Garmin has long been a manufacturer of innovative, high-quality GPS devices. No matter how useful these devices are for cars and at home, the company’s decision to add GPS capabilities to the watches has brought real benefits to the racers. Nearly all Garmin watches are now equipped with GPS, and many models include different satellite systems such as Glonass and Galileo.
With so many watches to choose from, which Garmin GPS watch is best suited to your workout and individual needs?
The Garmin Tactix Delta Solar is one of the best GPS watches in the Garmin series. This watch is equipped with a wide range of GPS improvements such as. B. Mapping and navigation, and measurement of GPS tracking performance for various activities. Glonass and Galileo also support military tracking with this watch.
This guide gives you a detailed overview of the best Garmin watches based on GPS navigation. As each watch has different features and levels of accessibility and convenience, it also provides an overview of the most appropriate fitness level for each GPS watch.
Read on to learn more about the best Garmin GPS watches and which model is best.
Best Garmin GPS Beginner Watch
Most entry-level Garmin GPS watches have limited GPS functionality. There is certainly no disadvantage to having a watch with basic GPS data for minimal activities. All of these models are a good choice, and the GPS offered in each watch gives you at least a minimum amount of navigation data, and even tracking performance for speed, time, and distance can be found in all of these entry-level models.
Predecessor Garmin 35
If you have experience with the Garmin range of fitness watches, the Forerunner 35 is probably not the watch you’ve been thinking about. But it’s worth remembering the usefulness of this watch for fitness enthusiasts just starting out. It is also easy to read and allows easy navigation through the various functions of the watch. There are not many additional features you will find on the models at the end of this guide, but this watch is excellent for what it is.
It is also an effective GPS watch when you buy a GPS watch for the first time.
Basic GPS functions
Garmin Forerunner 35 has basic GPS navigation. Since GPS functions are not very advanced and there are no expansion modules for Glonass or Galileo, it is best to plan your outdoor activities with a clear view of the sky. This prevents the GPS tracker from being left behind and tries to find the right signal.
After running or jogging, Forerunner 35 guides you efficiently through your route. Predecessor 35 also accurately measures your pace, time and total distance. In addition, the GPS functions no longer work. That said, if you just want the most basic Garmin watch with a decent GPS tracker, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is a safe and affordable choice.
- Interval Tracker With Garmin Forerunner 35, you can keep track of your intervals with accurate, real-time notifications. It is very useful to keep track of the number of steps or runs you make every day or during your workouts. In addition, the timer allows you to determine exactly how much time you spend on the activity, which can also be adapted to specific movements.
- Heart rate monitor. Many watches designed for runners and joggers promise technology to monitor your heart rate, but this can be a drawback for most models. Garmin Forerunner 35’s intelligent technology syncs via the wrist to the heart rate monitor, which appears on the display for easy monitoring.
- Comfortable design. Have you ever walked home with a painful, tender rash on your wrist? This is a common problem for runners because of the material from which the watch strap is made. Garmin Forerunner 35 uses silicone in the tire’s texture to completely prevent sweat and moisture build-up around and under the wrist during competition.
- The disadvantage of notifications. You should turn on the heart rate monitor and other alarms during fitness activities. An automatic display with different power intervals would be much more comfortable.
Predecessor Garmin 45
There’s nothing wrong with Garmin Forerunner 35 that can’t be improved with Forerunner 45, and that’s exactly what Garmin Forerunner 45 does. GPS tracking has been greatly improved with this model, but its features and ease of use are still simple enough to classify it as a good option for a beginner. Predecessor 45 also has more possibilities.
Basic GPS functions
Glonass and Galileo are global navigation systems that go far beyond simple regional GPS. The Garmin Forerunner 45 still has a basic GPS, but the readouts and distances have been extended with satellite GPS. Forerunner 45 focuses more on communicating results with Glonass, which can communicate results much faster than traditional GPS technology.
The Galileo expansion provides even more impressive statistics on the accuracy of GPS and Glonass. Since all three GPS systems report results based on the pace, time and distance during outdoor training, this eliminates any uncertainty that could have been reported using GPS alone.
- Gyroscope. Gyroscope technology makes it possible to measure movement and speed under different adjustable inputs. Forerunner 45 can measure your arms, legs, hips or even feet if you want to know the training potential of a certain part of the body.
- V02 Max. This function is useful for measuring the amount of oxygen consumed during training. It is ideal for high-intensity activities such as. B., as it provides both performance recommendations and a health indicator.
- Accessible interface. With this watch, you can simply press one of the five convenient buttons to see everything you need to see during your fitness program, making access to the watch very special.
- Disappointing availability. You should turn on the heart rate monitor and other alarms during fitness activities. An automatic display with different power intervals would be much more comfortable.
Garmin Wiener Platz
The Garmin Venu Sq looks a bit like the Forerunner 35, but slimmer and with more possibilities. This small watch looks a bit like the Garmin Vivo series, with a rectangular shape that fits into a small bracelet. Like the Vivo series, the Garmin Venu Sq is equipped with many tracking functions, all aimed at superior GPS accuracy.
This watch is rather mediocrely priced, but with its small and comfortable design and simple display of the lens, it can also convince as a high-end watch for beginners.
Basic GPS functions
The Garmin Venu Sq adds Glonass and Galileo to the usual GPS tracking system. It does not distinguish the watch from other Garmin watches with Glonass and Galileo, but the Venu Sq has a high degree of precision. This is a strong point because the Venu Sq can cover a very wide range of terrain for such a small model.
The GPS map display is both accurate and consistent, which means you will not experience as much delay with this watch as with Forerunner 35 or Forerunner 45. The only drawback of the Venu Sq’s GPS capabilities is the need for a warm-up period, as the high speed accuracy is only transmitted after a few minutes of running or activity.
- Unique design. The Venu Sq is much more beautiful than any other Garmin watch. The frame is square in shape and has a reasonably good 1.3 inch screen that is hidden under the screen of the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The thick edge fits well with the screen and makes the screen look bigger than it actually is. Thanks in part to its fibre-reinforced polymer body, the Garmin Venu Sq weighs only 37.6 grams and is fitted with a comfortable silicone band.
- New and improved ergonomics. The Gamin Venu Sq is a Garmin watch that is both casual and sporty. In addition to the usual fitness monitoring tool, Garmin Venu Sq monitors and assesses stress levels based on breathing and heart rate, and gives you a body battery score, which is a visual representation of the amount of energy you have each day.
- Only works well when in use. The Garmin Venu Sq lacks an annoying element, namely the swimwear technology found on many other brands of smart fitness watches. This model is actually only compatible with software that tracks and displays your run and jogging results.
Best Garmin Forerunner GPS navigators for average fitness
Garmin watches labelled as advanced fitness equipment may just as well fall into the ‘advanced’ category. However, for a more detailed overview, I will classify the following models as a useful bridge between the less versatile entry-level models and the advanced, multisport models that have many functions. Each of these models also adds new performance tracking features that depend on GPS accuracy.
Predecessor Garmin 745
The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a great way to introduce GPS tracking features. Forerunner 745 has many useful features, such as. B. suggested daily exercises where you can choose from many different types of exercises based on a single activity, as well as the Pace Pro function that records health statistics for as many activities as possible. All this is complemented by excellent GPS navigation.
Basic GPS functions
GPS, Glonass and Galileo are all included in the Garmin Forerunner 745. Characteristic of this model in GPS logs is the accuracy, which is maintained over a range of activity variations. For example, you can run, swim or even hike with all three GPS systems, and Forerunner 745 reports flawlessly on the dynamics of each of these activities.
These options are really easy to use if you use Forerunner 745 for swimming. The precision is such that even sharp bends in the water can be seen with the naked eye.
- Ideal for triathletes. The Garmin Forerunner 745 is designed for users who want to know that their smartwatch can track a variety of triathlon performance when needed. With updated and improved heart rate, ground contact time, stride length and all functions synchronized with accurate heart rate measurements and performance statistics. Look at Garmin’s triathlon watch here.
- Indicator V02 Max. When training hard, there may be technology available to make accurate pronouncements, taking into account variables that are out of your control. Wind, altitude and differences in outdoor and cold temperatures can cause slight variations in the reading, but the Forerunner 745’s V02 Max display takes these exact variations into account and gives you an accurate reading.
- Battery. Many users report battery failure with Forerunner 745. Because your Garmin Forerunner watch uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you cannot replace the battery in the Forerunner 745. Note that a battery failure does not always indicate a discharged battery. You may encounter inconsistencies during a missed software update that can be performed through the Garmin Express application.
Predecessor Garmin 945
The Garmin Forerunner 945 is a popular Garmin watch. This model contains not only the long-awaited integration of music storage, but also excellent features.
Basic GPS functions
With Forerunner 945, you can now customize your maps and routes using the Glonass and Galileo GPS protocols to track more environments and terrains than traditional GPS technology can provide. The mapping technology is both colorful and interactive, giving you even more detailed and visually appealing routes based on your location.
- Oxygen saturation data. An important feature of Forerunner 945 is that, like most other models, it also analyses heart rate, heart conditioning and heart rate using oximetric data. This allows for variability based on a wide range of different power types to provide a real-time assessment of your performance during your workout and how long you can continue before you reach different thresholds.
- Complete the navigation on the map. Forerunner 945 uses Glonass and Galileo with the added advantage that these GPS functions are displayed on a scale map, so you can save your position for later reference and easily find your way back. This is an ideal function for outdoor runners.
- Calibration of frustration. Some users have reported problems correctly calibrating the new and improved altitude acclimatization protocols of their watches, especially when synchronizing the protocols with GPS navigation. However, this feature can be easily corrected by making sure your watch is connected to Garmin Connect Mobile during fitness activities.
Live Garmin 3
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is the best of small Garmin watches. This watch is a real beast of burden and has much to offer for its small design. Features such as body temperature monitoring, Garmin Move IQ and contactless payments with Garmin Pay are popular with Vivoactive 3, but what about GPS?
Basic GPS functions
The incorporation of Glonass and Galileo in Vivoactive 3 is well structured and enables accurate navigation on a smaller scale. You can consider this watch as a great version of the Venu Sq. Although GPS is accurate and convenient with this watch, I’ve noticed that battery life is very short when using Glonass or Galileo. If you just want to use the regular GPS, the battery will hold, but be careful of the rapid discharge of the battery with the satellite GPS of this watch.
- Garmin Move IQ. This function can automatically detect the type of fitness program you are following. Based on this detection, you can view a saved event in your Garmin Connect calendar to see what you’ve accomplished, even if you weren’t planning on saving the activity.
- Accessible design. The Vivoactive 3 is a popular Garmin smartwatch because it is very affordable. You can adapt the dynamics of the staff to the activity for which you are using the watch. This increased level of comfort makes this watch a favorite for its sleek and adaptable design.
- Body temperature monitoring. With Garmin Vivoactive 3, users can now control their body temperature. This can be incredibly important, depending on the health of the user. In addition, this feature can help you assess whether you are outdoors, in cold or hot weather, over- or understaffed.
- Small size. The Vivoactive 3 may be too small for some users. If you are looking for a medium to large watch, this Vivoactive series model is not for you.
The best Garmin GPS devices for advanced fitness and reliable use
The Garmin watches in the advanced category are the best of the best. Innovative technology to capture overall performance and efficiency, Garmin’s best GPS navigation, advanced design specifications and ease of use.
One aspect of Garmin’s advanced range of watches that is universal with these models is the high price. But that’s what you’d expect from a Garmin watch, which includes just about everything you’d expect from a fitness watch.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
The Fenix 6 Pro sun watch can be used for all types of fitness, but the sound and functionality of the watch is more for advanced runners and triathletes. This model is also one of the three Fenix 6 models that can be adapted to the size and type of the lens. Since the Fenix 6, the Pro Solar charges the battery through a powerful Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens, this model is my favorite.
Basic GPS functions
As for GPS, the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (see on Amazon) uses Glonass and Galileo in addition to the standard GPS, which have recently been added to most Garmin watches. The accuracy is accurate and the timing is good for a variety of sports and events. Because the Fenix 6 Pro Solar uses a powerful solar-powered lens, the GPS measurements are strongly and quickly amplified when used outdoors.
- The 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter are displayed. The navigation capabilities of the Fenix 6 Pro Solar have been enhanced with a three-level compass that complements GPS functionality, a gyroscope for better health measurements and performance tips, and the inclusion of a barometric altimeter for better performance statistics.
- An innovative GPS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is an excellent navigation aid. With Garmin Phoenix 6 Pro, you can now enjoy all those great GPS features such as speed, distance covered and adjustable intervals that are enabled on a specific frequency while running. No more hassle with mentally having to write down how you walk at a distance.
- Adaptive learning. Some of the most popular Garmin watches offer customized training plans with the Garmin trainer of your choice to help you walk. The Fenix 6 Pro is a watch with this handy tracker to help you reach your goals on days when running or any other fitness program seems like a chore.
- Mapping technology. Although this model has great additions for GPS and navigation, its design is missing. There are too many cases where you need to press multiple buttons to navigate correctly. If you need to zoom in to see an area, you need to navigate with different buttons. Manual input can be useful for a smart watch, but this example also works for a touch screen.
Instinct Garmin Sunny
In line with the solar charge of the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (found on many advanced models), the biggest differentiator of the Garmin Solar Instinct is the inclusion of advanced energy tracking functions with GPS solar panels. A lot of them, like. B. the MGRS (Military Grid Reference System), are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who go on adventures in rugged mountains or rough terrain.
When it comes to performance tracking capabilities, this smart watch has features that any outdoor survivor would be proud of.
Basic GPS functions
The Garmin Solar Instinct (see on Amazon) is standard equipped with GPS, Glonass and Galileo. In combination with the solar powered charging lens of this watch, the accuracy and performance of GPS are first-class. GPS also seamlessly syncs with other performance monitoring features to present detailed, location-based data for different activities. Overall, the GPS of this watch is similar to most GPS watches designed for use in rough terrain.
- Long battery life. In addition to the impeccable GPS, one of the most important features of the Sunny Instinct is certainly the capacity of the battery. This model is designed to charge solar energy activated by ultraviolet rays with sufficient outdoor experience. Now you can enjoy your long stay outdoors without worrying about how to quickly find a charging station to keep your watch running.
- Robust construction and military features. The lens combines the best of solar technology with a powerful energy-saving effect. But perhaps the biggest advantage of the Garmin Solar Instinct is the inclusion of advanced energy detection functions. A lot of them, like. B. the MGRS (Military Grid Reference System), are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who go on adventures in rugged mountains or rough terrain.
- The battery needs a lot of sunlight. The new improved lens for solar energy is a feature, but it can be a bit difficult to handle. It takes about 3 full hours of direct sunshine to fully enjoy the lens. So unless you plan to sit in the sun for hours, you won’t be able to fully enjoy it. For fitness enthusiasts who spend a few hours a day outdoors, this is no problem.
Garmin Tactics Delta Sunny
The Garmin Tactix Delta Sun takes what was great in the Garmin Sun instinct and improves these features tremendously. This watch is the ultimate Garmin watch for those who want maximum performance and innovative features in one package.
Basic GPS functions
In addition to GPS, Glonass and Galileo, the Tactix Delta Solar (see on Amazon) has an impressive number of additional sensors that synchronise with GPS systems. The elevated wrist heart rate monitor can track your heart rate in rough terrain with GPS accuracy, as can a barometric altimeter that can measure total power at the same altitude. The sensors have a fast response, depending on location, time and distance.
- Solar charging lens made of glass. The Tactix Delta Solar Edition is based on the control of solar energy demonstrated in the solar instinct and contains a glass lens that covers the display of the watch. This new and improved panel increases the ability of the lens to absorb UV radiation and transfer this energy to the battery compartment. You can now have a full solar battery, which reduces recharging time.
- Pace Pro feature. Some of the most popular Garmin watches offer customized training plans with the Garmin trainer of your choice to help you walk. The Tactix Delta Solar is a watch with this practical trainer to help you achieve your goals on days when running or other fitness exercises seem like a chore.
- Rechargeable battery powered by solar energy. One of the characteristics of Garmin watches is the attention to detail in the design of the batteries, which can last a long time between charges. The Garmin Tactix Delta Solar can successfully charge the battery for 7 days between charges. So you don’t have to worry about waiting for the battery to charge when you’re ready to get out and take off.
- Oh, darling. Although this watch has some interesting new features, its price is quite high. The Garmin Tactix Delta Solar is not moderately expensive like some other models. This is to be expected with the addition of many new features, but the price is likely to be a problem for some consumers of this model.
- Difficult map navigation. Although this model has excellent additions to GPS and navigation, its functionality may be confusing for some users. There are too many cases where you need to press multiple buttons to navigate correctly. If you need to zoom in to see an area, you need to navigate with different buttons. Manual input can be useful for a smart watch, but this example also works for a touch screen.
Which Garmin GPS watch is best for general navigation?
Each of these models can transmit useful GPS data. But if I have to choose the best of the best, it has to be the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar (see on Amazon). This watch is equipped with 3 of the best GPS systems available in the Garmin range: GPS, Glonass and Galileo. These three navigation functions are complemented by various sensor-programmed topographic maps to further improve performance in rough terrain.
In my opinion, the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar is the best navigation support in the Garmin watch range.
Modern satellite communication that extends the capabilities of multi-GNSS is both innovative and efficient. This works best when the view of the sky outside is clear. You can even share your data with others with the convenient addition of Bluetooth. Moreover, this watch is incredibly durable.
Frequently asked questions
Garmin or Fitbit is better?
Both Garmin and Fitbit watches are excellent fitness watches, but there are some differences between the two models. Garmin is best suited for monitoring a wide range of sports activities, including swimming, while Fitbit is best for beginners who require minimal health and performance monitoring features.
What is the cheapest Garmin GPS watch?
One of the most affordable Garmin watches with minimal GPS tracking is the Garmin Forerunner 35. This small and compact watch provides basic navigation support built into the watch for added convenience. GPS is a bit outdated with newer and more advanced models, but this Garmin watch is the most affordable when it comes to GPS.
How does the GPS work on my Garmin watch?
The GPS protocols in the Garmin watch work by transmitting data from various satellite systems in orbit. The Garmin watch receives satellite signals and transmits data by triangulation to the watch. For example, some Garmin watches have more advanced GPS navigation. B. Glonass and Galileo GPS systems.
Do you really need a GPS watch?
If you like outdoor activities, a GPS watch can certainly be useful. In addition, a GPS watch can provide accurate pace and distance calculations, as well as time measurements that can indicate your fitness level. The use of GPS on your watch may not be necessary for those who only do fitness, but GPS is very useful for athletes or those who want detailed performance measurements.
How do I turn on the GPS on my Garmin watch?
Most Garmin watches have a basic GPS system already built into the watch. The basic data of various satellite systems are presented. To unlock advanced performance data from Glonass or Galileo GPS, simply pull down the menu and go to activity settings. You will see icons for GPS and Glonass and Galileo, select the option for Glonass and Galileo.
As you have seen, many Garmin watches are equipped with GPS. In fact, the real question should be which Garmin watches do not have a GPS. Each of the models mentioned has a basic built-in GPS system, but there are many models that go further by adding Glonass, Galileo, and even detailed maps and legends that can help wilderness athletes. The quality of Garmin GPS watches depends on how many GPS details you need.
I recommend the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar as the best model compared to GPS, but you may only need the basic power you get with Garmin Forerunner 35, Forerunner 45 or Garmin Venu Sq.
First time here?
We’ve already written a lot about the different Garmin watches that allow you to record your activity. Take a look at some of our most popular posts:
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