Apple Watch 3 Vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 Vs Apple Watch SE: Comparison

Apple and Garmin have been fiercely competing in the sports and outdoor niche. While the Apple Watch Series is a blend of lifestyle, sports, and health features, most of the Garmin watches are dedicated to sports and sports only. 

If you are low on budget and want to invest in an entry-level sports watch (especially if you are an iPhone user), you can either go with the default best Apple Watch or the Garmin wearables. Of course, there are other watches by Polar, Suunto, and Fitbit that offer tough competition, but we will only be discussing these two brands. 

Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S is a mid-range smartwatch that balances sports and health features with practical smarts like contactless payment, music storage, and touchscreen display. Apple Watch Series 3 and Special Edition (SE) on the other hand are budget-oriented watches by the company with the main focus on lifestyle and health features.

Here we will compare the raw specs of these watches so you can make informed purchasing decisions. Don’t have time for head-to-head comparison? Just get to the button of this post to find the key similarities and differences between the two. 

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the general comparison of these watches.

General Comparison:

Product NameApple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SEGarmin vivoactive 4
PredecessorApple Watch Series 2Apple Watch Series 5Garmin vivoactive 3
ModelsApple watch series 3: 42mm or 38mmApple watch series SE:  44mmA2353, A2354, A2355, A2356, A2351, A2352Garmin vivoactive 4:40 MM or 45 MM
Release DateSEPT, 2017SEPT, 2020SEPT, 2019
Parent CompanyAppleAppleGarmin 
Operating SystemiOSiOSGarmin OS 
CompatibilityIOSiOSAndroid, IOS
Competition
Fitbit Versa 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, Amazfit GTS 2
Fitbit Sense, Garmin Venu, Ticwatch E3Garmin Venu, Galaxy Watch 3, Fitbit Versa 3
Suitable ForLifestyle/ SportsLifestyle/ SportsSports/Fitness Watch
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, heart rate, barometer, AltimeterAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate (2nd gen), barometer, always-on altimeter, compass  Natural language commands and dictation (talking mode)Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer

Price and Value Difference:

Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S is the most expensive watch of all. The watch has little to offer in lifestyle features like calling, texting, contactless payment, and so on.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

$329.99
$274.50
 in stock
6 new from $274.50
3 used from $259.98
Amazon.com
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am

However, if you want long battery life and want dependable GPS sports to watch, Vivoactive 4/4S can serve you well. Apple Watch Series 3 and SE are only compatible with iPhone only and have plenty of smart features.

Apple Watch Series 3

$229.00
$179.00
 in stock
3 new from $179.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am

 

You can download third-party apps on these watches, but that isn’t the end of it. The sports profiles featured in these watches may not be the most extensive or offer advanced tracking, for an entry-level user they offer better than the most.  Lastly, both these watches are comparatively inexpensive for the features they offer.

Apple Watch SE

$279.00
$249.99
 in stock
2 new from $249.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am

Design & Display:

Design Comparison:

 Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SEGarmin VIVOACTIVE 4
Dimensions, Weight42mm: 42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm,  32.3g |  38mm: 38.6mm x 33.3mm x 11.4 mm,  26.7g 44 x 38 x 10.4 mm (1.73 x 1.50 x 0.41 in)Weight 36.4 g (1.27 oz)Vivoactive 4:45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm, 50.5gVivoactive 4S:40.0 x 40.0 x 12.7 mm, 40g
Band Size42mm: 24mm, 38mm: 22mm38mm, 40mm, and 41mm18mm, 22mm
Build materialsAluminum, Stainless Steel, White CeramicGlass front, ceramic/sapphire crystal back, aluminum frameStainless Steel Bezel, Fiber-reinforced polymer body with plastic rear cover, silicone strap
ColorsSpace Black, Silver, goldSilver, Gold, Space GrayVivoactive 4: Slate Stainless Steel Bezel with Black Case | Silver Stainless Steel Bezel with Shadow Gray CaseVivoactive 4S: Light Gold Stainless Steel Bezel with Dust Rose Case | Rose Gold Stainless Steel Bezel with White Case | Silver Stainless Steel Bezel with Powder Gray Case |  Slate Stainless Steel Bezel with Black Case
Waterproofing5 ATM (up to 50m)5 ATM (up to 50m)5 ATM (up to 50m)

Display Features:

 Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SEGarmin VIVOACTIVE 4
Display Size42mm: 1.147 inches, 38mm:  0.87 inches1.78 inchesVivoactive 4:1.3-inchVivoactive 4S:1.1-inch
Screen Type & ResolutionRetina OLED display with Force Touch | 42mm: 312 x 390 pixels, 38mm:  272 x 340 pixelsRetina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak): 448 x 368 pixelsVivoactive 4:transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP), 260 x 260 pixelsVivoactive 4S:transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) 218 x 218 pixels
Pixel Per Inch290 PPI326 ppi283 ppi
Screen ProtectionSapphire crystal glassIon-X strengthened glass 3D Touch displayCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Always-on DisplayYesYesYes
Rotating BezelNoNoNo
$179.00
$229.00
in stock
3 new from $179.00
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on July 27, 2022 2:39 am

Smartwatch Features:

 Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SEGarmin VIVOACTIVE 4
ConnectivityLTE and UMTS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2Wi-Fi 802.11 + Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LEBluetooth , ANT+,Wi-Fi,NFC
Companion AppCompanion Companion Garmin ConnectIQ
Storage16GB32GBUp to 500 songs
ProcessorS3 SiP with dual-core processorS5 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor, W3N/A
RAM768MB RAM1GB RAMN/A
Notification AlertYesYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesYesYes
Timer & AlarmYesYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYesYes
Voice AssistantYes(Siri)Yes(Siri)No
Music Storage, ControlYesYesYes
Third-Party AppsYesYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYesYesNo
Browse WebYesYesNo
Contactless PaymentYes (Apple Pay)Yes (Apple Pay)Yes (Garmin Pay)
$249.99
$279.00
in stock
2 new from $249.99
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on July 27, 2022 2:39 am

Fitness & Health Features:

 Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SE Garmin VIVOACTIVE 4
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS)Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASSYes (GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Galileo)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYesYes
SleepYesYesYes
StressYesYesYes
Blood OxygenYesYesYes
ECGNoNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoYesNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesYesYes
Sport ModeN/AN/A20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps — including walking, running, cycling, pool swimming, golf, and more
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesYesYes
$274.50
$329.99
in stock
6 new from $274.50
3 used from $259.98
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on July 27, 2022 2:39 am

Battery Life & Charging:

 Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series SEGarmin VIVOACTIVE 4
Battery PerformanceUp to 18 hoursUp to 18 hoursThe Vivoactive 4 8 days in smartwatch mode 6 hours with GPS+musicVivoactive 4S 7 days in smartwatch mode5 hours with GPS+music
Battery Size38mm model with GPS + Cellular: 279, 42mm model with GPS + Cellular: 341 mAh Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery up to 18 hoursN/A
Charger TypeMagnetic charging cableMagnetic charging cableProprietary 4 pin connector
Fast ChargingNo (takes almost 2 hours to 100%)No (Approximate 2.5 hours)No (takes almost 2 hours to top-up)
$179.00
$229.00
in stock
3 new from $179.00
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
$249.99
$279.00
in stock
2 new from $249.99
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
$274.50
$329.99
in stock
6 new from $274.50
3 used from $259.98
as of July 27, 2022 2:39 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on July 27, 2022 2:39 am