Apple Watch vs Garmin Venu Best Smart Fitness Watch 2020

When looking at a comparison of the two offerings, it’s clear that the Apple Watch Series 5 is the clear winner thanks to features like an always-on display, an ECG app, as well as the 32GB of internal storage. It perfectly upgrades on the predecessor while retaining some of the best aspects.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AppleApple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport BandCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensor and More, BlackCheck Price on Amazon

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People expect different things from smartwatches. Some want to be constantly connected to the internet so they can receive notifications and stream online music regardless of what they’re doing, while others want to track their heart rate, steps, and other fitness-related information to live a healthier lifestyle.

Garmin vs Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple upgraded the Series 4 version of Watch with the Series 5 variant in late 2019. However, one may argue that there aren’t a lot of changes on board the Series 5. So much so, that Apple has stopped selling the Series 4 variants given the similarities, keeping only the Series 3 in supply right now. So does it actually do justice to the Apple Watch lineup?

Design

Apple Watch Series 5 has retained the same design as its predecessor and is available in 44mm and 40mm variants with the latter being slightly smaller and better suited for thinner wrists. Customers get to choose from colors like Gold Aluminum, Space Gray Aluminum, and Silver Aluminum. Though there are other more premium variants, we’ll talk about these models as these give us the full picture of the wearable’s hardware and software prowess.

Much like previous models, the GPS + Cellular version of Watch comes with a red-accented digital crown whereas the GPS only model lacks this identifier.

Features

While customers have been asking for an always-on display with Apple’s only wearable, the company finally heard their pleas with the Series 5. This is thanks to the new 1.78-inch Retina Display display underneath which allows the display to be on at all times and illuminated when you turn your wrist to check the time. Apple also lets you disable this feature from the Watch app, so it’s not particularly forced onto the customers.

With the Apple Watch, customers can make things significantly easier on themselves thanks to the addition of new features like a dedicated ECG or electrocardiogram app, something that not a lot of wearables in the market come with. One of the marquee features of the Series 5 is activity tracking thanks to the dedicated Activity app which can let you compete with friends and family toward fitness goals.

Also new with the Series 5 version of Apple Watch is the new Noise app that can automatically detect when the noise levels in your environment go beyond the safe limit. Apple even allows users to have a complication on watch faces for the Noise app, though it may drain battery life quicker.

There are features like electrical and optical heart sensors that can keep an eye on your heart rate as you exercise or go on outdoor jogs. The addition of GPS allows you to navigate Apple Maps directly from your wrist while keeping the phone aside. Much like previous iterations of the Apple Watch, the Series 5 also allows customers to pair Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. Thanks to 32GB of internal storage, the Series 5 can also store music natively.

The Apple Watch Series 5 is also swim-proof up to 50 meters, making this a very powerful offering overall. The wearable also comes with Apple Pay by default, allowing you to make payments on compatible stores using nothing but your watch. However, this feature has existed on previous iterations of the Apple Watch as well.

Battery Life

One of the biggest improvements that Apple has seemingly made with the Series 5 smart watch is the inclusion of a bigger battery. As a consequence, the Series 5 models can last for up to 18 hours on a single charge. This applies to both GPS and GPS+Cellular versions with the latter sporting a slightly bigger battery to make up for cellular network -associated battery drain.

However, users should realize that battery life greatly depends on your usage, so if you are constantly listening to music on your Apple Watch or voice typing replies to your messages throughout the day, you’re likely to drain the battery much quicker.

Garmin Venu

Garmin has made several smartwatches in the market including offerings like the Garmin Forerunner, Fenix, and the Vivoactive 3. However, a closer comparison of Garmin watches reveals that the Venu is on a league of its own. Though there are several third-party wearables available in the market today, the Venu watch stands out thanks to its feature set.

Design

Garmin didn’t make a lot of design changes on the Venu watch, using a 1.2-inch circular OLED display. However, this means it’s extremely different from the Apple Watch, which has a squarer shape.

The wearable can be bought in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Black versions, so there’s no dearth of attractive color options to choose from.

We love circular displays, though its functionality greatly depends on the feature set offered as well as the hardware + software combination. How does the Garmin Venu watch fare in that regard?

Features

Garmin has made sure the Venu is equipped with all the fitness-oriented features one could ask for. This means the inclusion of sensors like compass, gyroscope, altimeter, Pulse Ox, as well as a thermometer, a feature that doesn’t exist on other wearables, including Apple’s Series 5.

In terms of storage, Garmin mentions that the Venu can store up to 500 songs at a time. This roughly translates to around 4GB of internal storage. This is significantly lower as compared to the hefty 32GB offered by the Series 5. However, 500 songs should be decent enough for most users and athletes.

In terms of water-proofing, the Venu comes with 5ATM water resistance, allowing it to be worn even while swimming. On the other hand, while easy to use apps let you track each swimming session accurately. Users will also be able to measure their heart rate accurately thanks to the sensor built-in.

Garmin’s dedicated wireless payments system, Garmin Pay is also included in the Venu by default.

Unfortunately, the Garmin Venu also lacks a dedicated LTE or cellular model, so customers can only get the standard GPS variant. However, an area where Garmin truly excels is with regard to sleep tracking. The company offers its own app for the purpose, allowing you to get a good idea of your sleep patterns and other relevant stats.

The Garmin wearable also supports adding playlists from streaming services like Deezer, Spotify, as well as Amazon Music, so it’s not too different from the Apple Watch in that regard.

Battery Life

The battery life on your Garmin Venu differs greatly on the kind of tasks you’re performing. If you’re using it simply on smartwatch mode, the company mentions that it can run for up to 5 days. However, if you’re using GPS and music at the same time, the battery will run out within 6 hours. If you’re planning on using this solely as a smart watch, the Venu is certainly one of the best smartwatches in the market today.

Verdict

Now that we’ve spoken in detail about the Apple Watch Series 5 as well as the Garmin Venu, the choice is clearly very simple. In terms of performance (heart rate, ECG, Noise, etc), appearance as well as battery life, there’s simply no doubt that the Apple Watch Series 5 is the clear winner here. There’s not a lot of disparity in terms of pricing either, which means the choice is not that hard for those confused between Garmin vs Apple Watch. Though Apple’s offering lacks a dedicated sleep tracking app, it does offer excellent alternatives via the App Store.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AppleApple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport BandCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensor and More, BlackCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.