Garmin Vivofit 4 vs Vivofit 3 – What’s new?


The affordable Garmin step counter makes a return. How different is the Vivofit 4 from the Vivofit 3? Read on to see what’s different...

Toe to Toe Challenges

First introduced on the Vivofit Jr 2, Toe to Toe, is a versus challenge to complete as many steps as possible within a timed period. All you have to do is sync up two nearby devices. By including functionality on the Vivofit 4, some children will love the opportunity to win against mum or dad.

And who said it’s only kids that can have the competitive fun? As you can go Toe to Toe with another Vivofit 4 wearing adult. On your marks, get set…

Vivofit 4 display adds a little colour

On the older Vivofit models, the display was very bland, largely black and white with the only colour coming from the red line of the inactivity bar. Simplicity is needed to keep power usage low enough for a coin battery to deliver juice for an entire year.

Without shortening battery life, the Vivofit 4, breaks the trend by upgrading the screen with 8 colours. It enables you to add some minor personalisations to the Vivofit 4. You can choose from 5 colour themes and then pick a watch face to make that colour pop out.

Similar in design, but slightly different

From the exterior, the Vivofit 4 doesn’t radically overhaul the design of the third Vivofit, but there are some noticeable differences. The single button used to cycle the menu looks slick in silver.

Removing the band and you’ll see the computer unit is longer and curved to shape the wrist better. It may be the reason why, the Vivofit 4 including band is ever so slightly thinner and narrower than its predecessor.

The Vivofit 4 is easier to take off

The two wearables also attach onto the wrist differently. Whilst no one could dispute the Vivofit 3 attached securely to the wrist, the twist to lock mechanism can at times be difficult to loosen and take off.

The Vivofit 4 release goes more familiar with a watch buckle, that’s much easier to undo when you actually want to take it off.

Vivofit 4 vs Vivofit 3 - Watch buckle
On the left: Vivofit 4 watch buckle. On the right Vivofit 3 twist mechanism.

Different wrist measurements

Some minor differences exist too, in the band sizes, you’ll want to measure the circumference of your wrist before purchasing to make sure it’s a good fit.

Vivofit 4:
  • small/medium – covers 122-188mm circumference
  • large – 148 to 215mm

Vivofit 3:
  • Regular – covers 135 to 205mm
  • XL – 165 to 225mm

Essentially, Vivofit 3 has a range to cover larger wrists, whilst the Vivofit 4 can cater for smaller sizes.

Still black and white in colour…

Black and White remain the standard colour variations for both Vivofit models. Where there’s a difference is in the alternative third model, the Vivofit 3, offers a more textured look from the Gabrielle Style Collection, whilst the Vivofit 4 adds a speckled touch to the design.

Vivofit 4 band colours
Vivofit 4 can be purchased in Black, White or Speckle colour variations.
Garmin Vivofit 3 band colours
left to right: Vivofit 3 in black, white, and the Gabrielle Style Collection in white and black

Find my phone added to Vivofit 4

A regular feature on Garmin smartwatches; activating this on the Vivofit 4, will sound an alarm in the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone. From personal experience, the feature has been my saviour on multiple times, mainly when my phone has slipped down the back of the sofa, or I’ve left it in another room.

For Find My Phone to function, your handset and Garmin wearable need to be within 10m of each other, so they can communicate over Bluetooth range. Useful if you lose it your phone at home, but no good if its stolen or on the other side of town.

Vivofit 4, adjusts to daylight savings time automatically.

More a convenience than a mind-blowing feature. Just as smartphones automatically update the time when the clocks go forwards or back, so can the Vivofit 4.

Garmin Vivofit 4 vs Vivofit 3. Which is right for me?

Overall, the changes listed above are very subtle, when you consider all the features that are identical. A step goal that works off your average, intensity minute counting, sleep monitoring, easy synching with the Garmin Connect app; the main features of a fitness tracker are exactly the same in Vivofit 3 and Vivofit 4.

With both models low priced at the budget end, my advice would be to consider if you have a preference on any of the differences listed throughout this comparison article.

Garmin Vivofit 3

Compare prices on Vivofit 3Links to Amazon View Deals

Garmin Vivofit 4

Compare prices on Vivofit 4Links to Amazon View Deals

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I'm a super keen injured runner with over 20 years experience in races and endurance training. Get in touch with me over Twitter, G+ on in the comments below.

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