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Review: Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed) – Excellent for promoting health and limiting distractions

Unbiased review of Garmin vivoactive 4S Smartwatch: stylish fusion of technology, fitness, and entertainment... Read more

Review of Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Test of Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

4.4/5 - (637 votes)

Cena: $169.99


  • Competitive pricing
  • Multi-functional health and exercise tracking
  • 7-day battery life
  • Bluetooth and GPS connectivity
  • Heart sensors and Pulse oximeter
  • NFC enabled for making payments
  • Pre-loaded Spotify and Deezer


  • Less memory than competitors
  • Inaccurate sleep tracker
  • Poorer performance compared to Samsung

“After my experience with the Garmin vivoactive 4S, I am honestly quite impressed. This smartwatch offers more than just time-telling; from its robust fitness features to convenience functions like Garmin Pay and Spotify preloads. Despite some drawbacks, like the inaccurate sleep tracking, it significantly excels in terms of promoting health and limiting distractions. For the price point, it offers remarkable value and I would recommend it to anyone in need of a comprehensive smartwatch that prioritizes health and wellness.”

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Brand Garmin
Screen Size 1.1 Inches
Special Feature Bluetooth
Connectivity Technology GPS
Map Type Worldwide
Sport Training, Cardio, Running, Yoga, Swimming, Pilates
Audio Output Mode Stereo
Battery Life 168 Hours
Mounting Type Wrist Mount
Resolution 480 x 272


Quick Snapshot: Garmin vivoactive 4S Smartwatch Review

Looking for answers to the questions of “What time is it?” and “Where am I?” The Garmin vivoactive 4S might just be the solution. This review takes a critical and unbiased approach to evaluate the features, functionality, and reliability of Garmin’s GPS-enhanced entry into the smartwatch arena.

Key Features: The All-Around Watch You Need

The Garmin vivoactive 4S boasts several noteworthy elements – from Bluetooth connectivity and long battery life to built-in health and exercise tracking functionality. Available at an approximate price of $176, this smartwatch aims to bring Garmin’s esteemed GPS expertise into play. But does it succeed? Read on as we delve into the details of our first-hand experience.

It’s important to preface this review by understanding that a smartwatch isn’t just a device to tell the time. When correctly integrated with your smartphone and everyday life, it morphs into a portable personal assistant, tracking health metrics, controlling music, providing comprehensive workout support, all while still keeping you connected to your digital world.

Our analysis goes beyond just listing features – we’ve put the vivoactive 4S under the microscope, testing its functionalities and comparing it with other popular smartwatches in the market like the Samsung Galaxy watch 5. It’s all about judging the device’s real-world performance and seeing if Garner’s attempt at value for money delivers as promised.

Note: As always, our reviews aim to provide comprehensive, unbiased evaluations, using direct experiences and user feedback as primary data source. The goal is to provide potential buyers with a clear picture of what to expect from the device and highlight any areas of improvement as identified during our use.

Examining Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Digging Deeper into Garmin’s Tech Arsenal

  • Garmin vivoactive 4S boasts premiere design and materials
  • Device offers comprehensive health and exercise tracking features
  • Functionality needs improvements for optimized user experience

Welcome to the phenomenal world of Garmin’s tech gizmos. Today, we’re going to shine a light on Garmin’s growing expertise in the smartwatch realm, dissecting the remarkable technology packed within its latest model – the Garmin vivoactive 4S.

Fitness in Style: Garmin’s Design and Quality

Looking at the design, the Garmin vivoactive 4S boasts a sleek, elegant outer shell that feels premium to the touch. The body is composed of fibre-reinforced polymer, complemented with an eye-pleasing rose-gold bezel and a comfortable white polymer band. However, here’s a word of caution – the band albeit chic, could be prone to attracting stains. Yet, that doesn’t overshadow the larger picture – the watch’s aesthetic appeal and the high-quality materials it packs inside.

Inside the Tech: Unpacking the Connectivity and Functionality

Moving on to the guts of this device, the Garmin vivoactive 4S is more than just a pretty face. Tucked within its compact structure, are some incredible pieces of technology. Starting from Bluetooth connectivity that ensures seamless pairing with your smartphone, to an impressive seven-day battery life, it’s evident that Garmin places user convenience at the center.

The standout addition, however, is the full suite of health and exercise tracking functionalities. From heart rate sensors to a pulse oximeter, this smartwatch is equipped to monitor the holy trinity of wellness – health, exercise, and rest. But here’s the kicker – the watch only delivered time readings during our initial tests. So, one might wonder, could this be an underutilization of its impressive arsenal?

All in all, the Garmin vivoactive 4S strives to carve a niche in the smartwatch landscape with its robust design and cutting-edge technology. Yet its functionality and user experience could benefit from some much-needed improvements.

Inspecting Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Journey to Health & Wellness Tracking

  • Garmin vivoactive 4S offers health and wellness tracking
  • Garmin Connect App unlocks extensive health tracking features
  • Smartwatch includes animated on-wrist workout notifications

As I embarked on exploring the potential of the Garmin vivoactive 4S, a key feature I was interested in was its health and wellness tracking capabilities. Sure, any good smartwatch can tell time and maybe play music, but can it assist in your well-being?

Embrace the Garmin Connect App: Your Key to A Multitude of Features

To unlock the real potential of this smartwatch, downloading and installing the Garmin Connect App is the ticket. With this simple step, I was rewarded with a comprehensive suite of health and wellness tracking features that comprise a complete minibar for your health. From monitoring your daily steps, calories burned, to sleep tracking, this little digital companion had a lot to offer.

Animation On Wrist: A Peek into Workout Notification

Rather interestingly, as a big fan of fitness but not so big on carrying my smartphone during a run, the “workout animation” feature of this smartwatch posed an irresistible allure. Once a specific exercise is selected through the app, it does not require you to keep checking your phone mid-workout. Each exercise is beautifully animated on your wristwatch screen, informing you about which activity is next. So be it running, cycling, yoga, or lifting weights, this watch knows and informs you in style. For me, it was an invaluable feature allowing me to focus on the critical thing: my workout.

However, it’s important to note that while these features are impressive, they are not unique to the Garmin vivoactive 4S. Other brands offer similar options – a point I’ll be returning to when making comparisons later on. Nonetheless, I commend Garmin for executing these features with a great user interface and practical usability.

Examining Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Your Health Data at a Glance

  • Garmin vivoactive 4S tracks various health metrics
  • Includes sleep tracking and fitness monitoring
  • Offers a comprehensive, holistic health view

The Garmin vivoactive 4S is more than just a timepiece. It’s a comprehensive health tracker that provides insight into your daily life. Let’s take a look at some of the standout features.

Bio-metric Data Monitoring

What I found impressive is the suite of health metrics this watch tracks. It covers your heart rate, pulse oximetry, and even what Garmin aptly names the “Body Battery”. This unique feature attempts to measure your energy levels throughout the day based on multiple factors. In my experience with the watch, I found it pretty accurate in reflecting how charged or drained I felt each day.

Sleep Tracking

Interestingly, Garmin has also ventured into sleep tracking with the vivoactive 4S. It purportedly monitors your sleep stages and gives you a comprehensive overview of your sleep quality.

However, contrary to its promise, I felt a bit disappointed with the accuracy of Garmin’s sleep tracking. While it did track the duration of my sleep reasonably well, I found the breakdown into light, deep, and REM sleep somewhat inconsistent with my perception of how well I slept on various nights. This could serve as an area of improvement for Garmin, as in-depth sleep analysis has become a significant component of holistic health tracking.

Fitness Tracking

When it comes to workout tracking, the vivoactive 4S doesn’t disappoint. It can monitor a broad range of activities, including running, cycling, and even doing push-ups. All you have to do is select your exercise on the watch, and it takes care of the rest, recording and analyzing your performance in real time.

This feature is highly convenient, especially for those like me, who prefer to keep their workouts uninterrupted by the need to glance at a phone constantly. The animated display of each exercise on the watch itself along with current stats allow for seamless fitness sessions.

Overall Health View

To wrap up, what I truly appreciate about the Garmin vivoactive 4S is the holistic view of health and fitness it offers. It goes from recording your heart rate while you’re sprinting on a track, to tracking your sleep, and even your energy level during the day. While some features could use refinement, the overall information provided is comprehensive, giving you the tools to understand and improve your health from multiple angles.

Inspecting Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Security and Convenience Features

  • Garmin vivoactive 4S offers continuous GPS location broadcasting
  • FeaturesGarmin Pay for seamless debit/credit card transactions

Stepping into safety and simplicity! Whether for the pure sport enthusiast or everyday safety-conscious user, the Garmin vivoactive 4S is packed with nifty features that swoop in to complement not only your health but cater to your security concerns and transactional needs.

GPS Tracking for Peace of Mind

One of the biggest selling points for this smartwatch is its GPS functionality. Often, venturing outdoors or late-night runs can spike worry for loved ones. Fret not! With the Garmin vivoactive 4S, it’s not just about running off into the wind and losing track of where you are. It comes with a continuous location broadcasting feature, which, when enabled, can inform your trusted contacts of your whereabouts. Surely a function to push that anxiety aside, making solo workout sessions an enjoyable experience. Sure, fellow adventurers out there, the question of ‘where am I?’ has an answer now.

Shopping Made Easy with Garmin Pay

There’s something about the Garmin vivoactive 4S that feels futuristic yet intimate, and it’s how it handles debit or credit card transactions. Teeming with NFC capabilities, this entry-level smartwatch holds the power of Garmin Pay. An arm’s length away from a seamless payment experience? Garmin considers it done. Just a quick tap and go; no need to worry about searching pockets for your card or your phone. It’s akin to having a digital wallet on your wrist, ensuring instant payments while segregating continuous grapples with finding your debit or credit card.

Note: Please remember, the availability and functionality of the Garmin pay service may depend on your bank’s policy.

Indeed, the convenience and safety features of Garmin vivoactive 4S make it worth having around the wrist. Combining flexibility and swift usage in one swing, it nudges the user into a practical world where health, safety, and simplicity coalesce seamlessly.

Highlight: Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Garmin vs Samsung: The Entry-Level Smartwatch Battle

  • Samsung: more memory and broader connectivity
  • Garmin: excels in functionality and feature quality
  • Garmin considered best value for money

Once you step foot into the smartwatch realm, you’ll undoubtedly come across two big players – Garmin and Samsung. The burning question is, how various smartwatches, particularly the Garmin vivoactive 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, stack up against each other?

Deeper Dive into Differences

The Garmin vivoactive 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, both jewels in their own crowns, are packed with impressive features. They may seem almost identical on the surface, but once you delve a bit deeper, the subtle differences start to emerge.

The Samsung champion, for instance, boasts more memory and broader connectivity options, which could contribute to a smoother user experience. It’s a small advantage, but it’s clear that Samsung is winning in this slightly technical aspect.

Performance or Functionality: The Winning Factor

While a lag-free smartwatch might sound appealing, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone actually complaining about a smartwatch being laggy – frankly, it seems to be a non-issue for many people.

What truly matters at the end of the day, admittedly, is the functionality and the quality of features. This is where Garmin excels. Offering a tap and go payment service, Garmin Pay, the vivoactive 4S may have a slight edge over other entry-level watches in the market.

The Final Verdict

When it all boils down to value for money against functionality, Garmin seems to be leading by a nose. The impeccable blend of health-oriented features and convenience that Garmin embeds in its smartwatch makes the vivoactive 4S a worthy contender amongst a pool of entry-level smartwatches. So, if you’re looking to invest in an entry-level smartwatch, Garmin could be a potential route to take.

Comments on Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

My Personal Shift: A Review from a Real User

  • User switched to Garmin for less distractions
  • Values Garmin’s health, fitness, entertainment features
  • Noted Garmin’s sleep tracker needs improvement

Let’s get down to it – I decided to venture into the world of Garmin from my previous smartwatch preference.

Why I’ve Switched: Ode to a Less Distracting Life

Being the gadget enthusiast that I am, notifications have been a constant part of my routine. Ranging from emails to sale alerts, my previous smartwatch kept me in sync with everything. However, I encountered a pressing concern—the distractions were plentiful. The constant buzzing took me away from my main tasks and became more of an interruption rather than assistance. This pushed my attention towards a less intrusive tech companion that could offer the balance between staying connected and not being constantly interrupted.

The Garmin vivoactive 4S proved to be that refreshing change for me. It feels like a watch that truly respects my time, focusing on what should matter most in a smartwatch—my health, fitness, and providing necessary alerts without creating a digital noise storm around my wrist.

The Garmin Edge: Health, Fitness, Entertainment in One Package

From a feature standpoint, Garmin focuses on essential and useful aspects. Between tracking workout routines with animations on the wrist, continual health monitoring, and entertainment during workouts, it quickly became apparent that Garmin has put thought into what a smartwatch should ideally do.

Beyond just providing nth number of features, what surprised me was the execution. The animations for each of my workouts on the watch screen kept me aware and entertained during my fitness routine. Syncing playlists from Spotify and Deezer for offline use made my workouts more enjoyable. I wasn’t just using a smartwatch anymore—it was a fitness companion tuned into my routine, requirements, and preferences.

However, a review would not be complete without touching on aspects that need refining. Garmin’s sleep tracker seems to have room for improvement. A few missed or inaccurate readings showed that while versed with many skills, the Garmin vivoactive 4S could work on polishing some of its facets.

In the end, shifting to the Garmin vivoactive 4S has been about prioritizing health and wellness tracking, personal entertainment, and ensuring I only get the notifications I truly need. If these are aspects important to you as well, I would recommend exploring what the Garmin vivoactive 4S has to offer.

Considering Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Final Verdict

  • Garmin vivoactive 4S gets a solid 8/10 rating
  • Offers health, workout tracking and music streaming
  • Needs improved sleep tracking functionality

After a comprehensive review of the Garmin vivoactive 4S, it’s time to share my final thoughts on this tech-packed smartwatch. Let’s dive into my personal scoring based on my experience, keeping in mind to remain objective and balanced.


On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I’d give the Garmin vivoactive 4S a solid 8 out of 10 . This score aligns with the smartwatch’s robust features, functional design, and overall reliability. But, as always, there’s room for improvement.


  • Health and Workout Functionality: The watch strides ahead with its vast range of health and exercise tracking features. It stood out for the option to animate your workouts right on the watch, saving you from glancing mid-workout at your phone.
  • Integration with Music Streaming: Its pre-loaded Spotify and Deezer connectivity are a beat ahead offering offline tunes during workouts.
  • Payment Ease: It’s worth highlighting the NFC-enabled Garmin Pay for its convenience.


  • Sleep Tracker: The only gripe I have is with the sleep tracker function. The readings were off more often than not. It’s something that Garmin should investigate and improve to bring up their game to meet competitors.

In conclusion, the Garmin vivoactive 4S serves as a reliable partner for fitness, health, and convenience, all wrapped in a sleek design. It’s a great buy for those valuing these features, albeit it could do with more refined sleep tracking.

View of Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)

Wrapping it Up

So, there you have it, folks. This pretty much sums up our in-depth exploration of the Garmin vivoactive 4S.

My Overall Experience

In my journey to uncover the truth about smartwatches, I’ve found that the Garmin vivoactive 4S is indeed a force to be reckoned with. It brings together several of the features we want in a smartwatch and a few more that we really didn’t anticipate. For instance, having my vitals available at a glance during workouts, not to mention the seamless Spotify and Deezer connectivity, truly caught me by surprise.

Room for Improvement

However, I must also emphasize on one shortcoming I noticed in the device. The sleep tracker function left a lot to be desired in terms of accuracy. A feature as crucial as sleep monitoring needs a bit more fine-tuning to reach its full potential.

Breaking down the True Value

When you consider the price point, the fitness focussed features, and its smart usability, it’s hard not to see the Garmin place a winning footprint in the world of entry-level smartwatches competition. But as with all devices, it’s a matter of what features resonate most with your lifestyle.

Moving towards a less distraction-driven tech experience, the Garmin vivoactive 4S has proved to be an enlightening transition for me who has been accustomed to the gadget notifications pinging through the day.

At the end of the day, any tech gadget, including a smartwatch, requires a balance between features, functionality, and value for money. From what we’ve discovered in this review about the Garmin vivoactive 4S, we can confidently say it lives up to the hype in terms of value for money.

Signing Off

Until our next product review escapade, here’s hoping this in-depth look into the Garmin vivoactive 4S helps you make the right tech decision for your lifestyle. We’re all about offering critical, unbiased, and most importantly, valuable reviews to keep you in the loop with the latest offerings in the tech market.

Should you buy the Garmin vivoactive 4S, Silver with Gray Band (Renewed)?

Buy it if…

You Value Your Health and Fitness

The Garmin vivoactive 4S Smartwatch comes with a wide range of health and exercise tracking functionalities, from heart rate monitoring to keeping track of your vitals.

You Need Constant Connectivity

With Bluetooth integration, Spotify and Deezer pre-loaded, and Garmin Pay, the watch ensures you stay connected and make payments on the go.

You Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Whether it’s running, cycling, or hiking, the GPS expertise of Garmin ensures you know where you are at all times. You can also share your live location with loved ones for safety.

Don’t buy it if…

You Prioritize Sleep Tracking

The sleep tracking functionality received some criticism, indicating poor readings, which might be a downside for those who value this feature.

You Prefer High Memory Smartwatches

Some consumers might find Garmin’s lower memory capacity compared to other manufacturers like Samsung a disadvantage, as it doesn’t offer a significant performance boost.

You’re on a Tight Budget

Though more affordable than some competitors like Samsung, the Garmin vivoactive 4S is still a considerable investment. If budget is a prime concern for you, this may not be the best pick.


What are the primary features of the Garmin vivoactive 4S?
The Garmin vivoactive 4S features Bluetooth connectivity, seven-day battery life, health and exercise tracking, GPS, heart sensors, a pulse oximeter, and many other tracking sensors. It also has an NFC-enabled payment service, Garmin Pay.
What functionality does the Garmin Connect App provide?
The Garmin Connect App unlocks a massive range of health and wellness tracking features. In addition to tracking exercises, vitals, and sleep, it can also monitor internal energy levels and, with the right equipment, your menstrual or pregnancy cycle.
Can I import playlists to the Garmin vivoactive 4S?
Yes. The Garmin vivoactive 4S is pre-loaded with Spotify and Deezer connectivity, meaning you can import your playlists and listen wirelessly during workouts.
What are the security features of the Garmin vivoactive 4S?
The Garmin smartwatch can use its GPS tracking and app functionality to continuously broadcast your location to friends and family.
What is Garmin Pay?
Garmin Pay is an NFC-enabled tap and go payment service, which can be configured with compatible debit and credit cards to pay for goods.
How is the Garmin vivoactive 4S compared to the Samsung Galaxy watch 5?
While both smartwatches offer similar functionalities, the main differences come down to Hardware. Samsung includes more memory and connectivity. However, considering value for money versus functionality, Garmin with Garmin pay may have the edge.
Do notifications on Garmin vivoactive 4S distract from a workout?
No. Garmin has designed the smartwatch to focus primarily on health, fitness, and entertainment during workouts, rather than providing notifications of emails or social media updates.
What was the reviewer’s final rating for the Garmin vivoactive 4S?
Based on the review, the Garmin vivoactive 4S was given an 8 out of 10 rating.

About Samuel Park

Samuel ParkSamuel's diverse interests, from music to management, allow him to approach reviews with an open mind and a keen ear for detail.

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