Garmin has a new fitness tracker for 2018 for those who want the basics covered at a reasonable price. The vivofit 4 is the successor to last year's vivofit 3, adding a color screen while keeping the year-long battery life.
As with the vivofit 3, that 365-day battery life comes courtesy of a coin cell battery, so you swap it out every year rather than recharging your band. It's a trick a number of simple fitness trackers use now, including the Misfit Ray, for example.
Elsewhere, the vivofit 4 brings with it a color display that Garmin says is engineered to be readable in bright sunlight, plus a waterproof design that's safe for showering and swimming alike. We also like the fact it can start working straight out of the box even before you've paired it with a smartphone.
The usual range of steps, distance, calories, and activity times can be tracked, as well as sleep. A "move bar" nudges you towards your daily goals, while certain activities – like running, walking, and biking – can be detected automatically if you forget to launch them manually. Everything works with the Garmin Connect app, which has become one of the better fitness tracking apps out there.
In terms of smartphone features, the band can show alarms and the time, as well as a weather widget so you can quickly see the conditions for your morning (or evening) run. The vivofit 4 can even help you find your phone if it gets lost, by getting it to make an audible sound. You don't get anything like text or phone call notifications, but the tracker will alert you if you've been sat still for too long.
In the words of one Garmin executive, you can "set it and forget it." The vivofit 4 is a tracker that just gets on with its job quietly in the background, always on your wrist and only needing battery maintenance once a year. That approach should help minimize the chances of you abandoning it mere months into your 2018 fitness regime.
You can personalize the tracker with a custom watch face and line of text, and alternative straps are available for US$19.99 a pop. Despite all of the features on offer – it looks like being one of the more capable, sub-smartwatch trackers out there – the vivofit 4 is actually cheaper than the vivofit 3, coming in at $79.99. It's on sale now.Product page:
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