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Which gps watch would suit me best? (Garmin)

CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
I'm looking at a few different Garmin watches and considering getting one rather soon.
I am mainly into running, I would like to be able to run rather far in the future, but for now I'm aiming to just get "good at it" (one thing at a time). I'm also doing strength workouts two times every week (tbh only to maintain some muscle mass and optimize my running) and yoga every day, but those I'm not sure if I'm that interested in tracking. My original thought with the watch was that it would be good to know my pulse while I run, but I don't know how much of an obsession this will turn into.

Now, my wrists are small, so the new launches are quite interesting to me since they seem to be smaller than the regular ones (they are also prettier). I've been eyeing the Venu, Vívoactive 4s and Fenix 6s. The Fenix is considerably more expensive and got a lot more features, but I'm not sure if I need them? The Venu is the prettiest, but I feel like it might not be worth it over the Vívoactive 4s. I know Forerunner sounds like it should be it, but the only one I can consider out of all those is the Forerunner 245 Music that's white, I would change the strap because it's too white for my taste, but I can't stand black watches, so that's why I'm completely disregarding all the other ones (sadly).

Overall, I just feel a bit lost. What would you all do if you were in my place?

I don't believe I'll ever be a regular marathon runner, but it would be nice to have a gps watch.


  • cyndit1cyndit1 Posts: 136Member Member Posts: 136Member Member
    I have a Garmin 235 (no music) that I have had for a few years (unfortunately black but I think you could change the strap). I've run many half marathons, long training runs and a marathon with it with no battery issues. It does the job for me.
  • RunDesprateRunDesprate Posts: 63Member Member Posts: 63Member Member
    I have the vivid active 3. I absolutely love it. I would get the 4, but my 3 it still going strong. I run roughly 50 to 100 miles a month depending on what I’m training for. The battery will make it through a marathon no problem.
    edited September 11
  • dewd2dewd2 Posts: 2,147Member Member Posts: 2,147Member Member
    No gadget will be really good at tracking strength training or yoga (what exactly do you want to track here?) so I suggest getting the cheapest Forerunner that has the features you want. Any of them will do a great job tracking your runs. They get more features as the price goes up (wrist based HR, music, etc).
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,115Member Member Posts: 9,115Member Member
    I don't know if they make bad watches, I have a hunch you can't go wrong for what you describe.

    It's basically going to come down to how much you value $$$ vs screen beauty and features. The new Venu series is functionally equivalent to the Vivo, it just had a different type of display with brighter colors. The Fenix 6s you're looking at can make you a latte while it drives your car for you, but Garmin wants a kidney for it.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,115Member Member Posts: 9,115Member Member
    dewd2 wrote: »
    No gadget will be really good at tracking strength training or yoga (what exactly do you want to track here?)

    I disagree, but I have to qualify that. Garmins count reps, make it easy to correct right then and there if they miscount, it's easy to enter how much weight at the end of a set, and they're pretty good at figuring out what lift you were doing. They keep a journal for you, and give you charts showing your progress over time. I think it does a pretty good job.

    Here's an example:
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    Thank you all for the answers!
    I've seen yoga and strength exercise as widgets (are they called that?) on the Garmin watches, that's why I mentioned it, and I also saw that the Vívoactive 4s had breathing exercises and such, which might be cool but I'm mainly just looking to get some "help" with my running.
    The Fenix is probably out of question since it's so much pricier, and as said, the venu is just prettier, so it might not be worth it. The Forerunner got more functions for runners, but I don't know how many of those you need an extra item for? on their site it says "yes (with compatible gadget)" after many of the running functions, and I would rather not use anything but the watch and Garmin connect.

    With running, the differences between the Vívoactive and Forerunner seem to be that the Forerunner can count steps per minute, estimate times for competition, and something called "performance condition", all the other things that the Vívoactive doesn't have the Forerunner need some sort of extra gadget for (if I understood it correctly).
    edited September 12
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    Looking at the specs quite a few other things seem to differ too (that's not under the runner specs), but I feel like I know too little to understand what most of them do. I'll have to read up some more.
  • ClairinClairin Posts: 47Member Member Posts: 47Member Member
    I have the Garmin HR+. I have tiny wrists and it's comfortable for me to wear.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,115Member Member Posts: 9,115Member Member
    Buy it from a place like REI that will let you return it if you're not satisfied. Then you don't have to try to understand everything beforehand.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,826Member Member Posts: 2,826Member Member
    The Venu and the Vivoactive 4S are almost the exact same watch. The display (and battery life) is slightly different, but otherwise they're the same. I would probably lean towards the Forerunner honestly if only because of their focus on running. I agree with the suggestion of buying from a place like REI where you can easily return/exchange it if need be (but do read the return policy). You might also want to look at DC Rainmakers' reviews on all three watches.
  • Simpleman_67Simpleman_67 Posts: 63Member Member Posts: 63Member Member
    I just pre-ordered Galaxy Active 2. Rave reviews, has GPS, 4G storage for music, Spotify etc. Worth a look.
  • scorpio516scorpio516 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    Most the differences between the VA4/Venu and the FR245 are that philosophicaly the VA series are fitness watches while FR are running watches (or triathlon with the 735/935)

    The VA will do lots of different things, more than the FR.
    The FR does running and biking. But it does running really well. Things like training plans and advanced metrics that don't exist on the VA.

    Certain metrics do need specialized sensors, but you don't need any. If you want the data in the future you can, but the watch alone will give you 98% of data without anything extra.
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    Thank you all for your replies :blush: I know that the Venu is just a better screen and less battery than the Vívoactive 4, but I still had it in my maybes.

    Now, I am leaning towards Forerunner 245, but the Vívoactive is still tempting. It's a shame the FR look the way it does, after staring at the different options I think I would do better with a black one since the white one got a black ring around the watch face, making it look very stark, and I think that might make it make it look even darker than if I just go with a black watch and change the strap to dark blue or grey. Less of a contrast... but I really am not a fan of black... This was tbh the reason I was considering the fenix, it had the fancy stuff FR got, but with better colours.

    I don't know what REI is, but most likely not a place I can buy from easily (never heard of it, I'm not in the US).
  • Duck_PuddleDuck_Puddle Posts: 2,524Member Member Posts: 2,524Member Member
    I am female with child sized hands and small wrists. I am a runner and while I do other stuff, the bulk of my activity (or what I want the data for) is running.

    I ponied up the $$$ for a Fenix 5S because it’s the only running watch they made (at the time) that isn’t the size of my palm. I recently upgraded to a 5s plus (same smaller size). I don’t regret the upgrade, but I would happily go back to the 5S (Battery life is much better on the 5S vs. the plus). It’s more watch than I need, but the size really makes that big a difference. Also the colors are nicer (IMO-i have white/rose gold).

    I don’t care if they come out with a watch that will run the race for me-if it doesn’t come in the “S” size or smaller, I’m not getting it. If you have small hands/wrists - the small difference in size is a monumental difference in wearability/comfort. If you don’t have tiny hands/wrists-you won’t really notice or appreciate just how much of a factor this is.

    I know the Fenix series is big money, but maybe the 5S is available for less given that the 6 just came out.
    edited September 13
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    My wrists are about 5.2-5.5 inches (depending on how much you tighten the strap around, if it should stay put: 5.2). I am concerned about the size for sure, but the FR245 doesn't seem to be that big. I will ask to try my mothers older FR and check what size it is, just to get an idea of how they fit.

    You're right that I can find the fenix 5s for relatively cheap, but then I will get it without music and without the pulse ox thing and whatever newer stuff the ones from this year got. Maybe that doesn't matter, but music would be nice to be able to have on the watch.
    edited September 13
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,115Member Member Posts: 9,115Member Member
    Music in the watch kills the battery. DCR has a chart in his Fenix 6 review of how long the battery in each model will last with and without music playing. It's dismal.

    The Pulse Ox feature has nothing to do with running. It's probably useful if you go to high altitude a lot (peak bagging). I bought a 6X and have this feature turned on, but I don't really see value in it.
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    I know that playing music on it makes the battery drain quicker, I don't plan on using music 24/7, but for those runs where I'm alone and want to block out the world, music would be nice to have.
  • heytimslaheytimsla Posts: 272Member Member Posts: 272Member Member
    I run a 235 for running and a 530 for biking but I’d recommend picking one up second hand Craigslist offer up ect. You’ve save 100s of dollars because a lot of People just kinda dump their current one for the latest one to come out. As long as it’s not ancient it’s worth a look.
  • CitrusMaidenCitrusMaiden Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    I'm quite confident that I want to be able to play music on it
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