As with the Apple Watch Series 6, you can download playlists and podcasts directly to the Garmin vivoactive 4S to stay entertained during your workout. Although you don’t need to bring your phone, you will need an active Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music account to use this feature. This watch offers almost 4GB of storage, which is not quite as much as some of its competitors. Still, you can save up to 500 songs for hours of listening pleasure without a phone.
Up until the Garmin vivoactive 4S, there were very few fitness watches for runners with smaller wrists. This compact Garmin is available in 40- and 45-millimeter case sizes to better suit a wider range of runners. Runners with larger wrists can opt for the standard Garmin vivoactive 4, which is available in a 45mm case.
As a runner with smaller wrists, I was so relieved to finally find a GPS running watch that actually fits but is big enough to still be functional. It’s slim and has a generous 1.1-inch touchscreen that’s big enough to clearly see all the information you need while you exercise. You want all of that screen space to use features like animated workouts and over 30 pre-installed sports apps. The durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 withstands harsh outdoor adventures and protects the display, which is visible in sunlight, during your favorite activities.
This Garmin watch can be combined with various wireless earphones for indoor and outdoor workouts. I use the Back Bay Runner 60 Wireless Running Earbuds, which are ideal for smaller ears. However, there are plenty of other wireless earbuds that you can use for hands-free calling. Pairing the headphones is relatively quick and easy and can be done directly from the watch.
Although the vivoactive 4S is robust and waterproof to withstand challenging weather conditions, it is equally suitable for indoor workouts. You can use it to keep track of treadmill and indoor track workouts. This watch also connects to a variety of fitness equipment, including cross trainers and cardio machines for the gym and at home, to accurately measure your heart rate, calories burned, and other metrics.
The vivoactive 4S tracks advanced health metrics to give you a clearer picture of your overall health. You can monitor your blood oxygen saturation throughout the day and track your stress levels, with relaxation reminders to calm you down. The advanced sleep monitoring breaks down different phases of sleep to give you accurate data about your health.
Without listening to music or using GPS, the battery can last up to seven days. However, it only lasted a few hours in GPS mode with music. Unlike Fitbit Sense, there is no quick charge available for this watch.
If you don’t need a small watch, the Garmin Venu Sq Music is another option. You can also save music on this watch for hands-free listening. The storage capacity of 4 GB roughly corresponds to that of the vivoactive 4S.
With the Garmin Venu 2, Garmin manufactures another sports watch for smaller wrists. It is slightly larger than the vivoactive 4 and offers more color options. It is also waterproof for swimming and records differences in altitude – a function that the vivoactive 4 does not offer.