Garmin released the latest generation of their activity tracker, the Vivosmart 4. Promissing new feature is one new metric.
Shortly after Fitbit presented the new Charge 3, comes Garmin with another update of an existing product line. The new Vivosmart 4.
The fourth generation of the Vivosmart comes with every feature today’s activity trackers have to have. You heart rate is measured on your wrist 24/7 and you can check it on the device or in the app. Your steps, floors and distance walked are tracked continuously and are compared to your daily goal. It also comes with an inactivity alert to warn you if you did not move for too long. Of course it tracks your sleep and sleep stages and analyzes them in the app.
It can track your sport sessions and present you your heart rate, HR zones and burned calories on the tracker or in the app.
The wrist based heart rate monitoring is currently still lacking behind chest strap sensor and the Vivosmart 4 will be most likely not any different. So if you really want to track sport, either pair it with a chest strap or -even better- get a decent sport watch.
The Vivosmart comes with basic smart watch functionalities. It can display notifications from your phone, allows you to answer incoming calls with canned text message or remotely control your music player.
As on other devices, the Vivosmart calculates your stress level by combing your heart rate with other metrics. This should advice you whether you need to relax more often or if you are doing fine.
One of the more interesting new features is the blood oxygen saturation metric (or SpO2). This feature is currently available only on Garmin’s top tier watches, the Fenix 5 (plus). Polar maybe put it into their new top watch, the Vantage V and Fitbit built the sensor into the Charge 3, but the feature is not available on release date. So Garmin is the first to have this feature in an activity tracker.
It basically read the oxygen saturation of your blood by using the wrist heart rate monitor. While sleeping it checks the saturation for 4 hours. It is not clear if you will receive an alert when your saturation drops below a certain level. Also it is not stated why the tracker checks for 4 hours ponly while sleeping. Maybe to conserve more battery.
Another nice feature is the body battery metric. Here Garmin takes some of their metrics and calculate an energy level for you for today. This level decreases over the day and allows you check if you will have a productive day or if you should rest more often.
The Vivosmart 4 is water proof up to 50 meter and a battery charge will last up to 7 days (But without the sleep analysis).
It will come in 2 sizes and will be purchasable in the colors black, dark red, light blue and light grey.
General availability will start in September and it will cost 140€.
The Vivosmart 4 is a decent tracker in the high end segment. It covers all functionalities, which up-to-date tracker have to have. The oxygen saturation and the body battery metrics are good and useful new functions. The battery life and the “smartwatch” feature are on par with other devices available.
The Vivosmart is still not a sport watch. You can use it to tracker a sport session, but if you want more and better information out of it, get a real sport watch.
Is the Vivosmart 4 the must have of activity trackers?
Currently is the sleep tracking of the Garmin devices worse than the Fitbit Charge’s (Which is for me the main competitor on this segment). Also the app gives you more insights and advice on the metrics, thous allowing you to better interpret the value and numbers.
If you already own a Garmin sport watch and want to stick to this vendor or you are often sleepy and want to investigate it further, then the Vivosmart is a good choice for you.