Garmin started out making handheld GPS receivers for the U.S. military in the early 2000s and later on branched out into automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports equipment manufacturing. Today, the company is most known for its multisport fitness trackers that ones up the Apple Watch in one very important department: Battery life. You see, even though the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch that you can buy, it can barely manage two days on a full charge. A Garmin watch, on the other hand, can last for a week or two depending on use, like the Vivoactive 3 and the Fenix 5X Sapphire. Save up to $235 when you get these rugged and feature-packed sports smartwatches on Amazon ahead of Black Friday.
Garmin’s fitness trackers have almost always been what we call big burly watches (like the Fenix 5 below). That is not the case with the Vivoactive 3. Garmin forwent its usual tendency to go big in favor of something much smaller and more refined, but still capable of delivering the goods. This understated smartwatch is 1.75 inches in diameter, less than half an inch thick, and weighs 43 grams. It’s slim, lightweight, and comfortable to use, and it almost seems like you’re not wearing it. It has a water-resistance rating of 5 ATMS, which means you can take it with you diving in waters up to 50 meters in depth. Its 1.2-inch LCD touchscreen is bright and colorful, protected by a Gorilla Glass 3 lens and a polymer case, and surrounded by a stainless-steel bezel.
Fitness has always been where Garmin shines, and the Vivoactive 3 is no exception. This watch boasts a gamut of built-in sensors, including GPS, a heart rate monitor, a barometric altimeter, a compass, an accelerometer, and a thermometer. It can track an array of exercise metrics, including step count, stairs climbed, calories burned, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and sleep time and quality. There’s also a stress meter that measures your heart rate to determine if you’re stressed out. If you are, it suggests a breathing exercise to help you relax. It can also track numerous sports and outdoor activities like walking, running, swimming, cycling, snowboarding, and more.
If connected to your smartphone through Garmin’s Connect Mobile app, this watch receives smart notifications with a vibration alert. Unfortunately, the vibrations are very weak (the weakest we’ve ever encountered, actually), so chances are you might miss an important call or text message. Even when set at “high,” you cannot count on this watch to notify you of something.
Since this watch is the Music version, it includes music playback and streaming capabilities. You can listen to your favorite songs through Spotify or other apps. What’s more, it has enough internal space to store at least 500 songs.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 normally costs $280, but right now it’s on sale on Amazon for $218 — that’s $62 worth of savings.
The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is ideal for fitness nuts who track their athletic pursuits down to the smallest details. It is a big, burly watch and looks almost exactly like its predecessor, the Fenix 3 HR. It sports the same round face, five-button layout, and stainless-steel bezel. This watch is protected by Sapphire glass (hence the name), which is twice as hard as standard glass thus making it extremely durable. It is water-resistant to depths of up to 100 meters so you can take it with you while swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba-diving.
This smartwatch is packed to the brim with features. It has an optical heart monitor on the back for tracking your heart rate, which comes in handy in determining when to bring your pace up or slow down when you work out. It also includes pre-configured apps for keeping tabs on numerous sports, like cycling, walking, hiking, running, swimming, snowboarding, skiing, stand-up paddling, rowing, and even golf. Track your improvement by connecting the Fenix 5X to another device through Bluetooth or uploading your data to Garmin’s online fitness community.
The main draw of the Fenix 5X is its unique onboard GPS maps. It allows you to search for the best training routes and plan them more easily. It also provides you with comprehensive directions and an array of useful information. And while you’re on foot or on the road, you can search for local points of interest. Never get lost and have fun little detours with this thing on your wrist.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Fenix 5X can last a formidable two weeks with four or five tracked activities per week. Charging it back to 100% takes less than two hours.
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire usually comes with a hefty $600 price tag, but right now you can purchase it on Amazon for a whopping $234 less. Get it for $366 and what’s more, if you pay via the Amazon Rewards Visa card and get approval, you’ll enjoy an additional $60 off instantly, bringing the price down to $306.
If you’re on a limited budget and just need a well-rounded fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is perfect for you. As long as you won’t mind missing a few notifications because of its feeble vibrations. But if you have extra cash to spare and want an absolute beast of a sports wearable that has everything that you can ever wish for, plus more, then get the Garmin Fenix 5X.
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