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Are Garmin devices still worth it in 2024?

Key Takeaways

  • Garmin offers a diverse range of smartwatches and fitness trackers packed with attributes tailored to various activities and budgets.
  • Garmin’s watches have rich features, customization options, and extended battery life compared to competitors.
  • Garmin’s updated Connect app addresses user complaints with a modern design, customization features, and improved functionality.



If you’re looking for some variation of a smartwatch or fitness watch, you truly have endless choices these days. Between Garmin, Apple, Samsung, Amazfit, and a variety of other brands, there are options that suit every level of experience, goals, and budget. So, with all those options, where does Garmin fall in the mix?

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Garmin watch lineup

Diverse variety available for use, style, and ages

To say that Garmin has options for watches would be an understatement. The company has devices purpose-built for just about every niche activity you could imagine, including golf, flying, and diving. There are even kid-specific Garmin watches. Of course, there are also watches for more standard activities like running, adventure, and swimming, as well as fashion-focused models. Most of those devices function well beyond their marketed function. The Garmin Forerunner series, for example, while tailored to running, also tracks a wide range of swimming activities and gym workouts.


Each of Garmin’s categories offers multiple watches meant for different budgets and experience levels, ranging from more entry-level to pro-grade. You can find a Garmin watch as cheap as $80 or as much as $3,100, so the company’s offerings truly span the full spectrum. Chances are, if you want a smartwatch of some variety, Garmin makes it.

To say that Garmin has options for watches would be an understatement.

Plus, the company is frequently rolling out new watches, growing its already lengthy lineup. So far this year, it’s already released the Forerunner 165 and Lily 2, with more expected throughout the year. The fact that Garmin continues to pump out new devices shows that it is very much invested in the watch portion of its business, which is always a good thing for us as users.


Pairing Bluetooth headphones with your Garmin watch is fast and simple. Garmin watch features

Software innovations and tracking

Specific watch features vary quite a bit across Garmin’s many devices, but broadly speaking, they are richly featured and highly capable watches. A quick sort on the Garmin website shows that 105 watches offer sleep tracking, which can tell you how long each of your sleep stages were, your resting heart rate, restless moments, and more. One hundred watches provide built-in GPS for accurate location data during workouts, providing more reliable distance, pace, and mapping than if the watch relies on a smartphone for location data.

High-end watches are a top choice for many because of the data accuracy and impressive number of features.


Many of the company’s watches can also automatically count reps during workouts, and at the most basic level, all keep track of your steps throughout the day. Most are also highly customizable, so you can choose a watch face that fits your style, and adjust which menus, data fields, and workout options are available. Plus, Garmin watches frequently lead the way in terms of battery life compared to other brands, which is crucial for many of us.

Naturally, the more expensive watches will offer more features. High-end watches are a top choice for many because of the data accuracy and impressive number of features. But even Garmin’s more budget-friendly options provide plenty of worthwhile features to help you monitor your health and fitness.

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Garmin Connect

App compatibility and integrations

People have been begging Garmin to update its Garmin Connect app for years. For the longest time, the app was clunky and outdated looking. It also didn’t put useful information front and center, so I found myself digging to find the stats I was curious to see.


Luckily, Garmin finally listened and in January of this year, announced it would begin rolling out an updated app as a beta experience. You can’t opt into the beta on your own and instead have to wait until Garmin invites you. Once invited, you can opt in and out of the beta program as much as you wish, though.

Though it took Garmin a long time, it’s nice to see that it is finally addressing a common complaint from its users. Plus, the fresh design shows a move to keep things relevant and useful, which is always good.

Testing the beta Garmin Connect app out myself

I finally got access to the beta version last month or so and have been pleasantly surprised. It definitely looks much more modern with a much more simplified, cleaner design. It’s customizable, so you can choose which information is displayed on the home page. It’s nice to see that it is offering similar levels of customization in the app as you can get in its watches. The new app design also makes it easier to add or access your events and utilize the company’s training plans.


Though it took Garmin a long time, it’s nice to see that it is finally addressing a common complaint from its users. Plus, the fresh design shows a move to keep things relevant and useful, which is always good.

You can pair Garmin watches with Bluetooth headphones. Are Garmin watches worth buying?

The short answer to whether Garmin watches are worth buying is absolutely yes. The company is clearly actively investing in the development of its products (watches and app), so support will continue. The range of its offerings means that there’s something for just about everyone which is always appreciated.

That said, most Garmin watches aren’t cheap. Not everyone needs a $600 running watch. Whether Garmin watches are worth it for you specifically comes down to a number of factors, such as your goals, budget, and preferences. For someone wanting a basic, budget-friendly fitness tracker, even Garmin’s cheaper devices may be overkill. But if you are looking to take your fitness to the next level, want a device that you can trust for years to come, or are looking for something with plenty of features, then yes, a Garmin watch is likely worth it.


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