I'm interested in buying a Garmin sports watch - what do I need to know

First published: 02-06-2017

Mountain bike marathon runner

Want to keep track of your fitness progress and look good doing it?

When it comes to sports watches, Garmin is known for quality and style. By packing innovative features into a sleek design, you can see your physical activity and show off your taste at the same time.

Our guide breaks down which Garmin watch is up to the task of sweating alongside you.



How do you move?

Garmin makes watches to suit athletes of all levels and calibres; whether you're a hardcore marathon devotee or a casual weekend jogger.

Depending on what you do, here some features you might need:
  • Fitness beginners: If you're a gym casual, a modest adventurer and or a novice runner, you'll want basic features that can provide feedback on your daily progress without overloading you with complicated data. Look for watches that have:
    • A step counter
    • An accelerometer
    • Sleep monitoring
    • Waterproofing
    Activity tackers like the Garmin Vivofit and Garmin Vivofit 3 are a great option.

  • Confident athletes: Marathon veterans, triathlon lovers and keen explorers will benefit from more advanced features that can provide visibility on specific aspects of your training. Look out for watches with:
    • GPS capability
    • Heart rate monitoring
    • Bluetooth
    • App connectivity
    For those looking for a more detailed sports watch, the Gamin Unisex Vivoactive and Garmin Vivosmart HR+ have both daily monitoring features and advanced, smart capabilities.

  • Serious fitness fiends: Those who seek out thrilling adventure or put all their free time into perfecting an athletic skill may need extra capabilities to help them. Top of the range watches include features like:
    • A barometric altimeter
    • Advanced workout planning functions (custom, goal-oriented training plans)
    • Open water swim metrics
    • Auto climb/run switch monitoring
    If you're after exclusive feedback on your fitness, the Garmin Men's Forerunner 920XT and the Garmin Unisex Forerunner 235 offer thorough insight on a whole host of activities, along with wrist-based heart rate monitoring.

Which Garmin watch is right for me?


Mountain marathon runner mountain

There are a few factors to consider before choosing the sports watch to be your workout buddy. You'll need to think about what kind of athlete you are now, and where you hope to be in a year's time. Decide which of the features listed above best suit your current workout style and your future fitness plans.

The next thing to consider is your price point. Garmin sports watches can cost £70-500, so there's an answer to every athlete's profile and budget.




For the all-round athlete: Garmin Unisex Forerunner

Garmin unisex forerunner watch

The Garmin Unisex Forerunner is ideal for those who walk, run or hit the gym on a regular basis and want to keep track of their performance. Equipped with a step counter, distance tracker, pace calculator and calorie counting capabilities, this watch can also be paired with a heart rate chest monitor for added visibility.

This sports watch also has smart capabilities - connect it to your smartphone to see and share your results via the Garmin Connect app. Available in a range of bold colours, it's a stylish option that will look great as a part of your gym kit and everyday attire.


For the fashionable fitness lover: Garmin Unisex Vivomove

Garmin unisex vivomove watch

The Garmin Unisex Vivomove is a stylish example of fashion-meets-fitness. With its minimalist face and choice of versatile straps, you'd never know that beneath the elegant design is a sophisticated activity tracking system.

This Garmin sports watch allows you to keep an eye on your fitness both in and out of the gym - the understated red bar on the face reminds you to move when you've been stationary for too long and the auto goal function sets a step count for you to reach every day, based on your usual activity level.


For the serious sportsperson: Garmin Unisex Fenix 3 Sapphire

Garmin fenix 3 saphire watch

This Garmin GPS sports watch takes your fitness seriously. The Fenix 3 Sapphire is both hardwearing and hardcore - made from titanium with a rubber strap, it's water resistant up to 100m and ready to accompany you on any outdoor excursion.

With a seemingly endless list of features, including an electronic compass, personal-best storage and wrist-based heart rate monitoring, you can use it to truly be - and beat - your personal best. Whether you're into downhill skiing, long-distance rowing, cross-country running or a combination of any sort of rigorous activity, the Fenix 3 Sapphire is the ultimate workout buddy.

Garmin has a reputation for creating stylish, quality products that are at the forefront of the market, so you can rest assured that choosing a Garmin sports watch to accompany you on your fitness ventures is a decision that the athlete you're on the journey to becoming will approve of!

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