Garmin Venu SQ vs Vivoactive 4 – Comparison

Garmin Venu SQ vs Vivoactive 4 – Comparison

The Garmin Venu SQ and the Garmin Vivoactive 4 are almost identical in terms of overall functionality. In some respects, this is actually a good thing, given that the Vivoactive 4 is one of the most well-rounded watches in Garmin’s product line up. 

The only slight issue is that you might find it difficult to pay the extra money required for the Vivoactive 4, given that these watches are basically the same product, with slightly different designs. 

With that being said, we are now ready to dive into the details of this comparison. 

Key Similarities - Venu SQ vs Vivoactive 4

Venu SQ

Vivoactive 4

GPS

GLONASS + GALILEO

COLOR TOUCHSCREEN

WRIST-BASED HEART RATE

RESPIRATION RATE

PULSE OX BLOOD OXYGEN

BODY BATTERY™ ENERGY MONITOR

ALL-DAY STRESS TRACKING

ADVANCED SLEEP TRACKING

COMPASS + ACCELEROMETER

INDOOR + OUTDOOR RUNNING

INDOOR + OUTDOOR CYCLING

INDOOR + OUTDOOR ROWING

POOL SWIMMING

CARDIO + STRENGTH WORKOUTS

YOGA + PILATES WORKOUTS

MUSIC STORAGE + APPS

CONTROLS SMARTPHONE MUSIC

GARMIN PAY

MENSTRUAL CYCLE TRACKING

SAFETY TRACKING FEATURES

LENS MATERIAL

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

WATERPROOF RATING

5 ATM

5 ATM

GPS + MUSIC BATTERY

Up to 6 Hours

Up to 6 Hours

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

OPEN WATER SWIMMING

TRIATHLON TRACKING

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Key Differences

Venu SQ

Vivoactive 4

PHYSICAL SIZE

40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm

40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7 mm

DISPLAY SIZE

1.3" (33.1 mm) diagonal

1.3" (33.0 mm) diameter

DISPLAY RESOLUTION

240 x 240 pixels

260 x 260 pixels

WEIGHT

37.6 grams

40.0 grams

SMARTWATCH BATTERY

Up to 6 days

Up to 8 days

GPS BATTERY

Up to 14 hours

Up to 18 hours

PRICE

Less Expensive

More Expensive

SQUARE SCREEN

ROUND SCREEN

GYROSCOPE

BAROMETRIC ALTIMETER

ON-SCREEN WORKOUT ANIMATIONS

FLOORS CLIMBED (STAIRS)

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Main Reasons To Choose Garmin Venu SQ

Reasons To Choose Garmin Venu SQ

1. You Prefer Square Screens

From a user-experience perspective, there are merits to operating a square touchscreen. You may find it easier to navigate Garmin’s operating system, and the overall experience will better mimic a smartphone. This is basically why Apple refuse to create smartwatches with circular screens.

2. Price

If you look purely at the recommended retail price (rrp), the Garmin Venu SQ is $100 cheaper than the Vivoactive 4. Given how many similarities these two watches share, you might find it difficult to justify the extra cost needed to purchase the Vivoactive 4. 

Fortunately, if you like the design of the Venu SQ and you want a very well-rounded GPS sports watch, it might be the best possible choice in Garmin’s product line-up. 

Garmin Venu SQ (Black)

Main Reasons To Choose Garmin Vivoactive 4

Reasons To Choose Garmin Vivoactive 4

1. Barometric Altimeter + Gyroscope

The barometric altimeter on the Vivoactive 4 uses barometric pressure to determine changes in elevation, as well as changes to the pressure caused by weather patterns. The main benefit of this technology is that it can give you more accurate readings of vertical movements when running or cycling outdoors. 

In addition, the Vivoactive 4 also includes a gyroscope, which is missing from the Garmin Venu SQ. The gyroscope provides:

  • Improved swim feature performance
  • Improved rep counting (gym activities)
  • Improved distance and direction calculations when GPS is off

2. On-Screen Workout Animations

If you choose the Vivoactive 4, you unlock animated cardio, strength, yoga and pilates workouts that are preloaded on the watch. In addition, you can also download more custom workouts from the Garmin Connect app. Basically, if you want workout guidance that is super easy to follow, the Vivoactive 4’s animated workouts are exactly what you need. 

3. You Prefer Round Screens

While there may be some user-experience benefits to a square screen, a lot of people prefer the design of a round watch face. There is absolutely nothing wrong with factoring in looks into your buying decision. Ultimately, you need to settle on something that you will feel comfortable wearing. The Vivoactive 4 has a sleek and simple design that should look good on most wrists. 

4. Slightly Longer Battery Life

The battery life of the Vivoactive 4 is slightly longer than the Garmin Venu SQ. To be more precise: 

Venu SQ Battery

  • Smartwatch mode: Up to 6 days
  • GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
  • GPS mode without music: Up to 14 hours

Vivoactive 4 Battery

  • Smartwatch mode: Up to 8 days
  • GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
  • GPS mode without music: Up to 18 hours

Garmin Vivoactive 4S (Rose Gold)

Garmin Vivoactive 4 (Silver)

Sports Modes Comparison

Venu SQ Sports Modes

  1. Strength Training
  2. Cardio Training
  3. Elliptical Training
  4. Stair Stepping
  5. Indoor Rowing
  6. Yoga
  7. Pilates
  8. Breathwork
  9. Running
  10. Indoor Track Running
  11. Treadmill Running
  12. Skiing
  13. Snowboarding
  14. XC Skiing
  15. Stand Up Paddleboarding
  16. Outdoor Rowing
  17. Cycling
  18. Indoor Cycling
  19. Walking
  20. Golf Tracking
  21. Pool Swimming

Vivoactive 4 Sports Modes

  1. Strength Training
  2. Cardio Training
  3. Elliptical Training
  4. Stair Stepping
  5. Indoor Rowing
  6. Yoga
  7. Pilates
  8. Breathwork
  9. Running
  10. Indoor Track Running
  11. Treadmill Running
  12. Skiing
  13. Snowboarding
  14. XC Skiing
  15. Stand Up Paddleboarding
  16. Outdoor Rowing
  17. Cycling
  18. Indoor Cycling
  19. Floor Climbing
  20. Walking
  21. Golf Tracking
  22. Pool Swimming

As you can see from the table above, the only difference from a sports mode perspective is the Garmin Vivoactive 4’s ability to track ‘Floor Climbing’. Apart from that, these watches are literally identical in terms of sports tracking. 

Final Thoughts

In the end, it should be pretty clear that these watches are almost identical from a functional perspective. If you are still on the fence however, these final buying tips may help. 

Go for the Garmin Venu SQ if:

  • You want better value for money
  • You want Garmin’s equivalent of an Apple Watch (albeit with a lower resolution screen)
  • You prefer the square watch face

Go for the Garmin Vivoactive 4 if:

  • You prefer a more traditional watch shape
  • You plan to use the On-Screen Workout animations (ie guided workouts)
  • Tracking how many flights of stairs you tackle in a day is important to you
  • You want a slightly higher resolution screen

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Leave a Comment