Just by the mention of the smartwatches and fitness trackers, the first thing that pops into the head of wearable lovers are brands like Garmin and Fitbit.
Both the brands are the leaders in the wearable industry with plenty of their top-notch products.
It has always been an evergoing debate as to which brand offers better products, Garmin or Fitbit. Some people prefer going for Fitbit while others count on Garmin. But which one is better in a true sense?
Well, the correct judgment can only be passed once an overall comparison of both the brands is done, keeping various essential factors in mind.
So what are these essential factors that we are going to compare and which brand takes the win? Let’s see in this detailed comparison article.
Garmin Vs Fitbit
Both Garmin and Fitbit are American technology companies. Garmin was founded in 1989 whereas Fitbit was established in 2007.
Despite being a newer brand than Garmin, Fitbit was easily able to make its place in the market as one of the best wearable tech brands.
So more so that today you are reading this article and not able to decide which brand offers better products.
Use the given links to read the specific section of the article:
- Variety Of Products
- Looks And Design
- Best For Health Tracking
- Best For Sports Activity Tracking
- Battery Life
- Price Comparision
- Garmin Vs Fitbit: Which Brand Is Better?
Variety Of Products
The more there will be customers, the more the company needs to diversify its products. Because each and every customer has a different demand.
One would prefer a sleek fitness band while the other one would love to wrap a smartwatch over their wrist. One would enjoy working out with a clip-on tracker while the other one might be comfortable with a chest strap.
It depends on the customer to the customer as to which product will satisfy their need. Let’s see if your favorite brand offers you what you want or not.
Smartwatches are the most commonly used fitness trackers in the wearable industry. Even the new wearable brands can be seen as having super stylish smartwatches. So when it comes to Garmin, of course, the brand has a wide variety of smartwatches to offer.
Garmin has quite an old history of smartwatches. Vivoactive was the first fitness smartwatch to be released by the company back in April 2014.
After Vivoactive, the company released a plethora of smartwatches in different series. These watches in different series solely concentrate on improving and providing stats in a particular field.
For example, all the watches in the Approach series like Garmin Approach S40 and Approach S62 are specially designed for golf lovers. While the watches in the Forerunner series have everything a runner wants.
Despite being a smartwatch especially designed for runners or golf lovers, these watches are good to go for other activities and normal use as well.
The crux of the matter is, Garmin has countless options to offer when it comes to smartwatches.
Fitbit came into the smartwatch market not long ago. Its first smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic was released in September 2017.
So basically, Fitbit is a new player when it comes to smartwatches.
Unlike Garmin that keeps a sole focus on a particular sports activity, Fitbit believes in giving an all-rounder experience to its customers.
In other words, you can say, Garmin watches gives every single detail about the activity for which that smartwatch is made and basic details for other sports activities. But Fitbit smartwatches are not dedicated to a particular activity. They give an equal amount of stats for every sport.
The number of smartwatches that Fitbit has to offer are also less in number when compared with Garmin. As of now, Fitbit only has Ionic, Versa, Versa 2, Versa 3, Versa Lite, and Fitbit Sense under its sleeves.
Garmin Fitness Bands
Garmin has a long list of fitness bands to offer you. Similar to their smartwatches, all their bands fall into some series.
Different fitness bands from Garmin fall in the series like Vivosport, Vivofit, Vivosmart, and Vivofit jr.
Vivofit jr series has all the smart bands that are specially designed for kids. On the other hand, Vivosport, Vivofit, and Vivosmart bands are for adults and unisex in nature.
So basically, Garmin believes in giving equal priority to the health of kids, adults, men, or women.
Fitbit Fitness Bands
For those who prefer wearing a slim fitness band instead of a bulky smartwatch, Fitbit got plenty of fitness bands for you.
The carrier of Fitbit fitness bands started with Fitbit Flex, the first fitness band by the company that was released in 2013.
After Fitbit Flex, there are plenty of fitness bands manufactured by Fitbit now. In the same year in October, Fitbit Force was announced, the following year Fitbit Charge and Charge HR were announced, and the list goes on and on.
Just like Garmin, Fitbit holds some of the products in their fist that are especially for kids. These fitness bands are the products of the Fitbit Ace series that has fitness trackers to keep the kids healthy.
Other fitness bands of Fitbit come in different series like Charge series, Flex series, Alta, and Inspire.
Other Garmin Products
Just like we said earlier, the more the customers, the different there will be a demand in the market. Where most people prefer wrist-based fitness trackers, some would like to keep their wrist free and instead use something that can still keep a track of their activities.
Basically, it’s not always about health and activity tracking. The range of Garmin products far exceeds that. On one hand, you’ll find the gadgets dedicated to golf, on the other hand, some products solely for the purpose of GPS tracking. And these products will not at all show any stats surrounding your health.
After fitness bands and smartwatches, clip-on trackers are another type of health and fitness monitor that fitness enthusiasts commonly use.
They are commonly used by people who find wrist-based trackers irritating and looking for some substitute.
If you are one of those people, then Garmin has some amazing clip-on trackers like Garmin Vivoki and Running Dynamics Pod.
If you are a professional athlete who needs something more than just steps and a distance calculator, then you’ll love the Garmin Dynamics Pod. It gives you insight into your stride length, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, and so on.
Just like Garmin cares for you, in the same way, it cares for your dog as well. With specialized GPS collars for dogs, Garmin makes it easy for you to train your dogs and locate them when they go somewhere far.
It’s an extremely recommended gadget for those who have highly active dogs who like to roam the town on their own.
For the adrenaline junkies who love the world of adventure, Garmin has special satellite communicators for them.
These communicators assist you in location tracking, sending SOS signals, two-way messaging, getting weather updates, and everything you need to make your trek successful and risk-free.
Yes, that’s true. Garmin also manufactures its advanced weight scale machines by the name Index S2.
Being a weight scale machine from Garmin, it’s obviously going to be something more than a weight calculator. With the help of Index S2, calculating the body fat, muscle, water amount, and bone weight separately has become possible.
Index S2 helps you maintain a record of your progress to keep you motivated to work harder.
Making a separate section for all the gadgets from Garmin will make the list go on and on. But the point is, you can find almost everything from Garmin when it comes to sports or health tracking.
Some other products from Garmin include rangefinders as well. A rangefinder is an essential device for golf lovers that help them optimize their game by proving the essential stats related to the game.
For those who love driving cars, bikes, even trucks, RV, or bicycle, there are special gadgets for them. These gadgets include dash cams, driving performance optimizers, navigators, back-up cameras, fishfinder, chest straps, and the list goes on and on and on.
Other Fitbit Products
If you don’t want to wrap a band on your wrist, just check out the clip-on trackers from Fitbit. These trackers work by simply clipping themself on the clothes.
The first clip-on tracker by Fitbit was Fitbit Ultra, announced on 3rd October 2011. Despite being an older tracker it has advanced features like floors climbed.
After Ultra, Fitbit announced their next tracker, Fitbit One on 17th September 2012. The next tracker by the company was Fitbit Zip which got discontinued and replaced by Fitbit Inspire Clip in 2019.
Fitbit Aria Air is a weight scale machine by Fitbit which gives you insight on more than just weight.
Track your performance, calculate your BMI, and connect it to Fitbit app where you can understand how your activities impact your weight.
Training and music have a deep connection. While working out or while running, almost everyone prefers to fill their ears with pumping music.
Fitbit Flyer made its place in the market in 2017. These wireless earphones by Fitbit are made sweatproof to help you focus on your activity rather than protecting it from sweat.
Looks And Design
The first priority needs to be given to the accuracy and the list of features that a fitness tracker offers. But at the same time, how a product looks cannot be neglected.
Smart trackers are quite expensive. So if you are paying a high price, then we believe that you should get everything perfect, be it features or be it the looks of the tracker.
If you truly want to purchase a Garmin smartwatch and you reach their website, then there’s almost every chance that you’ll find a perfect smartwatch for yourself. And the reason is that Garmin has a variety of watches with different dimensions, color combinations, dial size, dial shapes, digital, and even hybrid smartwatches.
So, whatever you need, Garmin has a tray ready to serve you.
But when it comes to Fitbit, you won’t find many options. Firstly, the brand only has 5-6 smartwatches in total and all of them look quite similar.
Obviously, you will get the one that’s perfect for your wrist size but all the smartwatches by Fitbit have the same style, a square dial with rubber bands.
Color combinations are also good, but if you want a round smartwatch or a hybrid one, then Fitbit should not be your call.
Coming to the fitness bands category, Garmin has plenty of fitness bands as well. But we personally found their trackers a bit old fashioned.
Almost all the fitness bands from Garmin have more or less the same design. No doubt, the working of Garmin trackers are going to be exceptional, but when it comes to looks, they might fail your expectations.
But this is not the case with the Fitbit fitness trackers. They are quite catchy to the eyes and look voguish.
Almost every fitness tracker by Fitbit looks different than the other one. Some can be seen having a small screen inside the band itself while the other one with bands attached to the screen. Some fitness bands have a band with a larger width and the other ones have a slim design.
Even the screen shape of every tracker is unique in its own way. And the poppy color combinations give brownie points to Fitbit bands.
Best For Health Tracking
There are two major reasons why smart trackers are always so much in demand. The first reason is related to health and fitness and the second reason is their assistance and monitoring of sports activities.
Now for those people who purchase a smartwatch for tracking their health, they need something that can easily give accurate stats about their complete body in the simplest way possible.
Trackers from both brands consist of basic features like step counting, heart rate monitor, calories burned, sleep tracking, distance covered, and so on. And advanced features like body battery, stress level, etc are also available in the trackers from both brands.
Even the smart trackers from the cheap brands will give access to these features. But what matters the most is the accuracy of the stats.
If the stats are not accurate, the fitness tracker is simply trash for you. If you have a choice, compromise on the number of features, but never compromise on the accuracy of the existing ones.
Based on the reviews of plenty of Garmin and Fitbit users, we finally came to a conclusion as to which brand gives accuracy for which feature.
NOTE: The experience with features can differ from person to person. We are presenting the stats based on what most people felt.
Calories Burned – According to some of the people that have a good experience with both the brands, Garmin has an upper hand when it comes to the tracking of calories. Fitbit calorie tracking might show some irregularities.
Heart Rate – Reviews for heart rate tracking were a mishmash. While some people liked the heart rate monitoring of Fitbit, Garmin won the heart of others.
According to wareable.com, Fitbit takes the win when you want to monitor the heart rate generally while doing normal work. But Garmin is better for tracking heart rate when you are up for an intense workout.
Sleep Tracking – For the sleep tracking feature, there’s no doubt that Fitbit has an edge over Garmin. Almost every comparison clearly stated that Fitbit’s sleep tracking just hits the bullseye. Garmin on the other hand never gives accurate results for sleep tracking.
Steps Tracking – Keeping a track of the steps taken daily can be important for someone who purchases a tracker to keep a basic track of their health. Garmin trackers got more positive reviews than Fitbit here, helping us come to the conclusion that step counting is better in Garmin trackers.
Best For Sports Activity Tracking
As we discussed in the article earlier, Garmin smartwatches are specially designed for keeping a track of particular sports activity.
The activity for which that smartwatch is designed, you will get a deep insight on stats for that sport. Plus you will get basic insight on stats for other sports.
For instance, if you choose any smartwatch from the Approach series, you will have all the stats handy that you need for a perfect golf experience. But golf is not the only sport you get the stats for.
The smartwatch will let you track your runs, swimming sessions, etc with basic stats.
When it comes to Fitbit, it seems like their smartwatches are not a big fan of sports activities. Yes, of course, their watches have different activity modes like biking, swimming, yoga, and so on, but not something that has a deep focus on a particular activity.
Moreover, Garmin even has smartwatches for advanced activities like aviation and marine. And you will get all the data on these watches that a pilot and a sailor would ever want.
This is the level of advancement Garmin smartwatches have.
For almost every adventure activity, GPS is something of high importance. You need accurate data related to locations and distance. Comparing GPS of both the brands it’s easy to say Garmin has far better GPS tracking than Fitbit devices.
On one hand, where Garmin can be seen giving accurate results, Fitbit might blow chunks. So if you want better GPS in your smartwatch, go for Garmin.
Battery life plays a major role in deciding whether a tracker is worth the pennies you are paying or not.
While you are on your run, while working out, or while on a trek, you can’t afford your smart tracker to go out of battery.
It might lead to incomplete stats or can even get you stuck in a situation where you were in a dire need of your smart tracker.
For instance, if you are totally dependent on the GPS of your tracker and suddenly it goes out of battery. What now? Aren’t such situations a total mess?
The truth be told, Garmin trackers are more reliable when it comes to battery life. Fitbit trackers also have a decent battery life, but Garmin raises the bar a little more.
NOTE: The battery life will always depend on how you use the tracker. Generally, when GPS is on, battery life tends to decrease faster.
We collected some random stats from customers and different sites and this is what we got.
- The battery life of Fitbit Versa – About 4 days
- The battery life of Fitbit Versa 2 – About 3-4 days
- The battery life of Fitbit Versa 3 – About 5-6 days
- The battery life of Fitbit Sense – About 4-5 days
- The battery life of Fitbit Charge 4 – About 4 days
Now let’s see how much battery life Garmin devices give.
- The battery life of Garmin Vivoactive – About 21 days
- The battery life of Garmin Vivoactive 3 – About 7 days
- The battery life of Garmin Vivoactive 4 – About 6-7 days
- The battery life of Garmin Forerunner 745 – About 7 days
- The battery life of Garmin Vivosmart 3 – About 5 days
It was a little hard to determine as to which brand is cheaper. Some products of Garmin seem to be quite affordable, but at the same time, some products seen to cost an arm and leg.
In the same way, some Fitbit products impressed us with their cheap prices, but some were highly expensive.
But still, if we had to choose one brand that costs lesser than the other one, we’ll say Fitbit is cheaper.
As the product list of Garmin is longer than that of Fitbit, we bring forth those Garmin trackers for comparison which are mostly used and popular among the people.
The exclusive products of Garmin like Garmin Fenix 6, or tactic Delta are so expensive that Fitbit products are not even half the range.
But then we need to keep in mind that these watches are the finest work in the smart wearable industry.
Garmin Vs Fitbit: Which Brand Is Better?
Both brands try to provide top-grade quality products with top-grade features to their users. But by making the comparison of various factors, it’s easy to conclude that Garmin has far exceeded Fitbit in satisfying their customers.
Be it the comparison of the looks and design of smartwatches, the accuracy of features, variety of products, or battery life, Garmin surpasses Fitbit in all the sections.
The only sections where Fitbit got an edge over Garmin are the looks and design of fitness bands, price, and sleep tracking. So if you are low on budget and give a keen preference to sleep tracking, then Fitbit is a perfect choice.
Are Garmin's Better Than Fitbits?
Comparing most of the factors like the variety of products, battery life, accuracy, and design, Garmin is better than Fitbit.
How Long Do Garmin Watches Last?
Garmin trackers are made tougher than Fitbit trackers. And how much will they last usually depends on how carefully you use them.
Which one is accurate, Fitbit or Garmin?
When it comes to steps counting, heart rate monitor, calories burnt, and distance traveled, Garmin is more accurate. Sleep tracking is better in Fitbit trackers.
Are Garmin Watches Worth It?
Yes absolutely. Garmin trackers are worth every penny you pay.
Are Fitbit Trackers Worth It?
Despite not being as better as Garmin trackers, Fitbit trackers are still worth buying. The health tracking of Fitbit products is really good.