Thinking of a new fitness tracker and looking at Fitbit’s Inspire 2 and Garmin’s Vivosmart 4? Not sure which one is best for you?
While both models look similar, there are quite a lot of differences between the two.
In this article, we put them both to the test and highlight the features and differences in a match of Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart!
So, without any further ado, let us check them out!
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- 1 About these fitness trackers
- 2 Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: features and specs
- 3 About the Fitbit Inspire 2
- 4 Garmin Vivosmart 4
- 5 Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: about battery life and display
- 6 About their companion apps and pricing
- 7 What about the price?
- 8 Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: wrapping Up
- 9 Summary
About these fitness trackers
If you don’t know about these devices, both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivosmart 4 are the company’s budget-friendly smart trackers.
These trackers are optimized to give you information about how active you are throughout the day.
They offer some of the basic features of smartwatches, including calories burned, distance traveled, heart rate tracking, step counting, push notifications, phone-connected GPS, and more.
So, if you’re after things like built-in GPS, ECG, or music storage, we’d advise you to look into a smartwatch instead of a fitness tracker.
Both Samsung’s and Apple’s smartwatches are good options if you want all the bells & whistles that smart devices offer – don’t forget that they are much more expensive than a fitness tracker.
Onwards to the comparison now!
Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: features and specs
So let’s cut straight to the chase and see what these smart fitness trackers offer.
Both options are small, comfortable, and lightweight–and you likely won’t even notice them when you aren’t actively using them.
And both offer sleep tracking, heart rate tracking, connected GPS, great battery life, and of course, exercise and activity tracking.
Plus, both track VO2max and cardio fitness and are water-resistant, so you can go for a swim or take a shower without worry.
So, let’s focus on the unique features that each option offers.
Wait, what’s connected GPS?
A lot of people are confused about this term.
To put it simply, connected GPS uses your smartphone’s GPS to track your location.
So to work, you must have your mobile phone with you if you want to gather GPS data for activities like cycling, running, walking, etc.
Most smartwatches (not all) have built-in GPS, which means you do not need to take your paired phone with them to track and map activities.
So if you want to map your run without taking your phone, these trackers aren’t for you. Instead, look for a smartwatch or tracker (like Fitbit’s Charge 4) with GPS built-in!
About the Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a great budget tracker with connected GPS, heart rate monitoring, interchangeable straps, and up to 10-days of battery life. It also has two side buttons for navigation.
Plus, it runs under USD 100, and we’ve seen it as low as USD 70.
Fitbit’s unique active zone minutes feature
A feature we really like on Fitbit’s smartwatches is its tracking of Active Zone Minutes.
Active Zone Minutes calculates how engaged you are in your exercise and how intense your activity is by monitoring your heart rate.
You earn more activity minutes (2X) when you hit either your cardio or peak heart rate during exercise.
The previous Inspire Series devices tracked only Active Minutes, where you earned activity minutes when you moved 10 minutes continuously in an activity like walking or running.
With Active Zone Minutes, you earn active minutes depending on your heart rate during your activity.
See this article for more on active zone minutes: Forget 10,000 steps a day! How to use Fitbit active zone minutes and why they matter
About your Inspire 2’s free one-year Fitbit Premium subscription
- Fitbit Premium personalizes all recommendations, workout suggestions, food suggestions, sleep, and all health-related features based on your tracker’s health and fitness data
- Unlike other trackers that give generalized recommendations, Fitbit tries to understand you and your needs on a personal level
- Fitbit Premium also provides you with some advanced sleep tools and additional 150+ workouts from well-known fitness brands
- You also get access to Fitbit Premium Wellness Report that details your activity, sleep, heart rate, and weight data up to the last 12 months. You can also export that report and share it with your healthcare team
The Inspire 2 gots style
Another feature that’s not available on Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 is interchangeable bands.
Fitbit built the Inspire 2 with a removable band that you can swap out to match your style, mood, or even put the Inspire 2 in a clip to attach to almost anything or anywhere.
Since the band is removable, there are plenty of other options that you can use apart from the Fitbit’s standard one. You can also attach third-party bands, so your options are endless.
Unfortunately, Garmin’s Vivosmart doesn’t offer interchangeable bands, and you don’t have that kind of personalization or customization.
So, that’s points for the Fitbit Inspire 2!
The Fitbit Inspire 2 does not offer things like seeing your notification history, and it doesn’t have an altitude meter (altimeter) to track climbing stairs, hills, or other elevation changes.
- Long battery life of 10 day
- A larger screen that’s easier to navigate
- Two side buttons to aide navigation
- Interchangeable bands to fit your style
- Tracking active zone minutes
- No blood oxygen saturation monitoring (SpO2)
- Does not have built-in GPS
- No altimeter, so you can’t track elevation changes, like climbing stairs
Garmin Vivosmart 4
Like the Fitbit Inspire 2, Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 runs just under USD 100. It offers connected GPS, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, and up to 7-days of battery life.
Plus, the Vivosmart 4 includes an altimeter, so you can track when you climb stairs or any elevation changes (like hiking up hills.)
Unlike Fitbit’s Inspire 2, the Vivosmart 4 does not have a replaceable band–so if you decide on this model, make sure you choose your band size and color wisely.
Garmin’s PulseOx oxygen monitoring
What makes the Vivosmart really stand out from the pack of budget fitness trackers is its blood oxygen monitoring.
So, Garmin’s Pulse Ox² sensor is quite a big plus in our book.
This feature is a game-changer for many users, offering a huge advantage compared to similarly priced fitness trackers in the $100 range.
This SpO2 feature works by shining light into the skin and checking how much light is absorbed. You then see its reading as a SpO2 percentage. You can take a blood oxygen saturation measurement on-demand, at any time.
And you can use it overnight to determine your sleep quality. The Vivosmart measures your blood oxygen level, SpO2, for up to 4 hours during your sleep to provide this data.
Then in your Garmin Connect app or account, you can view additional details about your blood oxygen readings and see your trends over hours, days, weeks, and so forth.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you can’t use this feature in all countries or regions.
The body battery
Another awesome feature on the Garmin Vivosmart is the Body Battery.
The body battery measures your energy level and how worn out you are each day using your heart rate variability (HRV), stress levels, and activity levels.
You get a body battery score between 0 and 100, where the lower your body battery number is, the more rest you need.
And conversely, with a higher number, it’s time to get your game on and push yourself!
Advanced sleep tracking
Garmin also offers advanced sleep tracking features in its app without any additional subscription (at least at the time of this writing.)
Inside Garmin Connect you find a detailed sleep report that shows your sleep metrics.
And when you turn on Pulse Ox Sleep Tracking, your Vivosmart’s blood oxygen sensor tracks your blood oxygen saturation levels while you sleep.
And then inside Garmin Connect, you find a series of graphs that outline your time in each sleep stage, including light, deep, and REM sleep.
- Slim, comfortable, and unobtrusive
- Oxygen saturation monitoring
- The body battery
- Has barometric altimeter
- The screen is difficult to navigate and often non-responsive when wet
- No built-in GPS
- Lasts up to 7 days only if you turn the PulseOx off
- Does not offer interchangeable bands
Winner: your choice!
Both have their own pros and cons. If you prefer having personalized results, interchangeable bands, and other customization options, go with the Fitbit Inspire 2.
But if you want advanced health features like SpO2 monitoring and the body battery, get the Garmin Vivosmart 4.
Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: about battery life and display
The Fitbit Inspire 2 promises a battery life of up to 10 days – which is the largest we’ve ever seen on a Fitbit thus far.
The Garmin Vivosmart 4, on the other hand, can only provide up to 7 days.
Of course, your mileage can greatly vary at the end of the day, depending on how much you use the tracker and what features you use.
For example, continuous heart rate tracking (available on both devices) and Garmin’s PulseOx for monitoring SpO2 require a lot more power than step tracking or most other features.
Battery life winner: Fitbit Inspire 2
Need a tracker with long battery life?
If you want a long battery life AND want to use all the health monitoring like heart rate monitoring and sleep monitoring, many people choose the Amazfit Bip, Bip S, or Bip U Fitness Smartwatch.
The Bip offers a very long battery life (up to 45 days) plus has features like built-in GPS to track activity without a phone.
And its larger color display makes it easy to check your notifications and stats compared to the Inspire or Vivosmart.
- 45 Days Battery Life: Equipped with a lithium polymer battery with a 190mAh charge, you can use the...
- Lightweight and Thin: Amazfit Bip only weight about 32g with the watch band and is 11.5mm in thick....
The displays on the Inspire 2 and Vivosmart 4
As far as the display is concerned, both watches are equipped with an OLED touch screen.
As for resolution and size, the Garmin Vivosmart 4’s screen is small. It offers a 6.6mm x 17.7mm OLED display has a 48 x 128-pixel screen resolution.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a bit larger with a 1.4 inches display and 126 x 36-pixel screen resolution.
Both displays are monochrome–black and white.
Winner for display: Fitbit Inspire 2
About their companion apps and pricing
The device’s companion app is pretty important. It’s where you view your activity history, make changes and updates to your account, and of course, where you update your tracker’s software.
Both Fitbit and Garmin offer access to your account via their apps AND a website dashboard.
Both the apps and the website allow users to track, analyze, and share their health and fitness information.
If you leave Fitbit Premium aside for a moment, both Fitbit and Garmin’s Connect apps do more or less the same thing with a different user-interface (UI.)
However, one thing that really matters with the companion app is stability.
And while both apps have their own share of bugs and crashes, unfortunately, Fitbit’s app seems to have lower user reviews on Android and iOS devices.
To be more precise, at the time of writing this article, Fitbit has an average review of 3.8 on Google Play and 4.1 on Apple’s App Store.
Garmin, on the other hand, is at 4.3 on Google Play and 4.4 on Apple’s App Store.
And the vast majority of the negative reviews complain about stability and bugs.
Winner for the app and software stability: Garmin vivosmart 4
What about the price?
The Fitbit Inspire 2 currently has the price of $100 but often offers discounts.
And the Garmin Vivosmart generally runs at about $100 as well. So the price is about the same.
Since Garmin offers some sensors that the Inspire does not, including SpO2 and altimeter, we vote that the Garmin Vivosmart is the bigger bang for your buck!
Winner for price: Garmin vivosmart 4
- Slim, smart activity tracker blends fashionable design with stylish metal accents and a bright, easy...
- Includes advanced sleep monitoring with REM sleep and can gauge blood oxygen saturation levels...
Fitbit Inspire 2 VS Garmin Vivosmart 4: wrapping Up
At the end of the day, you choose just one.
Ultimately, your decision depending on what features matter most to you.
- Fitbit Inspire 2: More customization options, slightly cheaper, slightly bigger display, more personalized, and slightly better battery life at the expense of a few health-tracking features that you may or may not take advantage of
- Garmin vivosmart 4: Offers a few extra health features (including blood oxygen saturation SpO2 monitoring and body battery), a slightly smaller display, and also a more stable app and software
Now, if you like Fitbits and are okay with upgrading your price point, then the Amazon Bestseller in the category is the Fitbit Charge 4.
With built-in GPS, the Fitbit Charge 4 shows you your exact mileage when running, walking, cycling, and engaging in similar activities.
The price fluctuates, so you may even find Charge 4 for about the same price as the base price of the Inspire 2 at USD 100.
- Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more...
- With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise,...
So, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you prefer and what features you want, and what features you can do without.
That’s all for now.
If you have anything else to add, please let us know about it in the comments section.
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Last update on 2021-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API