Information about the Garmin Vivoactive 4 release has been thin on the ground. However, based on recent leaks it would suggest an upgrade to the Vivoactive 3 is in the works and could come sooner rather than later.
While we could see changes to the specs for the Vivoactive 4 before it’s released. Most of the information received so far are indicating to a release being within 9 months and some solid information on features.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 release details
- What is it? It’s the next version in the Vivoactive line up
- When is it out? Based on information received, the Vivoactive 3 is likely to arrive within 6 months, possibly at CES 2020. Unlikely to be IFA 2019, which is September.
- What will it cost? The current Vivoactive 3 is priced from $249 – $349. Indications suggest that Garmin could price it within this range or we could see a price bump due the feature set.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Design and features
When the Vivoactive 3 first came out in 2017, it was well received by many and has proved to be a big seller for Garmin. Since then, the Vivoactive 3 has gone through various improvements from Music to more recently LTE support.
Below is what is known so far about the Vivoactive 4. I have also placed a percentage along with the design or feature based on it became a reality.
Vivoactive 4 design
- 90% happening
Based on recent renders it looks like the Vivoactive 4 will feature a stainless steel design like the current Vivoactive 3. However, the new Garmin wearable will move from its one button configuration to a two button configuration.
The current leaks also suggest that the Vivoactive 4 will come in 2 models, the 4 and 4s. This is like the Fenix 6 line up, however little is known what features come with which
- 100% happening
While the Vivoactive 3 was pretty much well received, one of the biggest complaints was the screen. But the good news is that based on recent information, the Vivoactive 4 will be getting a Amoled screen.
The current Vivoactive 3 sports a touchscreen and based on recent source information, the Vivoactive 4 will ditch the touch-screen.
Its going to be interesting to see how Garmin manages the battery performance trade off with putting this kind of screen into the device.
- 70% happening
With Garmin rolling out the latest sensor like the Pulse Oximeter to its higher end wearables such as the Forerunner 945 and the Fenix 5 Plus Series. We could see the see wrist-based Pulse Oximeter on the Vivoactive 4. We’ve already seen its integration on a Garmin devices including the Vivosmart 4.
ECG sensors have been making their way into wearables since last year with the Apple Watch. While clear leaks point towards the next Fenix 6x getting an ECG sensor, it’s very unlikely we will see this sensor appear in the Vivoactive 4.
Update to the Fitness features
- 100% happening – Not sure which features yet
The current Vivoactive 3 is packed with fitness features, but as already mentioned it was last refreshed in 2017. Since then Garmin has rolled out several new fitness features, particular from Firstbeat.
The recently released Forerunner 945 also offers Body Resources. This lets you know when to push hard and when to rest by using a combination of stress, heart rate variability, sleep and activity data. Could we see this feature in the Vivoactive 4, maybe?
In terms of fitness tracking, I don’t think we will new tracked activities as this will hit the higher end devices such as the Fenix 6 and Forerunner line up.
Vivoactive 4 running WearOS
- 60% happening
The Apple Watch is leading the smartwatch face and it’s going to take a fair amount to catch up. While we won’t see WatchOS on a Vivoactive 4, we could see WearOS on the new device.
in December 2018, I wrote a piece on a possible Garmin WearOS device coming to CES 2019. While this didn’t happen as Garmin released the Vivoactive 3 LTE. It does still look that a Garmin WearOS device is still being developed.
If the Vivoactive 4 comes with WearOS installed, then this will change the entire platform and offer smartwatch features that Garmin has never offered on a device to date.
A better battery on the Vivoactive 4
- 100% happening
If the Vivoactive 4 gets a Amoled display, wearOS and LTE support. Then bettery battery performance is going to be a certain. The current Vivoactive 3 has a battery life of 5 days in the LTE and music version, then I suspect we will see a bump to 7 days.
LTE mobile support
- 80% happening
We first saw LTE mobile support on the Vivoactive 3 Verizon at CES 2019. So why not add network connectivity to the Vivoactive 4 and if the WearOS rumours are true, then what a great combination?
Even if Garmin do not add LTE support to the Vivoactive 4. We should see features like built-in incident detection that feature in the latest Garmin wearables. These safety and tracking features make it easy to share your location with chosen contacts in case of an emergency.
Vivoactive 4 release date
Looking at previous track record of Vivoactive 4 releases cycle, then we could the reveal either at IFA Berlin in September or CES 2020. I think September unlikely because of the limited leaks, However a December launch could happen.
If not, then CES 2020 could be release date for the Vivoactive 4.
Vivoactive 4 release price
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 starts at $249 / £349.99 and a Vivoactive 4 price could in the same ballpark with most of the features above. However, if the WearOS rumours are true, then I expect the price to jump