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Everything You Need To Know About Garmin

By: Alex Bristol

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Everything You Need To Know About Garmin

You’ve probably heard about Garmin while looking for bike computers or other fitness gadgets.

But who are they and are they really as good as people say?

Well, the short answer is yes. Garmin has earned their reputation for a reason and this is because they’ve innovated the game when it comes to cycling with some notable products being Garmin fitness watches like the Garmin Forerunner, Garmin connect mobile, and most notably, Garmin bike computers.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Garmin and what they offer so you can see if their products are for you.

About Garmin

Garmin “makes products that are engineered on the inside for life on the outside”, so their customers can make the most of the time they spend pursuing their passions.

With more than 17,000 associates in 80 offices around the world, Garmin brings GPS navigation and wearable technology to the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness markets. They think “every day is an opportunity to innovate and a chance to beat yesterday.”

Garmin Fitness Watches – Features

Garmin’s smartwatches, like its Fenix range, tend to offer greater durability and advanced tracking across a range of different sports.

The smartwatches also extend to the Forerunner, Swim 2, and Vivoactive. However, these watches will include tracking features for specific sports or activities.

On the other hand there are the VivoSport and VivoSmart devices, these models sit firmly in the tracker camp, with more stripped-back designs, smaller displays, and a larger focus on health monitoring and fitness tracking.

You can find smart features like Garmin contactless pay and access to smartphone apps like Uber on almost all Garmin devices so you’ll always have a firm footing in the 21st century.

GPS mapping

Almost all Garmin wearables will have some form of GPS tracking and the more advanced models will be normally be tailored to a specific activity.

For example, the Fenix is aimed at hikers, with its advanced GPS mapping out terrain elevation and even walking routes that can be recommended to you as you explore.

But that’s not all, others will have your standard tracking services so you can leave your phone at home and get an accurate map of where you went and how fast you were going.

Battery life

The battery life on Garmin devices can vary depending on how often you use your GPS and music features, stretching from just a few hours of use and all the way up to a month on some of the more premium options. The VivoFit Junior 2 is a Garmin watch with a replaceable battery that can last up to a year.

Water resistance

If you’re a more adventurous outdoorsperson then a waterproof watch is a must so the elements are never a problem for you when you want to get in your daily exercise.

Each of Garmin’s wearables will have varying degrees of water-resistance, with some even having enough protection to allow you to fully submerge it while diving.

The models can range from protection against your basic accidental water splash damage all the way up to 10ATM which lets you dive up to 100m. Rain and sweat won’t be a problem with Garmin but you should double check to see if your chosen device can be submerged.

Music apps

Now we’ve entered the modern world you’re not always going to want to carry your phone when trying to focus on improving your personal best.

This is where a Garmin watch can be a real asset. Most Garmin devices can Bluetooth connect to headphones and play your Spotify or Apple Music playlist.

Better yet, some can store your playlists on to the internal hard drive, allowing you to download anywhere from 100 to 2,000 tracks.

Garmin Watches – Models

Garmin Fenix GPS Watches

The Garmin Fenix collection is rugged, robust, and built to last through off-road adventures and ultramarathons.

Along with the standard edition watch, the Fenix also comes in Sapphire and Solar editions. The Fenix Sapphire  for instance, features a scratch-resistant sapphire lens while the Fenix Pro Solar edition uses a Power Glass solar charging lens to increase the longevity of your Fenix’s battery life.

Garmin Venu GPS Watches

The Garmin Venu GPS watches feature a sleek but simple design, a full-color touch screen, and all the health data you need to measure your outdoor activity.

Even while on the move, the Garmin Venu series watches keep you connected through smart notification delivery and Garmin Pay contactless payment system.

Garmin Vivo GPS Watches

If you’re not a fan of having all the bells and whistles on your gadgets and want a more refined watch then the Vivo watches are the way to go.

From sleek looks to easy-to-read faces, the Vivo collection offers GPS watches and fitness trackers for individuals of all activity levels.

Garmin Bike Computers

Garmin Edge 130

The Garmin Edge 130 is the more basic model in the Edge range and would best suit those looking for a budget bike computer. The 130 is a compact unit that doesn’t hinder your performance but won’t leave a hole in your wallet.


  • Easy-to-read screen
  • Buttons instead of a touchscreen
  • Real-time feedback and basic features
Garmin Edge 530

The Edge 530 is the highest-ranking Garmin 5 series computer 530 also boasts advanced navigational features with apps like Strava Routes and Komoot preinstalled. This is the middle-range bike computer by Garmin and will satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts with all your essential health metrics.


  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • All the features you’ll need
  • Customizable
Garmin Edge 830

The 830 has a better touch screen and processing speed than its predecessors and as a result is an easy-to-use, lightweight unit that packs a lot in such a small size.


  • More efficient touchscreen
  • Bigger screen size
  • Premium features and training plans
Garmin Edge Explore

The Garmin Edge Explore features many of the new Garmin Connect features such as Trendline routing, rider-to-rider messaging, LiveTrack as well as incident detection.


  • Smart navigation
  • 16GB storage
  • Compatible with third-party apps
Garmin Edge 1030

The Edge 1030 is your top-of-the-range bike computer from Garmin. It has high functionality, sophisticated processing technology, loads of performance metrics, and as if that wasn’t enough, a massive and easy-to-read screen.


  • Custom workouts
  • Long battery life
  • Best of all the models

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay a monthly fee for Garmin?

There isn’t a fee to use a Garmin GPS once you’ve bought a Garmin product as there’s no recurring fee to use the device. But if you want certain services, such as traffic or map updates, that go beyond the basic mapping features, you may encounter additional fees.

How do I get traffic updates on my Garmin?

To get the most from your Garmin Drive device, you should pair it with your smartphone and connect to the Smartphone Link app. The Smartphone Link app allows your device to receive live data, including live traffic data and other live services.

Does Garmin Connect to iPhone?

Whether you’re on iOS or Android, you’ll need the Garmin Connect app to pair up your watch and ship all of that training data back to the phone. It’ll also allow you to receive messages and other smartphone notifications.

How do I install my Garmin bike computer?

If you need some help on installing a bike computer then check out our article on how to install bike computers.

Is Garmin compatible with Strava?

You can connect your Garmin device to get an array of Strava features that you can use on the go. Once you’re connected, activities uploaded to Garmin Connect via Bluetooth or computer will automatically sync to Strava allowing you to streamline your workout routine. Latest guides

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