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Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Polar Ignite - Which one is better?

Written by Lucas B | published on 27.12.2019 | 1 comments |
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The Garmin vivoactive 4 is one of the best watches for various sports. Especially with regard to the price. The Polar Ignite is a bit cheaper, which visually provides a similar picture. Where exactly are the differences? Which GPS watch is better? Let's take a look at the Ignite and vivoactive 4 in comparison.

Comparison table

Model Garmin vivoactive 4* Polar Ignite*
View offer* Check price » Check price »
Color display Color display Yes Color display Yes
Touchdisplay Touchdisplay Yes Touchdisplay Yes
Resolution Resolution 260 x 260 px Resolution 240x204 px
Display, length Display, length 45,10 mm Display, length 43,00 mm
Display, width Display, width 45,10 mm Display, width 43,00 mm
Depth / thickness Depth / thickness 12,80 mm Depth / thickness 8,50 mm
Weight Weight 51 g Weight 35 g
Waterproof / Swimproof Waterproof / Swimproof Yes Waterproof / Swimproof Yes
Waterproof / Swimproof Waterproof / Swimproof 5 ATM Waterproof / Swimproof WR30
Recording tracks (swimming) Recording tracks (swimming) Yes Recording tracks (swimming) Yes
Swimming, open water Swimming, open water No Swimming, open water Yes
Battery (up to) Battery (up to) 8 days Battery (up to) 5 days
Battery life with GPS Battery life with GPS 6,0 hours Battery life with GPS 17,0 hours
Internal music storage Internal music storage 1 Internal music storage
Spotify Spotify Yes Spotify No
Deezer Deezer Yes Deezer No
Build in GPS Build in GPS Yes Build in GPS Yes
Galileo Satellit Galileo Satellit Yes Galileo Satellit No
Pulse oximeter Pulse oximeter Yes Pulse oximeter No
Stryd Stryd Yes Stryd No
RunScribe RunScribe Yes RunScribe No
Mobile payment Mobile payment Garmin Pay Mobile payment
View offer* Check price » Check price »
buy Garmin vivoactive 4
buy Polar Ignite

Differences between Garmin vivoactive 4 and Polar Ignite

The two watches have a lot in common, but there are differences in detail.

Size and weight

The Polar Ignite is somewhat more compact overall and therefore also somewhat lighter than the Garmin vivoactive 4:


Both watches have a colour display with touch function. However, Garmin has the nose slightly in front with the touch screen. The Polar Ignite offers 240 x 204 pixels in the resolution. The Garmin vivoactive has a resolution of 260 x 260 pixels.

Waterproof and swimming

Both watches are waterproof and also suitable for swimming. The Garmin vivoactive 4 is advertised with 5 ATM. The Polar Ignite with ISO 22810 or WR30.

Thus the Garmin is water resistant up to 50 meters. The Polar Ignite up to 30 meters.

The Polar Ignite also offers the advantage that the watch can also be used for swimming in open water. This is not possible with the Garmin vivoactive 4. The watch is limited to swimming in the pool. But for most people this will be sufficient.

Pulse measurement and ANT+

You also get a pulse measurement with both watches. Overall, the Polar Ignite offers a slightly better heart rate monitor. However, the sensor of the Garmin Vivoacive 4 is in no way bad or useless.

The Garmin Vivoacive 4 still offers ANT+ for this. With it you can connect a chest strap to the watch. Although Polar is known for chest straps, the Polar Ignite does not offer this option.

GPS, GLONASS and Galileo

Both the Garmin Vivoactive and the Polar Ignite offer you GPS and GLONASS. Galileo is only available with the Garmin vivoactive 4.

With both devices, the tracking is built directly into the watch and does not need to be connected via external devices such as the smartphone.

Battery life

In normal mode, the Garmin vivoactive 4 is in front. With the Garmin watch, you get up to 8 days of battery life. The Polar Ignite has a battery life of up to 5 days.

The more functions are activated, the faster the battery will drain. Especially GPS plays an important role here. Here the Polar Ignite is ahead.
Battery life of Garmin vivoactive 4 and Polar Ignite
  Smartwatch GPS
Garmin vivoactive 4* 8 days 6 hours
Polar Ignite* 5 days 17 hours


The Garmin vivoactive 4 offers the advantage of Stryd and RunScribe. A great advantage for runners, which the Polar Ignite does not offer.

Sleep and stress

The Garmin vivoactive 4 has a pulse oximeter installed. This allows the watch to measure the stress level and provide more precise evaluations. This applies especially to sleep analysis. With the Polar Ignite you are limited to sleep analysis.

Music and memory

Unlike the Polar Ignite, you can store music on the Garmin viovoactive 4. In addition, Garmin allows you to use streaming services directly via the clock. These are Deezer and Spotify.

Contactless payment

The Garmin vivoactive 4 has another advantage. You can pay contactlessly with the watch. For this, Garmin relies on Garmin Pay. Polar does not offer you this function with the Ignite.

Which watch is better?

If you want to save some money you are well served with the Polar Ignite*. But I think the Garmin vivoactive 4* is the better choice. You pay a little more, but you get something for it. In the functions of a Smartwatch the Garmin vivoactive 4 is in front.

The most important differences between the two watches in the short list:
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4 has a music memory
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4* supports Deezer and Spotify
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4 supports Stryd and RunScribe
  • The Garmin Vivoatvice 4 records sleep and stress levels (Polar Ignite only sleep)
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4 has a slightly better touch display
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4 supports ANT+
  • The Garmin vivoactive 4 joins Garmin Pay
  • The Polar Ignite* supports free swimming (Garmin vivoactive 4 only swimming in the pool)
  • The Polar Ignite has a slightly better heart rate monitor
  • The Polar Ignite offers more sports (100+)

By the way, the Garmin vivoactive 3 music* is still not a bad choice and a very good (cheaper) alternative to the vivoavtive 4, for which you can have a look at the differences between the Garmin vivoactive 3 and 4.
buy Garmin vivoactive 4
buy Polar Ignite
Tags: ProduktvergleichVS, Fitnesstracker, Garmin, Polar The article is written by and published on .
Kommentare, Meinungen & Ergänzungen
Gast (Mohamed)
21.06.2023 08:01
Profiltyp: Gast
Mein Polar Ignite 2 macht selbstständig und unangemeldet Reset (Neustart) und Polar Support hat mir keine Lösung.
Freunde, die Garmin Geräten besitzen, haben scheinbar dieses Problem nicht und kriegen ein besseres Support vom Garmin.
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