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What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 – size & music?

What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4

Which is better for music listening – Garmin Vivoactive 3 or 4? What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4? It comes with more than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more. Also it has battery life up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; 13 hours in GPS mode. Find more in Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 comparison chart.

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Pros & Cons

Garmin Vivoactive 3


  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • 15+ preloaded sports apps
  • A week of battery life
  • Reasonably priced


  • Music storage isn’t standard
  • Lacks onscreen workouts
  • No Pulse Ox sensor

Garmin Vivoactive 4


  • 20+ preloaded sports apps
  • Body Battery, Pulse Ox
  • 7 to 8 days of battery life
  • Music storage


  • Expensive
  • 45mm has fewer color options

What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 Price?

Meanwhile, the Vivoactive 4 starts at $349.99 / £259.99 / AU$579. The 55mm and 40mm models are the same price in the US and Australia, but the smaller version is slightly cheaper in the UK, starting at £239.99.

Prices vary a little depending on while color scheme you opt for, but the Vivoactive 3 is available to buy direct from Garmin starting at $249.99 / £199.99 / AU$249 for the standard edition or $249.99 / £249.99 for the music edition. The Vicoactive 3 Music is no longer available in Australia if you buy from Garmin, but can be found at third-party retailers for around AU$160.

What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 specs?

Garmin Vivoactive 4Garmin Vivoactive 3
Dimensions45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8mm
40 x 40 x 12.7 mm
43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7mm
Display1.3″ transflective, 260×260
1.1″ transflective, 218×218
1.2″ trasnflective, 240×240
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, HRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometerGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, HRM, altimeter, compass, accelerometer, thermometer
BatterySmartwatch mode: 8 days (45mm)
Smartwatch mode: 7 days (40mm)
Smartwatch mode: 7 days
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth Smart and ANT+
Water-resistant5 ATM5 ATM
TouchscreenYes Yes
Notifications Yes Yes
Garmin Pay Yes Yes
Music storage Yes No
On-screen workouts Yes No
Incident detection Yes No

What is the key difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4?


The standard Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a little larger, measuring 45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8mm, and again, can be made from either polymer or stainless steel, with a stainless steel bezel. 

The case of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 measures 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7mm. and can be made of either polymer or stainless steel (the latter version looks smart, but costs a little extra). Both models have a stainless steel bezel, 

Garmin Vivoactive 3 musicGarmin Vivoactive 4Garmin Vivoactive 4s
Dimension43.1 x 43.1 x 13.6 mm45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7 mm
Weight39 grams50.5 grams40 grams
Casing materialPolymerFiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear coverFiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover
Strap/band materialSiliconeSiliconeSilicone
Bezel MaterialCeramicStainless steelStainless steel
Strap size20mm22mm18mm
Screen protectionCorning Gorilla glass 3Corning Gorilla glass 3Corning Gorilla glass 3
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, 5ATMYes, 5ATMYes, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black, grayBlack/blackLight gold/pink
Rose gold/white

Band Size

The only difference between these two models is the size and overall battery performance. It’s worth noting that the color options vary a bit as well. The 4S comes in Light Gold, Rose Gold, Slate, and Silver. However, the standard Vivoactive 4 only comes in Slate and Silver.

If you recall, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 only comes in one size: 43mm. You’ll be glad to know the Vivoactive 4 is available in two sizes: 45mm and 40mm. These models are known as the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4s, respectively.


The Vivoactive 3 has a 30.4mm display with a 240 x 240 pixel resolution. the standard Vivoactive 4 has the same size screen, but a higher resolution of 260 x 260 pixels for improved clarity.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 MusicGarmin Vivoactive 4Garmin Vivoactive 4s
Display typeTransflective memory-in-display (MIP)Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)
Display size1.2 inch1.3 inch1.1 inch
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels260 x 260 pixels218 x 218 pixels
Pixel density
Input typeTouchscreen plus 1 physical buttonTouchscreen plus 2 physical buttonTouchscreen plus 2 physical button


Another of the Vivoactive 4’s best features is its blood oxygen sensor. This doesn’t just measure SpO2 overnight to check for signs of sleep apnea; it can also track it throughout the day and allows you to perform spot-checks, making it a useful training tool. If those tools aren’t essential though, the Vivoactive 3 could be your next watch, despite its age. 


The Vivoactive 3 has activity tracking profiles for strength, cardio and elliptical training, plus stair stepping, floor climbing, indoor rowing and yoga. The Vivoactive 4 has all of those, plus options for pilates and breathwork.


We’d also recommend the Vivoactive 4 if you want to listen to music without your phone. The standard Vivoactive 3 allows you to control music playback on your handset, but doesn’t have storage for songs, and there’s little difference between the prices of the Vivoactive 3 Music and Vivoactive 4, so you might as well opt for the more powerful, newer device.

Battery life

The Vivoactive 4 can keep going for up to six hours with both GPS and music enabled, and up to eight days in smartwatch mode. 

The Vivoactive 4 has the edge when it comes to battery life, but it’s not a huge difference. The Vivoactive 3 can last up to 13 hours with GPS enabled, and up to seven days in smartwatch mode. If you opt for the Vivoactive 3 Music, you can use GPS and music playback for five hours on a full charge.

What is the similarity between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4?


Both the Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 4 have on-board GPS (supplemented by Galileo and GONASS), so you can track runs, walks and bike rides accurately without connecting them to your phone. They also feature ANT+ connectivity, meaning you can connect them to additional sensors such as chest strap heart rate monitors and footpods for extra workout metrics.

Both watches are solid choices for runners and cyclists, with accurate on-board GPS and ANT+ connectivity for devices like footpods and cadence sensors. However, if you enjoy swimming, you should opt for the Vivoactive 4, which is the only one of the pair that can measure your heart rate underwater.

Both watches allow you to receive smartphone notifications, and send text responses or reject calls with a text if you’re an Android user.

You get weather and calendar apps installed by default, and tou can download additional watch faces and third-party apps for both watches through Garmin Connect IQ. Both watches also allow you to make contactless payments via NFC through Garmin Pay.


Both are capable golf watches too, with features including a digital scorecard, automatic shot distance measuring, green view with manual pin positioning, and Garmin Autoshot. However, they don’t come pre-loaded with the thousands of course maps you get with the Garmin Fenix 6.


Both watches can track treadmill and outdoor running, indoor and outdoor cycling, and pool swimming. They also have dedicated modes for skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, stand up paddle boarding, and outdoor rowing.

Physio TrueUp

On both the vivoactive 3 and 4 you would need to enable Physio TrueUp on the device. This is where your data is synced with Physio TrueUp, and you can keep track of recovery time and training load.

What is the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 - size & music

You can connect to Garmin Coach, where you can choose an expert running coach who can help you to achieve your running goals. Not only do you get the guidance, but you’ll also get a free training plan with dynamic workouts, specific to your running needs.

You download the workouts to your watch and based on your performance, the workouts could be easier or harder.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 MusicGarmin Vivoactive 4Garmin Vivoactive 4s
Sleep apneaNoNoNo
Sleep trackingYesYesYes
Floors climbedYesYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYesYes
Blood oxygenNoYesYes
Blood pressureNoNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingYesYesYes
Swim trackingYesYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingNoYesYes
Preloaded mapsNoNoNo
On-screen workout modesNoYesYes
Triathlon mode_YesYes
ECG TrackingNoNoNo
Preloaded sport modesYesYesYes
Safety trackingYesYesYes

Safety feature

The vivoactive 4 has built-in safety features, which will alert selected friends and family if you are hurt or need help. Your watch will send them the coordinates of your live location. If you are involved in a bike crash, it sends this automatically.

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