If you’re into smartwatches, you probably get a kick out of the idea of a device that is compact, practical, portable, and closely resembles something Dick Tracey would have worn.
If that sounds like you, then we have the one-on-one product roundup for you: it’s the Vivoactive 4 versus the Venu 2. There have been a lot of comparisons made between these two Garmin products, and for good reason.
Garmin is known for its GPS and fitness tracking tech products. They are all about utility, safety, and professionalism. In these regards, Garmin is at least as good as the best smartwatch manufacturers out there.
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Garmin Venu 2 VS Vivoactive 4
These are two high-quality, high-end fitness smartwatches from a company that understands its customers. In both cases, Garmin delivers function, quality, and that utilitarian look Garmin customers love.
On the surface, these two products look very similar. They are near the same price range, but not so near that price won’t be a factor. In the final analysis, the question is, does the Venu 2 pack in enough quality to justify the additional $100? We’ll let you decide.
First, let’s look at some specs side by side.
|Specification||Venu 2||Vivoactive 4|
|Weight||49 grams||50.5 grams|
|Display:||AMOLED||LCD transflective MIP|
|Bluetooth:||ANT+, BT||ANT+, BTv4.0|
|Battery:||8 to 11 hours||6 to 8 hours|
|Charge Time:||30min to 1 hour||1 to 2 hours|
Right off the bat, you can see a big difference between these two venerable products. There’s just no getting around the fact that the Venu 2 packs in more power into a slightly lighter package.
Of course, you’re not going to feel the gram and a half of weight differential, and on the surface, these two watches are almost identical.
However, the differences start to emerge when we look at the two screens. The AMOLED screen on the Venu 2 is clearer. If you’re going to use it outdoors frequently, that will make a difference.
It also offers significantly better resolution. The images and text are almost twice as clear as the Vivoactive 2. Unless you have 20/20 vision and are using it indoors, the Venu 2 is the stronger option.
Bluetooth connectivity can be hit and miss with any device. But the Venu 2 falls behind slightly on its Bluetooth. But of course, this won’t make much of a difference unless you have trouble with one or the other.
The Venu 2 beats the Vivoactive 4 on battery life by 2 to 3 hours. Either watch will work solidly throughout the active portion of almost anyone’s day. But that extra two to three hours will make a difference when unexpected events come up, or if you forget to charge it.
Finally, there’s the time to full charge. The Vivoactive takes longer to charge. However, there are ups and downs to that which we will get to.
The Venu 2 is the superior device, technically speaking. But there are use cases in which the lower price of the Vivoactive 4 will deliver greater value.
For a start, the gram and a half weight differential is almost unnoticeable.
If you tend to use your watch indoors or after dark, the reflective screen of the Vivoactive 4 won’t bother you. Also, if you have sharp vision and don’t need to look at the watch during activity, the lower resolution is not going to be a problem.
The Bluetooth on the Vivoactive is a little more robust. If Bluetooth functionality is a deal-breaker for you, then this might be the better choice.
In reality, it is unusual for anyone to use all of the fitness features of a smartwatch for longer than two or three hours. That being the case, the battery life is unlikely to make much of a real difference. You will be more likely to notice it when you forget to charge your watch.
Finally, we come to the charge time. Clearly, a faster charge time is better. But, rechargeable batteries do degrade over time. Slower charging means less heat stress on the cells and slower degradation. That means the batteries on the Vivoactive 4 might outlive those of the Venu 2.
If the lower price of the Vivoactive is important to you, then the possibility that its batteries will live longer might make be a conclusive factor.
The battery life of both watches only reaches the bottom end when you use GPS consistently. So if you expect to use GPS a lot, you might want the Venu. Also, GPS readings may need to be more legible, in which case the Venu is again the better choice.