Garmin Venu 2 vs. Vivoactive 4: Lots of similarities
If you’re trying to find the best Android smartwatch, you’ll meet many options. Several brands are competing for this title, including the Garmin Venu 2 and Vivoactive 4. These watches may share many similarities when it comes to basic health and activity tracking, but it’s the differences that will affect your decision.
If you want the newest model with all the latest features, the Garmin Venu 2 will deliver the experience you’re looking for. Those who would rather save some money and don’t mind a few missing features will likely prefer the Garmin Vivoacative 4. At the end of the day, both are great watches that offer an excellent wearable with solid fitness tracking.
Enjoy new health and fitness perks with the Garmin Venu 2
The original Garmin Venu was packed with useful features, so the Venu 2 had some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, it did an incredible job of introducing some new features and improvements that make for a better wearable experience in more ways than one. Following in the Vivoactive 4’s footsteps, the Venu is now available in two sizes. When choosing between the Venu 2 and Venu 2S, size is the only difference. The Venu 2 comes in a 45mm case, and the 2S comes in a 40mm case.
Other than offering two size options, the design is fairly similar to the previous model. With that said, most users will agree that the Garmin Venu 2 is a bit more stylish than the Vivoactive 4. It has a rich AMOLED display and comes in a sturdy polymer case with a stainless steel bezel. The Venu 2 is compatible with 22mm bands, and the 2S is compatible with 18mm bands. They’re interchangeable, so you’ll never be stuck with just one look for your watch.
|Garmin Venu 2||Garmin Vivoactive 4|
40x40x12.7 mm, 40g
|Display||1.3″ AMOLED, 416×416 pixels
1.1″ AMOLED, 360×360 pixels
|1.3″ transflective display, 260×260
1.1″ transflective display, 218×218
|Sensors||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometer, ambient light sensor||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometer|
|Battery||Smartwatch mode: 11 days (45mm)
Smartwatch mode: 10 days (40mm)
|Smartwatch mode: 8 days (45mm)
Smartwatch mode: 7 days(40mm)
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi|
|Water-resistant||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Battery saver mode||✔️||❌|
There are a few different color options depending on the variant you choose. The larger Venu 2 comes in a Granite Blue case with a Silver bezel and a Black case with a Slate bezel. If you opt for the smaller Venu 2S, you’ll have more choices, including a Graphite case with a Slate bezel, a Mist Gray case with a Silver bezel, a Light Sand case with a Light Gold bezel, and a White case with a Rose Gold bezel. All of these variants come with a silicone band.
The Venu 2 offers a new battery saver mode that allows you to adjust settings that impact battery life.
The original Venu models offered up to 5 days of battery life in smartwatch mode. The Venu 2 improves on this by offering a full 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode. That figure goes down to 10 days if you opt for the Venu 2S. When you combine that with the new rapid charging feature, you’ll hardly be worrying about your battery dying. In 10 minutes, the rapid charging feature will add a full day of battery life to your smartwatch.
To further sweeten the deal, the Venu 2 offers a new battery saver mode that allows you to adjust settings that impact battery life. Your battery life can last for an extra day with this new perk. It’s safe to say that the Venu 2 is one of the best Garmin smartwatches out there as far as battery life is concerned.
You’ll also appreciate that sleep tracking has been improved with the addition of a sleep score, which Firstbeat Analytics powers. This feature will give users a sleep score based on the quality and quantity of the previous night’s sleep. Before, you had to view sleep stats in the Garmin Connect app. Now, you can review our previous night’s sleep right on the watch.
The previous models already offered a wide selection of sports apps, but the Venu 2 builds on that. You now have 25 built-in sports apps, with the new ones being HIIT, indoor climbing, bouldering, and hiking. On the subject of activities, you’ll also enjoy the fitness age feature. It can estimate whether your body is younger or older than you are. This perk uses your chronological age, resting heart rate, weekly vigorous activity, and BMI or body fat percentage to estimate your fitness age. You can also check out tips for how to lower fitness age.
One big change to health tracking is the addition of Garmin’s new Health Snapshot feature. Whether you have an existing medical condition or you simply want to stay on top of your health and wellness, this feature will prove useful. You’ll be able to record a quick 2-minute session that will log your key health stats. Once it’s done, you have the option of generating a detailed report that you can share with your doctor.
Some of the smartwatch features you had on the Venu are also available on the Venu 2. Some examples include excellent notification support, NFC for contactless payments with Garmin Pay, and onboard music storage for up to 650 songs. You can send quick replies from the watch if you’re an Android user, or you can reject a call with a text reply.
Stick to the basic tracking experience with the Garmin Vivoactive 4
Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central
The Venu 2 isn’t the first time Garmin offered two size options. The Vivoactive 4 and 4S are also available in 45mm and 40mm variants, respectively. The design is not drastically different than the Venu 2 models. You also get a polymer case and a stainless steel bezel. Both models are also compatible with interchangeable bands — 22mm for the Vivoactive 4 and 18mm for the Vivoactive 4S. There are tons of Garmin Vivoactive 4 bands to choose from.
You won’t have the crisp AMOLED display on either of the Vivoactive 4 models.
You won’t have the crisp AMOLED display on either of the Vivoactive 4 models. Instead, you’ll have a sunlight-visible, transflective display. You might expect battery life to be better with less drain from the display, but it’s not as good as the Venu 2. The larger Vivoactive 4 promises 8 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, while the 4S offers 7 days.
The color options vary from one model to the next. The 45mm variant is available in a Shadow Gray case with a Silver bezel and a Black case with a Slate bezel. Once again, the smaller 40mm variant offers more color options, including a Powder Gray case with a Silver bezel, a White case with a Rose Gold bezel, a Dust Rose case and a Light Gold bezel, and a Black case with a Slate bezel.
Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central
It’s not nearly as loaded as the Venu 2, but the Vivoactive 4 does offer a solid health and fitness tracking suite. It’s no wonder that it’s often considered one of the best fitness smartwatches you can buy. You get GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, stress monitoring, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, and more. It’s still pretty packed in terms of built-in sports apps with 20 options to choose from. It also offers animated on-screen workouts when you can’t hit the gym or get outside for a session.
You get a lot of the same smartwatch features on the Vivoactive 4 as you do on the Venu 2. This includes NFC for contactless payments through Garmin Pay, smartphone notifications, and onboard music storage for up to 500 songs. It might offer shorter battery life and not have as many health and fitness perks, but it’s still an amazing smartwatch that has the essentials at a lower price.
Garmin Venu 2 vs. Vivoactive 4: Which should you buy?
When all is said and done, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a fantastic option for those who are content with having the essentials. All of Garmin’s core features are present, including GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, sleep tracking, and on-screen workouts. You also get some nice extras, like Garmin Pay and music storage, for example. It’s hard to beat this set of features for the price.
If your budget will allow, the new Garmin Venu 2 seems very promising. Some successors fall flat in terms of new features, but this smartwatch is destined for success in many ways. The company states that the Venu 2 aims to provide users with deeper and more meaningful insights into their overall wellness. The new features will certainly add to the effort. You’ll have fitness age, sleep score, Health Snapshot, new activity profiles, and enhanced battery life that allows you to charge less often.
Perhaps Garmin will eventually bring some of these perks over to the Vivoactive 4 models. For now, the Venu 2 is the superior option with more health and fitness features, a nicer display, and better battery life.
Several new features
Garmin Venu 2
You get what you pay for
In addition to all the usual Garmin perks, the Venu 2 offers some new features that might be worth the extra money. Some examples include new activity profiles, sleep score, fitness age, and Health Snapshot. You also get a gorgeous AMOLED display and longer battery life.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Stick to the basics
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is one of the company’s best models. It has everything you need, including activity/sleep tracking, onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, on-screen workouts, and more. It comes in two sizes and is cheaper than the Venu 2.
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