Smart watches

Im lookiny into maybe getting a smart watch that has gps capability. Probably something on the lower end spectrum as im bad for breaking watches.

Anyhow. For those that are using them are they good for navigation when linked to your phone

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I have had two Garmin watches (Instinct and Fenix 6) and have been very happy with each. The Instinct is very robust (built like a Casio G-Shock) and will do all you are looking for it sounds like. Currently on sale @ Amazon.

Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features GLONASS and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-axis Compass, Graphite

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I am a huge fan of the Garmin vivoactive series.
Had the 1st gen and upgraded to the 4th gen when it launched. Have been happy with everything, it even bails me out when I forget my Garmin edge on bike rides and plays music.
I like it so much that I talked a few friends into getting one as well. They are on sale for $289, and well worth it.

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Ok awesome i think ill buy that garmin next pay. Im not keen on dropping a ton of coin on watches as i have been known to wreck upwards of 4 a year… ( work related casulatie)

I think the biggest call on $ for a watch, is finding specs that suit your needs exactly.

Garmin/Suunto’s higer end devices have some immense capability depth, which of course you pay for.

Also, Garmins warranty is crap and from my experience they are glitchy devices. Basically they are disposable devices.


I have a garmin instinct and love it, but I bought it specifically for a few reasons that it does well.


Im thinking it would be good to have a watch i can look at on the trail to see where i need to go at intersections instead of digging out my phone from a pocket

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@gokatgo Just get one of those handle bar mounts that holds your phone? Then it’s right there in front of you.


I love my Garmin Fenix but I wouldn’t recommend a watch for navigating the trails…it’s too small of a screen and requires you to stop and play around with the settings (zoom, panning) to use the map feature. I think using Trailforks or an app like Ride With GPS on your phone is the simplest way to navigate. I find it easier to pull my phone out of my pocket to decide which turn to take over using my watch.


Agreed! Navigating with a watch isn’t ideal.

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I just picked up a Fenix 6 Pro on a killer Boxing Day sale (replacing a Fenix 5). Though I agree about using it for navigation on a bike…good for nav on foot, but not on wheels!

I just tuck my phone away … stopping and lookikg at the watch is easier than taking off gloves and digging through pockets

Im still up in the air about it

Have you considered an Edge product. Though I have not used it, they give turn by turn directions. I bought it so I could read texts without taking out my phone but I can’t make the font large enough to read without reading glasses. I blame Garmin, not my old eyes. :grinning:


Lol i get the eyes part myself

I second the idea of using an Garmin Edge head unit as opposed to a watch, if navigation is what you want. You’ll pay less for an Edge compared to the higher end watches (Fenix 6 or higher) and it’s more user-friendly while on-bike. I picked up a Fenix 6 last year (which turns out doesn’t have mapping/navigation capability, an important point I missed while shopping) and thinking back on it, I wish I had just got an Edge instead.

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Although the edge has turn by turn navigation, it does a terrible job of it while mountain biking. Mostly because there are so any turns you have to make that it does not know about that are too close together. The menus and interface of the edge are also terrible. Having said that, I use it almost everyday for walking, kayaking and cycling. I’m more used to the Garmin GPSMap series which is far superior in ease of use and functionality. It’s a bit clunky on a bike though. The Fenix screen is way too small for mapping/navigation.

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Not sure if I’m allowed to post this here but Garmin has posted some watches and cycling computers on sale.