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Table of contents

If you’re out there for a health watch, you’ll have to make a giant resolution selecting between Apple vs Garmin. While they each have their strengths and weaknesses, each platforms present a bevy of health monitoring knowledge, smartwatch options, and {hardware} choices. Here’s every little thing you must know in regards to the Apple Watch vs Garmin.

Also learn: The full Apple Watch purchaser’s information | The full Garmin purchaser’s information

Apple Watch vs Garmin: Smartwatches and sport watches

Apple has by no means received concerned within the health tracker area, and Garmin’s Vivosmart and Vivosport units are rising lengthy within the tooth. Smartwatches, nevertheless, are a special story. The Apple Watch is among the most influential smartwatches in existence. Apple’s wearables monitor your exercises, assist third-party apps, and boast massive, crisp shows.

Apple Watch smartwatches and sports activities watches

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 on a wrist showing the Contour watch face always-on display

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  • Apple Watch Series 7 (Amazon): The Apple Watch Series 7 is the most recent and best wearable from Apple, although it’s not an enormous improve from the Series 6. It has an even bigger show, however the efficiency, battery life, and nearly every little thing else are on par with the previous-generation wearable. Not to say, we discovered the Series 7’s coronary heart fee sensor to be fairly finicky. Learn extra in our Apple Watch Series 7 purchaser’s information.
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (Amazon): Apple now not formally sells the Series 6, however we predict it’s nonetheless a worthy wearable to choose up if yow will discover one. It gives nice GPS and coronary heart fee monitoring, all-day battery life, and a pleasant show.
  • Apple Watch SE (Amazon): The Apple Watch SE is Apple’s cheaper various to the costlier Series 6 and seven units. If you possibly can reside with out superior sensors, just like the ECG and SpO2 displays, the Apple Watch SE may prevent some cash.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 (Amazon): The Apple Watch Series 3 is the oldest Apple Watch within the firm’s lineup. You can nonetheless purchase it alongside newer units just like the Watch SE and Series 6 and seven. However, we don’t advocate shopping for a Series 3. It’s fairly outdated at this level, and its {hardware} and internals are outdated.

Related: The commonest Apple Watch issues and how one can repair them

Apple Watches don’t change a lot over time, so the variations between every collection are minute. In distinction, Garmin has a number of totally different types of sports activities watches, from AMOLED-touting smartwatches to multisport health watches that prioritize battery life.

Garmin smartwatches and sports activities watches

garmin venu 2 review glances body battery pulse ox stress

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  • Garmin Venu 2 (Amazon): The Garmin Venu 2 is a full-fledged smartwatch. It boasts a pleasant AMOLED show, and the software program has been redone as a way to shine on the show. It is available in a number of sizes and colorways, helps on-device music storage, and helps a rising variety of third-party apps.
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S (Amazon): The Garmin Vivoactive 4 collection is about two years outdated at this level. Considering there’s no Vivoactive 5, we’d nonetheless advocate these units. They’re incredible multisport watches with built-in GPS, week-long battery life, and plenty of smartwatch options.
  • Garmin Venu Sq (Amazon): If you’re within the Garmin Venu 2 however need one thing a bit cheaper, the Venu Sq is for you. The Garmin Venu Sq is an affordable, sq. smartwatch with an LCD show.
  • Garmin Vivomove 3 and 3S (Amazon): Garmin’s Vivomove collection is one in all its most unusual. These are hybrid smartwatches which have bodily watch arms. They even have hidden LED shows to point out notifications and stats whenever you want them to, and conceal away whenever you’re not actively wanting on the watch.
  • Garmin Forerunner 55, 245, 645, 745, and 945 (Amazon): If you’re a runner, the Garmin Forerunner collection is your best choice. Ranging from budget-friendly units just like the Forerunner 55 to all-in units just like the Forerunner 945, there’s one thing for each runner on this lineup.
  • Garmin Fenix 6 collection (Amazon): If you’re after essentially the most feature-packed multisport smartwatch you should purchase, the Garmin Fenix 6 collection is it. These high-end multisport watches are for athletes that spend most of their time open air.
  • Garmin Instinct (Amazon): Garmin Instinct units don’t have massive shows or assist for a lot of third-party apps, however they do have photo voltaic charging and batteries that last more than ever.
  • Garmin Lily (Amazon): The Garmin Lily health tracker is made for girls and customarily these with smaller wrists, with its gentle, comfy design.

Related: The commonest Garmin issues and how one can repair them

Apple Watch vs Garmin: Activity and well being monitoring

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 on a wrist showing a cycling workout in progress

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Apple and Garmin supply two of essentially the most health-focused wearable platforms on the market. No matter which system you select, you’ll have the ability to monitor a wide range of exercise metrics and sport profiles.

All latest Apple Watches and Garmin watches will preserve monitor of your steps taken, distance traveled, energetic and resting energy burned, flooring climbed and elevation, depth/energetic minutes, resting and energetic coronary heart fee, coronary heart fee variability (HRV), VO2 max, sleep, stress, and blood oxygen saturation.

Also learn: Comparing the most well-liked calorie-counting apps

The two platforms begin to differ with extra specialised options. Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, and seven units include on-device ECG displays, whereas Garmin has but to supply a watch with that characteristic. Meanwhile, Garmin units will monitor your Body Battery, or the quantity of vitality it thinks you will have left primarily based in your exercise degree, HRV, stress, and sleeping patterns.

Speaking of sleep, Apple and Garmin have two very totally different approaches to sleep monitoring. Sleep monitoring continues to be comparatively new to the Apple Watch platform, and we’ve discovered it to be too primary in comparison with many different sleep trackers available on the market. Apple Watches will solely monitor your whole time asleep, any disturbances you expertise, in addition to your calorie burn and coronary heart fee throughout sleep.

Garmin watches, alternatively, are a few of the most strong and correct sleep trackers on the market. They monitor your sleep period, disturbances, levels (gentle, deep, and REM), and even provide you with a sleep rating within the morning primarily based on how properly you slept.

Garmin wearables supply strong and correct sleep monitoring, regardless of which system you purchase.

garmin venu sq review heart rate sensor

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As talked about, each platforms monitor your resting coronary heart fee all through the day and night time, and energetic coronary heart fee throughout exercises. Resting coronary heart fee is kind of straightforward to trace for many wearables, so each platforms are on par with one another in that sense. If you expertise abnormally excessive or low coronary heart fee readings throughout occasions of inactivity, each platforms will notify you.

During workouts, each Apple Watch and Garmin units will monitor your coronary heart fee zones, in addition to common and most coronary heart fee. Apple’s Fitness app additionally offers you a pleasant coronary heart fee restoration graph after you’ve completed your train.

In phrases of coronary heart fee sensor accuracy, we’ve discovered latest Apple Watches to be a few of the most correct wrist-based coronary heart fee sensors you should purchase — with one exception. The Apple Watch Series 7 has given us fairly just a few points with offering correct and constant measurements. We count on Apple to dial in its coronary heart fee sensor with future software program updates. For now, the Apple Watch Series 6 and even 5 can be your greatest wager for coronary heart fee sensor accuracy.

Also learn: The greatest working watches | The greatest Garmin working watches

Garmin’s latest wearables supply nice coronary heart fee monitoring, too. Specifically, all the current-gen Forerunner collection and Fenix 6 line supply stellar coronary heart fee knowledge throughout workouts. Data from the Garmin Venu 2 wasn’t as correct in our expertise once we reviewed the system, however we’re assured in saying the corporate has mounted a few of the important points with its Garmin Elevate v4 coronary heart fee sensor.

Both Apple Watch and Garmin watches supply strong GPS monitoring. Most Garmin watches are geared up with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, whereas the most recent Apple Watches assist GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, QZSS, and BeiDou. Accuracy between the 2 platforms is normally on par with each other.

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch Series 6 showing Apple Maps

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Left to proper: Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch Series 7

Both Garmin and Apple supply incident detection options to assist preserve you protected.

While you’re monitoring an exercise, Apple and Garmin are each capable of notify emergency contacts if one thing goes awry. The Apple Watch gives “fall detection” which may set off if it senses you’ve abruptly stopped. It’ll then ask you in the event you’d prefer to contact emergency providers, or, if it senses you’re motionless for greater than a minute, it’ll contact emergency providers routinely. Garmin’s incident detection works equally. If your Garmin watch senses you’ve fallen, it’ll ship your identify and placement to your emergency contacts. It won’t notify emergency providers by itself, nevertheless.

Apple and Garmin each supply menstrual cycle monitoring. You can log and look at your menstrual cycle signs and obtain interval and fertility window predictions primarily based in your private calendar. The Cycle Tracking app for the Apple Watch permits you to log recognizing and basal physique temperature. In Garmin Connect, you can too set reminders and obtain steerage round vitamin, coaching, and normal well being.

A Galaxy A51 and Garmin Venu Sq each display how to add symptoms in Garmin Pregnancy Tracking Add Symptoms.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple Watch SE, and Series 4 and later units can provide you environmental noise notifications. If your watch senses that the decibel degree has reached a degree the place it may injury your listening to, you’ll obtain a notification in your wrist. That is likely to be time to place in earplugs or headphones.

Garmin additionally gives respiration monitoring. In Garmin Connect, you possibly can see your daytime and nighttime averages, in addition to your highest and lowest breaths per minute for a sure timeframe.

Garmin additionally gives native hydration monitoring on its watches and in Garmin Connect — there’s no have to obtain a third-party app to take action. Apple Watches can monitor your hydration through third-party apps, however not natively.

Finally, with most Garmin watches, you’ll have entry to extra coaching options like your coaching standing and impact, restoration time, efficiency situation, lactate threshold, and extra.

Apple Watch vs Garmin: Smart options

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 on a table showing the all-apps screen

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Apple Watches are smartwatches first, health units second. Even in comparison with one of the best of what the Android world has to supply, the Apple Watch offers a strong, feature-packed, and fluid software program expertise. If you need one of the best smartwatch expertise on a wearable, look no additional than the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch runs apps — each first- and third-party — and makes use of a condensed model of the App Store for its smartwatch apps. Many of the apps out there in your iPhone have watchOS counterparts. You can navigate in your wrist with Apple or Google Maps, chat with associates through the Messages app in your watch, or stream music with Apple Music. You may also use Siri on the Apple Watch. Garmin watches don’t include any voice assistant or AI capabilities.

Seeing as how Apple makes each the iPhone and Apple Watch, connectivity between the 2 units is seamless. Many of the settings on the Apple Watch mirror your cellphone’s settings, so placing your watch in DnD mode additionally units your cellphone to silent. It’s the little issues that make the Apple Watch’s software program so nice to make use of.

There’s one massive caveat about Apple Watches, although. They’re solely appropriate with iPhones. If you’re already an iPhone consumer, nice! You can select between both Apple or Garmin. If you’re on Android and refuse to modify to iOS, Garmin is your solely choice.

Read: Everything you must find out about Samsung Galaxy Watches

garmin venu 2 review spotify music playing

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Garmin’s working system is among the higher RTOS-based platforms out there on smartwatches, although it’s clear that the essential menus and lack of animations go away a lot to be desired, in comparison with watchOS. Garmin watches are simply easier smartwatches total.

Garmin smartwatches additionally run first- and third-party apps, which could be downloaded through a separate app referred to as Connect IQ. Most Garmin watches have assist for fashionable music streaming providers like Spotify. Due to the constraints of the RTOS software program, Garmin apps are typically easier and extra primary than Apple Watch apps.

Garmin has Apple beat relating to watch faces. The Apple Watch solely helps first-party watch faces, or ones made by Apple. It’s proscribing and takes a whole lot of the enjoyable out of proudly owning a smartwatch. Garmin, alternatively, has tons of of first- and third-party watch faces out there from the Connect IQ retailer. Many of them are paid, however yow will discover some first rate free ones, too.

More: The greatest Garmin watch faces to your Fenix, Forerunner, and Venu

You will pay for issues in shops from each units. The Apple Watch makes use of Apple Pay, whereas Garmin watches assist Garmin Pay.

With that being stated, Apple’s watchOS software program might supply extra fluid animations and higher touchscreen assist, however that comes at a value. Most Apple Watches can solely final a day or two on a single cost. You may end up having to preserve battery energy if you wish to do power-intensive issues like go for a run with GPS or monitor your sleep. Garmin watches profit from the battery-saving properties of RTOS. Most Garmin units, relying on their show kind and dimension, can final anyplace from 4 days to 2 weeks on a cost. Some even have photo voltaic charging.

Apple Watch vs Garmin: Apps

Apple Watch vs Garmin Connect home screen on Google Pixel 6

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Companion apps and providers are a significant a part of every health ecosystem. After all, it’s the way you’ll dig into the information that your health watch collects.

If you personal a Garmin system, you’ll use Garmin Connect to entry your knowledge. There’s an internet model, in addition to apps for Android and iOS. You can see all your knowledge, from steps to coaching plans, on all three variations of Garmin Connect. Of course, some issues like coronary heart fee and GPS knowledge could be simpler to see on a full-fledged laptop.

We’ve been essential of the Garmin Connect app. It’s extraordinarily feature-packed, as there’s basically little distinction between the online and cellular variations, however the app could be troublesome to navigate. Even after years of utilizing Garmin Connect, we even wrestle to seek out sure settings and knowledge every so often. There’s a particular studying curve concerned when utilizing Garmin Connect. Once you spend a while with it although, you’ll get pleasure from the advantages of the data-rich dwelling display, helpful month-to-month calendar view, and the power to create customized exercises, proper contained in the app.

There’s a wholly totally different app referred to as Connect IQ for downloading watch faces, apps, and widgets. You can entry Connect IQ on the internet, Android, and iOS.

Apple Watch vs Garmin Apple Health app on iPhone 11

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Apple’s setup is kind of totally different from Garmin’s. There are 4 apps you must find out about, three of which we’ll discuss on this part. The first is the Watch app, which comes pre-installed on all iPhones, even in the event you don’t personal an Apple Watch (cool transfer, Apple). The Watch app is the place you’ll handle, obtain, and customise your watch faces, change app and notification settings, and extra.

The Apple Fitness app is Apple’s, properly, fitness-tracking app. It’s fairly primary, in that it solely exhibits your tracked health knowledge out of your Apple Watch or different Apple system. The Fitness app exhibits a abstract of your day by day exercise, your latest exercises, health and train traits, and any awards or achievements you’ve earned.

Apple Health is the place all your well being knowledge is saved. You can see your exercises and exercise, but in addition your sleep, coronary heart fee, vitamin, respiratory knowledge, and rather more. Apple Health can get fairly convoluted too, sadly. We’ve discovered it to be a bit too straightforward to get misplaced trying to find the information you need. However, the app is saved by the Browse tab, which helps you to slim down your search utilizing a search field, or by choosing a wide range of well being classes.

Essential studying: Apple Health, Apple Fitness, and Apple Fitness Plus defined

We have a whole information explaining the variations and the ins and outs of Apple Health and Apple Fitness. Click the hyperlink to study extra about each functions.

When evaluating Apple vs Garmin apps, it’s robust to decide on which one comes out on prime. Both Apple Health and Garmin Connect will take a while to get used to.

Garmin Connect is the higher app for coaching metrics and customized exercises. The month-to-month calendar view in Garmin’s app additionally makes it extraordinarily straightforward to look again in time and discover a sure exercise or exercise. Apple Health clearly shows all your well being knowledge in an easy-to-navigate checklist, making it the higher app for shortly viewing knowledge.

Premium options

Apple Watch vs Garmin Apple Fitness Plus on iPhone 11

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Apple has jumped on the health subscription bandwagon with Apple Fitness Plus. It’s a premium service that prices Apple Watch customers $9.99 a month or $79.99 a yr. This charge will get you entry to a wide range of guided exercise movies from a few of the hottest trainers all over the world. Video suggestions are tailor-made to your exercise historical past, so in the event you’re a runner, bike owner, or devoted HIIT-er, there will likely be loads of movies to fit your wants.

You can entry Apple Fitness Plus by means of the App Store or through an Apple TV. One of one of the best components of the platform is having the ability to train together with a exercise video in your tv and seeing your coronary heart fee knowledge on the massive display. Your Apple Watch may also routinely file the particular exercise within the Apple Fitness app, so that you don’t have to spend time organising a selected exercise within the app.

A free three-month trial comes with all new Apple Watch purchases.

Garmin doesn’t supply exercise movies, although a few of its newer units (Venu, Venu 2, and Vivoactive 4) supply animated, on-device exercises. You can observe together with cardio, energy coaching, yoga, and Pilates exercises proper in your smartwatch. Even extra could be present in Garmin Connect. This characteristic pales compared to Apple’s premium providing, however at the very least it’s free.

Garmin units additionally include a characteristic referred to as Garmin Coach. These free coaching plans will provide help to run a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or a wide range of biking races with the assistance {of professional} athletes. Training plans are restricted and superior athletes may not get a lot out of them, however they’re nice for many who are beginning their health journeys.

Also learn: Our in-depth Fitbit vs Garmin comparability

Apple Watch vs Garmin: Which ecosystem is best for you?

Apple Watch vs Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Apple Watch Series 6 on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

If you got here right here hoping to discover a clear winner between the Apple Watch vs Garmin, I’m sorry to say that it’s extra nuanced than that. As we’ve lined, each platforms supply wonderful health and well being monitoring options, high-end {hardware}, and data-packed functions.

The Apple Watch is clearly the higher smartwatch. Its high-resolution show and tight integration with iOS make for an all-round stellar expertise. The Apple Watch is customizable, fashionable, and could be (at occasions) inexpensive. It’s additionally extremely versatile, making it a terrific match for the workplace or the fitness center.

The platform is made even higher because of Apple Fitness Plus. For these keen to pay every month, Fitness Plus is a handy technique to keep motivated and on monitor along with your workouts.

Apple Watches are the higher smartwatches, whereas Garmin watches needs to be your first decide for coaching.

Garmin watches have their strengths too. While costly, Garmin’s wearables lineup covers just about each worth level from $150–$1,000 and up. Whether you’re searching for a primary exercise tracker or a do-everything health watch, you’re certain to seek out one thing in Garmin’s steady.

We would additionally advocate selecting Garmin’s ecosystem for coaching functions. Not solely do Garmin Coach coaching plans come free with nearly each Garmin watch, the power to create customized exercises, map your individual programs, and preserve tabs in your coaching standing and impact can’t be overstated.

Finally, there’s one main space the place Apple simply can’t appear to make any progress, and that’s battery life. Buy a Garmin watch in the event you don’t need to have to fret about battery life. It’s so simple as that.

Which ecosystem do you favor: Apple or Garmin?

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