“Wearable gadgets are ruling the world! Fitness or fashion, you decide!”
As a runner and fitness focused guy, I am extremely obsessed with data. Honestly, I have met very few runners that are not somehow insanely in tune with one metric or another for performance evaluation. Early on, finding a way to record my running activity, other than writing it down in a notebook (umm yah…this went out of vogue when the Commodore 64 hit the market!), became critical.
My History With Wearable Devices
This past year, I purchased the Garmin Fenix 3 HR after using the Polar V800 for several months. The Fenix series is nothing short of amazing! If you want amazing metrics and a sexy dude look (the watch is big), then look no further! Now, with the Fenix 5 series soon to hit the market, I am convinced that there is no holding Garmin back as it advances deeper into the athletics community, especially ultra runners.
If you are familiar with Svelte Yeti Health and Fitness, you will see that I am obsessed with my Fenix 3 HR. I trained and ran my first marathon with it! Fitness trackers must excel in two areas, 24 hr data collection and metrics (movement, sleep, etc.), and training activity. It excels in both categories, hands down!
Discovering The Apple Watch
I recently stumbled upon the Apple Watch, Series 2. Wow! What a sexy gadget! After researching the device for well over a month, I took the plunge and picked one up. However, this decision was not made easily. Did I need it? NO! Did I want it? YES!
Apple Watch Vs. Garmin Fenix – Both Falling Short
Through online research prior to my purchase, I quickly learned that the Apple Watch Series 2 was not going to be used as a training tool. Apple has been marketing the Apple Watch as a training tool, however, it falls massively short in this department. Beside looking amazing on your wrist, the watch takes a personalized approach to regular activity metrics. It reminds you to put my body in motion throughout the day, also breathe!
Parsing The Data
I had to decide when I would actually wear my Apple Watch, and when I would use my Fenix 3 HR. Clearly, if I wanted the best of both worlds, this meant I would use my Apple Watch throughout the day, and the Fenix 3 HR specifically for training activities. In effect, I was separating out my data sets since the Fenix 3 HR does it all in one place. The Apple Watch does not.
Have I gone bonkers? Maybe, but I love both! The combination of Apples 24 hr activity tracking, and the depth of Garmin’s training metrics makes for a perfect user experience.
To be more specific, the Apple Watch looks amazing! I love the personalized reminders for movement, steps, and breathing. However, the Apple Watch is not ideal for the serious athlete. Prior to a run, climb, or biking activity, I put my Apple Watch on the charger, strap on my Fenix 3 HR and chest strap, and head out.
Verdict: Garmin For Training – Apple Watch for Fashion
Honestly, Apple should focus on one area of user needs. The Apple Watch looks good, feels good, and is an amazing extension of your iPhone. Using it to train for a marathon will disappoint. The Garmin lacks the aesthetics and is heavy – that is a turn off for the day-to-day activity junkie. In fact, when I first put on my new Apple Watch, it took me a couple of days to get use to how light it was!
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has everything in one location. However, it lacks a personalized approach to your daily activity tracking.
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is superior in every way regarding training metrics and durability.
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is a beast! The little jolt of testosterone when you put it on gives you a bit of a rush.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 provides a personalized approach to daily metics such as movement, breathing, steps, etc.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 is ultimately the most sexy wearable out there but lacks durability. Don’t take in skiing!
- The Apple Watch blows every other device out of the water regarding reminders, and adds functionality to the AirPods (BTW, the AirPods are also not for training!)
What About You?
Apple Watch Vs. Garmin – What do you think? I am also curious what wearable you use, especially if you work in two ecosystem like myself.
In the end, tracking daily activity and workouts improves motivation and provides measurable benchmarks. The result is improved health. Maybe it does not matter how many gadgets you use, just that you move.