Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR: Which one you need to BUY?

Confused between Garmin Vivoactive & Vivoactive HR? There are so many similarities between these two watches, but there is only one WINNER, and we did a DETAILED Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR comparison, and helped you in picking up a WINNER.

There are millions of fitness smartwatches out there in the market, and Garmin is a popular company that made a lot of types of smartwatches.

They made a lot of smartwatches and this created confusion among the consumer which one to pick, and to clear that confusion we are here with our detailed comparisons.

Today we are going to compare two of their most famous fitness smartwatches Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Vivoactive HR. And we are going to compare each and everything about these two smartwatches in our Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR comparison.

Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Vivoactive HR have a lot of similar features and specifications and that is why the consumer becomes confused between two, and that is the reason we are here to solve the confusion with our Garmin Vivoactive HR vs Vivoactive comparison.

Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR

We have already entered into a technology crazed era where we are surrounded by technologies and we cannot spend an hour without them.

From morning alarms to ordering food we are utilizing technology in every sector possible but with the advancement in the use of technology we are deteriorating our health with our daily routine.

This health decline has created another hype called fitness and people are searching everywhere for inspiration to make themselves healthy and fit. Fitness trackers are popular for track fitness levels and giving feedback on the activity data acquired.

These wearable fitness trackers have inbuilt sensors that track everything and keeps the users enthusiastic to fulfill their fitness goals. Some of them also have alarms and reminders to keep you going.

Garmin is a brand that does not require an introduction, it is known for its quality, its performance, its features, and whatnot. Garmin has managed to create a separate fan base for its product in the market, from high-end models to affordable ones that can be worn by anyone, Garmin knows how to serve audiences that belong to separate groups.

Garmin undoubtedly is one of the best smartwatch companies that we have in the market at present.

Here in this Garmin Vivoactive vs Garmin Vivoactive HR, we will talk in detail about both the watches, compare their specs and features, find out the PROs and CONs of both the watches, and then will finally come to the verdict of Garmin Vivoactive vs HR.

ProductGarmin VivoactiveGarmin Vivoactive HR
Watch dimensions43.8 x 38.5 x 8.0 mm30.2 x 57.0 x 13.5 mm
Weight38g47.6g / 48.2g
Display Size28.6 x 20.7 mm20.7 x 28.6 mm
Touchscreen Display✔️✔️
Display resolution205 x 148 Pixels205 x 148 Pixels
Color Display✔️✔️
Battery Life (GPS off/on)Up to 3 weeks / 10 HoursUp to 8 Days / 13 Hours
Water Resistant Rating5 ATM5 ATM
Strap MaterialSiliconeSilicone
Barometric altimeter✔️
Heart Rate Monitor SensorOptional (Chest Strap)✔️
Speed / Distance✔️✔️
Customizable screen✔️✔️
Step counter✔️✔️
Calorie Counter✔️✔️
Sleep monitoring✔️✔️
Smart Notification (Call, SMS, Email, Calendar)✔️✔️

Garmin Vivoactive Review

Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive H
CC: Amazon

Garmin Vivoactive is a very old model, this model is released in 2015 and it becomes a hit from the launch, you can see its popularity by just opening the amazon’s sale page, it got 3237 ratings with 3.9 stars, that means they have sold a lot of Vivoactive till this date, and they are still selling this.

And in our Garmin Vivoactive Review, we are going to see the features and specs of Garmin Vivoactive in detail, so that you will get a complete idea of what this smartwatch is all about.

Design and Battery Life: The design of Garmin Vivoactive is quite basic, it has a square shape with huge side bezels, this makes the appearance of the Garmin Vivoactive very basic to notice. For 2020, the design is boring for some people, but it packs a lot of features that we are going to discuss later in our Garmin Vivoactive Review.

For some people it may appear annoying and boring, the straps of the Garmin Vivoactive is made of silicone that is used by the Old Casio watches, but you will not face any kind of problem while wearing this whole day, we have tested this for a month and we didn’t face any kind of pain or problem wearing this. You can change the straps whenever you want.

The battery backup of the Garmin Vivoactive is around 3 weeks with standard use, this is the pretty impressive battery life for a watch of this size, but in our testing, we got around 2 weeks and 2 days of battery backup in a single charge.

The reason for this amazing battery life is inside the screen, as it comes with 28.6 x 20.7 mm or 1.13-inch of the display panel, which is not that impressive as we face problems while using this under the direct sunlight.

It is a color display of 205 x 148 pixels which is a touchscreen and the color of the display isn’t that great, it is a bit a kind of Kindle E-Reader kind of display, that is why the Garmin Vivoactive gets an impressive battery backup.

It comes with a side button as well, that you can use to turn on the screen to see the time or other things, there is an option of the always-on display inside the settings, that you can also enable if you want.

It also comes with loads of custom customizable screens that you can choose from. To charge the smartwatch you can use the magnetic connector that comes with the box, and you can use that to sync the data to your computer as well.

Features: Garmin Vivoactive is a fitness smartwatch and it has a lot of features that you need to know. And in this section, we are going to list all the health as well as other features here. And without discussing the features our Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR is incomplete.
  • Fitness Tracking: The Garmin Vivoactive comes with all kinds of fitness and health tracking features, such as it can track your calorie count, steps, the distance you covered, time is taken, the route you took, etc. You can also track other sports with this like swimming, biking, golf, etc. You can control and see all the stats of your workout from the display or from the phone. Garmin Vivoactive doesn’t come with the HR sensor, which means you cannot track heart rate with the watch, but you can use a chest strap to check your heart rate.
  • Waterproofing: You can use the Garmin Vivoactive for tracking your swimming as it comes with 5ATM of water-resistant of rating, you can see all the stats of your swimming on your watch itself.
  • Sharing and Sync: You can share all your workout and health data to your smartphone with the help of Bluetooth 4.0 or with the help of the USB connector that comes with the box. You can see all your data on the Connect IQ mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android.
  • Find my phone: Yes, Garmin Vivoactive comes with Find my phone feature, that you can use to find your smartphone from the watch itself if it gets misplaced. You can even use the watch to change your music while working out.
  • Smart Notifications: Garmin Vivoactive will also show you all the notifications of your call, SMS, Email, and Calendar of your smartphone directly to your smartwatch, you don’t need to pick up your phone for every notification, it can show alerts as well if you sit for a long time at one place.

PROs and CONs


  • Long Battery LifeGarmin Vivoactive comes with 3 weeks of battery backup with standard use, which no other smartwatch is providing at this price.
  • ComfortableThe Garmin Vivoactive is very comfortable to wear for the whole day.
  • Great FeaturesGarmin Vivoactive comes with tons of features like find my phone, smart alerts, waterproofing.


  • Lack of HR sensorGarmin Vivoactive doesn’t come with a Heart Rate sensor, but you can use a separate HR chest strap that you connect with the watch easily.
  • Design is too oldThe look and appearance are too old with huge screen bezels, that can be annoying for some people.

Garmin Vivoactive HR Review

Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive H
CC: Amazon

Garmin Vivoactive HR is another famous fitness smartwatch yet it looks different than most of the smartwatches out there, as it has a rectangular body design. Garmin Vivoactive HR has been released to the market in 2016.

And from that time people are loving this fitness smartwatch, as it got 4,743 ratings with 3.6 stars on its Amazon page. You can read the reviews left by the users from here.

Now, without wasting more time let’s start our Garmin Vivoactive HR Review.

Design and Battery Life: The first thing you will notice in the design aspect of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is the rectangular design, Garmin made this watch sleeker than the other models, which makes it a perfect fit for any size and makes it more sporty and stylish.

The strap of the Garmin Vivoactive HR comes in various colors and you can change it anytime. And in the front part of the watch, you will also find two buttons that you can use to navigate through the user interface or menu.

The screen of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is a color touchscreen display which comes with 205 x 148 Pixels resolution, and the body of the smartwatch is around 11.4mm thick. The weight of the watch is a bit heavy as compared to the Garmin Vivoactive.

It also comes with an always-on display feature, the screen of the smartwatch feels quite dull in outdoors, but it is good enough under the direct sunlight.

The battery of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is not so impressive as compared to the Garmin Vivoactive, it gives you 13 hours of battery backup with GPS off, and 8 hours with the GPS on, but in our testing, it gives around four to five days of backup with two hours of GPS used for every day. You can charge the battery of the smartwatch with the help of a magnetic connector that comes in the box.

Features: Garmin Vivoactive HR also comes with many features that you can use for your sports activity as well as for daily life. And we are going to see all of them in the features section.
  • Fitness Tracking: Garmin Vivoactive HR comes with all kinds of fitness tracking features like step counter, distance covered, time takes, calories burned, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, activity alerts, different profile modes, floors climbed, etc.. You can use it for your cycling, swimming, golfing, skiing, snowboarding, and many other sports.
  • Waterproofing: The Garmin Vivoactive HR also comes with 5 ATM of waterproofing, that you can use for swimming. You will not face any kind of problem while using it while taking a shower or in the rain.
  • Smart Notifications: You can connect your Garmin Vivoactive HR to your smartwatch to sync all the health data and other data, and it will also show you notifications from your smartphone to your smartwatch. 
  • Smart Sync: It also comes with Find my phone features, and you can even use it for changing your music tracks, and it also comes with a silent alarms feature. You can see all the stats on the Garmin Mobile App, and this app is available for Android and iOS.

PROs and CONs


  • Heart Rate Monitoring Sensor: Garmin Vivoactive HR comes with an HR sensor, that you can use to track all the stats related to your heart. And you can even use chest straps that you can connect to your watch easily for more accurate data.
  • All-day activity tracking: You can track your all-day activity with the Garmin Vivoactive HR without any problem.


  • Heavy: The weight of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is a little bit heavy, but you will not find any problem wearing this whole day.
  • The display is not bright enough: The display of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is not that bright enough for outdoors.

Garmin Vivoactive vs Garmin Vivoactive HR

Now, what are the differences between the Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Vivoactive HR, that makes it apart, and which one is the winner? We will see the winner of each segment here in this Garmin Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR section.

  • Display: Garmin Vivoactive is the winner here, as it comes with a bigger and brighter display than the Garmin Vivoactive HR. You will not find any problem using the Garmin Vivoactive in outdoors. (Winner: Garmin Vivoactive)
  • Features: In terms of features the winner is Garmin Vivoactive HR, as it comes with more features like Heart Rate sensor, altimeter to count the floors you climbed. (Winner: Garmin Vivoactive HR)
  • Battery Backup: The Garmin Vivoactive has a better battery that can last 3 weeks with a single charge in standard use. (Winner: Garmin Vivoactive)
  • Ratings: The winner of this section is Garmin Vivoactive HR, as it has more ratings and better reviews. (Winner: Garmin Vivoactive HR)
  • Price: The winner of the pricing is Garmin Vivoactive, as it is a little bit cheaper than the Garmin Vivoactive HR. (Winner: Garmin Vivoactive)
  • Which one to buy Garmin Vivoactive or Vivoactive HR?

    If you need an affordable smartwatch then you can go with the Vivoactive abut if you need more features then go with the Vivoactive HR.

  • What are the differences between Garmin Vivoactive or Vivoactive HR?

    Garmin Vivoactive has a better display, with good battery backup, and it is affordable then the Garmin Vivoactive HR, and Garmin Vivoactive HR has more features like HR sensor, Altimeter etc.

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