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Regardless of whether you refer to them as wearable gadgets, fitness monitors, timepieces, and whatnot – when it comes to the category, Fitbit & Garmin are two obvious pioneers. Where the two deliver complex and practical tech you will appreciate and be happy to put on your wrist, their differences are striking.

Here, we are delving into how different Fitbit vs Garmin is, aside from what they share in common. Altogether, the info provided should assist you with choosing which out of these two giants is a superior match with your needs and wants.

A glance at the history

1. Fitbit

It is a pretty recent technology startup. Established by Eric & James more than 10 years ago, the company, to begin with, encountered a few barricades in funding & sourcing their 1st smart timepieces’ production.

fitbit sense smartwatch on a wrist
Closeup view of new Fitbit Sense smartwatch on girl hand. See Fitbit Sense on Amazon.

Luckily, whenever they went through problems related to construction, production, or money, they managed to size the latest possible opportunity.

Albeit the rough beginning, the firm had the option to introduce a model to the market in 2009.

Following that 1st product launch, James and Eric raised more funds from investors as well as joined forces with Best Buy to start growing bigger. 

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days...
  • Run, bike, hike and more phone-free and see your real-time pace & distance with built-in GPS. Then check out your workout intensity map in the Fitbit app
  • Active Zone Minutes uses your resting heart rate to gauge exercise effort and gives you a buzz when you step up the intensity so you can make the most of your workouts
  • Better track heart rate 24x7 with PurePulse 2.0, Fitbit's enhanced heart rate technology
  • See your nightly blood oxygen levels at a glance with our collection of SpO2 clock faces. Then use the Fitbit app to track your trends over time in the Health Metrics dashboard to see when there may be indications of important changes in your wellness
  • Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa Built-in to get quick news, set bedtime reminders and alarms, control your smart home devices and more just by speaking to your watch. Use the built-in mic and speaker to take Bluetooth calls hands-free, send callers to voicemail and adjust volume

The years 2011 & 2012 witnessed Fitbit introducing its fitness monitors’ better-than-ever versions. It is worth mentioning that the 2012 product units were the 1st fitness monitors that made practical and effective use of Bluetooth connectivity. And, the brand took one year to launch a wrist-worn watch version.

Regardless of experiencing a product recall the next year because of reports from some customers of skin rashes, this company has kept on being a tech giant. Starting to acquire other firms six years ago, it consistently proceeded with that trend in 2018. 

And the latest news is, Alphabet-owned Google completed the Fitbit acquisition.

2. Garmin

Established 32 years ago as ProNav (located in Lenexa, Kansas, America), the firm would rapidly name itself again out of appreciation for its founders, Min Kao & Gary Leon Burrell. Garmin, the corporate name, combines these two’s names, out of appreciation for their leadership.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro smartwatch
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro smartwatch. See on Amazon.

In 1991. its 1st significant customer is the United States Army. Up to 2000, Garmin had delivered fifty different GPS items for an assortment of business sectors. It has owned thirty-five various patents associated with GPS. The company likewise started public trading on America’s Nasdaq Stock Market on the 8th of Dec 2000. Around forty-five percent of ownership stayed split between the orig. Garmin founders.

The firm’s orig. innovation aside, it, at present, manufactures various plane navigation gear, GPS software for PCs and PDAs, smart GPS wearables on your wrist, fish locators & trackers, and canine trackers.

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Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring,...
  • Beautiful, bright amoled display and up to 5 day battery life in smartwatch mode; Up to 6 hours in GPS and music mode
  • The broadest range of all-day health monitoring features keeps track of your energy levels, respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, estimated heart rate and more
  • Easily download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon music or Deezer (may require a premium subscription With a third-party music provider), and connect with headphones (sold separately) for phone-free listening
  • Record all the ways to move with more than 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, pool swimming and more
  • Get easy-to-follow, animated cardio, strength, yoga and Pilates workouts right on your watch screen

Three years ago, following Samsung, this company likewise turned into the 2nd enterprise to take Spotify as part of their smart wrist-based timepiece. It is worth addressing that earlier in 2018, Garmin additionally added a variety of new highlights and attributes into its smartwatch product units. 

2019 proceeded with the trend of smart wearable advancement by the firm. In particular, they released highlights intended for more tough use, say – a smart wrist-worn timepiece that allows for sun-based charging. 

Similarities 

On the one hand, there are a lot of other competitors. On the other hand, the two firms have had a critical part as far as fitness trackers go; let alone, their brand recognition is, in general, higher compared to other contenders. 

While there are some differences between Fitbit vs Garmin, both have something in common. Those are:

1. Fitness monitoring

Here, the smartwatches are capable of keeping tabs on your sleep quality, sleep cycle, & everyday steps. They enable you to clarify fitness objectives in the long & short term, with application backing to assist you in achieving them. 

2. Burned calories

Likewise, a few product units from Garmin and Fitbit will have you updated about your calories consumed. While accuracy is arguable and relies fairly upon your personal fitness level & somatotype, neither one of the companies boasts a more excellent performance on this point.

3. Cutting-edge attributes

Both have additionally introduced a wide range of product units with various attributes & capabilities. A few units incorporate further developed & more current capabilities such as waterproof design & menstrual monitoring. That is not all; the two firms have released stripped-down versions & product units which serve as a smart wrist watch rather than a wellness monitor.

4. GPS monitoring

The two brands work to provide a couple of items with integrated GPS monitoring. Of course, different companies take pride in their trademark product attributes.

5. Phone application

Fitbit and Garmin have introduced a mobile application in sync with your wellness monitor for extensive device utilization.

Rather than attempting to take every one of the tracked information out from a little wellness monitor, generally with a less sizable screen & not very many manual buttons, the two companies leverage an application to enable simpler information retrieval. What is more? You may appreciate other capabilities – for instance, setting alarms & activity objectives via the applications. 

6. Heart rate tracking

Both are likewise making updates about their models’ heart rate tracking feature. They apply innovations beyond the domain of fitness gadgets and add an increasing number of general health & wellbeing attributes.

7. Music

Better yet, Fitbit and Garmin provide wearables that come with music support. More specifically, compared to Fitbit, Garmin has an edge in this regard. While Deezer & Pandora playlists are options for Fitbit users, Garmin models allow you to play music on iHeartRadio, Spotify, Amazon Music, aside from Deezer.

8. Battery

The two manufacturers are doing their best to provide trackers whose battery life is more extended and charging times are reduced. What is great is, both have offered more and more models with batteries that can last a whole week on one charge, contingent upon usage.

With these advancements, you are likewise witnessing added useful highlights and attributes. Large numbers of the attributes existed in certain forms; however, their usefulness decreased before more extended battery life enabled more impressive tracking. Sleep tracking and all that are generally most useful with a few days of information in succession. 

See: best smartwatches with long battery life.

9. Watch applications

The two companies enable you to download other applications on their wearable models. These applications’ usefulness (i.e., which ones have compatibility and the number of apps you can install) differs generally between gadgets in the two firms. 

10. Contactless payments

You can access the transaction attribute from Fitbit and Garmin – Fitbit Pay & Garmin Pay respectively. That should allow you to pay for bills and whatnot using your smartwatch. All you need to do is hold the wristwear close to a contactless payment reader. As you may notice, it is like when you use your phone to pay for things or what you would find on a smart wearable from Apple.

Differences between Fitbit vs Garmin

While they have a great deal of likenesses in construction & usefulness, the two brands differ. In other words, Garmin & Fitbit center around altogether different main goals they set to be finished at the end. They, in general, make their products so that they are suitable for a somewhat different purchaser group.

1. GPS vs Activity monitoring

Speaking of Fitbit, this company began by zeroing in on everyday activity monitors. As opposed to gearing their items towards sports lovers & athletic individuals, professionals are their center customer group. Fitbit’s trackers were intended to provide useful information as well as assist in motivating users to develop healthy habits. 

This is the reason they include notable attributes such as workout reminders, standing reminders, & other objectives intended for making steady enhancements. 

Then again, Garmin centered all the more explicitly around bike riding, running, and other outdoor exercises. In case you miss it, the brand previously had experience with GPS; that is why they utilized the experience & innovation to make trackers aimed at individuals who were at that point active & investing a great deal of energy & time outdoors. 

You have most likely seen certain overlap between each brand’s center market groups. Well, their competition starts from there. It is necessary that the two firms introduce innovative changes to their tracker models and make them more up-to-date. 

However, again, Garmin and Fitbit are adopting genuinely different strategies for improvement. 

2. Attributes vs Simplicity

As you may notice, Fitbit’s advancements tend to center around the attributes allowing for a smooth user experience. Their trackers & watches have indeed been made simple and efficient. Fitbit, in general, makes product units with reduced clutters and a more easy-to-understand interface; additionally, the brand explicitly develops software & hardware for usability. 

How about Garmin? Their strategy is not the same. On the one hand, as time passes, their UI & other attributes are better. On the other hand, they do not pay particular attention to that.

All things being equal, the company proceeds with its set of experiences of advancement by spearheading new highlights & capabilities. They were the 1st that has introduced a menstrual monitor to the market and the developer of large numbers of sports-connected & higher-level monitoring capabilities. When it comes to athletes, the brand’s smartwatch is capable enough to give a heaping pile of information to dive into & fixate on. 

Again, Garmin boasts a set of experiences creating & enhancing functional software, going right back to the company’s orig. GPS. It, accordingly, bodes well for them to contend in this field. 

That is not all; the brand, in general, makes watches with a more extensive scope of capabilities. Fitbit often rapidly stays current about new attributes & capabilities. Compared to it. Garmin – more often than not, put a greater number of capabilities into a product unit.

3. Phone application

Aside from introducing their own applications, the two firms collaborate with a few other software companies for additional functionalities. 

Both of them are viable with Android OS & Apple. But be that as it may, it is worth noting that Android provides certain extra usefulness. Just on this operating system, you would be able to dismiss notifications straightforwardly from your wristwear. 

How about we check out the particular applications brought to the table by Garmin and Fitbit?

Fitbit App

This brand’s application is exceptionally smoothed out & simple to utilize. The vast majority think about it as a more user-oriented app than Garmin’s one. Once you open it, it shows up your everyday activity numbers on the wearable device’s home screen.

Simply by scrolling further down, you are keeping on getting significant data. Right on the 1st page, it delivers workout & sleep metrics. 

Activities specifics such as steps get uploaded whenever your phone & wristwear are in sync. Normally, this works when you have Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Even if you do not have such connectivity, your application will keep updated – as long as your smartwatches and whatnot support cell service.

Best yet, you will get to performance measurements over the long run apart from your day-by-day activity details. After you choose the category you desire to find inside and out, it will present monitoring data over the long run. 

You cannot go wrong with the entire superbly intuitive interface. Many newbies will feel as if they have used the app for a long time; they can rapidly get to the data they want. 

Nonetheless, please bear in mind that the base Fitbit application gives fewer specifics & less data generally in comparison with the Garmin Connect App. 

On the other hand, compared to Garmin, there are more social attributes & capabilities in Fitbit. Here, the community system enables the brand’s users to connect, hence being able to comment on photographs as well as learn and hear more about things they are interested in over the application. Garmin app’s social attributes are not as advanced & outstanding.

Plus, in case you wish to leverage your Fitbit wearable gadget’s more attributes & usefulness, you may want to try Fitbit Premium (with the subscription fee). What is cool is, Fitbit Premium adds cutting-edge sleep monitoring, instructed exercises, and a couple of other attributes.

Garmin Connect application

The company has been making genuine upgrades to its UI throughout the most recent few years. Still, be that as it may, its complexity is higher than Fitbit’s one. 

That may be because of the information amount a Garmin wearable delivers. The brand, in general, includes greater usefulness in every gadget. In other words, there come more information, menus, & selection options to navigate over. 

Becoming acclimated to its interface is likely to take somewhat longer, but Garmin surely gives much more specifics & extra monitoring attributes. 

Please keep in mind that the Garmin Connect IQ application is necessary for you to download other applications onto your smartwatch. 

On the other hand, similar to the Fitbit application, Garmin Connect manages to upload information from your watch provided that it has Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. In case your watch gets connected to your current mobile phone plan, a few product units can likewise utilize cell phone connectivity.

It is also worth mentioning that the brand gives more data intended for veteran endurance athletes. There are point-by-point post-exercise data provided, aside from more specific monitoring metrics over time. Training efficiency? Recommended time for recovery? Those & more are accessible from your wearable.

On top of that, though Garmin has not been on par with Fitbit Premium, they have some comparable attributes included and without any fee! You can straightforwardly access exercises & training instructions from this brand’s application. There is no need for a subscription to get to stuff such as long-distance race training & a wide range of exercise modes.

It likewise includes a further developed schedule, ready to monitor altogether a greater amount of your timetable. Garmin’s social attributes, though they are minimal, enable you to join groups, partake in custom wellness challenges, become one of the other athletes’ followers, & comment on their exercises.

Product comparison 

Now we are straightforwardly looking at the differences between Fitbit vs Garmin when it comes to their product units. Because we have endeavored to select models which are close comparisons, you should figure these two’s contrasts with a breeze. 

To make it simpler for you to follow, we are addressing the brands’ smartwatches, GPS watches, & fitness trackers in three separate sections. We make certain to point out the main contrasts & usefulness. 

Fitness monitors

Garmin Vivosmart 4, Fitness and Activity Tracker vs Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

This type of device is capable of tracking your sleep & counting steps. You may appreciate their small size & light weight. By and large, below are the most affordable and fantastic kinds of trackers that the two companies release. 

1. Key highlights

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker:

  • GPS monitoring
  • Application downloads to monitor
  • One-week battery

Garmin Vivosmart 4, Fitness and Activity Tracker:

  • Heart rate tracker
  • Sleep & stress monitor
  • One-week battery

2. Comparison

As you can see, the Fitbit Charge 4 fitness tracker’s display is bigger compared to the Garmin Vivosmart 4 model. Additionally, it belongs to the touchscreen type as well as comes with a couple of more on-screen capabilities. The Garmin product unit, meanwhile, is more committed to fitness monitoring.

What is more? The Fitbit model monitors data for a more extended time than its competitor. It gives nitty-gritty one-week data cum day-by-day summary data for one month. For the Vivosmart 4 fitness tracker, it works to put away data for two weeks; however, the device fails to separate between longer-term & more current data. 

The two models’ prices are in a comparable range. 

GPS watches

Garmin Forerunner 45 GPS Running Watch vs Fitbit Sense Advanced Watch

These products quite often work as fitness monitors, as well. With that being said, they boast GPS for improved accuracy when recording pace & distance as you head outside. The gadgets are most terrific for cyclists & runners also looking for a tracker they can put on their wrist practically the entire day to monitor sleep & steps.

1. Key highlights

Fitbit Sense Advanced Watch: 

  • Downloadable applications
  • Monitors run & counts steps
  • Plays music

Garmin Forerunner 45 GPS Running Watch

  • Has various color bands & two sizes 
  • Decent battery
  • Color display

2. Comparison

Indeed, the Fitbit Sense watch is more outstanding than the Forerunner 45 somewhat in recorded monitoring data & memory. Both keep up the same wellness monitoring information; as such, they manage to save point-by-point information for one week & summaries for one month. The Garmin model, nonetheless, keeps two hundred hours of fitness monitoring information and fails to separate between the information. 

On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 45 GPS Running Watch has somewhat an edge related to accuracy. Its GPS monitoring is more precise and gives more specific altitude & pace readings when compared to the Fitbit product unit. 

Where the Sense watch’s touch display design is bigger, the Forerunner 45 has comparably adhered to its inclination for a less sizable, LED-only screen.

In terms of the price, the Garmin is more affordable than the Fitbit. That is because of the numerous smart timepiece-like attributes included in the Fitbit model. 

Pro tips: For those who are in the market for a product unit with a greater amount of fitness monitor & smartwatch (in addition to GPS for runs monitoring), you cannot go wrong with the Sense Advanced Watch. The Garmin Forerunner 45 unit should be your best bet if a running watch is what you need.

Smartwatches

Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch vs Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch

This kind of wearable is these two brand’s response to the release of the Apple Watch. While they are capable enough to monitor steps & record runs via GPS, mostly the models have a decent interaction with your smartphone for an optimal experience. 

1. Key highlights

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch:

  • Automatically identifies exercise
  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Fitbit Pay contactless payments

Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch:

  • Plays music
  • Monitors twenty sorts of activities
  • Garmin Pay contactless payments

2. Comparison

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 wearable provides you with a few additional days of battery, apart from delivering a wide choice of smartwatch & wellness attributes. That is why it is amazingly adaptable & simple to maintain.

On the other hand, Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch’s application is simpler to access & utilize, which thus makes its marginally more limited capability simpler to access & leverage. Also, thanks to its touchscreen & social attributes added, the model is a more fantastic option for people who are searching for tight social connections aside from wellness & fitness monitoring. 

The Vivoactive 4 and Versa 3 give wellbeing observing, GPS monitoring, as well as support music & Bluetooth connection. Nonetheless, the Versa 3 may have an advantage in case you are seeking a wrist-based wearable with games & diversion choices and games. Its display is more qualified for downloading game titles & diversion applications. 

When it comes to the weight & bands’ comfort, they are generally equivalent. The two product units are water-resistant; hence, you will not have to stress over the aftermath of having them wet. 

Then again, they are different in cost. The Garmin model is more costly than the Fitbit. Where it is somewhat harder to learn, the Garmin smartwatch compensates for the cost contrast by providing more extended battery life and more attributes & capabilities.

All things considered, go for the Vivoactive 4 if you are searching for a ton of attributes. If you think more about the cost, the Fitbit watch may be your safest bet. 

The bottom line: Fitbit vs Garmin

Ultimately, both brands turn out more remarkably for various sorts of individuals & various purposes. For the most part, Garmin should be your choice in case a more traditional timepiece appearance is what you desire. And its more nitty-gritty wellness selections & further developed GPS settle on their line as a decent option for the individuals exercising much of the time such as runners. 

When it comes to Fitbit, it is a superior versatile health device. It suits those who hope to enhance their overall wellness, yet do not genuinely wish to add a ton of cardiovascular exercise to their everyday schedules. The Fitbit’s constructions are, in general, more contemporary & less noticeable. 

For people who do not desire others to notice the wearable, consider going for Fitbit models. Garmin products, then again, often pretty conspicuous as “I am putting on a sports wearable device.”

Obviously, the final choice is up to you. Count on which is more outstanding to you; it may be your best fit. Do not forget to balance factors such as cost, usability, & attributes before you choose without a doubt which is your preferable brand & product unit.