Review of the Garmin Vicoactive 4S

By Leah Williams

Bitches and bastards. May I review for you the Garmin Vicoactive 4S.

I had a shitbit Charge 3 HR which I liked, but it lied. And as any relationship not based on trust, it had to go.

I ummed and arred for about 2 months over which Garmin to get, and drove myself a bit crazy. Go cheaper and not have all the lovely fancy stuff, or invest (I felt) in the all singing all dancing Fenix.

Well I got the Vivoactive 4S as that’s what budget allowed and here’s my honest review.

It’s sexy looking, like it’s a pretty watch. I think most people looking at it wouldn’t know I’m a full on wanker tracking everything about my day. So that’s a bonus. It also seems pretty robust (I’m a clumsy twat) and it has resisted all marks and scratches so far.

The app, I’m not a huge fan of. It’s clunky, the data kind of does as it pleases if you connect to any apps (I use Strava and MyFitnessPal). The calories in/out gets confused with data from MyFitnessPal and I’ve never managed to fix it. The range of activities is fantastic, but there is no where to see them all combined I’ve found. I’m trying to lose weight and so want to know how many calories I have burnt in a week through all my exercise, and Garmin won’t do that. You can download a widget which seems to do it, but it is a very basic one.

The running tracking however is fucking awesome! I love it. It takes a couple of minutes to find gps and you have to be outside for it to do it (bit fucking mean Garmin, it’s cold) but I use that time to jump about and warm up and it seems to help my running, so silver lining. I like how it shows my data, and overall it is good.

Treadmill running is hit and miss, it will upload to strava what it thinks you’ve done (I managed 5 miles in 26 mins the other day… I think fucking not) before you have chance to edit the distance and time. Then you can’t edit strava so you have to delete strava activity to add manual and you lose your hr data. Bit sucky.

I haven’t bothered to sort out the music functionality because I always have my phone and it already works… not going to make it more complicated.

Now the opinion part. I was so set on a fenix because it did so many sexy things… spo2, recovery time etc 😍😍 however now I have the vivoactive with spo2, body battery and respiratory rate I have to say (and I’m a paramedic so you’d think I’d love this shit) it’s a bit fucking boring. I have it on my watch, I never bloody look at it. Unless I think I’ve developed sepsis or suddenly become a world class athlete or go up Everest I have no idea why I need spo2 monitoring on my wrist (it also seems a little inaccurate but compared to the £15,000 machine I use at work, I’ll let it off). Respiratory rate… don’t care. I’m either ok or blowing out my arse… not sure I need the number.

So on to my advice…

Having the watch has, and this is the best fucking bit, motivated me to do more. It’s a toy to track my activity, therefore I will do more activity. I like to look at the running and exercise data. The sleep tracking is kind of cool. The body battery doesn’t reflect how I feel too much (you have 90% body battery!! Fuck off I want to die) but overall I love it. But my advice is if you are thinking of getting one, honestly think about what you need and don’t get drawn in to the fancy features. You probably won’t use them. Buy the cheaper one, spend the change on new kit and go out and do stuff… and bin the lying twat of a shitbit