Which is Better: Fitbit or Garmin?

As technology becomes a more prominent addition to our lives, we’re beginning to notice ever-increasing options within the world of fitness trackers. From simple Fitbit models to the bulky-yet-capable Garmin, it can be hard to make the choice that is ideal for you.

You’re in the right place if you’re looking to understand more about these popular fitness tracker brands. Here, we’ll touch on the benefits and downfalls of both as well as mention some of the models available at each pricing level. Continue on and enjoy!

Understanding Fitness Trackers

Since their creation, fitness trackers have been a growing trend all over the planet. These handy devices make it easier to learn about how much we’re moving, how well we’re sleeping and how effective our workouts are. Additionally, the compact, wearable design makes them easy to use all day.

Fitness trackers will typically keep tabs on the following variables:

  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Elevation reached
  • Sleep quality
  • Heart Rate
  • Time spent working out
  • Distance traveled
  • And more!

Additionally, many fitness trackers can also provide coaching or fitness reminders that help you to make manageable improvements and stay on track. If you don’t have one already, these handy little devices are absolutely worth looking into for the sake of your health.


The Fitbit is among the first of the fitness trackers widely purchased. The models they offer typically come in simple, band-like designs that are made to track information without getting in the way or becoming an eyesore. Often, they are a prime choice for those who are more casual about their fitness, but still want to make improvements.


  • Most models can track sleep
  • Calorie-counting capabilities
  • Simple designs
  • Many models are water-resistant
  • Models above budget level offer GPS


  • Not generally waterproof
  • Heart rate tracking can be missing or inaccurate
  • GPS issues without connection to a phone

Models of Note

The following Fitbit models have a lot to offer when it comes to getting the most out of your device. If you’re looking for a Fitbit on a budget, then something like the Flex or Alta can be a great option. If you want something with more versatility, the Charge 3 is highly popular. For those who don’t mind paying more for top of the line, the Fitbit Surge is one of the top-rated models.


The Fitbit Alta is a prime choice for those who want to keep things simple and inexpensive. It covers all the basics like steps moved, sleep, distance and calories burned. That said, it’s not the best choice for those who want to track their heart rate or receive any notifications from their phone


The Charge 2 is an extremely popular Fitbit choice. It’s designed to be suitable for just about anyone, whether you’re a pro athlete or someone just looking to add a little more movement to your day. On top of sharing the same tracking features as the Alta, it also includes water resistance, heart rate tracking and phone notifications.


For those who want the most possible functions, the Surge is a great option. It is more costly than the previous Fitbit models, but it also includes the ability to control your music, use GPS and get push notifications. However, keep in mind that you’ll need your phone nearby for accurate GPS tracking.


Those of us who are familiar with the Garmin brand typically connect it to GPS devices such as those that help you to find your way while driving. However, Garmin fitness trackers take that capability and add it into convenient fitness watches that help to keep you in shape and in the know about where you are. They make for a great option for runners, bicyclists, joggers and other individuals who travel larger distances while working out.


  • Convenient touchscreens
  • Effective heart rate monitors
  • Easy-to-read designs
  • Track numerous variables
  • Capable of receiving phone notifications


  • Designs can be bulky
  • Some sensors may be inaccurate
  • Generally more expensive

Models of Note

Like Fitbit, Garmin chooses to make a variety of different models that work for people of different budgets. Not everyone wants the highest-end Forerunner 235, though some absolutely do. If you’re looking for a middle-of-the-road product, the Forerunner 35 is a great choice. Meanwhile, those who just want the basics can find a lot of use in the Vivosmart HR.


While the Vivosmart HR might be a little more costly than the Fitbit Alta, it also includes the ability to keep track of your heart rate, whereas the Alta does not. Additionally, you can also opt to get the Vivosmart HR+, which allows for GPS. This is also not something the Alta offers.


If you’re someone who is just beginning to make some progress in a running pursuit, then the Forerunner 35 is an ideal selection. It’s capable of tracking everything you need, like GPS, distance, calories, heart rate and steps. However, keep in mind that it’s not designed for sports like swimming.

High End

Many consider the Forerunner 235 to be the best of the best as far as fitness trackers go. This device is able to track everything the lower-cost models can, and it adds in a great battery life and effective heart monitor. That said, keep in mind that the sensors may be inaccurate during certain kinds of running activities.


Both Fitbit and Garmin have a lot to offer to just about anyone, but it’s worth considering what your specific needs are when choosing one. If you’re just looking to get a feel for how fitness trackers work and start making some small changes, a budget Fitbit is a great idea. However, if you want to focus more on specifics like your heart rate or location while exercising, Garmin models are worth a look. In time, you’ll surely find that your fitness tracker is an irreplaceable asset when it comes to your health.

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