Going, Going, Garmin
I was a Fitbit fan. I was a Fitbit customer. I got a Fitbit in 2014 because I could record my steps and get money off of my insurance premiums. It was five dots and counted steps. I think it also had an alarm that would buzz to wake me up. Over the years, the features got better, but the quality got worse. I loved the amount of data I was getting, but goodness gracious, the quality was terrible. I was lucky if it would last a year before needing to be replaced.
So, when my most recent one bit the dust, I decided to make the leap over to Garmin.
I have no regrets.
Yes, it does the basics: step tracking, heart rate, sleep, alarms, and of course, telling time. But here are the top five things I love about my Garmin (I have the round Venu if you're wondering) over my previous Fitbit:
Running Coach: As a runner, I've had different ways of planning out my mileage. The Garmin app has a running coach feature. You can put in what type of race you want to run, when, and how many days a week you can train. Then, you pick a coach and their specific program and the rest is done for you. How far you should run, when you should run, how fast you should run - it all gets sent to your watch. I appreciate that it takes all the work out of it for me. It even "grades" me on my run based on time or pace. Not having to think about it is great. I just put on my shoes and go. speaking of shoes...
Mileage Tracker: You know what's annoying? Scrolling back to when you bought your shoes and then manually counting the distance of every run since then to see where you are in the mileage of your shoes. Now, I know you can get close or start to tell when your shoes are going downhill, BUT, it's nice to have an exact number. It's nice to be able to tell when you're "halfway" or "getting close to needing new ones" with your shoes. That's exactly what the "equipment" feature does. You can put in shoes, a bike, etc. Based on your workout type, Garmin will track the mileage for that equipment. Such a useful thing I didn't know I needed.
Body Battery: I assume that this was their attempt to compete with Whoop. Whoop touts being able to tell you if you should rest or get a great workout in and knowing what time to go to bed to have the optimal day the next day. The Body Battery with Garmin is close. Not quite the same, but pretty close. It looks at how well you slept, how much stress you've been under, workouts, etc. and then determines what your "battery" is at. Honestly, I have to say that it's been pretty spot on, and sometimes when I'm wondering "why am I feeling like this, it's only 11 AM?" I look at my body battery and realize I haven't been recovering well for the past few days.
Accurate Sleep Tracking: I have to tell you, my Fitbit was always very depressing when it came to sleep. I don't know if it was too sensitive or what, but as someone who's had two sleep studies, I can tell you, Fitbit said I woke up a lot more than I did. I also never liked how it would count every time I slightly moved as being awake and then said that I only "slept" 6 hours when I'd been in bed for 9 and didn't wake up.
Notifications: I know that I'm comparing this to Fitbit, but let's be real, it's the only other experience I have. I like that I can not only see my text massages and incoming phone calls on my Garmin, but, additional notifications (unlike my Fitbit). New podcast gets published? I get a notification. Email? Facebook message? Yep. I can see those too.
Overall, if you're looking to level up your game but not quite ready to go for an Apple watch - Garmin is the way to go. If you're looking for specialty devices (golf, flying); go Garmin. If you're looking for a more extensive product portfolio (and don't want all your personal data on Google...) then I'd check out Garmin.
I was previously a huge Fitbit fan, but now that I've gone Garmin, there's no going back.