Amazon and Best Buy continue to offer some amazing discounts on a range of smart watches and fitness trackers.. But we're still finding some dramatic deals on a few Garmin models that are worthy alternatives to any Fitbit or Apple Watch on the market.
I wore the Garmin Forerunner 235 all summer and it's become one of my favorite gadgets. There's a specific use case for it -- and it fits me exactly. I wanted a watch that that was free from the uber-connectedness of an Apple Watch -- I don't need any more distractions.
The Forerunner 235 is a full-featured fitness tracker that accurately captures all of the details of my workouts, whether I'm running or on my bike. I wear it around the clock, into the shower and while swimming in the ocean, and it tracks my steps and sleep. It has an optical heart-rate sensor and can offer up some pretty complex training data -- including an estimate of my VO2 Max and predicted race times and recovery periods. The battery life is stellar; I charge it about once a week.
This is a whopper of a deal on a higher-end model that features GPS and GLONASS to measure pace, distance, speed and other metrics when running, biking and performing a variety of other activities. The Fenix 5X also features an optical heart-rate sensor, all-day fitness tracking (steps, calories burned, active minutes and sleep), and the ability to show notifications from an iPhone or Android phone.
In addition to a larger size (51mm in diameter), the Fenix 5X includes features not found in the other Fenix 5 models. It comes preloaded with topographic US maps, routable cycling maps for turn-by-turn navigation, and other features like Round Trip Run and Round Trip Ride, which can suggest routes based on how far you would like to run or ride. Another feature, called Around Me, allows users to see different points of interest, waypoints and other map objects within in their range. Read our Garmin Fenix 5X preview.
The Instinct incorporates hiking-friendly features like a three-axis compass, barometer, altimeter and support for multiple satellite systems -- GLONASS and Galileo in addition to GPS -- to minimize chances of getting lost when you wander off the beaten path. It also includes health- and fitness-oriented features like a wrist-based heart-rate monitor, sports apps and wellness data. Read our Garmin Instinct preview.
The Forerunner 935 has GPS for tracking a variety of sports and an optical heart-rate sensor as well as an altimeter to measure ascent and descent, and it's got better battery life than the 235. It also has a barometer and compass. Read our Garmin Forerunner 935 preview.