Garmin launched both the Venu and the Vivoactive 4 in 2019, which is good news for people who are looking for a new Garmin smartwatch. However, there’s an issue: how do you choose between them? While both come with a level of features for which the manufacturer are famed, there are subtle yet important differences between the two. In this article, we’ll take a look at Venu vs Vivoactive 4, so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Brighter, sharper screen on the Venu
With a built in AMOLED display, the Venu has a screen that has tech similar to a smartphone display. It results in a far brighter screen than any previous Garmin release. It’s sharper too, with a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels, compared to the 260 x 260 on the Vivoactive 4. Being both brighter, and sharper, the Venu has a slightly more premium feel.
Size is important when it comes to any piece of tech, but especially when you’re carrying it around on your wrist all day long. Now, there’s no obviously “better” size, it all comes down to personal preference, but you’ll need to be aware in order to make an informed choice. The Garmin Venu comes in one size: it’s 43.2 x 43.2 mm, with a thickness of 12.4 mm and a weight of 46.3g. The Vivoactive comes in two sizes: the 4, and 4s. The 4 is 45.1 x 45.1 mm (the 4S is 40 x 40), with a thickness of 12.8 (12.7), and a weight of 50.5g (40g).
Different colours and materials
A smartwatch isn’t just about what’s happening on the screen: it’s also about style, and Garmin know it — that’s why they make their watches available in a variety of colours. Both of them are available in four colour options. For the Vivoactive, you can choose from dust rose and gold; rose gold and white; silver with powder grey; slate and black; and silver and shadow grey. The Venu is available in slate and black; rose and light sand; silver and granite blue; and gold and black. They’re both made of the same materials: the lens material is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the case is made from fiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover.
Smartwatches have historically had issues when it comes to their battery life, but massive strides have been made in this department in recent years. As such, both of Garmin’s new offerings feature enviable battery time, though the Vivoactive does just edge the Venu. In smartwatch mode, the Vivoactive will last up to seven days (and up to five hours in GPS mode with music); the Venu will last up to five days in smartwatch mode, and up to six hours in GPS mode with music. So there’s not a massive difference between the two.
Differences in price
Of course, one of the main things that most people look for is the price. If a person is torn between two options, then it’s usually the cheaper option that they’ll go for; it’s logical. While there’s not a massive difference in price, it could be a factor. The Garmin Venu has an RRP of $399.99, while the Garmin Vivoactive retails at $349.99, a difference of $50.
What are the similarities?
As we said above, the differences between the two are minimal — they have much more in common than they do differences. They’re both suitable for swimming, and built-in GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, yoga and pilates support, music storage, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and Garmin Pay, to name just a handful of similarities in their features. All the health related features with which Garmin have made their name are present on both.
So which one is right for you? Truthfully, it’s a toss up. If you’re a person places a great emphasis on the display of the screen, then the Venu is the clear winner, though it’s worth remembering that this does come at a cost — it’s slightly more expensive and the battery doesn’t last quite as long. It’s also not as if the screen is noticeably inferior or bad on the Vivoactive watch either, so you might decide to go with that option and save yourself the $50 in price difference. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a great watch.