AW Sport Ser2 vs Garmin Fenix 5 vs Garmin Vivoactive HR

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by MajkJaro, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. MajkJaro macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Was chatting with you guys on some other thread but I think it would be good to start a new discussion.

    I am not a big fitness freak. Doing indoor cycling on my stationary bike (between 500-1000 km a month), 3 or 4 40 minute runs a month, maybe 1-2 swims and some walking. Would love to have something to check my heart rate, count steps, count calories, monitor how I sleep. Would be nice if it would have some dedicated training settings for indoor cycling (don't know whether it could show something else that heart rate?).
    It would be nice if it would have a calendar, some buyable accesories to attach for my stationary bike. I'm working at an office, having some meetings. Using my calendar often. Although I always have my phone near by...

    What are my ideas on the 3 listed in the topic name?
    Apple Watch Sport Series 2
    - second most expensive
    - lots of apps
    - will have heavy upgrades with all watchos updates
    - battery life isn't as great when I would use it to monitor my sleep routine
    - great display

    Garmin Fenix 5
    - better battery life compared to Apple Watch
    - best fitness device on the market (considering watches)
    - a bit large (not a big issue)
    - unfortunately most expensive
    - garmin has some indoor cycling stuff but don't know how could I attach it to my stationary bike
    - always on watch screen

    Garmin Vivoactive hr
    - best battery
    - best price
    - not so great materials
    - something between a smartwatch and a fitness band
    - all the best garmin stuff at a small price and small wearable
    - looking good

    What are your thought? Maybe someone thought about a fitness watch and finaly it ended with a fitness band?
  2. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Your three choices seem very disparate. The two Garmin devices are very different. As a runner I love my Fenix 3 HR, but it is not that great for notifications – however you can run an Ultra without the battery failing with considerable bells and whistles and used for training in the week will last 3-4 days. If you don't need the long battery life when running/cycling then look at the rest of the Garmin forerunner range (e.g. 235). If you want a watch to cover your health vitals and not bother about plugging it in all the time then the Vivoactive, but GPS accuracy may not be as good, but if you want the Apple experience then the AW which has also been shown to have the most accurate HR monitor recently according to one report, although many people charge overnight - every night!
  3. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Does the forerunner 235 really have such bad battery life?
    Apple watch is tempting but battery life is really an issue. Would struggle to monitor my sleep with it.
  4. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    From my experience of the FR620, the watch part of things will work for many days, but exercise for 7 hours plus and the watch will not finish. So I suspect you would be fine with the 235. The following link is to a well respected review site for the Garmin devices –

  5. hitteam macrumors member


    Apr 27, 2010
    Thousand Oaks, California
    From my personal experience by owning Apple Watch 2 42mm, Fenix 5 Sapphire, and Garmin Vivoactive HR, the battery life from best to worst order, Fenix 5 (average 10-14 days), Vivoactive HR (average 5-7 days), Apple Watch 2 42mm (average 1-2 days). I ran out with GPS on 3-4 times a week and 30-90 minutes. I'm really impressive with the Fenix 5 battery compare with my old Fenix 3 HR.
  6. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    The Fenix 5 is my current watch and the battery is the best for sure. 10-14 days is for sure. Just sips electricity. What I like best is the HR sensor is the best I have used.
  7. prss14 macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2009
    I charge my AWS2 about 20 min before bed and about the same when I wake up in the morning. Have had no battery life issues. I use AutoSleep for the sleep details.
  8. PaladinGuy macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2014
    I know I already piped in on this in another thread. The battery life has to really matter a lot to you, if you decide on the Garmin Fenix 5. There's a reason it gets so much better battery life. It's not targeting the same market as the Apple Watch. The Fenix is geared towards very serious athletes, who do a lot of outdoor activities. The display is much more visible in sunlight, but it's much dimmer indoors and not as easy to read as the Apple Watch. The size of the battery and the display technology are the primary reasons for better battery life.

    From someone that has used Garmins, they are top class for sports. As for smarts, it's nowhere close to the Apple Watch. The connectIQ apps/store are far less polished and more like what Pebble use to have. The complications aren't as helpful and functions like weather require the Garmin Connect app to remain open in the background of your phone.

    Long story short, for around 200 dollars less than the Fenix 5 (Sapphire model), you can get a stainless steel Apple Watch series 2, which also has sapphire and GPS/GLONASS. For your use case (based on what you've said), the only thing you'd benefit from is battery life. You have to decide if that's really worth an additional $200.

    Hope that helps!
  9. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Had a chance to try yesterday a fenix 5 and 235 on my hand - the fenix feel way more solid but feels somehow "invasive" on a hand. The 235 weighs nothing - you don't even notice it on your hand. Don't know how would I feel with a fenix on my hand doing a long run or a very long bike ride. A tennis match feels really out of reach? Or maybe I'm having bad thoughts?
    The applewatch is more of a smartwarch - having second thoughts whether I need a second mobile but smaller on my hand. Not looking forward to write something on my watch. Although I like the overall look of it. But also doesn't feel so "handy" on my wrist.

    I think that 235/735 are the strongest contenders for me to buy. Anyone had a chance to compare 735 to a fenix5? Looks more a choice of materials which they are made of...
  10. verdejt macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2011
    Central Florida
    Don't discount Polar they have 4 products that are in the same category. The M400, V800,M200,A370,M430. Also check out DC Rainmakers page he reviews all of these products from an actual use standpoint. I find his reviews to be totally unbiased and just straight fact.
  11. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Well I sortened things out and now I am debating between AW 2 - Garmin 735 - Polar m430. Apple watch is in Poland about 150 US dollars more expensive than the Garmin and 250 more than the Polar! Thinking about the great battery life of the garmin and polar when not using gps.
    The garmin looks the best overall but I like the looks of the Polar m430. So the AW2 is rather not my choice.

    Both other watches seem to be very good fitness trackers. Both get great reviews. Just thinking which suits me best.
    Polar seems more of a runners watch.
  12. wx4olf macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    You might consider the Garmin 935 - it's basically a fenix 5 with a plastic housing and thus is $100 cheaper than the fenix with more up to date hardware than the 735.
  13. igrover macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2007
    Yes concerning the Garmin 935 - there are many posts on the Garmin user forum from users who went from the Fenix 5 to the 935. They all said they got the same features in the 935 as the Fenix 5 without the extra weight.
  14. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    It is too expensive... In Poland 200$ more than the 735.

    Anyone had a chance to see polar m430 in action?

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