Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Polar M400 Comparison

Most smartwatches 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. Polar M400. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Garmin Vivoactive HR or Polar M400?

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 smartwatch. Also, we will compare head-to-head Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Polar M400 and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Polar M400


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
Dust-proof and water-resistantYesYes
Screen resolution148x205px128x128px
Water-proof depth rating50m30m

First off, quite standardly that Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400 both offer dust-proofing, sweat-resistance, and water-resistance to for the most sporty purposes. In terms of the depth threshold they can be able to withstand, Garmin Vivoactive HR can endure much better than Polar, which is 50m and 30m, respectively, yet it only matters to those who are extreme divers.

They also possess display for you to read the data right on your wrist, but unfortunately for Polar’s fans, the touchscreen is sorely supported on Garmin Vivoactive HR. The display is also where Garmin surpasses the competition with the much higher screen resolution: 148x205px and just 128x128px of Polar M400. However, quite frankly, they are still in the middle-range of the smartwatch segment. Their thickness is quite identical, yet Garmin Vivoactive HR might bring a little bit more comfortable for the users with 10g lighter than Polar M400.

In this round, Garmin probably wins by a significant additional touchscreen solution and optimal weight.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
Heart rate monitorYesNo

Regards to the sensors, one of the smartwatch’s strengths. Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400 offer accurate tracking of runs and cycles from the wrist through the GPS sensor. The accelerometer is also retained, but there is a problem here of Polar M40. Heart rate monitor only presents on Garmin Vivoactive HR, which is a huge disappointing omission of Polar and might be a deal-breaker in the long-term.

With that flaw, Polar M400 is merely a watch to tracking your exercises but not a specialty for data insights. Polar tries to reclaim the position by adding cadence to support cyclists, but it is not enough to bring it in-line with the competition while Garmin possesses compass and barometer, which Polar M400 once again misses out.

Activity tracking

Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
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 trackingYesNo
Water intake trackingYesNo
Golf compatibleYesNo

Turning to their tracking capacity, granted that all the standard and essential features are backed up on Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400, namely distance tracking, walking step taken tracking, calories burnt tracking, pace tracking, activity reports, elevation tracking, elevation tracking, goal setting, and exercise tagging. They can even keep track of your sleep, but with the absence of heart rate monitor on Polar M400, the provided data can not as accurate and specific as that of Garmin Vivoactive HR.

Garmin’s reputation, which is the best health companion among its peers, is once again proven in this competition. Garmin Vivoactive has a bump in stroke recognition, stroke counter for swimming, weight tracking, water intake tracking, and specifically, golf compatible. These tangible flaws make Polar even more inferior with its rival, which you will look even more of an oversight down the line.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
Android compatibleYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
Automatically syncsYesNo
ANT+ connectivityYesNo

There is nothing much to say in this connectivity section, either Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400 is quite decent. They are relatively harmonious with a large proportion of devices as they both support the Android as well as iOS platforms. Both also deliver the ability to sync wirelessly, but sorely Garmin Vivoactive HR possesses automatic sync. Garmin has also fitted the ANT+ connectivity into the product, which can widen the ecosystem between devices.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
Battery life8 days24 days
Battery life with GPS on13h8h
Battery level indicatorYesYes
Rechargeable batteryYesYes

In terms of the battery, Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400 are both step up to a rechargeable battery as well as battery level indicator. But here is might be a sweet point of Polar M400. It has remarkably long battery longevity against Garmin Vivoactive HR, which is 24 days and 8 days, respectively, letting your smartwatch remain connected to your wrist for an extremely long time between charges. But paradoxically, when the GPS is on, Garmin Vivoactive HR can last up to 13 hours, compared to just 8 hours of Polar M400. It seems like Garmin Vivoactive HR is more suitable for those who attend an ultramarathon than Polar M400.


Criteria           Garmin Vivoactive HRPolar M400
Phone locatingYesNo
Silent alarmYesNo
Acquires GPS fasterNoYes
Integrates with social networksYesNo
Inactivity alertsYesYes
Achievement trackingYesYes
Access to online servicesYesYes
Social featuresYesYes

Last but not least is the feature section. Their similarities present in the achievement tracking, online services, and social features. Garmin Vivoactive HR and Polar M400 also possess stopwatch as well as inactivity alerts to keep you from idle, but once again, there might be a deal-breaker of Polar M400.

Phone locating, silent alarm, and social network integration are sorely offered by Garmin Vivoactive HR, and also only Garmin Vivoactive HR can buzz to notify you of messages or call. Whereas Polar M400 can acquire GPS faster, but it is not the most standard feature enough to compensate.

Verdict: Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Polar M400 – Which One Should You Buy?

At the bottom line, Garmin Vivoactive HR utterly dominates Polar M400 in almost every aspect of the comparison to become a pretty decent smartwatch. So in case you are extremely grumpy about the battery longevity, otherwise, Garmin Vivoactive HR is the one without thinking.