A year of battery life makes this a powerful fitness tracker
Battery life has historically been the Achilles heel of wearable tech, but the new Garmin Vivofit 4 is breaking the mold (yet again) by offering an entire year on a single charge.
While fitness trackers have struggled to differentiate in the past year, Garmin’s latest offering goes big on specs, while not compromising on battery life. Read on for a more detailed rundown of what the Garmin Vivofit 4 has to offer.
Design and specs
As we mentioned, the big story here is a year of battery life – which pretty much blows the competition out of the water. Yes there are sacrifices, and there’s no heart rate monitor here to name just one omission (forget about GPS as well), but the Vivofit range has always been aimed at the simpler end of the market. For those who want more, the Vivosmart 3 and Vivosport are your best ports of calls. There’s no charging cable at all, and when your Vivofit 4 runs out of battery, you just been to replace the two SR43 batteries yourself.
Eagle-eyed Vivo-watchers will have noticed that last year’s Vivofit 3 also had a year of battery. But the big difference here is that it now rocks an always-on 88 x 88 resolution color display, while still going the distance – a significant upgrade on last year.
You’ll be able to customize your display in the Garmin Connect smartphone app, changing color themes and selecting widgets. You can also treat it like a watch with that always-on screen displaying the time, and the ability to set multiple alarms.
The band itself is now fairly indistinguishable from the more premium Garmin Vivosmart 3, adorned in a texturised rubber band. You get a few colour options, with white, black speckled and black all available in small and medium sizes, with just black available for small wrists.
There’s no touchscreen here, but a single button on the front cycles through screens. And when it comes to raw specs, the Vivofit 4 features:
- Width: 19 mm
- Thickness: 9.4 mm
- Circumference (small/medium): 122-188 mm | Large: 148-215 mm
- Weight (small/medium): 25 g | Large: 25.5 g
- Water rating: “Swim” – no details on ATM yet from Garmin.
- Display type: Transflective 8-colour MIP
- Display size: 11 x 11 mm
- Display resolution: 88 x 88 pixels
- Battery life: Up to 1 year
- Memory: 4 weeks of activity data
In terms of activity the Vivofit 4 tracks all the basics – steps, distance, calories – while Move IQ also detects activities like running, biking and swimming. Yup, the band is waterproof enough to take in the pool – but don’t expect swim metrics, that’s for Garmin’s much more expensive than the Vivofit 4.
It does feature Garmin’s MoveIQ, which means it will automatically track exercise, although there aren’t specific workout modes, which means you’ll get the credit for exercise via movement, but these won’t be detailed sessions like you’ll get from a dedicated Garmin sports watch.
The Vivofit 4 also takes some skills from the likes of the Fenix 5, and benefits from a weather widget (with data taken from a paired smartphone), an a Find My Phone feature. Not a bad feature set, given that year of battery life.
While the band doesn’t look too dissimilar to the ever popular Vivofit Jr.2 kids’ band, and parents wearing a Vivofit 4 can use Toe-to-Toe, a new feature that enables you challenge your child to a step competition. We love the idea of this feature, and it’s one we’ll definitely be testing out.
Garmin is introducing the Vivofit 4 at a tempting $80, which is $20 cheaper than the Vivofit 3’s original price. It’s available now in white, black and a limegreen speckled variant, with other bands available separately.