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The best Garmin watch of 2022: super-accurate GPS for any sport

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To help you choose the right Garmin watch for you, we’ve tested them all. No matter if you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist, or just beginning to take care of your health, we can help.

All watches have been rigorously tested in real-world conditions. We have weighed up the accuracy, responsiveness, and quality of their training tools, as well as their GPS tracking. We have also assessed their battery life, display quality, and overall design to let you know how each watch will feel during exercise and everyday wear.

We also found the lowest prices for all the watches on this list. This means you can feel confident that you are getting the best deal whether you choose the entry-level Forerunner 55 watch or the flagship Epix 2 watch.

Garmin firmware updates are a great way to improve your watch. It added an Adventure Racing profile to the Garmin Enduro in September 2021. And it also introduced a variety of new activity tracking modes towards the end of this year for Forerunner watches.

Garmin watches at their best

1. Garmin Venu 2

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size: 1.3 inches or 1.1 inches

Touchscreen: Yes

GPS battery life: up to 8 hours with music and 22 hours without

Standby battery life: up to 12 days

Onboard storage: 200 hour activity data, 650 songs

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport No

Garmin Venu 2 is a smartwatch that also serves as a sports watch. It manages to strike a delicate balance between smartwatches and watches, offering the best of both. Although the design of the Garmin Venu 2 is simple and not too sporty, it packs a lot of training tools. The watch can sync with compatible gym equipment and third-party diet and fitness apps. There are many indoor training modes.

The smartwatch features include on-board storage of 650 songs and third-party music apps like Deezer or Amazon Music. You can see your day at a glance, track your stress levels, monitor your heart rate and water intake, and log period symptoms.

The super-high-resolution AMOLED screen allows you to view a large amount of information at once without having to reach for your phone. The Venu 2 is a superb Garmin watch that can be used for all purposes.

Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus smartwatch was released in January 2022. It retains all the great features of the Venu 2 but adds a microphone that allows you to make calls and access the voice assistant on your phone from your wrist. This is a great addition and well worth the additional cost if you have the budget.

2. Garmin Fenix 7

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size: 1.2, 1.3 or 1.4 inches

Touchscreen: Yes

GPS battery life: up to 122 hours (Fenix7X Sapphire Solar).

Standby battery life: up to 1+ years (Fenix 7X, Sapphire Solar).

Storage onboard: 32GB

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport? Yes

The Fenix 7 sports watch is designed for serious athletes who love to get involved in multiple sports and push themselves to break new records. The Fenix 7 is packed with advanced training tools. It includes a real-time stamina graph that helps you to pace yourself during events and a graph that shows how your VO2 max changes over time.

The Fenix Fenix watch is the first to have a touchscreen. It’s also locked automatically during workouts to prevent accidental touch, but it’s very useful for panning across maps using navigation mode. Garmin has also added a map manager to the watch, making it easy to access a variety of maps for free. Satellite positioning is fast to establish a lock and was extremely accurate in our tests.

Its biometric tracking capabilities are also remarkable. The Fenix 7 is a great tool for heart rate training.

Although it isn’t perfect, the memory-in pixel display lacks contrast and the blue backlight blurs its colors. However, this watch is thoughtfully designed with all the features that you need to keep your training on track.

3. Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.3-inch diameter

Touchscreen: Yes

GPS battery life: up to 42 hours

Standby battery life: up to 21 days

Storage onboard: 32GB

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport? Yes

Garmin Epix Gen 2 combines all the best features from the Fenix 7 with a stunning color AMOLED display. This watch is an extremely premium sports watch that will help you train at the highest level. It has graphics, charts, and maps all in one glance. This display consumes more power than the Fenix 7’s MiP display, which results in shorter battery life.

This is still a respectable price for an AMOLED smartwatch, especially one as robust and packed full of features for everyday wear and fitness tracking. This watch is designed for athletes who like to combine indoor and outdoor training. The large range of workout profiles makes it a great choice.

Garmin’s satellite positioning heritage shines when you train outside. The Epix (Gen 2) creates a GPS lock faster than any other watch, tracks your runs and rides with incredible accuracy, and provides vivid maps that help you find your way.

It is worth looking at the entire Garmin range before you make a decision. You might be surprised at how much the Instinct watches have to offer. But if you are looking for the best watch and the best value, the Epix (Gen2) is the watch for you.

4. Garmin Instinct Solar

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 0.9-inch diameter dual display

Touchscreen: No

Battery life with GPS: 30 hours. Solar: 38.

Standby battery life: 56 days; unlimited with solar

Storage onboard: 16MB

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches have no capabilities

Multisport No

Garmin Instinct solar is not the only watch that can receive regular top-ups via its Power Glass screen. However, it is the most durable and longest-lasting watch. It can theoretically last indefinitely between charges when used in power-saving mode. In reality, this is unlikely to occur, but with a few hours of sunlight, the Instinct Solar can be used for days, even if GPS enabled.

Garmin Instinct solar’s dual display is another great feature. It shows contextual information in small cuts, making it much easier to navigate through the many settings and options. It proved to be extremely useful in our testing, especially since the Instinct solar offers a vast array of fitness and activity monitoring options.

It’s not very attractive. The chunky design would be out of place at the office. But this Garmin watch was made for outdoor activities. It’s built tough so it can take a lot of abuse when you go hiking trail running, or kayaking. It’s tough and very practical.

The original GarminInstinct is a great option if you have a tight budget. The Power Glass is not available to charge the battery, so it’s practical and tough.

5. Garmin Forerunner 945

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.2-inch diameter

Touchscreen: No

GPS battery life: 36 hours

Battery life in standby: 14 Days

Storage onboard: 16GB for maps and 4GB for music

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport? Yes

Garmin Forerunner 945 smartwatch is one of the most popular running-focused watches. Although it’s not as feature-rich as the Fenix 6, this smartwatch is perfect for runners.

The GPS and heart-rate monitor were both extremely accurate in our review. We also highly praised the Forerunner945’s full-color maps, up to two weeks of battery time, and the Forerunner 945’s full-color maps.

This is not a watch for runners, but it can track other sports. There are tools that can track over 30 activities.

If you don’t run primarily, or at a high-level, then a Garmin watch is a better choice. It’s more affordable and covers more information than casual runners.

6. Garmin Forerunner 55

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.04 inches x 1.04 inches

Touchscreen: No

GPS battery life: 20 hours

Battery life in standby: 14 Days

Storage onboard: 200 hours of data

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport No

Garmin Forerunner 55, Garmin’s entry-level running watch is nearly identical in design and operation to the Forerunner45. It doesn’t have a touchscreen, it uses five buttons that run around the case’s circumference. However, they are thoughtfully designed and clearly labeled to avoid confusion and minimize the chance of miscommunications during a run.

You will see some major upgrades, such as new workouts that are based on past activities. This helps give your training structure, even if it’s not a specific plan. You’ll get advice about how to recover and rest before you start a new workout.

Garmin’s GPS accuracy is the highlight of the Forerunner 55. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to upgrade from a Fitbit or watch that’s more dedicated. It also won our Best New Running Watch award in our prize-giving.

7. Garmin Enduro

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.4-inch diameter

Touchscreen: No

Battery life with GPS: 70 hours/80 hours with solar

Battery life with standby: 50 Days / 65 Days with solar

Storage onboard: 64MB

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport? Yes

The Enduro is the best choice if battery life is your top priority. This watch is designed for endurance athletes and has the longest battery life of any Garmin watch. The watch can last between 50 and 65 days in smartwatch mode depending on how solar power is added. It also offers 70 to 80 hours of GPS battery backup. If you reduce usage and feature, the watch can last anywhere from 130 days up to a full year.

You’ll find a solid set of features, including satellite support, a heart monitor, pulse ox monitor 24/7, smartwatch features such as notifications and payments.

It doesn’t come with full mapping support and a built-in music player. The watch lacks a touchscreen and is not the most feature-rich in the Garmin line. It’s light and has great sports tracking capabilities. The battery life is also excellent.

8. Garmin Forerunner 245

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.2-inch diameter

Touchscreen: No

GPS battery life: 24 hours

Standby battery life: 7 days

Storage onboard: 200 hours activity data

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport No

Although the Garmin Forerunner 245 was first released in 2019, it has proven to be a reliable mid-level watch. It packs a lot into a small package and is still very popular. The Garmin Forerunner 245 offers a wide range of workout modes, including weight training, as well as feedback about your training load and daily stress insights.

The 245 doesn’t have a triathlon mode. For that, you will need to purchase the Garmin Forerunner745 745. However, if you are primarily a runner and want to upgrade your entry-level watch to something more sophisticated, the 245 is worth considering – especially since it’s often very cheap.

It doesn’t have a metal bezel so it doesn’t look as sleek as modern Garmin watches. However, the resin case is light enough to wear every day and can withstand rough treatment.

9. Garmin Vivoactive 4S

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.1-inch diameter

Touchscreen: Yes

GPS battery life: 5 hours

Standby battery life: 7 days

For music, there is 4GB of onboard storage

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multisport No

Garmin watches can be very utilitarian and the Garmin Instinct solar (below) has a face that is smaller than most smartwatches. However, it can look overwhelming on a shorter wrist.

Garmin Vivoactive 4S is the answer. It measures just 40x40x12.7mm and is essentially a smaller version of the versatile Vivoactive4.

The Vivoactive 4S is similar to its larger sibling. It features excellent fitness tracking and an onboard GPS. This allows you to lock on in a matter of seconds and provides a detailed record of your rides and runs, as well as a smoother route than some trackers.

It is smart enough to wear throughout the day and has a sleep tracking feature and an SPO2 sensor that monitors blood oxygen levels.

10. Garmin Venu Sq

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 1.3-inch

Touchscreen: Yes

GPS battery life: 14 hours

Battery life in standby mode: 6 days

Storage onboard: 200 hours of activities

Bluetooth connection

Smartwatches are capable of doing all these things

Multi-sport mode No

Garmin’s Venu Sq watch is among the most affordable in recent years. However, it doesn’t look cheap. It has a beautiful design and bright colors that make up for its modest price.

All the core sensors are included, including GPS, heart rate monitors, and pulse ox sensors. It has dedicated modes for running, cycling, and swimming, making it an excellent sports tracking companion. However, we did find that getting a signal from the GPS took a bit longer than we would have liked.

You can choose from the regular or built-in editions. You can choose which version you want, and you will get contactless payments and downloadable apps from Garmin ConnectIQ.

The original Venu is a great choice if you are looking for a basic watch for sports tracking. However, the Venu Sq is a better option if you value your time.

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