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Difference between Garmin Vivofit 2 and Fitbit Charge

Difference between Garmin Vivofit 2 and Fitbit Charge

Garmin Vivofit 2

If you’re planning on getting fit, you’ll want to take a look at Garmin and Fitbit. Of all the hordes of fitness devices available, these names receive the most attention.

The Garmin Vivofit 2 and Fitbit Charge are two middle-of-the-range devices in the $150 range. Both devices are packed with functionality. Both devices do their job.

Let’s see how they compare.

What is a fitness tracker?

Calorie intake, sleep quality, heart rate monitoring and step tracking are all features of these fitness trackers. Tracking and managing these factors can lead to a healthier lifestyle.


Garmin is an American multinational company headquartered in Switzerland. It was founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao. The company got its start with a Navigation unit which was sold to the US Military.

The company was founded as ProNav, but later renamed Garmin as a mash up of the founders names, Gary and Min.


Fitbit is an American company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman.

The company faced controversy with its Fitbit Force in 2014. Many users complained of an allergic reaction and blistering. The company recalled the Force, which can no longer be found for sale through Fitbit.

Vivofit 2 vs. Charge HR – Design

Looks-wise, there’s nothing between them. They’re similarly attractive and similar in design. The materials used are both are light-weight and comfortable.

The Vivofit 2 has a “twist lock” that secures it better around your wrist. The Vivofit  also has an option to change bands, whereas the band on the Charge is part of the unit.

This gives you the option on the Vivofit to swop sizes and colors – a handy feature.

The Vivofit seems to have more nifty features in this department. Also there have been reports of the Charge’s strap being faulty.

Battery and Notifications

The Charge is claimed to last between 7-10 days, but it lasts closer to five days. You get a warning when the battery becomes low, but it’s still got enough juice to get you to night time.

That way you can charge it overnight if you wish. Though this means not tracking a night of sleep.

The battery in the Vivofit, however, is claimed to last a year. It seems that no one has owned it long enough to test it, and written about it. But rest assured, the battery lasts a LONG TIME.

The Charge has great notifications, however. You can set it up to vibrate when you reach a milestone, receive a text or email and to remind you to move around.

The Vivofit has more of a dull ping and nowhere near the features of the Charge in this department.

The Vivofit trumps the charge in battery life, but the Charge has better features regarding notifications.

Difference between Garmin Vivofit 2 and Fitbit Charge-1

Fitbit Charge HR


The Fitbit features a beautiful OLED display with a great backlight for night-time strolls. The Vivofit features a “dull-ish” LCD display with a dim backlight.

This is one of the reasons for the huge gap in battery life. That beautiful OLED display sucks battery life like an energy vampire, while the LCD sips like a hummingbird.

The Charge clearly has the advantage in the way of display. But perhaps it’s better that way. At least you don’t have to charge the Vivofit… ever.


Fitbit has the better app. That much cannot be denied.

That said, the Garmin app has its fair share to offer. Despite lacking a little in the user interface part of things, there’s plenty of functionality.

Both devices have great options in this department, and it’s not a huge point. But it the point is the Fitbit app does clinch it here.


It’s already been mentioned in the design section, but it must be mentioned again. The Vivofit 2 has an interchangeable strap. It’ll soothe your commitment issues by easily being able to change between colors.

The Fitbit has a heart rate monitor in the HR version, but it’s an extra $20. You can get a chest strap at less than that for the Vivofit 2.

The Fitbit certainly has more features, but at a cost of battery life.

The Garmin may not stand up to the Fitbit in the features department, but the amazing battery life is a feature all in itself.

In Conclusion

It’s really down to personal choice. If you want something packed with cool features, take the Fitbit and be content with the sub-par battery life. If you just want to exercise and get fit with a device that provides the functionality that you need, the Garmin could be for you.

If charging your device once a week is going to annoy you, again, go for the Garmin.

Whatever you decide, make sure to weigh up the pros and cons before you buy. You’ll be jogging along in the park with your Garmin when a passer-by flashes his OLED Charge screen at you.

Will that make you jealous, or will it make you feel pity their poor battery life?


Fitbit Charge Garmin Vivofit 2
Design Sleek, sexy design Also a sleek, sexy design – with interchangeable straps
Battery Not great. Around 5 days Absolutely magnificent at 1 year
Notifications Great notifications. If nothing else, it’ll scare you into getting moving Unmotivating, dull notifications. Self-motivation is critical
Display Beautiful OLED display Standard LCD display
Applications Excellent app Not so great, but provides all functionality required
Extras Host of awesome extras The battery life is an extra all in its own

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