IFA

Our Favorite Garmin Smartwatches in 2019

Garmin didn’t take any chances this fall. The company came out with 4 different smartwatch series, some of them eagerly expected models, others complete novelties. Two of them, in particular, caught our eye at IFA Berlin: the Venu and Fenix 6X Pro Solar edition. Read more to see which would suit you!

Both the Venu and The Fenix 6X have things in common with Apple, but not necessarily the ones you’re thinking of. Although Garmin has never catered to the same audience as Apple Watch Series, the Venu is the first version likely to attract the iPhone maker’s audience.

Venu is Garmins offering for the city, with a more stylish design and a very colorful OLED display. It’s a more sophisticated version of the Vivoactive, not necessarily as focused on outdoor activities as the rest of the Garmin watches. Instead, it offers a great mix of productivity and fitness features. We spotted the guided fitness exercises which look better than ever before and were relieved to see none of the other features we loved from Garmin were gone.

You still get the health tracking functions, including sleep, as well as GPS. Just in a package that can be worn at cocktail parties and office meetings with the same success as on a hike. All for the price of an Apple Watch Series 5.

The Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition, however, is not competing with Apple Watch Series 5, remaining very much a rugged piece. The most expensive option from the three sizes offered – 42/47/51mm – comes with a solar screen and a titanium vented bracelet.

Sturdy but light in the same time, the watch offers extra battery life thanks to the solar panel. If that wasn’t enough, Garmin outfitted the Fenix 6X Pro Solar with topographical maps so users know exactly what they’re getting into.

We also found a great round-trip routing feature that suggests routes depending on how much you want to walk or run.  

To this, Garmin added all, I mean absolutely all the fitness features you can think of , including on-device storage for up to 2,000 songs. It’s basically their best offering this fall and with a price to match: $1,149, a bit more expensive even than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Now, this comparison got us thinking – can a smartwatch sell better than a smartphone, in a context where said price was always considered ridiculously high for a mobile tech product?

Plus, can Venu have more success than the Apple Watch Series 5? Garmin’s fans might not be Apple’s fans but with a launch event so close to the Apple one, we can’t help but wonder if Garmin’s strategic call was the right one.

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