The first category is the everyday smartwatch. This category is for those who want a watch that gets phone notifications and tracks heart rate, sleep, and other various fitness metrics. The most basic and Apple Watch-like smartwatch that Garmin offers is the Venu Lineup. The Venu has an AMOLED screen with vibrant colors and a bright display. You can track workouts, sleep, and receive and read all of your phone notifications right from your watch. Depending on the model and settings of the Venu, it can get up to 6 days of battery life. The people who may find this watch lacking are runners, hikers, and more committed fitness enthusiasts. Another everyday watch that is going to offer a more robust Garmin experience with added features, battery life, and durability is the Epix Gen 2. This watch still has that AMOLED screen for easy visibility indoors and that smartwatch feel but has all of the in-depth training features of the high-end running and training watches.
This leads to the second category of the watch: the fitness smartwatch. For those looking for a very simple step and heart rate tracker that won't break the bank, look no further than the Vivosmart lineup. The Vivosmart has HR tracking, a step counter, sleep tracking, and even smart notifications. What the Vivosmart lacks is GPS connectivity to track the distance, pace, and location of your run.
If you are looking for a solid running watch without extra frills that will keep you on a budget, you can start with the Forerunner series. The Forerunner series is Garmin's runner-centered watch collection. You will get daily running metrics that show your body training readiness, your acute training load for the week, the suggested run program for the day, and so much more. For the serious runner, this lineup of watches will be sure to keep you going. If you are somewhat of a more serious runner (and probably labeled an addict at this point) then look no further than the Enduro 2. The Enduro 2 from Garmin was a watch specifically designed for ultra runners who need that extra battery life, solar charging, emergency LED flashlight, and added durability for the rugged trail. With the battery lasting over a month in smartwatch mode and up to 150 hours in GPS mode, you will always be ready for those long miles out in the backcountry. Both the Forerunner and Enduro have Garmin’s transflective backlit display. This display will give you uncompromised visibility even in the brightest sunlit settings.
Hunting & Shooting
The next category of potential watch use is hunting. Garmin is very well known for its lineup of fitness and high-alpine sports wearables but a lot of people will be happy to discover Garmins lineup of tactical hunting watches. The first watch series to check out is the Instinct 2. The Instinct 2 and the Instinct 2 Solar edition have some of the longest battery life out of all of the Garmin watches available and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. You won’t need to worry about a recharge after those long days of sitting out on the stands or stalking through the woods. You can also mark specific locations to navigate back to, such as blinds, blood trails, rutting spots, beds, trailheads, and more with the integrated Garmin hunting activity. If you are in the market for a military-rated watch, The instinct 2 Tactical edition has a few features that might be useful. Stealth mode allows cuts off all data transmission from the watch to make sure it is not detected in case some discretion is needed. There is also a built-in kill switch for those times when you do not want any information to get left in the wrong hands as well as night vision mode to work in tandem with night vision. The Instinct 2 Tactical also has jumpmaster, flight, and tactical activity tracking.
If you are looking for a watch that has all of the features of the Instinct 2 Tactical edition and will satisfy a serious marksman or maybe just someone who geeks out over tactical tech, look no further than the Tactix 7 series. The Tactix 7 and the Tactix 7 Pro Solar both offer incredible battery life, a large 1.4” transflective backlit touchscreen display, and built-in LED white and green flashlight. They are truly one of Garmin’s most rugged tactical watches. If marksmanship is a priority then go with the Tactix 7 Pro Solar with Applied Ballistics software. This watch has every feature listed above as well as integrated Applied Ballistics software and the ability to connect to Bluetooth range finders. Whether you are a hunter or a shooter you are going to be fully covered with the Tactix 7 Pro Solar with Applied Ballistics.
Garmin also has an impressive lineup of golfing approach watches. While many of Garmin’s watches are compatible with the Garmin Golf app these approach watches will offer more in-depth information on hazards, wind direction, and club tracking. The S12 Approach watch is the simplest of the lineup offering essentially a golf-only wearable. This is not a watch that you wear anywhere but the golf course and allows you to get great golf tracking metrics without breaking the bank. If you are looking for a nicer approach watch that will act as a normal fitness tracker in everyday life then check out the S42 & S62. These approach watches will show putting green distance, hazard information, wind speed, and direction, and come preloaded with thousands of golf courses with the option to add more. Just note that some premium features require a Garmin Gold app subscription.
By far Garmin’s most popular lineup of watches is the Fenix 7 lineup. The Fenix 7 comes in three sizes, the 7S, 7, and 7X. Everyone loves these watches for their versatility and usability. The Fenix series is made for the adventurer who is going to be doing a little bit of everything and does not need their watch to be tailor-made for one specific activity. With many different sizes and colors, there is always a Fenix that fits someone. One thing to note is that the Fenix 7X is the only watch in the Fenix lineup that comes with a built-in LED light, other than that, the watches are identical in everything but the size and battery life. You can choose to upgrade your Fenix to have Garmin’s durable sapphire glass and solar power if you need that extra durability and juice. This is the watch we recommend to people who need a great all-around adventure watch that is capable of taking a beating and standing up to brutal conditions.