Which Is Better Garmin Fenix, Or The Apple Watch?

Germin Apple

Which Is Better Garmin Fenix, Or The Apple Watch?

With the miniaturization of technology, we can put a lot on our wrists that used to fill up a room.  Technology is a fun area to keep up with.  With the advent of the smart watch, people can better track their activity levels as well as their health and fitness.

With a smart watch, ideally you can

  • Keep track of the distances you walked, ran, or rode on your road bike
  • Monitor your heart rate
  • Stay up to date with the latest notifications of your smart phones for texts, chats, and other updates

The first thing to do when you get a smart watch is probably turn all those notifications off.  You don’t need your watch buzzing every time you get an email.  However, before that, you have to decide which smart watch is right for you.  For those who run, swim, or are in to bicycling two smart watches stand out.  The Apple Watch and the Garmin Fenix.  The Apple Watch (some still try to call it the iWatch) is the market leader.  It’s hard to defeat the world’s richest technology company.  The other watch that you will see a lot is the Garmin Fenix series of watches.  The Fenix series is Garmin’s top of the line fitness smart watch.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch and don’t mind charging every day, then the Apple Watch is probably the best choice for you.  You can do so much with it.  It’s got a beautiful display, built in SIRI to listen to your every command, and has decent health and fitness features.  Besides, you can also sync with Strava (the famous health and fitness app for runners, cyclists, and swimmers).  However, again you’ve got to remember that you have to charge it pretty much every day.  In addition, it is not round like a quartz or automatic traditional watch.  You can’t go wrong with an Apple Watch and can likely resell it, if its a newer model.

On the other side of the spectrum you have the Garmin Fenix series sports watches.  Garmin is an an American company created by a man named Gary, and another named Ming.  Gar-min.  They have been around for years and are famous for GPS systems.  Garmin has many smart watches that range from $50 USD to the $3000 USD.  Apple has variations of the Apple watch, but Garmin has Vivo series,  Forerunner series (Foreathlete in Japan as there’s a car with that name already), and the Fenix high end that starts at about $500 USD.  Garmin can’t compete with the Apple Watch on looks (although the color Garmin Venu is nice), as the Apple watch’s display is so pretty.  But the pretty display (whether it is AOD – Always On Display or not) comes at a price to the battery life.

Garmin Fenix

If you want a smart watch go with Apple.  But if you want a watch that will last through a long ride, run, or swim the Garmin Fenix is the way to go.  The high end Fenix can come in all metal, but the standard Fenix comes with a poly-carbonate/stainless body and silicon band that is great for work outs.   Even using the GPS will still get you 3-4 days use.  The Apple Watch is battery is flat at the end of one long work out.

Which smart watch should I get?

If you are just wanting a watch that extends your iPhone, then the Apple Watch is probably best with it’s great features.  However, if you’re a series sports person, then you’ll be disappointed with the Apple Watch’s square body, limited non-native work out options, and especially the “I hope I can make it through the day” if you use GPS during your work outs.

We have been using both products for multiple years.   If you’re  a serious fitness person we’d recommend the Fenix over the Apple Watch.  Why?

  • The round body
  • Long battery life
  • More visible display in the sun
  • Rugged design for hiking, riding, surfing, snowboarding or whatever you do
  • Interoperability with both iPhone and Android mobile operating systems

And not having Siri is also a big plus for those who are not keen to have devices listening in.  Can’t count how many times the Apple watch buzzed us waiting for a command in a meeting when it thought someone said “Hey, SIRI”.  Creepy.  Come to think of it, if you are using a tracker, you do have to recognize that you may be tracked if someone wants to abuse the system and see your data.  

We’re pretty happy with Garmin Connect.  This software allows you to connect any Garmin smartwatch to your smartphone via bluetooth.  Having a long history of information is great when checking your health and fitness progress and you can switch between smartphone OS no problem.  

In conclusion, if you like flashy and cool, but don’t mind the weak battery and square design, go with the Apple Watch.  If you’re keen to get in a ‘full’ work out, want a round ‘watch like’ smart watch, and want more functional, you should go for the Garmin Fenix Series.  Rather than buying the latest device, buying one version back may save you a few hundred dollars.The best part of either watch is you can get all your CIRCLE chat notifications right on the watch!  Find out more about CIRCLE’s mobile app here

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