Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs 4: Does It Worth to Upgrade?

If you are in a Hurry! here is a quick comparison of Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs Vivoactive 4.


Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 3


40mm 45mm



50.5 grams

43 grams





1.1-inch 218 x 218px (4S), 1.3-inch 260 x 260 4

1.2-inch 240 x 240px




Battery life

GPS – 18 hours, No GPS 8 Days

GPS – 13 hours, No GPS 7 Days




Water resistance



Heart rate monitor









Pulse Ox





Garmin has been on a roll with their new smartwatches. They are constantly pushing the limits of technology, offering the ultimate tracking device that can still be used as a smartwatch.

Their gadgets became very popular in recent years just because of the fantastic and accurate features, and high-quality built standards that will last for a lifetime.

The fan’s all-time favorite smartwatch the Vivoactive 3 has been upgraded to a newer, more advanced version that looks promising on paper.

Let’s jump down and compare the Garmin Vivoactive 3 vs Vivoactive 4 and find out should you upgrade to the latest version.

About Garmin

Garmin is mostly known for its GPS technology. They have been providing GPS information to third-party users for a lifetime, and a few years ago, they decided to use their technology in smartwatches.

It seems like they’ve made the right decision since all of their products are very popular, and they are considered as a byword for quality. If you want a smartwatch capable of providing you with detailed analytics, while it still has additional features, there is no better brand than Garmin.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The all-time favorite fitness smartwatch performs outstandingly despite the fact it was released back in 2017.

The Vivoactive 3 has a 1.2-inch touch-sensitive display that is very responsive that is protected by 3D Gorilla glass. It comes in one 43mm bezel size and a 240 x 240 px resolution, which is good enough to see things clearly.

The best thing about the Vivoactive 3 is its comfortability. It only weighs 43 grams and so you won’t feel anything on your wrist. It comes in the same circular design as all Garmin watches and has a 20mm wristband.

The battery life on the Vivoactive 3 is also great. It can last up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 5 hours with GPS and music mode enabled.

It’s rugged built accents the outdoor feel on the Vivoactive 4, and it is also waterproof with 5ATM.


  • Decent battery life
  • Great value for money
  • Very accurate
  • Touchscreen


  • One physical button not ideal for maneuvering through controls

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

On the other hand, we have the successor Vivoactive 4, which has a lot to live up to. First of all, the Vivoactive 4 is released in two different versions: the Vivoactive 4 and 4S. Garmin had a goal to separate men from women smartwatches by introducing two models with the new generation.

The Vivoactive 4 comes with a 45mm bezel size, whereas the 4s comes with a smaller 40mm bezel size. They also have different LCD display sizes, where the Vivoactive 4 comes with a 1.3-inch display, whereas the 4S has a 1.1-inch display.

The body of the Vivoactive 4 is made from stainless steel and is very durable. Both of them are very comfortable to wear and feature the same circular design as previous Garmin watches.

The Vivoactive 4 series comes with a built-in GPS that is very accurate and wi-fi. It is packed with features and sensors like gyroscope and accelerometer.

In terms of battery life, Vivoactive 4 has a battery life of 8 days in smartwatch mode, compared to the 4S, with a slightly smaller battery life of 7 days.


  • Very durable
  • Beautiful design
  • Packed with features
  • Improved battery life


  • Display a bit dim for indoor use

Face-to-Face: Vivoactive 4 vs Vivoactive 3

To find out, is it worth upgrading to the latest version and which smartwatch offers better value for money, we will compare their characteristics and find out the winner.



In terms of design, little has changed with the Vivoactive 4. The most noticeable difference is the larger display, which is no 1.3-inch over the last series, which only has 1.2-inch. Additionally, the Vivoactive 4 and 4s come with different bezel sizes compared to the Vivoactive 3.

The display also has a bigger resolution coming at 260 x 260px compared to the previous version that only had 240 x 240px. However, the screen’s quality is the same since both have the same pixel density of 283ppi.

The original Vivoactive 4 has a bigger bezel coming at 45mm compared to the last series with only 43mm bezel. However, the 4S has a 40mm bezel that is even smaller than the previous version.

Another important thing is the built materials. Even though the Vivoactive 3 was very durable, it is only made from polycarbonate, whereas the new and improved Vivoactive 4 has a stainless-steel body. That’s why it is 50 grams than the Vivoactive 3 that is lighter coming at 43 grams.

Both of them come with the same silicon strap material and an analog clock face. However, the most significant change in terms of design that users will definitely appreciate is the additional physical button on the Vivoactive 4.

It seems like Garmin heard the fans and their complaints about the complex maneuvering through controls using only one button.

Winner: Vivoactive 4

More: Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Fenix 6: Which One To Pick



The most significant difference when it comes to choosing between the Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 4 are the newly added features that really make a difference.

First of all, the Vivoactive 4 comes with built-in music storage of 3GB, and the previous version didn’t have any storage.

Additionally, both have stress tracking, heart-rate monitor (that can measure underwater), and sleep tracking.

A new addition to the Vivoactive 4 is the new Pulse Ox sensor that monitors blood oxygen saturation levels and respiration tracking (the number of breaths taken per minute). With this feature, the Vivoactive 4 offers a far deeper sleep analysis data.

Another new addition to the Vivoactive 4 is the Body Battery feature, which allows you to check your energy levels throughout the day using data from the heart rate sensor, sleep, stress, and activity. This feature will also schedule your workouts and resting routines in the ideal times.

Speaking of which, the Vivoactive 4 has pre-installed workouts that are available for download from Garmin connect. You will be able to copy multiple workouts by watching them on your smartwatch.

In terms of features, the Vivoactive 4 received a significant boost and has more features for the money.

Winner: Vivoactive 4


In terms of connectivity, the newer Vivoactive 4 has built-in wi-fi, whereas the previous version only has Bluetooth.

Since they come from Garmin, obviously, both smartwatches have built-in GPS, as well as smartphone notifications and contactless payments using Garmin Pay.

Winner: Vivoactive 4

More: Fitbit Charge 4 vs Fitbit Charge 3: Does It Worth the Upgrade?

Battery Life

Battery Life

Obviously, battery life is essential when you are buying a smartwatch. Fortunately, Vivoactive 4 has an improved battery life, but since it has more features, sometimes it is not better than its predecessor.

For instance, the Vivoactive 4 can last up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, compared to the Vivoactive 3, which can only last up to 7 days. The situation is the same in GPS mode.

The Vivoactive 3 can have about 13 hours of battery life in GPS mode, compared to its successor, which can last about 18 hours in GPS mode with music.

Winner: Vivoactive 4

Stand Out Features of Garmin Vivoactive 4

Improved Display

If you decide to go with the Vivoactive 4, you will get a new and improved display that may have the same pixel density, but it looks much better. It has an always-on transflective display that is great to look at even at direct sunlight.

Music Storage

With the Vivoactive 4, you can forget about taking your phone with you to listen to music. It is equipped with 4GB of internal storage and can store many songs that will keep you amused while you exercise.

Built-In wi-fi

The biggest improvement on the Vivoactive 4 is the built-in wi-fi. You can connect to the internet and use data to give you a more precise analysis and a lot more information.

More: Fitbit Versa 2 vs Charge 4: Which One Should You Buy?

Stand Out Features of Garmin Vivoactive 3

Comfortable and Lightweight

Vivoactive 3 is one of the most comfortable smartwatches available on the market. With its exciting and thin design, you won’t notice anything on your hand. Comfortability is an essential factor, especially when exercising, and the Vivoactive 3 is the right choice.

43mm Bezel

The middle version on the bezel seems to be the right size for a smartwatch. With the new Vivoactive 4, you might find the big 45mm bezel to be too much for you, and the small 40mm on the 4S can be too small for you.

Vivoactive 4 comes with the best bezel size on the market.

More: Garmin Fenix 5 or Fenix 5 Plus – Which One to Choose and Why?

Which is Better Garmin Vivoactive 4 or Garmin Vivoactive 3?

Choose the Garmin Vivoactive 4 if:

  • You want better battery life.
  • You want a bigger bezel option.
  • You are built-in storage and wi-fi.
  • You want more features.

Choose the Garmin Vivoactive 3 if:

  • You want good value for money.
  • You want the best bezel size.
  • You want a comfortable smartwatch.
  • You want a cheaper smartwatch.

Both of these smartwatches are performing great, but the newer version Vivoactive 4 is packed with many new features that will come in handy. If you like the use of the new features, then you should go with the Vivoactive 4. Otherwise, you can save some money by buying the Vivoactive 3 and still have a great smartwatch.

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