Garmin vs Apple Watch: which smartwatches are finest for sports activities?

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Apple and Garmin are each massive names on the earth of smartwatches, however whereas the Apple Watch has loved larger recognition, Garmin is actually no slouch in relation to monitoring exercise.

We have put three of Garmin’s newest by way of our check labs – the Garmin Forerunner 745, Garmin Venu Sq and Garmin Venu Sq Music. And to see how significantly Apple’s providing can actually be handled for sports activities, we have a look at how every of them fare in opposition to the Apple Watch Sequence 6.


Accuracy is essential in the event you’re severe about sport. Learn our information to smartwatch and health tracker accuracyor head to our record of finest smartwatches we have examined


Garmin Forerunner 745, £399.99

Garmin Forerunner 745

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a GPS watch aimed squarely at super-keen runners and triathletes desirous to dive deep into their private knowledge. As such, it is full of sensors for analysing your tempo, cadence (what number of steps you are taking per minute), coronary heart price, heart-rate variability, efficiency situation after working and far more.

You may get suggestions in your ‘coaching impact’, so you’ll be able to see how your exercises affect your endurance, velocity and energy, and your ‘coaching load’ – the pressure positioned in your physique from train over the previous week in contrast with the optimum quantity somebody of that health degree needs to be coaching. You may additionally get a ‘coaching standing’: whether or not you are coaching productively or overdoing it.

It may possibly estimate your Vo2 max: the utmost quantity of oxygen your physique can use, and, by extension, an indicator of your total health; there is a compass for navigation while you’re exercising off-piste; ‘physique battery’ vitality monitoring and a race predictor device. All in all, it is fairly feature-packed.


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Para athlete running with a Garmin smartwatch

Whereas the Forerunner 745 is primarily for runners and triathletes, there are preloaded exercise profiles for different workout routines, together with snowboarding. And, if it is not sufficient, you too can purchase a appropriate Garmin machine, akin to a chest belt, for much more correct heart-rate monitoring, and an underwater chest belt for swimming or clip-on working dynamics pod for extra working analytics.

If, alternatively, that each one sounds overwhelming, contemplate the Garmin Venu Sq, Garmin Venu Sq Music or the Apple Watch Sequence 6 as an alternative (extra on these beneath).

How does the Apple Watch examine?

The Apple Watch Sequence 6 additionally has GPS, superior heart-rate monitoring and exercises for all the pieces from core coaching to yoga. The evaluation you will get is extra top-level than with the Forerunner 745, although.

Like with many Garmins, the Forerunner 745 would not have a touchscreen, which is likely to be laborious to get used to in the event you’ve had one prior to now. If that’s the case, you is likely to be happier with the likes of an Apple Watch.

It is not essentially a foul factor, although. In the event you’re hardcore sufficient to train in all types of climate then you definitely’ll know that rain, gloves and/or sweaty fingers do not combine properly with touchscreens anyway. Plus, it is simple sufficient navigate the Forerunner 745 utilizing the buttons.

Learn our full evaluation of the Garmin Forerunner 745 and the Apple Watch Sequence 6 to search out out extra.

Garmin Venu Sq, £179.99

Garmin Venu Sq smartwatch

In the event you’re searching for a feature-packed watch, however with out the working focus of the Garmin Forerunner 745 (and a £200 saving) the Venu Sq might be wager.

It has a compass, built-in coronary heart price monitor, GPS, VO2 max estimates and ‘physique battery’ monitoring and train modes for various sports activities. Runners will get distance, train time, tempo, cadence and energy.

Consistent with its broader and extra mainstream enchantment, the Venu Sq does have a touchscreen. It additionally seems to be extra Apple-esque and fewer visibly sporty than the Forerunner 745.

How does the Apple Watch examine?

Each have an extended record of trackable actions, however none as in depth because the Forerunner 745, in order that they’re fairly comparable in that regard.

The Apple Watch 6 can monitor open water swimming, so is a more sensible choice for lake or sea swimmers who need GPS knowledge. In the event you’re extra prone to be doing laps in your native pool, you’ll be able to go for both watch.

Not like the Sequence 6 and the Forerunner 745, the Venu Sq would not have an altimeter, which might have turn out to be useful for hikers and climbers, or in the event you’re desirous to log what number of flights of stairs you have climbed.

Measuring blood oxygen with the Apple Watch Series

Each additionally supply options like an SpO2 sensor for measuring your blood oxygen (pulse oximetry) and incident detection, whereby an emergency contact will get notified when you’ve got an accident akin to a tough fall.

Discover out what all the pieces we preferred and disliked in our Garmin Venu Sq evaluation.

Exercising with a smartwatch

Garmin Venu Sq Music, £229.99

If you cannot muster up the motivation to run with out your exercise playlist, however you discover it a nuisance to run together with your telephone, it is price investing in a music watch.

You should utilize the Garmin Venu Sq, and Garmin Forerunner 745, to regulate music enjoying out of your tethered telephone, however you’d nonetheless want your handset with you.

Garmin Venu Sq Music

The Garmin Venu Sq Music is near-identical to the Garmin Venu Sq, however, as its identify tells you, it has extra music choices. You possibly can obtain as much as 500 songs on to it from Amazon Music, Deezer or Spotify (or your personal assortment – however solely through a pc, not a telephone). You may then be capable of hear later by way of Bluetooth related headphones, whilst you run unfettered by your telephone.

How does the Apple Watch examine?

With the Sequence 6, you’ll be able to play music out of your iPhone or out of your Apple Watch straight, together with out of your music library or from Apple Music (when you’ve got a subscription).

Head over to our Garmin Venu Sq Music evaluation to find all its options, together with whether or not it data your stats precisely and whether or not it is simple to make use of when your mind is drained from train.


Favor to maintain your telephone useful a run? We are able to reveal the finest working armbands and telephone holders


How good is the Apple Watch Sequence 6?

Though it is expensive, with the 40mm model ranging from £379, the Sequence 6 is not quick on health options both. Its well-known ring system is nice for motivation, the concept being that you’ve onscreen rings for motion, train and standing: every day it’s best to purpose to ‘shut’ them.

You may get personalised solutions for closing your rings and digital trophies while you attain milestones. You’ve got additionally obtained loads of choices for sharing your progress with buddies and participating in competitions.

Apple Watch Series 6 fitness rings

In the event you’re a health devotee with severe targets, you will get extra from the Forerunner 745, or one other watch within the Forerunner line.

In case your ambition is much less to compete in a race than to finish one in affordable time, and also you’re after a complicated all-round life-style watch that can even spur you on to care extra about your well being and health, go for the Apple Watch Sequence 6, Garmin Venu Sq or Garmin Venu Sq Music.

There’s additionally the choice to subscribe to Apple’s Health+ for exercise movies and proposals in your watch, telephone, iPad or Apple TV. That might be possibility in the event you’re already a lover of the Apple ecosystem and free YouTube tutorials do not encourage you sufficient.

Health+ prices £9.99/month, with three months free in the event you’re shopping for a brand new Apple Watch.

Keep in mind that usually talking, you’ll be able to’t use an Apple Watch with an Android telephone – so when you’ve got one, that may assist to make the choice a couple of Garmin mannequin for you.


Selected an Apple Watch, however undecided which one is best for you? Our information to which Apple Watch to purchase demystifies the variations between them


Apple vs Garmin battery life

A closing factor to contemplate is that Apple Watches have a notoriously quick battery life.

The common battery life for the Garmin watches we have examined was 236.6 hours: practically 10 days.Below the very same circumstances, the Apple Watches we have examined lasted on common 44.4 hours: lower than two days.

That is with out GPS enabled – keep in mind that it is going to be shorter (for each manufacturers) the extra options you are utilizing.

Nonetheless, you’ll be able to see that, even in the event you’re not draining the battery quicker by way of utilizing GPS, you will be tied into charging your Apple Watch just about every day.That is price understanding upfront in the event you at all times really feel busy and overwhelmed with issues to do. And it might scupper any plans you need to take your watch on a multi-day hike.

Methods to purchase the most effective smartwatch – the options you must optimise your exercises and keep related.

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