well as smartwatches.
- Digital Trends
April 29, 2019 | Full review
Unfortunately, it didn’t detect activities as effectively, the menus in its app can be confusing to navigate, and the touchscreen doesn’t work in the pool.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 11, 2019 | Full review
While the Vivosmart 4 can count reps when you complete strength training workouts, it has no GPS capabilities—no onboard GPS, no connected GPS.
- ARS Technical's
October 27, 2018 | Full review
The OLED screen is a tad narrow, and not the most responsive to touch.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
September 18, 2018 | Full review
Its lack of GPS and cycling mode.
- Expert Reviews - UK
December 6, 2018 | Full review
The narrow display becomes very difficult to read. If you’re running, it becomes next to impossible.
- Gadgets & Wearables
February 17, 2109 | Full review
I still find the touch responsiveness a bit cumbersome. Specifically with waking it back up again.
- DC Rainmaker
August 30, 2018 | Full review
Difficulty in navigating the screen.
- Tech Crunch
The Vivofit 4 does NOT feature smartphone notifications (incoming call alerts etc) – although it does feature “Find My Phone” and a weather forecast app (data gathered via phone connection).
- Cardio Critic
March 28, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Accent your style while enhancing your fitness with our vívosmart 4 activity tracker. This slim, swim-friendly wearable comes loaded with fitness and wellness features to help you make the most of a healthier, more active lifestyle. It monitors heart rate estimates at the wrist and includes helpful tools such as all-day stress tracking, a relaxation breathing timer, VO2 max and activity timers for walks, runs, strength training, pool swims and more. A wrist-based Pulse Ox estimate sensor lets you check blood oxygen saturation anytime during the day -or turn it on while you sleep. Plus, Body Battery energy monitoring helps you know when you’re primed to be active or when you may need to rest. Safe for the pool or shower, vívosmart 4 keeps you going strong with up to 7 days of battery life (excluding Pulse Ox sleep tracking) -while smart notifications with vibration alerts help you stay connected on the go (when paired with a compatible smartphone).

Overall Product Rankings

1. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Lintelek Activity Tracker
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 2
3. Garmin vívoactive 3
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 11
4. Fitbit Charge 3
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Fitbit Flex 2
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Samsung Pro Fitness Band
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 8
7. Garmin Vívosmart 4
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 15
8. FitBit Zip
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Garmin vívosport Fitness Tracker
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 10
10. FitBit Surge
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 10
11. Fitbit Alta
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 6
12. Withings Go Activity Tracker
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 10
13. Garmin vivofit 3 Fitness Tracker
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 8

An Overview On Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are truly the must-have accessory for a healthy lifestyle. It’s no surprise either. These handy devices offer a wealth of health knowledge right at your fingertips — or, more accurately on your wrist. Armed with the right fitness tracker, you can record and analyze your way to the healthiest you yet. If you haven’t tried them yet, prepare to be amazed and converted.

Wearable tools can be just as important as the recipes, nutrition and fitness accessories in your arsenal. Together, they help you achieve your goals and understand exactly when you’ve done that. Fitness trackers are like mini-supercomputers right on your wrist. They record and monitor movement and fitness-related activities. They track the number of steps taken, distance walked, sleep duration and quality, heart rate and more.

While the category started simple and basic, they have become very advanced over the years. There are separate modes that enable them to track specific types of exercise and can distinguish between swimming, running and cycling, as well as keep logs of your favorite routes. No matter what model you have, you can connect and upload all the stored data to your computer or smartphone to analyze and learn from your activities.

It’s not a passing trend either. In fact, the global fitness trackers market clocked in at just under $18 billion in 2016. That value is expected to grow to more than $62 billion within the next four years. Smartwatches, specifically, are driving most of the predicted growth. Some of the leading fitness tracker manufacturers include Fitbit, Samsung, Nike, Adidas, Google and Apple. Some lesser-known manufacturers, like Lintelek, have also launched products in the fitness tracker category. In fact, the budget-friendly Lintelek Activity Tracker is the only non-Fitbit to make the list of recommended devices.

Fitbit, which has two of the four top picks on this list, is one of the most popular fitness tracker manufacturers. The company launched its very first tracker back in 2007 and continues to lead the category with innovative new technology and features.

Now, Fitbit, Apple, Garmin and more offer a wide variety of different fitness trackers and smartwatch models from affordable to splurge prices. There are high-tech models with detailed data tracking for serious athletes, as well as simple watches for those just dipping their toe into fitness tracking and data. There are also fitness trackers made for children ages eight and up, meant to encourage movement and healthy habits early. Whether you’re trying to make fitness fun for youngsters or start your own health challenge,  there is a Fitness tracker for everyone and every goal.

Fitness trackers are designed to seamlessly track every part of your day — including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. That can be a bit overwhelming. However, Fitbit says they will “help you find your fit, stay motivated and see how small steps make a big impact.”

They monitor heart rate with PurePulse. The newest watches, like Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, include SmartTrack. This innovative technology automatically senses different types of exercises and records them accordingly in the Fitbit app. For example, if you hop on a spin bike and start pedaling, the watch will begin recording as a cycling activity.

The current Fitbit smartwatches, like Fitbit Versa, also incorporate apps and features like wallet-free payments, calendar alerts and text message updates. Today’s Fitbits and fitness trackers are so much more than step counters. They also enhance and simplify many everyday tasks.

In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyles, Fitbit, and other fitness tracker apps connect all users in a like-minded community. In the apps, you can share your goals and find motivation from people around the world. It also opens up the opportunity for fun competitions with friends, family or coworkers. You can compare on a variety of statistics to push yourself farther and hit goals faster.

All those tracker insights add up to real lifestyle changes. In fact, researchers from Arizona State University discovered that the combination of wearing a Fitbit Zip activity monitor and expressing more mindfulness throughout the week increased levels of physical activity. For a relatively low cost (most models range from $50 to $250), fitness trackers help motivate you to kickstart and stick with a fitness plan, hold you accountable, encourage goal setting and, best of all, help you lose weight.

Pick the right fitness tracker, and you’re well on your way to living your healthiest life and achieving goals you haven’t even dreamed of yet.

DYWM Fun Fact

The very first fitness trackers date back to Renaissance times. Yes, really. Leonardo Da Vinci sketched what looked like an early version of a pedometer. Then, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson introduced the first pedometer in the U.S. Pedometers are basic devices used to track the number of steps taken.  Historians believe his inspiration for the device could have come from the motion sensor of the Swiss or French watches.

It took a few hundred years more before pioneers developed high-tech trackers. Fitbit founders Eric Friedman and James Park recognized the potential of wireless technology in the fitness industry. With the first product, they “embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.” Suffice it to say, they succeeded and went on to realize that potential and then some. More than 10 years later, both original founders still lead Fitbit and continue to introduce new and innovative fitness technology each year.

The Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

  • Fitness trackers range in price depending on included features. Some cost under $100 while others fall under $250. The more advanced the tracking features, the higher the price points.
  • Fitness trackers and smartwatches run on rechargeable batteries. When drained, they require re-charging by plugging into power sources or outlets.
  • The battery life of different trackers varies based on the activities tracked, but some can last up to five days between charges.
  • Fitness trackers use special sensors to monitor and record vital health stats throughout your day. Some of the info recorded includes activity, heart rate, food, weight and sleep. The more advanced models incorporate a built-in GPS for improved accuracy and ease of use.
  • The models with GPS can also produce and follow maps of specific routes, making workouts more streamlined wherever you are.
  • Fitness trackers, including Fitbits, Garmin, Lintelek and more, often come with an app that connects the device and information recorded on your phone or tablet. Some also bring users in a global online community together to connect, compete and learn from each other.
  • The fitness trackers sync data to your computer or smartphone so that you can access additional analysis and progress reports.
  • Many fitness trackers feature water resistant and waterproof components, so they can be worn in rain and while swimming without worrying. Make sure your model has this capability if that’s an important feature to you.