Fitbit Charge 3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4: Which is better?
Perplexed whether you will find a better value in the Fitbit Charge 3 or the Garmin Vivosmart 4?
Fitbit and Garmin are both prominent leaders in the activity tracker industry, each providing the other with tough competition.
Fitbit launched their newest fitness tracker, the Charge 3, in 2018; it’s stylish, slim and includes a multitude of impressive features. A few short days later, Garmin went ahead and introduced their own Vivosmart 4 as a powerful rival to the Fitbit Charge 3.
Both of these fitness trackers are hi-tech, advanced gadgets that help you keep track of your activity levels. But the real question is: which one outshines the other?
In the battle of Fitbit Charge 3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4, let’s have a look at a detailed review of each to understand how they compare:
Fitbit Charge 3
Garmin Vivosmart 4
-Small/Medium: -197mm Length-Large: -223mm Length
OLED touchscreen, TFT
Up to 7 Days
Up to 7 Days
Small/Medium size: 16.5 gramsLarge size: 17.1 grams
38mm x 18.3mm
6.6mm x 17.7mm
Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+®
Connects to Phone’s GPS
Yes, with Light, Deep, REM Sleep
Yes, with Light, Deep, REM Sleep
Steps, Distance, Active minutes, Calories Burned, Floors Climbed, Sleep
Steps, Distance, Activity, Calories Burned, Floors Climbed, Sleep, Stress and Recovery
A Detailed Review of the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Garmin Vivosmart 4
Design: Garmin Vivosmart 4 vs Fitbit Charge 3
Both the trackers Fitbit Charge 3 and Vivosmart 4 have a slim, sleek and stylish design that’ll easily blend with any outfit. They’re both lightweight as well, though the Vivosmart is lighter; the Vivosmart 4 weighs around 16g whereas the Charge 3 weighs about 29g.
Comparatively, the Vivosmart 4 is much slimmer than the Fitbit Charge 3 and with a thinner band comes a slimmer screen. This is why it can a bit difficult to read text on the Vivosmart 4, due to such a tiny display. Also, its menu scrolls horizontally on such a narrow, vertical screen that if you don’t pay quick attention to the alert, you will miss it.
Vivosmart 4 measurements
Small/Medium size: 197mm (fits wrists with 122-188mm circumference)
Large: 223mm (fits wrists with 148-215mm circumference)
Charge 3 measurements
The Charge 3 comes all-included with small and large bands.
But for the Vivosmart 4, you must first measure your own wrist size and then decide which size is ideal for you: the small/medium or large.
It is worth noting that the Vivosmart 4 has a unibody design, so its band cannot be interchanged. If you want to switch colors, you need to replace the entire watch. The Charge 3’s straps, on the other hand, are removable, so you can purchase extra straps from Fitbit’s website if you ever want to switch up your look.
Garmin has added a cool metallic trim to the display and on the clasp to jazz it up.
Material and Colors: Vivosmart 4 vs Charge 3
The Charge 3 is made out of lightweight material; it contains an aerospace-grade aluminum case with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display, while its buckle and housing are built of anodized aluminum.
The Vivosmart 4, on the other hand, is made from aluminum bezel, with a polycarbonate lens and a silicone strap. Both of these devices look sporty and rubberized, so fashion fanatics are sure to love them!
Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 comes in 4 colors
- Gold with Berry band
- Midnight with Black band
- Rose gold with Gray band
- Silver with Azure Blue band
Fitbit’s Charge 3 comes in 4 colors
- SE Graphite with White Silicone band
- Graphite with Black band
- Rose gold with Blue Gray band
Display: Charge 3 vs Vivosmart 4
Now that we’ve gone through the devices’ physical dimensions, let’s talk about their displays. The Fitbit Charge 3 fitness tracker has a grayscale 22mm (diagonal) OLED touchscreen featuring 110 x 150 pixel resolution. While, Vivosmart 4 showcases a grayscale 19.3mm OLED screen with 48 x 128 pixel resolution.
Display on both these devices remains off by default, and brightens up when you raise your hand, when there’s an alert, or when you tap on the screen. Comparatively, the Charge 3 has a larger screen, so reading alerts and stats on the Charge 3 is much easier.
The Vivosmart 4 wearable has most basic activity tracking features, but it lacks GPS. The Fitbit Charge 3 has this covered – it connects to your phone’s GPS in order to log mileage and get accurate distance estimates as you go for walks, bike rides, runs and more.
However, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 supports ANT+ connectivity, which means it can be connected to an external heart-rate monitor such as a chest strap. The Charge 3 does not support the same. This feature of the V4 is beneficial for people who carry out intense resistance workouts such as running, weight lifting, etc., as here heart-rate data will be more accurate as compared to an optical wrist-based heart-rate sensor.
For light-intensity workouts such as walking, jogging, bike rides and more, wrist heart-rate sensors are enough.
The V4 band features automatic exercise tracking for walking and running, so you don’t need to launch your workout.
The rest of the features are quite similar in both brand’s devices. Both these fitness trackers are suitable for swimming as they are water-resistant up to 50 meters. You can wear them in the pool or at the beach.
Sizing and Battery Life
Both the Charge 3 and Vivosmart 4 come with the option of small and large bands, so you don't need to worry about the sizing.
The battery life of the Fitbit Charge 3 is same as battery life of the Garmin Vivosmart 4: 7 days. But, due to the Pulse Ox Sensor in Garmin’s V4, its battery life might reduce faster as it monitors your blood oxygen saturation level the whole night while you sleep.
Sensors: Garmin Vivosmart 4 vs. Fitbit Charge 3
The best feature about the Vivosmart 4 is its wrist-based Pulse Ox Sensor which can gauge oxygen saturation levels in your blood whilst you sleep and monitor your REM sleep cycles as well. The measurements are displayed in percentages and with Garmin’s Connect app you can see the optimal range for these measurements. This feature helps you diagnose sleep apnea, as low SpO2 readings indicate breathing difficulties during sleep.
Apart from this, the Garmin V4 wearable includes an all-day stress tracker, Body Battery energy monitor, wrist-based heart-rate monitor, abnormal heart rate alerts, VO2 Max readings, a relaxation breathing timer and multiple activity trackers (pool swims, yoga, runs, walks, strength training, etc.). The Relax Reminder in the Garmin V4 allows for guided breathing exercises to help you reduce elevated stress levels.
The Body Battery monitoring in the Vivosmart 4 is designed to display your readiness for a workout. It makes use of your sleep-based recovery stats, HRV, heart rate and other monitored measurements to showcase whether you need to work harder or take a break.
On the other hand, the Charge 3 comes with 24/7 heart rate tracking for a better understanding of your resting heart rate and calorie burning. Moreover, the Charge 3 also comes with an SpO2 sensor to help you diagnose sleep apnea or other such sleep-related conditions.
Both fitness trackers can record basic metrics such as steps, calories burned, floors climbed, sleep and heart rate from their 24/7 wrist-based monitors.
The Vivosmart 4 goes one step further and estimates VO2 max measurements with the help of collected heart rate data. It gives you an idea of your current fitness level by estimating your fitness age. You can work harder and increase your workout time to decrease this statistic over time. Additionally, the Vivosmart will notify you whenever your heart rate abnormally spikes above a predefined threshold.
By the same token, the V4 also has all-day stress tracking, which uses your heart-rate data and derives your stress levels, and its ‘body battery’ energy monitor tells you when to exercise and how well you rested.
The Fitbit Charge 3 is also able to detect your stress levels and lets you have ‘Guided Breathing Sessions’ to calm down.
Both trackers will remind you to get up and move if you have been inactive for too long.
The Charge 3 can report about your sleep level (light, deep, awake or REM) and it can also estimate changes in your blood’s oxygen levels using its SpO2 sensor.
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 will tell you about your sleep movements, how long you have slept for and your sleep level (light, deep, awake or REM). It can also report about your blood oxygen saturation levels during sleep with the help of SpO2 sensor.
Both the wearables - Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Vivosmart 4 - come with impressive Smartwatch features.
For the Garmin Vivosmart 4, you will receive a notification and vibration alert on your wrist whenever you get a call, text, social media or email alert. The Vivosmart 4 features Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+® connectivity. It allows you to respond to a text or reject a phone call with a text (Android phones only) through the wearable itself. Not to mention, you can also control your smartphone’s music with the Garmin V4.
With the Charge 3, one can view messages, calls, weather updates, social media alerts and calendar notifications. You will get a vibration alert whenever you receive these smart notifications. But, you cannot respond to them or make phone calls from the wearable itself. The Charge 3 does not allow for music control either.
The Special Edition model of the Charge 3 has an NFC chip to support Fitbit Pay, which is not available in Vivosmart 4.
Pros and Cons of the Fitbit Charge 3
Pros and Cons of the Garmin Vivosmart 4
In the fitness tracker battle of Fitbit Charge 3 vs Garmin Vivosmart 4, we want to communicate that the features of both of these gadgets are actually quite similar; in the end, it really depends on your personal taste. There are just minor differences to be aware of.
Overall, the Charge 3 has a larger screen, is bulkier and is more ideal to quickly glance at for your workout metrics. The Vivosmart 4, on the other hand, is ultra-slim, which is more attractive to some. But with its slimmer design comes a narrower screen, making it difficult to read the statistics.
Both trackers have similar basic features, but the Charge 3 connects to your smartphone’s GPS, which is beneficial for the runners out there. The Vivosmart 4 doesn’t have GPS functionality but it includes ANT+ connectivity in order to broadcast heart-rate data.
Garmin’s device goes one step further by providing 24/7 stress monitoring, Pulse Ox Sensor, Body Battery Energy Monitoring and automatic rep-counting in the gym. Meanwhile, Fitbit’s gadget has Female Health Tracking and Guided Breathing Sessions features.
All things considered, if you ask which is best, the Fitbit Charge 3 or Garmin Vivosmart 4, we personally select Fitbit’s Charge 3 as a better choice.
Though it lacks some functionalities that the Garmin V4 has covered, its larger display snags it that first-place trophy in the end. Plus, the Charge 3 also allows you to swap the bands to jazz up your look. At the end of the day, consider all of the features we’ve listed above for your own needs and likes - it’s all about your personal taste!