A Blog about Hiking-, Fitness-, and Health Technology

Garmin or Apple Watch

Apple Watch Ultra or Garmin? AWU 2 has shown, that Apple does not want to break into the focused athlete market. So, should we just all go Garmin?

Apple just announced the Apple Watch Ultra 2, much to the disappointment of many of us. The two places it falls short are still the touch screen focused UI and pretty abysmal battery life when doing sports tracking.

So, with that in mind… which one for 2023/2024? And why doesn’t Garmin shoot for Apple’s market share? Or Apple for Garmin’s.

The reality is, the Garmin is an outstanding sports/fitness/athlete watch, with some alibi smartwatch features thrown in. If you’re training/running/working on your fitness, and want the best out of the box, there’s no debate: Garmin.

Now, most people would benefit from a more dedicated focus on training and health. The Garmin does that. Wearing a Garmin is somewhat a daily reminder, that there’s work(out) to be done.

The AWU is a smartwatch that, out of the box, tracks steps and attempts to tell you, how you slept. It nags you to meditate and stand, but that’s about it. However, it’s a smartwatch with alibi sports features thrown in, and a really, really, good app store. My fenix 7 was about the same as my AWU in base costs, but to get the AWU where the fenix 7 is, I need Athlytic, WorkOutDoors, Training Peaks, AutoSleep, might get Eclipse Yourself, use HealthFit for uploads to Komoot. I also need to bring a charging cable, because all that drains it during a 9 hour cross country hike or a four hour run.

The question then is: are you more often downtown, on a train, walking with the dog, or playing a team sport non-competitively, or are you usually found in the gym, running trails, breaking rowing machines, etc.? For the former, a person to whom sports are a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, the AWU is great. To those to whom sports are the lifestyle, Garmin, no question.

I’d say a good 90% of people (pulling a number out of my ass) of sports people are those who supplement with sports. Which explains the Apple Watch dominance. Garmin doesn’t have to dominate that area. It has to dominate the ten percent to whom sports are the lifestyle. And that it does.

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