Garmin watch displays

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Garmin’s bread and butter is its extensive line of GPS fitness watches. They’re often unrivaled by the competition — at least in terms of fitness features — and that might be the case for the new Vivoactive 4. But if you’re in the market for a new GPS fitness watch, should you buy the Vivoactive 4 or the new OLED-touting Garmin Venu? Read our Garmin Vivoactive 4 review to find out.

Garmin has not yet announced a Vivoactive 5, but an OLED-touting successor is now available if you’re looking for something with even more features. Check out our Garmin Venu 2 review for more details.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 review notes:I used the Garmin Vivoactive 4 for four days, running software version 3.40. The Garmin Vivoactive 4 review unit was paired with my Google Pixel 2 XL for the duration of this review.

Since we have already reviewed the Garmin Venu (which is essentially the same fitness watch plus an AMOLED display), we’re going to keep this review short. For many of the fitness functions, I will point you towards our full Venu review.


What is the Garmin Vivoactive 4?

The Vivoactive 4 is actually the basis from which all of Garmin’s other 2019 multisport watches are built, including the Garmin Venu, Legacy Saga series, and Legacy Hero series. The main differences between the four product lines are that the Venu has an AMOLED display, the Legacy Saga series are Star Wars-themed watches, and the Legacy Hero series is based on Marvel’s Captain America and Captain Marvel. Aside from that, all the core functions are the same for each product line.

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is built for hikers, runners, swimmers, and general outdoor enthusiasts who don’t want to spend nearly $1,000 on a specialized outdoor watch. It’s Garmin’s more affordable everything-but-the-kitchen-sink device. If you find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors on various activities, this is the device for you.

What’s new compared to its predecessors?

This time around, Garmin released two sizes of its Vivoactive fitness watches. The 45mm Vivoactive 4 (our review unit) has a 1.3-inch transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, while the 40mm Vivoactive 4S comes with a 1.1-inch display. The displays are essentially unchanged from the Vivoactive 3 and 3 Music, aside from the sizes.

New to the Vivoactive 4 and 4S are on-device, animated workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. New coherence, relax and focus (long and short versions), and tranquility breathwork activities have been added to the watches, too.

Both new watches also have respiration tracking, hydration tracking, estimated sweat loss post-workout metrics, and all-day SpO2 recordings. Previous Garmin watches had pulse ox sensors, but they only recorded sporadically throughout the night. Now, you can set the pulse ox sensor to record all day, at night, or never. Neither of the Vivoactive 4’s predecessors had pulse ox sensors.

There are a few aesthetic changes, too. Both devices now have a new two-button design. The top button acts as your exercise and shortcuts menu, while the bottom button is the back key and settings button.

Since there are two watch sizes this year, there are also two different battery capacities. The Vivoactive 4 can last eight days in smartwatch mode (six hours with GPS+music), while the 4S can last up to seven days in smartwatch mode (five hours with GPS+music). More details on battery stats can be found below.

These are the successors to already advanced fitness watches, so there are plenty of other legacy features making their return, too:

  • Menstrual cycle tracking
  • Advanced sleep tracking
  • 5ATM water resistance rating
  • Body Battery
  • Stress tracking
  • Garmin Coach
  • Incident detection and Garmin Assistance
  • Bluetooth + Wi-Fi connectivity, but no LTE version
  • Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer

Over the past few months, Garmin has issued many bug-fixing and performance-improving updates to the Vivoactive 4. You can read all about them at this link.

Is it good at all the new stuff?

Garmin Vivoactive 4

This is where I point you to the Garmin Venu review for most of these items. You can check out that article for in-depth details on fitness and activity tracking, GPS and heart rate performance, sleep tracking, and basically everything else.

Speaking specifically to the new features on the Vivoactive 4, I’ve found the on-device, animated workouts to be quite useful, as well as the respiration tracking, the new estimated sweat loss metrics, and the breathwork activities. Again, more details can be found in our other review.

So far, my 45mm Garmin Vivoactive 4 is on track to last as long as Garmin’s claims. I’ve had the watch on my wrist for four full days, and it’s at about 45% battery capacity. I used it for exercising, yoga, sleep tracking, and listening to music during workouts, too. I can’t speak to the battery life on the 40mm Vivoactive 4S, but I presume it would last about as long as Garmin projects.

Are there any downsides?

Garmin’s fitness watches may be good at fitness tracking, but they have a long way to go smartwatch-wise. The Vivoactive 4 can display smartphone notifications for Android and iOS, but only Android users can respond to messages via canned responses. You can also archive and delete emails from your wrist, but I’ve found this to only work part of the time.

There’s no voice assistant baked into the Vivoactive 4, and it doesn’t have a speaker like many other watches. Third-party app support is also limited but nowhere near as limited as Fitbit’s app ecosystem.

You buy a Garmin watch for its fitness tracking prowess, not for its smart features.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs. Garmin Venu: Which is the better buy?

Left to right: Garmin Vivoactive 4, Garmin Venu

You should only buy the Garmin Venu if you’re interested in owning a Garmin watch with an AMOLED display. Don’t get me wrong — AMOLED displays are great and certainly welcome on the Venu — but it doesn’t really change the core experience. In fact, I’d wager to say it makes the overall experience worse than the Vivoactive 4.

The Vivoactive 4 is normally $50 cheaper at $349, has a longer-lasting battery (albeit with a worse display), and it has all the same fitness- and health-tracking features. Plus, it comes in two sizes. I don’t think it’s as attractive as the Venu largely because of the non-OLED display, so you may be better off with the Venu if you want something a little more stylish. Functionally, though, the Vivoactive 4 is the better buy if you don’t need the better screen.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 review: Is it a good value?

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S are available on Garmin.com and Amazon for $349.99 in Light Gold, Rose Gold, Slate, and Silver color options.

As stated, the Vivoactive 4 doesn’t really intend to compete in the smartwatch space. It’s technically a smartwatch and can provide basic smartwatch functions, but it’s limited in third-party app support and doesn’t have a voice assistant. However, that’s not why you buy a device in the Vivoactive line. You buy it for the fitness features first, and the smartwatch features second. In that sense, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a fantastic fitness watch and will certainly impress Garmin’s core fanbase.

We hope you liked our Garmin Vivoactive 4 review. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on picking one up.

Reviewsfitness trackers, Garmin, Garmin Venu, smartwatches, Wearables

Sours: https://www.androidauthority.com/garmin-vivoactive-4-review-1038436/

Garmin’s New Sports Watches Feature Color Display

Photo: Garmin International Inc

Photo: Garmin International Inc

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., the global leader in satellite navigation, is now offering the Forerunner 620 and Forerunner 220 GPS running watches, both of which have color displays. The Forerunner 620 offers advanced features like recovery advisor, race predictor and VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) estimate to help runners train and achieve race goals. When used with the new HRM-Run (heart rate) monitor, the 620 also provides feedback on running form.

For indoor training, such as on a treadmill, the 620 and 220’s built-in accelerometer tracks distance and pace, so runners don’t need a separate sensor. Both models boast Garmin’s unique one-inch Chroma color display to easily interpret data.

“Whether running indoors or out, Forerunner 620 and 220 will change the way runners look at training,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “Advanced features in the 620 such as recovery advisor, VO2 max estimate, race predictor and stats on running economy, combined with connected features and training plan options found in both the 620 and 220, make these watches must haves for runners of all levels. To keep runners motivated the watches also notice if runners hit any personal records on that run, like their fastest mile, 5k, 10k, half or full marathon or their longest run to date.”

Regardless of a runner’s experience, motivation, or how far or fast they go, they likely want to know how they can improve and objectively measure their fitness. Forerunner 620 does just that by estimating runners’ VO2 max, which is a good indicator of athletic capability. Previously, the only way to accurately obtain VO2 max was by paying for a lab test.

When used with a heart rate monitor, the 620 incorporates several pieces of data, like running speed, beats per minute and heart rate variability, into an advanced algorithm to estimate runners’ VO2 max. The number itself indicates the maximum volume of oxygen a runner can consume per minute, per kilogram of body weight at their max performance. Theoretically, the more oxygen runners can use during high-level exercise, the more energy they can produce. A color gauge on the watch display shows how a runner’s VO2 max data compares to other individuals of their gender and age range. Based on the VO2 max estimate, the 620 can predict a runner’s race time for several distances. This can give runners a time target for their next race, assuming they’ve completed proper training.

When wearing HRM-Run, Forerunner 620’s recovery advisor and recovery check take the guesswork out when it comes to planning recovery time between hard workouts. Just like a coach, it learns the runner and their physiology based on heart rate data, so it factors this against their last workout and then shows how much time before they are fully recovered and ready for their next hard running workout. Color-coding on thehigh-resolution Chroma display gauge makes it easy to interpret — green means they are good to go. When runners see red on the display and a recovery time of more than three days, they might consider taking a rest day or just doing a light recovery run.

HRM-Run also has an accelerometer in the module that measures torso movement in order to calculate 3 different running metrics:

  • Cadence — the number of steps per minute. It displays the total steps (right and left combined)
  • Vertical oscillation — the bounce in runners’ running motion. It displays the vertical motion of a runners’ torso, measured in centimeters.
  • Ground contact time — the amount of time in each step that you spend on the ground while running, measured in milliseconds.

Thanks to their Bluetooth Smart wireless upload capabilities, Forerunner 620 and 220 can send runners’ run data to the Garmin online community, Garmin Connect, without being connected to a computer. It can transfer the data through the Garmin Connect Mobile app on their compatible smartphone. Additional connected features include live tracking, which allows runners’ friends and fans to follow along and see their stats in real-time. Runners must have their phone paired with their 620 or 220 throughout the run to use the LiveTrack feature. Victories, goals achieved and successes can be shared on runners’ social media sites by posting updates through the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

With the growing popularity of the run/walk training method in the distance running community (example: a runner runs for five minutes, walks for one minute and repeats for the duration of the course), Garmin has included a run/walk alert. This alert allows Forerunner 620 and 220’s other features, such as, Auto Lap and Auto Pause, to remain active during a run/walk session.

Both Forerunner 620 and 220 are water-resistant to 50m and can stand up to much more than rain, sweat and splashes. The Forerunner 620 has a touchscreen display responsive enough that it can be operated with running gloves, while the 220 is operated with easy to push buttons. Both models have rechargeable batteries lasting up to six weeks in watch mode and up to 10 hours in training mode.

Sours: https://www.gpsworld.com/garmins-new-sports-watches-feature-color-display/
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After announcing its Fenix 6 flagship GPS multi-sport watch with solar charging last week, Garmin is back with three more wearables for fitness fetishists. Notably, it’s launching a new Venu lineup of GPS watches with OLED displays to better compete with the Apple Watch. Garmin is also updating the outdoorsy Vivoactive and mechanical hybrid Vivomove series of smartwatches.

Venu is Garmin’s first GPS watch with a bright, colorful, and detailed 390 x 390 pixel OLED display. Optionally, the display can be set to an always-on mode to function as a proper timepiece. The 43mm Venu is a watch meant to be worn 7/24, designed to alert you to important events while in the office, help you meet your fitness goals in the gym, pay for your groceries on the way home, and then track your sleep at night. It’s basically a more refined version of the full-featured Vivoactive tweaked to better compete with the Apple Watch (and new Fitbit Versa 2) when worn indoors, instead of outdoors where Garmin watches have traditionally thrived.

Venu’s 1.2-inch OLED touchscreen plays host to live watch faces and dozens of animated workouts that demonstrate proper form and technique for activities such as strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. It also features Garmin’s broad range of around-the-clock health monitoring features, including new hydration tracking, new respiration tracking, stress and menstrual cycle tracking, and pulse ox sleep tracking whereby the watch measures the oxygen saturation in your blood to determine how well you’re sleeping. Venu will alert you to notifications on your iOS or Android phone and is compatible with Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. It also comes loaded with Garmin Pay contactless payments.

Venu watches will last five days in smartwatch mode, or up to six hours in GPS + music mode, and ship in September for $399.99 (same as the Apple Watch).

Garmin’s also updating its multi-sport Vivoactive watch models. The Vivoactive 4 (45mm) can go eight days in smartwatch mode, and up to six hours in GPS + music mode. The smaller Vivoactive 4S (40mm) lasts up to seven days in smartwatch mode, and up to five hours in GPS + music mode. Both watches will carry over the same transflective display from the Vivoactive 3 series that’s very easy to read in direct sunlight, unlike OLED displays. Otherwise, these watches have all the same features you’ll find on the new Venu series when they start shipping this month for $349.99.

Also getting an update is Garmin’s Vivomove line of fashion-oriented fitness watches with mechanical ticking hands and hidden display. Available in Luxe, Style, and 3/3S models, the Vivomove series now includes GPS, Garmin Pay, pulse ox sleep tracking, and many of the other health and wellness features found on the Vivoactive and Venu watches. Luxe is the standout model with a 42mm stainless-steel bezel and casing with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens and choice of leather or Milanese metal straps. The 42mm Style model ships with nylon or silicone bands. The smaller 39mm Vivomove 3S and 44mm Vivomove 3 are offered with silicone bands. Battery life is rated for up to five days with prices set to start at $249.99 and topping out at $549.99.

Order on Garmin

Order on Garmin

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Best Garmin Watch in 2021 - Which Smartwatch Should You Get?

Best Garmin watch in 2021: Choose the right GPS tracker

Finding the best Garmin watch depends on your needs and your budget. While some of the devices on this list are more of a fitness tracker, designed to count your steps, distance and calories burned, others are clearly designed with hardcore athletes and outdoor enthusiasts in mind. Garmin watches range from the $149 Garmin Forerunner 55, to the $1,149 Fenix 6X Pro Solar Editon Titanium, so it's a good idea to know exactly what you're looking for before investing. 

All Garmin watches track steps, sleep, and heart rate, and even the watches not specifically designed for swimming are water-resistant. Garmin watches all come with batteries that will last for days on a single charge and should get you through more than one workout when you’re connected to GPS. All watches also sync to Garmin Connect, which offers a detailed look at your health and wellness data, and link you to the global community of Garmin users.

Some Garmin watches have the features you’d expect from the best smartwatches, such as mobile payments, music storage, and color displays. But Garmin devices are better known for their fitness features, and many of them are among the best sports watches on the market. Our roundup of the best Garmin deals can help you find the one you want at a discount, too.

Read on to learn more about the best Garmin watches.

What is the best Garmin watch?

After much running, biking, and sweating with a variety of Garmin watches, we think the best overall is the Garmin Forerunner 245. It packs the best of Garmin’s sensors, training apps, and health trackers into a device that’s comfortable to wear all day and night. There’s also a Music edition that can store up to 500 songs to help power you through your workouts.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a stripped-down version of the Forerunner 245. The display is smaller, but the battery life is longer, and you still get access to Garmin’s coaching and training features. The Forerunner 55 is a good bet for anyone who’s new to running, like its predecessor the Forerunner 45, it's an entry-level watch that really doesn't feel like it. 

At the other end of the spectrum, there are some high-end Garmin watches for golfers, endurance athletes, and folks who may spend some time off the grid. Garmin also has watches for those who want most (but not all) of the company’s fitness functionality and prefer a more stylish smartwatch.

The best Garmin watches you can buy today

1. Garmin Forerunner 245

The best all-around Garmin watch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.2-inch MIP

On-board music: Yes (Music edition)

Mobile payments: No

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 7 days/24 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Easy-to-read display+Many training metrics+Onboard music storage

Reasons to avoid

-Can be hard to navigate

The Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s best all-around watch. Along with an accurate GPS, a long-lasting battery, and the ability to track many types of workouts, the watch features the same fitness metrics as Garmin’s latest higher-end GPS watches: Training Status to track progress, Training Load to see workouts over a seven-day period, and Training Effect to measure anaerobic and aerobic. It also supports sleep, stress, blood oxygen saturation, and menstrual cycle tracking. When synced with your phone, the Forerunner 245 - along with many other Garmin watches - can send (and also cancel) emergency notifications at the push of a button.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is small and light, so it won’t weigh down your wrist during workouts or feel uncomfortable during everyday wear or while you’re sleeping. It comes in five different colors along with interchangeable accessory bands, which will help match your personal style. The watch does fall short on smartwatch functionality - it doesn’t support mobile payments and won’t let you respond to notifications - but it’s a best-in-class health and fitness tracker.

Garmin also offers a Forerunner 245 Music edition, which comes with onboard storage for up to 500 songs and syncs with Spotify or Deezer accounts. You can change tracks using the buttons on the watch or through the controls on your headset. The watch maintains a steady connection to headphones throughout a workout, which is a critical feature for a watch built around music. The battery will last six hours in GPS mode with music playing.

Read our full Garmin Forerunner 245 review.

2. Garmin Venu

The best Garmin smartwatch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.2-inch AMOLED

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 5 days/20 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Onboard music storage+Battery life+Health monitoring

Reasons to avoid

-Limited features for iPhone users

Garmin watches aren’t just for serious athletes. The Venu is a stylish smartwatch on a par with the Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa 3 —- and it’s rugged enough for bike rides, strength workouts, and playtime with the kids. It’s also a step up from the Garmin vivoactive 4 with an AMOLED display and a stainless steel bezel.

The Garmin Venu blends the fitness- and health-tracking features you’d expect from a Garmin device with smartwatch features such as mobile payments, notifications, a touchscreen, and storage for up to 500 songs. The watch also boasts a much better battery life than most smartwatches, even with itsan AMOLED display. Our reviewer was able to wear the Garmin Venu for three days in between charges, compared to charging the Apple Watch every day.

Garmin also offers the Venu Sq, which offers many of the same features of the Venu in a square design, albeit with a plastic case and a large bezel that makes it look like a lower-end device and not a premium smartwatch.

Read our full Garmin Venu review.

3. Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin’s best entry-level running watch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.08-inch MIP

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: No

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 14 days/20 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+PacePro suggested workouts+Bright screen +Easy to read stats +Battery life 

Reasons to avoid

-No onboard music storage -No interchangeable bands -Only available in one case size 

If you’re starting to get into running, chances are you want a device that’s a step up from a basic fitness tracker but also won’t overwhelm you with too many features. Among Garmin watches, the Forerunner 55 is a clear choice. 

At its core, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is an entry-level fitness watch, replacing the popular Forerunner 45 earlier this year. While it looks very similar to its predecessor, Garmin made some important changes, adding some of the more advanced training tools usually reserved for their more expensive watches. The Forerunner 55 has Garmin's new PacePro technology, which gives you gentle speed and cadence alerts on the run. There are also suggested recovery times and workouts, based on your training history, fitness levels, and recovery. This is a differentiator from similarly priced watches such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active or the Fitbit Charge 4, which track workouts but don’t offer custom coaching plans. 

It’s worth noting that the Garmin Forerunner 55 doesn’t support music storage, mobile payments, or third-party apps. It also has a relatively small display, at just over 1 inch. If these are must-have features for your Garmin watch, you may want to consider a higher-end device. 

Read our full Garmin Forerunner 55 review.

4. Garmin Lily

Possibly Garmin’s most attractive smartwatch to date

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1-inch MIP

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: No

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 5 days

Reasons to buy

+Stylish design +On-board pregnancy tracking app +Good display 

Reasons to avoid

-No built-in GPS -Incompatible with Garmin Connect IQ app store

If you’re looking for an activity tracker that doesn’t look like an activity tracker, the Garmin Lily is for you. It’s arguably Garmin’s most fashionable smartwatch and has a number of useful tools for female users, including menstrual or pregnancy tracking, giving mums-to-be a better understanding of their day-to-day health. 

The Garmin Lily looks like actual jewelry and comes in two different models - Classic and Sport. The Classic costs $249.99 and features a dual-tone leather strap, whereas the Sport version has a soft silicone band that’s easier to clean post-workout and costs $199.99. That said, if you’re a serious runner or cyclist, you might find the lack of GPS on the watch frustrating.  

Where the Garmin Lily shines is in its display and its responsive, monochromatic touchscreen, which is easy to use, even in direct sunlight. This would make a brilliant first-time smartwatch for the fashion-conscious shoppers out there, especially someone with a smaller wrist. It’s also one of the best cheap smartwatches on the market.  

Read our full Garmin Lily review

5. Garmin Approach S62

The best Garmin watch for golfers

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.3-inch MIP

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 14 days/20 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Accurate distances+Virtual caddie analysis+Battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Not for beginners

If golf is your game, then the Garmin Approach S62 is the watch for you. With a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and silicone straps, it’s rugged enough for a round of 18 while stylish enough for the 19th hole in the clubhouse.

The Garmin Approach S62 comes with key golf features such as access to data on 41,000 courses worldwide, GPS readings on distance and hole hazards, and a shot-tracking function. There’s also a virtual caddie that recommends clubs based on distance to the pin. It may be a lot for a novice golfer (if that’s you, check out our Garmin S20 review,) but veteran golfers will appreciate the insight —- and may even leave the rangefinder at home.

Off the course, the watch tracks a variety of additional indoor and outdoor exercises, including swimming, along with heart rate, sleep, and Garmin’s “Body Battery” energy monitor. 

It also works well as a smartwatch, with Garmin Pay and customizable smartphone notifications.  

Read our full Garmin Approach S62 review

6. Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE

The best Garmin watch for triathletes

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.2-inch MIP

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 14 days/36 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Excellent safety features+Battery life+Heat and altitude tracking+Good for everyday wear

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive

At the other end of the spectrum is the Garmin Forerunner 945, which is designed for triathletes, trail runners, and other endurance sport fanatics. The Forerunner 945 offers the same training and recovery metrics as the Forerunner 245 and 745 while adding metrics for tracking heat and altitude, which are important for determining the difficulty of a key workout. It also boasts a battery that should be long enough to support ultra marathon runners on race day.

More importantly, with Garmin's LTE service, the Forerunner 945 is the ultimate personal safety device. Even when your phone is nowhere to be found, this smartwatch can send your location to your designated contacts and let them know when there's an emergency. If you're someone who ventures out alone, the 945 can give you (and the people who care about you) some peace of mind.

Read the full Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE review.

7. Garmin Forerunner 745

A solid Garmin watch for overall fitness tracking

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.2-inch MIP

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 7 days/16 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Easy to set up and use+Robust activity and training data+Limited smartwatch features

Reasons to avoid

-Battery life could be better

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is the best watch for athletes who want more functionality than the Forerunner 45 but don’t need all the bells and whistles of the Forerunner 945. While it’s not a robust smartwatch like the Garmun Venu, it does support mobile payments and music storage — two key features for anyone who works out regularly — and supports some third-party apps. You’ll also get step tracking and sleep tracking, though neither are front and center on the watch like they tend to be on lower-end fitness trackers.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 supports more than a dozen types of indoor and outdoor workouts, provides feedback on your training (including recommended workouts and recovery times), and picks up a GPS signal in a matter of seconds. The battery won’t last as long as the Forerunner 945, but 16 hours in GPS mode will still get most athletes through several workouts in between charges.

Read our full Garmin Forerunner 745 review.

8. Garmin fenix 6 series

The best Garmin watch for the outdoors

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 100 meters

Display: 1.2-inch MIP

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 14 days/72 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+Battery can last for weeks+Packed with features+64MB of storage

Reasons to avoid

-Very large

The Garmin fenix 6 is a rugged watch for outdoor adventurers. The device supports everyday fitness activities such as running and swimming, and it comes with Garmin’s typical health-tracking features, but it’s really designed for anyone who gets an adrenaline rush from scuba diving, backcountry skiing, or a multi-day hike deep in the wilderness.

Make no mistake: With a weight that starts at 2 ounces for the standard fenix 6S, and tops out at 2.8 ounces for the 51mm fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition Titanium, this watch is a beast. But the trade-off is storage, battery life, and water resistance up to 100 meters (330 feet). It’s also easy to swap out bands — no small thing if you’ve just spent days in the woods without a shower.

The fenix 6 comes preloaded with more than 41,000 golf courses as well as more than 2,000 ski resorts, and it supports music storage. In addition, the battery on the standard fenix 6S will last up to 20 days in expedition GPS mode, which pings satellites less frequently than normal GPS mode, and up to 34 days in battery saver move. Splurge on the fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition and you get 46 days in expedition mode, plus another 10 days from the solar panel built into the display.

Read our full Garmin fenix 6 Series review

9. Garmin vivoactive 4

Garmin’s best fitness smartwatch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : Yes

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 1.3-inch MIP

On-board music: Yes

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 8 days/18 hours with GPS

Reasons to buy

+East two-button navigation+Build-in exercises

Reasons to avoid

-No OLED screen

The Garmin vivoactive 4 toes the line nicely between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch,  though as you’d expect from a Garmin device, it’s a fitness tracker first. 

Unlike the Forerunner and fenix watches, the Garmin vivoactive 4 offers a touchscreen. It also comes in two sizes: 40mm and 45mm. In order to maintain battery life, though, the watch uses the LCD display that’s typical for Garmin watches. (If you want an OLED display, go for the Garmin Venu.) You can add a range of third-party apps through the Garmin Connect IQ store, though you won’t find the same selection as you would in the Apple Watch store. 

Where the Garmin vivoactive 4 shines — and beats the other smartwatches on the market — is in its fitness-tracking capabilities. Along with Garmin’s industry-leading features for tracking training and recovery, the vivoactive 4 comes with preloaded exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, which play as guided animations directly on the watch. 

Read our full Garmin vivoactive 4 review

10. Garmin vivomove series

Garmin’s most stylish watch

Specifications

Heart rate monitor: Yes

GPS : No

Water resistance: 50 meters

Display: 0.35-inch OLED

On-board music: No

Mobile payments: Yes

Sleep tracking: Yes

Battery life: 5 days

Reasons to buy

+High-end design+Sharp, clean watchface

Reasons to avoid

-No GPS-Limited workout features

The vivomove series is the most stylish of all the best Garmin watches. These models offer a sharp analog face, a stainless steel bezel, and optional color displays. There’s also no sub-dial to clutter the watchface with activity or notification data. You have to swipe on the OLED touchscreen to view this information - and while the display size is limited, the analog watchface always stays in view. 

The vivomove comes in three sizes and four models: 3S (which has a 39mm case and a silicone band), Luxe (which comes with 42mm gold/silver cases and leather/Milanese bands), Style (42mm aluminum case and nylon/silicone bands), and 3 (a 44mm case and silicone band). 

However, there’s a trade-off for the style: Garmin’s vivomove watches don’t come with a GPS sensor. You have to track workouts, as well as control music, by pairing the watch with a smartphone, and you’ll need to use the Garmin Connect app to view your workout data. That said, the Garmin vivomove will track indoor exercises such as strength training and yoga, and it also comes with Garmin’s health-monitoring sensors such as heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and sleep.

Read our full Garmin vivomove review

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-garmin-watch

Watch displays garmin

Garmin Venu with AMOLED Display: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

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Update! Head over to my full Garmin Venu In-Depth Review for all the analysis and testing after months of usage!

I suppose one could simply say that the Garmin Venu was simply just a Vivoactive 4 with a really beautiful vibrant display, but then you’d skip reading over the remaining few thousand words and photos of this post. And nobody would want that, despite how precisely true those words were.

So instead, we’ll step back a bit and explain what the Venu is from a feature standpoint. I’ll show you its extremely strong lineage to the Vivoactive 4 (and the Vivoactive 3 of yesteryear), and show you that despite having an AMOLED display, it still has an always-on screen if you want it. So now there’s no required decision between pretty screen and always-on. Though, in some ways, there still is. And I’ll explain how these days on the Vivoactive/Venu lineup, music comes standard. As does a pile of new features related to other workout types like yoga & pilates with animated step by step workout move instructions, 24×7 respiration rate tracking, estimated sweat loss and finally hydration tracking.

Here’s a complete run-down of all the new features in one quick shot:

So with all that, let’s get straight into the newness. Note that I have had a unit for the last couple of weeks. And normally at this point I’d be doing an in-depth review, but simply put this product isn’t ready to ship. So since it’s not ready yet – I’ll wait for final firmware and hope to complete an in-depth review sometime in September.

What’s new:

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As you’ve probably gathered by now, the Venu is a progression of the Vivoactive lineup. It and the Vivoactive 4 share virtually every feature, with the only differentiating aspects of the Venu are those that are specifically display driven. So such things like higher quality animations and better quality watch faces. In discussing the features with Garmin, there are no non-display associated features that are in Venu that aren’t in Vivoactive 4, or vice versa.

The other thing to note is that previously there were separate editions of the Vivoactive lineup – one for music (e.g. Vivoactive 3 Music), and one for non-music (Vivoactive 3); now that’s all under a single umbrella with music – whether you have Venu or Vivoactive 4. On the flip-side, you now have two different sized units, and things cost more. The pricing is as follows:

US Pricing:
Venu: $399
Vivoactive 4/4S US Pricing: $349

EU Pricing:
Venu: €349 & €379 depending on bezels/buttons
Vivoactive 4S: €279 & €299 depending on bezels/buttons
Vivoactive 4: €299 & €329 depending on bezels/buttons

With that, let’s talk all the new offerings in relation to the past model – the Vivoactive 3:

– Music now standard: Including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio
– Venu features 1.2” AMOLED display: Super vibrant, lots of colors
– Venu also adds ‘always-on’ mode despite AMOLED display
– Added ambient light sensor tied to new display
– Added new ‘Live’ Watch faces with small animations
– Added secondary button to side: Used for lap, back, menu access
– Added hydration tracking to manually track liquid intake with widget and app
– Added Estimated Sweat Loss post-workout
– Added Respiration Rate for all-day and sleep metrics (and certain workout types)
– Added Breathwork Exercises (way different than simple breathing stress features)
– Added Workout Animation functionality: For Strength, Cardio, Yoga, Pilates
– Added new Yoga and Pilates Built-in workouts: Includes step by step animations
– Added ability to design Yoga workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step pose animations
– Added ability to design Pilates workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step animations
– Added PulseOx for 24×7 blood oxygen tracking
– Revamped health stat widget akin to latest Fenix/Forerunner models
– Switched to Sony GPS chipset like remainder of Garmin 2019 unit lineup
– Switched to Garmin Elevate V3 optical HR sensor
– Connect IQ Developers will have access to create live watch faces
– Battery life at 5 days standby, and 6 hours of GPS+Music

As you can see, the vast majority of new features on the watch are far less focused on the swim/bike/run athlete that’s more common in Garmin’s Forerunner and Fenix lineup, and instead focused on a bit more of the lifestyle athlete that may be more varied in their day to day activity – which to be fair, was always the strength/target of the Vivoactive lineup, as this is within that family.

For those not familiar with the Vivoactive lineup, here’s all the baseline features found on both the Venu & Vivoactive 4:

– GPS tracking of activities (no reliance on phone)
– Workout tracking of range of sports including running, cycling, pool swimming, skiing, golf, gym and many more (full list down below)
– Structured workout support via downloadable workouts
– Quick on the fly intervals
– Training calendar support
– Optical heart rate sensor in watch
– 24×7 tracking of steps, stairs, calories, and distance
– Smartphone notifications from iOS/Android
– Garmin Pay for contactless payments

Ok, with all that out of the way, we’ll dive into the details. But first, one more thing:

Yes, the Garmin Fenix 6 Series & Forerunner 945 will get *all* of the new features noted above (except the display of course, and the live watch faces, which require the AMOLED display). For the Fenix 6 series, that update is slated for here in September, whereas for the Forerunner 945, that update is expected this fall.

Hands-On Details:

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For this post I’m mostly focusing on the new things. In my full in-depth review I’ll cover all the basics of using the watch that are more or less the same on every Garmin watch.

There’s a pretty strong chance that if you’re seeing a review on the Venu, it’s going to start with the watch face. That’s logical for two reasons, first of all – it’s by the prettiest thing on the watch, and second of all – it’s the first thing you see.  You’ll see it above in fact. And, if you check out my video, you’ll even get to see the nifty animation in the first 4 seconds of the video. Again, sexy animations sell. Or something like that.

And, there are even more animations you can choose. They are technically called live watch faces, and you can lightly customize some of them:

DSC_6481

Keep in mind that live watch faces do eat into battery, as you might expect. There are also more boring regular watch faces too.

And it’s about at this point that we should mention what I’d argue is Venu’s most important feature: The ability to turn on the always-on display. See, unlike watches from Apple and Samsung, Garmin joins Fitbit in perhaps a new trend of allowing these AMOLED displays to be left on the entire time. Of course, all of Garmin’s previous watches had always-on displays, but it’s not super common in the fancier display market.

With the Venu you can enable a low-power always-on watch face. Garmin claims about 2-3 days in this watch-face mode, but I think it’s actually a bit better than that depending on your nighttime settings:

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The reason the night settings matter is that when you’re within the ‘Do not disturb’ window at night (that you’ve configured), it’ll turn off the display entirely. This is a relatively smart move that saves battery life and also keeps the watch from becoming a constant flashlight. Here’s what that reduced watch face looks like (it’s slightly different for each one, and essentially keeps the time in the exact same spot as the original watch face):

DSC_6468

Next, there are the buttons. There’s two of them now, versus the previous single button on the Vivoactive 3. It’s a nice touch, and really makes navigation so much more efficient. Folks coming from other Garmin watches will find it far more natural too:

DSC_6486

The upper right button is the start/stop/confirm/enter type button, whereas the lower right button acts like a back/lap/escape function. As well, obviously, the touch screen is how one would scroll up and down in the various menus. Again, works great.

Next we’ll get into some of the new health features, starting off first with the refreshed and consolidated health stats widget. This falls in line with other Garmin wearables and allows you to see things like heart rate, stress, body battery, and breathing rate in one quick glance:

DSC_6487

There’s also the brilliantly pretty looking heart rate graph. This is one of the few places in the watch that the AMOLED display really shines:

DSC_6488

You’ll find yourself a new hydration tracker widget. The way this works is that you define three ‘vessels’ (or cups, as you see them), and each of these are basically custom containers. So Cup #1 could be an 18oz bottle, cup #2 could be an 8oz cup, and cup #3 could be whatever else you want. Anytime you tap on that cup it automatically adds the appropriate amount of tracked liquid. Presumably it’s water, but perhaps you’re going for an extensive bar hopping adventure in Dublin and really want to know how many pints you’ve drunk.

DSC_6489

All of this can be customized to metric instead of cups, by the way. And you can add water within Garmin Connect Mobile and it should merge together (right now that’s not working for me). The whole point of this is largely water tracking. For those trying to lose weight, one of the best ways to support that is drinking lots of water (for a variety of reasons that Google can help on). You’ll see your goal progress (as defined in settings on the app) around the outside, and a little animation when you achieve it.

DSC_6491

Garmin is approaching this feature much like the female menstrual tracking functionality they added this past spring in that it’s technically a Connect IQ widget that’s pre-loaded onto the Venu/Vivoactive 4 watches, but expect to see it expanded quickly.

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Next there’s the new breathwork features. Now, unlike typical “slowly breath in and out” features we’ve seen on various watches, this is at an entirely different level of breathwork, often called mindful breathing. For you endurance athletes, think of this like the mother of all structured workouts. And in fact, you’ll find it under the workouts section:

DSC_6492

It’s here you can choose a specific breathing technique:

DSC_6494DSC_6493

Once you’ve done that, it has all the steps listed. Seriously, some of these have repeats that list ‘35x’. Imagine if you had a track workout that said ‘Repeat 35 times’. Yikes.

DSC_6496

And then it’ll guide you through those steps, with the count-down timer around the edge.

DSC_6497

Now in certain activities you’ll also get the new respiration rate data. The new respiration rate feature does not require a heart rate strap, and is working constantly behind the scenes within the optical HR sensor to measure respiration rate (basically, breathing rate). You can see it on a dedicated widget on the watch, or via the health stats consolidated widget:

DSC_6487

And then also see all the trending data on Garmin Connect Mobile within the respiration rate section under health stats. You can slice and dice by day or longer periods, and also get awake and asleep averages:

2019-09-05 10.38.192019-09-05 10.38.22

Beyond the above features, the vast majority of items you’ll see is virtually identical to previous Garmin watches. However, just more brilliant on Venu. For example, in the Spotify app, things just look prettier for the album covers:

DSC_6537

And as you saw earlier, for some of the widgets – like the heart rate ones, the trend lines are prettier. Even in the case where the overall widget structure hasn’t changed any, the colors are rendered far nicer than before. Here’s an example side by side of the weather widget on the Venu (left) and Vivoactive 4 (right). This really helps you see the display differences:

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And again, this time for that heart rate graph:

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Now finally, as I noted early on in this post, this isn’t a review. The reason it isn’t is because I haven’t compiled tons of workouts on it or worn it a bunch. It’s because at this juncture I don’t believe the firmware is final, and thus, it’s not representative of the units that will go to consumers. And in the case of both Venu and the Vivoactive 4, I’ve had a far rougher stability experience than I’d find acceptable at this point in time. I’m reasonably confident Garmin will be able to fix the issues I’ve stumbled on, but with an announcement today, they aren’t yet fixed and thus I don’t believe they’re going to be shipping on this specific firmware version. Once I’ve got a final firmware version (the one they’re shipping to consumers with), then I’ll circle back with a typical full in-depth review. The point being, things will likely get better, but as always, it’s plausible they won’t.

Sports-Specific Details & Tests:

DSC_6506

While many of the new features are within the general aspects of the watch (like hydration), a huge pile of them are technically under sports (including the breathing features I talked about in the previous section). We’ll first look at these new features, and then from there dive into a quick accuracy check-up on some runs and such.

But first we’ve gotta talk animations. No, not like Dory and Nemo, but rather workout animations. Other watches, most notably Fitbit, have been doing this for years in the strength and core workout realm. But there have been plenty of others including Adidas and Polar that have tackled this as well. In Garmin’s case there are four workout types (Strength, Cardio, Yoga, Pilates) with some 41 different structured workouts between them. Within that, there are small little animated peoples that you can see the exact steps of the workout.

Here, let me show you. Let’s pick a yoga workout, first by going to the sport menu and choosing Yoga:

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And then by swiping up to ‘Workouts’. It’s here that you’ve got a handful to choose from:

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Pick one of them, Sun Salutations in our case because it’s early morning right now and the sun is rising, and then press to view the 53 steps of the workout:

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You’ll see each step listed with the number of seconds next to it:

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If you tap on a given item, it’ll go ahead and show you a short animation of that action:

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But let’s go ahead and actually start the workout. When you do that it’ll walk you through each step, with a timer around the outer edge of the step, and the inside for the pose itself:

DSC_6515

You can swipe down for a timer that’ll show you a count-down, or just wait for it to buzz for the next step instruction, with it giving the name of the pose, and a pie-chart style countdown clock:

DSC_6515

You can see your heart rate on that clock page above, but also within a regular data field you can set up on a data page:

DSC_6517

In fact, you’ll notice both the stress and respiration rate data fields are actually available there – something new on Garmin wearables and is specific to Yoga. After you’ve finished the workout the summary screen will even list the poses, as well as your breathing rates:

2019-09-05 02.18.032019-09-05 02.18.09

Now the overall poses/animations concepts are essentially the same whether you’re in yoga, Pilates, cardio, or strength. Obviously the specifics for each workout are different, but the way the Garmin unit works is the same. With strength training, you’re also getting rep-specific information too.

However, where it really starts to get interesting is that you can create your own workout  from Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile:

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Though, at present you don’t see the animations on the device – hopefully things get there.

Let’s switch gears now. Taking a look at accuracy a bit, as well as the new sweat loss functions, and no better way to do that than an interval workout. In my case, I just did a manual workout, though the Venu does support structured workouts. To start a run I simply tap the upper right button once, and select Run from the list:

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The GPS status and heart rate lock will also show up top:

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And if you wanted to execute a custom workout you’d just swipe from the bottom to access the workouts section:

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Then, it’s off I went on my run. In my case, just a couple of loops for a 5-6KM run after a long day driving to the convention halls. Nothing special. The display remains on the entire time I’m in my workout, so I don’t have to worry about waiting for it to illuminate when I glance at my wrist. Beyond that, it works just like any other Garmin watch in terms of showing you your running stats in customizable display pages:

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Let’s start though by looking at GPS accuracy. In this case I’ve got it slated up against the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro (with the HRM-DUAL chest strap), the Suunto 9 (paired to the Polar OH1 Plus optical HR armband), and the Vivoactive 4. Full data set:

image

At a high level it looks mostly good, but let’s zoom in on one of those sections that looks a bit wobbly:

image

You can see in that on the upper side there’s a unit (the Vivoactive 4) that’s doing some meandering into the convention halls. It did this on one pass, but not the secondary pass.

As for the Venu though, it matches the other tracks perfectly, and most notably – matched where I actually ran each time:

image

In general, this roughly matches what I see for the Venu and Vivoactive 4 in terms of GPS tracks. For the most part it’s good, but there’s also some runs where it’s a bit wobbly. Which I suppose is sorta the gist of things on the Sony chipset across the board, including Suunto and Polar (in fact, if you look at the linked data set, you’ll notice the Suunto 9 cuts a corner in the parking lot a bit too).

So what about heart rate accuracy? We’ll dig into that too – this compared against the HRM-DUAL chest strap and the Polar OH1 Plus optical HR sensor.

image

Ahh yes, the good ol’ classic evening fall run chest strap lack of connectivity (despite wetting it). It’s rare, but this night was more akin to a fall evening than a summer one, with cooler temps, and you can see that green line of the chest strap lagging. Though, from an optical heart rate standpoint all the units were very close on the intervals.

If we zoom into one, we do see the laggyness of the Venu & Vivoactive optical HR sensors though:

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You can see the delay of both in comparison to the chest strap and Polar OH1, which more quickly adapt to the increased heart rate through each interval. But the delay isn’t horrible, at least compared to some. Keep in mind the graph directly above makes this look much longer than it really is, so ensure to look at the timescale.

Again, in my full review I’ll go through more data sets and dive into all the nuances. But the above dataset is largely representative of what I’m seeing across the board for accuracy (both good and bad).

Finally, the last new feature to touch on is sweat loss. After you upload an activity to Garmin Connect it’ll show you the estimated sweat loss leveraging the known outside temperature, your weight, humidity, and general black magic. You can see for this short 27-minute run, it was 163ml of liquid (lower right-hand corner of right screenshot):

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Ultimately, I suspect for most customers of the Vivoactive series units, this probably isn’t too much of a concern. But where it could be more interesting is on the higher end watches (which it’s coming to shortly) in terms of longer endurance workouts. At this point I haven’t done any weighing pre and post workout to validate this, but maybe if I get some nice warm days I will.

Wrap-Up:

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When Garmin first talked to me about the AMOLED display on the Venu, I was concerned they’d be leaving behind all the features that made a Garmin watch…well…a Garmin watch. The longer battery life and the always-on display. But it turns out they’ve balanced that pretty well. From the first day I’ve been using the Venu, I switched it into always-on display mode, and have been pretty good with it. Sure, it still turns off the display at night, but I can press a button to see the time pretty easily. All this while largely keeping battery life to the point where I only need to charge it 1-2 times a week depending on exact activity/usage.

All that said, I feel like Garmin sorta punted on actually taking advantage of the display. Sure, the 4-second long watch-face animation is cool, but realistically it gets old after a few days. Beyond that – there’s virtually nothing else that embraces it in a significant way. Yes, there are the new workout animations – but those same animations are there on the new Vivoactive 4 too – just not as bright and colorful. There’s no other aspect of the watch that actually visually takes advantage of the display in any uniquely Venu way besides being crispier (which, to be fair is appreciated). As I noted early – the workout completion screen is probably the most glaring example of that.

Garmin’s watches are all about the workout, and yet the Venu has the lamest and most boring workout completion screen possible. No other Garmin device is as plain-Jane monochromatically boring at this one upon completing that workout. No map outline like Garmin’s other new watches, and certainly not a full-color map like the Apple Watch displays. No nifty brilliant display graphics to perhaps show heart rate zones or anything else. Anything, really…just anything would have been better on that screen.

But hopefully that’ll come in time. And I suppose for now they just need the watch to be a bit more stable first, before they start adding more features. Like I said at the start of this section – while I was concerned that the Venu and its swanky display might undermine Garmin’s reputation around battery life – that’s turned out not to be the case. And perhaps now I fall on the other side of the camp: Now it’s actually time to leverage it. Just a tiny bit more.

With that – thanks for reading, and stay tuned for an in-depth review down the road!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Venu or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

Amazon$33

This is a dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart cycling cadence sensor that you strap to your crank arm, but also does dual Bluetooth Smart, so you can pair it both to Zwift and another Bluetooth Smart app at once if you want.

Amazon$53

This is one of the top straps I use daily for accuracy comparisons (the others Polar H9/H10 and Wahoo TICKR X). It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and in fact dual-Bluetooth Smart too, in case you need multiple connectons.

Amazon$119

This is the pinnacle of Garmin chest straps, and includes dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, Swimming support, Running Dynamics, as well as back-fill of HR/Steps/Intensity Minutes/Calories if not wearing the watch in certain sports. Note: Not all watches support Running Dynamics/Swimming HR backfill, check your watch first!

Amazon$100

While optical HR works on some newer Garmin watches, if you're looking for higher levels of accuracy, the HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM are less expensive than the HRM-PRO, but lack the Bluetooth connectivity and a few other features.

Amazon$9

Seriously, this will change your life. $9 for a two-pack of these puck Garmin chargers that stay put and stay connected. One for the office, one for your bedside, another for your bag, and one for your dog's house. Just in case.

Amazon$34

This speed sensor is unique in that it can record offline (sans-watch), making it perfect for a commuter bike quietly recording your rides. But it's also a standard ANT+/BLE sensor that pairs to your device. It's become my go-to speed sensor.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Venu or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

AmazonBuy Now$33

This is a dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart cycling cadence sensor that you strap to your crank arm, but also does dual Bluetooth Smart, so you can pair it both to Zwift and another Bluetooth Smart app at once if you want.

AmazonBuy Now$53

This is one of the top straps I use daily for accuracy comparisons (the others Polar H9/H10 and Wahoo TICKR X). It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and in fact dual-Bluetooth Smart too, in case you need multiple connectons.

AmazonBuy Now$119

This is the pinnacle of Garmin chest straps, and includes dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, Swimming support, Running Dynamics, as well as back-fill of HR/Steps/Intensity Minutes/Calories if not wearing the watch in certain sports. Note: Not all watches support Running Dynamics/Swimming HR backfill, check your watch first!

AmazonBuy Now$100

While optical HR works on some newer Garmin watches, if you're looking for higher levels of accuracy, the HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM are less expensive than the HRM-PRO, but lack the Bluetooth connectivity and a few other features.

AmazonBuy Now$9

Seriously, this will change your life. $9 for a two-pack of these puck Garmin chargers that stay put and stay connected. One for the office, one for your bedside, another for your bag, and one for your dog's house. Just in case.

AmazonBuy Now$34

This speed sensor is unique in that it can record offline (sans-watch), making it perfect for a commuter bike quietly recording your rides. But it's also a standard ANT+/BLE sensor that pairs to your device. It's become my go-to speed sensor.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Sours: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/09/garmin-venu-with-amoled-display-everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know.html
Garmin Fenix 6X Top 10 Watchfaces

Garmin announced four new GPS sports watches at IFA in September and since then I've tried out and enjoyed using the Garmin Vivoactive 4. A couple weeks ago, the new Garmin Venu arrived and it may be my new daily watch.

The Garmin Venu is available now for $399.99 in four different colors with one size, 43mm. Available color options include slate stainless steel bezel with black case, rose gold stainless steel bezel with light sand case, silver stainless steel bezel with granite blue case, and gold stainless steel bezel with black case. All four colors come with matching silicone band that fits wrists from 125 to 190 mm in circumference. I have six holes left on the band when the Venu is mounted on my wrist.

For the past few weeks I've been testing the slate stainless steel black model and it's been interesting to use Garmin's first watch with an AMOLED display. Most GPS sports watches have displays optimized for outside use, making them less vibrant inside and thus losing some appeal for casual athletes that see the Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch displays shining brightly on millions of wrists.

So is the AMOLED display on the Garmin Venu the future of Garmin GPS sports watches or is it a niche product that appeals to Apple Watch fans? The Garmin Venu offers a stunning amount of health data, lasts for about five days between charges, and has more than 25 preloaded sports apps so it should appeal to the masses.

See also: Garmin Vivoactive 4 review: Touchscreen, advanced health tracking, golf, music, and more

The software experience on the Garmin Venu is about the same as we see on the Vivoactive 4 with a mix of the two buttons and touchscreen required for navigating through the UI of the watch. You can't use just the buttons or just the touchscreen to use all of the watch features, but I've come to deal with the mix of both approaches that is also the case on the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch lines.

Specifications

  • Display: 1.2 inch (30.4 mm) 390 x 390 pixels resolution AMOLED made of Gorilla Glass 3
  • Storage: About 3.6GB of internal storage for up to 500 songs and 14 days of activity data
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM
  • Bands: Standard 20mm bands
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo, optical HR, barometer, compass, accelerometer, thermometer, pulse Ox
  • Battery: Rated for 6 hours in GPS training mode with music streaming and 5 days in smartwatch mode
  • Dimensions: 43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm and 46.3 grams

Hardware

Top ZDNET Reviews

The Garmin Venu is the first Garmin watch to launch with an AMOLED display. The AMOLED screen is similar in appearance to the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy watch with dark blacks, vibrant colors, and high resolution for crisp text. The default watch face highlights the display with animated billowing color cloud shapes moving across the display from the bottom left when you first turn on the display and then the colors remain static.

The display can be set to always-on mode to show the date, day, and time as well. This setting is buried a bit and it took me looking through the manual to find it. Hold the bottom button and then swipe up the display to find the gear icon. After tapping on the gear icon, choose display settings from the menu. Within this setting find the Timeout option and then select always-on. This option will turn off the background part of your selected watch face and then show you the other info on that watch face. This always-on mode will have an impact on battery life, but since I just finally discovered this mode I haven't had a chance to measure the impact on battery life. Garmin states that the Venu will last for two days in smartwatch mode with the always-on display enabled, which is the same impact we see with Apple and others who have this capability.

The display is a touch-sensitive display with two buttons on the right side, just like we see on the Garmin Vivoactive 4. The top right button is the action button that is used for starting your activity timer, viewing the controls menu, and initializing the incident detection/notification feature. The bottom button, back, is used to return to the previous display, mark a lap, view device settings, and more. From the watch face you need to press and hold on the back button to get to the settings menus.

Press and hold on the upper right button to access the controls menu that includes the following by default; Garmin Pay, music player, phone connection toggle, GPS location toggle, do not disturb toggle, find my phone, stopwatch, brightness settings, lock the display, and power down. Garmin's controls screen presents color icons in a circular layout and the specific layout and controls can be customed from the settings area in the Garmin smartphone app. The layout is perfect for a rotating dial such as the ones we see on Samsung Galaxy watches.

Standard 20mm bands can be used on the Garmin Venu so you can easily find alternatives on Amazon and switch to your heart's delight. The included silicone band is very malleable and comfortable while securely holding the Venue in place. There is one loop to hold the bitter end with a small piece of silicone that fits into a band opening to secure the band and keep it from ever falling off in active conditions.

The charging port and optical heart rate monitor are found on the back of the Venu. The same common 4-pin Garmin charging connector used on most Garmin watches today is present here too.

See also: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Powerful running watch with integrated music and extensive customization

Watch software

To navigate the device, you press the buttons and tap/hold/swipe on the display. Swiping up and down from the watch face will scroll you through various widgets that you can choose and setup within the settings found in the Garmin smartphone app. Available widgets include active minutes, steps taken, health stats, floors climbed, last run, last activity, music player, heart rate, notifications, hydration, respiration, and more. There are more than 25 available widget options installed on the Venu by default.

There is an option to swipe from left to right from the watch face and have a preferred display appear. This function is called Shortcut by Garmin and can be customed within the settings area on the Venu itself. Shortcut options include music controls, save location, alarms, stopwatch, timer, brightness, wallet, and disable.

The software on the watch is basically the same as what you find on other Garmin devices, such as the Garmin Forerunner 945, with a few additional widgets and customization options such as Shortcut. You can visit the Connect IQ store, also a separate app for your smartphone, to install watch faces, data fields, and other apps to customize the watch to your preferences.

You can use the Garmin Venu to track an extensive number of activities, including running, biking, open water or pool swimming, golfing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, yoga, pilates, elliptical, and more. It's actually great to see the extensive golf support that includes integration with Garmin's Approach CT10 club trackers, making it a very attractive option over the Garmin Approach dedicated golf watches with very few missing features.

Given the fitness focus of the Venu, it also supports common gym workouts with preloaded animated workouts that walks novice athletes through the exercises. This is a great feature for trying something new to help you perform the exercise correctly for a safe workout.

Also: Garmin Forerunner 945 review: Music, mapping, payments, pulse, and incident detection

There are a large number of settings and customization options available for each type of activity. For example, in the running app you can customize up to three data screens in a layout from one to four fields with timer, distance, pace, speed, heart rate, cadence, temperature, elevation, and other fields. I recommend you spend some quality time customizing everything exactly how you want it and then be ready to tweak things as you perform your activity and find you want to view your data differently.

In addition to custom data fields for each activity, you can control alerts, auto-pause, laps, auto scroll, background and accent colors, and much more. The experience can be quick and simple using the defaults or as specific as you desire with a bit of time spent customizing the watch data fields and settings.

To get started on a run, lift up your arm, press the upper right button, tap run, and then press the button again after GPS is connected. Press the button again to pause. If you want to continue, press the button again. Otherwise choose Done on the display to end your workout. It's all very quick and easy.

You also have the option to pay with Garmin Pay on the Venu. Hold the button, select the wallet icon, enter your PIN, and then hold your watch close to the wireless reader to pay. A PIN is needed for security and is something you setup when you enter your bank information.

Music support is also present on the Garmin Venu with Spotify being my personal preferred subscription service. On some other Garmin watches you have to pay extra for music support so it is great to see it included by default, along with Garmin Pay, on the Venu. This watch truly has it all.

Smartphone software and website

Collecting the data is important, but using that data for tracking trends, improving performance, challenging friends, and identifying problem areas is also very important. Garmin offers the Garmin Connect app for iOS and Android, with a separate app now available for Connect IQ to manage the apps, widgets, and data fields you want to install to customize your watch. The apps are very useful and provide an overwhelming amount of data.

When you first launch the smartphone app you will see the My Day screen that shows your training status, heart rate, stress level, calories in/out, weight, steps intensity minutes, floors, body battery, stress, sleep, pulse Ox, respiration, hydration, yesterday's stats, and stats for last 7 days. You can choose which order the cards appear and which cards appear by tapping on the Edit My Day button at the bottom of the screen.

Other tabs include challenges, calendar, news feed, and the More page for all of the other settings you have come to love on a Garmin device.

Also: Garmin Edge 530 and Varia RTL510 review: Keeping your bike commute safe and enhancing your outdoor fun

On an Android smartphone you can also fine tune your smart notifications by selecting the specific apps that will be allowed to send notifications to your Garmin Venu. On iOS, you get whatever notifications you have enabled in the iOS settings so I personally prefer the Android smartphone experience.

The Garmin Connect website experience is very similar to what you see in the smartphone application, with even more capability to generate reports, import or export data, setup connections to other applications (such as Strava, RunKeeper, Apple Health, and MyFitnessPal), and more. Similar to the snapshots interface on the phone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Connect that you can customize.

I created dashboard tabs for daily activity, running, cycling, and hiking since those are my primary activities. You can then customize the view that appears in your dashboard or choose to jump to a full page view of the selected data.

You can also use the Garmin Express desktop app to manage firmware updates and easily access the Connect IQ store for more customization of your Venu 4.

Daily usage experiences and conclusion

I love what Garmin has been doing lately with its GPS sports watches by including Body Battery, Pulse Oximeter for advanced sleep tracking, hydration tracking, stress tracking, respiration tracking, menstrual cycle tracking, and more in regards to monitoring all the details of your health to help you improve in areas beyond the exercise session. It's also quite handy to have the animated workouts that encourages you to cross train and discover new exercises.

The Garmin Venu touchscreen is useful and with fewer buttons there is less confusion in remembering what the various buttons control. The touchscreen was very responsive and its nice to see an extremely capable GPS sports watch with a display that challenges the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch lines.

The Garmin Venu doesn't offer as many custom workout displays and advanced metrics such as training status, training load, virtual partner, recovery time, and more of a Forerunner 945, but it is an excellent GPS sports watch for the typical busy professional who spends time in the gym. That said, the smaller size, vibrant AMOLED display, and plethora of health tracking features makes the Garmin Venu a device to seriously consider.

Sours: https://www.zdnet.com/product/garmin-venu/

Now discussing:

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

There are a lot of Garmin sports watches out there, and many operate a lot like smartwatches. By that we mean you can now download apps to them, store music and even make payments.

Another thing you can do now is tinker around with the watch face. Watches like the Garmin Forerunner 245, Fenix 6 and Garmin Venu 2 will serve you up a bunch of pre-installed faces.

But if you want more from your watch face than simply telling the time, you'll need to dive into the Connect IQ Store to find them.

Along with the downloadable apps, data fields and widgets, you can also get hold of faces to put the metrics you care about most onto the screen you probably look at the most throughout the day. These are watch faces made by developers and in-house at Garmin, and the collection is growing.

With the arrival of the Connect IQ Store app, Garmin has made it more straightforward to make your own custom watch faces too.

We've tested a lot of Garmins here at Wareable and we've downloaded and played around with our fair share of watch faces in the process. So we've picked out some of the faves for you below.

Summit Watch Face

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

Mixing analogue and digital watch looks, Summit gives you room to pick what's shown on the three digital sub-dials including battery and distance covered.

There's plenty of colored themes to pick from and it's now added the ability to show of solar intensity data from watches like the Fenix 6 Pro Solar.

You'll need to permit access to the heart rate sensor, barometer, temperature and altitude data, but it is one you can download for free if you can't choose between digital and analogue watch worlds.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Summit Watch Face Connect IQ watch face

Chariot B-Shock

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

This weather-centric face looks great on the Fenix 6 and the Garmin Enduro pulling in current conditions from openweather.org.

Along with showing off current weather, you also have additional fields for battery status, real-time heart rate, step counts, floors climbed and environmental data like humidity and weather conditions.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors exploring, this is the kind of free face to have loaded up onto your Garmin.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Chariot B-Shock watch face

Home-Fit Thrill

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

This is an official Garmin watch face that sits firmly in the data-packed category but nicely breaks up those metrics making them easy to glance at.

You can adjust the base colors in the face and there's six data fields you can customise to show off your preferred data. That's built around Garmin's Move Bar, time, date and a nice battery status indicator.

You'll need to permit access to your heart rate data, the barometer, temperature and altitude information to make the most of this metric-rich option.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Home-Fit Thrill Connect IQ watch face

Not Enduro

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

Not Enduro reminds a lot of the kind of colorful watch faces you'll find available to Fitbit smartwatch users. It nicely breaks down your preferred stats into colored bar and drops the time and other watch features below.

You can select from 17 different stats to display and color options to choose from. Just be aware that using it will hog your battery life. It's a great looker though and a great one for Garmin's AMOLED-packing Venu smartwatches.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Not Enduro Connect IQ watch face

Sunset

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

The arrival of the Venu, Venu 2 and Venu Sq has meant an influx of bright, vibrant watch faces that look much nicer on AMOLED displays than translflective ones. Sunset definitely falls into that bracket of a face that's a good fit for the Venu.

Along with that sunset-inspired look you can keep the stats on show minimal with steps, and small indicators for battery or incoming notifications tucked away at the bottom of the face.

It's one you're going to need to pay $2.39 to use it, but it's a sleek face that we think is worthy of your time and money.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Sunset Connect IQ watch face

Hexagonalia 3

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

Another one that looks great on the Venu, you can throw some shapes onto your screen for a more fun look on your Garmin.

You can pick from either black or white themes and then you can choose to add stats like step counts, calories burned along with the current date and time.

It costs $1.99 to purchase and does work on other Garmin watches that lack a more colorful screen. It's just going to feel and look nicer to use on the Venu though.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Hexagonalia 3 Connect IQ watch face

SHN TxD

SHN TxD

It's always a bit annoying when you see a watch face crop up on another Garmin and you scroll through to find out you don't have it in yours.

This Garmin Tactix D-inspired face looks great in all black with white white text, but you can also customise to change up the colors to show off the metrics and information you care about the most.

It will require permissions to the likes of heart rate and barometer and temperature sensors to give that added data hit on your watch face. It's a looker and works on a host of Garmin's watches too.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download SHN TxD Connect IQ watch face

Infocal

Infocal garmin app

One of our faves on the Fenix, Infocal puts the watch time front and centre and moves your glanceable data around the edges.

You can add up to 8 complications, which you configure from Garmin Connect or Express, and it'll let you invert the colors if you prefer black text on a white face instead.

It will need access to onboard sensors to relay data to the watch face, whether you need to glance at weather updates, daily fitness tracking stats or sunrise/sunset times.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu, Forerunner 245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2, Epix, Approach S62

Download Infocal Connect IQ watch face

Jogging Master

jogging garmin watch face

Jogging Master is an official watch face made by Garmin that offers a nice-looking analogue option where you can still show off your stats.

There's three sub-dials you can customise including the color and we found it's a good way to keep tabs on battery life status and daily step counts. It's a good face to show how you can get that traditional watch face look and still find room for complications to live on it too.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2, Approach S60

Download Jogging Master Connect IQ watch face

Rails

rails garmin watch face

If you like your watch faces crammed with complications, this is most certainly one for you.

Rails lets you tinker with the icons dotted above and below the rails and you can adjust the thickness of the hours and minutes in the middle too.

You can also mix up the colors if you don't want to go with the yellow themed one up top. You'll need to give it access to GPS location and sensors if you want to pull in information like weather, heart rate and elevation.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu/Venu 2/Venu Sq, Enduro, Marq, Forerunner 245/745/645 Music/935/945, D2, Approach S60/62

Download Rails Connect IQ watch face

Ranger

ranger garmin face

Ranger is a very sleek analogue face if you prefer to focus on the time and keep the step counts and heart rate readings well out of sight.

You can adjust the color of the face and the watch hands to make it a better fit for you Garmin and watch band. It's really simple, minimalist and that's why what we really like about it.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3/4, Venu, Forerunner 245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2, Approach S60

Download Ranger Connect IQ watch face

Movement

movement garmin watch face

Movement is an official watch face made by Garmin that's all about bringing a splash of color to your sports watch. The rainbow effect does its very best to bring some life to a display that can feel a little less vibrant when compared to an Apple or Samsung smartwatch display.

Along with the time, it'll let you view metrics like elevation (if you watch supports it) battery status and there's a little graphic equalizer lets you know the music is playing. In the watch face settings, which you can find in Connect IQ, you can tinker with the colors to mix things up. We think the default option is the most eye-catching though.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2 Bravo, Approach S60

Download Movement Connect IQ watch face

Ha Long Bay

customize garmin watch face

One of our current new faves, the Ha Long Bay watch face will give your Garmin wearable a nice animated scene if you don't want it filled with all of those metrics. Along with a boat that slowly moves across your face, you can see your step count along with the time, battery status and whether you've got a Bluetooth connection to your paired smartphone.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Marq, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/920XT/935/945, D2 Bravo, Epix

Download Ha Long Bay Connect IQ watch face

ActiFace

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

Aiming to put as much useful information in front of your eyes as possible, ActiFace shows the time and date, your activity history graph in calories and distance, plus daily goal progress, step count and notifications. It's a big improvement on some of Garmin's dull efforts, and certainly one for data lovers.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Venu, Venu 2, Venu Sq, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Forerunner 45/245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2 Bravo, Approach S60/62

Download ActiFace Connect IQ watch face

Crystal

Best Garmin watch faces 2020: Our top picks to download

Winner of best new watch face at Garmin's 2019 Connect IQ Developer awards, Crystal is a really great example of a watch face that piles on the data without making it feel like a crowded mess. There are three configurable data fields: heart rate, battery and notifications.

You can have it display whether your watch is currently connected to your phone and it also incorporates Garmin's Move Bar. Down the side of the face, you can also assign features like battery life and your step count to complete your data fix.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Venu, Venu 2, Venu Sq, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Forerunner 45/245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2 Bravo, Approach S60/62

Download Crystal Connect IQ watch face

DigiSport

Best Garmin watch faces 2019: Our top picks to download

If you've seen the Nike watch face you can find on the Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch, then DigiSport will feel familiar. It pushes the time to the right, leaving room for three circular icons (large, medium and small), which can be assigned information such as steps, Bluetooth connection status and notifications.

You'll need to pay $0.99 to unlock those additional data fields if you want to complete the look of that Nike-like watch face on your Garmin.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/745/920XT/935/945, Approach S60/62, Venu, Venu Sq

Download DigitSport Connect IQ watch face

Lachesis (Light)

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

This is a watch face that's a good fit for Garmin's more elegant-looking devices. As well as displaying watch face staples like time and date, it uses glowing lines around the edge of the face to give you a visual indicator of your step tracking progress. It's available in four beach-themed colours and is definitely one of the best we've used on the likes of the Forerunner 645 and the 945.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Venu, Venu 2, Venu Sq, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Forerunner 45/245/645 Music/745/935/945, D2 Bravo, Approach S60/62

Download Lachesis Connect IQ watch face

SkyTracker

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

If you're all about the weather, this is a face that does a really nice job of displaying that metrological data. As well as letting you glance at your heart rate, battery life and notifications, it'll also place weather conditions from your current location with a sunny, rainy or even snowy icon to let you know if you need to grab yourself a jacket before you leave the house.

You can also unlock extra options, which include additional colour themes, weather data and displaying seconds for the time.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Forerunner 245/645 Music/745/935/945, Approach S60/S62, Garmin Marq, Venu, Venu 2

Download SkyTracker Connect IQ watch face

Gigantus

gigantus garmin watch face

The clue is in the name with this one. If you want the time front and centre, that's what this watch face will do. It focuses on dedicating that watch screen largely to the time, but will also display data around it like heart rate, do not disturb mode, battery life status and activity tracking information like steps and distance covered. If you want a watch face where the time dominates the screen, this is one of the best we've used.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/920XT/935, D2 Bravo.

Download Gigantus Connect IQ watch face

Line

Best Garmin watch faces 2019: Our top picks to download

This watch face deals with the masses of data Garmins can churn out by simply putting a line down the screen to separate time from all that other information. It's bit more elegantly done once it's on your watch, dedicating the right side of the screen to calorie burn, battery life, weather and heart rate. On the left, you'll get the time and date. All in all, it's a nice alternative to the way other faces on the Connect IQ Store deal with all of those metrics.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/Vivoactive 4, Venu/Venu 2, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/745/920XT/935/945, D2 Bravo, Approach S60/62

Download Line Connect IQ watch face

Polaris (Stealth)

Best Garmin watch faces: Our top picks to download

If you're looking for an analogue watch face, Polaris is a space-themed option which looks quite nice on Garmin's newer watches like the 645 Music and Vivoactive series. It's available in four cosmic-themed colours that along with swapping numbers for watch hands will also elegantly display the date and battery life status. It keeps things simple, but that's quite alright with us.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 and 6 series, Vivoactive 3/4, Forerunner 645 Music, Forerunner 245/645/745/935/945, Marq, Approach S60/62, Venu

Download Polaris (Stealth) Connect IQ watch face

Simple Info Analog

Best Garmin watch faces 2019: Our top picks to download

This is another analogue watch face fave for those that want the look of a more traditional timepiece. You've got your pick of digital or performance analogue looks with the ability to customise the look and the information that can be subtly displayed. That includes the watch hand colours and how data like the date and battery status is incorporated.

The two bars on either side of the watch face can be assigned to features like step count and the move bar, and the colours of those bars change based on your progress. It looks good, and does what it promises: to keep things simple.

Download Simple Info Analog Connect IQ watch face

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/920XT/935, Approach S60

My Watch

Best Garmin watch faces 2019: Our top picks to download

A previous Connect IQ Developer award winner, My Watch throws a whole lot of data onto your wrist but uses a mix of colours, icons and meters to help you easily digest that data. It comes in two styles (dark and light) and include everything from heart rate, moon phases, your weekly intensity activity time, altitude and temperature.

The data that can be displayed will be dependent on the sensors your Garmin has onboard to churn it out. It works with a good range of Garmins too, whether you've got a Fenix or a Vivoactive 3.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5 series, Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 645 Music, Forerunner 935, Approach S60, D2 Delta, Descent Mk1

Download My Watch Connect IQ watch face

Duck Hunt

Best Garmin watch faces 2019: Our top picks to download

If you played the Nintendo classic all those years ago, then this dog appearing from the bushes will be a very familiar sight. Inspired by the 80's game, the animated watch face strips away the metrics and focus on telling you the time and nothing else. If you don't need your data on show all day and you loved the game, this is definitely one for you.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix 3, Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/745/920XT/935/945, Approach S60, Marq, Vivoactive 4

Duck Hunt Connect IQ watch face

Christmas Jumper

christmas garmin watch face

Okay, so this one is only fitting to wear in December (unless you're a total Christmas fanatic), but this the watch face you want if you want to make your wrist feel more festive. It's been built by Garmin and will let you pick from five patterns that bring that knitted jumper look to your watch face. Crucially, it'll still display data like battery life, the date and step counts along with that woolly jumper.

Compatible watches: Fenix 5/6 series, Fenix 3, Fenix Chronos, Vivoactive/Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3/4, Forerunner 230/235/245/630/645 Music/735XT/745/920XT/935/945, Approach S60, Venu, Marq

Download Christmas Jumper Connect IQ watch face

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Sours: https://www.wareable.com/garmin/best-garmin-watch-faces-to-download-7227


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