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Discover the perfect Garmin watch for your athletic needs. Our comprehensive guide compares features, pricing, and suitability for various sports, helping you make an informed choice


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When it comes to sports watches, Garmin is a name that often comes up in conversations. Known for their robust features and durability, Garmin watches are used by professionals and hobbyists alike. And the reason is simple: they’re durable, have killer battery life, and are jam-packed with tracking sensors.

But with so many models available, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? In this article, we’ll delve into a detailed Garmin watch models comparison, examining their unique features, pricing, and – by the end – you should have a good idea about which Garmin watch is best for your own specific needs.

Stick around until the end because here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • All the different Garmin watch models available right now
  • How they’re different, both with respect to prices and features
  • Why certain Garmin watches are more expensive than other ones
  • The exclusive features like NextFork that you get on certain models

Let’s dig in…

Garmin Watch Models Compared

Garmin makes a ton of products. Not just smartwatches. It also does loads of gold accessories and diving watches too. The scope here, however, are its fitness tracking watches. 

This does whittle down the number of Garmin watches somewhat but there are still A LOT of models to consider. Don’t worry, though, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Garmin watches in the post, including why certain models are more expensive than others.

First, let’s compare the prices for all of Garmin’s current sports watches in a nice handy table, so you can get a lay of the land. 

Garmin Watch Prices

ModelPrice Range
Forerunner 55$199.99
Venu Sq 2$249.99–$299.99
Venu 3/3S$449.99
Forerunner 265$449.99
Forerunner 255$349.99–$399.99
Instinct 2/2S$349.99–$449.99
Forerunner 955$499.99-$599.99
Forerunner 965$699.99–$899.99
fēnix 7 Series$799.99–$899.99
tactix 7 Series$1,099.99-$1,599.99
epix Pro (Gen 2)$899.99–$999.99
Enduro 2$1,099.99

As you can see, the price of a Garmin watch varies massively. You have cheap options like the Forerunner 55 which costs $199.99 right the way up to the Garmin Enduro 2 which retails for $1099.99. 

Why are some Garmin watches more expensive than others? It all comes down to build materials and features. The more you pay, the better your watch will look – with respect to build materials – and you’ll get access to more advanced features. 

If you’re not familiar with Garmin, it might be a little overwhelming comparing all of its models. For this reason, before making a decision on which one to buy, it is worthwhile taking the time to understand WHY certain models are more expensive than others.

Let’s unpack this a bit, using examples from Garmin’s current range to give you an idea why certain Garmin watches cost $1000 and others retail for less than $200.

Why Are Some Garmin Watches So Expensive?
Display and Materials: Higher-end models (Forerunner 965, fēnix 7 Series, tactix 7 Series, epix Pro Gen 2, Enduro 2) priced above $500 have sapphire lenses, titanium bezels, or Corning Gorilla Glass 3 DX as well as higher resolution or AMOLED displays for better clarity and color reproduction.
GPS and Navigation Features: Advanced GPS with multi-frequency positioning and SatIQ Technology. Preloaded topographical maps, road & trail maps, NextFork navigation, and Netfork Navigation, not available in sub-$500 models (Forerunner 55, Venu Sq 2, Forerunner 255).
Battery Life and Solar Charging: Longer battery life and solar charging capabilities, not present in cheaper models. Suitable for users without regular access to charging facilities.
Health and Fitness Features: More comprehensive health and fitness features in higher-end models, including jet lag advisor, improved interval, endurance score, and advanced health monitoring.
Connectivity and Smart Features: Enhanced connectivity including Wi-Fi. Advanced features like on-watch music storage, Garmin Pay™, and on-device Connect IQ for customization and convenience.
Advanced Training Features: Include course- and weather-specific race predictor, power modes, and other advanced training aids for athletes and fitness enthusiasts in models above $500.
Durability and Design: Rugged and premium design in higher-end models, catering to outdoor or professional use.
Target Audience: Premium models targeted towards serious athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, or professionals. Sub-$500 models cater to casual or everyday users who may not require advanced features.

With that in mind, let’s now compare and contrast all of Garmin’s 2023 models.

Comparing Garmin’s 2023 Watches: Budget To Ultra Premium

Garmin Watch Comparison: A Complete Buying Guide For 2023Pin

Garmin Forerunner 55:

  • Price: $199.99
  • Display: 1.04″ (26.3 mm) diameter sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) color display
  • Dimensions/Weight: 42 x 42 x 11.6 mm / 37 g
  • Battery Life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks, GPS-only mode: Up to 20 hours
  • GPS: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Accelerometer
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®
  • Maps/Nav: Back to start
  • Advanced Training Features: Race Predictor, Recovery Time, Finish time, Interval training

Venu Sq 2:

  • Price: $249.99–$299.99
  • Display: 1.41″ (35.9 mm) diagonal AMOLED optional always-on mode color display
  • Dimensions/Weight: 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1 mm / 38.0 g
  • Battery Life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 11 days
  • GPS: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Compass, Accelerometer, Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®
  • Maps/Nav: Back to start
  • Health Features: Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Health Snapshot
  • Smart Features: Text response or Reject call with text (Android only), Battery saver, On-watch music with Venu Sq 2 Music, Garmin Pay™

Venu 3/3S:

  • Price: $449.99
  • Display: Venu 3—1.4″ (35.4 mm) diameter, Venu 3S—1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter AMOLED optional always-on mode color display
  • Dimensions/Weight: V3—45 x 45 x 12 mm / 47.0 g, V3S—41 x 41 x 12 mm / 40.0 g
  • GPS: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Barometric altimeter, Gyroscope, Compass, Accelerometer, Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: Point-to-point navigation, Breadcrumb trail in real time, Back to start, TracBack®, UltraTrac Mode, Up Ahead, Elevation Profile, Distance to Destination, Projected waypoint
  • Health Features: Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Meditation, Sleep Coach, Nap Detection, Health Snapshot, Jet lag advisor
  • Smart Features: Text response or Reject call with text (Android only), Battery saver, On-watch music storage, Bluetooth phone calling and voice assistant support, Garmin Pay™, On-device Connect IQ

Forerunner 265/265S:

  • Price: $449.99
  • Display: FR 265—1.3″ (32.5 mm) diameter, FR 265S—1.1″ (28.1 mm) diameter AMOLED optional always-on mode color display
  • Dimensions/Weight: FR 265—46.1 x 46.1 x 12.1 mm / 47 g, FR 265S—41.7 x 41.7 x 12.1 mm / 39 g
  • GPS: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Barometric altimeter, Gyroscope, Compass, Accelerometer, Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor, Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: Point-to-point navigation, Breadcrumb trail in real time, Back to start, TracBack®, UltraTrac Mode, Reference Point, Elevation Profile, Distance to Destination, Projected waypoint
  • Health Features: Morning Report, Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Health Snapshot
  • Smart Features: Text response or Reject call with text (Android only), Battery saver, On-watch music storage, Garmin Pay™, Smart trainer control, Stocks, On-device Connect IQ

Forerunner 255/255S:

  • Price: $349.99–$399.99
  • Display: FR 255S—1.1″ (27.5mm) Diameter, FR 255—1.3″ (33 mm) diameter sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) color display
  • Dimensions/Weight: FR 255S—41 x 41 x 12.4 (mm) / 39 g, FR 255—45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 (mm) / 49 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®
  • Maps/Nav: Point-to-point navigation, Breadcrumb trail in real time, Back to start, TracBack®, UltraTrac Mode, Up Ahead, Elevation Profile, Distance to Destination, Projected waypoint, Advanced
  • Health Features: Morning Report, Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Health Snapshot
  • Smart Features: Text response or Reject call with text (Android only), Battery saver, On-watch music storage, Smart trainer control

Instinct 2/2S:

  • Price: $349.99–$449.99
  • Display: Instinct 2S—custom, two-window design; 0.79” x 0.79” (20 x 20 mm), Instinct 2—custom, two-window design; 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm) monochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Dimensions/Weight: Instinct 2S—40 x 40 x 13.3 mm / 42 g, Instinct 2—45 x 45 x 14.5 mm / 53 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: Garmin elevate wrist-based heart monitor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse Ox blood saturation monitor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®
  • Maps/Nav: Point-to-point navigation, Breadcrumb trail in real time, Back to start, TracBack®, UltraTrac Mode, Up Ahead, Elevation Profile, Distance to Destination, Projected waypoint
  • Health Features: Morning Report, Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Health Snapshot
  • Smart Features: Text response or Reject call with text (Android only), Battery saver, On-watch music storage, Smart trainer control

Forerunner 955/955 Solar:

  • Price: $499.99-$599.99
  • Display/Materials: 1.3″ (33 mm) diameter sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) color display, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 DX, Bezel/rear case cover: fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Dimensions/Weight: 46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm / 53 g
  • GPS: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps, Road & trail maps
  • Advanced Features: Course- and weather-specific race predictor, Endurance score

Forerunner 965:

  • Price: $699.99–$899.99
  • Display/Materials: 1.4” (35.4 mm) diameter, AMOLED always on, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 DX, Bezel: titanium; Rear case cover: fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Dimensions/Weight: 47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm / 53 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above, plus: Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps, Road & trail maps, Reference point, Netfork Navigation
  • Advanced Features: Course- and weather-specific race predictor, NextFork navigation, Endurance score

fēnix® 7/7S/7X Pro:

  • Price: $799.99–$899.99
  • Display/Materials: fēnix 7 Pro: 1.3″ (33.02 mm) diameter (1.2″ for 7S & 1.4″ for 7X), Solar Edition: Power Glass, Sapphire Solar Edition: Power Sapphire, Bezel/rear case cover: stainless steel (Solar)/titanium (Sapphire Solar)
  • Dimensions/Weight: fēnix 7 Pro: 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm / 73-79 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps, Road & trail maps, Preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, Netfork Navigation
  • Advanced Features: Reference point, NetxFork navigation, Power modes, Endurance score
  • Health Features: Jet lag advisor

tactix 7 Series:

  • Price: $1,099.99-$1,599.99
  • Display/Materials: 1.4” (35.56 mm) diameter, Standard: Sapphire lens, Pro Solar Edition: Power Sapphire, Bezel/rear case cover: titanium
  • Dimensions/Weight: 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm / 89 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps, Road & trail maps, Preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, Netfork Navigation
  • Advanced Features: NextFork navigation, Improved interval, Endurance score
  • Health Features: Jet lag advisor

epix™ Pro (Gen 2):

  • Price: $899.99–$999.99
  • Display/Materials: epix Pro 47 mm: 1.3” (33 mm) diameter AMOLED (1.2″ for 42 mm & 1.4″ for 51 mm), Standard: Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Sapphire Edition: Sapphire Crystal, Bezel/rear case cover: carbon gray DLC titanium or pure titanium
  • Dimensions/Weight: epix Pro (47 mm): 47 x 47 x 14.5 (mm) / 70 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above, plus: Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps (Sapphire only; download on Solar), Preloaded road & trail maps (Sapphire only; download on Solar), Preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, Netfork Navigation
  • Advanced Features: NextFork navigation
  • Health Features: Jet lag advisor

Enduro® 2:

  • Price: $1,099.99
  • Display/Materials: 1.4” (35.56 mm) diameter sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) color display, Power Sapphire lens, Bezel/rear case cover: titanium
  • Dimensions/Weight: 51 x 51 x 15.6 mm / 70 g
  • GPS: Multi-frequency positioning, SatIQ™ Technology, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Other Sensors: See shared above
  • Connectivity: BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
  • Maps/Nav: See shared above, plus: Preloaded topographical maps, Preloaded road & trail maps, Preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, Netfork Navigation
  • Advanced Features: NextFork navigation, Endurance score
  • Health Features: Jet lag advisor

Which Garmin Watches Have NextFork Navigation?

nextfork navigationPin

The NextFork Navigation feature on Garmin watches is engineered to assist individuals during outdoor activities, specifically in navigating trails.

It operates by displaying the distance to the next trail intersection and the name of the upcoming trail on the watch face, thereby enhancing users’ situational awareness regarding their current location and the upcoming path on their trail route.

It’s basically all about outdoor navigation. More and more people are getting into trail running and ultras, so with NextFork you get real-time data on your surroundings which is crucial for safety when you’re running off the beaten track.

For instance, in scenarios where trails intersect, making the right turn is essential for staying on the correct route. The feature’s provision of displaying the distance and name of the next trail intersection directly on the watch simplifies decision-making in such scenarios, enabling users to continue on their course without the need to stop and refer to a map or a smartphone.

This functionality caters to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and trail runners, making the Garmin watches equipped with NextFork Navigation a valuable tool for those who frequently find themselves in areas with intersecting trails.

Here’s all the current Garmin watch models that feature NextFork navigation

Garmin Forerunner 965:

  • Navigation Features: NextFork navigation alongside preloaded topographical maps, road & trail maps, and Reference point.
  • Target Audience: The Forerunner 965 seems aimed at serious athletes or outdoor enthusiasts who require advanced navigational features including NextFork navigation for their activities. The feature-rich navigation capabilities make it a suitable choice for those venturing into unknown or complex terrains, and who might also benefit from the other robust fitness and health tracking features the watch offers.

Garmin fēnix® 7/7S/7X Pro:

  • Navigation Features: NextFork navigation in addition to preloaded topographical maps, road & trail maps, preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, and more.
  • Target Audience: The fēnix® 7 series with NextFork navigation is likely targeted towards professional or highly dedicated outdoor adventurers and athletes. The extensive navigation features including NextFork navigation make it a great companion for those exploring unfamiliar areas or engaging in complex outdoor activities.

Garmin tactix 7 Series:

  • Navigation Features: NextFork navigation along with preloaded topographical maps, road & trail maps, preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, and more.
  • Target Audience: Similar to the fēnix® 7 series, the tactix 7 Series is also aimed at serious adventurers and athletes who require advanced navigational aids like NextFork navigation. The robust build and extensive navigation features suggest it’s built for rugged and demanding outdoor use.

Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2):

  • Navigation Features: NextFork navigation in addition to preloaded (or downloadable) topographical maps, road & trail maps, preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, and more.
  • Target Audience: The epix™ Pro (Gen 2) with NextFork navigation seems designed for those who seek a high-end, feature-rich smartwatch for serious outdoor navigation and fitness tracking. Its navigation features including NextFork navigation would appeal to individuals who often find themselves in complex or unfamiliar outdoor settings.

Garmin Enduro 2:

  • Navigation Features: NextFork navigation along with preloaded topographical maps, road & trail maps, preloaded ski resort maps, Reference point, and more.
  • Target Audience: The Enduro® 2 seems to be aimed at extreme adventurers or athletes who require reliable navigation features like NextFork navigation. Its rugged design and extensive navigation capabilities make it suitable for those engaging in endurance sports or adventures in challenging terrains.

Which Garmin Watches Have Jet Lag Adviser?

Jet Lag AdviserPin

Garmin’s Jet Lag Advisor is a feature that helps travelers minimize the effects of jet lag. It uses your sleep pattern, chronotype, and flight information to create a personalized plan to adjust your sleep schedule before and after your trip.

The feature is available on the following Garmin watches:

Garmin Venu 3/3S:

  • Health Features: Jet Lag Advisor among others like Pulse Ox, Sleep score & insights, Meditation, Sleep Coach, Nap Detection, Health Snapshot.
  • Target Audience: The Venu 3/3S watches are aimed at health-conscious individuals who also have a lifestyle that involves traveling across time zones. The Jet Lag Advisor feature would be highly beneficial for frequent travelers looking to minimize the effects of jet lag on their schedules.

Garmin tactix 7 Series:

  • Health Features: Jet Lag Advisor along with other shared health features.
  • Target Audience: The tactix 7 Series is aimed at serious adventurers or professionals who might have a demanding travel schedule alongside their outdoor activities. The Jet Lag Advisor would help in better managing their health amidst frequent time zone changes.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro:

  • Health Features: Jet Lag Advisor along with other shared health features.
  • Target Audience: Similar to the tactix 7 Series, the fēnix® 7 series is aimed at outdoor enthusiasts and professionals who also travel frequently. The Jet Lag Advisor feature would be a handy tool for them to manage their jet lag and maintain their health.

Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2):

  • Health Features: Jet Lag Advisor along with other shared health features.
  • Target Audience: The epix™ Pro (Gen 2) is targeted towards a high-end consumer base that values a mix of advanced navigation, health, and smart features. Frequent travelers, especially those who are also fitness enthusiasts, would find the Jet Lag Advisor feature valuable in managing their jet lag while traveling.

Garmin Enduro® 2:

  • Health Features: Jet Lag Advisor along with other shared health features.
  • Target Audience: The Enduro® 2 is ideal for endurance athletes or serious adventurers who also travel across time zones. The Jet Lag Advisor would be a useful feature to help them manage their jet lag and maintain their performance levels.

Which Garmin Watch Have Endurance Tracking?

Save £130 on Garmin Fenix 6 Watch – LIMITED SALEPin

Garmin Endurance Tracking is a feature that helps athletes monitor their performance during long-distance activities. It provides real-time data on the your heart rate, pace, and other metrics to help you optimize your training and avoid overexertion.

Garmin’s heart rate monitor is generally considered to be accurate. However, the accuracy of the monitor can be affected by various factors such as the user’s skin color, body fat percentage, and the tightness of the watch band.

For best results, It is recommended to wear the watch snugly on the wrist and avoid wearing it over clothing to ensure accurate readings. As someone that regularly uses this feature, I can attest to its reliability. It has saved me from loads of potentially unessential training sessions and over training fatigue.

Here’s all the models that Garmin’s Endurance Tracker is available on:

Garmin Forerunner 955/955 Solar:

  • Advanced Features: Endurance score among others like Course- and weather-specific race predictor.
  • Target Audience: The Forerunner 955/955 Solar is aimed at serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts who require detailed insights into their endurance levels to optimize their training and performance.

Garmin Forerunner 965:

  • Advanced Features: Endurance score, along with Course- and weather-specific race predictor and NextFork navigation.
  • Target Audience: Similar to the Forerunner 955/955 Solar, the Forerunner 965 is for serious athletes and individuals who are keen on tracking and improving their endurance levels over time.

Garmin fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro:

  • Advanced Features: Endurance score along with Reference point, NetxFork navigation, and Power modes.
  • Target Audience: The fēnix® 7 series is for outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, and professionals who require a robust feature set including endurance tracking to monitor their physical performance over extended periods.

Garmin tactix 7 Series:

  • Advanced Features: Endurance score, along with NextFork navigation and Improved interval.
  • Target Audience: The tactix 7 Series is designed for individuals with a demanding outdoor or professional lifestyle who require endurance tracking to monitor and manage their physical performance.

Garmin Enduro 2:

  • Advanced Features: Endurance score along with NextFork navigation.
  • Target Audience: The Enduro® 2 is ideal for endurance athletes and serious adventurers who require a rugged watch with endurance tracking to monitor their performance during prolonged activities.

Should You Splurge For A Solar Edition Garmin Watch?

Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire SolarPin

Certain Garmin models come with built-in Solar panels that can be used to charge the watch while you’re on the go. The Fenix 6 and 7 both have Solar editions, as does the Instinct. But these Solar editions cost more. So, the next obvious question is: are Solar Edition Garmin watches worth it? Let’s unpack this in a bit more detail.

Battery longevity is one of its major selling points of going with a Solar Edition model. According to Garmin, under ideal conditions, the watch can endure up to 24 days in smartwatch mode and extend up to 54 days in battery saver mode with solar charging. However, actual battery life may vary based on usage patterns and environmental conditions.

PROS:

  1. Extended Battery Life: The solar charging feature significantly extends the battery life, reducing the frequency of charges required.
  2. Durable Design: Crafted for outdoor use, the watch is built to endure harsh conditions making it a reliable companion for athletes and adventurers.
  3. Comprehensive Feature Set: From GPS tracking to heart rate monitoring, the watch offers a range of features to cater to fitness and outdoor navigation needs.

CONS:

  1. Dependent on Sunlight: The effectiveness of solar charging is highly dependent on sunlight exposure, which might be a limitation in certain weather conditions or geographic locations.
  2. Cost: Solar models may come with a higher price tag compared to their non-solar counterparts.
  3. Battery Life Variability: The advertised battery life is based on ideal conditions, and actual battery life may fall short depending on individual usage and environmental factors.

Is It Worth It?

The verdict on the Garmin Solar Edition Watches largely hinges on your individual preferences and lifestyle. For avid outdoor enthusiasts and athletes who spend a considerable amount of time under the sun, the solar charging feature could be a game-changer, significantly reducing the hassle of frequent charging.

That said, most Garmin watches – especially the more expensive ones – will last a good long while without a charge. They’re not like Apple Watch where you need to charge everyday. The solar edition models do last longer but in order to reap the benefits you A) need to be out for long enough and B) actually have some sun, so in the UK during winter you’re not going to get much action.

Me? I’d save your cash and go with a non-Solar model. You’ll still get decent battery life and all the trimmings, and you’ll pay considerably less for the watch too.

Best Garmin Watches Right Now: Editor’s Picks [2023]

Garmin Fenix 7X: Solar Edition – Built for the Outdoors

Price: Premium

The Garmin Fenix 7X: Solar Edition is the ultimate watch for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its solar charging technology, this watch offers extended battery life, making it ideal for long expeditions.

Built to withstand the harshest conditions, its rugged design is complemented by advanced features like multi-sport modes and a Pulse Ox sensor for high-altitude activities.

If you’re looking for a watch that combines durability with cutting-edge health and fitness tracking, the Fenix 7X: Solar Edition stands out as a premium choice

Features

  • Solar Charging: Extends battery life, ideal for long outdoor adventures.
  • Rugged Design: Built to withstand harsh conditions.
  • Multi-Sport Modes: From hiking to swimming, it’s got you covered.
  • Pulse Ox Sensor: Monitors blood oxygen levels for high-altitude activities.

Why It Costs More

  • Solar charging technology for extended battery life.
  • Robust build quality designed for outdoor use.
  • Advanced health and fitness tracking features.

Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


Garmin Venu 2 Plus – The Smartwatch for Everyday Use

Price: $400

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a smartwatch designed for the tech-savvy user who values both functionality and aesthetics. With its high-quality AMOLED display, you get a vibrant and clear screen that enhances user experience.

The watch also offers unique features like built-in voice assistant and music storage for up to 650 songs, making it a versatile companion for daily life.

Coupled with advanced health monitoring capabilities, including a quick snapshot of key metrics, the Venu 2 Plus is a top-tier choice for those seeking a blend of style and advanced features

Features

  • AMOLED Display: Offers a vibrant and clear screen.
  • Music Storage: Store up to 650 songs for on-the-go entertainment.
  • Health Snapshot: Quick access to key health metrics.
  • Voice Assistant: Control your watch through voice commands.

Why It Costs More

  • High-quality AMOLED display.
  • Voice assistant and music storage capabilities.

Best For: Tech-savvy users looking for a smartwatch with advanced features.


Garmin Forerunner 745 – The Runner’s Choice

Price: $413

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a specialized sports watch designed with serious runners and triathletes in mind. Offering advanced running metrics and a unique Training Load Focus feature, this watch helps athletes understand the impact of their training regimen on their body.

It also comes with detailed swim tracking capabilities, making it a versatile choice for multi-sport athletes.

With a long battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, the Forerunner 745 ensures you’re always ready for your next training session.

Features

  • Designed for Runners: Provides specialized running metrics.
  • Training Load Focus: Helps you understand the impact of your training.
  • Swim Tracking: Ideal for triathletes.
  • Long Battery Life: Lasts up to 7 days in smartwatch mode.

Why It Costs More

  • Advanced metrics tailored for runners.
  • Extended battery life for long training sessions.

Best For: Serious runners and triathletes.


Garmin Instinct 2: Solar Edition – The Rugged Basic

Price: $350

The Garmin Instinct 2: Solar Edition is a rugged, durable watch built to military standards, making it ideal for those who frequent harsh environments.

Its solar charging feature extends battery life, ensuring you’re always powered up during your outdoor adventures.

While it offers basic fitness tracking for steps, calories, and essential health metrics, it also includes GPS for basic navigation needs.

If you’re looking for a watch that combines durability with essential features, the Instinct 2: Solar Edition offers a balanced blend of both.

Features

  • Solar Charging: Enhances battery life.
  • Rugged Design: Meets military standards for toughness.
  • Basic Fitness Tracking: Covers essential health metrics.
  • GPS: For basic navigation needs.

Why It Costs More

  • Solar charging and rugged design.
  • Essential fitness and navigation features.

Best For: Those who want a durable watch with basic features.


Garmin Vívomove Trend – The Stylish Hybrid

Price: $270

The Garmin Vívomove Trend is a hybrid smartwatch that combines the classic look of an analog watch with the functionality of a digital display.

Designed for the fashion-conscious user, this watch offers a stylish design without sacrificing essential tracking features.

It monitors basic health metrics like steps, sleep, and calories burned, making it a functional yet fashionable accessory for everyday wear.

If you’re looking for a watch that seamlessly blends traditional aesthetics with modern tracking capabilities, the Vívomove Trend is a compelling choice

Features

  • Hybrid Display: Combines analog and digital displays.
  • Basic Fitness Tracking: Monitors steps, sleep, and basic health metrics.
  • Stylish Design: A fashion-forward look for everyday wear.

Why It Costs More

  • Hybrid design combining traditional and smart features.
  • Focus on style and aesthetics.

Best For: Fashion-conscious users who want basic tracking features.


Garmin Vívoactive 4 – The Versatile Pick

Price: $189

The Garmin Vívoactive 4 is a versatile smartwatch designed for casual athletes and fitness enthusiasts. With support for various multi-sport modes, this watch is a great companion for a range of physical activities, from running to swimming.

It offers basic health tracking features, including heart rate and sleep monitoring, as well as GPS for navigation.

Priced at a mid-range point, the Vívoactive 4 provides a balanced set of features for those who want a reliable, multi-functional watch without breaking the bank

Features

  • Multi-Sport Modes: Supports a range of activities.
  • Health Tracking: Covers basic health metrics.
  • GPS: For your navigation needs.

Why It Costs More

  • Versatile multi-sport modes.
  • Basic health and navigation features.

Best For: Casual athletes and fitness enthusiasts.


Garmin Forerunner 55 – Budget-Friendly for Runners

Price: $149

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a budget-friendly sports watch designed specifically for runners and fitness enthusiasts.

Offering basic running metrics and GPS navigation, this watch provides essential tracking features without overwhelming complexity.

One of its standout attributes is its long battery life, lasting up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, making it a reliable choice for those who don’t want to charge their watch frequently.

If you’re a beginner runner or someone looking for basic but effective fitness tracking at an affordable price, the Forerunner 55 is an excellent option

Features

  • Designed for Runners: Offers basic running metrics.
  • GPS: For basic navigation during runs.
  • Battery Life: Lasts up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode.

Why It Costs More

  • Specialized for basic running and fitness tracking.
  • Long battery life for its price point.

Best For: Beginner runners and those on a budget.


Need an assist? Check out our Garmin Watch: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide post – it covers everything you need to know about all the features and sensors used inside Garmin watches. We also have a quick explainer on how long you can expect your Garmin watch to last.

As for the price of Garmin watches, here’s a handy table that details the cost of each model inside Garmin’s current lineup of smartwatches.

Garmin Watch Price Comparison

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