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Garmin Fenix 6 (2019)
Garmin Vivofit 4
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) vs Garmin Vivofit 4

Analysis:

The Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) is an exemplary product and one of the very best Smart Watches at the $490 budget.

The Garmin Vivofit 4, however, doesn't seem to have enough data available for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions. If you're considering Smart Watches in the $75 range, you might want to check out some other options.

The Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) was loved by reviewers at Tom's Guide, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "Best sports watches in 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best sports watch for the outdoors", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Moving on to the Garmin Vivofit 4: it was loved by Android Central and Expert Reviews - two reliable sources that conduct their own in-depth testing. In fact, it was named "Best Compact Tracker" and "Best pedometer for battery life" in their respective roundups, which points to it being a product worthy of consideration.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Smart Watches, including Techradar, preferred the Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) over the Garmin Vivofit 4.

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) was liked best by Techradar, which gave it a score of 9, while the Garmin Vivofit 4 got its highest, 8, score from Techradar.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Smart Watches on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Smart Watches being 7.2 out of 10, whereas the Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) and Garmin Vivofit 4 managed averages of 9.0 and 7.7 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Garmin Fenix 6 (2019) vs. Garmin Vivofit 4 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
Wirecutter
Android Central
Techradar
TrustedReviews
Expert Reviews
Android Authority
Pocket-lint
T3
Lifewire
Tech. Specs Comparison
Garmin Fenix 6 (2019)
$449
Garmin Vivofit 4
$68
Android
No
-
Battery Life
14 (days)
-
Blood Pressure Monitor
No
No
Cellular
No
-
Compatibility
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Android
  • iOS
Display
Yes
Yes
Fitbit OS
No
-
GPS
Yes
No
Heart Rate Monitor
Yes
No
iOS
No
-
NFC
Yes
-
Operating System
Garmin Watch OS
-
Sleep Monitor
Yes
Yes
Smartphone Notifications
Yes
-
Tizen
No
-
watchOS
No
-
Water Resistance
Water-Resistant
Water-Resistant
Wear OS
No
-
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.3
Overall Avg. for Smart Watchs
9.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.3
Overall Avg. for Smart Watchs
7.7
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best sports watch for the outdoors
in “Best sports watches in 2020” 
Last updated: 22 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best fitness tracker 2020: The 5 best activity bands you can buy today” 
Last updated: 22 Apr 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 in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best multi-sport watch money can buy
in “Best Garmin watch 2020: how do you find the right one for you?” 
Last updated: 23 Mar 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Adventurers
in “Best Garmin Smartwatch in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 9
in “Best smartwatch 2020: The best wearables for style, fitness and function” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best skiing gadgets and gear 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “Best cheap fitness trackers in 2020” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Compact Tracker
in “Best Cheap Fitness Trackers in 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best pedometer for battery life
in “Best pedometer 2020: Track your steps with the best pedometers around” 
Last updated: 13 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “The best cheap fitness trackers 2020: the top affordable sport bands to keep you fit” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #10 out of 10
in “Best fitness tracker 2020: the top 10 activity bands on the planet” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: 18 days ago

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.

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