Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Garmin Vivofit 4: An In-Depth Comparison

In my experience with the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, choosing the right fitness tracker is a matter of balancing functionality with personal needs and lifestyle.

Both devices are capable contenders in the world of wearable technology, each offering a suite of features to track various health and fitness parameters. The Fitbit Inspire 2 steps up with its heart rate monitoring, touch screen interface, and smart notifications, presenting itself as more than just a basic activity tracker.

The device is streamlined for everyday wear and includes features aimed at providing a comprehensive picture of one’s wellbeing.

On the flip side, the Garmin Vivofit 4 distinguishes itself with a battery life that simply outlasts many others, which means less frequent charging and more consistent wear.

Garmin’s fitness band also tracks activity metrics reliably, such as steps and sleep, without needing constant user interaction.

While it may not offer some of the more advanced features found in the Fitbit, such as smartphone notifications or a heart rate monitor, its always-on color display is convenient for at-a-glance updates.

My hands-on experience has shown that each device has its merits, and my assessment has been focused on usability, durability, and the quality of the health metrics provided.

Key Takeaways

  • The Fitbit Inspire 2 provides advanced health tracking with a heart rate monitor and smart notifications.
  • Garmin Vivofit 4 offers long battery life and an always-on display for continuous tracking.
  • Personal needs and preferences are pivotal in determining the right choice between these two devices.

Design and Build Quality

In my assessment of the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivofit 4, I’ve taken a close look at both trackers’ aesthetics, comfort, wearability, and durability. These factors are crucial as they directly affect the user experience on a day-to-day basis.


Regarding the Fitbit Inspire 2, it features a sleeker look with a larger display than the Garmin Vivofit 4. This not only contributes to a more modern appearance but also enhances readability. The Inspire 2’s screen has a clear, intuitive touch interface, which I find gives it a slight edge over its Garmin counterpart in terms of user interaction.

The Garmin Vivofit 4, on the other hand, opts for a more traditional digital watch aesthetic with a smaller screen. Although less flashy, its design is undeniably practical and straightforward. The simplicity can be appreciated for those who prefer a more classic look in their gadgets.

Comfort and Wearability

I’ve personally worn both devices for extended periods, and the Fitbit Inspire 2 impresses with its comfort. It’s lightweight and the strap feels soft against the skin, making it barely noticeable during day-to-day activities or while sleeping.

The Garmin Vivofit 4, with its silicon band, also offers a comfortable fit, though it’s slightly more rigid compared to the Inspire 2’s band. The buckle clasp provides a secure fit that ensures the tracker stays on your wrist during rigorous activities.


Durability is a significant consideration for activity trackers, and both the Fitbit and Garmin models meet the mark. The Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4 are water-resistant, which I’ve tested by wearing them during showers and swimming sessions without any issues.

The Vivofit 4 has an additional advantage of a year-long battery life thanks to its coin cell battery, meaning less worry about charging and more resilience in the long term. However, both devices are built to withstand everyday wear and tear, and I’ve found no durability concerns during my time testing them. The Garmin model does not explicitly advertise being dustproof, but in my experience, it handled exposure to dust without any difficulties.

Display Features

In my hands-on experience with both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivofit 4, I have closely examined their display characteristics to understand how each performs in various conditions.

Screen Visibility

The Fitbit Inspire 2 features a grayscale OLED touchscreen display that I found to be crisp and easy to read indoors. However, in direct sunlight, it is somewhat challenging to view the contents on the screen. The screen is not always on, but with a quick tap or wrist turn, it becomes active.

On the contrary, the Garmin Vivofit 4 sports a sunlight-visible, transflective 8-color MIP display which remains on at all times. Even under bright sunlight, I had no issues seeing my stats and the time, which is a significant advantage for outdoor enthusiasts.

User Interface

Navigating the Fitbit Inspire 2’s interface is a smooth and intuitive experience for me with its touchscreen display. Swiping up or down allows me to easily cycle through my daily stats, notifications, and exercise modes. The device provides clear, on-screen animations to guide through workout sessions, which enhances its usability.

The Garmin Vivofit 4, though lacking a touchscreen, still presents a user-friendly experience. It employs a simple button interface that toggles through various functions. Despite the lack of touch capability, I found the button presses to be responsive and the interface straightforward to navigate, with clear icons denoting various metrics and settings.

Health and Fitness Tracking Capabilities

In my experience with both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivofit 4, I’ve found that they offer distinct features for monitoring health and fitness. Each tracker is designed to cater to different user needs with a focus on day-to-day activity and health insights.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The Fitbit Inspire 2’s heart rate monitoring is continuous, offering 24/7 tracking that provides detailed information on heart rate zones during workouts and resting periods. This allows me to see my cardiovascular health over time. On the other hand, the Garmin Vivofit 4 lacks a built-in heart rate sensor, which means it doesn’t track heart rate natively.

Sleep Tracking

When testing sleep tracking, I found that the Fitbit Inspire 2 gives in-depth insights into sleep stages including light, deep, and REM cycles, along with a sleep score to gauge overall sleep quality. The Garmin Vivofit 4 monitors sleep as well, but its metrics are more basic, showing movements and estimated sleep and awake periods.

Activity Tracking

For activity tracking, both devices are competent. The Fitbit Inspire 2 has a comprehensive set of features including a pedometer for counting steps, distance tracking, calories burned, and various exercise modes. The Garmin Vivofit 4 also tracks steps and calories and includes an accelerometer, but its exercise detection is not as robust.

Additional Health Metrics

The Inspire 2 extends its health metrics beyond basic activity tracking by also monitoring menstrual health, which is especially beneficial for female users. Garmin Vivofit 4 offers a unique “Move IQ” feature that automatically recognizes activities. While neither tracker provides built-in stress tracking or a body battery metric, the Inspire 2 does measure pace and provides notification alerts, which indirectly can help manage stress by remaining connected to important information. Neither device offers SpO2 monitoring—a feature that measures blood oxygen saturation—which can be important for athletes or those monitoring specific health conditions.

Smart Features and Connectivity

In my experience testing the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivofit 4, I found that both provide distinct smart features and connectivity options that cater to different preferences, especially regarding smartphone notifications, navigation capabilities, companion apps, and battery management.

Smartphone Notifications

The Fitbit Inspire 2 does an excellent job at keeping me connected with my smartphone. It allows me to receive call, text, calendar, and app notifications directly on my wrist when it’s paired with a compatible device via Bluetooth. The Garmin Vivofit 4 offers basic smartphone notifications, but in comparison, it’s a bit more limited, primarily focusing on keeping track of activities without the barrage of alerts.

Built-in GPS versus Connected GPS

GPS capabilities are essential for accurate tracking of outdoor activities like running and navigation. The Fitbit Inspire 2 does not have built-in GPS, but it utilizes Connected GPS through a smartphone to provide real-time pace and distance, which I find quite precise when carrying my phone. The Garmin Vivofit 4, on the other hand, lacks GPS altogether, which means I need to rely on a separate device if I want geographical tracking during my exercises.

Companion Apps and Ecosystem

Both devices are supported by robust companion apps. Garmin Connect and Fitbit’s smartphone app are where all the tracked data comes to life for thorough analysis. The Fitbit app is particularly user-friendly, providing a comprehensive view of my health and fitness data, and the device seamlessly integrates with the Fitbit ecosystem, which includes other smart features like payment through NFC with Fitbit Pay on supported models (though not available on the Inspire 2). Garmin Connect caters to individuals with a focus on details and long-term performance trends, which appeals to my meticulous tracking preferences.

Battery Life and Charging

Battery life is where both trackers stand out. The Fitbit Inspire 2 boasts a long-lasting rechargeable battery that consistently offers me up to 10 days of use, reducing the hassle of frequent charging. The Garmin Vivofit 4 impresses with an incredible 1-year battery life thanks to its non-rechargeable battery, meaning I hardly ever worry about charging it. However, when the battery depletes, it requires a replacement instead of a simple recharge.

Compatibility and Support

When evaluating the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, I paid close attention to how each device integrates with various platforms and what support is offered in terms of replacement parts and accessories.

Cross-Platform Usage

I found that both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Garmin Vivofit 4 offer solid compatibility with major smartphone operating systems. The Inspire 2 pairs seamlessly with iOS and Android devices, catering to iPhone users as well as those on the Android bandwagon. Garmin’s Vivofit 4 also supports both Android and iOS, although in my experience, there is no support for Wear OS specifically with either of these trackers. The synchronization process is straightforward via their respective apps, and for both trackers, a Bluetooth connection manages data sync to the app.

Accessories and Replacement Parts

  • Fitbit Inspire 2: The box includes a USB charging cable, which magnetically attaches to the tracker. Fitbit also provides a comprehensive user manual and warranty card. Finding accessories and replacements is easy, with a wide range of options available from both Fitbit and third-party vendors.
  • Garmin Vivofit 4: This device stands out with its exceedingly long battery life, using a coin cell battery that does not require a charging cable. Still, replacements are readily available. Just like the Inspire 2, Garmin includes a user manual in the box, and the warranty card provides reassurance. Accessories such as bands can be purchased for customization or replacement.

Price and Value for Money

When comparing the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, I consider both the initial cost and the long-term value they offer. Let’s dive into how these devices stack up in terms of price and what you receive for your investment.

Cost Comparison

Based on my experience and the market research I’ve conducted, here’s a straightforward breakdown of the two:

  • Fitbit Inspire 2: Typically priced around $58.50 to $61.00. It’s a more modern device with a larger screen, providing excellent value for those who want a feature-rich experience without breaking the bank.
  • Garmin Vivofit 4: It has a price point around $71.76, placing it slightly higher than the Inspire 2. While it is also a solid choice within the budget-friendly wearables sector, it does not quite match up against the Inspire 2’s features at a similar price point.

Both devices cater well to their target audience, namely individuals who are looking for budget-friendly options without sacrificing quality and essential features.

Warranty and Customer Service

  • Fitbit Inspire 2: Fitbit typically offers a one-year limited warranty. In my interactions, their customer service has proven to be responsive and helpful, ensuring any issues are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Garmin Vivofit 4: Garmin also provides a standard one-year warranty. My experience with their customer support has been satisfactory, with competent assistance and a commitment to maintaining customer satisfaction.

Long battery life is a shared benefit between the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, making both wearables cost-effective choices in the long term. While neither are full-fledged smartwatches, their performance as activity trackers within their price brackets is commendable.

User Experience

When comparing the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, it’s evident that user experience plays a significant role in one’s choice of fitness tracker. Each offers unique features that cater to different preferences, such as ease of use, learning curves, and customer feedback.

Ease of Use

In my experience, setting up the Fitbit Inspire 2 was straightforward, with its touch screen interface allowing for effortless navigation through the menus. The all-day tracking feature robustly records daily activities, while the silent alarm function is a subtle way to wake up or receive notifications. On the other hand, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is appreciated for its always-on color display that enhances visibility without the need to activate the screen. Its 1-year battery life eliminates the need for frequent charging, offering a more hassle-free experience, especially when it comes to health tracking activities, like pulse oximetry, that can be passively monitored over long periods.

Learning Curve

I found the Fitbit Inspire 2 to have a gentle learning curve. The health tracking components, such as guided breathing sessions and calorie intake monitoring, are intuitively designed, ensuring newcomers can quickly harness these features. The Garmin Vivofit 4 also maintains a user-friendly design but it does not include a heart rate monitor, which means learning to interpret the health and fitness data is slightly less complex. Nevertheless, for anyone new to smart fitness bands, both devices offer a welcoming experience without overwhelming the user.

Customer Feedback

Based on customer feedback I’ve seen, the Fitbit Inspire 2 often receives praise for its comprehensive fitness band capabilities, including robust app support and social features that motivate users. In contrast, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is often appreciated for its durability and simplicity, making it a viable option for those who prefer a fitness tracker that sticks to the basics of activity monitoring without the need for constant interaction with a touchscreen.

Ecosystem and Additional Services

In my experience with the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, I found that each brand offers distinct ecosystems with unique services that cater to different user needs.

Subscription Services

Fitbit Premium: I gained access to a wealth of advanced features and personalized insights with Fitbit Premium. The membership includes guided programs, detailed health reports, and advanced sleep tracking analytics. What I found particularly useful was the ECG app, which is not available on the Inspire 2 but on higher-end Fitbit devices like the Versa 3—a benefit of being in the Fitbit ecosystem.

Garmin does not offer a direct equivalent to Fitbit Premium, focusing instead on delivering detailed metrics within its connect app. This offers less of a comprehensive health service but maintains a strong emphasis on sports and fitness data analytics.

Community and Social Features

Fitbit Community: My time with the Inspire 2 allowed me to leverage Fitbit’s robust community. The challenges and reminders kept me motivated, and the social features encouraged a bit of friendly competition. I found this sense of community engagement to be a notable strength with Fitbit.

In contrast, Garmin’s Connect platform also offers a community, but it felt geared more towards serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. While both platforms encourage interaction and provide a degree of social connectivity, I found that Fitbit’s challenges and connectedness are more mainstreamed and accessible to the average user.


In my thorough comparison of the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4, I’ve examined various factors including design, functionality, and user experience to determine which device stands out in terms of performance and features.

Final Verdict

I’ve found that the Fitbit Inspire 2 is an excellent option for those who desire a user-friendly interface with added features like a heart rate monitor and automatic activity detection. The touchscreen makes navigation simple, and the silent alarm is an appreciated detail for discreet notifications. Overall, the Inspire 2 shines in daily wear and standard exercise routines.

In contrast, the Garmin Vivofit 4 appeals to athletes with its robust battery life and no-frills approach to activity tracking. The lack of a heart rate monitor might be a trade-off for some, but its strong suit lies in long-term wear without the need for constant charging. While it doesn’t connect to the Garmin Pay system or support smartphone notifications to the same extent as some other Garmin models, it’s still a solid choice for users focused on durability and basic tracking.

Future Considerations

As technology evolves, features like built-in payments and wider smartwatch capabilities could become standard even in basic activity trackers. For athletes, advancements in metrics for specific sports such as swimming, cycling, hiking, or climbing might influence future models of both the Fitbit and Garmin lines. Connectivity with apps will likely improve, allowing for more seamless integration into an active lifestyle. The decision between the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Garmin Vivofit 4 should be guided by current needs, with one eye on future developments in the wearable tech landscape.


  • Matthew

    Meet Matthew, a wearable tech & fitness enthusiast passionate about transforming health through innovative devices. With an engineering background and a love for fitness, Matthew shares in-depth reviews, tips, and news on the latest wearable tech to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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