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Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019)
Fitbit Ionic 2017
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Garmin vívoactive 4/4S (2019) vs Fitbit Ionic 2017

Analysis:

The Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) is a great Smart Watch for its $289 asking price.

The Fitbit Ionic 2017, however, while a reasonable product for $200, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Smart Watches in the $230 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) was loved by reviewers at Tom's Guide, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The best smartwatches in 2020" roundup where it was named its "The best smartwatch for fitness", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for the Fitbit Ionic 2017 - it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a great source that's known for conducting high-quality in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best Smartwatches for 2020" roundup and was named its "Best for Fitness Fanatics", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Smart Watches, including Expert Reviews, TrustedReviews, PCmag, Pocket-lint, Tom's Guide, and Techradar, preferred the Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) over the Fitbit Ionic 2017.

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) was liked best by Expert Reviews, which gave it a score of 10, while the Fitbit Ionic 2017 got its highest, 8, score from Runnerclick.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019), with its 8.9 average, performed considerably better than most Smart Watches - the mean score for the product category being 7.2 out of 10 - while the Fitbit Ionic 2017 managed an average of 7.1.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) vs. Fitbit Ionic 2017 review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Tom's Guide
Wirecutter
TechGearLab
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Android Central
Android Authority
TrustedReviews
Expert Reviews
Techradar
Tech. Specs Comparison
Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019)
$289
Fitbit Ionic 2017
$200
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.3
Overall Avg. for Smart Watchs
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best smartwatch for fitness
in “The best smartwatches in 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Garmin Smartwatch in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 8
in “The Best Fitness Trackers of 2020” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 5
in “5 best smartwatches of IFA 2019: the top wearables announced this week” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Fitness Smartwatches in 2020” 
Last updated: 21 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Style
in “Best Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers with GPS in 2020” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Battery
in “Best Smartwatches That Can Measure Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels in 2020” 
Last updated: 29 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Runners
in “Best Apple Watch Alternatives for Android in 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best fitness tech gifts 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Dec 2019
Recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Fitness Fanatics
in “The Best Smartwatches for 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Mar 2020
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 5.8 out of 10
in “The Best Smartwatches of 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Feb 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “5 best wearables of IFA 2017: the tech you may soon be wearing” 
Last updated: 4 Sep 2017
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Fitbit for runners
in “Best Fitbit 2020: Which Fitbit tracker is right for you?” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Fitbit Fans
in “Best Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers with GPS in 2020” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best smartwatch 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 5
in “The Best Fitbits of 2020” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 9
in “Best Fitbit 2020: 9 awesome choices for avid and casual gym-goers” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
Runnerclick
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best GPS Watches for Runners Reviewed” 
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 6
in “Best Fitbit in 2020 (May Reviews)” 
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Casual Athletes
in “Best Smartwatches That Can Measure Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels in 2020” 
Last updated: 29 Apr 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Fitbit running watch
in “Best running watch 2020: Transform your training with GPS tracking, heart-rate monitoring and more, from £85” 
Last updated: 4 Mar 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best Fitbit 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best running watches 2020: the perfect GPS companions for your workouts” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 12
in “The Best Running Watches of 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Oct 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Premium
in “Best Fitbit in 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Apr 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best running watches 2019” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 6
in “The best swim watch 2020: what you should be wearing in the pool” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “The best Fitbit Ionic bands and accessories” 
Last updated: 13 Mar 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “Best Android smartwatch 2020: what to wear on your wrist if you have an Android” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 10
in “Best Fitbit 2020: which is right for you?” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 10
in “Best smartwatch 2020: the top wearables you can buy today” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: a month ago
T3
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “10 best gifts for Christmas 2017” 
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best smartwatch for iPhone 2020: Apple Watch, Wear OS, Tizen and more” 
Last updated: 30 Apr 2020

Key things to consider when buying Smart Watch

Our super simple Buying Guide

A smartwatch is a wearable computer in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches bring notifications, apps, voice control, fitness tracking, and more to your wrist. Although they vary in their features and designs, smartwatches generally help increase productivity and keep track of fitness and health data, like heart rate and sleep tracking.

With exceptions of no-name brands and cheap knockoffs, smartwatches range from $100 on the low end and up to $2500 for the most premium devices. The price goes up significantly when looking at products made of luxury materials, or ones with a very specific use case. Most people will be satisfied with getting a mid-range smartwatch. An option that costs around $200 will typically offer all of the essential tracking and productivity features but may be missing some more premium ones, like cellular connectivity, NFC, or onboard music storage. For $500 you can get a fully-fledged smartwatch that will track a wide array of activities, have a large number of extra features, and will be made of high-quality materials. The high-end of the market is reserved for smartwatches that are aimed at fashion-conscious people who want their smartwatch to have premium looks, without offering any additional functionality over the more reasonably priced options.

The smartwatch market is evolving quickly, with products getting discontinued after two or three years and new flagships being released annually.

A few key players in the industry:

  • Apple enjoys the biggest share in the market and dominates it with their universally lauded, iPhone exclusive Apple Watch smartwatches. They feature great build quality, run on their well-developed wearOS, flawlessly integrate with the iOS ecosystem, and have a wide selection of applications.

  • Samsung mainly produces smartwatches for Android smartphones, but its wearables are also compatible with iPhones and Windows devices. The company's smartwatches run on Tizen OS, which has all of the essentials but lacks some popular apps.

  • Fitbit is known for its great lineup of fitness-focused smartwatches that come at a relatively low price. Fitbit built their own OS that's compatible with all types of smartphones.

  • Garmin offers smartwatches with advanced tracking functions and rugged build quality. The company is primarily focused on outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Xiaomi, in partnership with Huami, also produces good products and focuses on the budget end of the smartwatch market.

These are the most important specs to consider when buying a smartwatch:

  • iOS - This is arguably the most polished operating system for wearables currently available and Apple keeps constantly improving it by pushing regular updates to the OS. It only works properly when their Apple Watch is linked to an iPhone; Apple states that phones from other manufacturers aren't supported.

    WatchOS is the wearable operating system that's currently exclusively used by the Apple Watch. It's smooth, battery-friendly, has a large library of apps, and is well-connected to the iOS ecosystem.

  • Tizen - Tizen is a great OS choice for smartwatches because it's very battery-friendly and smooth to use. However, the current lack of apps and the inferior Bixby virtual assistant are considerable drawbacks to an otherwise good OS.

    Tizen is a custom operating system developed by Samsung. It's known for its versatility - it's used on smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, in-car entertainment systems, TVs, and other smart-home appliances.

  • Cellular - A cellular connection on a smartwatch allows you to do anything that requires data without having your phone nearby. That means that the watch can independently make calls, text, receive notifications, stream music, and more. However, it negatively affects battery life and usually comes at a premium - models that support a cellular connection are typically more expensive and incur extra costs in the form of monthly network operator fees.

  • GPS - Information from a smartwatch's GPS sensor is typically used to provide important workout metrics such as the distance covered, speed, and pace. There may be some small inaccuracies, but the error variation across different devices is typically insignificant for the majority of users.

    The Global Positioning System uses signals from satellites to determine the exact location using triangulation. GPS functionality in smartwatches is essential for certain sports, like cycling, running, golf, and swimming.

  • NFC - NFC in smartwatches lets you perform contactless payments, replacing credit or debit cards. The technology is convenient, fast, and adds versatility to the smartwatch.

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is a type of wireless data transfer that detects and enables other nearby devices to communicate with each other without internet connectivity.

    While you may struggle to find NFC functionality on older smartwatches, the majority of newer models come with an NFC chip.

  • Fitbit OS - This operating system was purpose-built for a more fitness-focused experience. It's optimized to be battery friendly and features an app store that's mainly populated by health and fitness applications. Fitbit doesn't have its own voice assistant and currently uses Amazon's Alexa.
    Fitbit OS is the operating system used by Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers.

  • Android - Wear OS is compatible with a wide selection of devices and can easily be synced with iPhones and Android smartphones alike. However, there are certain features that won't work with iPhones, such as iMessages, replying to messages through third-party apps like WhatsApp or Slack, and full integration with calendar and emails. Wear OS has a clean and simple user interface, Google Assistant integration, and a good amount of apps available on Google's Play Store. However, the OS can sometimes feel laggy and buggy; some apps can take a few seconds just to launch. Another major drawback of WearOS is its poor battery life - its competitors are delivering multiple days of battery life, whereas most Wear OS devices still need to be charged every night.

    Originally named Android Wear, Wear OS is Google’s Android-based operating system specifically designed for wearables and smartwatches. Because of its open platform, it's used by a variety of smartwatch manufacturers.

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
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