Comparison of Garmin and Apple Watch-which brand is better and why?


Among all the multifunctional sports smart watch brands currently on the market, Garmin and Apple can be said to be the most popular brands. This observation is mainly due to two reasons: Garmin is better at fitness tracking, and Apple is better at smart notifications.

I have several different versions for each brand, and I have tested many other versions, and it can be said that the functions of the two brands are very different,

In the comparison between Garmin and Apple, which one is more suitable for motion tracking?

In terms of multi-sport tracking function, GPS navigation and measurement of performance indicators, Garmin watches provide the best value. Apple Watch (check on Amazon) is better in smart notifications and a wide range of features commonly found on smartphones.

When determining between these two watch brands, your overall needs will be based on your initial needs for smart watches. Since Garmin is more geared towards athletes, and Apple Watch is a niche product offering mini iPhones, it is very important to understand the similarities and differences between the two brands. Keep reading to find out which of these two brands can better meet your needs

Is the Garmin watch better than the Apple Watch?

Garmin Forerunner 35 is the first watch I ever bought. As a fitness enthusiast, I was shocked by the level of detail provided by the watch for performance tracking. But I am also a big fan of the iPhone, so I am also very happy to buy my first Apple Watch series and wear a real smartphone on my wrist.

The truth is that both Garmin and Apple make incredible smart watches, but your decision on which is better depends on many different variables.

Most people I know in the fitness industry do not use Apple Watch for performance tracking on a regular basis, but this is only because their Garmin or Suunto can better track triathlons such as triathlon or based on complex Information on performance indicators regarding outdoor GPS variables.

For ordinary users, those who just want to wear smart devices on their wrists will find the Apple Watch series overwhelmingly superior to these two brands.

 Apple Watch Series 6 has Vo2 Max "width =" 1024" height =" 512" /> </p data-lazy-src=

But when you really start to compare, Garmin has greatly improved fitness and health tracking features. Garmin watches make running or tracking multi-sports activities a truly convenient process, and you can also get all the convenience indoors with models for rugged tactical outdoor activities.

<img loading=”lazy” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2870″ src=” 2020/12/garmin-watch-sport-features.jpg” alt=” Garmin Forerunner motion tracking function "width="1024" height="349" />

But Garmin lags far behind Apple Watch series models in smart notifications. With the Apple Watch series, you can respond to texts and other alerts faster, and the overall screen quality of any Apple Watch series is better than Garmin watches. On Apple Watch series models, application notifications are indeed more innovative, because there are no physical buttons, all these notifications are easily pulled up

Final verdict: In terms of performance tracking and adaptability, Garmin is better than the Apple Watch series

But what is the real difference between the Garmin watch and Apple watch series models?

<img loading=”lazy” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2867″ src=” 2020/12/apple-watch-vs-garmin-running-watch.jpg” alt=” Apple Watch and Garmin Running Watch "width =" 1024 "height =" 441 "/>

What is the difference between Apple Watch and Garmin?

The first difference that appeared was the addition of touch screen technology to the Apple Watch series. This is a debate between Garmin and Apple Watch that Garmin is still far from victory. Garmin watches rely on buttons, which is not a downright negative feature-but touch screen technology is much more convenient

In addition, the overall battery life of the Garmin watch is longer than that of the Apple watch series. In the battery comparison of Garmin watches and Apple watches, Garmin watches can easily maintain battery power for 1-2 weeks or even 3-4 days through continuous GPS tracking. The Apple Watch series is far from this. When you add some of Garmin’s solar models the comparison of body batteries will be even more impressive for Garmin


Garmin and Apple Watch Series both provide convenient payment applications in Garmin Pay and Apple Pay respectively. Garmin Pay and Apple Pay are easy-to-use applications, they really save you from having to open a separate application to pay for additional applications or even the hassle of daily purchases. Health monitoring statistics are also an important part of each brand. Both Garmin and Apple series watch models can tell you about health and fitness tracking data


Include your blood oxygen level, heart rate and recommended activities to increase or balance these ratios. Garmin is more innovative in this area, especially in terms of heart rate monitoring and overall better suggestions for improving sleep or reducing sleep time

Apple Watch series is at your fingertips, you can get a lot of data faster and more conveniently. You may be satisfied with the services provided by Garmin in this department, but compared to all the operations that can be done by the Apple Watch series, this is only an extra convenience.

The Apple Watch series is also the premier smart watch for music. With Apple Music, and the very convenient Apple Air Pod as an additional accessory, even Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Forerunner 645 Music cannot be compared with Apple watches series

Similarly, the main difference to keep in mind when comparing the Garmin and Apple Watch series is the main purpose you seek in the watch. In the field of fitness, Apple series watches are not helpful to Garmin, but Garmin cannot keep up with the innovative smart functions of Apple series watches


You can get good fitness functions from Apple models, and excellent fitness functions from Garmin; Garmin has excellent smart functions, but Apple has set the gold standard

What is the best alternative to Apple Watch?

In terms of apps and downloads, Apple is clearly a better choice, but some competitors' watches have a good balance between smart technology and fitness:

<img loading=”lazy” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2727″ src=” /uploads/2020/12/garmin-forerunner-245-music.jpg” alt=” Garmin Forerunner 245 music "width=" 600" height=" 600" />

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

If there is no watch that can store music, then the fitness session (or the use of any smart watch) can't really be completed. Forerunner 245 music (view on Amazon) has additional convenience, you can play up to 500 audio files randomly. The days when you no longer need to use a separate device to listen to all your favorite fitness songs are gone, you can easily listen to it during the fitness process with this model


If you need some further training in fitness classes, Garmin Forerunner 245 music will also be very useful. The Garmin coaching function will recommend to you the status, performance and insight dynamics of the fitness history, as well as its correspondence with any new goals you wish to achieve, as well as insights into future recommendations, which can then be broken down into different categories To ensure that you are in a healthy state and allocate the appropriate time for each activity.

The battery life of Forerunner 245 Music is also impressive. When running the watch in GPS mode, the battery life is up to 24 hours; while running the watch in the regular smart watch mode, the battery life is up to one week.

Forerunner 245 Music has most of the Apple Watch's features and has the added benefit of improved music accessibility, which makes it the best among Apple's comparison products. However, this model is also applicable to many other types of activities. With built-in activity profiles for running, running (indoor/outdoor), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming, elliptical exercise, paddling, and strength training, Forerunner 245 Music allows you to easily make changes.

If you can't choose between other models at all, then this watch will undoubtedly be a good choice.


  • Easily download up to 500 songs to your watch, and connect a Bluetooth headset for hands-free phone listening
  • Sync music from selected streaming services for offline listening
  • Provides advanced operating dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio, etc.
  • Use estimated wrist-based heart rate data to provide performance monitoring capabilities, including assessment of your current training status


  • The wristband is uncomfortable
  • Quickly drain the battery power

<img loading=”lazy” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2733″ src=” 2020/12/garmin-forerunner-945.jpg” alt=” Garmin Forerunner 945" width =" 600" height =" 600" />

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945 is a significant upgrade of the already perfect Forerunner 745. I is enthusiastic about this watch and when analyzing the capabilities of Forerunner 945 and Apple, the same enthusiasm remains stable. Forerunner 945 can monitor your training performance and even provide personalized insights, so you can train smarter instead of harder

The smart watch will track your VO2 max and adjust the value according to heat and altitude. The training status will evaluate your recent training history and performance indicators to let you know whether you are performing productive training, reaching the top or surpassing the limit. You can use aerobic and anaerobic training effect feedback, and even from multi-sport statistics, see how exercise affects the development of endurance, speed and strength

Recovery time can predict when you are ready for the next difficult exercise, helping you make the most of your efforts. You can even view the overall training load, which can measure the amount of exercise in the last 7 days and compare it with the best range that suits your health and recent training history. In addition, the new Forerunner 945 training load focuses on classifying your recent training history into different categories based on activity structure and intensity.

Apple Watch is still a good choice for fitness, but Forerunner 945 takes fitness to a new level of professional performance tracking


  • Performance monitoring functions include Vo2 Max and training status, and can adjust calories, high adaptation status, training load concentration, recovery time, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects
  • The full-color airborne map will guide your running, so that you will not get lost during the exercise
  • Security and tracking features include event detection (during selected events), which can send your real-time location to emergency contacts via a paired compatible smartphone.
  • In the smart watch mode, the battery life is up to 2 weeks; in the GPS mode with music, the battery life is up to 10 hours; in the Ultratrac mode, the battery life is up to 60 hours.


  • Jagged connection issues may require frequent restarts to refresh

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Garmin Venu Sq

Garmin Venu Sq has brought a big impact to such a small watch. This may be beneficial for athletes who don't want to have larger, bulkier watches that feel like they are overwhelming. In addition to attractive prices and smart notifications similar to Apple Watch, Venu Sq's main attributes also include health statistics and tracking information found in the watch.

When you want to relax or focus after strenuous exercise, you can start breathing activity. The watch will track your stress and breathing to help you better understand your breathing style. You can also record your daily fluid intake to remind you to stay hydrated. You can even set an automatic hydration goal, which is adjusted based on the amount of sweat you lose during your workout.

The pulse oxygen sensor can estimate your blood oxygen, which is very convenient in training courses (especially competitions). In addition, when you feel stressed, timely relaxation reminders will even prompt you to engage in shortness of breath activities. This model may not have innovative performance, but if you want to perform health monitoring, Venu Sq will come in handy.


  • Small and compact
  • Find new ways to stay active. Use with more than 20 pre-loaded sports apps, including walking, running, cycling, paying attention to breathing, swimming, golfing, etc.
  • Use pre-installed exercises including cardio, yoga, strength and even Pilates to create your own exercises in the Garmin Connect app (you need to use the app on a compatible smartphone)
  • Never miss a phone call, text message or social media alert with a smart notification, which will be delivered to your wrist immediately (when paired with a compatible smartphone)


  • Prone to malfunction and jagged GPS reception
  • may be too small for some cyclists

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Garmin Vivoactive 4S

Garmin Vivoactive 4S is another stellar Garmin watch with a smaller size range. Regarding fitness, you can now use a convenient training power meter to record and display your performance details and health indicators during training. However, if you wish to change your fitness plan occasionally, Vivoactive 4S can provide more features

If you want a swimming mode, the model now has a fully integrated swimming mode performance table, which can record your underwater sports and propose ways to improve to achieve your goals.

The outstanding feature is the Garmin Move IQ performance tracker. This function can automatically detect the type of fitness program you are performing. Based on this detection, even if you do not plan to record the activity, you can view the saved events in the Garmin Connect timeline so that you can understand the achieved indicators.

Vivoactive 4S improves on previous excluded products in this popular Garmin series (such as the Vivosmart series), so with this in mind, Vivoactive 4S is a good deal for any type of fitness choice investment.



  • Track your energy level
  • Easily download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer (premium subscription with third-party music providers may be required), and connect headphones for free phone listening
  • Record all movement methods using more than 20 pre-loaded GPS and indoor sports applications, including cycling, yoga, running, swimming, etc.
  • Perform simple and vivid exercises directly on the watch screen, including strength, aerobics, yoga and Pilates
  • In smart watch mode, the battery life is up to 7; in GPS and music mode, up to 5 hours


  • Not a durable design
  • Many unique features of bicycles

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Suunto 3 Fitness

If Garmin is a bit too expensive, then Suunto 3 Fitness is a powerful and powerful fitness watch with interconnection features designed for people who live an active lifestyle and value health and well-being. The watch will create a personalized training plan for you to suit your fitness needs. When exercising, you will receive real-time guidance to help you with appropriate intensity

According to your personal information, Suunto 3 will create a 7-day training plan and provide the best duration and intensity for each exercise to improve fitness. The planned exercises are easy to activate. Once activated, the watch will guide you to maintain proper intensity

Exercise recommendations are based on your current fitness level and recorded training history. The training plan is automatically adjusted based on your actual activities, so if you miss a workout, feel excited, or do something beyond the plan, you don’t need to emphasize manually updating the plan.

Faithful to Suunto's sports expertise, Suunto 3 prepares you for all sports, from running, swimming and cycling to gym training, hiking and more. The watch uses wrist-based rhythms to measure speed and distance in walking and running activities, which means you can also track speed and distance indoors.

In addition, the watch measures your stress and recovery ability throughout the day to help you ensure that there is enough energy in the tank to work all day. The easy-to-follow summary provides a view of the overall activity and can help you balance activity and rest


  • This fitness tracker sports watch can accurately track pace, exercise, stress and recovery; the adaptive training guide can create a custom 7-day plan to help maintain or improve your fitness level
  • This fitness watch can fully view your daily activities, including steps, calories and sleep; stylish, super soft microfiber strap looks good in the gym or in the town
  • Connect from the Suunto app to your favorite sports apps and services to get more from your watch; share with your sports community and access specific training analysis and guidance
  • Our watch combines Scandinavian design with ultra-durable materials to track your sports, daily activities and sleep to help you maintain a balance in life, training and rehabilitation
  • was established in 1936, Suunto has brought more than 80 years of high-quality traditional craftsmanship to its watches, compasses and diving products, impeccable accuracy and pioneering innovation


  • The layout of 5 buttons can be confusing
  • Some users may not like thick bands and borders

Are Garmin watches worth it?

So, what makes Garmin watches really worthwhile? Garmin watches are for the convenience of fitness; these watches are a complete evolutionary upgrade in the fitness field, which means that the issues that were previously concerned by other models (such as Apple) have been improved to facilitate your use, such as containing various types of Sports and fitness performance dynamic information, not just a simple smart watch. You can receive notifications on your smartphone.

The technology has been improved, it goes beyond simple speed, and can even accurately determine the performance goals of various areas of the human body, rather than just performing an overall assessment. Garmin watches can be comfortable, lightweight, or durable, depending on the level of adaptation you need the watch.

Here are some reasons why Garmin watches are worth investing in for fitness enthusiasts:

  • Very suitable for triathletes Garmin watches are designed with users in mind. They hope their smart watches can maintain various performance statistics in triathlon competitions. With updated and improved functions to measure cadence, ground contact time, stride length, and all functions synchronized with accurate heart rate readings and performance statistics, many Garmin watches are very suitable for triathlon .
  • Active profile with pre-loaded. Most Garmin watches are designed to attract various fitness activities. Innovative and detailed activity data for swimming, running, cycling and triathlon are all part of the data that many Garmin watches can choose from. If you want to come up with some ideas to change your fitness habits, most Garmin models also include a series of suggestions
  • V02 maximum value indicator. When you train hard, sometimes you will master some techniques that may give inaccurate readings, leading to variables that you cannot control. Wind, altitude, and outside heat and cold temperature changes may all collide with each other, resulting in slight deviations in performance readings, but the V02 Max indicator in many Garmin watches keeps this in mind and provides you with accurate readings.
  • Innovative performance condition technology Like most models in the Garmin smart watch series, these watches can analyze heart rate, heart performance regulation and heart rate variability. It is based on a variety of different performance types and can evaluate your performance during exercise in real time.
  • There is an additional function to evaluate how long it can continue before reaching various thresholds.

  • Multiple GPS navigation protocols . Almost all Garmin watches are equipped with Glonass and Galileo GPS, which allows it to track in a wider range of environments and terrain than traditional GPS technology
  • .

  • The ability to synchronize music. In terms of music, Apple easily defeated Garmin, but some Garmin watches allow you to synchronize music to the on-board music storage system inside the phone software. You can sync your Spotify playlist, or choose to use the pre-programmed playlist specification when you are running and don’t have time to sync your favorite songs to the music storage portal.
  • A routable map. With many Garmin watches, you can now customize maps and routes using the Glonass and Galileo GPS protocols, allowing you to track in a wider range of environments and terrain than traditional GPS technology. The mapping technology is colorful and interactive (on more advanced models), which allows you to receive more detailed and attractive routes based on your location.

Final thoughts

So, which is better, Garmin watch or Apple Watch? For those who want to find a smaller version of the iPhone on their wrist, the Apple Watch is very useful. This is a convenient and innovative method, but compared to Garmin, fitness activities and protocols are not so advanced. This is because Garmin mainly tailors watches for consumers in the fitness segment

It is difficult to directly call one brand of watches better than the other, because the goals of the two brands are different methods. If we only weigh the difference between fitness, I would say that Garmin is undoubtedly a better choice. However, in terms of overall smart notifications and features, Apple beat Garmin


>>You may also be interested in Garmin Fenix ​​and Garmin Forerunner


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