Guide to Garmin and its Best Smartwatches& Fitness Trackers

Garmin is one of the leading brands that specializes in making navigation and fitness tracking devices. Although the company is better known for its GPS, communication and navigation devices, it also offers a wide range of feature-packed fitness tracking devices. Garmin is a direct competitor of top fitness and smartwatch brands such as Fitbit and has managed to map out a new direction with its navigation and fitness tracking devices.

Garmin’s Product Range

Compared to other fitness tracking brands such as Fitbit, Garmin offers a huge variety of products and has a vast experience in making navigation systems. It’s GPS enabled communication, navigation and information devices can be classified into five main segments i.e. automotive and mobile, outdoor, marine, aviation and fitness.

Garmin’s range of products for fitness and activity tracking includes smartwatches, multisport watches, cycling power meters and cycling computers. The company excels when it comes to sports and multisport watches and offers a variety of devices for different segments.

Garmin Vs. Fitbit

It’s quite difficult to name a clear winner between Garmin and Fitbit. Although Fitbit is by far the most popular fitness tracker brand, many prefer the Garmin because of its information-dense app. When it comes to hardware, both brands offer similar features and functionalities. Garmin is more inclined towards a masculine look, while Fitbit pays more attention to style and customization.

Although other brands such as Fitbit offer relatively easier-to-use and beginner-friendly trackers and smartwatches, Garmin is more focused on powerful and robust devices coupled with the information-rich app.

Fitbit’s smartphone app is considered to be more user friendly and easy to use. On the other hand, Garmin offers more information to play with at the expense of making the app a little complicated. Garmin’s information-dense app is a good thing for people who love stats and detailed information. But people who just want a straight forward user experience might get confused in the beginning due to the amount of information Garmin offers.

If you want access to as much fitness metrics as possible, Garmin is probably the better choice. Fitbit app is beginner-friendly and packs more social features than Garmin’s app. Fitbit devices also offer better support for third-party apps and if you are already using such apps, Fitbit might be a better option.

Best Garmin Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers





Garminfēnix 5X Plus

The Fenix 5 Plus is one of the best multisport watches and comes with full TOPO maps and a variety of smart features. The higher end version (linked above) features Sapphire lens and Pulse OX Acclimation (blood-oxygen saturation levels at high altitudes). 5X Plus is meant for people who are serious about their workouts and trainings and want a robust smartwatch that is loaded with features and built to last.

The 1.2-inch display offers excellent sunlight readability and is also kind on the battery, thanks to the memory-in-pixel display technology. The battery is rated for up to 20 days on standby and 13 hours in the GPS + Music mode. If used carefully (with GPS on only when needed), the watch can last for around a week on a single charge. The multisport watch is designed for a variety of activities and sports, including hiking, trekking, running, golfing, cycling and swimming.

In addition to fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring, 5X also has a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment. The watch can sync with music streaming services like Spotify and allows users to store/play their music right from their watch. Garmin Pay is a contactless payment solution that lets users conveniently make payments using their watch, saving them from having to carry cash everywhere.

Key features and specifications

  • Sapphire glass protected 1.2-inch display (240 x 240 pixels)
  • Color Full TOPO maps, Trendline popularity routing
  • ClimbPro for better awareness about climbs
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Sleep tracking, including light, deep and REM
  • Pulse OX Acclimation
  • Direct music playback
  • Contactless payments
  • Up to 20 days in standby and 13 hours in GPS + Music mode
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
  • 3-axis e-Compass, altimeter and barometer
  • Advanced performance metrics
  • Smart notifications
  • Emergency alerts to predefined contacts (by holding the light button)
  • Incident detection and reporting to contacts
  • Compatible with custom bands, watch faces and apps
  • 10ATM water resistant
  • Weight: 96 grams
  • 16GB built-in memory

Garmin vívomove HR

Real watch hands, simple design and a hidden touchscreen display makes this one of the best hybrid smartwatches currently available, which also comes with a full suite of fitness features. vívomove HR blends traditional watches with fitness tracking and works great for everyday watch wearers who don’t want to skip on fitness tracking features.

The swim-friendly watch can last for up to a week on a single charge. Although the analog time keeping of the watch keeps working for a week or so even after all the battery juice is consumed, the watch won’t record any fitness data during this time.

The smartwatch with basic and clean design comes with almost all the features vivosmart 3 has to offer, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring and VO2 Max. The LED display comes into action when a user double taps the glass or raises the watch. A reasonable price tag, unique blend of style and functionality and advanced tracking features make the HR a great option for people who want a great balance between physical and digital.

Key features and specifications

  • Hidden touchscreen display
  • Real watch hands
  • Music controls and notifications
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring and VO2 Max
  • Stress monitoring
  • Up to 2 weeks battery timing in watch mode, 5 days in smart mode
  • Advanced sleep monitoring
  • 38″ x 0.76″ OLED display protected by chemically strengthened glass
  • Stainless steel bezel
  • 5ATM water resistant
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Ambient light sensor and accelerometer

Garmin Forerunner 935

The Forerunner 935 offers a great balance between price and features and pairs the best activity tracking functionalities with GPS and other smart features. If you don’t mind the lack of onboard music storage and need a fitness tracker with decent battery life and all the essential features, this premium Garmin device is hard to beat. The watch can last for up to two weeks in watch mode and 24-hours in GPS mode.

Weighing under 50 grams, the multisport watch is designed for all-day wearing without compromising on features, including advanced multisport and running. Built in barometer-altimeter and e-compass help users keep their bearings, while advanced performance monitoring features for runners, cyclists and swimmers help them stay on top of their game.

Rich data including VO2 Max, training status, FTP and heart rate provides athletes with the information they need to beat yesterday and fine-tune their training and recovery. Training status tools such as the anaerobic training effect evaluates recent performance indicators and recent history automatically so users know if they are having productive training sessions.

Advanced metrics and measurements including ground contact time, vertical oscillation and cadence stride strength help in evaluating performance and understanding form. Activity profiles allow athletes to easily change profiles, including running, cycling, skiing, swimming, trail running, strength training, paddle sports and more. Users also have the option to create custom workouts and easily share their efforts with their family and friends.

Key features and specifications

  • Lightweight and comfortable @ 49 grams
  • 2-inch display (240 x 240 pixels) protected by chemically strengthened glass
  • Sunlight-visible display, memory-in-pixel technology
  • Built-in barometer-altimeter, e-Compass
  • Advanced dynamics
  • Up to 2 weeks battery time in watch mode, 24 hours in GPS mode
  • VO2 Max and FTP
  • Swappable bands
  • Technique analysis
  • Built-in and custom activity profiles
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
  • 5ATM water resistant

Garmin vívoactive 3

This smartwatch has a lot to offer if you are looking for a reasonably priced device that comes with most of the bells and whistles of high-end watches, including VO2 Max, contactless payments and heart rate monitoring. Over 15 indoor and outdoor activity profiles allow users to effectively monitor and track their performance, while battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13-hours in GPS mode keeps things going.

In addition to core performance tracking tools, the smartwatch also allows tracking menstrual cycles and logging physical/emotional symptoms. The Connect IQ app keeps users updated and automatically reminds of periods and cycle details. Vívoactive 3 is a great option if you want all the essentials plus many advanced features premium watches offer at a reasonable price.

Key features and specifications

  • Contactless payments
  • Over 15 built-in activity profiles
  • Heart rate monitoring, VO2 Max and HRV (Heart Rate Variability)
  • Up to 7 days battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 13 hours in GPS mode
  • 2″ Sunlight-visible Garmin Chroma Display, Gorilla Glass 3 protected
  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Menstrual cycle tracking
  • Weight: 43 grams
  • 5ATM water resistant
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Barometric altimeter
  • e-Compass, accelerometer and thermometer

Garmin vívofit 4

The vívofit 4 is one of the best budget activity trackers that boasts 1 year plus battery life and an always-on color display. It can track steps, distance and calories burnt as well as monitor sleep. Safe for showering and swimming, the lightweight activity tracker is designed for 24/7 wearing. The sunlight-visible always-on display is bright and colorful and users can customize it with color themes of their own choice.

An affordable price tag, great battery life and convenience features such as weather widget and ability to set countdown timer and alarm from the wrist makes vivofit 4 an excellent budget option. The tracker can automatically detect different activities, including running, walking, swimming and biking. This saves users from having to start and stop activities manually.

In addition to different activities, the tracker also monitors inactivity and notifies users if they remain inactive for extended periods of time. This motivates users to get up and start moving for a healthier lifestyle (walking for a couple of minutes resets the alert).

Key features and specifications

  • 1 year plus battery life
  • Always-on color display, 0.43″ x 0.43″, 88 x 88 pixels
  • Sunlight-visible display
  • Steps and distance tracking, calories burnt
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Daily step goals
  • Safe for showering and swimming
  • Lightweight and comfortable @ 25 grams
  • Customizable screen
  • Swappable bands
  • Automatic classification and capturing of different activities

Garminvívofit jr.

The vivofitjr. is an activity tracker for kids with 1 year plus battery life. The swim-friendly daily tracker can track steps, daily recommended activity (60 minutes) and sleep and can be paired with a parent-controlled app. Parents can manage the tracker and use it as a parental assistant and even invite family members to compete step challenges.

Chores can easily be assigned using the smartphone app, which are also visible to the kids. The chores can also be set up on a recurring basis, which serves as automatic reminder for things like brushing the teeth or make beds. This inspires kids to stay active by earning coins, which can be redeemed for rewards that are agreed-upon and managed by parents.

Key features and specifications

  • Kid-friendly design
  • 5ATM water resistant
  • 1 year plus battery life
  • 39″ x 0.39″ display (64 x 64 pixels)
  • Lightweight and comfortable, weights just 17.5 grams
  • Sensors: accelerometer
  • Bluetooth connectivity, works with Android and iOS devices
  • Step counter, sleep monitoring
  • Daily activity goal (60 minutes)
  • Chores and virtual rewards
  • Audible alerts