We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 (2022): Which Should You Get?

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

ModelFitbit SenseGarmin vivoactive 4
 Fitbit SenseGarmin vívoactive 4 GPS Smartwatch
PriceCheck Price

at Verizon.com

Check Price

at Garmin.com

DisplayAMOLEDSunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel, colored touch screen
GPSYesYes
Water ResistanceUp to 50 meters5 ATM, up to 50 meters
Battery LifeOver 6 days or up to 12 hours with GPS onUp to 8 days or up to 18 hours with GPS on
Fast ChargingYes, 12 minutes for one full day’s worth of batteryn/a
NotificationsReplies (Android only), calls, texts, calendar events, Gmail, FacebookReplies (Android only), emails, texts
MusicSpotify playback controls, Deezer, PandoraSpotify, Deezer, Amazon Music
Voice AssistantGoogle Assistant, Alexan/a
Mobile PaymentFitbit PayGarmin Pay
Stress TrackingYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes
ECGYesn/a
EDAYesn/a
Skin Temperature SensorYesn/a
Release Date20202019
ColorsCarbon/Graphite, Lunar White/Soft GoldSlate/Black, Silver/Shadow Gray

Design and Build

The Vivoactive 4 has a longer battery life than the Sense.

Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Design and Build
While the Sense (left) has an AMOLED display, the Vivoactive 4 (right) has a transflective MIP touch screen.

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.

Health Features

You can stay on top of your health better with the Sense.

Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Health Features
Only the Sense (in photo) has an ECG, EDA sensor, and skin temperature sensor.

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.

Activity Tracking

Each smartwatch is preloaded with over 20 workouts.

Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Activity Tracking
Only the Vivoactive 4 (in photo) has animated on-screen workouts for cardio and strength training, as well as yoga and Pilates.

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.

Smart Features

You can use contactless payment methods on both.

Fitbit Sense vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Smart Features
The Sense (left) features Google Assistant and Alexa, while the Vivoactive 4 (right) doesn’t have any voice assistant at all.

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.

Verdict

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.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Fitbit Sense and Garmin Vivoactive 4?

The Sense is packed with features focused on health, while the Vivoactive 4 is designed with outdoor workouts in mind.

📌 Which is better, the Fitbit Sense or Garmin Vivoactive 4?

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.

📌 When is the release date of the Fitbit Sense?

The Fitbit Sense is expected to be available sometime in late September along with the new Versa 3 and Inspire 2.

📌 Is the Garmin Vivoactive 4 worth it?

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.

RELATED  Fitbit Charge 4 vs Apple Watch 3 (2021): Which Fitness Smartwatch Should You Get?
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.