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

In my experience with fitness trackers, the competition between the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a fascinating matchup to explore. Both devices serve as an entry point for those delving into the world of health and activity monitoring without overwhelming the user with complexity.

Having tested both, I found that they cater to the foundational needs of fitness enthusiasts looking for reliable tracking of their daily activities and overall health metrics.

With their slim designs and straightforward display options, they ensure I have access to my data at a glance during my daily routines.

The Garmin Vivofit 4 surprises with its impressive battery life, negating the need for frequent charging, thus allowing me to monitor my activities continuously without interruption.

The Fitbit Inspire 2, on the other hand, impresses with its robust set of smart features and strong connectivity, which includes smart notifications and the advantage of integration within Fitbit’s well-established health ecosystem.

Each of these fitness trackers carries its own set of pros and cons, highlighting that the decision between them ultimately hinges on what I value most in my daily health and fitness tracking needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Both the Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2 are user-friendly and effective at fundamental health and fitness tracking.
  • The Vivofit 4 offers a longer battery life, while the Inspire 2 provides a richer set of smart features and connectivity options.
  • Choosing between the two models depends on prioritizing either continuous wear with less charging or a more connected feature-rich experience.

Design and Display

When comparing the Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2, I paid close attention to their design details and display characteristics, focusing on how these aspects contribute to the user’s experience.

Visual Appeal and Comfort

Garmin Vivofit 4: My first impression of the Garmin Vivofit 4 is its minimalist design that appears both sturdy and practical. This wearable is designed with a silicone band that feels comfortable around the wrist for extended periods, suitable for a range of activities. One thing to note is it doesn’t require regular charging, thanks to its coin cell battery, which means its design is unimpeded by charging ports or bulky batteries.

Fitbit Inspire 2: On the other hand, the Fitbit Inspire 2 boasts a slimmer profile with a more modern look. The silicone band is lightweight and, in my experience, sits snugly on the wrist, making it barely noticeable during daily wear. Although it requires recharging, the process is streamlined with its simple charging mechanism, and the overall design does not compromise its sleek appearance.

Display Quality and Durability

Garmin Vivofit 4:

  • Display: It features an always-on display that is easy to read even in bright outdoor conditions. However, its color palette and resolution are more basic, which aligns with its focus on longevity and battery life rather than high-end display performance.
  • Durability: The screen is sufficiently tough, designed to withstand everyday bumps and scratches. Being water-resistant adds to its durability, making it capable of surviving splashes and brief immersion.

Fitbit Inspire 2:

  • Display: The Inspire 2 steps up with a brighter and more interactive touchscreen. The screen is crisp, and swiping through notifications or metrics is a fluid experience. It doesn’t offer an always-on display option, so it requires a wrist raise or a tap to activate, which conserves battery life.
  • Durability: As for toughness, the Inspire 2’s screen has held up well in my usage. It’s also water-resistant, so sweating during workouts or wearing it in the shower isn’t a cause for concern. The build quality reassures that it can handle the rigors of daily use.

Health and Fitness Tracking Capabilities

In my experience with both the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2, I’ve found that they each offer distinct health and fitness tracking capabilities catered to different user needs.

Core Fitness Tracking

The Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2 include essential sensors to track your daily activities effectively. Both track steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. I’ve noticed the accuracy of the step count was reliable in both devices.

  • Sleep Tracking: Both devices monitor your sleep patterns, but Fitbit offers a more detailed breakdown of sleep stages.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: The Inspire 2 continuously tracks heart rate, aiding in a more precise calculation of burnt calories and intensity of workouts.

Advanced Health Monitoring

When it comes to advanced monitoring, the Fitbit Inspire 2 generally offers more features:

  • Heart Rate: The Inspire 2 monitors heart rate 24/7, which is essential for determining workout intensity and tracking calorie burn accurately.
  • Menstrual Health: Fitbit also allows for menstrual health tracking, which I found helpful in managing and understanding menstrual cycles.

Moreover, while neither of these devices has a built-in Temperature Sensor, ECG, or VO2 Max features, Fitbit’s focus on continuous heart rate tracking gives it a slight edge in providing a more comprehensive health overview.

Activity-Specific Features

Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2 both track various activities, yet there are differences in specialization:

  • Swimming: Both are water-resistant, yet I personally found Fitbit’s swim tracking to be more advanced.
  • Running, Cycling, Hiking: The Inspire 2 automatically recognizes and records these activities, which was convenient for me as an active person.
  • Stress Tracking: Although not present in the Vivofit 4, the Inspire 2 includes basic tracking of stress through heart rate variability.

In summary, both devices provide a range of tracking features suitable for everyday fitness enthusiasts, with the Fitbit Inspire 2 offering additional health monitoring options such as heart rate tracking throughout the day, which can be crucial for those focused on detailed health metrics.

Battery Life and Charging

Comparing the battery life between Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2 has been particularly interesting due to their distinct power management systems.

Standby Time and Usage

Garmin Vivofit 4:

  • Long Battery Life: My experience with the Garmin Vivofit 4 shows that its coin cell battery can last over a year without needing a replacement.
  • Usage: This extended battery life is ideal for consistent tracking without the hassle of frequent charging.

Fitbit Inspire 2:

  • Battery Life: The Fitbit Inspire 2’s battery life lasts up to 10 days on a single charge, which is impressive for its rechargeable battery.
  • Usage: Through my testing, this means you get ample time for tracking activities and sleep with less frequent charges.

Charging Solutions and Recommendations

Garmin Vivofit 4:

  • While no charging is required, once the battery depletes, you’ll need to purchase and install a new coin cell battery. This is a simple process that doesn’t require much effort.

Fitbit Inspire 2:

  • Rechargeable Battery: The device comes with a proprietary charger.
  • Recommendations: To maintain battery health, it’s best to charge before it completely runs out, and it typically takes about two hours to fully charge.

Smart Features and Connectivity

In my experience testing both devices, I’ve found that smart features and connectivity differ notably between the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2. Each offers unique functionality that could sway users depending on their preferences for staying connected and controlling their smart environment.

Notification and Alerts

Garmin Vivofit 4: I noticed that this device offers basic notification features. You can receive alerts for calls, messages, and other app notifications when it’s connected to a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth. Fitbit Inspire 2: In contrast, the Inspire 2 provides a more interactive experience with smart notifications that I found quite expansive. Aside from calls and texts, you can receive notifications from your favorite apps if your device is running on iOS or Android.

Music and Entertainment Control

Garmin Vivofit 4: This device doesn’t support music and entertainment controls, which can be a downside for those who like to control their music on the go. Fitbit Inspire 2: The Inspire 2 also lacks on-board music controls, meaning you can’t control Spotify or Deezer playlists directly from the device. However, this was not a significant issue for me, as I often use my phone for music control during workouts.

Companion App and Integration

Garmin Vivofit 4: The Garmin Connect app is user-friendly and allows for extensive customization of watch faces and other settings. However, the Vivofit 4’s connectivity with the app is limited to syncing fitness data. Fitbit Inspire 2: With the Fitbit device, I found that the Fitbit app provides an excellent companion experience, integrating wellness data and allowing for detailed health tracking and easy navigation.

Third-Party App Support

Garmin Vivofit 4: Garmin’s Connect IQ store has a variety of apps that you can use, but the Vivofit 4 does not support downloading third-party apps, which means you’re restricted to Garmin’s ecosystem. Fitbit Inspire 2: The Inspire 2 also doesn’t support third-party apps directly; however, you can link many health and fitness related apps to your Fitbit account to expand its capabilities, such as linking with MyFitnessPal for detailed nutritional tracking.

Through my testing, I found that both devices focus on their primary role as fitness trackers over smart features. However, the Fitbit Inspire 2 offers broader smartphone connectivity and some additional alert features making it slightly more versatile in everyday use.

Software, Ecosystem, and Compatibility

When comparing the software and ecosystem of the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2, it’s crucial to consider how each integrates into daily technology use, their respective fitness platforms, and compatibility with various devices.

Operating System Comparisons

In my experience with the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2, I’ve noted that both devices offer robust companion apps for iOS and Android platforms. However, neither device supports third-party app installation, which distinguishes them from smartwatches that run on Wear OS. Garmin connects with the Garmin Connect platform while Fitbit operates within the Fitbit app ecosystem.

  • Garmin Vivofit 4: Connects with Garmin Connect
  • Fitbit Inspire 2: Uses Fitbit App

Ecosystem Synergy

The Fitbit Inspire 2 benefits from integration with the wider Fitbit ecosystem, providing features like social challenges and detailed wellness reporting. Garmin’s ecosystem, although more niche, is revered among athletes for its extensive fitness tracking and robust data analytics. Neither system offers built-in support for virtual assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

  • Fitbit: Social features, comprehensive wellness tracking
  • Garmin: Advanced fitness analytics, dedicated athlete community

Device Compatibility

Both the Garmin Vivofit 4 and the Fitbit Inspire 2 offer synchronization features with Android devices and iPhones, allowing me to track my fitness data on the go. They lack direct interaction with smartwatches or ecosystems like Wear OS, but they efficiently capture fitness data which is then accessible via their respective apps.

  • Android Devices: Compatible with both Garmin and Fitbit.
  • iPhones: Supported by both, ensuring connectivity for iOS users.

Price and Value Proposition

When examining the Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2, I’ve discovered that the price and value each offers are crucial for any buyer decision. Let’s consider their initial costs and ongoing expenses, and then analyze their features relative to their prices.

Initial Cost and Ongoing Fees

Garmin Vivofit 4

  • Initial Cost: Typically retails around $80.
  • Ongoing Fees: None. No subscription service required.

Fitbit Inspire 2

  • Initial Cost: Ranges close to $45 on a deal. Regular retail price varies.
  • Ongoing Fees: Option for Fitbit Premium, which offers advanced fitness insights and guidance at a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

From my experience, the Garmin Vivofit 4 is upfront with its cost with no hidden fees. However, to get the most out of the Fitbit Inspire 2, you might consider the Fitbit Premium service, which does add to the overall cost.

Cost vs. Features Analysis

With budget considerations, it is important to differentiate which features are truly beneficial. The Fitbit Inspire 2 boasts features such as heart rate monitoring and activity recognition, both of which I found to be quite accurate. It also has touch screen capabilities and the ability to receive smartphone notifications, which blur the lines between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch.

On the other hand, the Garmin Vivofit 4 offers a more basic approach. With a battery life that extends over a year without charging, I appreciated not having to worry about carrying a charger for day-to-day activities. Though it lacks a heart rate monitor, it is reliable for essential fitness tracking.

When weighing cost against features, the Fitbit Inspire 2 seems more feature-rich, especially when considering the potential of Fitbit Premium, while the Garmin Vivofit 4 advocates for simplicity and dependability without the need for additional spending.

Final Verdict and Recommendations

After thorough testing of both the Garmin Vivofit 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2, I have gathered several key points that could guide potential users in their decision-making process, depending on their health and fitness goals.

Battery Life: The Vivofit 4 impresses with a 1+ year battery life which is significantly longer than the Inspire 2’s approximate 10 days. For athletes or frequent users, this means less downtime and more consistent data tracking with Garmin’s device.

Water Resistance: Fitbit rates the Inspire 2 for 50 meters underwater, suitable for swimming and tracking water-related workouts. Garmin doesn’t specify for the Vivofit 4, so if you’re keen on aquatic fitness, the Inspire 2 is the more assured choice.

FeatureGarmin Vivofit 4Fitbit Inspire 2
Battery Life1+ yearUp to 10 days
Water ResistanceNot specified50 meters
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Calorie TrackingYesYes

In terms of tracking, both devices cover the essentials like sleep and calories burned, but don’t expect advanced insights. They’re best suited for those looking to maintain a general awareness of their daily activity, rather than providing deep analytics.

For confident, knowledgeable users who prioritize extensive battery life and simple tracking, I recommend the Garmin Vivofit 4. However, if you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast keen on a more detailed swim tracking, the Fitbit Inspire 2 would be a better fit. My testing leads me to believe that both trackers perform reliably within their feature sets, making them suitable companions for different user preferences in the health and fitness space.


  • 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.

Scroll to Top