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The Best Garmin Watches To Get Right Now

Best known for being a leader in GPS tracking devices, Garmin has quickly been taking over the smartwatch industry thanks to their fashionable and functional designs, smart features, impressive GPS tracking, and affordable price points.

With Garmin, you have access to innovative apps and features, including Garmin Pay, which enables users to pay for items simply by tapping their watch, great news for anyone who often finds themselves without a spare hand when trying to pay for things like groceries (hello parents!). The feature works with most banks and credit cards and adds a huge amount of convenience when shopping.

Garmin watches also work with thousands of apps, widgets, and free watch faces, all of which can be downloaded from the Connect IQ store. Customize your watch with apps that work for your lifestyle, like Skywatch, which helps to identify constellations simply by pointing your watch at the sky. Download Camera Remote and take pictures from your phone with your watch, a great app for group shots. Improve your workouts with HIIT Tracker, Learn To Run, Dance, MySwimPro and more, or pass the time with fun games like Tetris and Snake.

We love the widgets that Garmin makes available to their users, like the Barcode Wallet, which lets users store up to 16 barcodes on their watch, eliminating the need to fill your wallet with membership cards. Easily pull up a calendar, check air quality, find your way with a compass, track your daily water intake, make short notes and more all from your Garmin watch.

Garmin watches fit every style thanks to their thousands of watch face options, letting users pick the watch face that best fits their needs and style. With over 30 watches to choose from, Garmin has a style to fit every need.

Below we’ve picked our top three Garmin watches that are huge hits with consumers.

1. Garmin vívoactive 3

Pay for items straight from your watch with contactless pay, choose a workout from the 15 preset modes, and connect to your Android or iPhone for added features with the Garmin vívoactive 3.

Pros: The Garmin vívoactive 3 has something for everyone, whether you like working out, shopping, or instantly receiving messages. The built-in GPS is perfect for tracking location, distance, and pace, making this a great watch for athletes. The vívoactive 3 is waterproof, and the face is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, making it easy to read even in direct sunlight. With a side-swipe interface, it’s easy to move between apps and widgets, with the ability to customize the watch for scrolling with your thumb or finger. The Garmin vívoactive 3 battery can be used in GPS mode for 13 hours, two hours longer than the Forerunner 235. The Garmin vívoactive 3 has Bluetooth connectivity with both iPhones and Androids, which allows users to receive texts, emails, and phone calls and respond with preset responses.

Con: The Garmin vívoactive 3 has a batter life of seven days, two days shorter than the Forerunner 235. Many customers also note that if using Bluetooth to connect to your phone, the battery life is much shorter than advertised.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

2. Garmin Forerunner 235

Using audio prompts, a wrist-based heart rate GPS, and GLONASS technology for added location and distance accuracy, the Forerunner 235 is the perfect watch for runners who want to improve their time and workouts.

Pro: The Forerunner 235 features GLONASS technology, which when used in conjunction with Garmin’s built-in GPS gives one of the most accurate location, distance, speed and pace recordings available for smartwatches. With a 1.77-inch screen size, the Forerunner 235’s screen is more than 0.5 inches larger than the vívoactive 3, making it an ideal option for runners who want to quickly see their screen while running and track their progress. It also has a continuous heart rate tracker that monitors heart rate and stress levels all day. The Forerunner 235 is compatible with most apps in the Connect IQ store and can connect to smartphones to receive notifications of emails, texts, and phone calls. The Forerunner 235 has an impressive nine-day battery life.

Con: The Forerunner 235 is the most expensive watch on the list and doesn’t last as long in GPS mode as the vívoactive 3. Unlike the vívoactive 3, the Forerunner 235 only has one-way notification for texts and emails with no option to use preset responses, making this a better option for those who want a watch for working out as opposed to an everyday smartwatch.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

3. Garmin Forerunner 35

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is the best option for those who want the price point of a fitness tracker with the improved accuracy of a built-in GPS.

Pro: The Forerunner 35 includes many of the same features as the vívoactive 3 and Forerunner 235 at a lower price point. Waterproof up to 50 meters, the Forerunner 35 has a built-in GPS for accurate location, speed and distance tracking, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and vibration alerts that will notify you of everything from activity tracking milestones to new texts (must be paired with an Android or iPhone for text, social media and email alerts). The Forerunner 35 can also control music when paired with a smartphone.

Con: Users can’t respond to texts or emails on the Forerunner 35 and there is no option for audio alerts. The Forerunner 35 also has the smallest watch face on our list, can’t be used with Garmin Pay, and doesn’t have access to the Connect IQ store.

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Image courtesy of Amazon