Review of the Vvoactive 4s smartwatch: for the day of the athletes
“Its design and functionality convince us. We are not so clear with its screen, battery and connectivity ”
Monitor many sports and health parameters
Connectivity may fail
Although only one in five people use a smartwatchor smartband, this a booming market that keep growing. One of the reference companies is undoubtedly Garmin. After telling our experience with its star model, Garmin Fnix 6S Sapphire Edition, this time we tested the Vvoactive 4s. Due to its design, it is focused for daily use, without losing the essence of the manufacturer, which is to offer devices for athletes.
Sporty with style
The design of the Vvoactive 4s only seeks one objective: to combine with everything. To do this he resorts to the aesthetics of conventional watches. In this case, with a 40 mm circular case, a stainless steel bezel in silver and a light gray silicone strap very soft and pleasant to the touch. The appearance can be defined as sporty with style. Because of that appearance and its size, it is a watch that we think looks good on the faces of both men and women.
The touch screen is covered with the resistant Gorilla Glass. On the right side, the smartwatch It incorporates two buttons. The above gives access, with a quick press, to the list of sports available for monitoring. If pressed for a long time, the menu appears with icons arranged in circles to activate watch functions such as GPS, music playback, notification reception, screen brightness, stopwatch, among others. The button below allows you to return to the previous screen and enter the Configuration menu.
When you slide your finger from the bottom up (or upside down), it shows the summary of the day's activity, physical statistics (keystrokes, steps, heats), activity history and other useful information (time, water intake, calendar , stress level).
The brightness of the screen can be adjusted according to the needs with a few touches. With the maximum brightness level, and compared to smartwatches such as Fitbit Versa 2 or Samsung Galaxy Watch (both with AMOLED technology), the Vvoactive 4s display shows dull and dull colors, nothing intense. Despite the lack of liveliness in the colors, we like this screen to always see the time (at least with the spheres that come pre-installed), despite being at rest.
At night, when moving in bed, the screen can be activated and its light, with maximum brightness, probably dazzles you. There is the possibility of deactivating notifications while you sleep with a specific function for this, but not to leave the screen at rest. This can be solved by minimizing the brightness of the screen at night.
Endless benefits for athletes
As expected on a Garmin device, Vvoactive 4s is loaded with applications to overcome training. Monitor a broad spectrum of sports, including swimming, golf, skiing, yoga, pilates and even exercise on the elliptical machine. To relax or concentrate at work, you can activate Breathwork and guide you to perform breathing exercises.
The Body Battery function tells you your energy level based on different parameters registered by the watch (heart rate, stress, sleep), something you don't find in other similar devices but it has not contributed much to us, we could live without it.
To the application to monitor the menstrual cycle, which is very complete and provides valuable information to get to know each other better, we only put a “but”: the color to indicate on the calendar the days of menstruation (fuchsia) and those of the next period planned (violet) are too similar for our taste.
To train and take care of health, the device measures pulse oximetry, respiration, heart rate and maximum V02. In addition, it has several extra applications: to access content with which to exercise (Garmin Coach), pay (Garmin Pay), check your level instantly (Pysio TrueUp), notify contacts if you need help (Assistance), Listen to music with Spotify Premium and Deezer, that your relatives keep track of your activities in real time (LiveTrack) and some more.
Autonomous? Very variable
After lending us a Vvoactive 4s color Rose gold, Garmin provided us with the same model in his Gray version that we analyzed in this review. The reason? We use the rose gold color for four days, until the battery is finished. After recharging, his autonomy lasted only a few hours. In our tests, the battery of this second smartwatch which we tested has worked for four days in the clock mode and with the maximum screen brightness. The latter considerably reduces its autonomy, since, as Garmin indicates in the product box, it can last up to seven days in the clock mode (and we have verified that it is) and up to five hours in the music playback mode and connected to GPS. When doing some sporting activity (we have tried it with swimming), it has lasted less than four days, logically. With the battery completely depleted, the clock takes about 75 minutes to charge.
Connectivity: watch out for certain phones
The wearable Vvoactive 4s synchronizes with the phone periodically during the day and when you open the application so you can see the recorded data of your activity comfortably on the mobile screen. When we have tried it, in general, it updates well, sometimes it takes longer and sometimes less but always within a reasonable time. However, we were unable to receive notifications or play music on Spotify. During the tests, we have used it with a Huawei P30 Pro and, despite following all the correct steps, both on the phone and on the watch and the application, it has been impossible to see the notifications on the screen of the smartwatch And listen to songs
Perhaps this problem is due to the fact that, as Garmin indicates on its website, some of Huawei's phones may have problems with Bluetooth. This is not the first time this has happened to us: we were also unable to receive notifications in our analysis of the Fitbit Versa Lite watch that we also made with a model of the Chinese company. Chance or not, the truth is that if you have a Huawei mobile, you may consider a Huawei Watch GT 2 watch to ensure connectivity.
With a conventional watch look, this range is aimed at athletes looking for a watch for daily use, which can take them both to the gym and to work or party. We like its aesthetics, its size is comfortable and its materials look quality, so in appearance we give it a remarkable high. It also stands out for the large number of options to perform and measure the activity with many sports, well-being and even health.
The interface of the clock has seemed easy to handle in terms of mens and functions. But sometimes it can be hard to understand how to monitor some activities. In the Garmin Connect application, the data summary and statistics, in general, are clearly displayed.
We believe that the screen is not up to a device that costs $ 339.94 dollars or 279.99 euros, but basically it is not a problem to exercise, it looks good. It feels like a conventional clock, the time is always seen (even at rest), something that, with other similar devices, only happens if you move it in a certain way.
It is worth it if you practice sports and want to check the evolution of your physical form by controlling health parameters.