Garmin Vivosmart 4 vs 5 – Here are 10 Reasons to Upgrade

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The Vivosmart 5 looks very much like its predecessor, Vivosmart 4. It’s also fitness-focused and well-equipped to track your daily activities like sleep, heart rate, blood oxygen and calories, and it also features a handful of preloaded sports modes. However, it comes with more safety and health tracking features not present on the Vivosmart 4. Moreover, it also has a slightly larger display and interchangeable bands. This in-depth comparison reviews the differences between the Garmin Vivosmart 4 and Vivosmart 5 to help you decide if an upgrade is a worthwhile investment.

In other words, while the Vivosmart 4 is a fantastic smartwatch, the Vivosmart 5 has a 66% larger display and more activity tracking features including safety features like incidental fall detection and Livetrack. Moreover, it has an easier to use charger and comes with a swappable band that will allow you to wear different looks for different occasions.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 vs 5 Full Specifications

Product Info
Garmin Vivosmart 4 Full Specifications

Garmin Vivosmart 4 - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Garmin Vivosmart 5 - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Garmin Vivosmart 5 - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Price $98.49 $149.99
Device name Garmin Vivosmart 4 Garmin Vivosmart 5
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex
Release date August, 2018 April 2022
Predecessor Garmin Vivosmart 3 Garmin Vivosmart 4
Successor Garmin Vivosmart 5
Versions Small & Large Small & Large
Dimension 15 x 10.5 x 197 mm (small), 15 x 10.5 x 223mm (large) 19.5 x 10.7 x 217mm (small), 19.5 x 10.7 x 255 mm (large)
Weight 16.5g (small), 17.1g (large) 24.5g (small), 26.5g (large)
Shape Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap material Silicone Silicone
Bezel material Aluminum Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap size 20 mm 20 mm
Interchangeable strap No Yes
Screen protection Polycarbonate Acrylic
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes, recommended
Color Black, Gray Black, White, Cool mint
Display size 0.75 inch 0.84 inch
Display type Monochrome OLED Monochrome OLED
Display resolution 48 x 128 pixels 88 x 154 pixels
Pixel density 182 PPI 211.15 PPI
Always on Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Touchscreen
Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling No No
GPS (connected GPS) (connected GPS)
Wi-Fi No No
ROM 128MB 128MB
Memory card slot No No
Technology None None
SIM type None None
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
Reply to Notifications Android only, Yes (preset replies) Android only, Yes (preset replies)
Audio No No
Bluetooth music No No
Loudspeaker No No
Microphone No No
Camera No No
Radio No No
Blood oxygen Yes Yes
Blood Pressure No No
Calories Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes
ECG tracking No No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes No
Stress Yes Yes
Fall detection No Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking No No
On-screen workout No No
Sport modes Yes Yes
Battery type
Battery capacity
Battery life Mixed usage: Up to 7 days Mixed usage: Up to 7 days
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar charging No No
Operating system Proprietary OS Proprietary OS
Companion app Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android 7.0+, iOS 15.0+ Android 7.0+, iOS 15.0+
Payment system None None
Voice command No No
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Manual, Straps, Garmin Vivosmart 4 Charger, Manual, Straps, Garmin Vivosmart 5

Garmin Vivosmart 4 vs 5 – Key Differences

  1. Vivosmart 5 has a slightly larger display
  2. Both the Vivosmart 4 and 5 have very tiny displays, however, Vivosmart 5 has a 0.85 display size which is 66% larger than the 0.75-inch display size of the Vivosmart 4. This will allow you to see a little more at a glance.

    Both smartbands use a monochrome OLED display that’s not colorful but very easy to read in any ambient light condition.

  3. Vivosmart 5 has a physical button
  4. Both Vivosmart 4 and 5 feature a touch-sensitive screen that makes navigation very easy. However, while Vivosmart 4 has a haptic button, the Vivosmart 5 has a physical button. I prefer the physical button because you can accidentally press the haptic button but that’s almost impossible with a physical button.

  5. Vivosmart 5 has a swappable band
  6. Going further, another notable difference is that unlike Vivosmart 4, you can swap the band of Vivosmart 5. This will allow you to wear different looks for different occasions.

  7. Vivosmart 5 has a calendar app
  8. While this might not be exceptional, there is a calendar app on the Vivosmart 5 which is not available on Vivosmart 4. The calendar app will sync with the calendar app on your phone and will allow you to easily access the calendar directly from the device.

  9. Vivosmart 5 will give you a sleep score
  10. While Vivosmart 4 will track your sleep, it won’t give you a sleep score. Meanwhile, joining recently released Garmin watches, Vivosmart 5 will track your sleep and also give you a sleep score.

    Sleep score is an advanced sleep tracking function that grades your sleep on a scale of 0-100. It also gives you insight into the factors that influenced your sleep score. A high sleep score means you had a good night’s rest and better prepared for the challenges ahead.

  11. Vivosmart 5 will track your respiratory rate 24/7
  12. Unlike Vivosmart 4, the Vivosmart 5 will track your respiratory rate 24/7. The respiratory rate represents the number of times you breathe per minute.

  13. Vivosmart 5 features incidental fall detection and LiveTrack
  14. While the Vivosmart 4 lacks incidental fall detection, with your phone nearby, the Vivosmart 5 can help you get real-time assistance if it detects a hard fall. You need to setup fall detection from the Garmin Connect app, and when the Vivosmart 5 detects a fall, it will start a call to a preset emergency contact and will also send your current location to these preset contacts.

    Moreover, the Vivosmart 5 also features LiveTrack. With LiveTrack you can share a real-time view of your workout so that friends and family can follow along. LiveTrack will allow you share your current location, pace, distance, speed and more.

  15. Vivosmart 5 features HIIT and Pilates workout profiles
  16. While both Vivosmart 4 and 5 feature a handful of gym profiles, the Vivosmart 5 features more gym profiles. It features HIIT and Pilates workout profiles which are not available on it’s predecessor.

  17. Vivosmart 5 has an updated heart rate sensor
  18. Although both smartbands have an heart rate sensor that tracks your heart rate 24/7, the Vivosmart 5 comes with an updated heart rate sensor. Nonetheless, both smartbands are very consistent in tracking your heart rate.

  19. Vivosmart 5 uses a USB charger
  20. Last but not the least, the Vivosmart 5 comes with a USB charger which is similar to what you get with most Garmin watches. Meanwhile, the Vivosmart 4 uses a clip-type charger. I find the USB charger to be easier to use.

In summary, while both smartbands are very compact and lightweight as well as equipped with loads of health tracking features, the Vivosmart 5 has a larger display and features more health and safety tracking features which no doubt makes it a more comprehensive and better smartband than its predecessor.

Vivosmart 4 vs 5 – Similar Features

Beyond the differences mentioned above, the Vivosmart 4 and 5 share a lot in common. Both smartbands are durably built with a polycarbonate case and silicone bands. And they are both rated 5ATM which means you can wear any of these to the shower or pool.

In terms of activity tracking, both smartbands will track your steps, calories, distance, sleep, blood oxygen, and heart rate. And with the Garmin Connect app, you can track hydration and menstrual cycle for women. Moreover, you get a handful of preloaded sports profiles.

With your phone nearby, both Vivosmart 4 and 5 will alert you when you receive a notification on your phone. You need to enable notifications for your preferred apps in the Garmin Connect app to receive messages from your favorite apps. It’s awesome to note that you also have the option to reply to messages using preset quick replies (Android only). Meanwhile, there is no difference in battery life, you get up to 7 days of battery life with either Vivosmart 4 or 5.

In conclusion, while the Vivosmart 4 is cheaper and a fantastic fitness-focused smartband, the Vivosmart 5 is a more comprehensive health tracker. It’s a worthwhile upgrade considering the significant additions.