Garmin Watch Vs. Wear OS (Full Review)

Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch Men's Wear OS Watch Qualcomm...
Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart...
Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch Men's Wear OS Watch Qualcomm...
Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart...
$619.99
$789.95
$299.99
$281.06
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1,339 Reviews
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Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
$619.99
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-
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
$789.95
-
1,339 Reviews
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch Men's Wear OS Watch Qualcomm...
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch Men's Wear OS Watch Qualcomm...
$299.99
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-
Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart...
Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart...
$281.06
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Last update on 2021-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Many watches in the market run on different operating systems. In this article, we’ll look at two smartwatch operating systems, Garmin and Wear OS, and how they function.

We’ll help you understand how these operating systems support your needs and what to look at before purchasing any of them.  

Garmin vs Wear OS Compared

Fitness Tracking 

Garmin watches come with on-wrist sensors that keep tabs on your physical condition during and after your workouts.

You can download health and fitness apps on the Garmin Connect IQ store once you link your smartphone to your watch.

These apps also help you track, record and analyze your fitness data over long periods.

Here are some sensors your Garmin watches have:

  • A Body Battery Energy Monitor that helps you monitor the energy levels in your body and suggests when to engage in activity or rest.
  • A Pulse OX sensor that gauges the oxygen saturation in your blood during and after every activity
  • Stress Tracking feature that helps you track stress levels in your body. 
  • Sleep monitoring features that can monitor the quality of your sleep during resting hours and track your sleeping patterns.
  • A Wrist-based Heart Rate Monitor that regularly checks your heartbeat and notify you when any irregularity occurs. 

Also, these watches come preloaded with sport apps and animated on-screen workouts which guide you during your training. Some even come with the Garmin coach feature, making your Garmin watch your personal trainer.

You can also use your Garmin watch with third-party apps like:

  • Strava
  • Noom
  • Zwift
  • Run Keeper

Just like Garmin watches, Wear OS watches also have sensors that track your steps, calories burned, heart rate, energy levels and workouts.

However, to enjoy all these features, connect your watch to the Google Fit app available from Google Play Store.

Apart from the Google Fit app, here are some third-party apps that Wear OS supports: 

  • Adidas running
  • Lifesum
  • Strava

Verdict

Garmin has more dynamic sensors with more functionality than those on Wear OS. Both watches support third-party apps, however. With just a slight edge, Garmin wins.

Connectivity

Both Garmin and Wear OS watches can connect to Android or Apple smartphones. Using Bluetooth, cellular, and WI-FI networks, you can connect your watch to your phone.

It allows you to get your text, call and email notifications instantly on your wrist.

Except for iMessages on iPhone, you can respond to calls, voicemail and email notifications once you connect your phone to your Garmin watch.

You’ll enjoy similar connectivity with Wear OS, with similar limitations on iMessages. 

Verdict

We have a tie. With both watches, you can respond to notifications with ease. Both operating systems allow you to perform these functions from your watch, away from your phone.

GPS Tracking

Garmin remains a giant builder of GPS trackers, and this ability also translates to their watches. Their watches support advanced satellite navigation systems, including GLONASS.

For lovers of outdoor activities these watches track the distance you cover as well as your pace and movement in real-time with unparalleled accuracy.

Unlike Garmin, Wear OS watches only have standard GPS trackers.Despite that, you can get advanced tracking data from a GPS tracking app available on Google Play Store both on your phone and watch.

Verdict

Garmin’s ability to connect to satellite systems makes it better at GPS tracking than Wear OS watches. 

Battery life

Garmin has some exceptional battery innovations for their watches. They can last you long periods, sometimes even months on a single charge, especially on smartwatch mode. In GPS mode you can get up to 60 hours on their best watch.

Other Garmin watches can also use Solar energy to charge their batteries, which is useful for outdoor people.

Besides that, Garmin watches all have a battery saving mode feature that restricts all unused applications and features from working in the background and consuming power.

This feature can buy you some extra hours of usage, especially when you need it the most.

In contrast, Wear OS watches have batteries that last between 2 and 3 days depending on your usage. Also, they have a battery saving mode that can squeeze a few more hours of usage out of your watch.

Verdict

Garmin has better battery power. Although Wear OS watches can last a few days, Garmin watches can last weeks in certain circumstances.

Do Garmin Watches use Wear OS?

No, they don’t. Garmin watches have their own proprietary operating system.

Best Garmin Watches

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
  • IN THE BOX: Garmin Forerunner 945, Wearable4U 2 in 1 EarBuds + Power Pack
  • Premium running/triathlon smartwatch with access to multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging...
  • Sync music from select premium streaming services when paired with a compatible smartphone (may require premium subscription), or store up to 1,000 songs on...

Last update on 2021-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This watch is popular among marathon enthusiasts and fitness professionals. Its silicone band fits comfortably on the wrist, and you can wear it for hours without exhaustion.

This watch is our best choice for for Intermediate Runners.

The Forerunner 945 comes with an ultra-durable gorilla glass screen that protects your watch face from scratches and damage from sudden impacts. Here are some other unique features in this watch:

  • It can access multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) which gives you accurate location data navigation capabilities.
  • A long-lasting battery that can take up to 14 days on smartwatch mode and 10 hours on GPS mode. In Ultratrac mode, the 945 can serve you for up to 60 hours.
  • A wrist-based Pulse OX sensor monitors oxygen levels in your blood.
  • Body Battery Energy Monitoring sensor that keeps a tab on your energy levels. 
  • Wrist-Based Heart rate tracks your heart rate and gets to alert you in case of any irregularity. Also, monitor how hard your heart is working during activities.
  • Come with a Livetrack feature which helps your family and friends track your real-time location.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful Navigation system
  • Watch face Gorilla glass
  • Live tracking feature

Cons

  • Slightly expensive.

Garmin Fenix 6 – Pro solar Edition

Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
1,339 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
  • Multisport GPS watch with solar charging capabilities uses a Power Glass solar charging lens and custom power manager modes to achieve long-lasting battery life
  • Train with a rugged yet sophisticated watch, featuring an always-on 1.3” display and a titanium, stainless steel or DLC coated bezel
  • Track surfing sessions with a new dedicated activity profile, and even use Surfline Sessions, which creates a video of every wave you ride in front of a...

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This highly priced watch has many incredible features that you can use in your fitness and day-to-day activities.

Besides normal charging, this watch also supports solar charging. Its rugged design can endure harsh environments, having passed the US military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance.

Besides GPS, this watch also supports advanced navigation satellite systems like GLONASS and Galileo, which you can use for accurate coordinates.

Here are other features you’ll find on this watch:

  • Fenix 6 Pro has a wrist-based heart rate monitor that tracks your heart rate for unexpected increases or drops.
  • It has a body battery energy monitor that keeps track of your energy levels. This monitor harnesses data and suggests ideal times for rest and activity depending on your fitness levels.
  • A Pulse OX sensor monitors your blood oxygen saturation levels and notifies you in case of drastic changes.
  • Its recovery feature helps you determine when to rest in between workouts. Also, it tracks your workout intensity, stress levels and sleep quality.
  • A hydration feature reminds you to drink water on regular intervals to prevent thirst and keep you refreshed during workouts.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Music app
  • Long battery life
  • Scratch proof gorilla glass 

 Cons

  •  Expensive

Best Wear OS Watches

TicWatch Pro 3 GPS

TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch Men's Wear OS Watch Qualcomm...
  • Innovative Technology Ensures Longer Battery Life - Dual-layer Display 2.0 supports Smart Mode and Enhanced Essential Mode, enables up to 3 days of battery life...
  • Updated Chipset, Better Experience - The 1st wear OS by Google smartwatch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system. 1G...
  • Advanced Health and Fitness Monitoring - Multiple sports modes, with built-in GPS, barometer and 24-hour heart rate monitoring (empowered by a more accurate...

Last update on 2021-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This lightweight device has a stainless steel watch face reinforced with high-strength fiberglass.

The TicWatch Pro comes with an interchangeable silicone strap that’s friendly to your skin and comfortable to wear.

This watch features a high-contrast Retina AMOLED display that’s always on display mode.

Here are other features it has:  

  • A Blood Oxygen Saturation sensor that gauges the levels of oxygen in your blood, during and after an activity.
  • Heart rate levels sensor monitors for unusual spikes and drops in your heart rate. Then send the notification.
  • The TicWatch in-built GPS can help you find directions even in remote places. You can also use it to measure distances and use pre-drawn maps for your athletic activities.
  • A built-in altimeter helps you track altitude elevation and helps you forecast the weather as you perform outdoor activities.
  • You can download your favorite apps from Google Play store and use them directly on your smartwatch
  • The TicWatch battery can last up to 72 hours on smart mode and up to 45 days on normal mode.

Pros

  • Access to thousands of apps
  • AMOLED display
  • Interchangeable silicone bands
  • Long-lasting battery

Cons

  • Fragile watch face

Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch

Sale
Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart...
  • Smartwatches powered with Wear OS by Google work with iPhone and Android Phones. Case size: 44mm; Band size: 22mm; interchangeable with all Fossil 22mm bands
  • Battery: 24 Hr plus multi day extended mode Varies based on usage and after updates install. USB cable with magnetic charger snaps to rings on watch caseback...
  • Health and fitness: Heart Rate & Activity Tracking using Google Fit; Built-in GPS for distance tracking; Swimproof design 3ATM; New wellness enhancements allow...

Last update on 2021-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Gen 5 is one of the best Wear OS devices in the market to date. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 SoC processor, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB on-wrist storage.

It also comes with interchangeable silicone bands that allow you to wear the watch for long hours.

  • Its inbuilt GPS helps you keep track of your movements, especially when cycling, driving or jogging.
  • With this smartwatch, you can manage your activities by replying to text, email and call notifications directly from your wrist.
  • You can access thousands of apps for your Wear OS watch from the Google Play Store.
  • With Fossil Gen 5, you can use Google Pay to make contactless purchases and bill payments.
  • You can track your heart rate, activity, sleep, cardio fitness etc. which means you’ll be up to date with your health and fitness awareness.
  • Has a multi-day battery mode such as daily, extended, time only, custom mode which can help you preserve your battery life.

Pros

  •  Interchangeable silicone bands
  • GPS tracker
  • AMOLED display
  • Compatible with Android and Apple devices.
  • Waterproof

 Cons

  • Expensive

Final Verdict

Both Garmin and Wear OS are robust watch systems that can help you achieve your fitness and professional goals.

However, if you’re more inclined towards sports and athletics, Garmin watches will serve you better. They have outstanding sensors and features that support physical activity. 

Wear OS, on the other hand, is an elegant option for professional users who use their smartwatches as extensions of their phones to boost their productivity.

Whether you choose Garmin or Wear OS, you’ve chosen an excellent device.

Additional reading Garmin Watch Vs. Wahoo.