If you’re a serious runner, cyclist, or swimmer, Garmin’s watches are some of the best in the business. But which Garmin watch has the best battery life? Here’s a handy Garmin Watch Battery Life Guide that’ll show you how all the current models compare…
Choosing a Garmin watch for tracking your fitness can be tricky; there are plenty of models to choose from and they’re all slightly different. You have really expensive options, mid-range options, and cheaper options.
Basically, Garmin has designed a fitness-tracking watch for every type of user, from all walks of life.
But one of the most important things to consider before buying a Garmin watch, or any smartwatch/fitness tracker for that matter, is the battery life – no one wants to be charging their wearable every day like you have to with Apple Watch and most wearables that run Wear OS.
Thankfully, with most Garmin watches you’ll get a weeks’ worth of battery life from a single charge. But some of Garmin’s watches are A LOT better than others when it comes to battery life. But which is the best overall? Let’s find out…
Garmin Watch Battery Life Guide: Which Lasts The Longest?
|MODEL||BATTERY LIFE||BATTERY LIFE WITH GPS|
|Garmin Fenix 6||14 Days||36 Hours|
|Garmin Forerunner 35||9 Days||13 Hours|
|Garmin Forerunner 945||14 Days||36 Hours|
|Garmin Forerunner 45||7 Days||13 Hours|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4S||7 Days||5 Hours|
|Garmin Instinct Solar||56 Days||30 Hours|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3||7 Days||13 Hours|
|Forerunner 645 Music||7 Days||5 Hours|
Which Garmin Watch is Right For Me?
As always, when it comes to buying tech it ALL depends on your budget. How much do you want to spend? If you don’t have any budget constraints, go with the Garmin Fenix 6 – it has the best battery life by a considerable margin and it is the most advanced watch in the Garmin range. It is expensive though.
With the Fenix 6, you can literally track ANYTHING you do – from hiking to running, even indoor sports like skipping and the rowing machine. Packed with the most cutting edge sensor, the Fenix 6 will deliver accurate, actionable results to you on a daily basis, detailing your performance, your recovery, and how hard you were or weren’t pushing yourself.
The GPS is fast and insanely accurate, the heart-rate monitor works under water, and it has a best-in-class heart rate monitoring sensor. Add in full support for stress monitoring and SPo2 sensor and you’re looking at the most complete outdoor fitness tracking wearable on the planet right now.
Need something cheaper? Take a look at the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Forerunner 35 – both of these retail for less than 150 bucks, with the Garmin Forerunner 35 costing less than $100. Both are excellent for tracking your runs, steps, and any other outdoor activity. And both have very decent battery life – 7 days from a single charge.
A good, mid-range option – so, less than $400 – would be the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. With this watch, you’ll get excellent battery life (7 days standard, 5 hours GPS tracking), all the usual Garmin tracking abilities, so, heart rate monitoring, activity analysis, sleep analysis, and stress analysis, as well as advice on recovery rates and overall blood oxygenation.
And if you want to get really fancy, you should look at picking up the Garmin Instinct Solar which, as the name suggests, leverages the power of the sun to charge up its battery when you’re out and about. The Instinct Solar is pricey (it starts from over $400) but it serves up some killer features and the design is gorgeous. You also get 56 days of battery life (or, unlimited battery life if you’re constantly in the sun) and 30 hours of GPS tracking.
My advice? All of Garmin’s watches are excellent at tracking your activity. If you just want something to keep tabs on your running or cycling, you don’t need an ultra-expensive one. The Garmin Forerunner 45, in this respect, will do pretty much everything you need. And for the money, I think the Garmin Forerunner 45 is just about the best value option in Garmin’s range right now – it does everything you want for a price that won’t totally blow all your savings.
Are Garmin Watches Waterproof?
Garmin watches are designed to be used outside, in the elements. They are also used by swimmers to track their workouts and speed, so, of course, all Garmin watches are waterproof. Generally speaking, this means you can take them in the pool, in the sea, or in lakes and they’ll be fine.
Garmin likes to give its watches water resistance ratings, and it does this by depth. Some of its more expensive models – like the Fenix 6 – have water resistance up to 100 metres, while its cheaper models, the Vivoactive and Garmin Forerunner 35, are rated at 50 metres. However, since no one will ever go that deep, it is kind of a moot point.
What’s the bottom line? Simple: you can use your Garmin watch in all kinds of conditions from extreme heat and water and they will function and track things just as well as if they were in a completely normal environment. After all, they’re designed to be used outside, so it’d be pretty silly if they weren’t waterproof!
Do Garmin Watches Work With iPhone & Android?
Garmin watches run on Garmin’s proprietary software but are fully compatible with Android and iPhone. You need to download a couple of apps – Garmin Connect and Garmin Connect IQ – for tracking your activities and making changes to your watch’s settings.
You can also view your data online via your desktop/laptop computer too, if you’d prefer to do so on the big screen, with Garmin Express. Both Windows and Mac are supported too, so just download the software and you can keep tracks on your data on your PC and your phone.
As for “smartwatch” features, most Garmin watches will pull down notifications from your phone, things like emails, WhatsApp messages, calls, and texts, but none of them are quite as good as Apple Watch or a Wear OS wearable in this respect. Garmin is ALL about tracking your activities; that’s why people use them – the smartwatch stuff is secondary.
What Can Garmin Watches Track?
All Garmin watches will track your steps, runs, cycling, and heart rate, as well as things like your goals, and calories burned. However, some models – meaning the cheaper ones – do not have some of the more advanced features you’ll find on models like the Fenix 6.
Here’s a complete breakdown of all the things Garmin watches can track:
- Step counter
- Move bar
- Auto goal
- Sleep monitoring
- Calories burned
- Floors climbed
- Distance traveled
- Intensity minutes
- Move IQ™
- Fitness Age
- All-day Stress Tracking
- Body Battery
Wrapping Up: What’s The Best Garmin Watch For Me?
Again, picking the right Garmin watch depends on what you want to do with it. If all you’re interested in is tracking your runs and monitoring your progress, I’d go with one of Garmin’s mid-range models. The Garmin Forerunner 45, most likely – it’s a killer device and it’s not too expensive.
The Garmin Fenix 6 – It’s Pricey ($749.99) But Totally Worth It…
But if you’re a serious athlete or someone that does Iron Man events or triathlons, you will, of course, be better off with the Garmin Fenix 6. It has the most accurate tracking, the best battery life, and the most advanced features. With the Fenix 6, you are essentially getting the best fitness/activity tracker on the planet. It’s expensive (as you can see here) but most professional athletes and trainers swear by it…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.