Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Fitbit Sense: Which should you buy

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Fitbit Sense

Pros and Cons

Garmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense
Two size optionsECG, EDA, skin temperature sensors
8 days battery lifeActive Zone Minutes feature
Pulse Ox (SpO2) sensorBuilt-in mic/speaker
No AMOLED displayNo support for mp3 files
Bracelet length too short for thick armsSoftware performance isn’t great

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Front

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Rear

Fitbit Sense front

Fitbit Sense Rear


Garmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense
ModelVivoactive 4Sense
Release dateMay 2021Sep 2021
ShapeRectangular, CurvedCircular, Flat
Display1.1″ or 1.3″ transflective1.58″ AMOLED
CompatibilityAndroid + iOSAndroid + iOS
Colors45mm: Slate, Silver
40mm: Slate, Silver,
Light Gold, Rose Gold
Carbon/Graphite, White/Gold

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Side

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 fitness tracker comes with new sensors and thus with several new functions. Among other things, the Pulse-Ox function is now used to measure the oxygen content in the blood during your sleep, and the Index Body Battery gives recommendations regarding your stress level, your heart rate, or your sleep quality. You can use a couple of additional sensors for more precise heart rate measurement, cadence, and outside temperature using the ANT + radio standard. You also have an overview of your water consumption, your menstrual cycle if necessary, and you can now also measure your heart rate while swimming. The tracker is waterproof up to 5 bar.

You can choose from different sports such as golf (including golf database), swimming, rowing, and many more with the functions. Still, the tracker even automatically recognizes sports based on your movement. There are variable daily goals, training programs, logs of the last seven activities, and besides the pre-installed apps, you can add more. There is also a collaboration with the calorie counter app MyFitnessPal.

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The Vivoactive 4 also has a music player, a chest strap is included, and the colored LC display is very easy to read even in the sun. Small blemish in the form of a bug: In the current firmware, the loud/quiet symbols are displayed when the brightness is set. The top value (grade 1.1) in our list of the best is the accuracy of the steps, with 98.9 percent.

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense Side

The Fitbit Sense convinces us with strong health features. Measurements of pulse, stress, sleep, and oxygen content in the blood are practically part of the standard repertoire in this price range of a fitness tracker. In addition, it offers a thermometer for the skin temperature and, similar to smartwatch flagships from Samsung and Apple, an EKG. The latter is currently almost a unique selling point among the fitness trackers on our list of the best – only the Withings Scanwatch is there. The Fitbit Sense is also suitable for swimming as it is waterproof up to 50 meters.

One downer: the Fitbit Sense does not support local mp3 files or the most popular streaming services. Although Deezer Premium – with a market coverage of 3 percent according to Statista – does not work on the fitness tracker, market leader Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime Music. The latter, in particular, is surprising, as Amazon’s language assistant Alexa can be found in Fitbit’s software. Specifically, this means: You can’t just load music onto your watch and then go for a run without a smartphone – unless you subscribe to Deezer Premium.

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Fitbit tracks your activities using an accelerometer and GPS. A barometer or additional satellite support through GLONASS as with the Garmin devices is missing. However, the accuracy does not suffer from this; the Fitbit Sense still achieves excellent values ​​.

Technical Specifications

Garmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense
Display Resolution260 x 260 pixel336 x 336 pixel
Dimension45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8mm
40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7mm
40 x 40 x 12mm
Water ResistantYesYes
Water Resistance Depth5ATM5ATM+ IP68
Weight47 grams50.5 grams

Activity Monitoring

Garmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense
Calories CountYesYes
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
Alarm ClockYesYes
Date & Time DisplayYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes

Connectivity Features

Garmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense
Voice AssistantNAGoogle Assistant, Alexa
Mobile PaymentGarmin PayFitbit Pay
NotificationReplies (Android only),
emails, texts
Replies (Android only),
calls, texts, calendar events,
Gmail, Facebook
Battery Backup8 days6 days
Charging portProprietary charging cableProprietary charging cable


With the Vivoactive 4, Garmin presents a fitness tracker that leaves little to be desired in the test. With its abundance of features, it even surpasses its already very well-equipped predecessor Vivoactive 3. Garmin can also improve its measurement accuracy, as our test shows. Overall, an excellent fitness tracker, but its quality is expensive. What you should look out for when buying fitness trackers, we say in the video.

The Fitbit Sense is the best-equipped fitness tracker from the manufacturer, focusing on health at the test time. In addition to pulse, stress, and sleep, the fitness tracker also measures blood oxygen and comes with an EKG. The accuracy of the Sense is good, the equipment almost perfect. We are only bothered by the little things, such as the limited variety of music features.

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