Garmin Venu 3 vs Vivoactive 4

Garmin Venu 3 is a newer variant. It was released in August 2023. Garmin Vivoactive has been around since September 2019 and is one of the highest selling Garmin smartwatches.

We look at Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 in detail below.

Main differences

The main differences between Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 have been defined below. We have listed the features that work in favor of either smartwatch.

Features that work in favor of Garmin Venu 3

  • Garmin Venu 3 supports the Garmin ECG app.
  • Venu 3 has an AMOLED display.
  • Venu 3 has a much better display resolution (454 x 454 pixels ) than Vivoactive 4 (260 x 260 pixels)
  • Venu 3 has a higher device (8 GB) or internal storage than Vivoactive 4 (200 hours of activity data)
  • Venu 3 has an in-built speaker and microphone. You can make calls or answer calls using the Venu 3 watch directly.
  • Garmin Venu 3 is the first Garmin smartwatch with wheelchair mode. It helps wheelchair users track pushes and workouts.
  • Garmin Venu 3 is compatible with the Gameon app and supports gaming activity through the watch.
  • Garmin Venu 3 supports open water swimming and pool swimming. Vivoactive 4 comes with pool swimming support.
  • Garmin Venu 3 is compatible with the Garmin Golf app.
  • Garmin Venu 3 has an ambient light sensor to alter the backlight based on surrounding light conditions.

Things that work in favor of Garmin Vivoactive 4

  • Vivoactive 4 has been around since 2019. It is a tested and sturdy smartwatch product.
  • Vivoactive 4 is cheaper than Venu 3 by $100.

We look at some of the features of Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 below.

Garmin Venu 3 Smartwatch Recovery display

Display specifications

Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 have the 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens.

The essential difference between the Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 lies in the display technology. Garmin Venu 3 uses an AMOLED display and Vivoactive 4 uses a MIP (Memory-in-pixel) screen.

Due to the AMOLED display, the display resolution of Venu 3 is higher than the display resolution of Vivoactive 4. Also, the always-on-display mode is supported on the Venu 3 smartwatch variant.

The generic display specifications of Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 are compared in a side-by-side comparison table below.

Display specificationsGarmin Venu 3Garmin Vivoactive 4
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size36 mm or 1.4″1.3″ or 33 mm
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Display resolution454 x 454 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Ambient light sensorYesNo
LED FlashlightNoNo

Garmin Venu 3 also includes an ambient light sensor. This sensor is missing in the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch.

Physical specifications

Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 differ in thickness. Both watches have the same size of 45 mm.

The significant addition to Garmin Venu 3 is the built-in speaker and microphone. It allows you to make calls and answer calls directly from the smartwatch.

The device storage of Venu 3 is also higher than that of the Vivoactive 4.

We look at some essential physical specifications of Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Venu 3Garmin Vivoactive 4
Watch size45 mm45 mm
Watch dimensions45 x 45 x 12 mm45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
Thickness12 mm12.8 mm
Watch weight47 g50 g
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference135-200 mm135-200 mm
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Device storage8 GB200 hours of activity data
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
AccelerometerYesYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Garmin Pulse Ox SensorYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
ThermometerYes (tempe sensor needed)Yes (tempe sensor needed)
In-built speakerYesNo
In-built microphoneYesNo
Android compatibilityAndroid 7 or higherAndroid 7 or higher
iOS compatibilityiOS 15 or higheriOS 15 or higher

GPS

Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 support GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO satellite systems. However, both watches lack a multi-frequency positioning sensor.

So, multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS is not available in either smartwatch.

However, Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 offer reliable and accurate GPS performance.

Music

Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 support full music functionality. You could enjoy all the following music features on a Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4:

  • You can control music on the paired smartphone from the watch
  • You can store audio content on the watch storage
  • You can manage audio on the watch storage using the watch interface
  • You can download apps like Spotify and Deezer from the Connect IQ store. If you have a premium subscription to these apps, you can download music onto the watch for offline listening.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Smartwatch

Activity profiles

Garmin Venu 3 and Vivoactive 4 differ in terms of activity profiles. Each watch offers unique activity profiles shared below.

Activity profileGarmin Venu 3Garmin Vivoactive 4
RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running
Outdoor recreationHiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Snowshoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Tennis, Padel, Pickleball, Disc GolfSkiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing

CyclingBiking, Indoor Biking, eBiking, Handcycling, Indoor HandcyclingBiking, Indoor Biking

ECG app

Garmin Venu 3 supports the Garmin ECG app. Garmin Vivoactive 4 does not have the Garmin ECG app.

Garmin ECG app received FDA approval earlier this year. It was subsequently added to the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.

It was widely expected that Garmin Venu 3 would get the ECG app. At the time of the launch, Garmin ECG app was not a part of the Venu 3 software. However, within weeks of the launch, the Garmin ECG app was made available on Venu 3 and Venu 3S smartwatches.

So, you could use a Venu 3 to detect irregular heart rhythms or conditions of Atrial Fibrillation. However, one must not rely on a smartwatch alone to detect underlying heart conditions. We strongly advocate seeking an expert opinion for the same.

Wheelchair mode

One of the significant new features of the Garmin Venu 3 is the wheelchair mode. Wheelchair mode has been designed to track the activities and workouts of wheelchair users. For example, Garmi Venu 3 is able to track pushes made by wheelchair users.

Garmin has also added wheelchair workouts to the Venu 3 smartwatch.

Costs

Garmin Venu 3 has been launched at a list price of $449.99. Garmin Vivoactive 4 is available for a list price of $349.99.

Variants

Garmin Venu 3 comes in two variants. There is a Garmin Venu 3 in 45 mm and a Venu 3S in 41 mm. Both variants are priced at $449.99.

On a similar basis, Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes in two variants. There is a Garmin Vivoactive 4 in 45 mm and Vivoactive 4S in 40 mm. Both variants are priced at $349.99.

Final verdict

For the additional price of $100 spent on Garmin Venu 3, it makes a compelling choice over the Vivoactive 4. The following reasons make us believe that Venu 3 is a better option:

  • AMOLED display in Venu 3
  • Support for the Garmin ECG app in Venu 3
  • Higher storage in Venu 3
  • In-built speaker and mic in Venu 3
  • Ambient light sensor in Venu 3

These are the primary reasons that make us pick Venu 3 over the Vivoactive 4.

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