Garmin Vivoactive 4 & Garmin Venu Review
If that’s you, you got to stay tuned for this review. Hi everybody it’s andy barrar, aka handyandy, your diy tech guy from handyandymedia.com today, i’m doing a review for best buy’s blog on two smart watches from garmin, the vivoactive 4 and the venue. Now, of course, these are smart, watches. So they’re going to give you notifications from your smartphone, but these do way more because, if you’re the type of person that likes to collect fitness data, whether it’s your heart rate, whether it’s your sleep or your steps, you are going to love this watch because it Is like activity tracker on steroids, so let’s begin this review by taking a look at the design of the vivoactive iv Music. Now both of these watches the vivoactive iv and the venue look like traditional watches with their rounded design. This is, in far contrast to say the apple watch, and i actually prefer this because, when it’s on your wrist, it just looks like a traditional watch but, like i said this can do way way more now, in terms of the size, the vivoactive 4 has a 33 millimeter display touch color display and the venue has about 30 millimeters, so just slightly smaller. Both of them have gorilla glass, 3 protection on the front. Now, while these watches do look similar, there are a couple of design differences and that mainly has to do with the bezel. The vivoactive 4 has a stainless steel bezel across the front, whereas the venue has this reinforced polymer with a metal finish.
So it does look like metal, but it’s not, and i think, for most people – it’s not going to matter what’s really interesting is the vivo. Active 4 is actually the more expensive of the two, but the display is 260 by 260 resolution. Now on the venue, which is slightly cheaper, this display resolution is ‘0 by ‘0, using an amoled display, so it’s actually brighter clearer and it actually looks like it’s the more expensive of the two. But there is a big difference, because the vivoactive 4 has what is an always on display. So when you’re walking around you want to look at, you know for the time you can just flip your wrist and take a look and you should be able to see it. It even um displays in sunlight. Now the venue by default does not turn on, but you can set it to be always on and i think the reason they did. That was because the battery life would severely diminish because of the higher screen resolution and colors. It doesn’t have the same battery life as the vivo active four, so that’s, probably why the vivoactive iv is more expensive because it has what they say in smart watch mode about eight days of battery life, whereas the venue does not do that as long. But we’ll talk a little bit about the battery a little bit later now that we’ve taken a quick look at the design, let’s go ahead and talk about the fitness features in both of these smart watches.
Like i mentioned, these are primarily fitness, smart watches, because they are activity trackers on steroids. You can do just about everything like i’m a data guy. I love collecting data and this is really geared towards someone like me, because not only can you track your steps, you can track your heart rate. You can track your sleep, not only the quality of your sleep, but the entire duration of your sleep heck. You could even track your hydration now, of course it doesn’t know when you’re drinking, but in the app you can actually log in every time you have um, say a glass of water or some juice and to really track your hydration levels for women. You could even track your menstrual cycles in here so like i said this is a fitness tracker, but it can do so much more now there’s a couple of interesting additional features that they have one is called body battery, and this is really to see your body’s Energy levels throughout the day, they also have something called pulse ox sensor and that basically shows how well your body is absorbing oxygen. Another interesting thing they have, which i can’t really figure out: how they’re getting this data, but it’s a stress tracker. So it can kind of gauge when you’re stressed throughout the day and when you’re not, and it can really prompt you, it can even prompt you to do short breathing exercises like do. We really need a watch to tell us if we’re stressed.
I know when i’m stressed, but apparently they can do this. I haven’t really figured out the science on how they did that both watches actually feature built in sports apps, so whether it’s running whether you’re on a treadmill or you’re doing yoga even golf, the one app. Unfortunately, for me that they don’t have is jump rope, because if you know me, you know that during the coronavirus and when they had the lockdown, i learned to jump rope and it’s. Now an obsession of mine and i’m just looking for an activity tracker that can track my jump ropes. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have that built in. Apparently, if you go and look, you can find third party apps. That will allow that i have yet to try that, but it is something i’m looking to i just wish it was built in but i’m telling you they got yoga inside here. Strength, training as well. If you’re strength, training, you can go inside there and program your entire workouts and then track each set and each rep inside your watch, which is really cool. Now, if there are exercises that you forgot or you don’t know how to do the proper technique, they actually have animations built in there. That will show you the proper movements for doing exercises. So you really have no excuse to build uh a resistance training workout with the garmin smart watches here, the vivoactive four and venue the runners are gon na love.
The fact that you could actually put songs, pre loaded on here, so you don’t, have to take your phone when you’re going out for a run. This is also gps is built in, so you can track your runs as well. This, i would say just from the get go, even though i’ll say this in my final review, but really geared towards runners. You know if you’re a runner or you take a lot of steps, you’re going to really like these smart watches, because they just work so nicely for doing that jump. Rope guys like me. Maybe not. There is a cardio sports apps that just tracks your heart rate. So that’s what i was using when i was uh jump roping and using these watches, because i was trying to track my heart rate and just like the intensity levels. While i was jumping, i want to make sure it stays high and that i don’t take too many breaks, and with these watches you know you can do that using the pre built cardio app, which is kind of more of a generic one, but they even have Ones, i think, for um, using the elliptical or a road machine as well, so a lot of built in apps, whatever you’re into you’ll, probably find it inside of the garmin smartwatch. Now, in terms of battery life, the vivoactive 4 has 8 days of battery life in smart watch mode, which is pretty long when you think about when smart watches first came on, i remember i used to have to charge them every night.
That was one of the things i didn’t like about them, but it looks like they solved that battery problem with the venue you’re gon na get about five days of battery life and again that’s because of the screen it’s brighter and um. I think that’s why the battery life is not as long now it said: smart watch mode, okay, if you’re gon na start tracking, like your heart rate or the pulso x, which is what tracks your how well you’re using oxygen that is significantly going to uh decrease The battery life, so you have to be wary when the manufacturers say: oh, you got eight day battery life on smartwatch mode. Well then, you have. The next question is what is smartwatch mode, and that probably means it’s not doing you know, tracking all it can do it’s, basically on its most basic functions of getting notifications and whatnot yeah. You can get about a week eight days with the vivoactive four and about five days with the venue. I think another feature outside of the fitness that a lot of people are gon na really like and gravitate towards. These watches is, for is sleep tracking, because we could all sleep better and a lot of people aren’t sleeping enough, and you sometimes you need a nudge. You need a nudge to tell you that hey. I have empirical data showing that i am not getting enough sleep. So that might help you go to bed earlier or you know not um stay up late, watching netflix, so the sleep tracking is really really interesting, because not only does it track the duration of your sleep like when you went to bed and when you got up But the quality of your sleep as well, so they break it up into different zones.
Whether it’s light sleep, deep sleep rem, you can see the breakdown each night of your sleep. You can see the tally of it in on weeks and months. So for anybody you know just the sleep tracking alone makes this a great feature, but then you, you include steps heart rate. You know it becomes a swiss army knife of a smart watch when you think about it with all the features that come with it. Now, both of these watches, all the data that it’s collecting goes inside your smartphone in the garmin connect app, which is, of course available on ios and android, so i’ve been wearing these watches. For about a week two weeks, i actually asked for an extended period for this review. Just so, i could collect more data, because when i first had it, it was getting me some weird data and i just wanted more data to collect it. Music, so i’ve been wearing um the vivo active for the venue. You know they’re. Both i didn’t want to have to wear both watches. At the same time, they do the same thing so rather than walking around with two watches. I just wore one predominantly to collect that data, and that was the vivo active four and here’s. What i can tell you, i am somebody who absolutely loves data. I track my heart rate. All the time steps you know. I’M. I know i’m active i’m. Just really looking for heart rate and staying at heart rate and a certain heart rate zone when i’m working out, so i love data.
I love sleep data. I just really appreciate the fact that you can get all that data in a smart watch and you don’t have to wear multiple devices. However – and this is a big, however, i was really getting inconsistent data, the heart rate in particular – and this is why i actually asked for an extended period on this, because there was one day where i was walking home from the gym, and i was like, i Wonder what my heart rate is, and i look and it says 160. – it was not 160. Okay, trust me. I know what 160 beats per minute feels like and that’s me running, like maybe 10 minutes straight non stop at around six miles per hour to get at 160., so that kind of led me. I was like what is going on, then, the next day i’m same thing coming back i’m like oh, let me check and then it’s like 95 100, which is where it should be so one day it was kind of like way off, and then it was like Super accurate, so i was getting like inconsistent things about the heart rate, and you know what that means is, if you’re getting data and it’s inconsistent you’re, essentially getting what they call dirty data now. This is not the kind of dirty data you want i’m telling you. You want really consistent heart rate. If you’re going to be tracking your progress over time – and you know i was just suspect you – you have to take it with a grain of salt because you can’t just go by the data, you have to go, how you’re feeling you should know what 140 beats Per minute feels, like you know like, can you still talk? Uh are you out of breath and then you look at your watch and try to match it because sometimes you’re gon na find that it’s off, and that happened to me – and that was like the big sticking point and i couldn’t figure it out.
I even wore it longer and then i’m like oh no, now it’s working. Maybe it just needed to understand me and then all of a sudden it would go back and do give me some crazy numbers. So i took a lot. I didn’t want to talk about this unless i could figure it out, and you know what i couldn’t figure out. Why i’m getting inconsistent data like that here and there otherwise, for the majority time, i do think it’s accurate. Now i really liked and appreciated the sleep tracking. I thought that was a really interesting metrics, especially the breathing uh, how much i was breathing at nighttime, because i have asthma and i usually get asthma at night time. I have to keep an inhaler at bedside, just in case i get asthma in the middle of night and then i hit it sometimes i’m half asleep, i don’t even know if i was using my inhaler but that that breathing metric, i thought, was very, very interesting. I think it does a really good job on tracking sleep. Now there are a couple of things that i had issues with and that i want you to know in case you’re thinking about buying these there’s really two ways to use this smart watches from garmin, the vivoactive 4 and the venue you can just let it collect Data about you, as you go about your day, it’s tracking, your steps, it’s tracking, your heart rate and whatnot.
The other way is when you’re actively involved. So if you set up your workouts and you’re like all right, i’m gon na go do chest day and you program incline bench, press and flies, which is what i was trying to do. My problem was, i kept forgetting to enter data, even if i was doing cardio, i was doing jump, rope and i’m starting jumping rope and i’m. You know in the zone and then i stop and go inside and guess what i forgot to stop the workout. So that just happened to me all the time. If you are going to buy these smart watches, you have to change your behavior. You have to really get used to doing a set say on the bench press grabbing your watch, while you’re resting entering that data, stopping resting like really like it’s a different way of training and what i found for a week and a half is i couldn’t i’m, Like like an old dog, you can’t treat teach me new tricks like i just could not get it so many times, i’d be on a walk and then i’m like okay, i get home and i forgot to do uh, stop it so i’m having breakfast and then All of a sudden i’m, like oh it’s, still tracking so it’s driving me nuts. That is the one thing i want you to know: okay, if there’s one takeaway one nugget of truth, if you’re gon na get this, you really got ta, get your mind right on on tracking and making sure you stop your watch or stop and start your exercises.
If there was one thing i could love, if they could like integrate, is some kind of ai, where it’s, like oh you’re, working out all right, we’re, gon na start tracking and then it’s like. Oh, it looks like you stopped okay, we’re going to stop it. For you, if they could do that, man i’d be all in on this. But of course, they’re not going to be able to tell you like, if you’re doing, squats or bench press but just track with the heart rate and the movements to know that this person is, you know they stopped working out. Give us a nudge. Hey. Did you stop working out? Oh yeah, i did and then you can stop it. You know something like that man. They got to put that in for people like me who just seem to like what mind wander, and then i forget that i’m trying to track everything on a smart watch other than that you know the data, the data, the data that it collects. If you love to capture metrics, say you want to challenge your friends and you know there’s a whole social element. I didn’t even talk about really about this, but if you’re a data person you’re going to love these two smart watches, because it gives you so much data and you can track it and i actually enjoy waking up every morning. Having my cup of coffee and then grabbing the garmin connect app and then looking at my sleep it’s just like it’s a good habit to get into imagine we did that every single day how interesting that would be it would you know you have a hard time, Not sleeping when you see evidence that you’re not sleeping it’s like really hard, it creates that what they call in psychology, cognitive dissonance.
You want your beliefs and your behaviors to be consistent, and when you get data, saying yo, you ain’t sleeping homie, you’re going to want to go to bed early and turn netflix off or or stop scrolling on instagram. Well, i hope you enjoyed this review of the garmin vivoactive 4 and venue smart watches from garmin. These are two excellent smart watches to track everything from your heart rate, to your steps to your sleep to your breathing heck, you can even track your hydration and your menstrual cycles. Ladies, if you really wanted to all on this watch, if you have any questions for me, make sure you leave them in the comments below. If you like this video, please subscribe to this channel and you can follow me and get more information about me at handyandymedia.com. Once again, my name is andy: barrar, aka handyandy, your diy tech guy from handyandymedia.