Garmin Vivosmart 5 Versus Fitbit Charge 4

Garmin’s new Vivosmart 5 is the latest addition to today’s ever-growing fitness tracker market. Arriving four years after its predecessor, the popular Vivosmart 4, it’s got big shoes to fill. Since the Vivosmart 4 launched, Fitbit and other brands have also introduced numerous impressive alternatives of their own.
A perfect case in point is the wildly successful Fitbit Charge 4. The Charge 4 from Fitbit remains among the most highly rated and best-selling fitness trackers of all time. It’s unsurprising, then, that the new Garmin Vivosmart 5 has plenty in common with the Fitbit Charge 4 that it’s squaring up to. So, how exactly do the two compare?

Fitbit Charge 4

The Fitbit Charge 4 launched back in 2020. Since then, it’s won legions of fans around the world. Hugely capable and feature-packed, Fitbit’s Charge 4 undoubtedly set the bar for almost all of today’s best fitness trackers. Among the highlights are:
  • $149.95 retail price
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Sleep tracking
  • Spotify control
  • 7-day battery life
  • SpO2 monitoring
  • Secure tap-to-pay
It’s an impressive list and helps to demonstrate why the Fitbit Charge 4 has been so popular. One of its biggest selling points remains the activity tracker’s built-in GPS. Wearers can track their fitness activities without carrying their smartphones with them. Secure tap-to-pay, courtesy of Fitbit Pay, and onboard Spotify controls are two other nice touches, too.

Garmin Vivosmart 5

Newly released, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 takes the fight to Fitbit while also looking to pick up where the popular Vivosmart 4 from 2018 left off. Compared to the Fitbit Charge 4, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 is almost identically priced. But while it boasts various added features, it also lacks functionality in several key others. Either way, highlights include:
  • $149.99 retail price
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Stress-detecting functionality
  • Sleep tracking
  • 7-day battery life
  • SpO2 monitoring
  • Weather forecasts
  • Two size options
  • Subscription-free
Right away, there’s no escaping the fact that the Vivosmart 5 from Garmin lacks built-in GPS and tap-to-pay functionality. GPS is available, of course, but requires that the Vivosmart 5 is connected to a smartphone to work. Elsewhere, buyers will simply have to do without Fitbit’s contactless payment tech.
Spotify control is also missing. However, this is somewhat gimmicky on the Fitbit Charge 4. It also requires that a smartphone be connected. So, while it’s handy for browsing playlists, it’s not an onboard music solution in its own right. All of that aside, where the Garmin Vivosmart 5 really shines is its subscription-free nature.

Subscription and Pricing

Fitbit users must pay for the company’s subscription service to get complete insights into all of their data. More limited information is available for free, but advanced sleep and stress insights, for example, require membership to Fitbit Premium. Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 when paid for annually.
By contrast, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 offers up all of its data with no need for a costly subscription. It’s a vast amount of data, too, all visible on the device itself through abundant graphs and charts. The same information is also available via Garmin’s excellent free app.
At the same time, there’s another important consideration when it comes to pricing. Now a couple of years old, the Fitbit Charge 4 is available for considerably less than its retail price when consumers are happy to shop around. In doing so, it’s possible to pick up the Charge 4 for closer to $100, or roughly 30 percent less than the Garmin Vivosmart 5.

Another Alternative

In light of the Fitbit Charge 4’s age and now-reduced pricing, it may be more appropriate to consider the costlier Fitbit Charge 5 as an alternative to the new Vivosmart 5 from Garmin.

Garmin Vivosmart 5 vs Fitbit Charge 5

When the Fitbit Charge 5 launched last year, it did so with a price of $179.95. However, since reduced to $149.95, it’s priced right in line with the Garmin Vivosmart 5.
The Fitbit Charge 5’s biggest improvement over the Fitbit Charge 4 centers around its full-color display. It’s a great addition and something that the Garmin Vivosmart 5 lacks. That said, the newer Vivosmart 5’s display, although monochrome, is impressive in its own right.
The Fitbit Charge 5 also adds stress-detecting functionality, as found on the Garmin Vivosmart 5 but missing from the Fitbit Charge 4. Elsewhere, it forgoes the gimmicky Spotify controls of its predecessor and the weather forecasting of its newer rival from Garmin.
Like all newer Fitbit devices, the Fitbit Charge 5 also relies heavily on a paid-for subscription, while the Garmin Vivosmart 5 does not.

Vivosmart 5 vs Charge 5 vs Charge 4

Ultimately, the Fitbit Charge 4 and 5 benefit significantly from the built-in GPS tracking that the Garmin Vivosmart 5 does without. Yet, subscription-free and feature-packed, the Vivosmart 5 is a competent and otherwise excellent fitness tracker designed with data nerds in mind.
Appearances-wise, the sharp-looking Fitbit Charge 4 was quickly deemed among the most attractive fitness trackers on the market. The follow-up Fitbit Charge 5 took a softer but slightly more fussy approach – something that divided opinion. Now, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 takes elements of both to fashion what’s an essentially simple-looking but arguably very stylish activity tracker that’s fit for 2022.

Conclusion

The Garmin Vivosmart 5, Fitbit Charge 4, and Fitbit Charge 5 alike all have their strengths and weaknesses. Now available for around $100, the Fitbit Charge 4 is an excellent option on a budget, especially owing to its built-in GPS. Yet, both this and the Fitbit Charge 5 require a costly subscription to see the maximum benefits.
Meanwhile, and although the Garmin Vivosmart 5 lacks built-in GPS and the Fitbit Charge 5’s color screen, it’s no less feature-packed in other areas. Its subscription-free nature is also a massive plus, particularly in the longer term. Beyond that, there’s also the three models’ distinctive appearances to consider – something that will always come down purely to personal taste.

Fitness Tracker Extended Warranty

Whatever buyers decide, protection is available for all three models with an extended smartwatch warranty from Upsie. All of Upsie’s extended smartwatch warranties and extended fitness tracker warranties boast numerous benefits. For example, Upsie’s warranties cover manufacturing defects, accidental damage, and early wear.
In addition, Upsie costs up to 70 percent less than warranties from manufacturers and retailers. As a result, customers gain access to premium protection at an affordable price. Other perks include free warranty transfers, access to fast, local repairs, and the option to pay over time with Klarna. Customers can also make unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the device. Find out more at Upsie.com.

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