Best Garmin Smartwatches for Every Activity (2021 Review)

Best Garmin Smartwatches for Every Activity

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Wearables Fit For Your Lifestyle

Confused about Garmin’s extensive range? If you’re an amateur or professional athlete, or a more casual smartwatch user with fitness interests, there’s a Garmin that will suit your needs. We’ll try to make complexity easier to navigate and help you find your dream smartwatch tailored to your needs.

You may be purchasing a wearable for the first time, so you will consider smartwatches that are more affordable and with less advanced functions that are better suited for beginners. On the other hand, experienced fitness users or athletes will find a large selection of smartwatches with advanced functions and premium features suitable for any sport. Whatever your interests and fitness level, there will be a Garmin smartwatch that will meet your needs.

 

NEW from Garmin

Lily – A small, stylish smartwatch that’s classic enough to make a statement and modern enough to keep you with your lifestyle.

Wellness comes easy with this watch. Track steps, sleep, stress and energy levels and use apps for yoga, mindful breathing and more.

Garmin Lily

 

Venu 2 – Advanced health monitoring and fitness features to help you better understand what’s going on inside your body.

GPS smartwatch with advanced health monitoring and fitness features.

Garmin Venu 2

 

Forerunner – Easy-to-use GPS smartwatch that encourages running and healthy lifestyles. Best line-up for runners.

Garmin Forerunner

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Most Popular Smartwatches from Garmin

Venu Series – Sleek, bright and built for your active life.

  • Venu – GPS smartwatch built for your active lifestyle. Spend more time doing the activities you love.
  • Venu Sq – this smartwatch combines daily style with health monitoring and fitness features that inspire you to keep moving.
  • Venu 2 and Venu 2S – GPS smartwatch with advanced health monitoring and fitness features.

Instinct Series  – Keep it bold, rugged and ready for adventure.

Vivoactive 4 Series  – Stay healthy and active every day.

Vivomove – This hybrid smartwatch combines the look of an analog watch with the essential smart features to keep up with your busy life. Analog watch hands and traditional style meet smart features and touchscreens.

Vivosmart – Slim, smart fitness tracker with advanced sleep monitoring and wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor and more. Whether you’re going to the office, the gym, the pool or anywhere in between, Vívosmart is the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Accent your style while enhancing your fitness.

 

Find Your Perfect Smartwatch!

Beginners runners will consider Forerunner 30, whereas more experienced ones will choose Garmin Fenix 6.

The best Garmin smartwatch for all-day wear is probably Garmin Venu 2 or Venu Sq. These watches blend the functions of a sport watch with lifestyle functions, being ideal for casual wear. Garmin Venu Sq is one of Garmin’s most stylish watches, and is ideal both as a sports and lifestyle watch, an affordable alternative to an Apple Watch.

If you’re looking for a lifestyle smartwatch that will enhance your overall experience, you’d probably choose Garmin Vivoactive 4. It’s priced in the middle range of Garmin wearables.

Garmin Lily is Garmin’s first smartwatch designed specifically for women, with an extra slim, lightweight design. It lacks on-board GPS, but has many multi-sport functions. It also has specific women’s health functions such as a period-tracking app. Unlike most Garmin watches, Lily is a smartwatch that prioritizes style over functionality.

 

Vivoactive 4

Venu Sq

Forerunner 945

Lily

Instinct

Best Overall

Best Lifestyle Watch

Best for Runners

Best for Women’s Fashion

Best Watch for Battery Life

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Garmin Venu Sq Forerunner 945 Garmin Lily Garmin Instinct

Price (Amazon)

$279.99

$209.57

$599.99

$199.99

$178.99

Screen

1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter

1.3″ (33.1 mm) diagonal

1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter

1.00” x 0.84” (25.4 mm x 21.3 mm)

custom, two-window design; 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm)

Battery Life

Up to 8 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.

Up to 6 days in smartwatch mode and up to 14 hours in GPS mode.

Get up to 2 weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 10 hours in GPS mode with music.

Up to 5 days in smartwatch mode.

Up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, up to 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode.

Smart Notifications

Receive emails, texts and alerts

Receive emails, texts and alerts

Receive emails, texts and alerts

Receive emails, texts and alerts

Receive emails, texts and alerts

Safety and Tracking Features

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Garmin Pay Contactless Payment

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Water Resistance

Up to 5 ATM

(perfect for a swim, shower or spa day)

Up to 5 ATM

(perfect for a swim, shower or spa day)

Up to 5 ATM

(perfect for a swim, shower or spa day)

Up to 5 ATM

(perfect for a swim, shower or spa day)

Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters or 10ATM)

 

These Garmin watches have an army of functions:

Garmin Vivoactive 4 functions:

Body Energy Monitoring, Pulse Ox Sensor (blood oxygen saturation), Stress Tracking, Women’s Health Tracking (Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy), Hydration Tracking, Respiration Tracking, Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Wrist-Based Heart Monitoring, Mindful Breathing, Animated On-Screen Workouts, Built-In Sports App, Garmin Coach, Create Workouts, Music (download songs and playlists from your Spotify®, Deezer or Amazon Music accounts).

Garmin Venu Sq functions:

Body Energy Monitoring, Pulse Ox Sensor (blood oxygen saturation), Stress Tracking, Women’s Health Tracking (Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy), Hydration Tracking, Respiration Tracking, Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Wrist-Based Heart Monitoring, Mindful Breathing, Preloaded Workouts, Fitness Tracking, Create Workouts, Built-In Sports App, Garmin Coach.

Garmin Forerunner 945 functions:

Elite Running Watch Design, Marathon-Ready Materials, Garmin Coach, Built-In Sports Apps, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo), Running Dynamics, VO2 Max (Performance Tracker), Performance Condition, Training Status, Training Load, Daily Workout Suggestions, Recovery Time, Intensity Minutes, Full-Color Mapping, Climb Pro Feature, Turn-By-Turn Navigation, Round-Trip Routing, Pulse Ox Sensor, Body Battery™ Energy Monitoring, Sleep Score and Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Women’s Health Tracking (Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy), Music on Your Wrist (Download up to 500 songs plus playlists from your Spotify®, Deezer or Amazon music accounts), Smart Trainer Control, Livetrack Feature.

Garmin Lily functions:

Body Energy Monitoring, Wrist-Based Heart Monitoring, Stress Tracking, Women’s Health Tracking (Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy), Hydration Tracking, Respiration Tracking, Pulse Ox Sensor (blood oxygen saturation), Mindful Breathing, Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Calendar View, Fitness Tracking, Preloaded Sports Apps, Connected GPS.

Garmin Instinct Solar functions:

Quality by Design (tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance, Premium Materials (titanium, stainless steel or DLC coated bezels), Sports Apps, Backcountry Ski, XC Ski Dynamics, MTB Dynamics, Surf-Ready Features, Animated Workouts, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Body Battery™ Energy Monitor, Advanced Sleep Monitoring, Hydration Tracking, Performance Metrics, Pacepro Technology, Recovery Time, Daily Workout Suggestions, Ultrarun, Golf Courses, Power Manager, Solar-Charged Battery, Climbpro Feature, Multi-GNSS Support, ABC Sensors, Pulse OX Sensor, Acclimation, Respiration Tracking, Expedition Mode, Topo and Ski Maps, Round-Trip Routing, Turn-By-Turn Navigation, Music Apps.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is the best Garmin smartwatch to buy?

Probably the best Garmin smartwatch you can buy today is the Forerunner Series for runners, fitness enthusiasts and other beginner sports; Garmin Fenix 6 Series for more advanced sport….. People interested in active lifestyles will find what they need in the Vivoactive and Venu Series.

Why are Garmin smartwatches so expensive?

Although you will find a Garmin smartwatch for every budget and needs, it’s true that most of Garmin smartwatches are priced above most fitness trackers and wearables. The main reason of the premium price is the fact they use premium material in their design. Most of the Garmin watches, including the Vivoactive, Forerunner, and Fenix series, are made of Fiber-reinforced polymer and some models also are made of stainless steel, which is expensive.

 

Top Amazon Customer Reviews

Garmin vs. Apple vs. Fitbit

While this isn’t a fancy Apple Watch, it does everything I needed it to without the jaw dropping cost. You also don’t have to pay a monthly membership to use features like O2 saturation the way you have to with FitBit watches. It also looks really nice. It tracks my heart rate, oxygen levels, sleep, steps, and much more. the watch does continuous heart rate monitoring, unlike the Apple which doesn’t. I can also alert my emergency contacts and send them my location if I need to. I purchased it more for medical reasons and I am very happy with this watch. Great price and better function for my needs. (Garmin Venu Sq Buyer)

You’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was!

I was a little bit hesitant to buy the Venu SQ because my last Garmin watch was so heavy on features that I didn’t know how to use (and honestly don’t need.) If you’re like me, a casual athlete, maybe you’re into fitness walking or doing light yoga… or even a new runner, this is probably the watch for you. It doesn’t have all of the frills of some of Garmin’s other products, and it is very simple to navigate! I’m all about simplicity because I’m kind of “computer stupid.” You should get it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was! (Garmin Venu Sq Buyer)

Solid, Quality Watch

I got this watch as an upgrade from an original Vivoactive that was losing battery life. As such, battery life was a big selling point for me and this watch delivers. […] You should not get this watch if you want a lot of smartwatch features, a microphone, touchscreen, or onboard music. You should get this watch if you want long battery life, accurate GPS tracking, and good enough sleep/health/heart rate tracking. I would definitely make this choice again. (Garmin Forerunner 55 Buyer)

Great Present for Christmas this Year!

I have been using Fitbits for a few years now, so when I saw the Garmin Vivomove 3S Hybrid Smartwatch available I couldn’t resist giving it a go to compare the two. To make it easier to read, I will list what I think the positives and negatives are of this watch. […] Overall, I’ve enjoyed using the Garmin Vivomove Smartwatch and it will be hard to go back to a Fitbit, especially when I get so many compliments about it. It would make a great present for Christmas this year, although its worth keeping an eye out for a deal as it can be out of budget at full price. I have tried to include pictures in my review as I know they’re helpful, although it seems my camera didn’t like the digital display! I hope you found my thoughts helpful. (Garmin Vivomode Buyer)

Loving the Garmin Vivosmart 4 so far!!!

I just received my Garmin Vivosmart 4 in grey with rose gold trim today and so far I love it! Before I was using the Fitbit Flex device. By far the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is WAY better! It reminds me to move every hour and can automatically detect when I’m working out, measures my heart rate, my personal energy battery, stress level and so much more data on the mobile app. It also reminds me to breathe for mental wellness! […] To get better stats and insights on Fitbit, you have to pay a subscription for the Premium services. All these great features on the Garmin are FREE! […] This is the best value for a fitness tracker with so many great features like the pulse oximeter and the heart rate monitor, and so much more! (Garmin Vivosmart 4)

Tried Them All, This Is The Best

I first purchased the Fenix 3 HR. The watch was impressive in the beginning and I thought I had found the one. The issue turned out to be the altimeter. It was not accurate at all. I then waited for the Fenix 5. Same damn issue. Altimeter was worse than the 3. When I contacted Garmin, they told me to put the watch in warm soapy water. While this did seem to temporarily reset it back to normal, I continued to experience the same issue. As much as I would like to put my watch in a warm glass of soapy water every night, I decided to pass. The 5 plus eventually came out and appeared to solve these issues. But then…..Garmin realeased the Instinct. (Garmin Instinct Solar Buyer)

 

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