Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Garmin Vivoactive 3

Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the latest smartwatch model in the Vivoactive series. It seeks to replace the Vivoactive 3 series smartwatch. We look at the key differences between Vivoactive 4 and Vivoactive 3.


There are a few subtle differences between Vivoactive 4 and Vivoactive 3 in terms of display, size, and weight. We look at the main differences below:

  • Vivoactive 4 comes in 45 mm size, while the Vivoactive 3 is a little under 44 mm.
  • Vivoactive 4 weighs 50.5 gms and the Vivoactive 3 weighs 43 gms.
  • Vivoactive 4 has a screen size of 33 mm, and the Vivoactive 3 has a screen size that is a little over 30 mm.
  • Vivoactive 4 has a thickness of 12.8 mm and Vivoactive 3 has a thickness of 11.7 mm.
  • Vivoactive 4 and Vivoactive 3 use a MIP screen or the memory in pixel screen. Vivoactive 3 comes with a display resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Vivoactive 4 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels.

The physical attributes of both the Vivoactive watches suggest that Vivoactive 3 is slightly smaller in size. It is also sleeker than the Vivoactive 4.

Pulse Oximeter

Vivoactive 3 does not have the pulse oximeter sensor. The pulse oximeter sensor takes wrist-based blood oxygenation readings. You can take blood oxygenation readings on a continuous basis. Or, you can choose to take spot readings of oxygen saturation. The Vivoactive 3 does not have the ability to track or monitor blood oxygenation levels.

Vivoactive 4 has an integrated pulse oximeter sensor. So, a Vivoactive 4 can take blood oxygen saturation readings. It can send the data to the Garmin Connect app. The Garmin Connect app will help you assimilate the blood oxygenation data and share it as part of the health metrics.

Health Monitoring

Vivoactive 4 makes key improvements over the Vivoactive 3 in terms of health monitoring and tracking.

  • Vivoactive 4, as discussed above, can monitor blood oxygenation levels.
  • Vivoactive 4 can also monitor respiration rate over 24/7. Vivoactive 3 does not have this feature.
  • Vivoactive 4 also shares a ‘Body Battery’ score. The readings of ‘Body Battery’ indicate conditions of fatigue. If you are tired or exhausted, the Body Battery levels go down. Upon rest, the Body Battery levels go up. The range of Body Battery scores is between 0-100. However, Body Battery levels below 30 indicate fatigue. Over 60 Body Battery levels indicate that your body has had rest and has recovered from conditions of fatigue. ‘Body Battery’ is a Garmin proprietary feature. It is not available on Vivoactive 3.
  • Vivoactive 4 also shares ‘Relaxation Reminders’ from time to time. Vivoactive 3 is unable to send any such ‘Relaxation Reminders’.


Vivoactive 4 has two additional sensors in comparison to the Vivoactive 3 smartwatch.

  • Vivoactive 4 has a pulse oximeter that takes wrist-based blood oxygen saturation readings.
  • Vivoactive 4 also has a gyroscope sensor to sense angular velocity.

Both watches share 8 sensors that are in-built into the watch for varied functionality like GPS, heart monitoring, temperature monitoring, barometric readings, and accelerometer readings.


There has been significant progress from Vivoactive 3 to Vivoactive 4 for music functionality.

  • Vivoactive 3 allows you to control music on the paired smartphone. The music functionality on Vivoactive 3 can be considered primitive at best.
  • Vivoactive 4 extends the music functionality. It can store up to 500 songs on the device storage of the Vivoactive 4 watch. You can play your favorite songs right off the smartwatch storage. All that you require is to connect a Bluetooth speaker to the watch through Bluetooth wireless protocol.
  • Vivoactive 4 also allows you to play music through music streaming apps like Spotify. Vivoactive 4 comes bundled with apps from a few music providers. If you desire, you can add new third-party music streaming apps on the watch.
  • Vivoactive 4 also allows you to control music on the paired smartphone.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Vivoactive 3 cannot connect to a Wi-Fi network. Vivoactive 4 can connect to a wi-fi network. Connecting to a Wi-fi network improves the speed at which widgets and software on the Vivoactive 4 can get updates.

You will need the Garmin Connect app on the smartphone or Garmin Express on your computer. With these apps, you can add the Garmin Vivoactive 4 watch to a Wi-Fi network. Connection to a Wi-Fi network also allows you to play music through music streaming apps like Spotify.


Vivoactive 4 makes some compelling advances over the Vivoactive 3. We will list these for a ready reference:

  • Garmin Vivoactive allows music on the device or through the streaming apps like Spotify.
  • Blood oxygenation monitoring is possible on Vivoactive 4.
  • In-built gyroscope on the Vivoactive 4.
  • Vivoactive 4 can connect to a wi-fi network.
  • Body Battery functionality is a part of the Vivoactive 4.

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Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].