Garmin vivoactive 3 vs 4 - Where are the differences?

Written by Lucas B | published on 05.09.2019 | no comments |
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Garmin vivoactive 3 vs 4 - Where are the differences? The Garmin vivoactive 4 is the successor of the Garmin vivoactive 3, the GPS sports watch for popular sports. For many it is more suitable than the Forerunner series or the much more expensive Fenix series. Let's take a look at what's new with the vivoactive 4, where the differences lie and which of the two watches is better for you.

Garmin vivoactive 4 vs 4s

The Garmin vivoactive 4* is again available in two versions. These are the vivoactive 4 and vivoactive 4s. In contrast to the vivoactive 3 both versions have music on board. The models differ primarily in the size of the watch itself. This is also the reason for the low price difference. You can see the concrete sizes in the comparison to the third generation.

Differences between Garmin vivoactive 3 und 4

Both versions of the 4th generation offer everything that the predecessor also offers in the music version. However, a few points are new.

Size, weight and display.

In size and weight the predecessor is a mixture of the new two devices. Which size you prefer depends on your preferences. The larger vivoactive 4 is much heavier in weight.
Garmin vivoactive 3 vs 4s vs 4a - Comparison in size
  vivoactive 3 Music vivoactive 4s vivoactive 4
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes
Colour display Yes Yes Yes
Display 3D Gorillaglas Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Physical size 43,1x 43,1 mm 40 x 40 mm 45,1 x 45,1 mm
Thickness 11,7 mm 12,7mm 12,8 mm
Display / Diameter 30,4 mm
1,2 Zoll
27,9 mm
1,1 Zoll
33,0 mm
1,3 Zoll
Resolution 240 x 240 Pixel 218 x 218 Pixel 260 x 260 Pixel
Weight 39 g 40 g 50,5 g

Furthermore, the vivoactive 4 has a touch screen in both versions. That was already a big difference between the Garmin vivoactive 3 and the Forerunner 245.
buy Garmin vivoactive 3
buy Garmin vivoactive 4s
buy Garmin vivoactive 4


As with the predecessor, the bracelet can also be changed on both vivoactive 4 models. However, the sizes are new:
  • vivoactive 3: 20 Millimeter
  • vivoactive 4s: 18 Millimeter
  • vivoactive 4: 22 Millimeter

Battery life

The battery life of the vivoactive 4 is slightly longer than that of the smaller vivoactive 4s. However, it is very small.
Comparison of battery life vivoactive 3 and 4
  Smartwatch with GPS and music
vivoactive 3 Musik 7 days 5 hours
vivoactive 4s 7 days 5 hours
vivoactive 4 8 days 6 hours

In my opinion, these differences are not significant and do not leave behind any real argument for the vivoactive 4.


Both watches are waterproof, as was the case with the 3rd generation. Also the classification is identical here with 5 ATM.

There is however a small and also quite important difference. The vivoactive 4 can also measure the pulse under water. Especially for swimmers this is elementary. However, the vivoactive 3 is also suitable for swimming in general.

New features of Garmin vivoactive 4 and 4s

Beside the technology the Garmin vivoactive 4* and 4s* offer some new features, which were not available with the vivoactive 3 music* yet.
  • Pulse oximeter acclimatization
  • Body Battery™ Energy Monitor
  • Yoga workouts
  • Pilates workouts
  • On-screen workout animations
  • Breathing rate (during yoga training)
  • respiration rate
  • Heart rate measurement on the wrist under water
  • Storage of clubs during golf

Which Garmin vivoactive is better?

Overall, the Garmin vivoactive 4* already offers a little more than its predecessor. But for many of them the functions aren't very important. A big difference lies in the size, where you can also choose between the 4s and 4s. Also with the Garmin vivoactive 3 Music* you definitely make a good purchase. Especially if you don't need any of the new features, you can certainly save something here.
buy Garmin vivoactive 3
buy Garmin vivoactive 4s
buy Garmin vivoactive 4
Tags: ProduktvergleichVS, Fitness Tracker, Garmin, vivoactive The article is written by and published on .
Geschrieben von Lucas B
Lucas ist einer der Betreiber und Entwickler von buffcoach. Obwohl er im Bereich der IT tätig ist, nehmen Sport und Ernährung einen sehr großen Anteil seines Lebens ein. Er trainiert im Bereich des Kraftsports nach Grundlagen von Crosstraining. Sein Ziel ist es stark und fit zu sein. Eine gesunde Ernährung ist damit eng verbunden. Sein Wissen teilt er auf im Magazin und Forum.
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