Apple Watch vs Garmin Forerunner

Carm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 7, 2016
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0
Will an Apple watch ever be developed to compete with Garmin for training?? Marathons, Triathlons, Biking, etc etc.
I have to say I'm disappointed that Apple has not gone there yet. Anyone else?
I'm thisclose to switching :(
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
601
331
West Jordan, Utah
I'm not a marathoner, but I wonder about the battery life, will the AW hold up for a full marathon? I doubt a 100 miler, or something like that, but those people are way more into the fitness stuff than the average Apple Watch user.
 

DontGetTheCheese

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2015
160
110
I can't imagine a 100 miler without a charging kit, although I'm not sure how fast people run those things now. It should be able to do a marathon if you just tracked the run and weren't in the very back of the pack. I haven't done any long hikes on the AW5 but it is worse than the AW4 was, so I guess I'm uncertain?

It really does need more battery life. I used it a couple of times for extended stretches, didn't push it too hard, and it was at 10% after 30ish hours. I find that you've pretty much got to give it 20 to 30 minutes in the morning and at night to keep it running through my normal use, longer on hard workout days.

Just not good enough.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,493
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Apple Watch is already fine for 99% of runner's use. Will easily cover a marathon in the time most people will require - possible exception being someone who needs 4+ hours and wants to also stream music over cellular.

Most running apps have the option to trigger start/stop or laps by pressing the two side buttons.
 

fredash

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2018
33
26
Apple Watch series 5 with fantastic WorkOutDoors app covers 100% of what Garmin offers (except swimming pool and triathlon but the developer is currently working on those 2 features). I have successfully tested a cycling session of 8h max in autonomy (with AOD off).
 

NME42

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2019
251
85
I was a Garmin user with their high-end triathlon watches (910XT, Fenix 3, 935 and 945) and am so happy to have left the Garmin ecosystem for an AW5.

Why I left? Because I was really appalled by their software quality and the way they handled bugs. Will never go back.

As long as you can run a marathon in less than 7 hours, an AW5 is perfectly fine for you. Combined with a Stryd footpod the accuracy is more than excellent (sure, one can pair a Garmin also with a Stryd).

For biking I use a Wahoo Elemnt Roam (before a Garmin Edge - even buggier than the watches) as IMHO a bike computer has to be fixed on the handle bars to be useful and not to distract too much. But sure, you can also record bike routes with an AW5 as long as they take less than 7 hours.

For long distance triathlons the battery lifetime is not sufficient. There I would suggest recording the swimming and running part with the AW and the bike part with a bike computer (see above).
 
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960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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Destin, FL
Will an Apple watch ever be developed to compete with Garmin for training?? Marathons, Triathlons, Biking, etc etc.
I have to say I'm disappointed that Apple has not gone there yet. Anyone else?
I'm thisclose to switching :(
I've been a competitive runner my entire life. Used Garmin products up until AppleWatch 3. Poor Garmin Forerunner was thrown in the trash after sitting in my desk draw for over two years. AppleWatch is much better at incorporating all my workouts into a single experience: running, walking, biking, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, ect.

What is holding you back?
 
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maurycyorlik

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2019
17
13
Same for me. Had Fenix 5 and Fenix 6X Pro. Tested the hell out of them for almost a year. First couple of weeks You will fall in love, then after that, when you'll get the whole picture (bugs, bugs, bugs, apps, service), You will go back to AW.
 
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960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
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Destin, FL
Apple Watch is already fine for 99% of runner's use. Will easily cover a marathon in the time most people will require - possible exception being someone who needs 4+ hours and wants to also stream music over cellular.

Most running apps have the option to trigger start/stop or laps by pressing the two side buttons.
Laps/Intervals can be triggered from built in running application. Double tap to create new interval/lap.
 
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NME42

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2019
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Another aspect for me: I was using my Garmin watches as 24/7 watches. Comparing the smartwatch functionality to an AW is like comparing a mobile phone from 2001 to an iPhone 12. Absolutely ridiculous and no notable development since years. Available apps for the Garmin watches: almost 99% of them complete waste of time. In the end, smartwatch capabilities are displaying notifications (buggy) and mirroring of the calendar (current day).

My last Garmin was offering music and this was a bad joke. Spotify integration was lousy and so I had to manually transfer my podcasts with a cable (!) to the watch. Welcome back to 1999 (or earlier, can't remember the time).
 
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960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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Destin, FL
For long distance triathlons the battery lifetime is not sufficient. There I would suggest recording the swimming and running part with the AW and the bike part with a bike computer (see above).
This is a weakness of the current AW. Fortunately my body is weaker. Tri's are the realms of gods.
Future graphene batteries should fix this, in the mean time you could try something like Batfree or many of the other wearable AW battery extenders.
 
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NME42

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Sep 15, 2019
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Pro tip: go to garmin forums.
There was a thread in the Fenix 6 forum at Garmin where the differences between a Fenix and an AW5 were discussed heavily. Conclusion of course: none ;-)
- - Post merged: - -

This is a weakness of the current AW.
This was my biggest concern when switching to an AW. In the end: no problem for me. I have multiple chargers at my different locations and whenever I come home for a run, I put the AW on the charger, go for a shower and when I come back, the watch is back at the battery level I left it at.
Also charging at night which is something I did not do with my Garmins as I did sleep tracking. Do I miss this? No. Absolutely no value or insight. Also, my last Garmin only had a battery life of about 2-3 days so not too far from what my AW5 could do if I do not charge at night.

Sure, would be happy to have more battery life. But if I had to decide between a brilliant display, great smartwatch functionality and usability and a watch with better battery life, my choice is clear.
 
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BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
12,211
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In the middle of several books.
This is a weakness of the current AW. Fortunately my body is weaker. Tri's are the realms of gods.
Future graphene batteries should fix this, in the mean time you could try something like Batfree or many of the other wearable AW battery extenders.
Has Batfree even made it past the point of Kickstarter? As a ultra runner, I would definitely be interested in a battery extender for my AW 5. I haven’t seen anything.
 
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Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
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UK
Use AW4 for running and Garmin Edge 830 for bike.

Handle bar mount makes a big difference when riding. Sync all things together using Strava / Garmin Connect.
 
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DontGetTheCheese

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Nov 22, 2015
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110
I’ve written long posts on this both here and on the Garmin site.

It’s not black and white. For me, every analysis I’ve run the AW wins but I can’t give up the Garmin because it’s better at some things.

Apple could obliterate Garmin with just a few changes but they haven’t so far.
 
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TiggrToo

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2017
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Out there...way out there
Will an Apple watch ever be developed to compete with Garmin for training?? Marathons, Triathlons, Biking, etc etc.
I have to say I'm disappointed that Apple has not gone there yet. Anyone else?
I'm thisclose to switching :(
No-one here can answer that question. Only Apple know and they aren't saying. We can guess, hope, desire etc. But they won't get you very far if you're looking at making a choice.
 
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Carm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 7, 2016
5
0
I've been a competitive runner my entire life. Used Garmin products up until AppleWatch 3. Poor Garmin Forerunner was thrown in the trash after sitting in my desk draw for over two years. AppleWatch is much better at incorporating all my workouts into a single experience: running, walking, biking, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, ect.

What is holding you back?
The AW battery time is my biggest complaint.
 

MJ22

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2017
275
228
I have the AW4 + LTE and I do think when I have LTE enabled it measures long. I also am sort of starting to wonder if a particular town near me has some kind of alien force field around it because when I do two races there (a 10K and a 9 miler) it measures REALLY long (like over a quarter of a mile for the 9 miler). It’s generally on point for 5 miles and under. I’d used it for a half marathon and it measured 13.24 which is perfectly fine because with weaving and turns and not running the tangents, it’s very common for any watch to read longer than the measures distance.

I have a backup Garmin FR10 for the 10K and 9 miler next year, LOL...sounds silly but it’s a somewhat prestigious race and I missed an award by :03 and thought I was on pace until I got to just over a mile to go, and I was very upset with the distance being off. It happens. Otherwise I am very happy, and I had been a Garmin user for about 9 years.
 
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DontGetTheCheese

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2015
160
110
My AW usually runs long on my GPS tracks, about 2 to 3 percent. 3% on 9 miles is a 1/4 mile.

I do a 5.5 mile hill run most Saturdays. My goal is under 60 minutes, best time was close at 61:17, but have regressed due to a surgery. The Garmin nails it every time, right on the mile markers on the trail. I've had the AW go psycho a couple of times. One time I had the Garmin so it nailed what was at the time a personal best. I'd have completely lost that with the AW because it popped up an award message and I flubbed the screen press.

It is, I guess possible, that the markers are wrong and the watch is right?

WorkOutDoors seems better than the base app but runs long too. In a city, I get crazy tracks but these days, I could run down the middle of a 4-lane road and be fine.
- - Post merged: - -

I have a backup Garmin FR10 for the 10K and 9 miler next year, LOL...sounds silly but it’s a somewhat prestigious race and I missed an award by :03 and thought I was on pace until I got to just over a mile to go, and I was very upset with the distance being off. It happens. Otherwise I am very happy, and I had been a Garmin user for about 9 years.
I'm kind of leaning this way as well. Get rid of the 6X Solar, while I can still get most of the money back on eBay and pick up a lesser Garmin for running.
 
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cfc

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May 27, 2011
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WorkOutDoors seems better than the base app but runs long too.
WorkOutDoors uses Apple's calibrated distance estimates by default, but if this does not work for you then you can switch to just use the GPS positions instead. Press the watch screen hard and tap Settings and then More. Then turn off the "Use Calibrated Distances" switch.

It is best to try calibrating the watch before resorting to this because GPS distances are vulnerable to a poor signal (e.g. tunnels etc). However some people find that Apple's calibrated distances just don't work for them and find that the GPS option gives them better estimates.

Make sure to use the signal bars on the main menu to wait for a good GPS signal before starting a workout. This is always good practice but particularly important when using the GPS for distance estimates.
 
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MJ22

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2017
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My AW usually runs long on my GPS tracks, about 2 to 3 percent. 3% on 9 miles is a 1/4 mile.

I do a 5.5 mile hill run most Saturdays. My goal is under 60 minutes, best time was close at 61:17, but have regressed due to a surgery. The Garmin nails it every time, right on the mile markers on the trail. I've had the AW go psycho a couple of times. One time I had the Garmin so it nailed what was at the time a personal best. I'd have completely lost that with the AW because it popped up an award message and I flubbed the screen press.

It is, I guess possible, that the markers are wrong and the watch is right?

WorkOutDoors seems better than the base app but runs long too. In a city, I get crazy tracks but these days, I could run down the middle of a 4-lane road and be fine.
- - Post merged: - -



I'm kind of leaning this way as well. Get rid of the 6X Solar, while I can still get most of the money back on eBay and pick up a lesser Garmin for running.
Yeah, a quarter mile deviation on a 9 mile race is just not acceptable to me. It’s a race that’s USATF certified and has been run for over 100 years so the issue is certainly not with the course. On Strava, if you upload a route and say it was a race that 100 other Strava users also uploaded, you can see their data as well. About 50 other people uploaded this race to Strava (even though it’s a race of over 1000) and my watch was the longest by far. I think the next longest measurement was like 9.15. I didn’t have any issues with tangents as I was fairly far up front without a crowd around me.
 

Carm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 7, 2016
5
0
Ideally, I would like to see a separate AW made specifically for athletes, with long battery life and solid software for training, which would include a full range of activities and KPI's.
 

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