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Vivoactive 4 buy now or wait for Vivoactive 5?


I have sold my Samsung Galaxy watch 3 solely due to the battery life. I'm planning to go for a Garmin Vivoactive 4. Was planning on one of the Fenix Series but dropped it due to budget limitations. 

Should I wait for the Vivoactive 5 or go with the 4 now ? Im not a pro athlete but mainly track my gym activities and sleep. Also need god battery life and a big dial as I am big :) any other options suggested ?



  • Hey man, I owe Vivoactive 4 for half a year now, and honestly, I would wait. It is not a bad watch, but the expectations are behind reality and the price is too high for such an unfinished product. Unfortunately, you can see every day that Garmin doesn't pay so much attention to VA line. There are always some glitches - they make an update, which fixes some of them and adds new ones. One thing that really drives me crazy is that you can't really pause your activity. Well, you can, but after like 15 minutes the watch will autosave and end it, which is crazy. People complain all the time here, but Garmin does nothing about it. And then there are a lot of really small bugs which are not that important, but you will start seeing them when you use the watch for some time and they always remind you that Garmin doesn't really care about this watch. It is out for almost 2 years and still not finished I would say. I can't guarantee VA5 will be better, but from my experience I would think twice before buying VA4 again.

    On the other hand, this is one of only a few watches which at this price have good battery life, offline spotify playlists and contactless payments, which are quite important things to me. That's why I still stick to this watch, there is no adequate replacement. I hope this helped, if you want to know something specific, feel free to ask, I will try to give you an objective answer.

  • If you don't need the latest technology, I would buy a second hand Fenix from the previous generation. Then you get all the basic features plus long battery life.

    Sleep tracking is not very impressive in the Vivoactive series. 

  • Hey Thanks for the detailed opinion and suggestion. I was all out to get the top of the line fenix 6s Pro titanium but then I felt why spend so much. I guess its better to wait it out a bit for the newer launches and then take a call. That said the battery life on rbe Samsung galaxy watch 3 is max 2 days with 30 mins workout daily and normal smartwatch mode. Anything would be better than that. 

  • Thanks for the input. The MI watch is also launching in a few days with an amoled screen and 14 days smartwatch battery backup. But I don't know how good are their sensors, app integration etc so will wait and see. 

  • The problem is Garmin Watches not the flagship ones are always unfinished.

    I had Vivoactive 3 and there was several issues, one very annoying was the altitude measurements due to bad sensor position.

    This was corrected in VA4 / Venu, but other issues were introduced.

    VA5 will correct some, and introduce others.

    And when customers complain, like the sleep widget or a better sleep tracking, forum administrators will say that they listen but Product Managers are not interested in fixing/updating it.

  • Since the Vivoactive series is significantly cheaper than the highend Fenix and Forerunner watches, Garmin must also make sure that the Vivoactive is significantly inferior from a user point of view. Otherwise they would not sell the expensive watches. This strategy will most likely not change in the future.

    The Vivoactive is the watch for you if you can't afford the better watches, or if you don't think the limitations are important for your purposes.

  • So are the higher end Fenixes better and they use better sensors etc? 

  • The top end watches have the same sensors, but better algorithms to use them properly. They can also connect to more external sensors like power meters, running sensors and so on.

  • The Vivoactive 4 has a lot to offer and could do a lot more, if Garmin would allow it to do so. E.g. it can only record 7 activities although having plenty of space on the device. It has the same sensors as the current Fenix or Forerunner lineup but the software is crippled to make it less worth than it could be.

    That said it is not a bad watch at all, but I'm currently eying on a Fenix 6s or Forerunner 745 as well...

  • Noted and noted. Guess I'll just wait.