Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness Band Review
In the modern world, fitness and taking care of your health are vital. The rate of technological advancement has led to the development of some incredibly helpful fitness tools. Among the very best is the Garmin Vivosmart 4. Fitness bands are criminally underrated as people continue to ignore them for smartwatches. However, not everyone has the luxury to drop a couple hundred on a smartwatch.
That’s where the Garmin Vivosmart 4 Fitness band comes in, and it’s a delightful product. Not only will it drape around your wrist in style, but it’ll also let you measure key health statistics. With a health battery life, and an appealing minimalist design, is the Garmin Vivosmart 4 the fitness band to get? Keep reading and find out everything you need to know about the product.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Garmin Vivosmart 4 exhibits a clean, stylish, and minimalist design. It’s a far cry from the fitness bands of old that are clunky and make the wearer look a bit foolish frankly. However, you can rock the Garmin Vivosmart 4 anywhere, and it won’t look out of place. What helps the design of the Vivosmart 4 pop is how thin it is, it’ll appeal to people who prefer a lighter weight on their wrist. While the Vivosmart 4 is a good-looking band on its own, it offers users no customization options. What you see is what you get.
Thin Design Comes With A Price
While the thin, minimalist design of the Garmin Vivosmart 4 will undoubtedly appeal to a specific market, it also puts certain restrictions on the band. The screen on the Vivosmart 4 is tiny compared to the competitors due to it being so thin. It’s so small that a full word doesn’t fit on-screen, the letters will scroll horizontally. As a result, you’ll miss alerts if you look away from the screen for a second.
Additionally, it doesn’t give let you read any texts or messages on the screen. Other fitness bands that can sync with your phone let you read texts. However, the small screen means that Vivosmart 4 can only display notifications. The touchscreen becomes a chore to use as well. It’s so tiny that it’s inconvenient to use, and it also responds like an older technology. You’ll have to press quite hard to get the touch response to register.
At the bottom of the screen, you get a button that helps you access the menu. You can choose between workouts and access your settings from the list. This certainly feels like a missed opportunity, as it’s the only functionality of the button. It really could have done something else.
Fitness Tracking Not Up To Mark
Garmin offers a wide range of fitness bands, and the Vivosmart 4 is their basic level entry. As a result, it has no GPS on the device, and there’s no way to connect to your phone’s GPS. It pretty much locks you into depending on the devices’ internal pedometer, and the results aren’t accurate. While you can’t expect a fitness tracker without a GPS to offer precise results, the Vivosmart 4 performs poorly. Its distance estimates were about close to a mile off.
Most fitness bands that make use of the traditional method of measuring distance allow you to input your custom stride length. Doing so can help get you more accurate results. You can input your stride length using the Garmin Connect smartphone app, which should improve your accuracy. However, even after inputting, you’ll notice the estimates are still way off.
Despite the band offering automatic workout-tracking for runs and walks, there’s no real point if it won’t measure your distance accurately. It can still display different workouts, but the small screen makes it difficult to notice as well. They need to improve the quality of their fitness features.
Brilliant Health Features
Where the Vivosmart 4 lacks in fitness performance, it more than makes up for it in terms of health tools. It’s especially impressive given the fact that the Vivosmart 4 is an entry-level product. One of the most exciting tools is Garmin’s decision to add a SpO2 sensor. This allows the band to measure blood oxygenation levels when you’re sleeping.
You can view these measurements in percentages that are graphed in an easy to understand manner. However, you will need to download the Garmin Connect app to get the most out of this feature. It can be especially helpful in allowing you to see if you suffer from conditions like sleep apnea. You get these SpO2 readings using the pulse ox sensor, but keeping it on will reduce your battery life by quite a bit. These readings, while not all that useful to anyone without breathing conditions, can be especially helpful for those with breathing issues.
Can Measure Stress?
The heart-rate sensor on the Vivosmart 4 also performs an interesting additional function and gives you a measure of stress. Usually, when you’re under stressful situations, your heart rate will tend to spike. The fitness band measures those moments and assigns them different values of stress. It’s an exciting way of helping you identify daily stressors that you can then work towards eliminating.
Like your smartphone and fitness band, the Vivosmart 4 reverse the roles on you and assigns your body a battery as well. The body battery feature is a fun and unique way to present users with their energy levels. To get your body battery, you’ll need to download the Garmin app. The app takes different measures like workouts, sleep, stress, and heart rate to give you an idea of your body battery once you download on your smartphone.
The idea is that the Vivosmart 4 will tell you those days where you’re low on energy, and could do with a bit of a rest. On the other hand, it can help show you when you’re in peak physical condition and ready to take on a challenge. While other fitness bands offer similar estimates, nothing is presented as brilliantly as the Vivosmart 4’s body battery feature. Even though it may not be the most accurate scientifically, it gives you a stable estimate of your body condition. It’ll serve as a motivation for you to get more sleep and reduce your stress levels as well.
Solid Battery Life
Even though it’s a small and minimal design, the Vivosmart 4 holds a genuinely brilliant battery. If you keep the pulse ox sensor, heart rate sensor, and use the app for daily workouts, it’ll give you a solid three and a half days of battery life. If you keep the pulse ox sensor off, it’ll probably easily give you a week on one substantial charge. It’ll outlast most of the other fitness bands on the market, and at the same time save you much hassle.
Additionally, even when the battery runs out, it doesn’t take a long time to charge back again. Plug it in for about 60-90 minutes with a standard adapter, and you’ll be good to go. You’ll know when to take the charger off, as the battery icon will start flashing.
When you look at the Garmin Vivosmart 4, it’s clear that even the most entry-level fitness trackers still provide you with significant value. While the Apple Watch offers you instant EKG readings, it’s quadruple the price of the Vivosmart 4. You get much value for the money you pay. It looks stylish and contains advanced health tracking features. The battery life is excellent and goes right in line with the minimal fitness band design.
However, what lets the Garmin Vivosmart 4 down is its fitness tools. They’re simply just not accurate enough for individuals looking for precise readings. If you’re a runner or jogger, it’ll suit you better to get a different fitness band. Additionally, the small touchscreen makes it hard to track workouts and notifications as well
You’d be much better off waiting for the new Fitbit Charge 3. It offers a full, touchscreen display, GPS, and all the other features in the Garmin Vivosmart 4.