The Garmin vs. Apple Watch Debate

So you’re debating whether to get the Garmin or Apple Watch? I literally went through this struggle for about 4 months and then finally pulled the trigger on the Garmin Forerunner 230 once Chicago Marathon training officially started. And while I love it so much, I’m not here to tell you to get it, just lay out what got me to that purchase and maybe throw in some things you hadn’t originally thought about.

Prior to owning a fitness watch, I had used MapMyRun for tracking everything. I wasn’t super serious about my times and just wanted something easy to track mileage. However, this year I got a lot more into it and knew it was time to make the purchase.

I should also mention that for the past 3 years, I have been an avid Jawbone user. I know steps don’t mean anything but it’s that tiny sense of accomplishment when I would hit my goal each day that kept me hooked. Last year I purchased the UP3 in Sand Twist thinking it would be the perfect compliment to the nice watches I wore to work but also be functional for workouts.

Then the whole Garmin vs. Apple Watch debate started happening – should I get the Apple Watch and wear it everyday (because once it goes on, it’s not going to come off – I’m so competitive with myself that I’d need to meet those fitness goals everyday) or get the Garmin and only use it for my runs, continuing to wear my UP band and be able to wear my nice watches I loved so much to work? In the end, I think that’s what drove me to purchase the Garmin. I didn’t want to give up my favorite work watches and enjoy getting the opportunity to switch it up based on my outfit. I know there are a ton of bands out there for the Apple Watch but there wasn’t one that made me really want it.

Another thing that drove me away from the Apple Watch was the fact that there isn’t a Spotify app – I am a loyal Spotify listener and make all of my running playlists on the platform, so not being able to access those would not be okay with me.

Lastly, I really appreciated that the Garmin is made for physical activity. The Apple Watch keeps you connected to EVERYTHING and when I run, I’m trying to get away from it all. While the Garmin does have the option of smart notifications, it’s easily disabled so running has 100% of your focus and that is something I really appreciated.

Although I love my Garmin and am extremely happy with my purchase (plus the 8 other color bands so it always matches my outfit) who knows, I may end up with an Apple Watch in the future. Every time a friend gets one, I have an internal debate if I made the right choice. First world problems, am I right?

What are your thoughts? Do you have either a Garmin or the Apple Watch? I’d love to hear your opinions!



Leave a comment

  1. July 21, 2017 / 7:36 am

    There are SO many choices out there, it’s definitely a tough call. I researched and couldn’t decide so I let my parents decide for me at Christmas time. They got me a Garmin Vivoactive HR. I love it! I was worried that it did too much and wouldn’t do anything well, but everything has checked out. It does some of the non-active stuff with notifications and controls on my phone, but it still has the GPS accuracy and activity functionality that I expect from Garmin.

    • July 21, 2017 / 7:39 am

      I feel like I should’ve done that too! It would’ve been a lot less stress haha I’m happy you ended up with one you love though!

  2. July 21, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Agree with you and with Ralph that figuring out which watch to purchase got wayy too stressful. I finally pulled the trigger on the Garmin Forerunner 235 about a month ago and i am very happy with it. I honestly wanted one that was even more basic, cause i don’t need fancy features, but from the reviews that I read, I needed a better GPS living in the city. So far so good!

    • July 21, 2017 / 9:12 am

      I was thinking about the 235 as well but went with the 230 solely because of the price and haven’t had any issues with the GPS when I run in the city! I agree though, I just wanted something simple to track my splits and pace – some of them are way too much for me

  3. Graham
    July 23, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    I had this same debate less than a month ago but I went with the Series two (water proof) Apple Watch. I mainly wanted it for my Strava running app and to be able to keep track of pace more accurately. I quickly found out I don’t like to take it off to ensure I hit my daily step/calorie/exercise goals. This meant I haven’t worn my other watches since getting this one. The nice part with this Watch is you have a lot of control over the notifications you get and can shut off the ones you don’t want. Like you I also use Spotify but since I still have my phone on me when I run, it hasn’t been an issue. I see them addressing this issue in near future…or at least I hope. The question is do you have any good headphone or shoe debates… still trying to figure those out.

    • July 24, 2017 / 5:03 am

      That is all great insight, thank you so much for sharing! Keep me updated on the Spotify piece because if that ever changes, I may have to make a new purchase! As for shoes, that is personal preference and based on your gait. I would definitely go get fitted to figure out what will work best for you! I have a pretty neutral foot and love my Brooks Launches. As for headphones, I recently got to test out the Trekz Titaniums and I really love them! I’ll be writing a review for them soon, so keep an eye out!

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