Apple watch series 3 vs Garmin Fenix 5x

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by chiefs1968, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. chiefs1968 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2016
    What is the advantage of owning a Garmin Fernix 5X vs the apple watch series 3, I do know that the garmin has a compass and since the apple watch does not the advantage goes to Garmin. But everything the Garmin is capable of doing so can the apple watch and there is an app for the apple watch called work outdoors which allow you to do everything the Garmin can do including the trackback feature if you are hiking and want to find your way back without your phone being present.
    Let me know what you think?
  2. rdavis41 macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2009
    I've owned both. I also get a corporate discount on the Fenix 5X through my workplace and I still LOVE the apple watch more than the Fenix 5X. With that said, my answer to your question is, it depends on your needs and interests. I think end of the day if you are an avid runner and hiker that likes stats and navigation then hands down you go with the Fenix 5x. If however, you want some running stats, option to do other workouts, along with LTE options, notifications and access to the Apple ecosystem via a watch and can stand the limited battery life vs Garmin, then the Apple watch is the way to go.
  3. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    I use a Garmin 935 for my running and my Apple Watch for every day watch. I love firstbeat’s analysis of my running and use the training plans on the Garmin. I just have not found anything that matches for the Apple Watch.
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    They are totally different products, IMO. The Fenix 5 has some smartwatch features but is basically a running/hiking/sports watch first and foremost. It has vastly more advanced metrics for those kinds of activities than the AW has, and it has 2 week battery life (24 hr with GPS on). It's a watch you'd take for a backpacking trip into the wilderness. It doesn't have nearly the smartwatch features AW does - it can't even play music without a phone (the new 645M is the first Garmin that can).

    The AW is primarily a smartwatch, albeit one that can be used for outdoor activities. It is far better at iPhone integration and smartwatch features, but it doesn't even come close as a running/hiking/outdoor activities device (and the battery life is laughable compared to the Fenix).
  5. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    When I am traveling I wear both an Apple Watch and my Fenix 3. The Fenix battery lasts much longer logging GPS tracks, so I use it to geocode my photographs. Even works 50% of the time on trans Atlantic and trans Pacific flights. I use my Apple Watch for everything else since it's easier to use (Timers, Alarms, weather conditions, etc.).
  6. cfc macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2011
    I am the developer of the WorkOutDoors app that the OP mentions. It is not fair for me to compare the various pros and cons of AW+WorkOutDoors vs the Fenix 5X (because I am biased!) but I should say that the lack of a compass in the AW is not as much of a problem as you may think.

    For example WorkOutDoors uses the moving GPS position to determine the direction that you are heading in, and to auto-rotate the screen accordingly if you want. The downsides are that it takes a few yards to start working, and it won't rotate as you turn around on the spot. However in practice the second issue isn't a problem because the breadcrumb trail and auto-rotation makes it very easy to orient yourself.

    In fact I think that most users of the app actually assume that the AW has a compass.
  7. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    I agree completely with QCassidy. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you’re primarily looking for a fitness watch with some smart watch features, get the Garmin. If you’re primarily looking for a smart watch with some fitness tracking features, get the Apple Watch.

    I hav an Apple Watch & can do everything that I want on it. I’d love longer battery life, but enjoy the ability to answer phone calls & respond to texts from my watch more than I’d enjoy the ability to go for a week at a time without having to charge my watch. And the GPS tracking on my watch has been rock solid so far. I was in LA last week & was a little worried about tracking, due to the tall buildings, and potential GPS interference (I live & run in an area without tall buildings impeding the GPS singnal) but it worked fine.
  8. harryrosen macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2018
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  9. Pseudo-Fed macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2017
    Garmin Fenix 3 and Fenix 5X, Apple watch series 2 and series 3 owner here. Used to be all Garmin, and I still like the data provided. But I'm a mid-50s casual/fitness runner now and the AW data is good enough and getting better.

    Since the question was advantage Garmin over AW, I'll respond that way.
    • Garmin has an always on screen.
    • Garmins work with more sensors for better data. The newer ones use BT and ANT+ vs. just ANT. These sensors allow for a variety of accurate data for many activities. Cadence sensors, temperature sensors, power meters, running dynamics data.
    • Garmin has more refinement in settings for GPS (1 second recording vs. smart recording vs. ultra trac) which results in crisper tracks and fewer cut corners, or extremely long activity tracking on Ultra trac.
    • Garmin allows more customization of watch faces with hundreds available of varying usefulness.
    • Garmin quickfit bands are easier to change and traditional watch pin construction allows options with regular watch bands.
    • Garmin watch face data updates in real time. Take 15 steps and watch face showing steps updates a couple seconds later.
    • Garmin includes a focus on steps as a meaningful activity metric, as all fitness devices should.
    • Garmin has compass along with barometer.
    • Garmin has button-only interface for easier operation during wet/sweaty activities.
    • Garmin is 100M water resistant.
    • Garmin allows multi-sport activities to be tracked.

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8 March 10, 2018