When it comes to fitness tracking, Fitbit revolutionized the entire scene with its wearable lineup. And one of the latest products to hit the Fitbit Charge 4. This fitness tracker boasts of many exciting features such as built-in GPS and NFC-based Fitbit Pay. Another fitness tracker that is quite popular in the scene is the Garmin Vivosport. Like its counterpart, this one also has built-in GPS, can track sleep, steps, and bundles some automatic fitness tracking modules.
More importantly, both these fitness trackers are almost priced the same. While Charge 4 will set you back by $150, Garmin's fitness tracker will cost you around $169.99.
That brings us to an important question— is the good old Garmin Vivosport better than the Fitbit Charge 4? Or can the new Fitbit Charge 4 upstage the Vivosport?
We will compare the Garmin Vivosport against the Fitbit Charge 4 and find which one is better for your needs. But before that,
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Fitbit is known for slim and sleek fitness trackers, and the Fitbit Charge 4 is no exception. It's sleek and the looks good on your wrist, even if your wrist is small. The Charge 4 doesn't look much different from the Charge 3. If you already have a Charge 3 fitness tracker, you can use the same band on the Charge 4, should you upgrade to the latter.
Though the device looks great and the inch-long touchscreen display doesn't look larger than life, it sports a grayscale OLED display. In these times, when even the most inexpensive fitness trackers come with a colored display, this one is a letdown. On the upside, there are a couple of built-in watch faces, and you can pick one as per your preference.
As mentioned above, it's very simple and easy to swap out the bands should you want to invest in a third-party band, or go for a more stylish look with a leather or a metal band.
Accessing the content inside the tracker is as easy as 1-2-3. Just a little shake of the wrist or a small tap on the inductive button wakes up the screen. And all you need to do is swipe through the screen to access all the different functions and settings. For instance, you can open Spotify (more on that later) or cycle through the different exercise routines through simple swipe gestures.
When it comes to the bands of the Charge 4, the regular variant packs a plastic band that is comfortable to wear. In comparison, the black variant packs a decent look, the deep purplish red looks quite rad for a fitness tracker.
Compared to Charge 4, the Garmin Vivosport has an old-world design, primarily because of the smaller watch-style tracker. The tracker sits inside the band, thus robbing the fitness tracker of a sleek and modern look. Nevertheless, this combination gives it a sporty look, and the dual-color tone adds to the looks of the tracker.
Unlike the monochrome OLED display of the Charge 4, the Vivosport comes with a colored display. It adds to its charm. You can cycle through different watch faces that matches your mood for the day. Be it settling for a minimal watch face or an information-heavy watch face, the choice is yours.
The touchscreen display lets you access everything with the tap of a finger. You can either tap or swipe on the touchscreen to the screen of your choice, be it accessing the heartbeat monitoring module, or access one of the many features of the watch.
Do note that there isn't any extra button on the screen. The point of access is the screen itself. Also, the screen doesn't power down completely. Instead, it dims down slightly and comes to life as soon as you lift your wrist or tap on the screen.
Garmin watches generally are rugged and durable, and the Vivosport is no different. It's designed to withstand its share of abuse and you can say the same about the chemically strengthened glass of the watch body.
Both the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Garmin Vivosport are waterproof. So yeah, no worries of sweat or water damage. Quite obviously, they need there share of care. For example, wiping the tracker dry after swimming sessions, or removing soap residue and grime regularly.
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2. Battery Life
When it comes to battery life, fitness trackers generally have longer battery lives than smartwatches, which's a plus. That means you do not have to take off your tracker every evening to charge.
The Fitbit Charge 4 can last up to seven days on a single charge. Quite obviously, the battery will dive when you switch on the GPS. In that case, it will see you through five hours of regular use. However, 5 hours' worth of battery juice is enough for long runs and even marathons.
The above is useful if you plan to go on your walks and runs without the inconvenience of carrying your phone with you. However, if you have an armband or a phone belt holder, you can switch on the Dynamic GPS feature of the tracker if you want the battery to last long. This nifty feature uses your phone's GPS (like companion GPS) to track your runs, walks or cycling activities.
The Garmin Vivosport's battery also lasts almost the same as the Charge 4 and gives you a week's worth of battery life when charged fully. However, when it comes to battery life with GPS, it charges ahead of Charge 4. With GPS turned on, you will get up to eight hours.
3. App Integrations
Both the watches have competent companion apps that sync with the phone to show you information like steps, heartbeat, calories burned, etc. At the same time, you can also choose to receive notifications on your tracker. The Vivosport active displays the icons of the apps when you receive notifications.
However, the Fitbit Charge 4 has another interesting trick up its sleeves. Charge 4 also comes with Spotify music controls. Of course, you will need your phone with you to listen to the music, and the good news is that you can control the playback through the fitness tracker on your wrist.
Now, comes the most important part of any fitness tracker - how much can it track, and how accurately can it track?
The Garmin Vivosport comes packed with the basic package like sleep tracking, step counter, amount of calories burned, and the number of minutes you were active. However, the features that make it stand apart is the VO2 max and Heart Rate Zones.
VO2 max shows the measurement of your aerobic activities as per your age and also measures your stress. If the latter is elevated, it prompts you to do some breathing exercises. And it doesn't stop there. It also alerts you as soon as your heartbeat goes over a certain threshold value, similar to the Apple Watch.
When it comes to tracking activities, it lets you manually record walks, runs, and bicycle stints. You can also set it to record your walks and runs automatically. Also, the MoveIQ module can automatically track elliptical training and bicycling when enabled.
If you are amazed by the VO2 Max feature, let me tell you about the Active Zone minutes of the Fitbit Charge 4. This neat feature measures your exercise and workout stints based on your age and heartbeat and rewards you with one point for every minute you spend in the fat burn zone. The goal is to collect around 22 such points per day. Cool, I would say.
Apart from that, Charge 4 has 16 exercise modes to select from. Out of these 16, the tracker has 6 shortcuts added beforehand.
The onboard GPS is quick to start and provides you with real-time data of your speed and the distance covered. The best thing is that it's supported for walking, running, interval workouts, and bike riding. And it doesn't end there. The built-in GPS also works for outdoor adventures such as skiing, kayaking, and surfing.
And like its competitor above, the GPS on the Charge 4 is accurate and measures distances and pace accordingly, whether you are running in an open area or a high-traffic area.
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So, which one should you buy? Well, at first glance, both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosport appear to be similar. These two trackers are among the few trackers which come with built-in GPS, and well, the tracking is pretty accurate in both the cases.
So, which one makes the cut?
If you are fashion conscious and a monochrome display doesn't matter much to you, you can go for Charge 4. Compared to the Vivosport, it's a looker. Simultaneously, it has some extra features like NFC-based Fitbit Pay and Spotify integration, which adds to the value of the fitness tracker. Not only is the GPS is accurate and precise. It's also quick to pick your signal.
On the other hand, the Garmin Vivosport may not be much of a looker. However, you can rest assured that it will hold up for the longest time. The tracking is great, and you will love the different watch faces and the colored touch screen display.
Plus, additional features like the New Strength Training module help you keep track of reps and other stats. Overall, it's a great fitness tracker with built-in GPS.
However, when compared to its competitor, the GPS can take quite some time to sync. At the same time, you can't categorize it as a looker, and this may be an issue, especially if you plan to wear it at all times.
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