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Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019)
Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019)
See Top Ranked Smartwatches

Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) vs Garmin vívoactive 4/4S (2019)

Analysis:

The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019) is an exemplary product and one of the very best Smartwatches at the $620 budget.

The Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019), however, doesn't seem to have enough data available for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions. If you're considering Smartwatches in the $240 range, you might want to check out some other options.

The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019) has done great in a couple of roundups conducted by highly trusted sources that perform objective in-depth testing, like OutdoorGearLab, Tom's Guide, mbreviews.com, and bicycling.com - it earned the "Best Features" title from OutdoorGearLab, "Best sports watch for the outdoors" from Tom's Guide, and "Ranked 1 out of 7" from mbreviews.com. Any product that's held in high regard by such reliable sources should be considered by anyone that's looking for a Smartwatch at this price point.

Taking a look at the Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019), we found that it was received really well by reviewers from highly trusted sources that conduct objective in-depth testing, including Tom's Guide, Wirecutter (NYTimes), PCmag, and road.cc - it was named "Garmin’s best smartwatch for runners" by Tom's Guide, "Upgrade pick" by Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "Ranked 2 out of 11" by PCmag in their respective roundups. Any product that's praised by this many of the internet's most trustworthy sources should be considered by everyone who's in the market for a Smartwatch at this price point.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Smartwatches, Techradar preferred the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019), whereas reviewers at fitrated.com liked the Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) better. Expert Reviews and TrustedReviews gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019) rating came from OutdoorGearLab, whereas the Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) most impressed reviewers at Expert Reviews; they earned scores of 10 and 10, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Smartwatches on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Smartwatches being 7.2 out of 10, whereas the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019) and Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) managed averages of 9.1 and 8.7 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019) vs. Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Tom's Guide
OutdoorGearLab
mbreviews.com
bicycling.com
PCmag
road.cc
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Digital Camera World
Expert Reviews
Techradar
Tech. Specs Comparison
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (2019)
$585
Garmin vívoactive 4 (2019)
$244
Cellular
No
No
GPS
Yes
Yes
NFC
Yes
Yes
Operating System
Garmin Watch OS
Garmin Watch OS
Reddit Threads (27)
r/Garmin
in "Hiking watch help!"
Last updated: 16 Dec 2020
r/GarminFenix
in "Are you happy with your Fenix 6 Pro?"
Last updated: 5 Dec 2020
r/Garmin
in "Upgraded from my Vivoactive 4S to the Fenix 6 Pro!"
Last updated: 11 Nov 2020
r/cigars
in "Just a little update on my plants 🌱 (I have an xl size hand)"
Last updated: 14 Sep 2020
r/GarminFenix
in "Going for my first Fenix"
Last updated: 31 Aug 2020
r/running
in "What garmin watch would you suggest?"
Last updated: 27 Aug 2020
r/GarminFenix
in "So is Fenix 6 like actually good at measuring ANYTHING?"
Last updated: 25 Aug 2020
r/Garmin
in "Decided I want to switch to the Garmin Fenix 6 series from my Apple Watch 4. Advice one selecting which version of the Fenix 6 I should purchase?"
Last updated: 24 Aug 2020
r/Garmin
in "It has taken me almost 3 months to get my well rested badge since I got my Garmin watch.....the effect of having kids..."
Last updated: 23 Aug 2020
r/Ultralight
in "Smartwatch suggestions?"
Last updated: 22 Aug 2020
r/AdvancedRunning
in "Is VO2 measurement a necessity?"
Last updated: 5 Aug 2020
r/running
in "Garmin recommendations?"
Last updated: 24 Jun 2020
r/Garmin
in "Finally, both arrows up"
Last updated: 8 Jun 2020
r/GarminFenix
in "Fenix 6 Series Gets Sleep Calculation in 9.92 Update"
Last updated: 1 Jun 2020
r/running
in "Suunto 7 vs Fenix 6 Pro"
Last updated: 29 May 2020
r/Garmin
in "Choosing between Fenix 6 Pro and forerunner 945"
Last updated: 11 May 2020
r/Garmin
in "Started from the bottom now I’m here! (I bought my first Garmin in August. I might have a problem)"
Last updated: 5 Mar 2020
r/Swimming
in "SmartWatch for Swimming"
Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
r/specialforces
in "Smartwatch recommendations"
Last updated: 25 Dec 2019
r/crossfit
in "Fitness Trackers"
Last updated: 23 Dec 2019
r/triathlon
in "Where my Apple Watch triathletes at? [Gear]"
Last updated: 30 Nov 2019
r/weightwatchers
in "Compatible Fitness Tracker"
Last updated: 28 Nov 2019
r/Ultralight
in "Wearable tracker for pace, distance, elevation?"
Last updated: 5 Oct 2019
r/Garmin
in "I think Garmin needs to up their game a little."
Last updated: 18 Apr 2020
Reddit Threads (30)
r/Myfitnesspal
in "What kind of smart watch do you use?"
Last updated: 31 Jan 2021
r/xxfitness
in "/u/rupaulbunyan's comments on Garmin vívoactive 4S (2019)}"
Last updated: 27 Jan 2021
r/POTS
in "What android ECG capable smartwatch has the best ECG/would you recommend?"
Last updated: 22 Jan 2021
r/pelotoncycle
in "Longtime Garmin user, need a new watch"
Last updated: 8 Jan 2021
r/xxfitness
in "What are your favorite? fitness, health and wellness products?"
Last updated: 31 Dec 2020
r/Garmin
in "Debating on purchasing vivoActive4S or Venu, also a question on music playback Controls?"
Last updated: 14 Dec 2020
r/xxfitness
in "[WEEKLY THREAD] Tech Sunday - The place to discuss all things tech related"
Last updated: 29 Nov 2020
r/xxfitness
in "[WEEKLY THREAD] Shopping and Style Saturday - Gym clothes, gadgets, shoes, makeup, hair, skincare, and sales!"
Last updated: 21 Nov 2020
r/Garmin
in "Weekly General Discussion"
Last updated: 14 Nov 2020
r/xxfitness
in "[WEEKLY THREAD] Shopping and Style Saturday - Gym clothes, gadgets, shoes, makeup, hair, skincare, and sales!"
Last updated: 14 Nov 2020
r/Garmin
in "Best Garmin watch that has zero chance of the blue screen"
Last updated: 12 Nov 2020
r/Garmin
in "Tracked my hike to the top of South Sister in Oregon with my Venu! Battery was at 48% after the 9.5 hour round trip."
Last updated: 24 Sep 2020
r/xxfitness
in "What's your favorite fitness tracker?"
Last updated: 15 Sep 2020
r/xxfitness
in "Smart Watch/Fitness Tracker Recommendations"
Last updated: 15 Sep 2020
r/xxfitness
in "What's your favorite fitness tracker?"
Last updated: 15 Sep 2020
r/Garmin
in "Stepped up from my old Fitbit Charge 2"
Last updated: 19 Jul 2020
r/Garmin
in "Looking for recommendations !"
Last updated: 3 Jun 2020
r/xxfitness
in "[WEEKLY THREAD] Tech Sunday - The place to discuss all things tech related"
Last updated: 16 Mar 2020
r/medicalschool
in "Biweekly ERAS/Match Thread"
Last updated: 13 Mar 2020
r/Garmin
in "First time Garmin buyer - Which watch should I get?"
Last updated: 11 Mar 2020
r/Garmin
in "Garmin Vivoactive 4S vs Polar H10 heart rate tracking accuracy"
Last updated: 1 Mar 2020
r/GooglePixel
in "Apple Watch Envy"
Last updated: 28 Jan 2020
r/Garmin
in "Weekly General Discussion - January 6, 2020"
Last updated: 15 Jan 2020
r/Garmin
in "Is this a Guinness World Record for deep sleep?"
Last updated: 4 Jan 2020
r/Swimming
in "Swim Tracker"
Last updated: 2 Jan 2020
r/xxfitness
in "Daily Discussion 19 December 2019"
Last updated: 20 Dec 2019
r/Garmin
in "Just recieved my garmin first avenger"
Last updated: 23 Nov 2019
Significantly higher than average expert review score
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
mbreviews.com
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Rugged Waterproof Smartwatches of 2021” 
Last updated: 6 Jun 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Garmin Black Friday deals 2020: Save $200 on top GPS watches” 
Last updated: 28 Nov 2020
OutdoorGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Features
in “Best GPS Watch of 2021” 
Last updated: 16 Aug 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Garmin watch 2021: feature-packed GPS watches tested and ranked” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Switchback Travel
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best GPS Watches of 2021” 
Last updated: 11 Jun 2021
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Garmin UK watch models explained: Our pick of the best Garmin sports watches you can buy” 
Last updated: 19 Aug 2021
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Fitness Trackers 2021: Stay in shape with our favourite workout wearables” 
Last updated: 13 Apr 2021
reviewgeek.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 4 Best GPS Running and Multi-Sport Watches” 
Last updated: 16 Nov 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for outdoor enthusiasts
in “Best running watches 2021” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Running Shoes Guru
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
best of the best
in “Best GPS Running Watches” 
Last updated: 30 Dec 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best sports watch for the outdoors
in “Best sports watches in 2021” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best watches for marathon training 2021: GPS watches that'll go the distance” 
Last updated: 19 Jul 2021
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Garmin deals: The very best discounts on Garmin smartwatches this Cyber Monday” 
Last updated: 30 Nov 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for outdoor enthusiasts
in “Best smartwatches that can measure blood oxygen saturation levels 2021” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Garmin watch for the outdoors
in “Best Garmin watch in 2021: Choose the right GPS tracker” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best running watch when money is no object
in “Best running watch 2021: Transform your training with GPS tracking, heart-rate monitoring and more” 
Last updated: a month ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for adventurers
in “Best Garmin smartwatch 2021” 
Last updated: 23 Jun 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best multi-sport watch money can buy
in “Top Christmas tech gifts for those who have everything” 
Last updated: 20 Dec 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best premium sports watch with SpO2 tracking
in “Are pulse oximeters on fitness trackers reliable? The best wearables for measuring blood oxygen saturation” 
Last updated: 23 Jun 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “The best running watch 2021: GPS watches to track your workouts” 
Last updated: 14 Jul 2021
bicycling.com
Highly Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best GPS Cycling Computers You Can Buy Right Now” 
Last updated: 28 Jun 2021
CleverHiker
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “10 Best GPS Watches of 2021” 
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Garmin Cyber Monday deals that are still live” 
Last updated: 1 Dec 2020
coachmag.co.uk
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Gifts For Runners” 
Last updated: 10 Jun 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Outdoor Gifts” 
Last updated: 11 Feb 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best skiing gadgets and gear 2021: have fun and stay safe on the slopes” 
Last updated: 1 Feb 2021
Highly recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Smartwatches for 2021” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2021
road.cc
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “5 cool things from Garmin, Scott and Ruzer” 
Last updated: 4 Nov 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Garmin’s best smartwatch for runners
in “Best running watches in 2021” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Upgrade pick
in “The Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: 30 Apr 2021
Digital Camera World
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 8
in “The best pulse oximeter in 2021” 
Last updated: 16 Mar 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best smartwatch for fitness 2021” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Garmin watch for affordable style and practicality
in “The best Garmin watch 2021: feature-packed GPS watches tested and ranked” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Garmin watch for all-rounders
in “Garmin UK watch models explained: Our pick of the best Garmin sports watches you can buy” 
Last updated: 19 Aug 2021
Switchback Travel
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best GPS Watch with Everyday Appeal
in “Best GPS Watches of 2021” 
Last updated: 11 Jun 2021
Running Shoes Guru
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “Best GPS Running Watches” 
Last updated: 30 Dec 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #10 out of 12
in “The Best Fitness Trackers of 2021” 
Last updated: 12 Jul 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers for 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best smartwatch for fitness
in “Best smartwatch 2021: Top picks for every budget” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Garmin smartwatch 2021” 
Last updated: 23 Jun 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Garmin’s most stylish smart running watch yet
in “The best running watch 2021: GPS watches to track your workouts” 
Last updated: 14 Jul 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Fitness Trackers for 2021” 
Last updated: 14 Jun 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Garmin’s best fitness smartwatch
in “Best Garmin watch in 2021: Choose the right GPS tracker” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for runners
in “Best Apple Watch alternatives 2021” 
Last updated: 9 Jul 2021
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
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Fitness Trackers for Running” 
Last updated: 7 Apr 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best fitness trackers in 2021: Top activity bands from Fitbit, Garmin and more” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for style
in “Best GPS smartwatches & fitness trackers 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jun 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Garmin Cyber Monday deals that are still live” 
Last updated: 1 Dec 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Garmin Black Friday deals 2020: Save $200 on top GPS watches” 
Last updated: 28 Nov 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best fitness tech gifts 2020” 
Last updated: 16 Mar 2020

Key things to consider when buying Smartwatch

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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