Apple Watch Vs Garmin Review

Do you need a new smartwatch but can’t decide whether an Apple Watch or Garmin watch would be best for you? Apple’s smartwatch is the top option on the market; however, if another Garmin watch fits your goals better, that could be the superior pick.

A lot of the optimal Garmin watches have been crafted with athletes like runners, golfers, and surfers in mind. Garmin offers over twelve different types of watches which vary significantly in terms of capabilities, design, and cost.

The Apple Watch range may be limited comparatively, yet it is suitable for those looking for a full-featured smartwatch designed particularly for Apple’s environment. Essentially, if you own multiple Apple devices, you can reap the rewards of having an Apple Watch.

Apple Watch vs. Garmin

Models and prices

SERIES 8                                   SE2022                            ULTRA

Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS, 45mm) - Silver Aluminium Case with S/M White Sport Band

There is a highly conspicuous divergence between the Garmin watches varieties and the varied Apple Watch models. The newest models of Apple Watch available to purchase are the Series 8 at £399, the SE 2022 at £269, and the Ultra at £819.

The designs and attributes of the products may differ slightly. Still, they all have two different sizes and choices and include functionalities such as GPS, Apple Pay, fitness monitoring, and the capability to make and receive telephone or text messages from your wrist.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus, GPS Smartwatch image 0

In regards to purchasing a Garmin watch, there are several models that you can pick from. The top-of-the-line smartwatch is the Garmin Venu 2 Plus £400. This watch is part of the Venu series.






Garmin Forerunner 255

The Forerunner range, such as the Garmin Forerunner 255 sells for around £299 and is intended for runners, offering features such as built-in music storage and exclusive training capabilities.




At the same time, the Fenix range – which just had the introduction of the Garmin Fenix 7 (priced at £579 – is thought of as the perfect watch for multiple sports given its impressive battery life and resilience.





Those who take part in outdoor sports, they might be drawn to the extra durable nature of the Garmin Instinct 2 (priced at £260 -£300. Golf players should consider looking into a Garmin Approach version which supports a large number of course maps and can work with accessories for keeping track of swings.




The prices of Garmin Approach S42 and S62 vary from £229 for the former and £419 for the latter.

Garmin Approach S62 Golf GPS Smart Watch - White

Eventually, Garmin released some watches without GPS, like the Garmin Lily (priced at around £200 designed for people with smaller wrists and the Garmin Vivomove Sport Around £180. These are some of the more cost-effective choices.


Garmin Lily Classic Cream Gold Black Case Italian Leather Strap Watch image number 1Garmin Vivomove Sport Smartwatch 010-2566-01

There is a wide variety of prices for Garmin watches, even when you take advantage of the best Garmin deals. The cost is based on the number of features, and if it is solar-charging-capable, you can expect to pay a higher price.

Garmin does not charge different rates for various sizes of the same watch, which is something that Apple does. Certain Garmin watches are available in a compact size labelled ‘s’ (for small).


The Apple Watch has a well-known shape that is a mix of a square and a circle, which comes with a touchscreen display, a crown on the side and a button.

It is something like a tiny computer strapped to your wrist. The only difference between the top Apple Watch models that is noticeable is a slight variance in the thickness of the screen and the surrounding bezel.

The dimensions of the Apple Watch 8 are distinctly bigger than those of the Apple Watch SE’s display. Additionally, both the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch Ultra have an “always-on” display feature, if that is something that you prioritize.

Each edition of the Apple Watch comes in a selection of metals and colours, as well as offers the chance to blend and match with other Apple Watch straps to create a unique appearance. You can purchase Apple bands either from Apple itself or from other stores like Amazon.

Garmin watches come in a range of colours, however, not all can have straps changed. The only Garmin watch that isn’t circular is the Garmin Venu Sq; all the other models have a round shape.

The Venu appears to be almost identical in price to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or other similar touchscreen smartwatches. The Garmin Forerunner 945 Around £450 and Fenix 7 boast conspicuous adornments, prominent edges, and vivid displays.


Some of Garmin’s more durable models, such as the Instinct, appear to be like a G-Shock and boast remarkable resilience, while the Garmin Lily has an air of classic jewellery about it.

Certain timepieces can only be regulated using buttons and do not possess coloured screens. The capabilities of smartwatches vary substantially, and there are many options to choose from.

Health and fitness tracking

The Apple Watch and Garmin watches both have a wealth of fitness and well-being capacities. These wearables can keep track of heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, a selection of distinct exercises, as well as sleep patterns.

When it comes to sleep, Garmin provides a greater level of detail regarding sleep patterns and evaluates blood oxygen levels when a user is sleeping, while the Apple Watch focuses on helping users establish a consistent time for going to bed and reaching a daily sleep target.

The Apple Watch with watchOS 9 is capable of keeping track of your sleeping habits while you rest, such as your breathing rate, the various sleep stages you go through, and your skin temperature.

Apart from fundamental measurements, you should evaluate the characteristics of any product you buy. Not every Garmin device has GPS enabled, whereas all Apple Watches do. We acknowledge that it’s strange for a GPS company to admit this, however, watches that are more economical do not provide autonomous location monitoring.

Garmin timepieces designed for running or other outdoor activities provide GPS capability, and several have features specifically designed to assist athletes while preparing for a marathon or striving to increase speed.

Not all Apple Watches or Garmin watches provide blood oxygen (SpO2) levels. Only the more modern models of the Apple Watch can read ECG readings, whereas Garmin watches are not equipped to identify symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

Garmin also provides some other advantages not included in Apple’s health monitoring system. For instance, lots of Garmin watches can check your stress level and tell you your body’s battery, giving you an idea if you are prepared (or not) to exercise.

Garmin watches that are more modern come equipped with a Health Snapchat app that records two minutes of significant health stats at one time. This allows you to view various metrics simultaneously on one display.

Accuracy Of GPS

Garmin watches have a far superior GPS. The superior tracking accuracy and faster signal locking of these systems are because they use multiple satellites: GLONASS, Galileo, and GPS.

If having the most precise GPS location data is important to you, Garmin is the right choice. The Apple Watch 7 and 8 have improved accuracy compared to the Apple Watch 3, yet they are still significantly less reliable than Garmin.

If your only objective is to gauge how much of a distance you ran and don’t care much about getting around, then the Apple Watch is still a solid choice.

Verdict: Garmin wins hands down. A much better GPS for runners.

Heart Rate Monitor

Both the Garmin Forerunner and the Apple Watch 3 have monitors on the wrist that monitor one’s heart rate when they are at rest and when they are running. It is known that wrist-based heart rate monitors have lower levels of accuracy. The Apple Watch 7 features a revamped heart rate sensor which increases its precision.

A chest strap can be connected to any Garmin apparatus to more accurately monitor your heart rate during physical activities. Apple watches are not compatible with chest straps.

The decision: Both wearables are up to the task of monitoring heart rate, however, the most recent Apple Watch models have a slight advantage. Garmin allows you to monitor your heart rate more precisely by using a chest band.

Navigation And Mapping

The Apple Watches possess an embedded GPS intended for monitoring outdoor workouts, while Garmin will be a better fit if you need an accurate navigator for paths. The Garmin Fenix provides the capability to look at the topography of an area and gives you route directions and a record of your journey.

Using Google Maps on the Apple Watch is not really beneficial for those who participate in trail running or hiking. We strongly advise against using Google Maps in an unfamiliar environment.

It is far more advantageous to choose either of the two options rather than having to carry your phone while running. You can take advantage of the ‘always-on display mode’ for any watch face.



The Garmin Fenix, the more expensive version at around £579, shows much more potential when it comes to running-related navigation, especially when it is done off-road. The distinctions between Apple Watch and the more budget-friendly Garmin devices are not as distinct, as the latter does not come with topographical maps.

Running Metrics

Garmin devices, specially designed as sports watches, possess the ability to document a lot of data – including the key information utilized to monitor exercise and further in-depth running metrics.

Apple Watches provide the general fitness metrics as standard, however, if you want to get a more profound look into your jogging you need to pay for Apple Fitness Plus.

Apple Watches have an accelerometer, gyroscope, and altimeter. These sensors enable the monitoring of running data such as speed, step length, and step rate.

The latest Apple Watch 8 provides detection for falls and collisions. We weren’t particularly eager to receive this safety feature.

Garmin systems are constructed to monitor running mechanics such as step length, pace, ground touch time balance, and vertical undulation. This can help you fine-tune your performance.

The judgment is that both gadgets provide intricate running analytics, how ever Apple necessitates a premium membership to unlock its more detailed data analysis. Garmin works out of the box.

Battery Life

This is where there is a huge contrast between Garmin and Apple Watches. Any model of Apple Watch can last up to 18 hours on a single charge. When the GPS is activated, it will run for approximately 6 hours.

An Apple Watch 7 can last up to 36 hours when in power-saving mode. You will need to power up your Apple Watch every 24 hours, which may be inconvenient if you are participating in long-distance races or spending multiple days out running on forest trails.

The length of the battery life for Garmin watches varies from 7 to 14 days, contingent on the model and what characteristics are utilized. The Fenix has remarkable endurance, lasting up to 80 days when in its energy-saving setting. With regular use, it can go 9 days.

Garmin watches of a higher quality come with the most advanced solar charging feature. If you’re an ultra runner, you don’t have to stress about how much charge your Garmin device has, because it can get energy from the sun!

The Venu has a battery lifespan of 5 days when used regularly, and if it is set in the always-on mode, the battery will last for 2 days, which is more than the most expensive choice of Apple Watch.

Verdict: Garmin watches are vastly superior in battery life. If you’re a runner who desires not to bother with a short-lived battery, Garmin is the right choice. This is especially noticeable among ultra racers or those competing in a prolonged contest.

Supported Running Apps

The Apple Store provides a wide variety of third-party running applications for Apple Watches, such as Strava, Runkeeper, Nike Run Club, and countless others.

The third-party app selection from the Garmin Connect IQ store is much smaller, however, it is possible to couple your Garmin with widely used running apps such as Strava, RunKeeper, and Nike Run Club to synchronize your data.

Apple offers an abundance of third-party running apps, almost all of which are simple to configure. Garmin can connect to any of the popular running applications. A tie.

Virtual Running Coach

Garmin Connect has a free feature called Garmin Coach. From three available running instructors, you have the option to select a trainer who will assist you with a tailored and flexible workout plan. Garmin Coach can be helpful whether you want to attempt your initial 5K or improve your performance in a marathon.

To get the same kind of digital training with an Apple Watch, one must employ applications from outside sources like Nike Run Club. Certain high-quality virtual running coach applications necessitate that you subscribe to use them.

Neither system is as complex as the highest quality performance trackers such as Whoop, however, they should be suitable for the majority of customers, and much more advanced than the timekeeper from your past!

Verdict: Garmin has better built-in features for runners. Garmin watches are linked up with an exceptional training program through Garmin Coach. You need to use third-party applications to get the same capabilities as with the Apple Watch.

Music Features

You don’t need to carry your phone while jogging if you have an Apple or Garmin watch, as you can listen to music on either. You can save your favourite collections of songs onto an Apple Watch or use the LTE model to listen to music by streaming.

You can use the Garmin Forerunner (read our lineup comparison) and the Fenix to connect to various music programs, enabling you to get songs for your exercises. You can transfer and save music from your home computer or mobile phone.

The conclusion is that both Garmin and Apple watches handle music very well, however, some of Garmin’s less expensive models are not as flexible and don’t sync with Spotify.

Side notes

There is a variety of products from Apple and Garmin that vary in cost. But which is the better choice for runners?

If you are focused on progressing in your running routine and looking for a GPS smartwatch to precisely monitor your health and running data, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is an excellent purchase for the price.

Path runners will benefit from the increased mapping and navigation abilities which the Garmin Fenix 6 has to offer.

Garmin watches have the advantage of having a long battery life, which is ideal for someone who runs long distances. The most expensive Apple Watch model is not able to last long enough to monitor a marathon race.

In addition to this, the newest models of the Garmin Fenix (and the Garmin Enduro) offer solar power charging, which is an incredible benefit for any runner who wishes to extend beyond marathon length. This makes the Garmin watch the preferred option for those who partake in long-distance running.


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