Garmin does a fantastic job of making complex watches that are both incredibly stylish and completely functional. Finding the best Garmin watch on our list can let you store your music, track your destination through GPS, and much more. There are dozens of watch brands around the same price range, but very few of them come close to the quality and wide range of utility that you’ll get with a Garmin watch.
After looking through all sorts of unboxing videos, article reviews, and customer suggestions, we came up with a list of the best Garmin watches for everyone. You’re the only one who knows exactly what you need out of your new timepiece. Check out our list below and pick out the one that’s a perfect match!
Garmin was originally a GPS tracking company, but it quickly expanded to make a top-notch selection of watches. This list has all of our favorites, as well as the favorites of customers around the world.
View The Best Garmin Watch Below
1. Garmin Vívoactive 3
Starting out the list is the Garmin Vivoactive 3 heart rate monitor watch. This watch is one-of-a-kind with a traditional smartwatch face combined with a comfortable silicone strap. You can adjust the strap in seconds to fit your wrist as needed. This is the ultimate smartwatch for almost any purpose, so and it comes at advanced features, unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Some of these features include an accurate step tracker. We’ve all used step trackers that are far too inaccurate. While most other trackers use shaking motion to count as a step, Garmin tracks your progress through actual walking paces. You can also check your heart rate, monitor your progress, and text your contacts.
Garmin fitness features are just the tip of the iceberg with this smartwatch. You can also use their special Garmin Pay to sync your watch up with your bank account. This allows you to make payments without having to get out your wallet or purse. Feel free to download the preset apps and use their store to find your own.
+ Comes with Garmin Pay
+ Comfortable silicone strap for sports
+ The perfect fitness smartwatch
Why We Like It – We feel that this is the best Garmin watch for people who want a simple interface that’s packed with all sorts of useful features.
2. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire
Next up is the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire. This is one of Garmin’s best-sellers for plenty of great reasons. For example, the flashy digital surface shows an analog display, giving you the best of both worlds. You don’t have to worry about winding it up, but you get the same classic feeling of traditional analog watches.
Another reason that so many customers love this watch is that it comes with sapphire glass. This type of glass is as solid as it gets, protecting your watch from scratches, glares, and other unwanted issues. You can also pick out the regular glass if you want to save some money. This watch comes in a wide array of colors, so don’t forget to find your favorite from the bunch!
Garmin GPS running watches are fantastic because they’re fairly lightweight compared to the competition. Since you don’t have very many moving parts, the Fenix 5X Sapphire is only a little over 200 grams. It’s also much less likely to need repairs, so you can rest easy with the peace of mind that it’ll be solid for years to come.
+ Comes in a wide selection of colors
+ Super lightweight design
+ Solid sapphire glass display
Why We Like It – We like this product because it’s a great watch for runners who prefer analog displays with the convenience of the digital era.
3. Garmin Approach S20
Are you looking for a simple smartwatch that’ll help you with activity tracking through your golf outings? The Garmin Approach S20 is your new go-to choice! This watch has a plethora of features that any golfer would love to have at their disposal. It’s even made to be breathable with the porous strap to prevent sweating.
Track your steps with a simple monitor. You can also review the time spent per round, how fast your swing is, and your past history on the course. With all of this information right at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that any true golfer ends up with one of these around their wrist. To make it even better, you can get a bundle with golf balls and other accessories.
Since it’s very likely that you’ll be using this watch when it’s sunny outside, the antiglare display will come in handy. It also has a very high resolution to let you read all of the digital numbers and letters across every page. Connect it to your Bluetooth headphones or your phone to expand the features even more.
+ Perfect for golfing enthusiasts
+ Antiglare high-resolution display
+ Bluetooth compatible interface
Why We Like It – We like the Bluetooth connectivity features of this watch, but the golfing features make this a top choice for a sports watch.
4. Garmin Forerunner 235
Garmin has a handful of smartwatches in the Forerunner series, and you’ll see a few of them on this list. The Garmin Forerunner 235 is one of their most impressive models to date. If you’re on the hunt for an athletic watch with tracking features and running metrics, then you’re in luck. This watch is packed from top to bottom with useful apps.
Use the watch’s heart rate sensors to track your progress and maintain a healthy beats-per-minute. You can also check your distance, the pace that you’re running, and view the stats of each lap that you’re on all from your watch. With all of these activity trackers right on your wrist, you’ll have all of the motivation you need to get the results that you want.
If you decide to go with this watch, you’ll be able to select one of three colors. These colors include Black & Grey, Frost Blue, and Marsala. Either way, you can still access the brightly-lit screen that shows details such as the local weather, texting your contacts, and Garmin’s GPS features.
+ Includes everything for an athlete’s progress
+ Comes with a color display
+ Check the weather and other local news
Why We Like It – We like the running dynamics and various choices on this watch that enable athletes to track their steps, lap times, and more.
5. Garmin Forerunner 35
Another great watch in the Forerunner series comes in at number five. The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a similar product to the previous entry, but it has a much more simplistic display. The bold letters and bright colors are easier for many of us to read. They also allow you to separate the data of the watch to view everything individually rather than all on one page.
This watch comes with an ATM rating of 5, meaning that you can watch your hands and exercise in the rain without the fear of it breaking down. It also has a soft band that won’t rust out or corrodes when it comes in contact with moisture. Adjust the strap in place as needed for the best fit for you.
You’ll be able to choose from Limelight, Black, Frost Blue, and White. In any sense, the watch display stays black for every choice. One of our favorite features of this smartwatch is that it has a heartrate monitor that tracks your BPM throughout the day. You can view your resting and exercising rate to line it up with your current goals.
+ Perfect for rainy days, showers, and washing your hands
+ Simple, easy-to-read display
+ Tracks your heart rate 24/7
Why We Like It – This is one of our favorite Garmin running watches because it’s simple, yet it comes with a few highly desirable features for at-home fitness enthusiasts.
6. Garmin Instinct
The Garmin Instinct takes fitness tracking a step further by making it a rugged watch for outdoorsmen. With a rubber strap that’s textured for grip and durability, you’ll never have to worry about losing a link or scuffing the band. Even the buttons on the side of this watch are designed to take a beating from the trail.
If you’re an explorer or adventurer, you’ll fall in love with the Garmin Instinct immediately. It has an altitude monitor, a compass, and various other useful features that you’ll need when you’re in the great outdoors. You can also check the time, review the weather, and monitor your heart rate from the display.
When you activate smartwatch mode on this watch, it can last up to 14 days before needing to recharge. Compared to other similar competing brands, there’s nothing that even comes close. There are also plenty of color options, including Flame Red, Graphite, Lakeside Blue, Sunburst Yellow, and many others.
+ Designed with a rugged exterior
+ All of the features you need for the wilderness
+ Accurate tracking methods for heartrates, weather, GPS location, and more
Why We Like It – If you want a budget Garmin to watch that’ll survive the test of time and nature, then the Instinct should be your choice!
7. Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit
The Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit combines the running functions with everyday necessities to make one of the most practical smartwatches of this time period. You can track your lap time and speed, monitor your heart rate, and even review your stride length all from this lightweight watch.
Other than the necessary fitness features for runners and walkers, this watch is ideal for people who want a simple watch as well. You can use it to text your friends and family, set reminders for upcoming events, look through the compass for directions, and access the barometer from the front panel.
We really enjoyed the calling interface of this smartwatch by Garmin. It shows bold, simple text that shows who’s calling with their location and an Answer and Decline button. The display is illuminated to let you view it without having to squint or shade it in the sun. Connect it via Bluetooth to your Android, iPhone, or Windows phone in seconds for instant compatibility.
+ Perfect for runners, cyclists, and other athletes
+ Text, call and find directions from a simple interface
+ Bluetooth connectivity features for all smartphones
Why We Like It – We like this Garmin smartwatch because it combines practicality with unique features to make life easier on you.
8.Garmin vívomove HR
If you’re in the market for a hybrid watch, then check out the Garmin Vivomove HR. This watch uses an analog display, but you’ll still have the desirable features of a smartwatch. Text your friends and family, set notifications, and reply to message instantly. When it’s in smart mode, this watch can last up to 5 days on end.
Deciding to purchase this watch will leave you with quite a handful of colors and other options. Choose from Onyx Black with a suede band, Gold with a leather band, Silver with a Seafoam silicone band, or one of the other various choices. You can also select the size, which is rare to find in most watches these days. The sizes include Small/Medium, Large, and One Size Fits Most.
Many of us love to change up the appearance of a watch, but pesky bands can be tough to remove. This one-step band can be removed and replaced in seconds with a new strap that fits your style the most. You can also use unique features such as a sleep cycle monitor, a stress management tool, and more.
+ Comes with REM monitors
+ Easy to remove and replace the strap
+ Hybrid watch design
Why We Like It – We like this smartwatch because you can use it as an analog or hybrid watch. The sleep cycle and stress monitors are very useful and nearly unheard of in other watches at the low price of this one.
9. Garmin Tactix Charlie
Much like the Instinct, the Garmin Tactix Charlie is a heavy-duty rugged watch that’s designed for worst-case scenarios. Dropping most other smartwatches might leave you stressed out about a broken band or a scratched display. Fortunately, that’s not at all the case with this tactical watch.
The 1.2-inch display uses a high-resolution pixel count to give you the best brightness and visibility possible. It’s also easy to read when you’re relaxing in the sunlight since the display naturally adjusts to your surroundings. There’s even an antiglare feature that takes away artificial light blending.
Garmin’s patented GPS system is at the front of this design. It also comes with a barometer, a compass, and a few extra navigation additions to give you the edge. When you’re using the GPS mode, the battery on this smartwatch can last up to an impressive 20 hours before needing to be recharged again.
+ Designed to deal with drops, scratches, and sunlight exposure
+ Easy to read wherever you go
+ Includes several navigation features
Why We Like It – We like this watch because it’s the perfect guide for trail hikers and everyday runners.
10. Garmin vívoactive 4S
It might seem like most watches are bulky these days. While bulky watches are convenient for easy viewing and stylistic choices, they’re not the best for everyone. If you want a smaller watch than the average without sacrificing key features, then the Garmin Vivoactive 4S watch is for you. You can choose between a 40mm and a 45mm face, but the band is much thinner than others.
The current colors that are available for this smartwatch are Black, Light Gold with a Light Pink band, Rose Gold with a White band, and Silver with a Gray band. The display on this watch is booming with color thanks to the dark black background. This makes it much easier to read, even when you’re in a dimly-lit area.
Being able to access your music on the go is a rising request from customers. The Vivoactive 4S lets you connect to your Spotify and Amazon Music accounts to set up your playlists however you’d like. Monitor your heart rate, test your lap speeds, and contact your loved ones from this compact, trend-setting smartwatch.
+ Much smaller than most other smartwatches
+ Several sizes and color combinations to choose from
+ Connect to your favorite music playlists whenever you’d like
Why We Like It – We like this watch because it has all of the essential features of a smartwatch packed into a small interface.
Garmin Watch Buyer’s Guide
Garmin is a leading competitor in the smartwatch and GPS device industry. Combining their two areas of expertise has led to them creating some of the best watches of the modern era. If you’re stuck between choosing a few different watches on our list or you have some unanswered questions that you need help with before you make a decision, this is the section for you. Check out the FAQ below and pick out the best Garmin watch above!
What is the best Garmin watch for runners?
Garmin does an excellent job of including multiple features in each of its smartwatches. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re all the best choice for runners and other athletes. If you want a watch that can track lap time, monitor your heart rate, test your stride, and perform other useful fitness features, you should try out the Garmin Forerunner 935. This watch is the top of the line for athletes. You could also consider the Vivoactive models since they can perform several basic health functions as well.
What is the best Garmin smartwatch for hiking and camping?
The main concern for people who bring their watches into the outdoors is the fragility of most timepieces these days. Especially with smartwatches, the glass display can often shatter if it’s dropped on a rock or in the water. That being said, Garmin has two amazing watches on our list that are ideal for outdoor adventurers.
These GPS hiking watches are the Garmin Instinct at #6 on the list and the Garmin Tactix Charlie at #9 on the list. Both of these watches are resilient and built for heavy usage in nature. Long battery life and a rugged build are all you need to separate these watches from the rest of the pack.
What type of watch strap is the best?
Watch straps can be chosen based on one or two points. First, you should choose a strap material that’s comfortable and designed for the activities you’ll be taking part in. If you’re a runner or a cyclist, consider silicone straps. They’re much less likely to build up a sweat and they won’t break down from sun exposure.
Secondly, make sure that it fits your wardrobe style. A classic watch with a flashy leather strap might look strange if you don’t dress up to the timepiece. However, almost every smartwatch on our list is picked out because they can be used for casual and professional outfits alike.
On a side note, keep in mind that you can remove and replace watch straps. The main point of choosing a new watch is the display itself, with the strap being second. You can change the color and feel of a strap on any watch, but you can’t exchange the timepiece!
To keep your watch safe from water spills, dropping over, and other harmful possibilities, put them in a box designated for the task. Watch boxes are stylish, affordable, and perfect for increasing the lifespan of your priceless investments.
Did You Know?
Garmin GPS devices used to cost a fortune due to the high-quality system settings. These days, you can get the same invaluable location tracking services packed into the watch that you wear on your wrist at a fraction of the cost! Next to unbeatable standards and functionality, this is one of the main reasons that so many people head to Garmin for all of their watches.