Used Garmin watch

Is Garmin or Apple Watch better? A buyer’s guide

Updated Dec 13, 2023 - Both Apple and Garmin have released multiple smartwatch models over the past few years. We are not going to discuss any model in particular, but we are going to help you decide which brand is better for you: Garmin or Apple. Both of these brands make smartwatches for very different purposes, and comparing what you need from a smartwatch with what these brands offer, will determine which of these used smartwatches is better for you.

Garmin Watch

Garmin watches are highly functional accessories that pair with both iPhones and Androids. They are particularly known for their value as fitness and health trackers, and are well-known in the world of sports watches.


The cost of Garmin watches can vary significantly depending on factors such as the particular model, the age of the model, and the seller or reseller. Typically, the price range for these watches falls anywhere between $150 and $1,200. If you are looking for a more affordable option, it may be helpful to choose an older or refurbished model.


The potential benefits of Garmin watches include:

  • Works with both iPhones and Androids;

  • Advanced health tracking;

  • Advanced fitness tracking;

  • Fall detection;

  • Music storage;

  • Highly accurate GPS tracking;

  • Durability;

  • Good battery life;

  • Customizable notifications.

However, the specifics of the available features and advantages will depend largely on the specific model. 


The potential drawbacks of Garmin watches include:

  • High cost;

  • Complex user interface (UI);

  • Narrow set of features and functions;

  • Bulkiness;

  • Limited support for third-party apps.

Many of these potential disadvantages may be negligible depending on factors such as your shopping strategy and your expectations for use.


The following are some of the best features commonly included in Garmin watches:

  • Advanced workout features: Garmin watches often offer various features that can help you plan and track your fitness goals.

  • Sleep tracking: Many Garmin watches allow you to track the duration and quality of your sleep. 

  • Blood oxygen measurements: Many Garmin watches measure your pulse to estimate your blood oxygen saturation. 

  • Courses: The “Courses” feature allows users to map out routes for walking, running, or riding.

  • PacePro: The PacePro feature assesses your goals, pace, and terrain to help you develop a pacing strategy during your workout.

  • Connect IQ Store: This store is where you can purchase, download, and personalize apps and services. 

  • Widget Glances: This allows you to quickly review the information on various widgets.

  • Incident Detection: This feature allows the watch to identify incidents such as falls and other accidents. It will then alert a designated emergency contact. 

  • LiveTrack and GroupTrack: These features allow contacts to track each other’s locations

Many of these features are offered as part of Garmin Watch companion apps.

Companion apps

A few examples of Garmin watch companion apps include:

  • Garmin Connect App is a dashboard for health and fitness data tracking.

  • Garmin Coach acts as a personal trainer.

  • Garmin Jr. allows you to monitor your child’s activity and manage reminders and functions.

  • Garmin Golf helps you connect, communicate with, and compare with other golfers.

  • Garmin Dive helps you track, log, and plan your dives.

  • Tread: Helps you navigate terrain, and wirelessly sync related data.

  • Garmin PowerSwitch allows you to wirelessly access various accessories on your vehicle. 

  • Garmin Drive helps you plan and navigate your route.

  • Garmin Explore gives you off-grid access to navigation and mapping data.

While this is not a full list of the apps available for Garmin watches, the available apps supported by these watches are relatively limited.

Apple Watch

Apple Watches offer a wide range of apps and features, and act as a great companion device to iPhones and other Apple products. 


Apple Watches are known for being relatively expensive. While the price of an Apple Watch can vary significantly depending on many factors, the typical range is between $100 and $2,000. However, some special releases can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. 


The potential benefits of Apple Watches include:

  • A wide range of features and functions

  • Diverse communication options

  • Simple, intuitive UI

  • A wide range of health features

  • Various safety features for emergencies

  • Pairs seamlessly with the iPhone

The specific apps and features available will depend on the specific model.


The potential drawbacks of Apple Watches include:

  • Exclusively works with the iPhone

  • Limited screen space

  • Poor battery life

  • Constant notification that can be overwhelming

  • Inconsistent quality for fitness tracking

Many of these issues can be mitigated by strategic shopping or by using the watch in a way that is focused on its strengths. 


The following are some of the best features commonly included in Apple Watches:

  • Customizable watch face: When you set up your Apple Watch, you can customize the main screen or “watch face.”

  • Activity data sharing: You can share data such as location and fitness achievements with others. 

  • Health monitoring: You can track health factors such as heart rate, sleep quality, and daily fitness. 

  • Apple Pay: Using Apple Pay on your Apple Watch can allow you to more quickly pay at the register.

  • iPhone unlocking options: You can use your Apple Watch to bypass the lock screen on an iPhone. 

  • Haptic direction guidance: You can follow directions from your Apple Watch based on vibrations rather than looking at the screen. 

  • iPhone location: You can use your Apple Watch to find your iPhone when you misplace it. 

  • Use as a camera viewfinder: You can use an Apple Watch as a viewfinder in conjunction with your iPhone camera.

Many of these features can be customized and used creatively for your own unique needs. 

Companion apps

A few examples of Apple Watch companion apps include:

  • Strava allows you to record your daily activities, particularly those related to fitness.

  • AutoSleep allows you to track your sleep.

  • Streaks is a customizable to-do list and habit tracker.

  • Citymapper helps you navigate your daily travels.

  • Headspace guides you through meditation and mindfulness exercises.

  • CARROT fit is a humorous AI that guides you through daily workouts. 

  • iTranslate allows your phone to operate as a two-way translation device.

  • Just Press Record is an audio recorder and transcriber. 

  • CARROT Weather is a humorous weather app. 

Apple Watches are well known for the wide range of apps available, as well as the ability to access apps and features using voice commands and haptic indicators.