Best Garmin Smart Watches for Running, Multi-sports, Outdoor and Swimming (February 2020))

Garmin

Garmin has decided to take the game to a whole new level as they are now getting ready to announce and reveal some more devices in the near future. You’re also going to see running and sporty watches getting released one after the other. The customers are going to have a hard time choosing one.
If we talk about the Garmin running watches then we have to say the Forerunner 45 comes out at the top of the list. It has a comfortable design and size. Also, the amount of data on offer was brilliant and it also provides great value for your money.

Garmin smart watches

There are so many designs and choices you’d get in the Garmin devices and they’re relatively cheaper as well. However, the Forerunner is a powerful device but it comes in a small package. We also have the amazing Fenix 6 on offer. It has been tagged as the best sports watch in the world. You’d expect these kinds of devices from a high-price tag.

The most amazing thing about Garmin watches is that everyone gets their fair share when it comes to the affordability of the Garmin devices. So, if your eyes are looking for a smartwatch then we will definitely bring in the Vivoactive 4.

Best Garmin watch 2020

We have brought in our best efforts to the core as to explain to our customers about all of the Garmin’s watches like running, outdoor and multi-sport tasks.

Garmin running watches

Garmin smart watch for running in 2020

The Forerunner is always on the front and grabs all the limelight but the fact of the matter is that Garmin doesn’t only release or make running watches. Most of the watches are going to provide the luxury of tracking other sports like biking, swimming and cardio exercises as well. All of the fitness watches made by the company are also water-resistant.

If we look at it simply then the Forerunner is miles ahead. Expensive watches generally bring in a lot better battery life. Some of the advanced metrics are based on heart rate and they also come along with the ability to store and listen to music. Check out our top picks.

Top pick: Garmin Forerunner 45

Garmin Forerunner 45

We have been talking about Forerunner 45 and its amazing features but we can safely say that the company has covered a long distance since its last Garmin 35 watch. Forerunner is bringing major features at a very affordable price. You can get it in a round design that is being offered in 39mm and 42mm sizes.
If we talk about the features then the display is the same that you’d get in almost all of the Garmin’s watches. It is water-proof as well if taken down to a maximum depth of 50 meters.

There’s no swim tracking available but the heart-rate feature is good enough for many customers.
The sports watch for Android and iOS concentrates its tracking capabilities on running and cycling, including total satellite mapping and key metrics as well as predictive tests such as VO2 Max. Smartwatch features provide support for notification, while compatibility with Connect IQ only applies to the watch entry-level.
Forerunner 45 (or smaller 45S) is the one to be used if you’re new to running and don’t want to spend much.

Garmin Forerunner 45

Things we like:

  • The thin design
  • Great price
  • More than enough metrics for even passionate runners

Things we don’t like:

  • Limited multi-sport features
  • Limited battery life
  • No music

 

Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35

As we have discussed earlier, the Forerunner 35 has been upgraded in the shape of the Forerunner 45. You can still buy it and it is definitely great for the newcomers as it is affordable and not very expensive. The Savvy buyers can get it for $100 and we can already see the demand.

It is perfect for beginners, who want a little more detail about their regular sports run without getting overwhelmed with details, and also has activity tracking, bridging the gap between a cheap tracker and a serious sports watch.
It is also highly recommendable and it is packed in all the basics such as distance, pace, time, calories, splitting and an optical heart rate monitor. Additionally, it also sends your wrist mobile messages.

It is perfect for the athletes who are only concerned about their running and want to know how fast they’ve gone in their exercises. It also offers smartwatch updates and better than simple monitoring of your health, including tracking cardiac rest.

So, what are you not getting? There are no other sports – only running, swimming and cycling – and the data is clear.
You won’t have any insights into the load, impact or recovery about training. There are also things like cadence down. But this is the next move if you think of moving past monitoring on your devices.

Garmin Forerunner 35

Things we love:

  • Price
  • Simplicity

Things we don’t love:

  • Ugly design
  • Not many features
  • Music doesn’t exist

 

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Forerunner 245 Music is the natural successor of the 235, which had just been set on pasture it is now completely replaced by the forerunner 45. The 5ATM water resistance also records cycling, mountain biking, swimming and cardio.

Those who’ve advanced in training and are now beginning to become concerned with their PB, Forerunner 245 has some new, serious features. It takes the VO2 Max readings from the optical heart rate sensor to allow an insight into your recovery, the results of each session, and your load.

The PacePro functionality has been installed, which uses GPS data in order to accelerate the race to the desired time of completion, even in hills. For music features outside of your phone’s playback function, the built-in music player service works much like the other Garmin watches.

It also gives you the luxury of switching from streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer to the watch via your own music or playlists. You can always leave that phone behind after getting paired to some Bluetooth headphones that would give you around 500 songs. The Forerunner 945 gives you 1,000 songs but 500 are also not bad, eh?

As far as the battery life is concerned then you’ve almost got one week in that department. However, playing a lot of music will dent that one-week battery and the best thing is to just save the audios for your workouts.
If you do that, you will survive for one week easily. There is no helpful payment and no altimeter, but in general,it is a great running watch for anyone looking for music.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Things we love:

  • VO2 Max data
  • Advanced training and recovery metrics
  • PacePro
  • Spotify playlists and MP3 playback

Things we don’t like:

  • Expensive and not very stylish

 

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

When we look at the Garmin Music featuring watches then the Forerunner 645 Music is the pioneer in that list. Also, the 645 Music has a better design and payment support than the 245 Music. There is also a barometric altimeter to trail runners for all of these elevation data. It will track running, cycling, swimming in the pool and yes, a 5ATM water resistance is here as well.

It will give you many luxuries like the ground contact time and balance, vertical oscillation and vertical ration. All of these features are only for serious runners.

You can always get access to the training status and it doesn’t matter what kind of training you’re going through.
You can also check the Training Effect and Training Load features for aiding recovery between workouts. And, most significantly, it was the first

Garmin has the ability to stream music directly from your wrist while being strong in the monitoring department. It has a storage capability to load 500 songs, while offline plays from Deezer, iHeartRadio and now Spotify can be accessed as well.
Garmin provides a Forerunner 645 without music, like the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 245, and it should also save you some money if music is not necessary for you.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

Things we love:

  • Spotify support
  • More stylish look
  • VO2 and advanced training analysis

Things we don’t like:

  • Forerunner 245 is better and less expensive
  • No PacePro as of now

 

Garmin multi-sport watches

Gamin Multi sport watch

It is a basic feature for most of the basic watches to just offer more than one kind of activity. Garmin’s multi-sport watches are also offering multiple features like running, cycling and pool swimming. We also have the two “smartwatch” types here. Essentially, look at this list if your weekly fitness program is only a part of the race.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

The Vivoactive 4 is Garmin’s sport-centric smartwatch that offers up to 20 activities with the advantage of notifications and smart features with jack-of-all-trade sports tracking. Like its main opponents, the Fitbit Ionic and the Apple Watch Series 5, it is a watch designed to bring fitness smarts to your hands.

The update to the Vivoactive 3 still has a relatively low-resolution cross-section display, but this time a vivid, stylish screen has been given. It still has Garmin Pay and Spotify support as you might have expected, and you can install apps through Connect IQ, too. It’s quite detailed in terms of sports monitoring your run (indoors, outside, treadmills), cycling (indoors and outdoors), golf, power, fitness, elliptical, inner rows, yoga and much more. It’s a sports monitoring method and you can’t help.

What would you say about such features? And of course, the 5ATM water-resistor is there as well.
None of the crazy specifics used by the Forerunner or Fenix experts are being monitored – so you will not lose anything like recovery, exercise load, preparation, VO2 Max and the like. The pulse ox-sensor that provides advanced sleep stages and breathing information during your sleep is helpful to your fitness and sleep.

You can also spend one week in smartwatch modes with 13 hours of GPS when you believe that Apple Watch Series 5 lasts only one day and won’t pass you through marathons unless you turn off the monitor. It’s pretty good.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Things we love:

  • Loads of tracked sports
  • Shiny new display
  • Packed full with features
  • Music and Spotify

Things we don’t like:

  • Lack of VO2 Max
  • Data light

 

Garmin Venu:

Garmin Venu

If you’re a fan of devices with classic looks and beautiful designs then this Garmin Venu is certainly made for you. Some of the Apple Watch lovers are going to be attracted as well because this device is almost like the Vivoactive 4 but with a much more shinny AMOLED display. The package is good and the screen is really beautiful that makes it easier to read those runs in the dark. And health records and warnings look great, too.

You’re going to get almost similar features like the Vivoactive 4. It includes running both outdoor and indoor on treadmills as well. Cycling and swimming sessions are also going to be tracked down because of its 5ATM water resistor. You will get support for golf, cardio, elliptical, indoor rowing, yoga and much more. Also, the support for underwater reading for heart rate is also there on board.

Basically, you’re getting a strong device that offers Garmin levels of sports tracking in a very attractive looking package. Because of its AMOLED screen, battery life is going to be sacrificed to an extent but you can still get five days of wear as a smartwatch. The battery life of the GPS is 8 hours, so much less than that of the Vivoactive, but this is certainly a better-looking design.

Garmin Venu

Things we love:

  • The screen
  • The sports tracking
  • Music and Spotify

Things we don’t like:

  • Lower battery life
  • The touch screen is a little fiddly

 

Top pick: Garmin Fenix 6/6 Pro

Garmin Fenix 6 Series

We can call the Fenix range as the flagship models of the Garmin watches. Also, the new Garmin Fenix 6 is regarded as the best all-action sports watches that you can get these days.

You can get countless features in this device because it will cover all of your basic and advanced activities such as the track hiking, climbing, cross country skiing, regular skiing, cycling, swimming, open water swimming, running, trail running, indoor workouts, triathlon and golf as well. You can track anything you like with the Fenix 6 series watches and if you’re a swimmer then it is specially made for open water and pool dips with 10ATM water resistance.

All of the new model Fenix 6 carries, monitored metrics to their limits, offering full insight into VO2 Max, race prediction, stress levels, training impact and training status. Data fans are going to be over the moon.

There is a PacePro feature as well that is going to excite the runners and athletes. This feature uses a library of user-generated GPS routes that will assist you in your running races. Also, there is a TOPO mapping for trekkers, so you can see what lies around you, including important trails, and navigate right from the wrist to points of interest. If we compare the Fenix 6 with Fenix 5 then the Fenix 6 gives you a greater life of the battery, the pulse ox-acclimatization sensor for all models, a larger display with better resolution, improved heart rate technology and more fields of data.

Garmin Fenix 6/6 Pro

Things we love:

  • Lighter design
  • An incredible selection of tracked sports
  • A lot of Data
  • Music and Spotify

Things we don’t like:

  • Crazy price
  • Very masculine design

 

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

The Forerunner 935 was sitting with the crown of the best and top running watch for quite some time but the Forerunner 945 is providing a lot more features and it has certainly dethroned its predecessor. This device is specially made for serious athletes and people who are involved in long-running sessions. It is an extremely effective multi-sport watch tailored for runners.

The triathlon-friendly watch essentially cracks everything from multi-sport monitoring to a built-in music player and apps to full-color maps into all of the new Fenix watch. While you’re running, it includes everything from the training to the recovery and gives you a lot of things to do after the work-out.

The battery life is still good, while the built-in heart rate tracking and great new training results, loading and focus features ensure that you do not overwork. This is another high-end GPS multi-sport watch, making it a great companion for serious athletes.

Garmin Forerunner 945

Things we love:

  • Advanced analytics
  • Triathlon tracking
  • Cheaper than Fenix
  • Music and Spotify

Things we don’t like:

  • Not quite as stylish as Fenix 6
  • Big price tag

Garmin outdoor watches

Garmin Outdoor Watches

You have two key options in the Garmin range if you opt for a true outdoor watch. The spike is the Fenix 6, which we have listed above as a top pick. But its price tag is insane and that is exactly why Garmin has introduced cheaper alternatives that are not enough for trekkers.

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct is a versatile outdoor sport watch with the same DNA as the Fenix series of Garmin. It is not made just for the sake of hiking and it also has the UltraTrac feature that extends its battery life to almost 40 hours by dropping the number of times it checks in with the satellite. Fenix series’ doesn’t have this technology.

It is great for those who move slowly and it not so good for the runners. It also comes with a GPS mode that is offering 16 hours of tracking and is going to last for almost two weeks. The Instinct has a wide range of features on-board such as running, cycling and swimming are key, but also outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing and even skiing.

This device is made to counter all the hard elements. It has all the necessary features and skills that are usually found in Garmin’s outdoor watches. You’d also get a GLONASS and Galileo support to offer a plethora of mapping coverage. As you climb up the mountains, a heart rate monitor and a promise of the battery life that goes the distance, there is a barometric altimeter to measure elevations.

As we have discussed before that this Garmin Instinct is specially made for outdoor-friendly environment so not so surprisingly, it puts great emphasis on the features that are going to be helpful when you’re climbing a mountain or just normally hiking.

Features like the course navigation and the ability to import GPX routes are non-avoidable and the Garmin’s great TrackBack feature is also icing on the cake. If we talk about the price range then it is pretty well placed between the Fenix and Vivoactive ranges. It is being sold around $299.99. This is a fantastic offer for the fans of outdoor sessions because they won’t have to pay a lot for tracking.

Garmin Instinct

Things we love:

  • UltraTrac GPS for long hikes
  • General running and workout modes for everyday fitness

Things we don’t love:

  • Design is not stylish
  • Low res display
  • No music

Garmin swimming watches

Gamin watches Swim

Garmin Swim 2

Gamin Swim 2

The Garmin Swim 2 is a massive improvement on the first swim especially when you’re enjoying a nice swimming session in the pool. To be honest, this has to be the cheapest Garmin watch that is ideally made for open water and swimming sessions. However, if the price gets a little lower then this device will become even more attractive. It is still worth trying though, especially for the regular swimmers.

If you can’t afford a top-end Forerunner or Fenix, this is the swimming-oriented Garmin watch providing you a lot of value for your money. If we talk about features in detail then you are going to get a lot more metrics, settings to play with and the smattering of smartwatch features designed to make it useful when you aren’t in the pool.

It will also give you the luxury of tracking lengths, distance, pace, stroke count and SWOLF. Stroke types are also going to be detected along with pace alerts and critical swim insights. There is a useful auto rest feature as well on offer. Like any other Garmin watch, it will also play well with Strava. A lot of these features can be viewed in real-time on the watch. However, the Garmin Connect app will provide you with every single detail.

Garmin Swim 2

Things we love:

  • User-friendly
  • A lot of swimming features
  • Precise tracking

Things we don’t like:

  • Basic smartwatch features
  • IQ support lacking
  • Small screen
  • Garmin hybrid watches

 

Garmin Vivomove 3

Garmin Vivomove 3

If you’re looking for something that looks really cool on your wrists then this Vivomove 3 is perhaps the best-looking smartwatch. It can also be tagged as the best hybrid on the market but with a slightly weaker field. This blends an analog face with a digital display on the device which shows key information, such as cardiac pace, steps and call updates, for a battery life of one week.

If we talk about the loopholes then the GPS tracking system is not available in this watch. However, if you’re still looking for accurate tracking while you’re on a cycle then you’d need to do it with your phone.

Overall, it features a lot of healthy tracking systems. If you press the screen for some time then the options to select activities would pop out. Thereby, you can cycle between runs, cycles, walks, gym workouts and much more. We can say that it is a bit receptive to the odd software hiccups, however, the secretive screen technology is responding really well and it offers a huge range of features.

You cannot avoid the rest of the Garmin watches for this Vivomove 3 and especially not if you’re a serious sporty kind of a guy. However, it is still pretty useful for regular users that require a simple fitness tracker.

Garmin Vivomove 3

Things we love:

  • Beautiful design
  • Software working is smooth and pleasant
  • A wide range of features

Things we don’t love:

  • Gentle software problems
  • Sleep tracking not good
  • Style and Luxe models are costly