Fitbit and Garmin are two of the most well-known brands when it comes to smartwatches, but each one has a different focus. Take the Sense, for instance. Its Fitbit’s new top-of-the-line wearable with advanced health sensors. Meanwhile, Garmin’s Vivoactive 4 is a multisport, GPS fitness smartwatch with features geared toward serious athletes.
That said, both have got you covered in terms of health or fitness, even though they aren’t exactly the same. We compare the two to help you decide which one should be your companion not only for training but also for health.
Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Comparison Chart
|Model||Fitbit Sense||Garmin vivoactive 4|
|Display||AMOLED||Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel, colored touch screen|
|Water Resistance||Up to 50 meters||5 ATM, up to 50 meters|
|Battery Life||Over 6 days or up to 12 hours with GPS on||Up to 8 days or up to 18 hours with GPS on|
|Fast Charging||Yes, 12 minutes for one full day’s worth of battery||n/a|
|Notifications||Replies (Android only), calls, texts, calendar events, Gmail, Facebook||Replies (Android only), emails, texts|
|Music||Spotify playback controls, Deezer, Pandora||Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music|
|Voice Assistant||Google Assistant, Alexa||n/a|
|Mobile Payment||Fitbit Pay||Garmin Pay|
|Female Health Tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Skin Temperature Sensor||Yes||n/a|
|Colors||Carbon/Graphite, Lunar White/Soft Gold||Slate/Black, Silver/Shadow Gray|
Design and Build
The Vivoactive 4 has a longer battery life than the Sense.
Based on their appearance, it’s pretty easy to tell their target market. The Sense has a slimmer and sleeker profile, while the Vivoactive 4 has a sportier design, bordering on rugged in comparison.
The two also have distinct screens. While both use Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the Sense has a more vibrant AMOLED display. On the other hand, the Vivoactive 4 sports a transflective memory-in-pixel or MIP display, which looks relatively duller but more visible in sunlight.
As for battery life, the Sense is rated to last more than six days or up to 12 hours with GPS on. The Vivoactive 4 takes things up a notch, going up to eight days on a single charge or up to 18 hours in GPS mode. However, only the Sense has fast charging, and according to Fitbit, you can get a whole day’s worth of juice in only 12 minutes.
Water resistance of either one is also up to par. They can survive depths of up to 50 meters. In other words, you can use them for swimming.
You can stay on top of your health better with the Sense.
Both smartwatches can track the usual health metrics, including daily resting heart rate, stress, sleep, and menstrual cycles. They also alert you when they detect abnormally low or high heart rates.
However, the Sense blows the Vivoactive 4 on this front. That’s thanks to its ECG (electrocardiogram), EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor, and skin temperature sensor. Put simply, it can provide more info about your health. On top of that, it features PurePulse 2.0 technology, which basically means it has the chops as Fitbit’s most accurate tracker to date.
Each smartwatch is preloaded with over 20 workouts.
Both can track the basics, such as steps, calories burned, floors climbed, and distance traveled. They’re also preloaded with more than 20 exercises, and they can automatically detect workouts to boot.
The Vivoactive 4 has the edge on the Sense, though. It features animated on-screen workouts, after all. That way you can always check how to properly execute exercises, from cardio and strength to yoga workouts.
You can use contactless payment methods on both.
Pretty much any smart feature you’d expect from a smartwatch is available on both, but there are a few differences here and there. For starters, the Sense only lets you store songs and podcasts from Deezer and Pandora and control Spotify. The Vivoactive allows you to download content from Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. Deciding which one is better here really depends on which music streaming service you use.
The Sense is smarter in the sense (you knew that was coming) that it has voice assistants. Two, to be exact: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The Vivoactive 4 has neither one, but that’s not surprising since it’s not really appealing because of its smart features but rather its fitness-focused capabilities.
At any rate, the two support contactless payment methods. Obviously, Fitbit Pay for the Sense and Garmin Pay for the Vivoactive 4. Both also feature notifications, but only the Sense can take calls.
Each smartwatch has their own unique benefits.
The two are advanced smartwatches with distinct features targeted at different individuals. To boil things down, the Fitbit Sense is for health buffs, while the Garmin vivoactive 4 is for outdoor enthusiasts who want a simple and functional GPS fitness smartwatch that won’t break the bank.
The Sense is packed with features focused on health, while the Vivoactive 4 is designed with outdoor workouts in mind.
The Sense is better than the Vivoactive 4 for health-focused individuals because of its ECG, EDA sensor, and skin temperature sensor. However, the Vivoactive 4 is the better pick than the Sense for outdoor enthusiasts because of its longer battery life and sunlight-visible display.
The Fitbit Sense is expected to be available sometime in late September along with the new Versa 3 and Inspire 2.
Yes, the Vivoactive 4 is definitely worth getting. After all, it’s a multisport GPS smartwatch with a long battery life that can track your health and workouts. It also provides a streamlined experience by centering on fitness features rather than smart features.