Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance

Tech throwdown: Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance

The recent launches of the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance have stirred considerable interest. Unveiled in September 2023, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 emerges as a versatile option, appealing to a wide range of users with its unique blend of features and functionalities. It’s designed to cater to those who seek a balance between a robust fitness tracker and a stylish smartwatch.

On the other hand we have the Amazfit Balance. Unveiled by Zepp Health in August 2023, it takes a comprehensive approach to wellness. This device targets users who are not just interested in fitness, but also those keen on a holistic view of their health, encompassing both physical and mental well-being.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

In this comparative exploration, we delve into the nuances and distinct offerings of the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance. Let’s dive in.

Key takeaways

These watches cater to slightly different user needs. The Garmin Vivoactive 5 ($299) is ideal for those who are after a comprehensive range of health metrics and smartwatch features, packaged in a stylish design. The Amazfit Balance ($229) offers a more affordable, wellness-focused alternative, emphasizing both physical and mental health tracking, with a user-friendly interface.

View on Amazfit / Garmin; View on Amazon (Amazfit Balance, Garmin Vivoactive 5).

Jump to

Technical specs
Bottom line

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance: Hardware

Design & display

Both the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance offer unique takes on the look and feel of a smartwatch. The Vivoactive 5 leans towards a versatile design that suits both athletic and casual settings, while the Amazfit Balance emphasizes a blend of style and functionality with its larger display and classic design elements. Each watch caters to different aesthetic preferences, yet neither compromises on essential features like water resistance and display quality, making them formidable contenders.

Sporty yet elegant vibe

Starting with the Garmin Vivoactive 5, it showcases an anodized aluminum bezel that imparts a sporty yet elegant vibe. This choice of material contributes to its lightweight design, weighing in at just 36 grams, making it almost imperceptible on the wrist during daily activities or intense workouts. The Vivoactive 5 maintains a balance between sophistication and sportiness, available in several color options including Metallic Orchid, Slate, Cream Gold, and Metallic Navy. These choices reflect a range of styles from vibrant to classic. The device features a round shape with dimensions of 42.2 x 42.2 x 11.1 mm and two physical buttons, ensuring ease of navigation and a tactile experience. Its display is a crisp 1.3 inch AMOLED, offering clear and vibrant visuals. Additionally, the Vivoactive 5 is equipped with 5 ATM water resistance, making it suitable for swimming and other water-related activities.

A fashion statement

In contrast, the Amazfit Balance by Zepp Health takes a slightly different approach in its design. It features an aluminum alloy middle frame and a fiber-reinforced polymer bottom shell, blending durability with comfort. The device can be picked up in two colour choices: Sunset Grey and Midnight, offering a more limited but equally sophisticated palette. Balance is slightly larger and rounder than the Vivoactive 5, with dimensions of 46 x 46 x 10.6 mm, yet it matches the Vivoactive 5 in weight at 36 grams. This smartwatch also includes two physical buttons, one of which is a crown, adding a classic watch element to its modern design. The display is a notable 1.5-inch AMOLED screen, so larger than the Vivoactive 5, providing vivid colours and sharp visuals. Like its Garmin counterpart, the Amazfit Balance boasts a 5 ATM water resistance rating, ensuring durability and functionality in various environments.

Sensor technology

The Garmin Vivoactive 5 and Amazfit Balance each bring their unique strengths to the table as far as sensor technology. The Vivoactive 5 is equipped with a heart rate monitor (HRM), accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer and ambient light sensor. These sensors collectively cater to a wide range of health and fitness tracking needs, from basic activity monitoring to advanced health metrics. For connectivity, it supports comprehensive satellite navigation with GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO, ensuring precise location tracking across different environments. Additionally, it features NFC for seamless contactless payments and provides music storage, enhancing the overall user experience with added convenience and entertainment options.

Contrastingly, the Amazfit Balance focuses on a slightly different sensor set. It includes the BioTracker™ 5.0 PPG biometric sensor, integrating advanced heart rate monitoring capabilities, and a BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor for in-depth body composition analysis. It also comes with a 3-axis acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, temperature sensor, and an ambient light sensor, making it a comprehensive tool for health tracking. In terms of GPS connectivity, the Amazfit Balance stands out with its circularly-polarized GPS antenna and dual-band positioning, supported by six satellite positioning systems, offering enhanced accuracy. Like the Vivoactive 5, it also supports NFC and includes music storage, though it specifies a maximum storage limit of 2.3GB for music.

Battery life

The Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance offer varying battery life performances tailored to different usage scenarios. The Vivoactive 5 boasts up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, extending to 21 days in its Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode, and provides up to 21 hours in GPS-Only GNSS Mode, catering to users with diverse needs, from daily wear to intensive outdoor activities. In contrast, the Amazfit Balance shines with a longer battery life, lasting up to 14 days in normal mode and stretching to an impressive 24 days in Battery Saver Mode. Its Accuracy GPS Mode can run for 26 hours, making it a robust choice for users prioritizing extended battery life in various operational modes.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance: Technical specs

Here’s a detailed comparison table for the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance, encompassing the main specifications.

Garmin Vivoactive 5
Amazfit Balance
Release Date
September 2023
August 2023
Case Material
Fiber-reinforced polymer, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 lens, Stainless steel bezel
Aluminum alloy middle frame, Fiber-reinforced polymer bottom shell
Number of Physical Buttons
Shape and Size
42.2 x 42.2 x 11.1 mm, Round
Round, 46 x 46 x 10.6 mm
Display Type
AMOLED Screen with Tempered glass + anti-fingerprint coating
390 x 390 pixels
480 x 480 pixels
Screen Size
1.2 inch
1.5 inch
Weight (without strap)
36 grams
35 grams
HRM, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Pulse Ox, Thermometer, Ambient light sensor
BioTracker™ 5.0 PPG biometric sensor (8PD + 2LED), BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor, 3-axis acceleration sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic sensor, Air pressure sensor, Temperature sensor, Ambient light sensor
Circularly-polarized GPS antenna, Dual-band positioning, 6 satellite positioning systems
Built-in Speaker
Music Storage
Yes (max storage space for music is 2.3GB)
Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 & BLE
Battery Type
Battery Life
Up to 11 days smartwatch mode, 5 days always-on display, 21 days Battery Saver Mode, 21 hours GPS-Only GNSS Mode
14 days in normal mode, 24 days in Battery Saver Mode, 26 hours in Accuracy GPS Mode
Operating System
Garmin OS
Zepp OS 3.+
Metallic orchid Aluminium bezel with orchid case, Slate aluminium bezel with black case, Cream gold aluminium bezel with ivory case, Metallic navy Aluminium bezel with navy case
Midnight, Sunset Grey
Typical RRP

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Amazfit Balance: Features

Both watches offer robust fitness and health tracking capabilities, but the Garmin Vivoactive 5 leans more towards detailed physical health monitoring and outdoor activity tracking, while the Amazfit Balance offers a balanced approach, integrating physical health tracking with a strong emphasis on mental wellness. This distinction in focus makes each watch uniquely appealing to different user groups, with the Vivoactive 5 being more suited for the physically active and fitness-focused individuals, and the Amazfit Balance catering to those who seek a more rounded approach to overall wellness, including mental health.

The Vivoactive 5 succeeds a long list of Garmin watches. So you can trust its data. The company is one of the pioneers in this space. Plus you get GPS navigation enhanced by the inclusion of multiple satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO), providing accuracy and reliability for outdoor activities. For smartwatch functionalities, the Vivoactive 5 includes NFC for contactless payments and music storage, catering to the needs of users who seek both fitness tracking and everyday convenience.

The Amazfit Balance, is no slouch either. It stands out with its BioTracke 5.0 PPG biometric sensor for advanced heart rate monitoring and a BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor for body composition analysis, appealing to users interested in a comprehensive overview of their physical health. The Balance also emphasises mental wellness with features like readiness scores and AI-driven wellness services, including personalised sleep guidance and the latest version of ZeppOS (3.x). This makes it a more suitable option for those who are as focused on mental well-being as they are on physical fitness. In terms of smartwatch features, the Amazfit Balance matches the Vivoactive 5 in aspects like NFC and music storage but adds a dual-band GPS for more precise location tracking and a larger AMOLED display, enhancing user interaction and readability.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance: Price

The Garmin Vivoactive 5, priced at $299, positions itself in the higher end of the market, reflecting its comprehensive array of features like advanced health and fitness tracking, GPS, and smartwatch capabilities such as NFC and music storage.

In contrast, the Amazfit Balance offers a more affordable option at $229, appealing to users who desire a holistic approach to wellness, including physical and mental health tracking, at a more accessible price point. This difference in pricing underscores the distinct target audiences and feature sets of each model, with the Vivoactive 5 catering to those seeking a premium, feature-rich experience, and the Amazfit Balance appealing to cost-conscious consumers looking for a balanced blend of functionality and value.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Amazfit Balance: Final thoughts

In the final analysis, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Amazfit Balance each present a compelling case, but for different reasons. The Vivoactive 5, with its $299 price tag, is a premium offering that caters to those interested detailed physical health monitoring and outdoor activity tracking. Its robust set of features, comprehensive GPS capabilities, and additional smartwatch functionalities like NFC and music storage, make it a top choice for users seeking a high-end, versatile wearable. The design, coupled with its diverse color options and AMOLED display, adds to its appeal, making it not just a fitness tool but also a fashion statement.

The Amazfit Balance, on the other hand, stands out as a more budget-friendly option at $229, offering a holistic approach to wellness. It focuses on a blend of physical and mental health tracking, featuring the BioTracker 5.0 PPG biometric sensor, BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor, and AI-driven wellness services. While it may not match the Vivoactive 5 in terms of the breadth of fitness tracking, it excels in providing a comprehensive wellness experience. This, combined with its stylish design and practical features like dual-band GPS and a larger AMOLED display, makes the Amazfit Balance an attractive option for those who prioritize overall well-being and value.

View on Amazfit / Garmin; View on Amazon (Amazfit Balance, Garmin Vivoactive 5).

You may also be interested in:

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Forerunner 265
Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Venu 2 vs 2 Plus
Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Venu 3
Amazfit Balance vs GTR 4
Garmin Venu 3 vs Amazfit Balance

Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!

Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.