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The Battle Of The Smartwatches: Is Apple Or Garmin Better For Multisports Tracking?

When it comes to multisports tracking, there are two smartwatch brands on the market right now that reign supreme above all others – Garmin and Apple.

Garmin is a fantastic choice for tracking fitness, whereas Apple provides the best of the best when it comes to smart notifications.There have been a number of watches released by both brands and we’ve tested a few of them.

They’re both great for their own unique reasons, but which option is the best for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Which Watch Has Superior Sports Tracking?

You may be wondering which one of these watches will be the better option if you want something for sports tracking.

Well, the Garmin is usually best thanks to its multisport tracking, performance metrics and GPS navigation. You will get the best value for money in this regard from Garmin.

If smart notifications are a priority to you though, Apple is certainly the better choice, not to mention that you will also get a bunch of extra cool features with the Apple watch that are generally only accessible through your smartphone. It can sometimes be a little challenging to choose which brand you want to go with, but in most cases it’s important to work out what your priorities are when buying a smartwatch.

Garmin watches are generally much better for athletes, whereas you will essentially get a miniature iPhone with the Apple watch which means it has a lot of functionality.

If you are trying to choose between the two then it’s vital that you are aware of the similarities and differences.

Cheapest Golf GPS Watches Under $150

Which Of These Brands Is Better?

Garmin makes some pretty impressive watches. Just take the Garmin Forerunner 35, for instance.

This is a spectacular offering for anyone that is looking for a fitness watch, and the watches from Garmin have only improved since then.

With that being said, we all know how intricate the iPhone is, and the Apple Watch is a testament to the kind of top class technology that we have come to expect from Apple through the years.

Being able to access a smartphone from your wrist comes with a lot of different benefits. In reality you can get amazing smartwatches from both of these brands, but there are a few differences between them that are good to consider before making any kind of decision.

A lot of people that are heavily into fitness will stay away from the Apple watch on a regular basis for tracking things like performance.

Instead they will often use a Garmin or Suunto watch, since for the most part they are better suited to fitness tracking and can provide you with much more in depth metrics. If you are just looking to get into fitness and want a way of tracking your progress, the Apple watch will certainly work well for you.

In fact, if you aren’t going to need the in depth metrics, the Apple watch is actually the superior option thanks to its versatility.Don’t misunderstand us though – you will still get some fantastic performance tracking with the Apple watch offerings.

You have lots of options available to you with the Apple Watch. You will get Vo2 max tracking for instance, and will also get performance conditioning features much like you would find on more advanced fitness specific trackers.

You’ll get sleep tracking from both brands, and they are both very good in terms of accuracy. You are definitely going to get more bang for your buck from Garmin if you are in the market for the health and fitness tracking functionality though.

These watches are great for multisport tracking, and the watches are specifically designed to work in a variety of different environments, whether you are indoors or outdoors. This makes it ideal for more rugged sports activities. Garmin isn’t the best with smart notifications though, and this is where the Apple Watch offerings truly shine.

You can respond to texts and other notifications in no time at all using the Apple Watch series and the screen is also significantly better.

With the Apple Watch you can get some truly intuitive app notifications and they are easy to access too – no clunky buttons included. Now, let’s talk about the key differences between the two different brands.

Spot the Difference: Garmin VS Apple Watch

The first noticeable difference that you will see between these two watches is the touchscreen. The Apple Watch has a spectacular touchscreen, and frankly, the Garmin is the obvious loser in this debate.

In order to use the Garmin watch you will instead need to use buttons. This isn’t the end of the world, but it can sometimes be finicky to use.

The Apple Watch takes a lot of the hassle out of it with the touchscreen. Of course, it’s worth noting that the battery life on Garmin watches is usually significantly better than what you would get with an Apple Watch.

For instance, if you get a Garmin watch then there’s a chance that it could stay charged and functional for 1-2 weeks. 

If you have the GPS on all the time then you will still manage to get around 3-4 days of battery life. With the Apple Watch, you aren’t going to get nearly as much battery life.

There are some Garmin watches that are even solar powered, and this is even more of a selling point for the Garmin.You will get pay apps that you can use with both offerings – Garmin Pay and Apple Pay.

They can be used without too much trouble, and are very useful for when you don’t want to have to mess around with a million apps on your phone in order to pay for something. 

You will also get some great health monitoring statistics from both of these brands. Everything that you need to know about your health and fitness can be accessed right from the app for the watch. You can see a lot of your data directly from the watch screen, too. For instance, you can view your blood oxygen levels, your recommended activities and your heart rate. The apps will usually tell you some ways that you can improve your fitness too. 

You will get slightly more options with the Garmin model, and the heart rate monitoring is much more in depth. You will get far more fitness suggestions with the Garmin watch too. The Apple Watch is usually a lot faster and it’s easier to use it in order to access your data. Garmin is no slouch in this regard either, but the Apple watch is far more convenient to use.

The Apple Watch is also much better for music accessibility too. If you get a set of Apple AirPods, then you can listen to music easily right from your watch. You don’t need to get the AirPods, but they certainly help.

Apple Music is also included with the watch. The Garmin options simply can’t compare in this respect, even the Music editions of the watches.It’s important to really highlight that it’s so important to think about what you really want out of a smartwatch before you buy one.

In some respects the Apple Watch is superior, but in others it can’t hold a candle to the Garmin watches. You’ll get good features from both, but the better option will vary depending on you and what you want.Basically, Garmin tends to be better for fitness features, but Apple reigns supreme with smart features.

What Can I Get Instead Of An Apple Watch?

You will get much better apps and downloads from Apple, but there are a number of great competitors out there that are great both in terms of fitness and technology.

Our Top Pick
Garmin Forerunner 245 Garmin Forerunner 245
$274.64
Pros:
  • Music syncing using streaming services
  • You can download up to 500 songs
  • Enhanced running dynamics
  • Heart rate data
Cons:
  • The wristband isn’t very comfortable
  • Battery life could be better
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/22/2022 07:27 pm GMT
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 12:10 am GMT
Best Value
Garmin Forerunner 245 Garmin Venu Sq
$149.99
Pros:
  • Lightweight and small
  • Comes with 20 preloaded apps for sports, including things like golf and
  • Comes with preloaded workouts such as plates, cardio yoga and strength
  • Comes with smart notifications
Cons:
  • It can have a habit of glitching and the GPS reception isn’t very good
  • The screen may be a little bit small for cyclists
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 05:50 am GMT

Our Top Pick

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

There’s one thing that a person simply has to have when they are pumping the iron – an incredible soundtrack.

You need to make sure that you have those tunes at the ready to keep you motivated! That’s why the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is so great.

With this watch, you can have up to 500 audio files on hand – or wrist – that will play randomly when you activate them.

This is a huge advantage, since you won’t need to get your phone out just to change a song. It’s pretty revolutionary for a workout.The watch is also ideal if you want more enhanced metrics for your workouts that you can access later on.

It comes with the Garmin Coach, and this will give you recommendations of status and effects that you want to achieve during your fitness training.

It will help you to achieve your biggest goals and will give you plenty of insights into things that you should do in the future to get the best results based on your goals.

All of the insights are broken down into categories too, making it much easier to analyze.In addition to that, you will also get an exceptional battery life with the watch. You are going to get 24 hours of battery if you use the watch in GPS mode.

If you are using it in its standard smartwatch mode then you will get a full week of use out of it before you need to put it on charge.The watch is pretty similar to the Apple Watch in terms of its capabilities, and the added music functionality is really useful.

It is a solid choice if you are looking for an alternative to the Apple watch. You can use it for lots of activities too, and you can change things without too much trouble.

Use this watch for activities including cycling, swimming, running, elliptical straining, strength training and so much more. In short, it’s a wonderful choice as an alternative to the Apple Watch.

Pros

  • Music syncing using streaming services
  • You can download up to 500 songs and use it with a set of Bluetooth headphones – no other devices required!
  • Enhanced running dynamics such as stride length, balance and vertical ratio statistics
  • Heart rate data available to give you more information about your performance

Cons

  • The wristband isn’t very comfortable
  • Battery life could be better
Our Top Pick
Garmin Forerunner 245 Garmin Forerunner 245
$274.64

You do the running. Forerunner 245 Music does the thinking. It even gets to know you, mile after mile and song after song. This GPS smartwatch has storage for your favorite tunes, so you can keep moving to the music without having to lug your phone along. It also tracks your stats, crunches the numbers and gets to know all about your performance, your running form, your training history and even your goals. All you need to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other.

Pros:
  • Music syncing using streaming services
  • You can download up to 500 songs
  • Enhanced running dynamics
  • Heart rate data
Cons:
  • The wristband isn’t very comfortable
  • Battery life could be better
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/22/2022 07:27 pm GMT

Editors Choice

Garmin Forerunner 945

If you’re looking for an improvement on the Forerunner 745 then the Garmin Forerunner 945 will definitely be worth trying out.

There are a lot of things to love about this watch, and it’s a great rival to the Apple Watch. With this you can see your training performance and you will get all sorts of insights. This will allow you to truly optimize your training efforts.You can use the smartwatch to keep track of your VO2 max, and it will be modified based on the heat levels and the altitude.

You can also check your training status, which will tell you your training history and give you indicators on your performance to tell you how effective your workouts have been.

Enhanced insights will show you how the things you have been doing are likely to affect your performance in future, which is handy for different sports.You can also access information about recovery time. This will help you to make sure that you reap the rewards of all of your workouts since it tells you how long you should be resting in between.

It’s possible to check the training load too, and this will tell you about how much you have been exercising over the course of a week and makes recommendations going forward based on your level of fitness and how you have been training recently.

The training history is very well organized too which is useful.While the Apple Watch certainly isn’t a slouch with the fitness features, the Garmin Forerunner 945 runs rings around it in this respect. You have never seen performance tracking quite like it.

Pros

  • Enhanced performance monitoring – VO2 max, training load, aerobic and anaerobic performance tracking and recovery time monitoring
  • Color display maps ideal for running
  • 2 week long battery life when used in smartwatch mode, 10 hours if GPS mode is constantly being used. In Ultratrac mode you can get up to 60 hours of battery life.
  • Safety features and tracking allows your family and friends to track you in the event of an emergency

Cons

  • The connectivity isn’t always the best
Garmin Forerunner 945 Garmin Forerunner 945
$599.99$399.99

You’re an athlete, and this is your watch. The forerunner 945 running watch lets you sync with premium music services to put your songs on your wrist when paired with a compatible smartphone (may require premium subscription). It also offers our most advanced physiological features, including training load balance and more. Also enjoy the convenience of quick, contactless payments solution (available for supported cards from participating banks) from the wrist with Garmin Pay. With full color, onboard maps to guide you on your run, you’ll never get lost during a workout. Wherever you go, built in safety and tracking features — such as incident detection (during select activities), which sends you send your real time location to emergency contacts through your paired compatible smartphone.

Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 12:10 am GMT

Best Value

Garmin Venu Sq

You will love the Garmin Venu Sq if you give it a try. It’s a relatively small watch but it certainly has a lot of different features to love.

It’s ideal if you want a fitness watch that doesn’t take up too much space on your arm. It’s a fantastic alternative to the bulky nature of many other sports watches on the market.

It’s fairly affordable and also comes with smart notifications much like the Apple watch. 

The main thing to love about this watch though is the tracking and the health statistics that you will have access to.You can access breathwork activities on the watch that are ideal for lowering stress levels and for relaxing after workout sessions.

It’ll keep track of your respiration and your stress and give you insights on your breathing. If you want to know more about your fluid intake then you can also access that information on the watch.

If you struggle to drink enough water, you can set goals to help you to stay on top of your fluid levels.In addition to this, the watch comes with a Pulse Ox sensor that will tell you about your blood oxygen levels.

This is really useful when you are training, especially if you are going to be running. It will prompt you to keep on top of your breathing activities in moments of stress too.

It doesn’t have quite the same level of depth in performance features, but it’s certainly ideal if you want an intricate health watch.

Pros

  • Lightweight and small
  • Comes with 20 preloaded apps for sports, including things like golf, swimming, cycling, walking, running and mindful breathing
  • Comes with preloaded workouts such as plates, cardio yoga and strength. If you want to then it’s also possible to make your own – just connect to the Garmin Connect app to try it out on your smartphone.
  • Comes with smart notifications that go directly to your watch when it is connected with a smartphone. Ideal for keeping on top of your social life!

Cons

  • It can have a habit of glitching and the GPS reception isn’t very good
  • The screen may be a little bit small for cyclists
Best Value
Garmin Venu Sq Garmin Venu Sq
$149.99

Featuring a bright color display, the Venu Sq GPS smartwatch combines daily style with health monitoring and fitness features that inspire you to keep moving. Estimate your heart rate, sleep, stress, Body Battery energy levels and so much more. Walk, run, ride or choose from more than 20 preloaded apps for indoor or outdoor sports. Never miss a call or text with smart notifications delivered to your wrist (when paired with a compatible smartphone). Breeze through checkout lines and select transit systems with Garmin Pay contactless payments (with a supported payment network). Go longer between charges with up to 6 days of battery life. Swim, bike, run — do it all with a smartwatch that uses multiple satellite systems to accurately track your workouts.

Pros:
  • Lightweight and small
  • Comes with 20 preloaded apps for sports, including things like golf and
  • Comes with preloaded workouts such as plates, cardio yoga and strength
  • Comes with smart notifications
Cons:
  • It can have a habit of glitching and the GPS reception isn’t very good
  • The screen may be a little bit small for cyclists
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 05:50 am GMT

Runner Up

Garmin Vivoactive 4S

This is yet another great option if you are looking for a smaller sports watch that isn’t going to feel too clunky on your wrist.

It’s got a lot of features that you are sure to enjoy, including a training power meter that will allow you to keep track of your performance and your overall health and wellbeing when you are in the process of your training.

If you enjoy mixing things up a little with your training then the Vivoactive 4S can also accommodate for that.For instance, if you feel like having a swimming session then you can enjoy the swimming mode on the watch.

With this you can keep track of all of your movements underwater without even needing to do a thing.

When you have finished the swim, the watch will then give you suggestions on how your performance can be improved in the future.What really shines about this watch though is the Garmin move IQ performance tracker.

This is useful since it allows the watch to automatically work out what kind of workout you are doing, so in the event that you forget to start the workout on the watch first, you don’t need to worry. 

The workout will still be logged so you can see all of your metrics.This watch in particular has everything you could love about Garmin but with a number of added extras.

The watch is a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to take charge of their health and fitness and to learn more about their body.

Pros

  • Monitors the user’s sleep and rest
  • Comes with 20 apps preloaded, such as running, cycling, swimming and running
  • You can download songs onto it, such as from Spotify, Deezer or Amazon music. You can connect it to your headphones and listen to music without requiring a mobile device. All you need is your watch!
  • Comes with animated workouts that you can follow. They’re easy to follow and there are a lot of different ones, such as cardio, pilates and strength training
  • 7 days of battery life if used in smartwatch mode, and 5 hours of battery life when using music and GPS mode

Cons

  • Not especially durable
  • Cycling features are somewhat lacking 
Runner Up
Garmin Vivoactive 4S Garmin Vivoactive 4S
$274.25

Tune in to your body, and tone up with the 40 mm vívoactive 4S GPS smartwatch. It has the broadest available range of all-day health monitoring features, music storage and on-screen, Animated workouts To help you reach your goals. Boost every activity by downloading your favorite Spotify® or Deezer (may require a premium subscription With a third-party music provider) playlists straight to your watch.

Pros:
  • Monitors the user’s sleep and rest
  • Comes with 20 apps preloaded
  • You can download songs onto it
  • Comes with animated workouts that you can follow
  • 7 days of battery life if used in smartwatch mode, and 5 hours of battery life when using music and GPS mode
Cons:
  • Not especially durable
  • Cycling features are somewhat lacking
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 12:18 am GMT

Runner Up

Suunto 3 Fitness

Finally we have the Suunto 3 Fitness. This is a durable watch with a number of fantastic features.

It’s a great watch for people who lead an active lifestyle and want to keep an eye on their general health and wellbeing. 

With the watch you can create a personal training plan and it will adjust depending on your goals and needs.

You’ll get guidance as you go when you are training to ensure that you are doing things at a level that works for you.You will need to create your personal profile, and when you have done that, the Suunto app will create a 7 day training program for you that’s based on the right duration and intensity for every exercise to help you to get better.

You can set them up without too much trouble, and the watch will help you to stay on track throughout the workout.All of these exercise recommendations are generated based on you, your goals and your fitness level.

It will also alter depending on the activities that you prefer to do or based on your actions. It will alter the plan if you end up missing a day of exercise for whatever reason, so you don’t need to worry about it.This device is ideal for lots of activities since it’s a multisports watch. Whether you’re running, swimming or cycling, the Suunto 3 has got you covered.

When measuring your distance and speed, the watch utilizes something known as wrist based cadence. This allows you to monitor your distance and speed both indoors and outdoors.Not only that but it also keeps track of your recovery and stress, which is great for helping you to properly plan your day.

When you’re done, you can simply check out the watch or the app to learn more about your activity throughout the day.

Pros

  • Provides an intricate view into daily activities, steps, calories and your sleep patterns
  • Good looking strap is versatile enough to work with any outfit or for any purpose
  • A company with a long standing reputation based on over 80 years of experience.
  • High quality products are to be expected.
  • Durable design with in depth metrics that are perfect for daily training
  • Can be connected to other sports apps and services

Cons

  • It has a 5 button layout that can be tricky to navigate
  • Not everyone likes the thicker bezel and band – it can be sort of uncomfortable
Runner Up
SUUNTO 3 SUUNTO 3
$179.00

Suunto 3: This fitness tracker sports watch accurately tracks steps, exercise, stress, and recovery; Adaptive training guidance creates custom 7 day plans that help maintain or improve your fitness level

A Life In Balance: This fitness watch delivers a holistic view of your daily activity, including steps, calories and sleep; Stylish, ultra soft microfiber strap looks good in the gym or out on the town


Pros:
  • Provides an intricate view into daily activities
  • Good looking strap is versatile enough to work with any outfit or for any purpose
  • A company with a long standing reputation
  • High quality products are to be expected
  • Durable design with in depth metrics that are perfect for daily training
  • Can be connected to other sports apps and services
Cons:
  • It has a 5 button layout that can be tricky to navigate
  • Not everyone likes the thicker bezel and band – it can be sort of uncomfortable
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/23/2022 03:25 pm GMT

Are Garmin Watches Worth The Money?

It can often be difficult to choose the perfect smartwatch for your fitness endeavors, so it’s only natural that you may wonder whether the Garmin watches are actually worth the money.

Thankfully, they are definitely worth it for anyone looking to monitor their health and fitness.

They are advanced watches with fantastic, in depth statistics that are sure to aid you in your fitness journey. They provide a lot more in this department than comparable watches from brands like Apple do.

You will get lots of sports and fitness metrics available to you, and these watches will give you far more than just some basic smart notifications that you would otherwise be able to see just by looking at your smartphone.

The Battle of the Smartwatches - Is Apple or Garmin Better for Multisports Tracking

In addition to this, the technology is incredibly impressive. It helps you to improve your performance by offering you feedback based on previous activity – there’s nothing general about these metrics, to say the least.

The watches are lightweight and comfortable to wear, though there are options available if you prefer something a little more bulky and more hard wearing for certain types of activities. If you still aren’t sold on the idea of getting a Garmin watch, here are a couple of things that they are good for:

  • Fantastic For Triathletes

These watches are a tremendous choice for people that want the latest and greatest statistics about their performance, making them one of the best options for triathletes.

This watch certainly has you covered if you are planning on going on a triathlon.

You can monitor your cadence, the amount of time that you are in contact with the ground, the lengths of your strides and even your heart rate to see where your performance levels currently are.

  • VO2 Max Tracking 

You want only the most accurate statistics when you are training, so you don’t want random outside variables affecting your metrics.

That’s why these watches include VO2 Max readings to make your workout tracking even more accurate. Many other brands also offer this, but none to the level that you would get from Garmin.

  • Comes With Activity Profiles Already Loaded 

It doesn’t matter what activity you’re interested in, the Garmin watches are ideal for you. They are versatile and work for all sorts of different fitness activities.

You will get in depth metrics for triathlons, swimming, bicycling, running and pretty much anything else that you can think of in between. Just select the right profile and you’re good to go. 

If you want to make a few changes to your routine then Garmin watches are also good for this too, since they will make activity recommendations for you based on your previous activities.

  • Music Synchronization 

Many watches have the ability to sync to music, but Garmin also does this well. Certain watches are much better at it than others and Apple is slightly better for music.

With that being said though, you can access music from all of your favorite streaming profiles and you can also install music directly onto the watch.

With this, you can control what you listen to directly through the watch. You won’t need to carry around your phone to change your tunes with one of these watches!

  • GPS Navigation 

The GPS functionality in these watches is truly phenomenal. It’s ideal for working out when you are outdoors, and has a lot of other uses too that you are sure to appreciate. It’s highly accurate and definitely leagues above many competing products.

Conclusion

Now, with all of that out of the way, which of these watches is the better option?

If you basically want a miniature iPhone on hand that you can access right from your wrist, then you will love the Apple Watch. 

It’s super convenient and a lot of people love this, but it pales in comparison to Garmin with the fitness and wellbeing features.

Metrics are not as in depth and the tracking, while good, is not to Garmin’s level.

As such, if you are looking for a fitness oriented watch, Garmin is always going to be the winner. Both of these watches are great, but it ultimately depends what you are looking for. Make sure that you give it careful thought before you make your final purchase!

Andrew Barrett