Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 – Which is Better?

If you find this post helpful, please share it. Thank you!

Unlike the Venu 3, the Vivoactive 5 lacks voice assistant and the ability to make and receive calls, and this is because it lacks a microphone and speaker, yet it’s a fantastic smartwatch. The Vivoactive 5 which succeeds the Vivoactive 4 is durably built and well equipped to track your daily activities. It also supports onboard music storage and has a long battery life that lets you go multiple days from a single charge.

Like the Vivoactive 5, the Galaxy Watch 6 is also a comprehensive health tracker. It’s also sturdily built and supports onboard music storage but can make and receive calls.

Surprisingly, despite lacking a mic and speaker, the Vivoactive 5 has the same $300 price tag as the Galaxy Watch 6. So which should you go for? We’ll compare the features of these two to help you decide which is a better smartwatch for you.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 - main difference

In a few words, the Vivoactive 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 are two awesomely built watches. Each of these two has an outstanding design and is loaded with loads of health tracking features. However, the Galaxy Watch 6 is a better-equipped watch. It has bigger storage, can make and receive calls and also features Bixby and Google Assistant voice assistants. It also features ECG and blood pressure measurements which are not available in the Vivoactive 5.

On the other hand, the Vivoactive 5 has a far longer battery life than Galaxy Watch 6. If battery life is a major factor for you, then the Vivoactive 5 is your guy. Otherwise, the Galaxy Watch 6 is a better bargain.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 Full Specifications Comparison

 
 
Product Info

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm) Full Smartwatch Specifications, Features and Price

Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm) Full smartwatch specifications

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm) Full Smartwatch Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Full Smartwatch Specifications

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Full Smartwatch Specifications, Features and Price

Price $239.99 $258.49 $299.99
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm) Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm) Garmin Vivoactive 5
Device type Fitness/Sport/Standalone smartwatch Fitness/Sport/Standalone smartwatch Fitness/Classic smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex Unisex, Women
Release date August, 2023 August, 2023 September, 2023
Predecessor Galaxy Watch 5 Galaxy Watch 5 Garmin Vivoactive 4
Successor
Versions Bluetooth/WiFi only, LTE Bluetooth/WiFi only, LTE
BODY BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 38.8 x 40.4 x 9.0 mm 42.8 x 44.4 x 9.0 mm 42.2 x 42.2 x 11.1 mm
Weight (excluding straps), 28.7g (excluding straps), 33.3g 23 grams (excluding straps)
Shape Circular Circular Circular
Case material Armor Aluminum Armor Aluminum Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap material Silicone Silicone Silicone
Bezel material Armor Aluminum Armor Aluminum Aluminum
Strap size 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm
Interchangeable strap 20mm, Yes 20mm, Yes 20mm, Yes
Screen protection Sapphire glass Sapphire glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test MIL-STD-810H MIL-STD-810H
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes, recommended Yes, recommended
Color Gold, Graphite Graphite, Silver Black/black band, Ivory/ivory band, Navy blue/navy blue band, Orchid/orchid band
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.3 inches 1.5 inches 1.2 inches
Display type Super AMOLED, Full color Super AMOLED, Full color AMOLED
Display resolution 432 x 432 pixels 480 x 480 pixels 390 x 390 px
Pixel density 453 PPI 453 PPI 326 ppi
Always on Yes Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes Yes
Input type 2 Physical buttons, Digital rotating bezel, Touchscreen 2 Physical buttons, Digital rotating bezel, Touchscreen 2 Physical buttons, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Bluetooth v5.3 Bluetooth v5.3 ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes No
GPS A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo Galileo, GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 2GB RAM 2GB RAM
ROM 16GB 16GB 4GB
Memory card slot No No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology (Cellular model), 4G LTE (Cellular model), 4G LTE None
SIM type (Cellular model), e-SIM (Cellular model), e-SIM None
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes Yes
Reply to Notifications Yes Yes Android only, Yes (preset replies)
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4 mp3
Bluetooth music Yes Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes No
Microphone Yes Yes No
Camera No No No
Radio No No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Sensor(s) Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer, BIA sensor, Electrical heart sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Infrared temperature sensor, Optical heart rate sensor Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer, BIA sensor, Electrical heart sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Infrared temperature sensor, Optical heart rate sensor Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Garmin Elevate v4 HR sensor, Spo2 sensor, Thermometer
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen Yes Yes Yes
Blood Pressure Yes Yes No
Calories Yes Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes Yes
ECG tracking Yes Yes No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes No
Stress Yes Yes Yes
Fall detection Yes Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle No No Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking Yes Yes Yes
On-screen workout Yes Yes No
Sport modes 90 90 Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery non-removable Lithium-polymer
Battery capacity 300mAh 425mAh
Battery life Up to 40 hours Up to 40 hours Smartwatch mode: Up to 11 days, Battery saver mode: Up to 21 fays
Charging type Charging dock, WPC based wireless charging Charging dock, WPC based wireless charging Charging dock
Charging time 30min-1hr 30min-1hr 30min-1hr
Solar charging No No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Exynos w930 Exynos w930
CPU 1.4GHz Dual-core (Cortex-A55) 1.4GHz Dual-core (Cortex-A55)
GPU Mali™-G68 MP2 Mali™-G68 MP2
Operating system Wear OS 4 Wear OS 4 Proprietary OS
MISC MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Samsung Galaxy Wearable app Samsung Galaxy Wearable app Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android 10.0+ & RAM 1.5GB+ Android 10.0+ & RAM 1.5GB+ Android 7.0+, iOS 15.0+
Payment system Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay Garmin Pay
Voice command Google Assistant, Yes, Bixby Google Assistant, Yes, Bixby No
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Manual, Straps, Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Charger, Manual, Straps, Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Charger, Manual, Straps, Garmin Vivoactive 5

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 Features Review

Price

I had to do this comparison when I realized the Vivoactive 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 had the same $300 price tag, though the prices of Galaxy Watch 6 range across the different sizes. It comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes and each of these two is available in Bluetooth and LTE models. The LTE model is a standalone watch that can make and receive calls without connecting to your phone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 Prices

The Bluetooth 40mm and 44mm units are priced at $280 and $300 respectively. On the other hand, the LTE model 40 and 44mm units have $330 and $350 price tags respectively.

So as per price, there is no difference between the Vivoactive 5 and Galaxy Watch 6.

Design

No doubt Garmin and Samsung make some of the most durable watches, and the Vivoactive 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 are no exception. Each of these two is sturdily built and also waterproof. While the Vivoactive 5 has a fiber-polymer frame and aluminum bezel with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protecting the display, the Galaxy Watch 6 has an aluminum frame and a sapphire glass screen.

While Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is very sturdy, Sapphire glass offers better resistance to scratch. This is very evident with my Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which I have been using for 11 months now, yet no single scratch. This wasn’t the case when I used the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Galaxy Watch 3.

Unlike its predecessor, Vivoactive 4 which is available in two sizes, the Vivoactive 5 is only available in a 42mm case size. Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Watch 6 is available in 40 and 44mm sizes. The option of size means you can actually choose the right size for you. I think that’s an edge over the Vivoactive 5.

Moreover, the Galaxy Watch 6 is 2.1mm slimmer than the Vivoactive 5. Although both watches are very lightweight, the Vivoactive 5 weighs a little less.

As per the design, it’s evident that both watches are durably built. Though, I think the Galaxy Watch 6 has a more refined build.

Display

Joining the Venu series, the Vivoactive 5 is the first in the Vivoactive series to have an AMOLED display. Similarly, the Galaxy Watch 6 also has an AMOLED display. So each of these two has a colorful display that’s easy to read in any light condition.

While the Vivoactive 5 has a 1.2 inches display size, its 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches for the 40mm and 44mm units of the Galaxy Watch 6 respectively.

Navigation is also easy with both watches, you get a touch-sensitive screen and two physical buttons for interaction. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 6 also has a digital rotating bezel that I find very useful especially when you need to scroll real fast.

Health Tracking Features

In the health tracking department, both the Vivoactive 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 are well-equipped to track your daily activities. Each of these two will track your steps, calories, heart rate, sleep, stress, blood oxygen and skin temperature. Both watches also have inbuilt GPS for independent tracking of your routes during outdoor workout activities. Moreover, you get loads of sports profiles on both watches. I’m not really sure of the Vivoactive 5, but the Galaxy Watch 6 has 96 sports profiles.

But then, even though each of these two is well equipped to track your daily activities, I think the Galaxy Watch 6 is a more comprehensive fitness tracker. It features ECG and blood pressure measurements which are not available on Vivoactive 5.

Media Storage

Music storage is possible with both watches. Though, while the Galaxy Watch 6 has 16GB of storage, it’s a meagre 4GB for the Vivoactive 5. So you get a lot more space for your tracks with the Galaxy Watch 6.

The supported music streaming services for Garmin watches are Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music. For the Galaxy Watch 6, you get access to Spotify, Deezer, YouTube music and more.

Making and Receiving Calls

Like I stated earlier, the main difference between the Galaxy Watch 6 and Vivoactive 5 is the presence of a microphone and speaker. As a result, the Galaxy Watch 6 will allow you to make and receive calls directly from the watch when it’s connected to your phone. And if you choose the LTE model, you can make and receive calls independent of a phone.

As a result of the microphone in the Galaxy Watch 6, it also features voice assistants which include Samsung’s Bixby and Google Assistant.

Operating System

Another main difference between these two is the operating system. While the Vivoactive 5 like other Garmin watches runs on Garmin’s proprietary operating system, the Galaxy Watch 6 like the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 runs on the Wear OS platform.

Apart from WatchOS, Wear OS offers a richer ecosystem than any other proprietary platform. It’s the main reason Samsung ported from their Tizen OS to Wear OS.

Indeed Garmin has done really well in adding more apps to their ecosystem but Wear OS gives you access to more apps including Google apps like Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube music.

Battery Life

So far, the Galaxy Watch 6 has shown to be a better watch than Vivoactive 5. It has a more refined design, the storage is bigger and it can make calls. But then, the Vivoactive 5 will let you go far longer from a single charge.

Battery life is a very important factor, and this is one area where the likes of Garmin, Polar and Coros watches excel over their more productive Apple and Samsung counterparts.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Garmin Vivoactive 5 - Battery life
The Vivoactive 5 has a longer battery life than Galaxy Watch 6

With the Vivoactive 5, you can get up to 11 days from a single charge. In contrast, you can expect at most 40 hours with the Galaxy Watch 6. The difference in battery life is like black and white. Interestingly, both watches feature battery-saver modes that when activated will allow you to go a little longer.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs Vivoactive 5: Verdict

Without mincing words, I honestly think the Galaxy Watch 6 is a better watch than the Vivoactive 5. It has more features and runs on a richer Wear OS ecosystem.

However, if battery life is a big factor for you, then no doubt, the Vivoactive 5 is a better choice.

Bottom line, both watches are outstanding, but while Galaxy Watch 6 offers a lot more features, the Vivoactive 5 lets you go longer with its longer battery life.

Leave a Comment