Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus Comparison

Most fitness trackers nowadays can perform a wide range of functions, such as smartphone interaction and physical activity assistance. Yet, they become a vital role in your daily life. What’s on your mind right now may be the consideration between Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Garmin Vivoactive HR, or Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus?

Don’t worry. We got your back. In this article, we will layout 6 of the essential criteria for when it comes to choosing a fitness tracker. Also, we will compare head-to-head Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Dust-proof and water-resistantYesYes
Screen resolution148×205128x16px
Water-proof depth rating50m50m

First off, the design approaches of both Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin Vivosmart HR are fairly similar. Both offer dust-proofing, sweat-resistance, and water-resistance to endure the most severe conditions, which Garmin has a reputation for that. They can even withstand the water depth rating up to 50m, a benefit for those who are diving.

Both devices also come with a touchscreen display, but the resolution is distinct from each other. Garmin Vivoactive HR possesses the color display with 148x205px screen resolution, while Garmin Vivosmart HR’s screen resolution is pretty low grade, low-resolution grey-scale, just enough to indicate the basic stats for your barely.

In terms of the outward appearance, Garmin Vivosmart HR is much more like a band with just 29.6g, while Garmin Vivoactive HR is more sporty and nearly double the weight of its rival.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Heart rate monitorYesYes

Regards to the sensors, here is where Garmin Vivoactive HR gets all the attention. Both Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus offer heart rate monitor and accelerometer to provide the data insights and metrics, and also feed into further tracking of your fitness session. A built-in GPS is also present on both devices, offering accurate tracking of runs and cycles from the wrist.

The difference is that Garmin Vivoactive HR delivers exceptional performance, especially for those who are after trekking and hiking through the additional compass and barometer, which provide the weather procrastination and direction.

Activity tracking

Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Distance trackingYesYes
Walking step taken trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Sleep reportingYesYes
Calories burnt trackingYesYes
Pace trackingYesYes
Activity reportsYesYes
Elevation trackingYesYes
Route trackingYesYes
Multi-sport modeYesNo
Goal setting modeYesYes
Exercise taggingYesYes
Stroke recognitionYesNo
Stroke counter for swimmingYesNo
Weight trackingYesYes
Water intake trackingYesYes
Golf compatibleYesNo
Automatic activity detectionNoYes

Activity tracking is what Garmin is the top-notch among the business. Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin Vivosmart HR both offer core exercise tracking ranging from running to general workouts. And afterward, thorough reports will be given to you indicating the progress you have made. They also analyze your sleep, keep track of your REM cycles, and sleeping quality too.

However, Garmin Vivoactive HR still has its own specifications to be competent in this competition. Swimming wellness and even golf are fitted into the Garmin Vivoactive HR, which makes it more versatile. Yet Garmin Vivosmart HR redeems by giving you a little bit more convenient by the automatic activity recognition.

Despite the fact that both Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin Vivosmart HR are in the first-class in terms of the fitness tracking, Garmin Vivoactive HR still outperforms and deserves a win in this round.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Android compatibleYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Windows compatibleNoYes
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
Automatically syncsYesYes
Mac OS X compatibleNoYes
ANT+ connectivityYesNo
Bluetooth version44

Both devices are quite harmonious with a vast proportion of devices as they support the Android and iOS platforms. The ability to sync wirelessly and automatically is also present on both models, yet the Bluetooth stands at version 4. However, Garmin Vivoactive HR broadens its compatibility border to the fitness devices through ANT+ connectivity, which Garmin Vivosmart HR misses out. In turn, for those who want to synchronize the data to PC or laptop, Garmin Vivosmart HR can help you with that by the  Mac OS X and Windows compatibility.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Battery life8 days5 days
Battery level indicatorYesYes
Rechargeable batteryYesYes

There is nothing much to highlight here. Granted that both have stepped up to the rechargeable battery with the battery level indicator to inform the current state. Garmin Vivoactive HR promises to last up to 8 days, which is quite exceptional, while Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus delivers quite mediocre performance of 5 days function compared to its rival.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRGarmin Vivosmart HR Plus
Phone locatingYesYes
Call controlNoYes
Silent alarmYesYes
Integrates with social networksYesYes
Inactivity alertsYesYes
Achievement trackingYesYes
Access to online servicesYesYes
Social featuresYesYes

Regards to the features, Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin Vivosmart HR has been fitted loads of features to support your fitness session, and also to help you stay connected. The social field is also provided by both devices, opens up a community for you to share as well as read the personal experiences. Yet Garmin Vivosmart HR has the extra call control feature, a bit more convenient when you don’t have to pull out the phone anymore.

Verdict: Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus – Which One Should You Choose?

At the bottom line, it seems like Garmin Vivoactive HR has more specialty in the fitness tracking, provide much more thorough data for you, while Garmin Vivosmart delivers some smart features to bring it in-line with the competition. Other than that, these two are well matched for sports tracking, and they are going to be a good pick for those who are after metrics and insights.

Choosing Garmin Vivoactive HR if:

  • You are a trekker and hiker.
  • You are a swimmer and golfer.
  • You need a long battery life capacity.

Choosing Garmin Vivosmart HR if:

  • You need the data synchronization between your PC and your band.
  • You need some smart features to work independently from your phone.