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Greatest Garmin Watch 2023: Our favorite Garmin wearables to run with

12 min read

Garmin is among the greatest names relating to sports-focused wearables, and we’ve reviewed all the key fashions lately. Right here you’ll discover our knowledgeable rating of the easiest Garmin watches available on the market.

Garmin has launched quite a few sensible wearable units prior to now decade, catering to all types of markets, from gymnasium freshmen to hardened ultramarathon runners. They’ll differ wildly in worth, and for many individuals, the top-end fashions are more likely to be overkill for each day step and sleep monitoring.

Our knowledgeable reviewers price Garmin units very extremely, with many fashions sitting in our greatest health tracker and finest operating watch lists. We even use the Fenix 7 because the benchmark when testing the accuracy of different trackers, as we really feel it’s one of the crucial dependable wearables available on the market. 

Garmin watches are usually not solely normally very feature-rich and correct relating to monitoring, however they work throughout Android and iOS.

Each watch included on this checklist has been utilized by an knowledgeable as their principal tracker for a minimum of per week – though typically quite a bit longer and completely reviewed. Throughout that point they’ve examined all its monitoring and sensible options, battery life and construct high quality to make sure that it’s value your hard-earned money.

Which is the most effective Garmin Watch?

How we take a look at

Discover out extra about how we take a look at Garmin watches

Each Garmin watch we take a look at is utilized by the reviewer for a minimum of per week – or longer, if the battery life lasts past that time or we want extra time to trial its options. Throughout testing we consider key metrics together with usability, battery life, and the accuracy of health and distance monitoring.
For distance monitoring, we assess how precisely the gadget information outside runs on tracks we all know the size of. We additionally consider the extent of battery life misplaced per hour utilizing options corresponding to built-in or related GPS. To verify coronary heart price accuracy, we evaluate the outcomes from the wearable to a devoted HRM strap.

Subsequent we mix the info recorded with our normal expertise of utilizing the wearable day-to-day, revealing whether or not the gadget proved snug to put on, alongside any points we might have encountered with surprising bugs over the overview interval.

Garmin Fenix 7

The most effective high-end choice


  • Robust outside monitoring accuracy
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Improved battery life


  • It’s not low cost
  • Not the complete smartwatch expertise
  • Core expertise just like Fenix 6

The Fenix line is one Garmin’s most costly choices, and whereas the Fenix 7 is undeniably pricier and never as fairly as an Apple Watch 7, primarily based on our testing it’s undoubtedly definitely worth the cash should you’re a severe athlete on the lookout for a multi-sport watch that’ll final for years.

The rugged sapphire glass smartwatch is among the hardest we’ve tried, with it surviving an unintended encounter with a climbing wall rock, crack free. On high of that, the gadget provides all of the options any severe athlete will want.

We struggled to search out an exercise the Fenix 7 couldn’t monitor. There’s every thing from fundamental outside operating to browsing and cross nation snowboarding on provide. The watch’s correct distant monitoring, reactive GPS and talent to retailer maps regionally additionally made it nice after we examined it on run and cycle routes we weren’t aware of. Throughout our checks the GPS related in seconds, and the watch provided simple to observe flip by flip navigation on our cycle route.

Our reviewer additionally liked the put up exercise analytics the watch gave. These included key monitoring stats like coronary heart price zones and VO2 max in addition to estimates and recommendation on how a lot relaxation we wanted earlier than understanding once more. Add to this the watch’s native music assist, which helps you to retailer and take heed to tracks with no telephone close by, and the Fenix 7 turned a simple suggestion for any severe athlete.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full overview: Garmin Fenix 7 Assessment

Garmin Forerunner 955 Photo voltaic

The most effective for severe runners


  • Snappy and correct multi-band GPS connectivity
  • Comfy discrete design
  • Native music playback


  • Restricted smartwatch performance

The Forerunner 955 is among the finest wearables at present obtainable to severe runners. Throughout testing the gadget outright wowed our reviewer, with it sharing a number of the identical key options because the Fenix 7 regardless of being smaller and extra light-weight (in addition to cheaper) than it’s premium multi-sport sibling.

The smaller plastic chassis isn’t as rugged because the steel used within the Fenix, however its smaller dimensions and thinner physique made it much more snug to put on, notably throughout prolonged long-distance runs on 10km or extra.

Underneath the hood it additionally helps multi-band GPS, which meant throughout our checks it was correct when monitoring distances and uniformly provided equal information to the Fenix. Throughout our 5km verify we detected a most variance of simply 0.1km, which is critically good contemplating the very fact our reviewer’s take a look at monitor is in a busy sign space in London.

Nevertheless it was the watch’s superior put up run analytics and training powers that basically gained us over. In addition to monitoring VO2 Max estimates, SpO2, and coronary heart price zones, the watch can also be the primary we’ve examined that may provide coaching suggestions primarily based on upcoming occasions in your calendar.

Particularly the watch will issue races you’ve entered into its suggestions in addition to the biometric information it collects. This, plus its customized coaching readiness metric, made it quite a bit simpler for us to belief its suggestions and keep away from overtraining forward of races. The one factor stopping it from being our really helpful tracker for all Garmin followers is that the plastic body and lack of a Sapphire Glass choice make it a poor match for climbers, excessive sports activities contributors, and watersports followers. For these, we have now completely different suggestions.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full overview: Garmin Forerunner 955

Garmin Enduro 2

The most effective for battery life


  • Full-colour mapping added
  • New Multi-band mode boosts monitoring accuracy
  • Barely refined design


  • Costly
  • Design will nonetheless be massive for some
  • Smartwatch battery numbers are down

The Fenix 7 is nice, and the week-and-a-half battery life we recorded is great by comparability to most smartwatches that always wrestle to final greater than a few days in our expertise. However in order for you a Garmin watch with the longest battery life attainable, then the Garmin Enduro 2 is our suggestion for you.

The Enduro 2 is a devoted wearable from Garmin with a singular focus: providing the very best battery life. Garmin quotes the watch as providing 34 days of normal use and 100 hours value of battery life with GPS energetic. We discovered the claims rang true throughout our overview course of, too.

Providing a close to sufficient core monitoring expertise to the Fenix, the Enduro 2 is a superb choice for ultramarathon runners or individuals who wish to take multi-day hikes or cycles. There are a selection of upgrades over the unique Enduro 2, such because the inclusion of offline music playback from the likes of Spotify and Deezer.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full overview: Garmin Enduro 2 Assessment

Garmin Venu 2S

The most effective for small wrists


  • Big enchancment on battery life
  • The brand new UI is a pleasure to make use of
  • Tremendous-fast GPS connectivity
  • Well being snapshot is an ingenious concept


  • There are extra strong wearables for professional athletes
  • Garmin Pay continues to be a letdown

One constant criticism our reviewers have mounted at Garmin wearables is that, whereas they’re nice health trackers, they’re admittedly not the prettiest of units. The bulk provide utilitarian, chunky designs that target efficiency and never their seems. This has meant that among the crew with smaller wrists, and a level of trend sense, have typically opted for different extra discrete trying trackers from the likes of Fitbit.

Fortunately, Garmin has mounted this drawback with the Venu 2S which is our really helpful choice for individuals who don’t need a chunky watch. Venu is Garmin’s fashion-focused line of wearables, and the 2S is the best choice within the line-up that we’ve examined. Out of the field its thinner, round design and OLED display instantly made it really feel extra like a smartwatch than the opposite choices on this checklist.

Although it doesn’t monitor the identical quantity of sports activities or metrics because the Fenix, for mid-to-entry degree athletes its exercise and put up exercise analytics are greater than adequate. We discovered the GPS to be suitably reactive and correct to trace 5km runs and the odd cycle. Offline music and Spotify assist are additionally welcome options which are uncommon on wearables at this worth. The one draw back is that it’s not fairly as rugged because the Fenix or Enduro, so should you often have interaction in excessive sports activities then you definately’ll be higher off trying elsewhere consequently.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full overview: Garmin Venu 2S Assessment

Garmin Vivosmart 5

The most effective inexpensive choice


  • Dependable health monitoring for the worth
  • Week lengthy battery life
  • Comfortable gym-ready match


  • Display screen is just too small for many notifications
  • Restricted smartwatch performance

For those who’re after an entry degree tracker that gained’t break the financial institution then Garmin’s Vivosmart 5 is among the finest available on the market.

The discrete band design is splendidly snug to put on, and it nonetheless provides all of the analytics and options an entry degree runner or a gymnasium newcomer will want. Throughout testing we discovered that the watch is able to monitoring all the fundamental actions effectively, supporting indoor and outside operating, biking plus fundamental cardio and swimming.

As an added bonus, whereas it doesn’t have native music or Spotify assist, the Vivosmart 5 can a minimum of be used to manage music being streamed from a telephone. We discovered this function notably helpful when treadmill operating, because it saved us from having to awkwardly paw at our telephone when an undesirable monitor made its manner into the playlist.

Publish-workout analytics are stripped all the way down to make them comprehensible, however provide all of the element you might want to make a distinction. Highlights embrace your depth minutes plus helpful metrics like your physique battery, VO2 Max estimate, and health age. These are uncommon insights for a wearable at this worth. Fitbit, by comparability, hides a few of them behind a paywall.

The one actual compromise we seen is that as a result of lack of untethered GPS connectivity, distance monitoring when operating outdoor could possibly be a bit hit or miss. With no related GPS the wearable had an inclination so as to add or take away round 0.3km from our 5km runs.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full overview: Garmin Vivosmart Assessment

Garmin Forerunner 965

Greatest mid-range choice


  • AMOLED display is a superb addition
  • Battery life doesn’t endure drastically from the brand new display
  • Nonetheless nice all-round sports activities monitoring


  • Very related options to the Garmin 955
  • It’s costlier than the 955
  • No photo voltaic choice

Constructing upon the unbelievable foundations of the Garmin Forerunner 955, the 965 looks like a extra premium watch total, even when there’s a increased price ticket to cope with.

For starters, the massive spotlight function of the Forerunner 965 is its new AMOLED show which lastly brings Garmin’s mid-range wearables into the fashionable age. With that show, every thing from operating information to look at faces leap off the display with unbelievable color, and the show itself is ready to get quite a bit brighter than the transflective show of outdated.

Whereas AMOLED expertise is extra power-intensive, the battery doesn’t endure drastically from the improve. In our testing, we have been capable of attain 23-days of use in ‘smartwatch’ mode, and a formidable 31-hours when sustaining an unbroken GPS connection. These are nonetheless some spectacular numbers, and simply the form of stats that marathon runners will respect.

Sadly, there isn’t rather more past that that separates the Forerunner 965 from its predecessor, so should you personal a 955 then we don’t advocate upgrading solely to learn from that AMOLED show. The 965 is finest fitted to somebody upgrading from a a lot older watch or who is perhaps seeking to purchase their first severe Garmin wearable.

With that mentioned, the 965 nonetheless advantages from all the monitoring options that made the 955 so standard within the first place. Coronary heart price monitoring is strong, and multiband GPS provides extremely correct information when trying again at your route post-workout. It’s additionally value noting that maps are actually simpler to learn due to the extra vibrant show.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full Assessment: Garmin Forerunner 265 Assessment

Garmin Vivomove Pattern

Greatest design


  • Nice look
  • Nicely built-in digital show
  • Spectacular array of health and wellness options
  • Useful wi-fi charging


  • Fiddly to get to some sub-menus
  • Not your typical massive Garmin battery life
  • Greater high quality shows on different Vivomove watches
  • Not less expensive than Vivomove Fashion

Whereas they’re recognized for his or her sports activities and health prowess, Garmin wearables aren’t notably favoured for his or her aesthetic which tends to be extra practical than modern. For those who’ve been hoping for a extra fashion-conscious wearable that additionally contains Garmin’s monitoring options then look no additional than the Garmin Vivomove Pattern.

This hybrid smartwatch combines the watch dials of a conventional timepiece with the digital performance of a contemporary wearable due to the touchscreen that lies beneath the aforementioned dials. Once you need to scroll via the Vivomove Pattern’s menus, the watch dials will merely transfer out of the way in which to offer you an unobstructed view of the onboard apps.

The one main letdown right here is that the quantity of health monitoring options can’t fairly compete with Garmin’s high-end wearables, however the Pattern does excel within the realm of wellness monitoring which is simply the ticket that will help you preserve a watch out in your stress ranges all through the day and to raised pinpoint the principle causes of stress.

You additionally get entry to Garmin’s detailed sleep monitoring information by way of the Garmin Join app, which might go a great distance in direction of serving to you to determine higher sleeping patterns and bettering your restoration interval after intense exercises.

As an added cherry on high, the Vivomove Pattern is among the few Garmin watches (and few smarwatches normally) to boast wi-fi charging, so when you’ve got a Qi wi-fi charger then it’ll be appropriate with the Pattern proper out of the field. For those who’re sick of proprietary cables then that is an absolute Godsend.

It’s value mentioning that the extra feature-packed Garmin Vivomove Sport is definitely cheaper than the Pattern and arguably a greater choice relating to health monitoring. Nonetheless, the Pattern’s distinctive design and wi-fi charging give it sufficient to set it aside from the group.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full overview: Garmin Vivomove Pattern

We additionally thought-about…


What actions do Garmin watches monitor?

This varies between completely different Garmin watches. The highest finish Fenix units are multi-sport focussed and may monitor every thing from operating to specialist excessive sports activities. Extra fundamental trackers within the agency’s Vivo-lines are inclined to give attention to necessities and may solely monitor normal actions like cardio, operating, biking and swimming.

Do all Garmin watches have GPS?

Garmin is among the finest corporations for correct location and distance monitoring, however lots of its extra inexpensive wearables should not have built-in GPS performance. As a substitute, the cheaper wearables are inclined to have “related GPS” which lets them provide GPS monitoring utilizing a paired smartphone.

Are Garmin units smartwatches?

Garmin wearables are inclined to have an overt health monitoring focus and use the agency’s proprietary working system. This implies they do provide some smartwatch performance, like alerts, music controls and climate reviews, however don’t have the identical app assist as Apple’s watchOS or Google’s Put on OS units.

Comparability specs

You possibly can see an in depth breakdown of all of the wearables specs under.







Display screen Dimension

IP ranking



Dimension (Dimensions)



Working System

Launch Date

First Reviewed Date



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