Garmin vs Fitbit – Which One Is the Best?

What is a Fitbit? What is a Garmin?Which is the BEST fitness tracker...

In case you are a fitness aficionado, you are already familiar with these two brands. If not, you are probably scratching your head, and you’re asking yourself

What is a Fitbit?

Garmin and Fitbit are the two main producers and retailers of fitness wrist trackers and monitors. Not too long ago, fitness trackers were pretty inchoate, but nowadays they are true marvels of technology; now they allow you to track your sleep, to measure your heart rate and to find your way by using the GPS.

These trackers are not toys, nor useless gadgets. By having everything monitored, you know exactly what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right, and that will make your fitness even more efficient than before.

Undoubtedly, there are uncountable brands of fitness trackers all over the place, with their adjacent prices, but Garmin and Fitbit are the genuine titans of this industry, so if you aim towards quality and high performance, you should look no further.

In order for you to make an informed decision when you’re seeking to purchase a fitness tracker, we will review three trackers from each of these two giant brands. Here’s the land stand, Garmin vs. Fitbit, head to head. First of all, let’s say a little something about each of these two companies:


Garmin Logo

Garmin was founded in 1989 by Min Kao and Gary Burrell. The company specializes in the development of GPS technology for automotive activities, marine activities, outdoor and aviation, as well as sport. They are mainly competing with FitBit, due to the fact that they are both producers of “wearable technology.”


Fitbit Logo

Fitbit was established in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, in San Francisco, California. It specializes in activity trackers and wearable technology for fitness, like trackers, metrics, and smartwatches. Of course, FitBit is in a fierce competition with Garmin, fighting for the domination of the wearable technology market and industry. As you can see, there is quite a large gap between the years of activity of the two manufacturers; so Garmin may have a tad more experience on their hands.

Fitbit Blaze vs. Garmin Vivoactive

Fitbit Blaze and Garmin Vivoactive are both endowed with heart rate monitors, but a short analysis of each of them is required to tell which is the best between the two, so you know exactly which of them to purchase.

Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit’s Blaze is the best choice for you if you are more into multifunctional trackers and you like listening to music while jogging or doing your workouts. Let’s see some of the perks of this model, and afterward we’ll move on to Garmin’s Vivoactive.

  • Multifunctional: Fitbit’s Blaze tracks your steps throughout the day, the distance you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned and your hourly activities, as well as the stationary time. Unlike the VivoActive, it is equipped with apps for FitStar workouts, including warm-up, a routine for the abs and a 7-minute workout.
  • Water resistant: Keep in mind that “water resistant” is not synonymous with waterproof. Fitbit will work just fine if it rains on it or if it is soaked in sweat, but it will malfunction if you wear it in the shower or you jump in the pool with it on your wrist.
  • Music streaming: with this model, you can stream music on iOS, and you have controls for volume, play/stop/pause, and you can skim through the songs on your smartphone. That’s not the case with VivoActive, which only allows you to play stored music.
  • Elegance: Blaze has been designed in such a way that you can wear it at the office. It’s extremely classy, and you can change its wristband with more stylish ones. It is, in many respects, close to a fancy wristwatch. That’s great because you won’t have to purchase a new watch to wear at the job.
  • Easy to use: The touchscreen works flawlessly, you will receive Gmail and Facebook notifications, as well as incoming calls and texts. Although it has a lot of apps, the interface is very simple, and it doesn’t necessitate weeks to get accustomed to.
  • Price: Blaze is pretty affordable, even for people who don’t have a huge income.

If you ever wondered “Which Fitbit should I get?” you now have the answer. It’s got a good number of cool implementations, it looks absolutely fantastic, and it is multifunctional as well.

Garmin VivoActive

Garmin vívoactive Black
  • Multifunctional: VivoActive has work rate, stroke count, approximately 40.000 golf courses + running, snow/water sports, swimming, indoor and outdoor sports. It supports e-mail, SMS, and calls. It also has a built-in GPS, so you don’t have to carry your phone with you. FitBit Blaze only has connected GPS. It’s needless to say that the VivoActive is more practical from this point of view.
  • Waterproof: Unlike Fitbit’s Blaze that is only water resistant, VivoActive can stay on your wrist when you shower and when you swim to a maximum of 50 meters. It is less likely that you will ever go to that depth, but it’s good to know that you could, and your tracker would still be working.
  • Music streaming: In contrast with the Blaze, you cannot stream music on a VivoActive. You can only listen to the one you’ve stored. That may be a huge disadvantage for some, but not so much for others.
  • Elegance: Not as elegant as the Blaze; it is quite overt that it is a fitness tracker and not a wristwatch. It is considerably more voluminous, so there’s no way it could pass as anything but what it is.
  • Easy to use: A little more difficult to use than the Blaze because it has more statistics and it requires more settings; however, that may not be a problem.
  • Price: Slightly more expensive because it is dedicated to professional athletes, rather than to those to whom fitness is just a hobby. If you are a professional swimmer, then you certainly have to purchase this model instead of the FitBit Blaze.


In the Garmin VivoActive vs. Fitbit Blaze contest, we think that Garmin’s VivoActive would be the most recommended investment since it is waterproof and has a larger array of sports monitors.

However, the Blaze is not bad either – it is, in fact, the best Fitbit model for fitness enthusiasts.

How long does it take to charge a Fitbit? Maximum 2 hours, and it lasts up to a week, just like the VivoActive does.

How accurate is FitBit? Very! And so is the Garmin when you’ve figured all the stats out. This all depends on how dedicated you are, whether you are a professional athlete or someone who just does fitness for the sake of doing it.

Garmin VivoSmart vs. FitBit Surge

Garmin VivoSmart

Garmin VivoSmart
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Sensor compatibility: You can connect the VivoSmart to external heart rate monitors, in order to get a reading of your heart rate that is as clear as possible.
  • Notifications: The same notifications that you have on your phones will be displayed on the tracker, too: calls, text messages, e-mails, meetings and others. It is also endowed with vibration alerts, so you won’t miss any of these notifications.
  • Touchscreen: Double-tap the wrist for the menu to show. One disadvantage is the size of the touchscreen; it is very small in comparison with the one on the Surge. But, on the bright side, the size of the screen makes it more stylish, given that is not as prominent and robust as the one of the Surge.
  • Functions: VivoSmart monitors distance, step goals, time, steps, sleep and burned calories. It can be connected to the live Go Pro camera, a state-of-the-art camera that can be controlled with simple vocal commands. We should mention that the Go Pro camera is heavily updated almost on a monthly basis. Newer models keep on appearing on the market, with fantastic accessories and performance, so that’s one more reason why the VivoSmart is a great choice, no matter if you are a professional or not.
  • Price: It is cheaper than the surge, a little more stylish and considerably lighter.

FitBit Surge

FitBit Surge
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • It cannot be connected to 3rd party heart rate monitors, so the reading may not be as accurate as that of the VivoSmart.
  • Notifications: Surge has the ability to display phone calls and messages only, in contrast with the Vivosmart, which had a larger array of notifications.
  • Touchscreen: FitBit has a larger display than the VivoSmart, but that makes it bulkier than the former. You mustn’t think that it’s like having a rock on your wrist. No, it’s not that bulky.
  • Functions: You can track your steps, distance, burned calories, active minutes and the number of stairs you’ve climbed. It also has a built-in GPS, whereas the VivoSmart does not. Another difference is the sleep mode: you have to put the VivoSmart on sleep mode manually, but the Fitbit has an auto-sleep feature.
  • Price: FitBit is more expensive than the VivoSmart.


Battery life-wise, both models last up to a week. They are quite similar if you take a closer look at them. Both of them work on Android and iOS, both of them have Bluetooth connection.

In this Garmin – FitBit skirmish, however, we will go with the Garmin VivoSmart, because it is lighter, narrower and can be connected to an external heart rate monitor and the Go Pro live camera.

“Is this one the best FitBit for me?” – yes, if you don’t want a bulky tracker, then yes, it is the best choice you can make.

FitBit Charge HR vs. Garmin VivoFit 2

Fitbit Charge

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband (Black, Large (6.2 - 7.6 in))
  • Not waterproof. Only water resistant (you cannot wear it when you swim).
  • Notifications: FitBit Charge can display phone calls, text messages and calendar notifications.
  • Touchscreen: OLED display with a very easy-to-use interface, a lot more user-friendly than that of the VivoFit 2.
  • Functions: You can track the following with FitBit’s charge: sleep, heart rate, burned calories, steps, distance, goals and floors that you’ve climbed. Unlike the VivoFit 2, this FitBit model can be set for a silent alarm, which means that when you have to wake up, it starts vibrating on your wrist, so you don’t wake up the entire house. Does Fitbit Charge HR have GPS? Yes, it has connected GPS (which means that your mobile will track down GPS data). However, this means that you will have to carry your phone around with you, and that could be an issue when you go running, for example. But if you don’t mind doing that, that all is cool.
  • Price: It costs almost double the money you would pay for a Garmin VivoFit 2.

Garmin VivoFit 2

Garmin vívofit 2 Activity Tracker, Black
  • Waterproof to a maximum depth of 50 meters; you can also shower with it, of course.
  • Notifications: No notifications (quite a downside)
  • Touchscreen: Backlit display. In comparison with FitBit’s display, VivoFit’s can be customized.
  • Functions: It tracks sleep, goals, distance, steps, calories and climbed floors. It can be connected to a 3rd party heart rate monitor, an implementation that is missing from FitBit Charge. It syncs via Bluetooth. FitBit Charge has auto-sync. On top of that, a red bar will lengthen every 15 minutes of inactivity (you can see the bar in the image above). After one hour in which you’ve done nothing, the device will let you know that though an audio alarm. It may sound surreal, but it has no GPS.
  • Price: Incredibly affordable.


As this VivoFit vs. Fitbit conflict has come to an end, we must tell you which one you should choose. First of all, we should mention that both these models are compatible with Mac, PC, Windows, iOs and Android.

They both have backlit displays, a large array of functions but: there’s one aspect concerning the VivoFit that pretty much annihilates FitBit from the very start. We’ve kept it a secret until now precisely because it is the cherry on top of the cake: the battery life.

Garmin VivoFit’s battery life is one year! Yes, you read that correctly – 1 year! Fitbit Charge will last for a week, and then you’ll have to recharge it. If you fill the need to Google “How to charge Garmin VivoFit?”, you can stop right now. When Vivofit runs out of battery, you simply replace it. There’s no need of another VivoSmart HR vs. Fitbit charge HR contest.

Do we need to say more to justify our choice? Our recommendation is, of course, VivoFit 2, although the lack of GPS and notifications is odd, to say the least.

We have presented to you three FitBit models and three Garmin models and their adjacent capabilities. Although we have expressed our opinions on which we think are the best between them, the final choice is nonetheless yours.

Before you purchase a tracker, think well if you need a professional/complex one or just a simple one that does its job easily.

The prices vary, it’s only natural, so your choice could also depend on how much you are willing to spend for a good tracker. With all these being said, we hope you make the best decision, and you purchase a fitness tracker that can last you a lifetime.