The Ultimate Guide to the Best Garmin Smartwatches You Can Buy in 2024

When it comes to wearable technology, Garmin has consistently stood out for its innovative designs and robust functionality. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a busy professional, or someone looking to stay connected on the go, Garmin’s range of smartwatches offers something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the best Garmin smartwatches available in 2024, comparing their features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Garmin Forerunner 965


  1. Advanced Fitness Tracking: The Forerunner 965 excels with its extensive fitness tracking capabilities, including VO2 max, advanced running dynamics, and heart rate variability.
  2. Battery Life: Impressive battery life that can last up to 14 days in smartwatch mode.
  3. Mapping and Navigation: Built-in mapping and navigation features, perfect for runners and cyclists.


  1. Price: On the higher end of the spectrum, which might be a barrier for budget-conscious buyers.
  2. Complexity: The plethora of features might be overwhelming for casual users.

Garmin Venu 3


  1. AMOLED Display: Stunning AMOLED display that offers vibrant colors and clarity.
  2. Health Monitoring: Comprehensive health monitoring features, including sleep tracking, stress tracking, and hydration tracking.
  3. Music Storage: Ability to store and play music directly from the watch.


  1. Battery Life: Shorter battery life compared to other Garmin models, around 5 days in smartwatch mode.
  2. Lacks Advanced Fitness Metrics: While great for general health tracking, it lacks some of the advanced metrics found in the Forerunner series.

Garmin Fenix 7


  1. Rugged Design: Built for outdoor enthusiasts, the Fenix 7 is incredibly durable and water-resistant.
  2. Solar Charging: Solar charging capabilities extend the battery life significantly, especially useful during outdoor adventures.
  3. Comprehensive Mapping: Topographic maps, ski maps, and golf courses are preloaded.


  1. Size and Weight: The rugged design makes it bulkier and heavier, which might not be comfortable for all-day wear.
  2. Price: One of the more expensive models in Garmin’s lineup.

Garmin Epix (Gen 2)


  1. AMOLED Display: Offers a bright and crisp display, making it easy to read in all lighting conditions.
  2. Advanced Features: Includes many advanced features such as real-time stamina tracking and advanced training tools.
  3. Multi-GNSS Support: Enhanced GPS accuracy with support for multiple satellite systems.


  1. Battery Life: Despite its advanced features, the battery life is shorter, around 6 days in smartwatch mode.
  2. Price: Premium features come with a premium price tag.
Garmin Epix (Gen 2)

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar


  1. Solar Charging: Exceptional battery life with solar charging, potentially offering unlimited power in smartwatch mode under sufficient sunlight.
  2. Rugged Build: Designed to withstand harsh environments, it’s shock-resistant and water-resistant up to 100 meters.
  3. Affordable: More affordable compared to other high-end Garmin models.


  1. Display Quality: Monochrome display isn’t as vibrant as AMOLED or color displays.
  2. Limited Smart Features: Lacks some of the advanced smart features found in other models, focusing more on durability and basic functionality.

Garmin Lily 2


  1. Stylish Design: Designed with fashion in mind, the Lily is sleek and elegant, ideal for everyday wear.
  2. Health and Wellness Tracking: Covers all the basics like heart rate, sleep, and menstrual cycle tracking.
  3. Compact Size: Small and lightweight, perfect for those who prefer a less bulky watch.


  1. Battery Life: Only lasts up to 5 days in smartwatch mode, which is shorter compared to other Garmin models.
  2. Limited Features: More focused on style and basic health tracking, lacking advanced sports and smart features.
Garmin Lily 2 Trailer

Head-to-Head Comparisons

Fitness Tracking:

  • Best: Forerunner 965
  • Runner-Up: Epix (Gen 2)
  • Good: Venu 3, Fenix 7
  • Basic: Lily 2

Battery Life:

  • Best: Instinct 2 Solar
  • Runner-Up: Fenix 7 (with solar charging)
  • Good: Forerunner 965
  • Shorter: Venu 3, Lily 2, Epix (Gen 2)

Display Quality:

  • Best: Epix (Gen 2), Venu 3
  • Runner-Up: Forerunner 965
  • Good: Fenix 7, Lily 2
  • Basic: Instinct 2 Solar


  • Best: Fenix 7, Instinct 2 Solar
  • Runner-Up: Forerunner 965
  • Good: Epix (Gen 2), Venu 3
  • Stylish: Lily 2


  • Premium: Fenix 7, Epix (Gen 2), Forerunner 965
  • Mid-Range: Venu 3, Instinct 2 Solar
  • Budget-Friendly: Lily 2
Garmin Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers

The Verdict: Which Garmin is right for you?

Choosing the right Garmin smartwatch in 2024 depends on your specific needs and budget. If you’re a serious athlete or outdoor enthusiast, the Forerunner 965 and Fenix 7 offer advanced features and durability that will meet your demands. For those who prioritize style and basic health tracking, the Lily 2 is an excellent choice. Meanwhile, the Instinct 2 Solar stands out for its exceptional battery life and rugged design, making it ideal for adventure seekers. Finally, the Epix (Gen 2) and Venu 3 provide a balance of advanced features and stunning displays, catering to users who want a premium smartwatch experience.

Ultimately, Garmin continues to lead the way in smartwatch innovation, ensuring there’s a perfect model for everyone in 2024. Make sure to consider what features matter most to you and choose a watch that fits your lifestyle and goals.

For our full list of Garmin Smartwatches that we recommend, click here.

For the full list of reviews on Smartwatches that we recommend, click here.

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