Garmin's Vivoactive 5 Fitness Smartwatch Is a Cheaper Apple Watch Alternative

Garmin's newest smartwatch has a svelte design and a lower pricetag than the competition.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
David Lumb
2 min read
Two of the same smartwatch in different color combinations: one a rose cold case with off-white watchband, the other with a silver case and dark blue watchband.

Garmin's Vivoactive 5 is a sleeker fitness smartwatch than its predecessor.


As the new Apple Watch 9 and Garmin's own Venu 3 smartwatches launch with $450-and-up pricetags, Garmin's new Vivoactive 5 is a more affordable alternative. It offers wearable fitness necessities and iOS and Android compatibility for $150 less than the competition. 

At $300, the Vivoactive 5 even takes a $50 price cut from its predecessor, but that's not the only improvement over 2019's Vivoactive 4. Garmin's new midtier watch has a more slender design with thinner bezels, looking more like a Pixel Watch than the clunky fitness watches of yesteryear. It has more intuitive sensors, detecting fitness metrics when the wearer is moving in wheelchairs or napping. 

Garmin's kept the Vivoactive 5 at its median smartwatch price by leaving off a few of the bells and whistles. To take phone calls and send voice-transcripted text messages as well as get a handful of other premium features, you'll need to pay up for Garmin's more premium Venu 3 watch. 

Still, the Vivoactive 5 offers a 1.2-inch OLED display and features like pulse oxygen tracking, heart-rate variance tracking, menstrual cycle tracking, accident detection and assistance, contactless payments through Garmin Pay and up to 11 hours of battery life when in smartwatch mode (or up to 21 hours in GPS-only mode). The smartwatch inherits its predecessor's workout tracking, fitness advice and sleep coaching.

The Vivoactive 5 is available to buy today and comes in four color combinations. The respective watchband-and-case colors are black and slate; ivory and cream gold; navy and metallic navy; and orchid and metallic orchid.