Garmin watches have been considered some of the world’s best fitness smartwatches in these last couple of years, that’s why the American tech company has released many different models lately. But with so many options on the market, with various designs and interesting features, it’s pretty difficult to choose the best watch for us. Don’t get discouraged though, we’re here to help!The multiple options include watches for all tastes and budgets. You have to take the time and analyze them a little, and we have made this job more manageable by creating a list with 20 of their best products.
If you never owned a Garmin watch, you must know that all of them track how active you are (in steps) and your sleeping habits and heart rate. The devices sync to the app (Garmin Connect). The more advanced models even have mobile payment and music storage features.
Whatever choice you will make after reading our list, know that you cannot go wrong with any of these incredible devices. People appreciate each Garmin model. It only depends on what you are looking for in a fitness watch.
Types of Garmin Watches
I know you are impatient about the list, but first, we should specify the main classes of Garmin watches.
- Fenix: everything about these outdoor devices is premium- the materials, features, and price.
- Forerunner: best watches for athletes. They focus on running and come in several variants.
- Vivomove (luxe and style): own secret fitness tracking features;
- Vivoactive: best watches for people who love the gym and want to develop their sporty side;
- Venu: the most powerful competitor of Apple Watch.
- Legacy: more than just a fitness watch, this device is a clever tool for everyday use;
- Instinct: one of the most popular GPS watches;
- Vivosport: small option for runners and fitness lovers, has GPS.
- Vivosmart: it holds the basics for a beginner runner or for a person who wants to stay active;
- Vivo Jr and Jr2: the children version of their fitness bands.
There is a whole lot of diversity in these separate categories, as well. The manufactures created watches for beginners and professionals, keeping in mind each of these people’s needs.
This unique intelligent band holds one of the most desired features of sports watches: the GPS. However, the GPS on this particular model is not the best, and there are other options if you want to get a proper GPS watch. However, it will track your heart rate while running and will calculate your routes.
When you are less active, the watch will monitor your steps and sleep. Less advanced than other Garmin watches, the Vivosmart HR+ still connects with the phone app, offering the possibility to transfer data and will keep you moving with notifications.
19. Garmin Swim 2
This update of the first swimming watch by Garmin can do so much more in the water than the older model could do. If you cannot pay for expensive watches, you will be happy with this inexpensive option that you can use outside the pool, too. It will track distance, pace, lengths, stroke count and SWOLF.
Most of these numbers will appear on the screen in real-time, but you will have a better summary in the app. We appreciate how easy it is to use this watch and how accurate its tracking is. However, it is not the most intelligent device around and is undoubtedly a little bit too small for those who prefer visible watches.
The Garmin Forerunner 745 has vast sport tracking features and new training insights. The transflective display will help you save battery and offers strong visibility when the light is too bright. The size and resolution are the same as in Forerunner 245, which is a cheaper model. It is water-resistant, and you can swim up to 50 metres with it on your wrist.
Therefore, it has swimming tracking support as well. It will monitor your running and has a new tracking mode that serves significant metrics for cycling, too. What is great about this watch is that it supports multiple outdoor activities, such as skiing, rowing, kayaking and hiking.
The watch guarantees up to seven days in smartwatch mode, up to six hours with music and GPS in use, 16 hours only in GPS mode, and up to 21 hours in UltraTrac mode.
The conclusion is that this model offers excellent tracking support and will probably not disappoint you. However, the battery life is not long, and the sleep tracking is not the best. If you get the chance to take a 945 from the same class of watches, we advise you to go for it.
The standard Fenix 6 has a case of 47mm, which for most users felt slightly bulky. Garmin decided to create a watch that resembles it but with a 42mm case. For female wrists, that is an absolute blessing. Its features include sports tracking (running, cycling, golf, trails) and complete access to Connect IQ.
However, the small case we love comes with shorter battery life as well. The smartwatch supports music and Spotify and is generally just a miniature version of Fenix 6. You only have to decide if you prefer a lighter touch on the wrist or longer battery life.
16. Garmin Enduro
This model resembles the Fenix 6X Solar, but the brilliant people from Garmin built it for ultrarunners. It has a gigantic battery life that lasts up to 70 hours regularly and up to 200 hours in lower power mode. Therefore, you will not have to worry about charging it more than a few times a year. There are multiple types of running profiles, and the watch ever supports swimming and cycling.
This option also comes with a ClimbPro feature that will offer you real-time data about the current and expected climbs and falls.
Unfortunately, Enduro does not have many maps.
In terms of design, this model has a chic and comfortable nylon strap but has a pretty big case that can feel uncomfortable on more sensitive wrists.
This model is the successor of the 235 and holds some of the best features of a fitness watch. It tracks multiple sports activities, such as cardio, running, biking, and even swimming. A new option is the optical heart rate sensor that takes VO2 max readings.
The information it gets from these measurements turns into insights on your recovery, the progress you have made with the training session and how much you are working your body. Additionally, it holds the PacePro feature, which uses GPS.
The music player support is similar to other Garmin watches. You can transfer your own music from Spotify or Deezer. You can pair the device with Bluetooth headphones. The lifetime of your watch is about one week, but using the music feature too much will bring that a few days lower.
The only downsides are the look, which is not too trendy if you ask us, and definitely the price.
This Garmin watch is the first model that offers music features, having a fashionable design and payment support. The device keeps track of your running, pool swimming, cycling, walking. If you are a runner, you can change the settings to suit your running style. For recovery, you can access your training’s effect, status and load.
You can store up to 500 songs, and you can access offline playlists from Spotify, Deezer or iHeartRadio. If you do not need the music, you can opt for a simple Forerunner 645, which is also cheaper.
13. Garmin Vivofit 4
This ultra thin model appeared in 2018. The simple design will do anything you need. Once you connect to the app, the band will recognize any of your activities.
The watch will track your steps and sleep. It is water-resistant, so you can wear it in the shower or when you swim. The battery life is immense, lasting up to one year.
This model is great for people who love golf! It has a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel, silicone strap and a chic design. It comes with golf features, GPS, and a shot-tracking function. The virtual caddie will find you clubs close to your location. For beginners, this watch might be confusing, with so many golf characteristics, but long-term players will love how helpful this device is.
If golf is not your thing, but you like the design, do not worry! The watch tracks other outdoor exercises, sleep and heart rate. It has some smartwatch features, too.
This model was the first watch by Garmin that included wrist-based heart rate monitoring sensors. Manufacturers designed it for multiple sports and daily activities. The biggest downside is that the display is not graphically rich, which makes the watch seem a little bit unprofessional.
The battery is not so long either. While it has its disadvantages, this model is inexpensive and will still help you track the essential activities.
10. Garmin Lily
The manufacturers created this design for women, having a delicate look. It goes beyond a fitness band, as you can receive smartphone notifications on it. It tracks multiple activities and holds a plus ox sensor. Being specially designed for women, Lily has a period-tracking app, helping girls go through the hard days of the month.
The biggest disappointment about this watch is the fact that it lacks the GPS function. You can only track your route by using your smartphone. Therefore, you must keep your phone with you everywhere you go. There is no music storage, but maybe future updates will solve these significant problems, and Lily will become more popular amongst women.
While it looks similar to its sibling, Vivoactive 4, this model is a hybrid smartwatch. It is a beautiful watch, but it does not have many fitness features. There is no built-in GPS, which means you must carry your phone everywhere to track your workouts. It has a smaller display than most Garmins, making it lighter, but due to this more elegant style, it lacks information that other watches have.
However, the price decreased considerably, and it is worth a try. For a more accurate measurement, we recommend a Forerunner.
One of the most affordable Garmin watches around, Garmin Venu Sq still has one of the best styles and a coloured screen that attracts everyone’s attention. It has one of the most important features: a heart rate monitor, a pulse ox sensor and the built-in GPS everyone wish to have, even though it takes a little bit longer to connect. It tracks different outdoor activities, such as cycling, swimming and running.
There is also a version that has a music player feature. Both options have smartwatch characteristics.
This model can receive periodic top-ups through its Power Glass screen. This means that a few hours in the sun might extend your battery’s life up to a few hours or even days. The dual display shows data in a cut-out, making it more manageable to operate through the settings. Besides, it has plenty of tracking features and monitoring options.
Unlike other Garmin watches, this model is not quite suitable for everyday use, at work or school. It has more of a bulky design, proper for outdoor activities. However, this is great for activities that might lead to falls and kicks, as the device is one of the most resistant from their options.
A few of the Garmin watches have a more brutal style, looking bulky and heavy. On a smaller wrist, they may look unusual. That is why the manufacturers tried to come up with a smaller version of the Vivoactive 4.
Despite its size, it still holds the highest fitness tracking features, having a built-in GPS. It is very accurate and rarely makes orientation mistakes. It monitors blood oxygen levels and keeps track of your sleep, so there is nothing wrong with keeping it the whole day.
This model is the updated version of its predecessor, the Forerunner 35. Of course, this newer version has a few added features compared with the other one. It tracks your health by measuring your heart rate and sleep cycle.
The most striking characteristic is the Body Battery functionality, a metric that combines stats like stress, general activity data, heart rate variability, your energy levels and many others. It may seem like something basic, but it helps you find the right time to exercise and guides you when to stop pushing so you will not harm yourself.
This model sits somewhere between a smartwatch and a sports watch. Usually, this combination does not work so great. This watch is certainly not the case. Garmin Venu 2 works amazingly on both sides. While it doesn’t look like an office watch, it is not bulky either. It includes GPS, Garmin Coach training plans, heart rate monitor and many others.
This is not only an outdoor app but has astounding indoor training plans, too. It is compatible with various diet and fitness apps and active gym equipment. You can store up to 650 songs, and you can use music apps. For women, you can even log in period symptoms.
You may question how can you do so many things on such a small watch. The answer is simple – it has a high-resolution display.
In conclusion, this is one of the best options on the market, having various features that many other watches cannot support.
If you are looking for a smartwatch that will help you go through your running journey this might be the right pick. The GPS and the heart rate monitoring feature are both accurate, which is crucial for a racer. The battery life is pretty long as well, lasting up to two weeks. Even though it has more detailed characteristics for runners, it can track many other sports as well.
However, if your purpose is to find a watch that supports your daily activities, this might be a little bit too pricy. You will surely be satisfied with more general Garmin watches as well.
Another exciting looking watch, the impressive Garmin Forerunner 35 also has excellent functions. It owns Garmin’s Elevate technology that facilitates heart rate monitoring at the wrist and it can track so many different activities.
However, comparing to the chest-mounted monitor, this wrist-based one is slower and can have imprecision.
Last but not least, the Garmin Fenix 6. This model is the best for adventures, having a rugged construction that will be hard to break. You can track your running, swimming, and health parameters such as heart rate and sleep.
But the best things you will experience with this watch are more adventurous sports, such as backcountry skiing, hiking, scuba diving. The battery can last for weeks, so no worries if you go on long trips without any source of recharging it. You can also change the band.
The watch supports music storage, has more than 41,000 golf courses and over 2,000 ski resorts.
These are the most popular Garmin watches as of 2021. Of course, since they release so many different types of watches and fitness trackers every single year the list and order could quickly change, but you get an idea about each smartwatch can do and which might be the best for your needs.