Apple vs. Garmin
Are you trying to find the perfect smartwatch? Garmin and Apple both offer an excellent lineup, especially with their newer Epix 2, and Series 7, respectively. We’re here to help make your smartwatch buying a little easier by comparing two of the latest and greatest!
Apple Watch Series
To investigate the Apple Watch Series includes asking, “what makes Apple tech so popular?” Large parts of the answer lay in the brand’s reliable devices, their innovations in smart tech, and Apple’s responsiveness to tech trends.
A second aspect making Apple stand out among all other smartwatch makers is the dependent nature of their device. This dependency refers to Apple users using all Apple tech: for their TV, their computers, their iPhones, iPad, and their Apple Watch. For those who love the brand, having an all-Apple setup can make life convenient in so many ways.
Apple managed to continue that model of innovative style mixed with a solid reputation in their smartwatches, too. They release new smartwatches with several improvements every year or couple of years like they do with iPhones. The Apple Watch Series 7 comes after seven previous models, with Apple still offering the Series 3 and SE Watches in their online store.
Unlike Garmin, Apple doesn’t always make fitness and health the focus of smartwatches. They traditionally look at the smartwatch as a device meant for a more general user. These watches are focused on keeping you connected and doing so well, with a few fitness features as a bonus. There are still excellent fitness tracking capabilities on the 7 Watch.
Garmin epix Series
The Garmin brand is more specific with its smart technology. They have a much wider inventory of smartwatches than Apple does, with wrist pieces for all types of people and interests. Garmin sells multisport, water, running, golf, and diving watches, as well as smartwatches, focused on style and fashion. And within all of those watches is many GPS models and a couple of LTE smartwatches.
Garmin is an attractive brand to many users as their watches and Garmin Connect App work with most Android or Apple phones. Those who pick a Garmin watch usually appreciate, overall, the brand’s history and background in watchmaking.
The Epix Gen 2 does not have a swath of predecessors like the Series 7 does. Still, Epix comes from a brand that specializes in multisport GPS watches, with other model series being in the Epix’s same price range and capabilities. You can compare the Epix Gen 2 to other awesome Garmin watches like the Enduro or Fenix series.
Out of all Garmin’s offerings, the Epix is closest in function and design to their Fenix 7. And like the Fenix 7, the Epix Gen 2 is an all-touchscreen smartwatch- something newer for Garmin. But unlike the Fenix 6 or 7, there is no solar charging option. In addition to battery life, our comparison of these two devices will also cover their features, connectivity, and design features.
Comparing Smartwatch Features
Safety & Assistance
The Epix has five different features to keep you safer and more connected on workouts. All five work through your smartphone and Garmin Connect App.
- Group LiveTrack
- Live Event Sharing
- Incident Detection During Select Activities
These features can also be disabled on your Epix.
Apple doesn’t offer as comprehensive safety assistance as the Epix. Instead, Apple’s Watch 7 and OS 8 provide Emergency International Calling, Emergency SOS, and Fall Detection – incredibly helpful for travelers and active people alike.
Health Monitoring Features
As long as Garmin lacks an ECG app, Apple reigns supreme in this area. It is a convenient tool to have on your wrist but may not be a feature to sway you to buy Apple completely. The health monitoring features on either smartwatch will not set these watches apart from one another. With both the Epix (Gen 2) and Apple Series 7, you can expect the standard monitoring capabilities of most trackers today: blood oxygen saturation, steps, calories, heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels, and menstruation. In addition to monthly women’s health tracking, you can also get apps from either smartwatch for pregnancy tracking.
Workout & Fitness Tracking Features
Apple Watches from the Series 3 onwards runs OS 8. So, you don’t necessarily need a Series 7 to take advantage of the newer fitness features, as nice as the Apple 7 is. Standout improvement from OS 7 to 8 is Apple’s Automatic Cycling Detection. This makes tracking a bike ride as easy as just pedaling. The Cycling Detection will even pick up on the bit of time before the tracker starts on your watch.
Garmin’s Epix has a host of excellent activity tracking as well, with workouts for running, golf, outdoor recreation like kayaking or winter sports, for example, cycling and swimming. And with both watches, you can pay to get more features: Garmin has their Connect IQ Store, and Apple has Fitness+.
Apple 7’s Hand Gestures
A new feature of the Apple Watch 7, which you can’t find on any other smartwatch, is its gesture controls. These allow you to control certain parts of your watch with just a pinch or double pinch. Garmin does not offer this, of course, but their Epix screen is a nice, bright, responsive touchscreen.
Connectivity: Epix Gen 2 vs. Apple Series 7
The Apple Watch 7 acts as your phone when you don’t want to be weighed down, say, on a workout. In other words, it has LTE capabilities. The Epix Gen 2 does not, but still has Bluetooth capabilities and notifies you of texts, emails, or when you get a call on your phone.
Battery Life: Epix 2 vs. Series 7
The Apple Watches typically have an 18-hour battery life, but with daily tracking, you may need to charge it every night before bed. An Epix battery will last significantly longer, closer to five or six days, even with the always-on color display, GPS, or activity tracking on. Apple does succeed at adding new features to each smartwatch they release while keeping battery life around that one-day mark.
Comparing Smartwatch Designs
Overall Style and Designs
There is an immediately noticeable difference between the Apple Watch 7 and the Epix 2: one is large and round, while one is small and rectangular. The Epix gives you a much more classic watch design with the visible bezel, side buttons, a thicker case, and a thicker silicone band (Leather, Fabric, and Metal bands are also options). Apple comes out on top regarding color options, upgrade, or personalization options with things like watch faces or their Hermes and Nike Watch 7 editions. You can think of the Epix (Gen 2) as a much more rugged-looking watch as well.
These two advanced smartwatches offer bright and clear displays, with the Apple Watch 7 coming in a bit larger than Garmin’s Epix. The Series 7 comes as 1.6″ or 1.7″, and the Epix is only 1.3″. Both touchscreens are AMOLED with the option for Always-on, and both screens are responsive and easy to use. Apple’s controls are a bit smoother, but their setup could throw or irritate those accustomed to the Android UX.
The Epix 2, and most Garmin multisport watches, are durable thanks to Gorilla and Sapphire glass upgrade options. This watch is encased in a larger bezel made from either titanium or stainless-steel backing- these together give your screen a bit of protection. The Apple watches, especially the 7 and its full-screen design, are more vulnerable to minor damage, with an aluminum or stainless steel backing. If you compare the Apple 7 to the previous Apple Watch models, the newest one is by far more durable.
Basic Smartwatch Specs
Garmin epix (Gen 2)
- Case size: 47mm
- Colour options: Slate Steel, White Titanium, Black Titanium
- Upgrade options: Sapphire Glass
- Price range: $1169.99 to $1299.99
- GPS: yes
- LTE: no
- Screen size/resolution: 1.3” / 416×416 pixels
Apple Watch Series 7
- Case sizes: 45mm or 41mm
- Colour options: Aluminum/Midnight
- Aluminum/Starlight, Aluminum/Green, Aluminum/Blue, Aluminum/RED, Stainless Steel/ Graphite, Stainless Steel/Silver, Stainless Steel/Gold, Titanium/Space black, Titanium/Titanium
- Upgrade options: Nike ($529), or Hermès ($1569-$2249) editions
- Price range (excluding Nike & Hermès): $529-$589
- GPS: yes
- LTE: yes
- Screen size/resolution: 45mm – 1.7” / 396×484 pixels; 41mm – 1.6” / 352×430 pixels+
To sum it up, it’s easy to see why both of these brands are extremely popular in the wearables arena, and both cater to quite different audiences.
If you are looking for a watch that can keep up with your active lifestyle, is rugged enough to withstand your outdoor sports, and provides accurate fitness tracking, then the Garmin Epix is going to be the watch for you. However, if you prefer more smartwatch features and day-to-day assistance, then the Apple Watch Series 7 will suit you better.
Do you already have either of these watches? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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Bernadette has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (where she lives). She has a passion for writing and we like her contribution and style to our blog. Bernadette loves the outdoors and things like hiking, camping, and biking. Wishing she could travel more.
Bernadette is an editor, writer and proofreader for Superwatches. Currently lives in Alberta Canada.