The $349.99 Garmin Vivoactive 4 should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a fitness tracker that truly balances shape and function. This feature-rich hybrid GPS fitness tracker/smartwatch features a sleek interface, over 20 preloaded sports games, onboard music storage, and Bluetooth headphone support.
With the inclusion of on-screen exercise graphics, Pilates support and upgraded yoga stats, pulse oximeter measurements, respiration tracking, and underwater heart rate control, it builds on its excellent predecessors. It’s pricey, but it delivers great value for the money, winning high-end fitness trackers from our Editors’ Pick.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker that balances size and performance then the Garmin Vioactive 4 should be at the top of your list. This feature-rich hybrid GPS fitness tracker/smartwatch has a sleek interface with over 20 preloaded sports games, onboard music storage, and Bluetooth headphone support.
For aesthetics, this is my favorite classic round watch design. It is compatible with standard quick-release bands, so if you prefer, you can change the silicone strap for some heretics. It looks like VivoActive 3 and VivoActive 3 music, but with two buttons on the right instead of one.
The secondary button (located below) allows you to easily identify a new lap, set, or posture during an activity. When you have not tracked the activity, you can tap it to return to the previous screen or hold it down to see the settings and options menu for the existing screen.
In terms of sensors, Vivoactive 4 includes GPS, gyroscope, heart rate monitor and accelerometer, barometer altimeter, compass, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite system with a pulse oximeter to increase blood oxygen saturation. It burns your calories, travels distances, climbs to the floor, intensifies minutes, sleep, steps, stress levels, and more.
In the Garmin Connect app (available for Android and iOS), you can also enable abnormal heart rate alerts, so it notifies you if your heart rate is abnormally high or low.
The new health statistics widget displays your heart rate, stress level, body battery, respiration, and pulse axes.
I like the stress level statistics. Garmin uses it to estimate your heart rate variability or the time between each heartbeat, whether you are stressed and rested, and gives you a score from zero to 100.
A stress score between 0 and 25 indicates that you are resting, 26 to 50 is considered low, 51 to 75 is moderate and 76 to 100 is high. In the Garmin Connect app, you can see how much time you spend in each range and whether you have enough relaxing moments to balance your stress.
I like the relaxed reminders. If your stress levels are high in Vivoactive 4, it indicates a relaxing breathing exercise. Especially on a busy morning, it gives a message on the screen, “Tension is rising right now. Breath take some time to breathe?” I decided to go ahead.
It holds your breath for three counts, then holds your breath for three counts, inhale hale for three counts, and then hold your breath for three counts. Yoga practitioners sometimes call this box breathing. I exercised for five minutes and was told that my stress level had dropped from 75 to 36.
Body battery status, ranging from zero to 100, indicates how much energy you have released depending on your activity, heart rate variability, stress, and sleep quality. Scores from 100 are high, 51 to 1005 are moderate, 24 to 50 are low and zero to 25 are very low.
Breathing per minute reflects your current breaths and you can click on the widget to see the seven days average. In the Garmin Connect app, you can also view graphs of your respiratory rate throughout the day, week, and month.
The pulse oximeter metric, or SpO2 level, measures the oxygen saturation in your blood. Garmin shines a light into your skin and determines how much is absorbed by checking it out. You can take one-time readings anytime from the Pulse Ax widget.
Vivoactive 4 allows you to enable SpO2 tracking or continuous measurement throughout the day at bedtime, but Garmin warns that these two settings will shorten battery life. To enable them, go to the watch’s settings menu, select the right heart rate, and then Pulse Ax.