If you are in a hurry! check out our quick comparison of Garmin Vivoactive vs Garmin Fenix 6.
45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
47 x 47 x 14.7 mm
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Corning Gorilla Glass DX, Sapphire glass
GPS – 18 hours, No GPS 8 Days
GPS – 36 hours, No GPS 14 Days
Open water swimming
With all the technological advancements nowadays, there are plenty of smartwatches to choose from. They are equipped with many incredibly useful features that will change your life.
If you want to buy the best outdoor designed smartwatch, then Garmin is the best choice for you.
They are building rugged and heavy-duty watches that are equipped with tons of features. In this comparison test, we will put head-to-head two of the most popular Garmin watches Vivoactive 4 vs Fenix 6 and find out which is better.
Garmin is an American based company founded in 1989, and they specialize in GPS technology. They are the best manufacturers in providing great solutions for all automotive, marine, aviation, outdoor, and sports activities.
Since they’ve decided to enter the wearable industry, their smartwatches quickly became popular due to their rugged build and incredibly useful and accurate technology.
Vivoactive 4 is a touch-sensitive smartwatch, and it has a lot to live up to since its predecessor the Vivoactive 3, was very popular. However, Garmin has made some great improvements which makes the Vivoactive 4 a much better choice.
It has a new and improved battery, which is a great deal for smartwatches. Currently, the battery will last up to 18 hours while using the GPS, or 6 days without GPS.
In terms of design, it is light and thin, making it very comfortable to wear. The Vivoactive 4 feels like a premium watch when you hold it in your hands. Garmin used high-quality materials to improve the built quality, and they’ve done a fantastic job.
The body is made from fiber-reinforced polymer and comes with only a silicone strap option. Despite the stainless steel on the bezel, the watch is still light coming at 50.5 grams.
It has a 1.3-inch beautiful full-color LCD display with 260 x 260 px resolution. The best thing about the display is that it comes with an always-on feature.
In terms of controls, the Vivoactive 4 has 2 physical buttons and a touch-sensitive screen.
Vivoactive 4 has a lot of different features like Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, ROM Memory of 4GB, SMS alert, audio capability, and much more.
This smartwatch is designed for the outdoors and for tracking many interesting things that will help you live a healthier lifestyle.
- Good value for money
- A lot of features
- Improved battery life
- Touch-sensitive screen
- Comfortable to wear
- Not as rugged as other outdoor watches
- Battery life should be better with GPS
On the other hand, we have the Fenix 6, which has a slightly different approach than the Vivoactive 4.
The Fenix 6 is built more as a sports watch with addition of various features like open water swimming. In other words, it is more oriented for athletes or physically active people.
In terms of build quality, the Fenix 6 features rugged and high-quality design, which is expected from Garmin.
It is quite bulky and heavy compared to other sports smartwatches. With dimensions of 47 x 47 x 14.7mm and weight of 83 grams, it might get uncomfortable if you wear it for a long time.
The Fenix 6 comes in different versions, such as Fenix 6 Pro, 6S, 6X. All of them have different features or materials used in the built process.
With that in mind, the Fenix 6 comes with few options for bezel material such as stainless steel, titanium, and DLC. There are also few options for the strap, such as leather, silicone, titanium, or nylon.
The screen is made with corning gorilla glass DX, but you can also choose the unscratchable sapphire glass for additional costs.
It has the same usual display for Garmin watches of 1.3-inch, but it doesn’t have touch screen capability.
Instead, there are five physical buttons used to access all features in the watch. The Fenix 6 also comes with various features like GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, and ROM Memory of 32GB.
Since this is a sport-oriented smartwatch, it also has a lot of tracking features like blood oxygen, calories, distance, water intake, stress, and many more.
The most impressive thing about Fenix 6 is battery life. In battery saver mode, it can last an unbelievable 48 days. With expedition GPS mode, it lasts for about 28 days, and in smartwatch mode, it lasts only 14 days.
- Great built-quality
- A lot of features
- Great tracking capabilities
- Impressive battery life
- Quite bulky
- No touchscreen
Which Is Better: The Fenix 6 or Vivoactive 4?
Since both watches have a ton of features, it might be difficult to pick the winner. That’s why we are going to go through all of their specifications and declare the winner in each category.
In terms of design, they look identical if you are looking from far away, but if you compare them side-by-side, there are few differences in their design.
First of all, the Fenix 4 is a bit bigger than the Vivoactive 4. The Vivoactive 4 body dimensions are 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8mm whereas the Fenix 4 is 47 x 47 x 14.7mm. It is not a significant difference, but it truly makes the Vivoactive four much more comfortable to wear.
Other significant differences are the color options. The Vivoactive 4 comes in Black or Silver option, whereas the Fenix 6 only comes in black.
They have the same 1.3-inch full-color display with the same 260 x 260 px resolution. However, the Vivoactive 4 is fully touch-capable, compared to the Fenix 6, which doesn’t have a touchscreen.
The shape of both watches is also identical since it is the signature circular shape by Garmin.
The straps on your smartwatch are also important for achieving comfortability. There are a couple of strap options on the Fenix 6 like silicone, nylon, leather, or titanium, whereas the Vivoactive 4 only comes with silicone straps.
Despite the touch screen on the Vivoactive 4, it also comes with two physical buttons for controlling while running or swimming. On the other hand, the Fenix 6 comes with five physical buttons, so maneuvering through features and controls is more complicated.
Winner: Vivoactive 4
When it comes to features, both are very well equipped. However, the biggest difference between these two watches is the type of features included in each option.
For instance, they both have GPS and indoor + outdoor running, cycling, and swimming. Additionally, they have multiple cardio modes making them perfect smartwatches for any physical activities.
It is hard to cover all the features since both offer a lot for the money. They also have a gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass built in the device and NFC payment through the Garmin pay feature.
They both come with Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-Fi and a lot of tracking features.
However, Fenix 6 offers even more. It is equipped with open water swimming, advanced running dynamics, and TOPO maps. You can also check the temperature altitude and acclimation.
They both have internal music storage, but the Fenix 6 can store up to 2000 songs compared to the Vivoactive 4 which can store only 500 songs.
Another great feature essential to mention is the solar charging on the Fenix 6X Pro. You can now charge your smartwatch using direct sunlight, which is a great way to extend its battery life.
So, when we compare Vivoactive 4s vs Fenix 6s, the Fenix 6s is the obvious winner.
If we sum up all sport modes, the Fenix 6 has 30 features, compared to the Vivoactive which has 20 features.
When it comes to features, the Fenix 6 offers more for the money. It is designed for outdoor activities and for athletes.
If you don’t use your smartwatch for training or other physical activities, these features won’t make any difference to you, so you would be much better buying the less expensive Vivoactive 4.
Winner: Fenix 6
Battery life is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to buying your smartwatch. Most smartwatches have a battery life of 4-5 days, and even popular choices like the Apple Watch or Galaxy watch have a battery life of only one day.
However, that is not the case with Garmin watches. When we compare Vivoactive 4 vs Fenix 6, both smartwatches have great battery life.
Due to the better modes, the Fenix 6 beats the Vivoactive 4 in terms of battery. The Fenix 6 has 28 day GPS mode (Expedition), where the watch only focuses on the GPS signal on your smartwatch. The Vivoactive 4 doesn’t come with such an option.
Additionally, the Fenix 6 comes with a battery saver mode, which can bump up the battery life up to 48 days. We also mentioned that solar charging is available to the Fenix 6X Pro, which is an excellent addition to have.
If we put the Fenix 6 vs Vivoactive 4 head-to-head, the Fenix 6 has more than double the battery life. With the GPS feature enabled, the Vivoactive 4 can last for up to 18 hours, compared to the Fenix 6, which can last up to 36 hours.
If you use these watches with the smartwatch battery mode on, the Fenix 6 can last up to 14 days, compared to the Vivoactive 4, which can only last about eight days.
Winner: Fenix 6
What Is The Difference Between the Garmin Fenix 6 and Vivoactive 4?
Until now, there is a tight race between both smartwatches. They have great features and an elegant design, and you won’t make a mistake by purchasing either one of them.
However, there are still some differences that are important to mention.
The first noticeable difference is the touchscreen on the Vivoactive 4 that works flawlessly. This feature makes the Vivoactive 4 much easier to use, compared to the Fenix 6, which only has physical buttons.
You can swipe and tap through the navigation menu to access all features with ease. In contrast, the Fenix 6 push-button system also works well but might be frustrating when you are trying to access some features.
Since the Fenix 6 has a lot more features than the Vivoactive 4, it is a more expensive option. In fact, the Vivoactive 4 is almost half the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro price depending on the version.
In other words, you should decide if you really need the extra features to go with the more expensive Fenix 6. The Vivoactive 4 is still a very well rounded activity tracker with a couple of great tracking features, so you have to purchase the one that works best for you.
As we mentioned, the Fenix 6 comes with a couple of more features such as open water swimming, triathlon mode, Garmin advanced running dynamics, Ski resort maps, pre-loaded golf course maps, calorie, and water intake tracker.
This makes the Fenix 6 more attractive to endurance athletes. With that said, the Vivoactive 4 has many things covered like track running, cycling, Body battery score, Golf mode, and a few more great things.
Choose the Vivoactive 4 if:
- You want more value for money.
- You want a durable watch.
- You want a more comfortable watch.
- You want a touchscreen.
Choose the Fenix 6 if:
- You want more features.
- You want more options to choose from.
- You want better battery life.
- You are an athlete.
Both smartwatches perform flawlessly in the real world. The best way to decide the winner in this comparison test is to go through your preferences.
If you want a smartwatch with great functionality that still has decent tracking features and comes at a fraction of the price, you should go with the Vivoactive 4.
However, if you want a more athlete-oriented watch with more professional tracking features and better battery life, you should go with the Fenix 6.