10 Best Garmin Smartwatch in 2020

Garmin smartwatch is made by an American manufacturer which has demonstrated its excellent ability to create watches for sports. Whether for running, swimming or triathlon, the brand’s range is rich and targets both athletes and the general public.

Best Garmin smartwatches focus on performance, power and neat design. The American manufacturer’s sports watches are suitable for any type of use. If you have trouble finding the best Garmin smartwatch for you, here you can find all the information you need to make the right choice.

The Garmin brand is well known for its high-end sport tracking devices which include the Garmin smartwatches. Being in the business for more than 30 years, Garmin has made a name for themselves in the fields of automotive, aviation and marine with their innovative GPS technology. Their experience and craftsmanship is poured into their wearables, making them the preferred choice for athletes and fitness beginners alike. They have a wide variety of watches, ranging from more affordable, day-to-day fitness trackers to high-end, highly detailed triathlon monitoring smartwatches. Regardless of your budget or requirements, you will find a watch to meet your needs in the Garmin family.

Their pieces are known for their incredible battery life. Whereas competitor like Apple has smartwatches that will last a day between charges, battery life is where Garmin excels. Their watches can last anywhere from 5 days to a full 2 weeks.

With a Garmin watch you will get unique designs, on-wrist notifications, apps and face personalization, GPS functionality, heart rate monitoring and, most important, accurate and detailed metrics tracking and analysis, all synced in your Garmin Connect app.

In the following review, we touch on design, features, apps, usability, and pricing, to help you decide which Garmin model is the right one for you.

Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin has launched the brand-new Fenix 6- a family member of new outdoor/ sports enjoys that make up the typical, professional and also pearl version. In addition to that, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar includes Power Glass – a clear solar panel that contributes to the battery life.

Fenix 6 – An entire number of various designs

The Fenix 6 product family makes up four various versions: Requirement, Sapphire, Pro, and Pro Solar. What appears puzzling at first, enables people buying the Fenix 6 that matches their requirements best.

Garmin Fenix 6S

 

Following the Fenix 5/ 5 Plus calling plan, the Fenix SIX will be the tiniest tool, which is suited for slimmer wrists. The display size hasn’t changed, neither has the resolution. The Fenix 6S has a 1.2-inch display screen with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels.

DimensionsWeightScreen SizeEst. Price
Garmin Fenix 6S42 x 42 x 13.8 mm58 g1.2″599.99
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro42 x 42 x 13.8 mm61 g1.2″699.99
Garmin Fenix 6S Sapphire42 x 42 x 13.8 mm61 g1.2″799.99

Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6 smarwatch

The common model is represented by Fenix 6. As you can see listed below there are four various models of this type of Garmin smartwatches that mostly differ in the products made use of and also offered features. The screen has been increased to 1.3 inches, as has the resolution to 260 x 260 pixels.

DimensionsWeightScreen SizeEst. Price
Garmin Fenix 647 x 47 x 14.7 mm80 g1.3″599.99
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro47 x 47 x 14.7 mm83 g1.3″699.99
Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire47 x 47 x 14.7 mm83 g1.3″799.99
Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire Titanium47 x 47 x 14.7 mm72 g1.3″

Garmin Fenix 6X

The Fenix 6X is missing out on the basic version as well as makes up the 6X Pro, 6X Sapphire, 6X Pro Solar, as well as 6X Pro Solar Titanium. There has actually been much conjecture about what term “Solar” really is about. The Fenix 6X Pro Solar is making use of an innovation named Power Glass ™ to reenergize the battery while the watch is being made use of. The table below demonstrate how Power Glass impacts battery life.

The display currently features 1.4 inches and also a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels. This indicates that the screen has actually been increased by 36% contrasted to the Fenix 5.

DimensionsWeightScreen SizeEst. Price
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro51 x 51 x 14.9mm93 g1.4″749.99
Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire51 x 51 x 14.9mm93 g1.4″849.99
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Titanium + Silicone wristband51 x 51 x 14.9 mm82 g1.4″999.99
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Titanium + Titan wristband51 x 51 x 14.9 mm82 g1.4″1145.99

Distinctions between standard, pro and sapphire edition

Provided this new Pro edition, everybody wants to know the exact distinctions. Let’s begin with the easiest component. One difference between a conventional watch and also a sapphire watch is the product the watch glass is constructed from. The common watches take benefit from toughened up Gorilla Glas, while the Sapphire views function scratch-resistant sapphire glass. In addition to materials, there are differences concerning the functions:

StandardProSapphirePro Solar
Maps (basic)+++
Maps (skiing)+++
Maps (golf)+++
Internal storage64 MB32 GB32 GB32 GB
Music player+++
Deezer / Spotify+++
Wi-Fi+++
Garmin Pay++++
Watch glassGorilla GlassGorilla GlassSapphire GlassPower Glass

Battery Life Extending Upwards of 120 Days

6S Basic / Pro / Sapphire6 Basic / Pro / Sapphire6X Pro / Sapphire6X Pro Solar
GPS25 h36 h60 h60 + 6 h
GPS + music6 h10 h15 h15 + 1 h
UltraTrac50 h72 h120 h120 + 28 h
Smartwatch mode9 days14 days21 days21 + 3 days
Exposure mode20 days28 days46 days46 + 10 days
Economy mode34 days48 days80 days80 + 40 days
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Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch

Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatchThe Garmin Vivoactive 3 is one of the most popular models from the Garmin range. This wearable combines the functionality of a smartwatch with the activity monitoring abilities of a fitness tracker, all encompassed in a subtle but stylish exterior. The Vivoactive fits into the lifestyle wearable category, the design is smart enough to be worn 24/7 but sleek enough not to weigh you down at the gym. This Garmin smartwatch comes in 4 different color combinations: black silicone and silver stainless steel, black silicone and slate, white silicon and silver, and, finally, white silicon and rose-gold. The price point of this Garmin smartwatch varies depending on the chosen color, it ranges between $249.99  and $279.99, full-price from accredited retailers. It is one of the more affordable Garmin fitness watches, being more than half the price of the Garmin Fenix 5X.

The Vivoactive is heavy enough to feel like a well-constructed, good quality watch but it is lightweight enough to feel comfortable once it is strapped on your wrist.

This Garmin smartwatch comes with a 20 mm strap, made out silicon as mentioned above. What is great about it is it range of adjustment. With most watches, if the strap does not fit, you will have to replace it which will result in an additional cost on your part. With this Garmin smartwatch model, however, the band can be adjusted from a 107 mm to a 204 mm circumference so it will fit both the thinnest and the thickest wrist you can find.

The Vivoactive has a 1.2 inch LCD display with a 240 x 240-pixel resolution. The transflective LCD display of this Garmin smartwatch takes some getting used to. It may seem dark at first, but the transflective technology makes the screen easier to read, regardless of your lighting conditions. Although it is always on, the LCD does not require any backlighting and therefore, it works on minimizing the overall power consumption. The touchscreen is easy to operate and the sensitive-touch panel on the right side of the screen helps you scroll through your menu or apps without blocking your whole screen with your finger.

The electronic timepiece looks like a classic, analog watch with a rounded dial but doesn’t let that fool you. Although not visible to the naked eye, this wearable is jam-packed with sensors. This includes a heart rate monitor, a GPS, a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, and thermometer. This means this Garmin smartwatch will accurately track your steps, calories burned, stairs climbed while simultaneously keeping a tab on your heart rate. Sleep and stress are also monitored and with the VO2 max, you can track your overall fitness progress.

With a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen and a reinforced polymer case, this Garmin smartwatch is durable enough to withstand extreme workouts and the scratches and scuffs that might come with them. This Garmin smartwatch is suitable to be used when swimming, it is waterproof up to 5 ATM (50 m) and it will even track your pool laps within the preloaded swimming app.

With this Garmin smartwatch, you are able to respond to your messages or incoming calls with pre-set responses like “On my way” or “Can’t talk now”. You will receive your phone’s notifications when paired with either an Android or an iOS device. Unfortunately, if you use an iOS device, you won’t be able to reply to your text on this Garmin smartwatch.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is NFC enabled which means it now supports contactless payments through the Garmin Pay app.

The battery life on this Garmin smartwatch is impressive. The wearable will last 6 days between charges with moderate use and on-and-off GPS. If however, you leave your GPS always on, 13 hours is the most you will get out of your Garmin smartwatch.

Pros
  • a sleek, understated design

  • well constructed, durable

  • accurate fitness tracking

  • heart rate sensor and GPS incorporated

  • fast reaction time, responsive touchscreen

  • Garmin Pay support

  • affordable

  • good battery life

Cons
  • iOS users are unable to respond to message on this smartwatch

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Garmin Forerunner 45 + 45 S smartwatch

Garmin Forerunner 45 + 45 S smartwatchThe Garmin Forerunner is your basic, entry-level GPS smartwatch. What’s so special about this Garmin smartwatch is its user-friendly approach. It is easy to use, no cumbersome setup or overly complicated menu, making it the perfect choice for a beginner.

There are two available versions of this Garmin smartwatch, the 45 and the 45S. The 45 comes in a larger 42 mm size and is available in both black and red. The smaller, 39 mm model is the 45S, available in white and purple. Although it has alluded that the models of this Garmin smartwatch are gender-specific, either than the imminent size difference and chosen colors there is nothing about the design that makes this Garmin smartwatch either feminine or masculine looking. The plastic frame and soft silicon strap of this watch make it extremely lightweight, the smaller Forerunner weighing only 32 g and the bigger model 36 g. This said this Garmin smartwatch does not feel as premium as other Garmin smartwatches.

Both models have a 1.04 inch, 208 x 208 color display. The screen is not the best available in the industry, but it is bright and clear, the colors are pungent and reading on it doesn’t present an issue.

This Garmin smartwatch is easy to navigate and the 5 buttons control setup is quick to respond. The menu is intuitive and if you ever used a smartphone, you won’t have any problems using this watch.

Currently priced at $199.95, the Forerunner is the cheapest watch from the Garmin range that offers GPS fitness tracking and a bundle of wellness features.

Both models are waterproof to 50 meters so you can take them swimming or in the shower. Do keep in mind that there is no pre-set swimming feature included on either of them.

The Forerruner 45/45S is designed primarily as a running focused smartwatch. It offers solid running tracking and will resist an average marathon training. This device will track your pace, speed, distance, and cadence. Garmin Coach will offer step by step, personalized training plans set by coaches for 5 km, 10 km and a half marathon, depending on your goal. You can adapt anything from target mileage to preferred days to workout. If running is not your main focus, you can still use the VO2 max feature to track your overall health progress.

This Garmin smartwatch offers 12 activity profiles in total, walking, cycling, cardio, and treadmill training being just some of them. The usual 24/7 step count is included as well. If you’ve been sedentary for too long and you haven’t reached your daily active time, you will be prompted to move with regular notifications.

Both Forerunners have an incorporated heart rate monitor and two new features based on heart rate tracking. Body Battery will estimate how much energy you have throughout the day based on the collected data (HR, sleep and activity) and Stress tracking will indicate your stress levels at any given moment, indicating your high-level triggers.

The Forerunner 45/45S come with a GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo as a complete set of location sensors. With both models, you can check your smartphone’s notifications from your watch and easily turn on the Do not Disturb feature during your workouts or while you sleep.

The Forerunner lasts a whopping week between charges, even with everyday training intervals. This Garmin smartwatch will have you covered during a long marathon, no problems. Charging is done effortlessly with the four-pin USB cable provided.

Pros
  • a sleek, understated design

  • 2 size options

  • small, lightweight

  • great variety of running features included

  • easy to use, intuitive navigation

  • water resistant

  • good battery life

Cons
  • Cons

  • no music storage/streaming

  • GPS has a slow reaction time

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Garmin Fenix 5X Plus smartwatch

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus smartwatchThe Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is undoubtedly the most accurate GPS smartwatch from the brand. If you are truly a fitness fanatic, the Fenix 5X Plus has a multitude of features focused on perfecting multi-sports tracking. This Garmin smartwatch is not only fitness-focused but also offers useful, everyday features like Garmin Pay, in-watch music storage and background navigation.

The Fenix wearables are known for their rugged look and big, bulky aesthetic. The Fenix 5X Plus is no different. It has a well-constructed, chunky design with exposed screws and solid buttons. If you’re looking for a subtle design, this Garmin smartwatch is not the one for you. It is a big and noticeable watch. With 17.5 mm in thickness, it won’t fit under fitted clothing and at 3.35 ounces in weight is something you have to prepare yourself for. If you have a thin wrist, this watch will start to feel heavy after a few hours of wear and the weight will play a tool on those with sensitive joints. This device has a bright 240 x 240 resolution display, with an always-on feature. The size of the screen doesn’t disappoint either. You don’t have to squint when looking at this Garmin smartwatch.

Keep in mind this model does not have a touchscreen display. Once you get used to how the buttons work, the watch is easy to navigate. The interface is responsive and easily customizable. You can personalize everything from the watch faces to widgets and even add new features with the Garmin Connect smartphone app.

The Fenix 5X Plus takes its predecessor, the jam-packed Fenix 5 to another level.

This Garmin smartwatch offers the usual altimeter, barometer, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer and thermometer sensors but it now has a storm alarm as well. If you are an avid hiker, you will definitely enjoy the added feature. It works by alerting you when the barometric pressure drops so you will be aware that a storm is coming and prepare accordingly.

Alongside the optical heart rate monitor, this Garmin smartwatch now has a pulse oximeter. The pulse oximeter is meant to measure the oxygen levels in your blood in high altitude training like mountain climbing. This gadget can also track your sleep pattern, by breaking down your sleep phases and sleeping heart rate, although with its size and weight I don’t think anyone will keep it on their wrist while sleeping.

Garmin is known as one of the monarchs of GPS smartwatches and the GPS performance on this watch speaks for itself. This Garmin smartwatch comes with the latest Galileo system which offers a rapid and accurate location acquisition. Compared to other Fenix models, the 5X Plus has the pre-installed Worldwide DEM Basemap, which means that alongside tracking, this Garmin smartwatch will provide precise maps that can guide you even without your phone around. In addition, you can program routes into the watch and the OpenStreetMap feature will suggest you ideal routes based on your gathered data.

The Fenix 5X Plus is synonym with a multi-sport smartwatch. It offers 38 different sports, the most popular being walking, running, swimming, cycling but also more niche activities like golf and skiing. In the unlikely event that your preferred sport is not included in the pre-set sport modes, you can add more sports to the list by downloading apps from Connect IQ. You also have the option of removing things from the list, to make your usual sports easier to find.

The 16 GB of onboard storage are perfect for downloading music or podcasts. Spotify, iHearRadio and Deezer are now supported on this device so you can easily listen to your playlists offline.

You can receive and clear your phone’s notifications on this device but you won’t be able to reply to messages or take calls.

The Fenix 5X Plus is NFC enabled so contactless payments are supported through the Garmin Pay service.

If you’re still not convinced this Garmin smartwatch is the one for you, here is your final push. The battery on this device lasts approximately a full week with medium use, constant heart monitoring and bursts of GPS usage. As advertised, with constant GPS use the watch lasted about 32 hours. If however, you get lost on your way back hiking and you use your watch for guidance, there is also the option of activating the UltraTac mode. This mode will conserve battery life by reducing the sensor readings and GPS tracking to less-frequent intervals and will make the battery last up to 70 hours.

Pros
  • an abundance of fitness features

  • rugged, bulky signature design

  • big, clear display

  • easy to navigate

  • 38 different sports support

  • heart rate monitor with pulse oximeter included

  • accurate GPS, street maps included

  • Garmin Pay support

  • impressive battery life

Cons
  • no touchscreen display

  • expensive

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Garmin Vivosmart 4 smartwatch

Garmin Vivosmart 4 smartwatchThe Garmin Vivosmart smartwatch is the closest thing to a fashionable fitness tracker. This Garmin smartwatch has a sleek, stylish design but it is still fully packed with useful features that will make your day to day life a little easier. This watch is for you if you want the abilities of a fitness tracker, trapped in a discreet body that you can take from the gym to the office without looking ridiculous. It is not targeted to athletes but, more so, to the everyday wearer who is still interested in fitness but needs an array of other features as well.

With an aluminum bezel around the screen, metal accents and built-in silicone strap, this watch is suitable for 24/7 wear and the minimalist design will work with any outfit. The strap has a traditional watch buckle closing which makes it more comfortable than most push-in stud fitness trackers. As mentioned before, the silicon strap is built-in into the watch so make sure to choose a color that will suit your wardrobe and will be appropriate to wear at your daily engagements. There are 2 sizes available for this model, a regular size weighing 16.5 g, meant for a wrist circumference of 122-188 mm, and a larger 17.1 g size for a 148-215 mm wrist circumference.

Although small, the 6.6 mm x 17.7 mm OLED display has a 48 x 128-pixel resolution making it bright and clear. A pleasant feature is an auto-adjusting brightness, the screen is easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions. However, the small size of the screen makes it quite difficult to navigate if you have big thumbs, and long texts or emails are impossible to read.

The Vivosmart 4 comes loaded with fitness feature that will help you achieve your health goals and prompt you to rest when you are burnout. The wearable comes with an optical heart rate monitor, a Pulse Ox sensor which will keep track of your blood’s oxygen levels and the Body Battery feature which will estimate your ideal activity period or rest period when you deal with stress and burnout. You can choose from a variety of different activities in the Fitness Menu, including walking, running, cycling, strength training, swimming and so on. Some of these workouts like walking, cycling, swimming will be automatically tracked but for the rest, you will have to remember to manually start the timer.

Another interesting feature is the Relax Reminder. It connects to your Garmin app and it will alert you if your stress levels are elevated based on your sleep, heart rate and the activity data gathered. If you choose to take a moment to relax it will offer you simple guided breathing exercises to follow.

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 has a 5 ATM (50 m) waterproofing, it can be safely worn in the shower or swimming. Unfortunately, this model does not have an onboard GPS so it’s not the ideal watch for outdoor activities.

The battery on this device will last about 5 days between charging with medium use and an assortment of features activated. Charging is done incredibly fast, in only one hour.

Pros
  • sleek, minimalist design

  • small, lightweight

  • suitable for day-to-day wear

  • an array of fitness and wellness tracking features

  • available in 2 different wrist sizes

  • water resistant

  • 5-day battery life

  • on-board activity storage, 7 timed activities

Cons
  • small display

  • no onboard GPS

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Garmin Forerunner 735XT smartwatch

Garmin Forerunner 735XT smartwatch10 Best Garmin Smartwatch in 2020 1The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is an updated version of the popular triathlon watch, the Garmin 920XT. This a GPS enabled, multi-sports watch targeted at triathletes and hard-core fitness fanatics. If you are a beginner in the world of sports or just want some basic, everyday fitness tracking, you most likely won’t use the highly detailed metrics of this watch.

The watch itself retails for $399.99, a mid-range price for Garmin wearables of this kind but you do get your money’s worth when it comes to this model. There is also the option of purchasing the Run Bundle (newly Base Model) which includes the watch and an HRM-Run heart rate monitor which will measure your cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. The Run Bundle retails for $349.99. Or if you want the full package, the Tri-Bundle includes the watch, an HRM-Tri for monitoring training metrics during your workouts and HRM-Swim for in-water tracking. As expected, the Tri-Bundle is the most expensive of the three, coming in at $449.49 Amazon pricing.

Compared to previous chunky running watches from Garmin, the Forerunner 735XT is a thin, simply designed rounded dial model. The case is made out of plastic with the purpose of being lightweight enough for triathlon heavy-duty training. The watch feels comfortable on the wrist even after long periods of time and multiple rounds of intensive workouts. However, the disadvantage of a plastic exterior is that it is more prone to scratching and scuffing compared to other more durable models from the brand, like the Fenix 5X Plus.

The transflective screen has a lower resolution compared to some of its competitors but it still legible in all lighting conditions and it has great viewing angles.

The watch has the notorious Garmin Hear Rate Elevate sensor placed on the underside of the watch, directly on your wrist in order to get a very accurate reading of your pulse.

Now, let’s get to the good part. This device is the start of the show when it comes to running features. It will provide all the standard metrics for both indoor and outdoor running and some extras. With either the HRM-Run or the HRM-Tri, the watch will track your pace, speed, cadence, ground contact time, distance, route, ground contact time, GCT balance, vertical oscillation and so on. Basically, it will track everything you’d want to know about your performance and it will help you improve it, at the same time.

The 735XT is one of the few smartwatches that offers detailed swimming monitoring. Using the HRM-Tri or the HRM-Swim, you will be able to keep track of your stroke count and rate, your distance, intervals and lap information. You can also create structured workouts around your swimming goals either in a pool or freshwater.

But the 735XT is not limited to running or swimming. The wearable supports a variety of different sports within the built-in app and if you can’t find your desired one, you can create a new app on the sports menu. Some sports like running, cycling, swimming are registered automatically but others you will have to start manually.

A new and interesting feature is the Strava Live Suffer Score which calculates how hard your workout is and notifies you if you can push harder or you should slow down. The Strava is available for all users that have Garmin devices and use Garmin’s Connect app.

As an everyday tracker, this watch will track your activity (heart rate, step count, etc), sleep pattern, recovery rate and VO2 max. You will also send you daily reminders to move and stay active. The standard features of a smartwatch are also included. This watch will show your notifications and will automatically update your data to the Garmin Connect app. With Connect IQ you can also choose free watch faces and apps.

At this time, this model doesn’t support onboard music storage but you can control your phone’s playlists from your watch.

This wearable is Bluetooth enabled, that’s how it communicates with your smartphone. The devices pair automatically while in the 30 ft range.

The watch comes with incorporated GPS and GLONASS. GPS is extremely accurate and fast to respond.

The Forerunner 735XT has great battery life. Garmin states that in smartwatch mode the battery will last up to 11 days between charges and up to 14 hours in GPS mode. In reality, the battery lasts a full week between charges, but no more than that if you use it on a daily basis. The GPS mode claim is accurate, a full 14 hours is what you will get with GPS on.

The UltraTrac feature is particularly useful when you want to preserve battery life. The UltraTrac takes GPS samples at a reduced rate so you will still be able to use GPS enabled features but your battery won’t die as fast. With UltraTrac the battery will last about 24 hours.

Pros
  • classic, signature design

  • an accurate, fast GPS tracking

  • amazing package of activity tracking metrics

  • impressive battery life (with/without GPS mode on)

  • easy to use interface

  • extremely lightweight (for a watch this size)

  • fully-featured, detailed monitoring for running and swimming

  • clear, bright screen

Cons
  • the amalgam of features can be overwhelming

  • plastic case

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Garmin Fenix 3HR

Garmin Fenix 3HR smart watchGarmin Fenix 3HR smartwatch is the new and improved version of the Fenix 3. Garmin kept the multi-sport fitness-tracking abilities of the Fenix 3 and added the Elevate, built-in heart rate monitor to complement them. Garmin also tweaked the tracking sensors included in this watch, in order to provide a better, more precise reading of activity data. Compared to its previous model, the 3HR provides a better analysis of your performance and gives you a better understanding of how to modify your workouts in order to reach your desired target.

The 3HR has the signature Fenix design. It is bold, bulky and the rugged look definitely makes it a statement piece on any wrist. However, this model doesn’t have the same outdoorsy look than previous models from the range seem to have. On the contrary, the design is sophisticated enough to be worn on a daily basis, at the office or out for dinner and not only with casual outfits.

This smartwatch has a circular 1.2 inch, 218 x 218-pixel transflective color display, the colors show up bright and the screen is legible in any lighting conditions. The famous Sapphire lens Garmin prefers to use with most of their high-end watches makes the screen almost impossible to scratch. The watch has a waterproof, treated silicone band with a notch closing mechanism. The band feels lightweight but secure at the same time. Changing the band is more complicated with this model. You need to account for the optical heart rate monitor when looking for a new band and choose a model that will not block it.

The Fenix 3HR only comes in one size and one color combination: black with grey. Keep in mind this is a big and heavy watch (3.2 ounces). If you have a small wrist, this watch could look overpowering on you.

The interface is controlled by 5 analog buttons, 3 on the left-hand side of the dial and 2 on the right-hand side. The menu is intuitive and navigating the watch is really easy once you get hold of each of the button’s function.

The only design difference between the 3HR and the 3 comes in the form of the heart rate sensor placed on the under-part of the case. The sensor is small but it is noticeable and it takes a while to get used to it.

The case is 10 ATM (100 meters) water-resistant so it is perfectly safe to take swimming but there is no swim-tracking feature available on the watch as of yet.

The Fenix 3HR gathered and improved the multitude of sensors found on the Fenix 3 and added some new ones. The smartwatch now has a GPS, a barometric altimeter, a barometer, an electronic compass, an optical heart rate monitor, an accelerometer and a thermometer. Basically, it will give you a detailed reading of your step count, stairs climbed, calories burned, sleep quality and stress levels.

The watch is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. When connected to Garmin’s free Connect IQ platform, the watch will deliver your phone’s notifications (emails, texts, social media, etc.) and alert you with a light vibration. The Connect IQ app is also were you will find free watch faces, create new sports apps for your device and download further tracking options. The software is updated constantly and any new features coming to Connect IQ will be available to download regardless of when you bought your watch.

Setting up the watch is an easy task. You download the Garmin Connect software, you fill in your personal information and metrics questions and pair your phone with the device through Wi-Fi.

Battery life on this model is hands-down impressive. The watch lasts 11 days between charges on smartwatch mode with at least an hour of GPS use daily. On GPS mode it will last approximately 16 hours and on UltraTrac, 40 hours is the most you will get. Charging this device is effortless. You can use either the charging station provided or the included power adapter with a USB cable.

Pros
  • well-built, durable

  • easy to use

  • button controlled interface

  • water-resistant up to 100 meters

  • precise GPS

  • versatile functions for sports tracking

  • built-in optical heart rate monitor

Cons
  • wrist heart rate sensor is physically noticeable

  • big, chunky for some

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Garmin Vivosport smartwatch

Garmin Vivosport smartwatchThe Garmin Vivosport is an exercise focused, entry-level smartwatch. If you are a fitness enthusiast and you are looking for a tracker but with added features, this is the one for you.

The watch has a slim design with a thin rubber band that houses a small rectangular screen. Similar to other fitness trackers on the market, looks is not where this watch excels. Nevertheless, it is perfect for running or high-intensity workouts as it feels secure on your wrist but it’s lightweight enough that it won’t weigh you down.

The Vivosport comes in two size options S/M and L and 3 color options: fuchsia focus – black with red interior, slate-black with dark grey interior, and limelight-black with the lime interior.

The wearable comes with a 72 x 144 transflective memory-in-pixel, color touchscreen. This allows for low power consumption and therefore a longer battery life for the device, even with the 24/7 always-on display. With this model, you have 8 watch faces to choose from.

You will be able to receive your phone’s notifications (messages, calls or WhatsApp, etc.) on this device, but because of the small screen, you won’t be able to read long texts or e-mails.

The Vivosport will accurately count your steps, flights of stairs climbed and will even automatically register your runs, but so will most of its competitors. What differentiates this watch from the crowd is the newly upgraded activity menu. A long press on the screen will take you to the watch’s repertoire of supported sports. The one weight lifters were most excited about was, as expected, the Strength Training activity addition. It will count your reps, sets and even rest time. Additionally, the Move IQ feature recognizes cycling, hiking an elliptical training and automatically registers the data.

The watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters but the Swimming activity feature doesn’t provide a very accurate reading of pool lengths.

The Vivosport has an included heart rate monitor, which collects new data every second. That is impressive, to say the least. The watch will also alert you if your heart rate readings show an irregularity and the VO2 max will keep track of your overall fitness levels.

The wearable has an incorporated GPS, that will register fully mapped routes of your run which you will be able to see on your phone.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to store music on this watch but there is the option of controlling your phone’s playlists from this device.

Moving on to battery life, Garmin claims that the Vivosport will last you seven days when used as a fitness tracker and eight hours with the GPS turned on. In reality, the smartwatch will last 6 days with mixed-use, meaning some interval of GPS incorporated with the other features. Otherwise, the 8 hours always-on GPS claim is pretty accurate…

Pros
  • small, sleek design

  • lightweight, slim band

  • good battery life

  • 24/7 heart rate tracking

  • GPS included

  • find my phone alert

  • water resistant

Cons
  • small screen

  • swim tracking is not reliable

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