Garmin Vívoactive vs Apple Watch Sport - 10 differences

If you have one or the other, there is little chance that you were wearing another watch to your wrist, because these 2 similar design watches they do: multi-activity, smartwatch and watch every day.

here is still the biggest 10 differences between these 2 watches, to help those who are reluctant to choose.

you can read my comprehensive testing of the Vívoactive .

N ° 1 – the Vívoactive has a GPS, not the Apple Watch

this is the biggest difference, for use in the sport. Vívoactive will allow you to measure your speed and distance without needing your phone.

Apple Watch uses the iPhone’s GPS to get the same data. It’s fine for some activities, but it is more painful for others, such as running, because it forces you to take your phone.

No. 2 – you can store music on the Apple Watch

If you like sports, in music, Apple Watch can store up to 2 GB of music. This is a feature that the Vívoactive doesn’t have, which can only control the playlist to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

another advantage of the Apple Watch, it’s the ability to use applications like music streaming Spotify to give rhythm to your workout.

N ° 3 – the Apple Watch has many more applications of sport

base, the Apple Watch Sport has already Nike + and Strava . After finishing your session, your data will be directly synchronized with your accounts.

the Vívoactive already has many modes of sports (swimming, cycling, golf or running for example) whose data is sent on Garmin Connect. Then, the Garmin platform Connect IQ allows you to add new applications that use the data collected by the watch.

I still think it will be difficult for Garmin to compete with Apple on this front, even for sports applications.

N ° 4 – Apple Watch is hard to hold 24 hours

the Apple Watch is about 18 hours of use. This is further reduced if you listen to music or operate the heart sensor. It falls to 6.5 hours!

the Vívoactive has a battery life of 10 hours in GPS mode, and up to 3 weeks in using simple watch.

N ° 5 – the Vívoactive has no heart sensor

the Apple Watch has a heart rate optical sensor on the rear side of the housing. We must recognize that it is practical. It can measure heart rate either punctually, in the follow-up of an activity.

the Vívoactive must be connected to a belt ANT +, which is sold separately. He will have to wear around the chest, what is possible for a workout, but not so much in a ‘normal’ day. The big benefit however, is Garmin belt will give you good more accurate measurements than the sensor on the wrist of Apple .

# 6 – you can not swim with the Apple Watch

If you do, it will be a costly mistake! Apple Watch has a resistance to IPX7 water . This standard corresponds to a resistance exposure up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. You can wear it in the rain, shower you with, but it is not waterproof.

the Vívoactive of Garmin is waterproof to 50 m and has a swim mode which follows the time, distance and account movements.

N ° 7 – track the sleep on Vívoactive

the low autonomy of the Apple Watch may explain why it does not keep track of sleep.

the Vívoactive, it monitors your movements during your sleep. However, the sleep mode must be activated manually. The track is pretty basic: a graph which shows the periods of high activity and how long you are still asleep.

N ° 8 – the Vívoactive can control a Virb camera

If you like filming your activities, the Vívoactive has connectivity + ANT that allows to use it as a remote control for the camera Virb of Garmin. It allows you to start and stop recording from your wrist while you have your your bike or ski (for example) helmet-mounted camera.

N ° 9 – the Garmin Vívoactive is compatible with more iPhones as Apple Watch

this surprised me.

the range of Apple Watch is only compatible with the iPhone 5 and newer models (5s, 5 c, 6 & 6 more). If you have an iPhone 4s, you can only connect the Vívoactive to download data or view smart notifications in real time.

beyond phones, only the Vívoactive is compatible with iPad, perfect if you prefer to download data via Wifi.

another advantage of the Vívoactive is that it is compatible with many Android phones. Just download the Garmin Connect since the Store Google app. If you have a Windows Phone, so none of these watches can synchronize with.

N ° 10-€100 difference

sometimes, the only difference that matters is to know how much it costs.

the Vívoactive Garmin sold € 249 (299 with the heart rate belt).

the starting price of a Apple Watch is € 399 (and 50 more if you want the big screen of 42mm).

verdict – Apple Watch Sport vs Garmin Vívoactive

the Apple Watch Sport made a lot of noise when it was released. But from the point of view of the sport, I think that it is not worth a Vívoactive.

get a Apple Watch Sport 2 with a GPS, a sensor cardio, 24 hours and follow-up of sleep and we could discuss it.

but for the moment, the Vívoactive is a true sports watch, while the Apple Watch Sport is more a smartwatch with applications for the sport.


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