Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Fitbit Sense 2

Garmin Vivoactive 4 continues to be one of the highest selling smartwatches because of its reliability and sturdy build. Fitbit Sense 2 is a newer watch released in September 2022. We look at a comparison between Vivoactive 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 below.

Main differences

The main differences between Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 are shared below:

  • Garmin Vivoactive 4 is costlier than Fitbit Sense 2 by $50 only.
  • Vivoactive 4 uses 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass. The display lens information of Sense 2 is not easily known.
  • Fitbit Sense 2 has an AMOLED display while the Vivoactive 4 uses an MIP or memory-in-pixel screen.
  • Fitbit Sense 2 supports an ECG app to take on-demand electrocardiogram readings. Vivoactive 4 does not have an ECG app.
  • Fitbit Sense 2 does not support the Galileo GPS network. It can work with GPS and GLONASS satellite networks. Garmin Vivoactive 4 supports Galileo, GPS, and GLONASS networks. Vivoactive 4 can offer better GPS performance in Europe.
  • Vivoactive 4 supports wireless connectivity of ANT+, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Fitbit Sense 2 can only work on Bluetooth and lacks Wi-Fi and ANT+ connectivity.
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4 can support full music functionality. Fitbit Sense 2 does not have any music features.
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4 supports fall detection or incident detection. Sense 2 does not have any fall detection support.

We look at these differences and other Vivoactive 4 and Sense 2 features below.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch

Display specifications

In terms of display performance, Fitbit Sense 2 offers an AMOLED display. The advantages of AMOLED display are:

  1. The AMOLED display offers better display resolution. The screen is brighter and more lively than a MIP screen.
  2. The AMOLED display also supports AOD or Always-on-display mode.

Vivoactive 4 uses 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass. It is one of the best smartwatch display lenses available.

The display specifications of both watches are shared below.

Display specificationsGarmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3No information
Display shapeRoundBox or Square
Display typeMIP or memory in pixel screenAMOLED display
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.58″ or 40 mm
Display resolution260 x 260 pixels336 x 336 pixels
Color displayYesYes
Ambient light sensorNoYes

Garmin Vivoactive 4 misses an ambient light sensor and has a lower display resolution because of the MIP screen.
The display performance and configuration is better in Fitbit Sense 2.

Physical specifications

Vivoactive 4 has a more solid build than the Fitbit Sense 2. Fitbit Sense 2 looks feeble in comparison with the Vivoactive 4.

Physical specificationsGarmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense 2
iOS compatibleiOS 15 and higher versionsiOS 15 and higher versions
Android compatibleAndroid 7 and higher versionsAndroid 9 and higher versions
Watch size45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm40 x 41 x 11mm
Watch weight50.5 g46 g
Thickness12.8 mm11 mm
Band size22 mmSmall and Large bands
BezelStainless SteelAluminum body with bezel-less design
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymer with polymer rear coverAluminum
NFC or Contactless PaymentsGarmin PayFitbit Pay and Google Wallet
Water resistance5 ATM or 50 Meters5 ATM or 50 Meters
Device storage200 hours of activity data7 days of activity data

In terms of hardware specifications, Fitbit Sense 2 has an in-built speaker and microphone. You can make or answer calls directly from the watch.

Vivoactive 4 has an impressive outlook due to the stainless steel bezel.


Vivoactive 4 will outsmart the Fitbit Sense 2 regarding GPS coverage, reliability, and performance. Fitbit Sense 2 only supports GPS and GLONASS satellite networks.

Sense 2 does not support the Galileo GPS network. The Galileo network of GPS satellites is owned and managed by the European Space Agency. Galileo’s satellite network improves GPS accuracy and reliability in Europe.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 supports GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS satellite networks. Vivoactive 4, therefore, does offer much better GPS performance. In Europe, Garmin Vivoactive 4 does a fairly decent GPS coverage than the Fitbit Sense 2.

If GPS performance, reliability, and accuracy is one of your primary goals, we do suggest taking the Vivoactive 4 instead of the Fitbit Sense 2.

Wireless Connectivity

Fitbit Sense 2 is compatible with Bluetooth network connectivity. Fitbit Sense 2 does not support Wi-Fi or ANT+ wireless connectivity.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 is compatible with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT+ wireless connectivity.

Wi-Fi connectivity helps in pulling firmware updates from Garmin’s servers. Wi-Fi also helps in connecting to music streaming players like Spotify to stream or download music.

ANT+ wireless connectivity is especially important for athletes. You can easily broadcast heart rate variability (HRV) data to an ANT+ receiving device.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 has better and more comprehensive wireless connectivity than the Fitbit Sense 2.


Garmin Vivoactive 4 offers a full set of music features. You can do the following with a Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch:

  • You can control music on the paired smartphone
  • You can store music on the device and play the audio content directly from the watch.
  • You can also stream music using streaming apps like Spotify. You will need to download the ConnectIQ apps for the music providers. And, you may need to have a premium subscription to stream music through the paired smartphone.

Fitbit Sense 2 does not support music functionality.

Music is a weak point of Fitbit Sense 2 as it does not support music functionality. Garmin Vivoactive 4 does support a full set of music features.

Fall detection

Garmin Vivoactive 4 supports fall detection in the form of incident detection. Upon detecting a hard fall, Vivoactive 4 sends a notification message to the designated emergency contacts.

The message contains GPS coordinates of the location at which the fall was detected.

Fitbit Sense 2 does not have any fall detection feature.

For athletes and runners, the incident detection feature is a useful safety feature. It is available in the Vivoactive 4 smartwatches. Fitbit Sense 2 lacks any sort of fall detection feature.

ECG app

One of the strongest features of Fitbit Sense 2 is the ECG app. ECG app allows you to take on-demand electrocardiogram readings of the heart.

ECG readings can be shared with your medical practitioner.

The ECG app readings can be used to detect conditions of Atrial Fibrillation. In other words, ECG readings are a useful indicator of irregular heart rhythm.

Sadly, Garmin Vivoactive 4 does not support the ECG app.

For its ECG app, many folks prefer Fitbit Sense 2 over the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch. We agree that the ECG app on Fitbit Sense 2 is the biggest differentiator of the two watches in favor of the Sense 2 smartwatches.

Health monitoring

Vivoactive 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 do a pretty decent job when it comes to health monitoring.

There are some health features like the Health Dashboard that are part of the Fitbit Premium subscription. So, unless you enroll in the Fitbit Premium subscription, you will not be able to gain a full set of health monitoring features.

Fitbit Premium entails an additional cost of $79.99 paid annually or $9.99 paid monthly.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 offers basic health tracking features without any additional costs.

The following are all the health tracking features available on both watches.

Health monitoringGarmin Vivoactive 4Fitbit Sense 2
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
Resting Heart rateYesYes
Heart rate variability (HRV)YesYes
ECG appNoYes
cEDA Sensor for Stress trackingNoYes
Respiration rate monitoringYesYes
Blood Oxygenation monitoringYesYes
Stress monitoringYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Stress scoreYesYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Health Dashboard/SnapshotNoYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Temperature readingsYes (using tempe sensor)Yes
Blood Glucose TrackingNoYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Women HealthYesYes
Body stress scoresBody BatteryDaily Readiness Score (in Fitbit Premium)
Fitness AgeYesNo


There is not much of a difference in battery backup of Fitbit Sense 2 and Garmin Vivoactive 4.

Fitbit Sense 2 can offer a battery backup of up to 6 days on a full charge. The battery drains at a faster rate when you are using GPS.

Sense 2 supports fast charging. In 12 minutes, you can add a day’s worth of battery backup to the watch.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 offers up to 8 days of battery backup on the smartwatch mode. The backup offered by Vivoactive 4 in different watch mode settings are shared below.

Vivoactive 4 can be fully charged in less than 2 hours.

Watch modeGarmin Vivoactive 4 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 8 days
GPS modeUp to 18 hours
GPS mode with musicUp to 6 hours


Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes at a list price of $349.99 while the Fitbit Sense 2 has a list price of $299.99.

The dynamics of costs change when you add the cost of a Fitbit Premium subscription. Fitbit Premium is $79.99 when paid annually. It costs $9.99 when paid monthly.

Look at the total cost of ownership over a 2-year period to find the eventual cost you will incur for a Fitbit Sense 2.

Final verdict

Both watches have specific things working in favor of the watch variants.

For Fitbit Sense 2, we feel the following two are very strong offerings:

  • ECG app on the watch to detect AFib
  • AMOLED display technology improves the display performance of Sense 2 quite a bit

However, do factor in the costs of a Fitbit Premium subscription to make the most of Fitbit Sense 2. Eventually, over a 2-year period of ownership, you will pay more than what you pay for a Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch.

The things that work in favor of Garmin Vivoactive 4 are:

  • Stronger build quality
  • Support for Galileo GPS network
  • Support for ANT+ and Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth
  • Full music coverage
  • Incident detection or fall detection

Choosing one of the two watches is a tough act of balancing your goals and requirements.

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