In today’s hyper-connected world, smartwatches have evolved beyond being mere timepieces. They’ve become our fitness trainers, health monitors, travel companions, and even digital assistants. Among the frontrunners in this tech revolution is Garmin, a brand synonymous with precision and reliability, especially among fitness enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.
From tracking intense mountain hikes to monitoring daily steps and sleep patterns, Garmin smartwatches have carved a niche for themselves by offering a perfect blend of advanced features and robust design.
As the choices can be overwhelming, in this guide, we will delve deep into the top 10 Garmin smartwatches, aiding you in selecting the one that aligns seamlessly with your lifestyle and aspirations. Whether you’re a marathon runner, a deep-sea diver, or someone seeking a dependable daily companion, there’s a Garmin out there for you. Let’s explore!
What Is A Garmin GPS Smartwatch?
GPS is a common feature in smartphones and other smart devices like in-car computers. It lets you know where you are and what direction you’re facing. But a GPS device can be more than that; the best GPS devices are also smart watches that come with built-in sensors to track your physical movements. This is known as GPS running watches. GPS running watches are among the most popular Garmin smartwatch.
Most Garmin smartwatches come with the company’s own navigation software and maps. This software and the data it collects is accessed through your watch. You can use this data to plan your route, see the distance to other points of interest, and track your speed and time.
How Do You Choose The Best Garmin Smartwatch?
Choosing the best GPS watch for you is something that can only be done once your needs are fully realized. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn more about what’s out there before you decide on your next purchase. Here are some of the factors you should consider when looking for the best Garmin smartwatch GPS watch for you:
The more you spend, the more features and functionality you’ll get. However, Garmin smartwatch features are similar no matter what their cost.
You’ll want to know how long your GPS Garmin smartwatch is going to last before you leave for your run. This is important for two reasons. The first is that if you’re on a run, you need a GPS watch with a long battery life.
You can’t exactly expect your smartphone to be on your person 24/7 or you’ll run out of juice when you need it most. The other is that if your GPS Garmin smartwatch runs out of juice, you need to know when you’re going to be able to charge it again because you may be running out of juice waiting for the sun to come back up.
Mapping and Navigation:
The best GPS Garmin smartwatch comes with navigation. This is important for two reasons. The first is that you’re running outside. You may not have the luxury of cellular service to use the navigation features, and even if you’re lucky enough to have service, the GPS signal might be spotty. The other is that GPS running watches are meant to be used as navigational devices. If you’re going for a run, you want to know where you’re going. GPS running Garmin smartwatch come with mapping and navigation features so that you can get from point A to point B with ease.
Sensors and Connectivity:
Most Garmin smartwatch comes with a heart rate monitor, a built-in GPS receiver, and a barometer. However, the best GPS watches come with additional sensors and connectivity options that are unique to each model. For example, the Fenix 5 series Garmin smartwatch comes with a chronograph, an altimeter, and a compass. This gives the user more functionality, especially if they’re running in a difficult environment.
The way you choose determines what features you have access to. Best GPS running Garmin smartwatch comes with a built-in Bluetooth connection so that you can pair your watch with other Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth is one of the most commonly used connectivity platforms as it’s widely available. It’s great for pairing your GPS running Garmin smartwatch with other devices like your headphones or bike computer. Connect to your phone if you want to use the GPS running watch as a standalone device.
The 10 models below are not just great smartwatches, but they are also some of the best fitness trackers on the market.
1. Garmin Venu 2, GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features
The Garmin Venu 2 is a testament to the brand’s continued commitment to meshing style with functionality. The first thing that grabs attention is the crisp AMOLED display, making every detail pop, whether you’re checking your stats or reading notifications.
Health enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate the watch’s comprehensive monitoring capabilities. The heart rate sensor is remarkably accurate, and the sleep and stress tracking features give invaluable insights into one’s overall well-being. It doesn’t just stop at monitoring; the Venu 2 offers actionable advice and has animated on-screen workouts that guide users through their sessions, eliminating the need for a personal trainer on many occasions.
Sportspersons and fitness lovers have a trove of features tailored for them, from the myriad of preloaded sports apps to the integrated GPS that accurately tracks activities. Additionally, with music storage and playback capabilities, workouts become more enjoyable as you can sync your favorite tunes and leave your phone behind.
A notable aspect is the watch’s battery life. With up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, users won’t find themselves reaching for the charger frequently. This longevity, combined with safety and tracking features like incident detection, makes the Venu 2 a reliable companion for both daily routines and adventurous exploits.
Conclusion: The Garmin Venu 2 is a powerhouse of a smartwatch that doesn’t compromise on style. While it might be an investment, the blend of advanced health metrics, fitness features, and overall build quality justifies its standing in the premium segment. Ideal for fitness aficionados and those keen on maintaining a holistic health overview, the Venu 2 stands as one of Garmin’s finest offerings.
2. Vivoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch
The Vivoactive 3 by Garmin strikes an elegant balance between everyday wear and fitness tracking. Its sleek design ensures that it doesn’t look out of place in casual or professional settings, while the array of built-in sports apps makes it a versatile companion for fitness enthusiasts.
One of the standout features is Garmin Pay™, offering convenience for on-the-go payments right from your wrist. While it’s dependent on bank support, it’s a handy feature for those who’d rather not carry wallets during workouts.
Fitness and health monitoring is comprehensive. The wrist-based heart rate sensor provides constant insights, and combined with VO2 max estimation and fitness age, users get a clear picture of their fitness levels. The addition of stress monitoring and a relaxation timer proves beneficial for those looking to maintain a holistic health perspective.
With its strong battery life in both smartwatch and GPS modes, the Vivoactive 3 ensures users don’t have to constantly reach for the charger. Additionally, the customization options from the Connect IQ™ store allow users to make the watch truly their own.
Conclusion: The Vivoactive 3 stands as a testament to Garmin’s ability to blend lifestyle and fitness in a single package. While there are minor hiccups in its functionality, they’re easily overshadowed by its vast array of features, long battery life, and stylish design. For those seeking a dependable smartwatch that can transition from the gym to the office effortlessly, the Vivoactive 3 is an excellent choice.
3. Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch
Building upon the successes of its predecessor, the Vivoactive 4 is a well-rounded addition to Garmin’s lineup. The watch stands out not just in design but also in the depth of its health and fitness features.
One of its distinct features is the Pulse Ox sensing, which offers insights into sleep quality and altitude acclimation. Coupled with advanced sleep tracking and Body Battery energy monitoring, the Vivoactive 4 provides a thorough understanding of one’s wellness and readiness.
For fitness enthusiasts, the on-screen animated workouts are a game-changer, allowing users to follow routines directly from the watch. The extensive list of preloaded sports apps ensures that most activities, from the conventional to the niche, are covered.
Additional features like menstrual and pregnancy tracking indicate Garmin’s dedication to catering to all demographics, making the Vivoactive 4 a suitable choice for a wide range of users.
While the battery life is commendable in smartwatch mode, it might be slightly limiting in GPS mode, especially with music playback. However, for most users, this should suffice for daily activities and regular workouts.
Conclusion: The Vivoactive 4 is a significant leap forward from Garmin, offering a blend of enhanced health metrics, fitness features, and daily utilities. While there might be minor areas for improvement, the overall package makes it a compelling choice for those seeking a well-rounded smartwatch that caters to both daily life and active pursuits. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone just starting on their fitness journey, the Vivoactive 4 has something to offer.
4. The Forerunner 35 Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch
Garmin’s Forerunner 35 emerges as an ideal entry-level smartwatch for budding runners and fitness enthusiasts. Keeping simplicity at its core, the watch offers indispensable features that make tracking and monitoring athletic performance a breeze.
Its integrated GPS functionality stands out, ensuring users receive real-time data on their runs without relying on a connected smartphone. This makes it a go-to for those who wish to run free from additional devices. The wrist-based heart rate monitoring is an added bonus, offering insights into one’s exercise intensity and overall cardiovascular health.
While it’s primarily tailored for runners, the inclusion of other sport profiles ensures that it caters to a broader spectrum of athletic activities. The watch’s connectivity with the Garmin Connect™ platform is a highlight, enabling users to dive deep into their performance metrics, participate in challenges, and even share their achievements with a like-minded community.
The smart notifications, although basic, are practical. They allow users to stay connected without being tethered to their phones constantly.
Conclusion: The Forerunner 35 is a commendable offering from Garmin, bridging the gap between basic fitness bands and advanced running watches. It embodies what many recreational runners seek: simplicity, accuracy, and functionality without an overwhelming price tag. For those venturing into the world of running or seeking a reliable watch without the complexities of advanced models, the Forerunner 35 is a fitting choice.
5. Garmin Venu 2 Plus GPS Multisport Smartwatch, 33 mm with AMOLED Display
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus carries forward the legacy of Garmin’s prowess in crafting top-notch multisport smartwatches, but with some significant upgrades. One of the primary standouts is the 33 mm AMOLED Display. This ensures that users experience sharp, bright, and clear visuals, making navigation and data interpretation more enjoyable than ever.
Integration of call and text functionalities ensures that users stay connected on the go, negating the need to constantly pull out their phones. For those who find motivation in music, the onboard storage and playback capabilities will undoubtedly be a boon. This watch lets users store their favorite tracks and listen directly from the device, ensuring an uninterrupted workout experience.
The inclusion of Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features signifies Garmin’s commitment to holistic health and well-being. Users can delve deep into metrics, from sleep tracking to heart rate variability, providing insights into their overall wellness.
The slate bezel and black case present an elegant yet robust design, ensuring that the watch is apt for both athletic endeavors and daily wear. The inclusion of Wearable4U Black Earbuds in the bundle further elevates the value proposition, offering users a complete package to kickstart their fitness journey.
Conclusion: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus stands as a testament to what a premium multisport smartwatch should offer. From its stunning display to the exhaustive list of health and fitness metrics, it caters to both fitness enthusiasts and those keen on holistic well-being. The inclusion of earbuds in the bundle only sweetens the deal, making this an attractive package for anyone looking to invest in a top-tier fitness companion.
6. The Vivosmart 4 Activity and Fitness Tracker
Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 is not just another activity tracker; it’s a comprehensive health and wellness companion designed for everyday wear. Its slender design and vibrant display immediately stand out, ensuring that it complements daily attire effortlessly.
One of the unique attributes of the Vivosmart 4 is its advanced sleep tracking. This doesn’t just monitor sleep duration and quality, but delves deeper with REM sleep tracking. The addition of the Pulse Ox sensor to measure blood oxygen saturation levels overnight is especially noteworthy. This feature offers potential insights into sleep conditions like sleep apnea, setting the device apart from many competitors.
The Body Battery™ energy monitoring is another innovative touch. By assessing energy reserves, it aids users in optimizing their daily schedules, making time for activity when energy levels are high, and rest when they’re low.
Standard fitness metrics like VO2 max estimation and the relaxation breathing timer add depth to the tracker’s health monitoring capabilities. Despite its array of features, the device manages an impressive battery life, lasting up to a week on a single charge.
Conclusion: The Vivosmart 4 exemplifies Garmin’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what an everyday activity tracker can offer. With its emphasis on wellness, sleep, and energy optimization, it stands out in a crowded market of fitness bands. For those seeking a daily wear tracker that provides in-depth insights into their overall well-being, the Vivosmart 4 is undeniably a top contender.
7. Forerunner 935 Running GPS
Garmin’s Forerunner 935 Running GPS is a testament to the brand’s continuous commitment to enhancing the training experience for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Its sleek design ensures that the watch remains unintrusive, even during the most rigorous workouts, and can easily transition to a daily wear accessory.
A standout feature is its ability to evaluate your training status. By giving feedback on whether you’re undertraining, maintaining, or pushing your limits too hard, it plays a pivotal role in optimizing training schedules and ensuring that athletes achieve their peak without the risk of burnout.
For multisport athletes, the Forerunner 935 doesn’t disappoint. It provides advanced dynamics not only for running but also for cycling and swimming. Metrics like ground contact time balance and stride length help runners fine-tune their form. Cyclists and swimmers, too, can glean valuable insights from specific data points.
The impressive battery life ensures that whether you’re on a long trail run or a multi-day hiking expedition, the Forerunner 935 stays active and functional. The inclusion of a barometer, altimeter, and electronic compass further reinforces its suitability for outdoor adventures.
The Forerunner 935 Running GPS is a reliable partner for those serious about their fitness and training goals. With its advanced metrics and multisport tracking capabilities, it stands out as a premier choice for athletes who seek in-depth insights and a durable, long-lasting companion. Whether you’re training for a marathon, triathlon, or a hiking expedition, this watch has the features and durability to guide you through every step.
8. Venu, GPS Smartwatch
The Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch marks a significant leap for the brand into the realm of high-resolution AMOLED displays, setting it apart from many of its siblings. The vibrant screen ensures that whether you’re checking your stats during a workout or reading notifications, everything is crisp and clear.
The Venu does more than just look good; it’s packed with a suite of indoor sports apps. Whether you’re into yoga, cardio, strength training, or swimming, this smartwatch has got you covered, providing real-time feedback and tracking.
Health is at the forefront of the Venu’s design. Its round-the-clock health monitoring includes features such as Pulse Ox sensing, respiration tracking, and even menstrual cycle tracking. The Body Battery energy monitor, a highlight among Garmin’s recent features, evaluates your body’s energy levels throughout the day, helping you optimize your activities and rest periods.
For music enthusiasts, the Venu’s ability to store songs and integrate with popular streaming services ensures that you have the perfect soundtrack for every workout, without relying on your phone.
Conclusion: The Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch is a harmonious blend of form and function. It not only delivers on the promise of comprehensive health and fitness tracking but does so with an aesthetic flair. For those who want a smartwatch that doesn’t compromise on style while offering an extensive array of features, the Venu is an excellent choice. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or someone looking for a holistic health monitor with a touch of luxury, this watch is bound to impress.
With Venu 2 Plus, you can tune in to your own well-being. This GPS wristwatch contains superior health and fitness capabilities that will help you understand your body better. When coupled with a compatible smartphone, you can keep your phone in your pocket while making and receiving calls from your wrist. You may even react to text messages using your smartphone’s voice assistant. Change up your routines with animated programs and over 25 built-in sports apps. You can carry your favourite tracks with you thanks to the built-in music storage. Plus, Garmin Pay contactless purchases compatible countries and payment networks, safety tracking capabilities, and more are available on the wrist.
9. Descent Mk1, Watch-Sized Dive Computer with Surface GPS
Garmin’s Descent Mk1 stands out as an impressive tool tailored for both professional and recreational divers. At first glance, you’re presented with a robust, yet stylish design that can easily transition from deep underwater expeditions to daily wear.
When diving, the Descent Mk1 truly shines. Its ability to support multiple gas dives, including nitrox and gauge, provides divers with flexibility and precise metrics to ensure safety and efficiency during their exploration. The watch’s ability to store up to 200 dive logs is a godsend for avid divers, allowing them to review and reflect on past adventures.
The inclusion of topographical maps combined with real-time surface navigation makes it a reliable partner, not just underwater but on land. Whether you’re navigating back to your dive point or trekking on a remote island, the Descent Mk1 has your back.
Another commendable feature is the integration of Garmin’s Elevate wrist heart rate technology. It turns the Descent Mk1 into a holistic fitness tracker, allowing users to monitor their daily activity and health stats when they’re not diving deep.
Conclusion: The Garmin Descent Mk1 is more than just a dive computer; it’s a testament to Garmin’s commitment to creating multi-functional devices tailored for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re diving into the depths of the ocean, navigating a challenging trek, or just monitoring your daily fitness, this watch is equipped to be your dedicated companion. While it comes at a premium, the array of features and the reliability it offers make it a worthwhile investment for diving aficionados.
10. Descent Mk2i, Watch-Style Dive Computer with Air Integration
The Descent Mk2i by Garmin elevates the game in the world of dive computers. Beyond its sleek and durable design lies a treasure of features tailored for divers seeking the perfect blend of functionality and convenience.
The standout feature of the Mk2i is its air integration, allowing divers to monitor tank pressure in real-time. This adds a layer of safety and awareness, especially during deeper and more extended dives. The multiple dive modes cater to both novices and professionals, making it versatile for various underwater adventures.
On the surface, its high-resolution display proves vibrant and easily readable, even under bright sunlight. With built-in support for multiple satellite systems like GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, surface navigation becomes seamless and accurate.
The addition of the Pulse Ox sensor is another feather in its cap, enabling users to check their blood oxygen saturation levels – invaluable during high-altitude adventures or when assessing one’s fitness levels.
Its ability to receive smart notifications is a thoughtful touch, ensuring that even during a post-dive relaxation moment, you’re always connected.
Conclusion: Garmin’s Descent Mk2i is a testament to technological advancements in dive computers. Packed with features that ensure safety, awareness, and connectivity, it’s a dream device for serious divers. The air integration, combined with the vast array of dive modes and health metrics, sets it apart in the market. While its price tag is on the higher side, the unparalleled features and quality it offers make it worth every penny for those dedicated to the underwater world.
Garmin smartwatches are a popular option for anyone who wants a wearable that displays all of their fitness data at a glance. These watches can be a great tool for runners, cyclists, hikers, and other fitness buffs.
When Garmin first started selling smartwatches, they were essentially just glorified activity trackers with a couple of bells and whistles. Now, Garmin smartwatches have all the same functionality as their fitness tracker counterparts. While Garmin watches look similar to the company’s other fitness trackers, they have some differences that you should know about before you make a purchase.
GPS running watches are becoming more popular every day. The best Garmin smartwatch models come with a lot of functionality and are packed with features. It’s important to consider your needs and lifestyle before you purchase a GPS watch. This article has provided you with the information you need to choose the best GPS running watch.
We hope this article helped you learn more about what a Garmin GPS smartwatch is and how to choose the best one for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us on social media or leave a comment below.