Since April 2015, when the first Apple Watch was released, the Apple vs. Garmin debate has been ongoing.
Garmin and Apple Watch are two of today’s most popular smartwatches, and many of their features are similar.
However, Apple watches are more of an extension of your iPhone, whereas Garmin watches are more fitness focused.
In this article, we look at why Garmin is a better purchase than the Apple Watch, especially for fitness enthusiasts.
The primary reason why people purchase a smartwatch is to be able to track their fitness activities, read their messages, screen calls, and even listen to music without having to miss a beat by constantly charging.
Battery life is one of the most significant advantages of Garmin devices versus Apple Watches. Garmin devices often have longer battery life than Apple Watches, especially when using GPS or other battery-draining capabilities.
- The Garmin Forerunner 245, you can get a solid 5 days of battery life from one charge with multiple workout tracking.
- The Apple Watch Series 8 gives you at least a day with minimal workout tracking.
Garmin’s battery life definitely gives Apple a run for its money, and this s a key factor to consider for athletes or anyone who wants to use their device for lengthy periods of time
Regardless of which Apple Watch you choose, it should last at least 18 hours on a single charge.
The SE has the best battery life because it lacks an always-on display and the added tracking features seen on the Series 8.
However, with any Apple Watch, you should typically expect to charge it every night before bed.
Now the Garmin Fenix 7 is a force to be reckoned with.
The battery can last about 18 days and also has solar charging which is a plus if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Through the Garmin Connect app, a Garmin smartwatch may be used with either an iOS or Android handset, unlike the Apple Watch, which can only be linked with an Apple iPhone.
If you use a non-Apple device, such as an Android phone, a Garmin device may be a better choice.
The Connect app has device compatibility prerequisites; you can find them on the Garmin site.
The Garmin Forerunner 945, for example, is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and Windows and Mac PCs. As a result, it is a versatile gadget that can function with a variety of devices and operating systems.
Apple would prefer that you track your activities with an Apple Watch.
Apple’s iPhone supports Garmin smartwatches if you’re running iOS 7 or higher.
All you have to do to link a Garmin watch to your iPhone is download the Garmin Connect app from the App Store and connect over Bluetooth.
After that, your Garmin watch will be linked to your iPhone.
You will then be able to track and monitor all of your runs and activities using Garmin Connect.
However, Garmin does not support Siri, therefore, there are some limits in this regard. Nonetheless, as a fitness tracker, a Garmin watch will always outperform an Apple Watch.
Although a few rival fitness trackers have come close to imitating Garmin’s durability, wearability, and reliability, the Garmin brand still remains the GOAT (the Greatest Of All Time).
Garmin products, with water and shock resistance features, are tougher and more durable than Apple Watches.
As a result, they may be a better alternative for outdoor activities or for anyone who needs a smartwatch that can survive some wear and tear.
The Garmin Instinct, for example, is constructed to U.S. military requirements for thermal, shock, and water resistance, making it an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys hiking, swimming, or other outdoor activities.
While the Apple Watch is also water-resistant, it is not as tough as many Garmin gadgets.
Design and Performance
The design is by far the most obvious distinction between Apple and Garmin watches.
The Apple Watch line features rounded square designs that vary in size and thickness depending on the model, making them easily recognizable.
The Series 7, SE, and Series 3 base models of the Apple Watch are all waterproof to a depth of 50 meters and suitable for swimming.
You can generally expect a Garmin smartwatch to look more like a standard wristwatch with a round face.
The Garmin range is extensive, with all manner of looks, from basic fitness trackers and slimline models like the Garmin Venu 2 to big, chunky sports watches like the Garmin Fenix 7.
But what stands out the most about the Garmin range is the Garmin Lily which caters to the feminine market.
The Lily features sports modes like yoga and pilates. It also has a sleek touchscreen design and does not look like your typical fitness watch, so you can wear it to events while discreetly tracking your metrics.
As Garmins are primarily marketed to outdoor enthusiasts, you can count on them to be durable and waterproof.
Additionally, Garmin watches have buttons that you can use to quickly start tracking your workouts, unlike Apple watches which can be glitchy when you’re sweaty.
The navigational functions on Garmin watches will ensure you remain on course and return home safely if you are running new routes.
The Garmin Fenix series features color topographic mapping capabilities, provided you don’t mind gazing at a map on a little screen.
You can use Google Maps on your Apple Watch to navigate, but it’s not designed to interact with your running workout.
Garmin watches feature significantly superior GPS systems.
They provide more accurate tracking and faster signal lock since they utilize many satellites – GLONASS, Galileo, and GPS.
Garmin is the better option if precise GPS tracking is crucial to you.
Garmin and Apple smartwatches are jam-packed with fitness and health features; in fact, for Garmin, this is the primary reason for the majority of its smartwatch lineup.
Many Garmin watches include timers and trackers targeted to certain sporting activities and workout regimens, step and sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and a pulse oximeter sensor in many models.
Garmin watches are designed for runners and other outdoor activities that include GPS.
I love that newer models include an all-in-one Health Snapshot software that may instantly display critical health information.
Garmin devices, being specialized sports watches, can track a wide range of parameters, including basic fitness measurements as well as more in-depth running information.
Garmin devices track running dynamics such as stride length, cadence, ground contact time balance, and vertical oscillation.
Apple Watches can track all of the basic fitness indicators, but you must purchase the Apple Fitness Plus app to gain more insightful statistics on your jogging.
Apple Watches are equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and altimeter. These sensors track running metrics such as pace, stride length, and cadence.
The Apple Watch is a more general-purpose device that is also focused on other features such as messaging, music playback, and mobile payments.
Both Apple and Garmin devices may notify emergency contacts if something goes wrong while tracking activity.
The Apple Watch has “fall detection,” which can be triggered if it detects an abrupt stop. It will then ask if you want to contact emergency services.
Garmin’s incident detection operates in a similar manner.
If your Garmin watch detects a fall, it will notify your emergency contacts and share your name and position.
The Apple Watch 3 and the Garmin Forerunner contain wrist-based heart rate monitors that can track your heart rate at rest and while you’re running.
It is well known that wrist-based heart rate monitors are less precise.
A chest strap may be used with any Garmin gadget to track your heart rate during exercise considerably more precisely.
Chest straps are not compatible with Apple watches.
The majority of Garmin devices track your Body Battery, or how much energy you still have left, after taking into account your activity level, HRV, stress level, and sleeping habits. You can use this to schedule their training and downtime.
Regarding sleep, Apple and Garmin offer different methods for tracking sleep.
Apple is now bringing more in-depth analysis, including sleep stages, to users’ wrists.
On the other hand, Garmin watches are already among the most reliable and accurate sleep trackers available. It tracks sleep length, phases, and disruptions, and they even offer a morning sleep score based on how well they slept.
Menstrual cycle tracking
Apple and Garmin both offer cycle tracking for people who menstruate.
Users can keep track of and view menstrual cycle symptoms, as well as receive period and fertility window estimates.
The Apple Watch Cycle Tracking app allows you to record spotting and basal body temperature.
The Series 8 and Ultra models also have a temperature sensor for retroactive ovulation predictions and improved period tracking accuracy.
Meanwhile, Garmin Connect customers can set reminders and receive nutrition, exercise, and general health advice.
Pregnancy tracking is another way that Garmin advances female health tracking.
Users can record blood glucose levels, track the baby’s movements, and log and view symptoms.
Additionally, you’ll receive weekly comments and guidance on your weight, exercise, and diet.
Please also read my article with FAQs about Garmin’s Body Battery.
A comparison of Apple Watch and Garmin could go on and on beyond these more extensive health and fitness tracking functions.
- You can receive notifications about environmental noise from Apple Watch Series 4 and subsequent devices.
- Garmin provides breathing monitoring.
- There is no need to download a separate app to track your hydration levels because Garmin supports native hydration tracking on its watches and in Garmin Connect.
- Your hydration can be tracked on Apple Watches through third-party apps, but not directly.
- You’ll have access to other training elements including your training status and effect, recovery time, performance condition, lactate threshold, and more with the majority of Garmin watches.
For dedicated athletes, Garmin stands out because of these sophisticated exercise options.
Since Garmin devices are often slightly cheaper than Apple Watches, many customers may find them to be a more affordable option.
Garmin devices are an excellent option for anyone who wants a wristwatch but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money because they frequently cost less and offer many of the same if not more, capabilities as Apple Watches.
Lastly, you can use all Garmin watch features without also needing an Apple iPhone.
Overall, while the Apple Watch is a great device with many features, a Garmin device may be a better choice for someone who is primarily interested in fitness tracking and training or who needs a more rugged and durable device.
In my experience, the Garmin range is dedicated to every facet of your life.
With their long battery life, advanced fitness tracking features, rugged design, broad compatibility, and lower price point, Garmin devices offer a compelling alternative to the Apple Watch.