Monitor your activity with the Apple Watch or a Garmin?

The ‘Apple Watch’ and the ‘Garmin’ watches are two of the most popular wearable’s out there, however, it’s not unusual to still be asked: “what is that?”

I’ve spent time wearing the Apple Watch as well as the Garmin Forerunner 735XT, and in my experience, the “what is that?” question more often than not occurs when I am wearing the Garmin. To which I generally reply: “It is expensive (£360.00)…but you do also get a lot for your money as this watch is a multi-sport watch, meaning that it can track your hiking, running, cycling and swimming, as well as your daily steps and sleep levels. It has built-in GPS and is fully waterproof, unlike the majority of other wearable’s.” When I say the price, people generally looked surprised that I have spent so much money on what, unfortunately, looks like a plastic toy on my wrist. However, when I go on to explain the features and benefits it offers, interest levels appear to increase as people respond with questions and ask if they can try it on.

One of the questions that people usually ask me is: “How does it compare to the Apple Watch?” Which I always find fairly interesting, as the two products are fundamentally different. I guess though, most people aren’t experts in the wearable industry, so it’s easy to see why they might think the two products are comparable, due to their over-lapping features.

To explain this in short, the Apple Watch is a smartwatch, but has more health-tracking features than almost every other smartwatch. The Garmin is for the super active people out there, who spend their early mornings swimming, their evenings riding miles on the bike after work, and their weekends climbing mountains — all for fun — but now Garmin does “smart” notifications on its watches too. The Apple Watch is a very capable fitness tracker, to the extent that its health and fitness features are a big reason why people buy it. However, in a lot of ways it’s still a smartwatch first, and fitness tracker second.

In comparison, The Garmin has been in the outdoor fitness market for years, and manages to pack a ridiculous number of fitness-tracking features into its long-lasting watches. You might not want to wear a Garmin out to a nice dinner (because it really does look like a plastic toy on your wrist), but if you’re very active then it will cater for you in ways that the Apple Watch simply can’t.