Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)
  • Apple Watch – replacement for Garmin Instinct?
  • DrJ
    Member

    I’m about to chuck my Garmin Instinct in the bin, where it belongs. I’ve been struggling to record, plan and share routes between the watch and the Explore and Connect apps (why do they have 2 apps?), and I’ve decided it just isn’t worth it. The watch tells the time passably accurately, but as a navigation device it’s as much use as a pebble on a string.

    My question is – is the Apple Watch a functional navigation aid for running, hiking, biking etc? Or just to look cool at the gym? I have some confidence that Apple (unlike the clowns at Garmin) will have sorted out the software side, but is the hardware adequate?

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    The battery life is the biggest downside in my opinion. Garmin seem much better at the whole health, active lifestyle and fitness thing. The Apple Watch will do all those things though

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Having used a Fenix 5 and Watch 4 extensively the Apple offering is much better at ‘lifestyle’ monitoring; steps, general activity tracking, ‘motivational’ goals and the like and is moderately good at proper workout tracking. It’s absolutely fine for casual training etc and with apps such as iSmoothRun it can be made to be really quite competent. When it comes to a total smart device tool taking into account notifications etc it’s about perfect.

    If you are a more serious athlete and value proper workout planning and tracking then the Garmin wins hands down but lacks the overall integration of the Apple that a more casual user desires.

    Personally I find the Apple Watch more than enough for my needs and given I use it extensively for notifications etc it’s a no brainer.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Apple Watch is plenty good enough for me to record runs and rides. Better than most for taking music to listen to on Bluetooth headphones if you leave your phone behind.

    I don’t use it for route following though – I only need that on a bike and I prefer to stick an old Garmin Edge on the bars than try to look at a watch all the time. Have heard good things about RunGo on Apple Watch for routes but not used it.

    Never heard of Garmin explore app, and I’ve been using Garmin watches for a few years now.

    My vivoactive 4 will give me 4 days between charges, using GPS for 2 hours per day, and is half the price of an apple watch.

    Premier Icon muggomagic
    Subscriber

    Apple Watch is a great smart watch with some reasonable fitness tracking (as mentioned battery life is an issue) the garmin watches are reasonable smart watches with great fitness tracking.

    I use the garmin connect web app to create courses and then upload them using the mobile app. Works well for me.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    As a dedicated sports/training watch I think the Apple Watch falls a bit short compared to more dedicated alternatives, but it does a good job for the recreational athlete. You can’t download routes to it from Strava or Garmin or MapMyRide/run but as a general navigation tool if you’re navigating in a city centre then the navigation from apple like google maps and Apple Maps work great and I prefer to getting the phone out of my pocket and using that.

    For recording activities starve works great as does the Apple Activity app. Even the heart rate monitor can work as well as a chest strap if you use it correctly – I get great results from it. However battery life is an issue. I’m still on a series 2 and is fine for a run but for more than about 2 hrs of activity tracking the battery will struggle.

    Other than that plenty of other features and apps that wont be the be all and end all of life but if you have them make life a bit more convenient. You can stream music directly from it, control other devices from it rather than rummaging for your phone, can even take a call from it but I only use that feature if someone calls and I can’t find my phone quickly.

    For cycling you’re always better off with a proper computer and if you’re a keen runner than I’d imagine you’d still want a proper running watch, but for a convenient casual device that does alot of things very well it can’t be beaten. Possibly matched but not beaten.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Battery life isn’t brilliant on the AW but unless your doing epic rides it’s adequate.

    something to note, if your phone is connected to your watch, your watch will always use the phone GPS instead of the internal one.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Get a Vivoactive 4 / Venu which is most of both.

    Premier Icon Kuco
    Subscriber

    Easily get 3 hours with the Strava app running on my series 3. Advantage of the series 3 is the screen isn’t permanently on which helps the battery.

    I can get 18 hours from my Garmin watch, again, half the price of the Apple watch.

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Subscriber

    Easily get 3 hours with the Strava app running on my series 3. Advantage of the series 3 is the screen isn’t permanently on which helps the battery.

    The 5 (which has the always on screen) can last longer than any previous one (with the screen on the previous setting). Always on is optional and battery lasts ages (relatively) with it off.

    Don’t use mine for navigating (aside from around town) as a phone is just more convenient with the bigger screen/more apps, but not sure what features you don’t have for training, I use intervals pro which gives you very in depth time/distance intervals with target pace/HR for example.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    I can get 18 hours from my Garmin watch, again, half the price of the Apple watch.

    Not so. The Series 3 is £199 so easily comparable to Garmin watch models and at that price point is a better device. I can easily get a 18hrs from my Series 2 with upto 2hrs activity tracking and a ‘normal’ day’s use and a good couple of days if I don’t do any activity tracking or any other heavy app use. And the Series 3 and above has much better battery life than the Series 2. I don’t wear a watch in bed so no bother to recharge every night so battery life has never been an issue apart from the odd time I’ve been on a work trip and forgotten my charger…managed to squeeze 4 days out of it once but with everything turned off (blue tooth, wifi all apps that normally work in the background) and just used it as a dumb watch.

    But if you’re not already wedded to Apple then no reason to specifically go for an Apple Watch.

    Premier Icon dlabz
    Subscriber

    If you are chucking the Instinct in the bin, and it’s not just a turn of phrase, happy to take it off your hands! Can cover postage and make a donation to a charity of your choice.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    It’s probably just me, but two days between charges is rubbish. Think I’ve been spoilt by Pebble then Garmin. Battery life is one of the biggest criteria for me.

    My AW (s3) easily lasts all day and when I’ve forgotten to charge it, it does the next day too. Battery life is more than enough. I charge it by my bed each night. Even if the battery lasted a week I’d probably still do this.

    What danny said in the first reply is spot on IMO.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    My AW (s3) easily lasts all day and when I’ve forgotten to charge it, it does the next day too.

    And that’s without GPS recording. 😲

    Not so. The Series 3 is £199

    my bad, I just googled apple watch and saw the higher price

    I can easily get a 18hrs from my Series 2 with upto 2hrs activity tracking

    I’m talking about 18 hours of GPS tracking, not 2 hours, I get 4 days at your 2 hour a day use.

    I charge it by my bed each night

    Proper resting heart rate measurement (which is fairly relevant at the moment!) means I always wear it when sleeping, takes 45 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%, so just do it when at my work PC.

    As said above, if you want a smartwatch with small fitness capabilities, get the apple, if you want a sports watch with notifications and music, get a Garmin.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    Can you navigate on a vivoactive? I heard you couldn’t from dcrainmaker. Another source told me that they tried but in practice it didn’t work

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I use the garmin connect web app to create courses and then upload them using the mobile app. Works well for me.

    Me too, never heard of the Garmin Explore app, will investigate.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Strava works fine for tracking on my s2 AW. Lasts up to around 5 hours of tracking, but that’s with the phone nearby too. It’s annoying having to keep flicking your wrist to see the stats on the Strava app when riding though. Does the “always on” feature on the s5 mean the Strava screen is always on, or does that only apply to the watch faces?

    Can you navigate on a vivoactive? I heard you couldn’t from dcrainmaker. Another source told me that they tried but in practice it didn’t work

    I don’t think so, I’ve never tried or seen any reference to it. I never used any of my edge series stuff to navigate either, which was one of the reasons I swapped to a watch to be honest.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    At a speed a bicycle goes, and with the elements of twisty forest singletrack I’ve always wondered whether navigating by watch is appropriate any way.  Personally I’d like to keep my hand on the bars and my eyes going forward – a dedicated computer then for me.  For walking etc, I think DC Rainmaker proves the Instinct way good enough.

    Another thing, what price for kicking a Apple Watch around the bushes/in a tent / in the mud rather than an Instinct?  Ones military grade, the other is an expensive replacement.  I know which I’d rather have been wearing if I came off a bike.

    Keep the Instinct and buy a Computer for Nav?

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    NoBeer…yes for your requirements you’d struggle with an Apple Watch. But when I talk about fittness tracking i’m talking about stuff like Strava. For HRM and other things it’s on all the time in the background so you can review and analyse your HR thought the day…which then combines data from other apps to give you a very good analysis of your HR…but would need charging every night…or maybe every other night with the later AW models. However…

    As said above, if you want a smartwatch with small fitness capabilities, get the apple, if you want a sports watch with notifications and music, get a Garmin.

    Think the fitness capabilities of the AW are better than ‘small’, in fact they are extremely capable only really bettered by more dedicated fitness devices and only really hampered by the battery life while using Strava like fitness tracking features. And AW also does notifications and music and messages, SMS, email, WhatsApp etc receive and reply and much, much, much more…. And though I’ve never timed it, they charge pretty quickly. Wouldn’t be surprised if the later models charge as quickly as Garmin…afterall they all use the same battery tech at the end of the day. Garmin are just buying in their battery tech like all the other manufacturers.

    Mate of mine has just ditched his AW for a Garmin Fenix….i’ll be interested to hear his thoughts after a few weeks. He is an Apple Fanboi but wanted a watch that looked more whatchlike. So far he’s only really commented on the garmin software that provides a specific training plan for his running.

    Think the fitness capabilities of the AW are better than ‘small’

    Fair enough, my bad, but don’t you need the phone nearby for all that other stuff? certainly did on earlier AW models, maybe different now. It was one thing that put me off in the early days, the fact it was anchored to a phone, and also that it would keep me anchored to apple devices tbh, the battery on my 5s was so unreliable I’ve never had another iphone since.

    DrJ
    Member

    .

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    At a speed a bicycle goes, and with the elements of twisty forest singletrack I’ve always wondered whether navigating by watch is appropriate any way. Personally I’d like to keep my hand on the bars and my eyes going forward – a dedicated computer then for me.

    I have a watch as I wanted to log open water swimming. It’s easy enough to mount a watch on a handle bar with a big rubber lump thing. Not elegant but it works

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Ones military grade

    about half the size it needs to and way too cheap be to be considered ‘military grade’…

    Fair enough, my bad, but don’t you need the phone nearby for all that other stuff? certainly did on earlier AW models, maybe different now.

    You need the phone nearby for most notifications, although some of the AWs now have a sim and 3(4?)G phone radio so they can call / send messages / stream music independently of a phone. You can use Strava on the watch independently but it needs to be near a phone to upload (obviously, although again I don’t know if that’s different if you have the phone radio).

    Do people really monitor their heart rate overnight? I’ve done it on occasion out of curiousity but why is that a useful thing to do?

    I’m sure the Garmin is better for ‘training’ but I’m a keen amateur MTBer. I ride loads but I don’t ‘train’. And I like being able to listen to music / use Siri from my wrist etc.

    Do people really monitor their heart rate overnight? I’ve done it on occasion out of curiousity but why is that a useful thing to do?

    I find it a useful metric in terms of training for events, mainly ultramarathons, helps me see when I’ve maybe overtrained or if anything else has an effect, ie training early in the morning, or later at night, effects of eating late etc.. (IMO proper RHR can only be found when sleeping).

    Also very handy at the moment with the likes of TiReds experience of his CV19 recovery.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    Do people really monitor their heart rate overnight? I’ve done it on occasion out of curiousity but why is that a useful thing to do?

    Resting HR is quite a good indicator about things like illness, overtraining, etc. Sleep quality for me at least is closely related to the likelihood of getting a migraine, and having a Garmin (in my case) telling me about it has gently nudged me in the right direction towards taking sleep more seriously.

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Subscriber

    Does the “always on” feature on the s5 mean the Strava screen is always on, or does that only apply to the watch faces?

    Strava no, but the apple workout app is always on. Seems limited to 1st party stuff atm.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Thanks. I thought there was some sort of limitation, but couldn’t find anything specifically mentioning the Strava app. The workout app isn’t much use to me unless I can get it to upload to Strava at the end, since that’s where all my rides go. Guess it will save me a few quid though 🙂

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Subscriber

    To be clear, the screen stays on when Strava is running, but it blurs out and just shows a digital clock.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    All AW connect to WiFi directly so get all notifications directly and don’t rely on phone connection. Although the parent account information is on the phone so you will need an iPhone to get all AW features. But for sercvicea you’d get from the mobile network the AW with SIM card devices do all that independantly too.

    For music and photos you can download directly to the watch and use offline away from the phone and any Wi-fi or mobile network.

    So whilst you do need an iPhone to benefit from all AW features you don’t need one within BT range to actually use the features as it connects directly to Wi-fi and for one models the mobile network. Things like Apple Pay work independantly also.

    So it is as I say, for sports activities and activity tracking they’re pretty good and only really bettered by more dedicated devices.

    Personally when I use mine for activity tracking it’s only really running and I export to strava for post run ‘analysis’ for cycling I’ll use my garmin computer. For gym stuff like spin classes I’ll use the native apple activity apps sit tracks all the necessary parameters but I’m not hugely bothered about post activity analysis, I just want to log the activity to keep track of what I’m doing

    Not saying the AW is the only game in town or for a specific purpose it’s the best option, but if your after a very good do-it-all smart watch it has to be the benchmark of what’s out there currently.

    loum
    Member

    As said above, if you want a smartwatch with small fitness capabilities, get the apple, if you want a sports watch with notifications and music, get a Garmin.

    Op, from your post you really aren’t getting on with the Garmin software.

    This will not be solved by getting another Garmin. It will be on the same system.

    But the quote above makes sense if you consider Polar or suunto.
    Both make really decent sports watches with a bit of smarts. I switched from Garmin because I was having similar issues. The suunto I got has been faultless and the software easier. On top of that, GPS and HR have been massively better, with far fewer nonsense readings and just generally more accurate.

    In Garmin’s favour, they do more with the data they collect. They crunch it for complicated Training loads and recovery stats that should really help an athlete.
    But when you can’t trust the the underlying GPS and HR ,( obvious spikes, dips and route errors), that all the calcs work with them its bollox for me.
    The suunto just works better for the underlying HR and GPS , and the software doesn’t make me want to bin it.
    The one I got is discontinued, but the update is a Suunto 5.
    They also now make a smart watch (Google and Android) with fitness capabilities, Suunto 7 that’s an interesting idea. But if you want a smart watch with some fitness I’d never consider anything other than an apple. They’ve proved they do it right.

    But if I was looking for a fitness with smarts watch right now id be most interested in the new Polar Grit X.

    They’re well known for the best HR accuracy, GPS gets good reviews, and battery life, software is good and stable, they crunch good numbers almost to Garmin level, and they have features that Garmin don’t .
    It’s their new fenix competitor, but half the price and a lot lighter – which seems to be key to accurate HR.
    Doesn’t have contactless pay, maps or music so not as smart, but genuine competitor.
    If I absolutely had to go back to Garmin, the 945 has maps and is like a lighter fenix.

    loum
    Member

    And I agree,remove the word “small” from the quote.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    The workout app isn’t much use to me unless I can get it to upload to Strava at the end, since that’s where all my rides go.

    Healthfit app will sync the native AW workouts to strava and other services. Couple of quid but worth it.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Healthfit app will sync the native AW workouts to strava and other services. Couple of quid but worth it.

    AW, at lasr, exports automatically to Strava. Health fit is still useful for things like SportTracks etc.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    at lasr?

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