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> Running watches – Polar vs Garmin or other brands? Meet the giants of the industry!

Running watches – Polar vs Garmin or other brands? Meet the giants of the industry!

Publish date 21.02.2023

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Running watches – Polar vs Garmin or other brands? Meet the giants of the industry!

Running watches – now there are so many on the market that for a person who has never had one before, it can be difficult to choose the right brand. Many people look for the cheapest option. However, some people prefer to invest more money in their purchases and choose a model that will serve them for a long time and have many useful and helpful (not only during running but also in everyday life) features. 

In this article, I will give you an overview of the main features of the various brands that are pioneers when it comes to sports watches and their users are eagerly waiting for new versions and features. If you are interested in really cheap devices, you won’t find them here. Here I will show you the top brands. 

Polar vs Garmin, Suunto, or maybe another highly regarded brand? I’m about to introduce you to each of them. You’ll see what they offer. Then you’ll be able to choose the perfect model for your needs. Ok, let’s go!

Garmin running watches – a giant among giants – is it deservedly? 

If you’ve searched for running watches before, you’ve surely come across this company, which was founded in the US in 1989. Garmin mainly produces navigation equipment, but its watches are the most popular. Their subsidiaries are located in many places around the world.

What can Garmin boast about in its watches? Many features, of course. MANY features. Go to the official Garmin website, choose the model that suits you, and see how many features are listed. It’s crazy! Some you may never even use, but it’s better to have them than not, right?

Moreover, Garmin running watches are equipped with a good battery that will allow you to use the device for many hours. By choosing a solar-powered version of the watch, you can be sure that it will last even longer. Ah, these new technologies. 

The Garmin watch is your daily mood, stress, and health gauge. You can measure your heart rate, stress levels, calories burned, and fitness. It’s amazing how much such a small device can do. 

Garmin is looking into the feature. Now you don’t need a payment card or a phone – you’ll be able to pay with the watch. What’s more, the watch will help you choose workouts and routes for your level of training

Do watches have any downsides? “Nobody’s perfect,” even a giant like Garmin. Users find some models heavy. Remember when I wrote that Garmin specializes in navigation devices? As many runners write, there could be better GPS in Garmin watches.

What kind of design do watches from Garmin have? 

It all depends on what model you choose. On the Garmin website for a moment you will find a lot of different models, which will work well not only during training but also be a great accessory for everyday wear (even for formal occasions).

If you need an elegant watch that also fulfills the role of a helper during training, choose Fenix 7S, Venu, vivoactive.

However, if you need a watch with a more sporty look: Forerunner, Instinct Crossover, Fenix 7, or Forerunner.

As you can see, Garmin has elegant and straight sporty design. Source: Official producent page Garmin.com.

Garmin watch – who should choose it? 

First of all, people who love to have a lot of functions they can use and discover day-by-day features they had no idea about before. You certainly won’t use every feature every day. Even after using it for a while, you may discover something new. 

Every runner and hiker can opt for this watch. In its system, Garmin has detailed maps, weather information, and the number of calories burned. This will certainly come in handy if you are going for a hike in the mountains. 

Such professional equipment will be most useful for runners who already have experience in running and know how their body works. The watch will help you collect this data and analyze it. You can use a lot of training measurements, which will then help you see if they have improved their performance. 

Garmin is a watch that not everyone can afford – the device can cost as much as $800. Before buying, you need to check what features the smartwatch has. Choose the design you like best and try it out during your workout.

Top-rated watches from Garmin:

  • Garmin Forerunner 995
  • Garmin Fenix 7
  • Garmin Venu 2

Garmin vs Polar – Polar’s manufacturer characteristics. 

The Polar company was founded in 1977, also it is even older than Garmin. From the very beginning, they specialized in equipment that improves sports performance. They focused on runners, swimmers, and cyclists. 

Although Garmin reigns supreme it is Polar which is the most frequently worn watch chosen by runners. They have precise heart rate monitors, which are useful for any athlete who wants to keep tabs on their health. Smartwatches from Polar have many features that will tell you everything you need to know about your body. On some models, you’ll even be able to see how the way you slept at night will affect your day and when you work or exercise best. What’s more, Polar will lay out your workout for you. 

Polar doesn’t have as many maps as Garmin but continues to be an ideal partner for daily workouts. 

Does it have any downsides? With the Polar watch, you can’t pay by contactless and download music to the watch. This smartwatch focuses primarily on workouts.

Polar Smartwatch – design 

The Polar company focuses mainly on elegance. Of course, the watches have a sports vibe, but they’re pretty and any of them will be the perfect everyday accessory – to work, to the theater, to a party. 

Because you wear the watch practically all day, it collects more measurements and can better tailor workouts to your condition.

Source: Official producent page Polar.com.

Polar vs Garmin – who should choose Polar?

Garmin was more tailored to experienced runners, and Polar will work well for professionals, but also beginner runners. It has an intuitive panel and a lot of functions that will work for every stage of training. It will help improve your performance. 

Even if you feel that you don’t want to train anymore, the watch will be a good companion during your daily routine. It will help you take care of your health. 

As you can guess, Polar is cheaper than Garmin. It doesn’t have as many functions – but whether this is good or bad depends on the person who uses it. Some prefer to have thousands of functions, while others will bet on a model that will provide them with the most necessary ones.

So… Polar vs Garmin? What is your choice? 

Top-rated watches from Polar: 

  • Polar Vantage V2
  • Polar Grit X Pro
  • Polar Ignite 2

Polar vs Garmin vs Suunto- characteristics of the Suunto running watch

Suunto is another company that also boasts really good running watches. However, let’s start from the beginning. The company was founded in 1936 in Finland and at first, specialized in the production of compasses. Now they continue this tradition but in a modern style. 

As for Suunto’s most important features, it has a very good battery that can beat even a giant like Garmin. It also has a reliable GPS that will guide you where you want to go. What’s more, you’ll get more accurate measurements than a Polar watch, but unfortunately, you’ll get far fewer features and stats. This is not a running watch expanded as much as Polar or Garmin. 

It has the most important functions that a runner needs, i.e. count pulse, calories burned, counts steps and you will be back home safe and sound – you will not get lost. 

Running watches from Suunto – design 

Suunto watches can be compared to Polar. Their design is elegant and will work not only for running. You can wear it to a meeting, to work, or out with friends. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or where you are. You can buy different bands for it and change them according to your outfit. The watch will match you! 

Source: Official producent page Suunto.com.

Top-rated watches from Suunto:

  • Suunto 9 Baro 
  • Suunto 7
  • Suunto 5

The earlier brands are not for you? How about Coros? 

Maybe you wouldn’t say that you can count this company among the giants, but looking at user reviews, features, and ever-newer models, it’s only a matter of time before you can include them in the top brands. 

The first watch from Coros appeared in 2018, so relatively recently. However, as you can see over these few years they have gained a loyal fan base. It’s worth keeping an eye on this brand and watching it thrive and catch up with its competitors. 

What is so remarkable about Coros running watches? First of all, a very good battery, beating even Suunto and Garmin. Very good GPS – considered the best on the market. The smartwatch may seem very heavy at first glance, but this is not the case. Its design is durable but lightweight. Therefore, it provides comfort during training.

Coros does not offer many functions but focuses on practical assistance for runners. It will guide you through the forest, mountains, valleys, and along the usual city route. 

Coros – design

Looking at this watch you can immediately tell that it is designed for athletes. A thick strap and a few protruding dials – that’s what Coros is. Designed specifically for athletes who want to have the basic data needed for training on their wrists.

Source: Official producent page Coros.com.

Top-rated watches from Coros:

  • Coros Pace 2
  • Coros Apex PRO
  • Coros Vertix 2

Apple watch – climbing higher and higher in the ranking of top running watch brands

With so much hype surrounding this watch, what does it have that is so remarkable? First of all, the excellent screen. It is durable, scratch-resistant, and, most importantly, displays beautiful colors, even in bright sunlight. The Apple Watch is an ideal tool for communication – very good speakers that drown out the noise. You can even talk in the shower. 

It has many useful functions However, the most noteworthy are ECG, saturation, and compass. It is an excellent watch for people who value safety. Apple Watch has an SOS alert function, detecting falls and accidents – so when you are in danger it will send a signal to emergency services.

If you have an Apple watch and run amateur then you do not have to worry about replacing this equipment with better model. However, if you are just thinking about buying an Apple watch for training purposes, there are more professional brands and models on the market that will work better for running. 

Apple Watch design 

Most manufacturers opt for a wheel-shaped clock face. However, not Apple. This brand stays with a rectangular screen with a protruding dial on the side of the watch. The sides are rounded, making the smartwatch sleek yet sporty. You will be able to wear it for formal and non-formal occasions.

Source: Official producent page Apple.com.

Summary 

Collecting all the information, a few conclusions can be drawn:

  • Garmin – expensive equipment, but many features 
  • Polar – a little cheaper than Garmin, but has refined maps and will control basic parameters of your body
  • Suunto – fewer features than the competition, but more accurate measurements of performance and basic nutritional functions such as pulse. 
  • Coros – won’t surprise you with a lot of features, but has the best GPS on the market and a very long-lasting battery.
  • Apple – strong watch design, calling emergency services, comparing results on the same route in previous runs.

Polar vs Garmin vs Suunto vs Coros vs Apple – which sports watch will you choose? The decision is up to you. I have introduced you to their characteristics and what works best in them. So now you have to choose which model is right for you. Think about what you need and whether it’s better to invest more money in a Garmin watch or bet on slightly cheaper, but still good brands.

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