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Garmin Vivoactive 4 Fitness Smartwatch

Garmin Venu vs VivoActive 4

Garmin Logo Icon 2
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Icon

Vivactive 4

Vivoactive 4s

Vivactive 4s

Garmin Venu Icon


Garmin Venu SQ Music Icon

Venu SQ Music







18 (6)

15 (5)

20 (6)

14 (6)


1.3" Transflective​

1.1" Transflective​

1.2" AMOLED​

1.3" LCD​





40mm x 37mm


12 mm

12.7 mm

12.4 mm

11.5 mm


50.6 g

40 g

46.3 g

37.6 g


22 mm

18 mm

20 mm

20 mm






500 songs


Find my phone, weather, calendar, text messages, notifications, and more​




Bluetooth, Wifi, and ANT+​


GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor, Pulse Ox, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer​

Table Of Contents

To put it simply, the biggest difference when comparing the Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Venu is the displays. Both are a great choice if you’re looking for the best fitness smartwatch. The big beautiful AMOLED screen on the Venu is Garmin’s answer to the Galaxy Watch 3, Apple Watch, and other traditional smartwatches. While the Vivoactive 4 is Garmin’s way of giving you premium smartwatch features like music storage and Garmin Pay, without having to sacrifice the sunlight-friendly and battery-friendly transflective display.

     Regardless of whether you choose from the Vivoactive 4 or the Venu series, these are for the people who want the best mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features. There are some other minor differences that may make one better than the other for you, so here’s a comparison chart to start with:

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Conclusion

Garmin-Vivoactive-4 Fitness Smartwatch
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Fitness Smartwatch

     Pick the Vivoactive 4 or 4s if most of your workouts and activities are outdoors. The big, colorful transflective display is one of Garmin’s signature wearable features. The main benefits are extended battery life and better visibility in direct sunlight.

     The benefit that really got me hooked on the transflective display is the ability to sport 100’s of colorful watch faces that are completely viewable, even in always-on mode! Additionally, most of the downloadable watch faces are able to be further customized, so you can change colors, metrics, backgrounds, and more. You get complete control to match any style or activity.

     Unless you truly need the advanced training metrics (Recover Advisor, Training Status, Training Load, etc. from Fenix and Forerunner series), the Vivoactive 4 can support the tracking needs of almost any level of athlete. It has all of the essential sensors for multi-sport tracking and it comes with an industry-standard 22mm (18mm, 4s) watchband, so it’s one of Garmin’s most versatile fitness smartwatches to-date.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Transflective Display
Garmin Vivoactive 4 | Transflective Display

Garmin Venu Conclusion

Garmin Venu SQ Music with NotoCity Sport Strap

     Pick the Venu if you’re new to GPS watches. Like traditional smartwatches, the Venu has a clear, colorful AMOLED display that’ll make any Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch user feel at home. (The Venu SQ and SQ Music have an LCD screen, but it’s not a huge difference compared to transflective displays.)

     Obviously, the biggest drawback with AMOLED and LCD displays is that, just like your phone, it can be harder to see in direct sunlight. On the other hand, if you’re a traditional fitness smartwatch user, it might not bother you. Especially when the quality and clarity of the display gives you a cell-phone-like experience right on your wrist.

     If you want a premium smartwatch look, with a stronger multi-sport platform than Apple, Google, and Samsung can provide, the Venu series is your best choice. Just like the Vivoactive 4, the biggest upgrade/change from other fitness smartwatches is the access to Garmin’s best-in-class multi-sport tracking platform. In combination with the 5-6 day battery life, this is the best upgrade for current smartwatch users. This made it an easy pick for the Best Entry-Level GPS Watch.

     With LTE connectivity the obvious next step with Venu models to come, this debut version is pretty complete. You get premium Garmin multi-sport tracking, with almost every essential smartwatch feature like music storage, Garmin Pay, and more that come standard. The Venu series is a departure from typical Garmin wearables, but that’s precisely why this series should have all the other wearable-makers nervous.

Editors Choice

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Best Fitness Smartwatch
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Best Fitness Smartwatch

Vivoactive 4 – If the biggest difference between my choices is the transflective display versus the AMOLED/LCD display, I’m choosing the transflective display ALL DAY.