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These are the best Garmin smartwatches you can buy

If you're searching for the best Android smartwatch or the best fitness tracker, you've probably come across a Garmin wearable or two along the way. The company is known for offering a wide range of devices that cater to both fitness and smartwatch enthusiasts, including the Garmin Vivoactive 4. With stellar battery life, advanced tracking, and some neat smartwatch features, you can't go wrong. While this is the best Garmin smartwatch you can buy, there are several other options to consider. So whether you're a serious athlete or a first-time runner, you'll be able to find what you're looking for.

Best overall: Garmin Vivoactive 4

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 may not be the newest Garmin smartwatch on the market, but it's overflowing with features that make it a worthy upgrade from the previous model. Choose between two sizes: 45mm and 40mm. The larger model gives you an extra day of battery life in smartwatch mode at eight days. It'll last six hours when it's in GPS and music mode. The smaller model dips down to seven days and five hours, respectively.

As for the good stuff, you'll have all of the essentials, like built-in GPS, smartphone notifications, Garmin Pay, and 5 ATM water resistance. Music storage is now standard, which is something you had to pay more for with the predecessor. You'll have many of the same workouts, like strength, cardio, elliptical training, floor climbing, indoor rowing, and yoga. There's now a Pulse Ox sensor to track blood oxygen saturation levels and respiration tracking to monitor the number of breaths per minute. As a result, you'll have more insightful sleep data.

The Body Battery lets you check your energy levels during the day by gathering data from heart rate variability (HRV), stress, sleep, and activity. Then, it'll help you schedule your workouts and rest periods at optimal times. There are over 40 on-screen workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. Follow the animation on your watch as it demonstrates proper form and technique. If you're a workout enthusiast, you'll love this fitness smartwatch.

If you go with the larger 45 mm watch, you'll only have the color choice of slate or silver. You can find plenty of Garmin Vivoactive 4 bands that allow you to personalize your wearable further. It would've been nice to have a richer display at this price point, but the Vivoactive 4 uses the same transflective display as most Garmin wearables.


  • Built-in GPS with great tracking features
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Garmin Pay
  • Music storage
  • Good battery life
  • Pulse Ox sensor


  • Pretty pricey
  • 45 mm has fewer color options
  • Lackluster display

Best overall

Garmin Vivoactive 4 GPS Smartwatch

Well-rounded smartwatch

The Vivoactive 4 offers activity tracking and other useful features, including Body Battery, Pulse Ox, and more.

Best value: Garmin Vivoactive 3

If you're not worried about having the latest and greatest Garmin smartwatch, you can save some money by opting for the Vivoactive 3. Admittedly, it's not nearly as impressive compared to its successor, but it has a lot to offer. Most importantly, the unbeatable price tag makes the Garmin Vivoactive 3 an excellent value pick. As long as you don't mind it only being available in one size and a few other differences, you won't find a better deal than this.

The noteworthy Vivoactive 3 features include built-in GPS, smartphone notifications, Garmin Pay, multiple preloaded sports apps, and 5 ATM water resistance. This smartwatch also offers stress tracking, sleep tracking, and heart-rate monitoring. The battery will last for up to a week in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode. As we mentioned, you'll be hard-pressed to find all of these features at this price point.

As you can see, it's not the worst thing in the world to select a smartwatch that's not the newest option on the market. You get a whole lot of bang for your buck here. Another difference that might affect your choice is that the Vivoactive 3 doesn't offer music storage as a standard feature. You'll have to spend a bit more to get a model that comes with music storage. With that in mind, if you're looking for a cheap Android smartwatch, you can't go wrong with this wearable.


  • Built-in GPS
  • Excellent value
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Superior battery life
  • Garmin Pay


  • Music storage isn't standard
  • No on-screen workouts
  • Only comes in one size

Best value

Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch (010-01769-01)

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 may not be the latest in its lineup, but it has plenty to offer at an amazing price.

Best hybrid: Garmin Vivomove HR

For those searching for a reasonably priced hybrid smartwatch that offers a sleek and attractive design along with a good feature set, the Vivomove HR is ideal. Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of this model is its surprisingly affordable price tag, which is a nice bonus if you're on a budget. This watch offers up to five days of battery life in smartwatch mode and an additional two weeks in regular watch mode.

While this is not a full-blown runner's watch by any means, it still has a lot to offer for the casual athlete who wants to track the basics. Whenever you record a workout, the Vivomove HR will track your heart rate, speed, distance, floors climbed, and pace. It will also track your sleep patterns and stress levels. It's disappointing that this wearable is equipped with an accelerometer and five ATM water resistance, yet it doesn't offer swim tracking. However, given that it's a hybrid smartwatch with a screen that doesn't work while underwater, it makes sense.

If you're happy with basic activity tracking and heart-rate monitoring features, the Vivomove HR might be just what you're looking for. Unfortunately, it doesn't have GPS or swim tracking, but that's a small price to pay for a budget-friendly hybrid smartwatch. Not to mention that there are a handful of dazzling color and style options to choose from, so it'll look good as it handles your tracking needs.


  • Reasonably priced
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Decent battery life
  • Stunning, stylish design
  • Activity, stress, sleep, and heart-rate tracking


  • Lacks built-in GPS
  • No swim tracking
  • Touchscreen navigation can be tricky
  • Difficult to read in direct sunlight

Best hybrid

Garmin Vivomove HR Hybrid Smartwatch

Hybrid lifestyle

The Vivomove HR is an excellent hybrid smartwatch at a fair price. You can track steps, calories, distance, and heart rate.

Best lifestyle watch: Garmin Venu Sq

Those who want a bit of everything Garmin offers without breaking the bank will appreciate the Venu Sq. As the name suggests, this is a square version of the original Venu. So you might expect many differences to set the two apart, but that's not totally true.

The Garmin Venu Sq comes in a standard and a music edition, although you'll pay more for a music model with Wi-Fi. On the original Garmin Venu, all of the models have music storage and Wi-Fi. The budget-friendly, square-shaped model isn't quite as fancy, but it still looks and feels nice on the wrist. It comes in a 40mm fiber-reinforced polymer case with a 1.3-inch color LCD — no premium AMOLED screen or stainless steel bezel here. However, you do get 20mm interchangeable Garmin Venu Sq bands, making it easy to change up your look.

Surprisingly, those are the only major differences between the Garmin Venu and the Venu Sq. It lacks an altimeter and a gyroscope so that it won't be measuring elevation or angular velocity. Other than that, this model can do just about everything the original can. You'll have onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, over 20 preloaded sports apps, 5 ATM water resistance, Body Battery energy monitoring, and a Pulse Ox sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation levels. You also have mobile payments with Garmin Pay.

If you don't mind having a watch without music or Wi-Fi (or accepting that you'll pay more for those perks), the Garmin Venu Sq is an excellent lifestyle watch with a reasonable price tag. It's not nearly as premium and stylish as the original Venu, but that may not be your highest priority in choosing a wearable.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Pulse Ox & Body Battery
  • Six days of battery life
  • Garmin Pay


  • Music version with Wi-Fi costs more
  • Lacks altimeter, gyroscope

Best lifestyle watch

Garmin Venu Sq GPS Smartwatch (010-02427-00)

For every lifestyle

Any lifestyle will benefit from the Garmin Sq with its lightweight design and useful features.

Best for women's fashion: Garmin Lily

The Garmin Lily is a small but efficient smartwatch specifically designed for women by women. It's not uncommon for some to feel like they have to choose between having smartwatch features and maintaining their sense of style. While this may not be the case for all women, this watch is a solid option because it combines the two, so you're not forced to choose one over the other. The Garmin Lily may just be one of the best smartwatches for women.

One of the first things you'll notice is that this smartwatch has a monochrome display. If you're used to bright and shiny AMOLED displays, this might be a bit of a drag. However, the text and numbers are large, crisp, and easy to read. Not to mention, you'll enjoy up to five days of battery life on a single charge.

Other key features include heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, activity/sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, and much more. You'll also be able to choose whether you want the Sport model with aluminum hardware and a silicone band or the Classic model with stainless steel hardware and a leather band. As you might've guessed, the Classic model is a bit more expensive.

It's worth mentioning that the Garmin Lily lacks a few key features. If you want a full-blown smartwatch experience, this might affect your final decision. For example, you won't have built-in GPS, music storage, or NFC payments. Another issue for some users will be the proprietary T-bar lugs used for the proprietary band system. This means you'll need a special tool whenever you want to change the band, which is a bit of a hassle. Fortunately, there are still third-party Garmin Lily bands on the market. You just have to make sure they're the correct 14mm straps.


  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Music controls and notifications
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Up to 5 days of battery life


  • Lacks built-in GPS, NFC payments
  • Monochrome display isn't for everyone
  • Proprietary bands

Best for women's fashion

Garmin Lily

A feminine smartwatch

If you want to enjoy the benefits of a smartwatch in the form of a fashionable wearable, you'll love the Garmin Lily.

Best for runners: Garmin Forerunner 945

Looking for a reliable GPS running smartwatch that will never let you down? The Garmin Forerunner 945 fits the bill. This model takes a few key features from many of Garmin's high-end smartwatches and wraps them into a powerful package. It promises a whopping two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode with music, and up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode. The size is 47mm, so it's large and in charge. It's also slim and lightweight, which is essential for those intense workouts. You'll have a convenient 22mm quick release system when swapping out your Garmin Forerunner 945 bands that can be changed in a matter of seconds.

You can look forward to multi-sport tracking, updated training analysis, Garmin Pay, a built-in music player, GPS, and full-color maps. Some of the outdoor activity profiles include hiking, climbing, skiing, and kayaking. The training load analysis tells you how much time you've spent working in different aerobic and anaerobic zones. It even offers suggestions based on your performance to help you be more productive. It's also got the Pulse Ox sensor to track blood oxygen saturation levels, supporting advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation.

It's easy to see why runners and serious athletes alike praise all of the amazing features that the Forerunner 945 offers. Whether you're looking to track a simple long-distance run or a more complex triathlon, there are no limits to what you can do with this smartwatch. With that said, it's not the cheapest option out there, but the price tag is warranted. If you want the whole experience, you'll need to invest in the Running Dynamics Pod for additional data, like stride length, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time.

Garmin recently launched a new version of this watch with LTE connectivity. It will cost more, but it's worth considering if you've always wanted an LTE smartwatch that keeps you connected. The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE has the same features as the standard model, but it has LTE connectivity to give runners peace of mind when they're working out and need assistance.


  • Built-in GPS, full-color maps
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Endless activity tracking
  • Stress, sleep, and heart-rate tracking
  • Music storage and controls
  • Garmin Pay


  • Quite expensive
  • Only one size option
  • Need Running Dynamics Pod for additional data

Best for runners

Garmin Forerunner 945 (010-02063-00)

A multisport lover's dream

There's a lot to love about the Forerunner 945, like advanced running metrics, multi-sport tracking, full-color maps, and more.

Best for adventurers: Garmin Fenix 6

The Fenix 6 Series is another wearable that Garmin has released within the last year. Some users feel that the Garmin Fenix 6 is not all that different than its predecessor. The good news is that it's still packed to the brim with features. There are a few other models in the series, but we'll be discussing the standard Fenix 6, which is 47 mm. It's worth noting that the higher up you go in the Fenix 6 Series, the more expensive your watch will be. Given the different watch modes, battery life varies. Smartwatch mode lasts 14 days, GPS mode lasts 36 hours, Max Battery GPS Mode goes for 72 hours, Expedition GPS Activity gives you 28 days, and Battery Saver Watch Mode promises 48 days.

It's evident at first glance that the Fenix 6 isn't exactly an everyday lifestyle watch. It's big and very rugged, with good reason. It's built for challenging expeditions that require a durable device. While there aren't any major software upgrades from its predecessor, there are enough subtle changes to justify purchasing the newer version.

You'll now have your data organized into widgets. Tap a button on the home screen to sort through critical data, like last activity, steps, heart rate, notifications, music controls, weather, and calendar. GPS accuracy has been improved, and you'll also be able to get a heart-rate reading underwater. In addition to the basic activity tracking profiles for strength, cardio, elliptical training, and so on, there are also a ton of outdoor activity profiles. You'll have hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, and more. It's clear that the Fenix 6 is the ultimate adventure companion.

There's not much you can't do with this smartwatch. It's not made with fashion as the highest priority, but that's not its purpose. If you're constantly looking to push the limits when you head outdoors for a workout, the Fenix 6 will be right there with you. It might be expensive, but it's easily the best Garmin smartwatch for adventuring and exploring.


  • New-and-improved GPS
  • 10 ATM water resistance plus underwater wrist-based heart rate
  • Solid, durable design that can withstand
  • Activity, stress, sleep, and heart-rate tracking
  • Numerous activity profiles to choose from
  • Garmin Pay


  • One of the most expensive options
  • Not too many new features over predecessor
  • Not the most stylish watch

Best for adventurers

Garmin Fenix 6 Premium Multisport GPS Watch

Boundless adventure

The Fenix 6 is designed for those who crave boundless adventure. Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny to get it.

Best upgrade pick: Garmin Forerunner 745

When faced with deciding whether or not you should upgrade, sometimes it's a no-brainer. That might be the case for many users when they see what the Garmin Forerunner 745 has to offer. This wearable is a much-needed upgrade to the tried-and-true Forerunner 735XT. The company says the Forerunner 745 is geared toward runners and triathletes who require detailed training stats, on-device workouts, and plenty of smartwatch functions.

It comes in a 44mm reinforced-polymer case with a 1.2-inch transflective display that's easy to read in sunlight. The 22mm Garmin Forerunner 745 bands are interchangeable. You can expect up to a week of battery life in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS with music mode. There are plenty of key features on this watch, including onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, multiple sport modes, music storage for 500 songs, and Garmin Pay.

You also get many other advanced features. The Garmin Forerunner 745 offers performance monitoring tools such as VO2 max, training load, training status and aerobic, and anaerobic training effects. After a challenging workout, the improved recovery time feature will let you know how long to rest before a challenging training session. Garmin Coach provides free training plans that will adapt to your specific goals and performance.

At 44mm diameter and 13mm thick, this wearable might be too large for those with dainty wrists. Unfortunately, this is one of the few smartwatches from Garmin that only comes in one size. The hefty price tag might deter some users, but it'll be well worth the investment for those dedicated to their training program.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Advanced training metrics
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • A week of battery life
  • Garmin Pay
  • Music storage


  • Too expensive for some
  • Only comes in one size

Best upgrade pick

Garmin Forerunner 745 GPS Running Watch

Worth the upgrade

When you need an in-depth overview of your health and fitness, look no further than the Forerunner 745.

Best for music: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

As you might've gathered now, there are multiple Garmin Forerunner models to choose from. Fortunately, you can get a Garmin running smartwatch without spending a fortune. The Forerunner 245 Music is most popular for its long list of advanced running features and offering onboard music storage for up to 500 songs.

Remember that this model is pricier than the standard Forerunner 245, which doesn't offer music storage. However, both models are compatible with interchangeable Garmin Forerunner 245 bands. As far as battery life goes, smartwatch mode lasts up to 7 days, GPS with music mode lasts up to 6 hours, and GPS mode without music can go for 24 hours.

It provides you with quite a few upgrades that its predecessor lacked, including pool swimming, strength workouts, all-day stress tracking, UltraTrac mode, and more. Athletes will enjoy a host of advanced features, like support for Running Dynamics and Garmin Coach. You'll have the necessary tools to help you set and reach your goals. The Forerunner 245 Music also has a training status feature that tells you if you're overtraining or undertraining. You can see how your workouts influence your speed and endurance. Then, the training load compares your most recent exercise volume to the optimal range for your fitness level.

The only real complaints worth mentioning with this Garmin smartwatch are the lack of NFC payments and an altimeter. The latter seems like a very odd omission since even the most basic wearables have them. Many users won't miss Garmin Pay, but it still would've been a nice feature to have. You'll still get Wi-Fi connectivity, music storage, smartphone notifications, built-in GPS, and more than sufficient activity tracking.


  • Built-in GPS
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Good battery life
  • Ample music storage
  • Pulse Ox Sensor and Body Battery
  • Activity, stress, sleep, and heart-rate tracking


  • Lacks Garmin Pay
  • No altimeter
  • Costs more to have music

Best for music

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS Running Smartwatch

Don't stop the music

This is the perfect mid-level running watch with Wi-Fi and music storage, ideal for heavy listeners.

Best for style: Garmin Venu 2

If you're worried about having to sacrifice your sense of style when buying a smartwatch, you'll have met your match with the Garmin Venu 2. This is one of the company's latest releases, and it actually offers quite a few upgrades that users might appreciate. One of the most significant improvements is battery life, which can now last between 10 and 11 days depending on the model you buy. You also get a battery saver mode to help your smartwatch last longer when you're in a pinch.

Not only do you get the same gorgeous AMOLED display found on the original Venu models, but you also get two size options. The Venu 2 is 45mm, and the smaller 2S is 40mm. Both models are compatible with quick-release Garmin Venu 2 and 2S bands, 22mm, and 18mm, respectively.

The sleep tracking suite has also improved. You now receive a sleep score that Firstbeat Analytics powers. Your sleep score is based on the quality and quantity of your previous night's sleep. You can even view your sleep stats on your watch. Previously, you had to open the Garmin Connect app to review your sleep stats. The Venu 2 also has a fitness age feature that estimates whether your body is younger or older than your chronological age. It uses your actual age, vigorous weekly activity, resting heart rate, BMI, or body fat percentage to estimate your fitness age. You can also access tips for lowering your fitness age.

You still get the core set of features Garmin offers on many of its wearables, including built-in GPS, over 25 sport modes, heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, female health-tracking, onboard music storage, mobile payments via Garmin Pay. So it's the best Garmin smartwatch if you're seeking a stylish lifestyle wearable loaded with useful features.


  • Fitness age & sleep score
  • Sharp AMOLED display
  • Two size options
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • 10 to 11 days of battery life


  • Too pricey for some
  • Smaller model isn't more affordable

Best for style

Garmin Venu 2 Smaller-Sized GPS Smartwatch

Style it up

Your sense of style doesn't have to suffer in the name of a smartwatch like the Garmin Venu 2.

Best Garmin smartwatch: Which should you buy?

Considering how many incredible choices there are, it's difficult to name just one of these wearables as the best Garmin smartwatch. However, if you're looking for a magnificent lifestyle watch that's full of essential features that are guaranteed to enhance your overall experience, we recommend the Garmin Vivoactive 4.

You'll find that the Vivoactive 4 sits right in the middle of the price range of Garmin wearables. Most importantly, it's a fair price tag for all that it offers. You'll have all the tracking you need for activity, sleep, stress, heart rate, plus some other new ones. You can also track your respiration rate, hydration, blood oxygen saturation levels, and energy levels. That's not all; this Garmin powerhouse now offers onboard music storage and animated on-screen workouts. Whether you're busy being active or taking the time to recover, this is the best Garmin smartwatch out there.

Of course, if you're purchasing a wearable for the first time, there are more affordable and basic Garmin smartwatch options that are better suited for beginners. On the other hand, experienced users will find a broad selection of high-end wearables that cater to their cravings for tons of details, advanced tracking, and premium features. Whatever your intended purpose is, there's certainly a Garmin smartwatch that will meet your needs.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.

Source: androidcentral

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