Ryan Haines/Android Authority
It’s no secret that I prefer Garmin’s wearables to their competitors from Apple, Samsung, or Google. I’ve complimented Garmin’s battery life and operating system’s flexibility more than I can count. Sure, I can admit that the Forerunner 965 and Instinct 2x aren’t stylish enough for formal occasions, but there’s another fundamental reason why I keep coming back to Garmin again and again. This reason is that once I set up a running Garmin watch once, I never have to do it again.
Set it and leave it
Kaitlyn Cimino/Android Authority
Few people switch phones as often as I do, which means few people are likely to go through the hurdle of setting up a new wearable like I do. However, once you’ve set up your smartwatch and finished navigating every last menu and feature, the last thing you want to do is start over. If you’re switching from Android to iOS or from a Galaxy Watch to a new Fitbit, you’ll likely start over on a regular basis. This is not the case with Garmin.
Instead, Garmin keeps all of your watches stored in your Connect account, letting you choose and manage them as easily as if you were choosing a pair of shoes for the day. This means opening the app and choosing from my list of watches every time I set up a new phone for review. I can focus on setting up the phone knowing that my emergency contacts, sleep preferences, and Garmin Pay information are already there. Honestly, the most I usually have to do is coordinate the watch face with my new phone for more continuity.
With Garmin, switching between phones is as easy as changing watch bands.
On top of the simplicity of saved settings, Garmin sticks to tracking your sleep and health data from one wearable to the next, too. This is crucial, especially to monitor your HRV. It takes about three weeks to establish a baseline for your HRV when you first set up a Garmin watch, so it would be a nightmare if I had to restart that watch every time I put on a new watch. Fortunately, all of this precious data—plus your running fitness level and daily body battery—is stored in the Connect app.
Although the stored settings make the process much easier, I did notice a small hiccup when pairing a watch with a new phone—Garmin’s Bluetooth connection is almost too good. My Forerunner 965 often wants to connect back to a previous phone and pick up notifications from that device instead of my shiny new phone. It’s not a big deal with notifications from Slack or Twitter since I only have one account, but it does mean that Garmin sometimes tries to escape my texts and phone calls.
Of course, this wouldn’t matter to most people since few have as many phones (or Garmin watches) as I do, but it’s part of my job. If you’re simply switching phones after upgrading, you should have no problems keeping Garmin connected to your current device once your old device is powered off.
A watch for any occasion…or ecosystem
Kaitlyn Cimino/Android Authority
A common saying about having the right tool for the job is the other benefit of Garmin’s setup flexibility. Pairing one phone with several watches can be as simple as pairing one watch with a few different phones. It also means that you can partake in other parts of Garmin’s expanded lineup and still know you have the right watch for every occasion.
Garmin’s expanded lineup means you can always get the right wearable for the job.
For example, you probably wouldn’t wear the adventure-focused, hiking Garmin Instinct 2x to a wedding, any more than you wouldn’t wear the Garmin Venu 2 Plus on a long camping trip. If you have both watches and one phone, you can just swap them out on your device and keep your focus on the big day (or, in my case, the view from the top of the mountain). Or, if you’re a runner who splits time between the roads and trails, you might bounce from the Forerunner 965 to the Fenix 7 Pro when weight and durability are your primary concerns.
965 Garmin Project
Clear OLED screen
Titanium upgraded bezel
Depth mapping options
Garmin Instinct 2X Solar
Built-in LED flashlight
Multiband GNSS System
Prepare for training
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro
Solar powered multiband GNSS system
Gen 5 upgraded heart rate sensor
By the way, Garmin’s simplicity of setup still holds true if you’re switching from Android to iOS. Instead of spending extra money on an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch for additional custom features, bring along a Garmin with unrivaled battery life, GPS navigation, and a simple platform-to-platform setup process.
I’m not going to pretend the Pixel Watch isn’t stylish or the Apple Watch Ultra isn’t among Apple’s best products yet, but I’ll still reach for Garmin’s simplicity and flexibility every time.