The Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 reveal two distinct paths in smartwatch design and functionality. Launched in September 2022 and September 2023 respectively, these devices are mid-tier smartwatches. This means they offer a balance between affordability and advanced features, positioned between the budget and high-end or premium models in the market.
This comparison aims to dissect the nuances of each model. Read on to find out where Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 differ, and what they share in common. Could one of these be right for you? Let’s find out.
The Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 cater to different segments of the smartwatch market, each excelling in its unique way. The Versa 4 is essentially a fitness watch that combines style with functionality at a competitive price. It is a good choice for people interested in tracking their basic fitness and health metrics around the clock. The Vivoactive 5, on the other hand, is a blend between a fitness and sports watch. It offers more advanced performance tracking, appealing to those more serious about their athletic pursuits. It also comes with built-in storage for music, a feature that cannot be found on the Fitbit.
Fitbit Versa 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5: Hardware
Design & display
The Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 showcase distinct design philosophies that cater to different aesthetic preferences. The Versa 4 adopts a square shape, aligning with the contemporary smartwatch trend, and is known for its slim profile and lightweight design. This sleek form factor appeals to users who prioritize a modern, minimalist look.
In contrast, the Vivoactive 5 features a round shape. This might appeal more to those who prefer a classic watch appearance. Its build includes a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a stainless steel bezel, offering a blend of durability and elegance.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The Versa 4 has a single physical button, simplifying its interface and maintaining its sleek design. This minimalist approach suits users who prefer touchscreen navigation with minimal physical interaction. The Vivoactive 5, on the other hand, features two physical buttons, providing more tactile control. This can be particularly useful for quick access to certain functions, especially during physical activities where touchscreen use might be less convenient.
Display, colour options, water-resistance
Both devices are equipped with AMOLED displays, known for their vibrant colors and sharp contrast. The Versa 4 has a display resolution of 336 x 336 pixels on a 1.58-inch screen, offering clear and bright visuals. The Vivoactive 5’s display is slightly smaller at 1.2 inches with a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels, but it still delivers crisp and vivid imagery.
The Versa 4 offers a variety of color options, including Black/Graphite, Waterfall Blue/Platinum, Pink Sand/Copper Rose, and Beet Juice/Copper Rose. These choices provide users with the flexibility to select a style that best fits their personal taste. The Vivoactive 5 comes in different color combinations. This includes Metallic Orchid, Slate, Cream Gold, and Metallic Navy.
Both the Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 boast a water resistance rating of 5 ATM. So no worries on that count.
In terms of sensor technology, both devices cover the basics well. The Fitbit Versa 4 is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor, relative SpO2 sensor, and temperature sensor. These sensors enable a wide range of health and fitness tracking capabilities, from sleep and heart rate monitoring to altitude and oxygen saturation levels.
The Garmin Vivoactive 5 shares several of these sensors. For example the heart rate monitor and accelerometer, and also includes a Pulse Ox sensor, which measures blood oxygen saturation. Additionally, it is equipped with a compass and gyroscope, enhancing its navigation capabilities, particularly useful for outdoor adventures. But it lacks the altimeter and skin temperature sensor of the Fitbit.
Both watches offer GPS connectivity, ensuring accurate tracking of outdoor activities. NFC for contactless payments is another common feature, adding convenience for on-the-go transactions.
A notable distinction is the Vivoactive 5’s music storage capability. It allows users to store and play music directly from the watch. This feature is absent in the Versa 4, making the Vivoactive 5 a more appealing option for those who enjoy music during workouts without needing their phone. Both devices also have NFC for contactless payments.
When comparing the battery life of the duo it’s clear that both devices are designed to cater to users who value longevity in their wearables. The Fitbit Versa 4 offers over 6 days of battery life, which is quite impressive for a device packed with a range of health and fitness features. This makes it a reliable choice for those who prefer not to worry about frequent charging.
On the other hand, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 takes battery performance a step further, boasting up to 11 days in smartwatch mode. This climbs to an impressive 21 days in battery saver mode. Its ability to last for weeks makes it an exceptional choice for extended use, especially for users who engage in long-duration activities or prefer less frequent charging interruptions.
Fitbit Versa 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5: Technical specs
Here’s a comparison table for the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and Fitbit Versa 4:
Garmin Vivoactive 5
Fitbit Versa 4
Fiber-reinforced polymer, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 lens, stainless steel bezel
Flexible, durable material for classic band; aluminium watch case and buckle; polyester woven band
Number of Physical Buttons
42.2 x 42.2 x 11.1 mm
40.5 x 40.5 x 11.2 mm
390 x 390 pixels
336 x 336 pixels
Weight (without strap)
HRM, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensor
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, Optical heart rate monitor, Altimeter, Ambient light sensor, Relative SpO2 sensor, temperature sensor
GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi antenna (802.11 b/g/n)
Up to 11 days smartwatch mode, 5 days always-on display, 21 days Battery Saver Mode, 21 hours GPS Mode
Up to 6 days
Metallic orchid, Slate, Cream gold, Metallic navy
Black/Graphite, Waterfall Blue/Platinum, Pink Sand/Copper Rose, Beet Juice/Copper Rose
Fitbit Versa 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5: Features
The Versa 4, with its sleek design and intuitive user interface, caters to those looking for a modern smartwatch experience. As you’d expect from Fitbit, it excels in seamlessly integrating fitness tracking with everyday smartwatch functionalities. This makes it an ideal choice for those who value a blend of style and health metrics.
The Versa 4 shines in providing detailed health metrics, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and SpO2 measurements. Additionally, its inclusion of an altimeter is particularly beneficial for tracking elevation in activities such as hiking and stair climbing. This makes it a versatile companion for various fitness routines.
On the other hand, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 is geared towards users who are more serious about their fitness activities. It offers a robust set of features that cater to a wide range of sports and adventures. The Vivoactive 5’s design is complemented by additional navigation sensors like a compass and gyroscope. The tech enhances its utility for outdoor navigation and sports activities.
Moreover, the Vivoactive 5 stands out with its rich array of performance-type statistics, a testament to Garmin’s extensive experience in sports watch development. This expertise is reflected in the detailed metrics and comprehensive data analysis the device offers. Such data will be of interest to users who seek in-depth insights into their physical performance in activities like running or cycling. The ability to connect to external heart rate monitors further enhances its appeal, especially for those engaging in high-intensity exercises where accurate heart rate data is crucial.
In terms of smartwatch features, both devices offer notifications, along with NFC for contactless payments. The Versa 4 stands out with its Fitbit ecosystem, which includes a wide range of apps. The Vivoactive 5, with its music storage capability, appeals to users who enjoy having their music on the go without needing a phone. This will be important to some, but not to others.
Fitbit Versa 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5: Price
Price-wise, the Fitbit Versa 4 and Garmin Vivoactive 5 are positioned in a competitive market segment. The Versa 4, priced around $230, offers a balance of smartwatch and health tracking features at a mid-range price point. This makes it an attractive option for those who want a modern smartwatch with robust fitness capabilities. You are also likely to find discounts on the device as it is over a year old now.
The Vivoactive 5, with a typical retail price of $300, is slightly more expensive. It justifies its price hike with additional features like music storage and enhanced navigation tools.
Fitbit provides an optional Premium Subscription, offering users enhanced insights, personalized guidance, and extensive health metrics and wellness content. In contrast, Garmin doesn’t have a similar subscription model. Their devices come fully equipped with all features at no additional cost. It’s worth noting that Fitbit’s core functionalities, such as detailed health and fitness tracking, remain comprehensive and robust, even without the premium subscription. So you don’t really need to opt for the additional expense.
Fitbit Versa 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5: Final thoughts
In this comparison between the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Garmin Vivoactive 5, we see two distinct approaches to the smartwatch and fitness tracker market. The Fitbit Versa 4, priced around $230, offers a sleek and modern design combined with an intuitive user interface, making it an attractive option for those who seek a stylish smartwatch that doesn’t compromise on health and fitness features. It’s particularly suited for everyday wear and for those who appreciate a seamless integration of health metrics into their daily lives. The Versa 4’s strength lies in its ability to provide comprehensive health tracking, including heart rate monitoring and SpO2 measurements, in a package that’s both fashionable and functional.
On the other side, the Garmin Vivoactive 5, with a price tag of about $300, caters to a more performance-oriented audience. It’s designed for users who are serious about their outdoor and fitness activities, offering a robust set of features that include advanced navigation tools and the ability to connect to external heart rate monitors for more accurate data during high-intensity workouts. Plus you get an additional extra that comes in the ability to store music on the device for watch-free listening.
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