Garmin Smartwatches Overview: GPS Devices to Wearables

Fortune published an interesting article about Garmin’s entry into the smartwatch market early in the 2000s. Some readers may remember that this company started out making navigational devices for cars, boats, and airplanes. Their products made printed maps almost obsolete, but the popularity of most standalone GPS devices didn’t last that long.

The Interesting Origins of Garmin Smartwatches

Google Maps and smartphones soon took over consumer navigation. Luckily, a group of Garmin employees enjoyed jogging, and they speculated about applying their GPS tech to wearable devices for runners. Thus, Garmin entered the smartwatch and fitness tracker market fairly early.
Twenty years later, Garmin still makes navigational devices for transportation. These days, people may associate Garmin more with smartwatches than with GPS. According to CNN, a research company compared over 50,000 uploads from marathon participants in the United States and other countries. They found that over 70 percent of these came from marathon participants wearing a Garmin smartwatch.
Garmin’s market share may look small when compared to Apple, Samsung, and other giants; however, they have made a good name for themselves with serious athletes, fitness buffs, and other active consumers.

Popular Garmin Smartwatches Today

Interested in a Garmin smartwatch? Read these reviews of highly rated, high-tech wearables.

Garmin Fenix 6: Best Overall

TechRadar called the Garmin Fenix 6 the best overall choice of the company’s entire line. They said the wearable stands out in the entire smartwatch market but especially shines as a tracker for multiple activities. As one example, the Fenix 6 heart monitor works well for runners and also functions just fine underwater.
Other attractive features include a robust build and a long battery life. Starting at about $549, this pricey smartwatch should attract serious athletes who also want an all-in-one smartwatch, activity monitor, and fitness tracker. That’s particularly true for people who engage in multiple sports and activities.

Garmin Forerunner 945: Great for Serious Runners

The Fenix 6 offers more features, but the Garmin Forerunner 945 should especially appeal to dedicated runners. For instance, the watch includes an extremely reliable heart monitor, GPS, and full-color maps. The watch may actually offer more features than anybody but the most serious athletes need or want. It costs $599, so more casual athletes should consider a cheaper and less feature-packed option.

Garmin Forerunner 55: Good for Casual or New Athletes

With a long battery life, an array of features for such sports as running and cycling, and a lighter weight, the Garmin Forerunner 55 offers a good choice for more casual athletes or even walkers. It can even suggest workouts based upon previous activities. Mostly, the budget-friendly price of $199 should attract people who don’t really need all of the features of the more expensive models.

Garmin Lily: A Lovely Smartwatch for Women

Some critics offer rave reviews about Garmin smartwatches but say the designs look and feel sort of clunky. Perhaps the Garmin Lily serves as the exception to prove the rule. This smartwatch works well as a smart watch and as a multi-sport tracker and still looks graceful and feminine. Expect to pay about $199.

Why Choose Garmin Smartwatches?

Though Garmin offers some modestly priced models, their flagship lines tend to come with steep price tags. At the same time, this company offers a compelling mix of fitness tracking, smartwatch features, and mapping.
That makes Garmin smartwatches especially attractive to people who engage in athletics and other outdoor activities. For people who don’t need all of the features Garmin offers, cheaper fitness trackers might work just as well.

Extended Warranties for Garmin Smartwatches

Beyond all of the smartwatch, fitness tracker, and health monitoring features, Garmin also builds tough watches to complement active lifestyles. Still, these premium devices require a sizable investment, so consumers should buy extra protection.
Upsie offers an affordable warranty for smartwatches from Garmin and other top brands. They even give watch buyers up to 60 days to purchase protection after buying a watch. Upsie keeps their prices low when compared with other top-tier warranty companies. At the same time, they never sacrifice customer service or coverage. With Upsie, customers can make sure their smartwatch keeps running as long as they do.

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