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Garmin Running Watch Recommendations

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 StefanB 11 Jun 2022

My Garmin (Fenix 5) has given up and I am looking for a (potentially simpler) replacement. The number of models out and their naming convention is slightly confusing. 

My requirements:

- Garmin (for backward compatibility with my years of Garmin Online logs)
- Simple tracking + intervals, etc., the usual, does not have to be programmable. 
- A "trail mode" with reliable altitude information (barometer)
- Swim mode with stroke detection and indoor lap counting
- 12hours + battery lifetime
- small footprint
- no smartwatch functionality (old style, no notifications, no apps, no music)

Is there such a thing? Any recommendations?


 

In reply to StefanB:

I was looking with a friend this week and the Garmin FR 255 (without music - 2 sizes) looked good @ £299. You will have to pay more for real barometer function. The next one up (FR955) is almost £200 more and not available in a smaller size

To unsmart a Garmin you just go into settings and flick down to phone and disconnect. I don't think there will be a watch with the other functions you discuss without connectivity as I think Garmin expect you to use a phone to download your data. 

OP StefanB 11 Jun 2022
In reply to SouthernSteve:

> To unsmart a Garmin you just go into settings and flick down to phone and disconnect. I don't think there will be a watch with the other functions you discuss without connectivity as I think Garmin expect you to use a phone to download your data. 

Yes, sorry, my description might have been confusing there. I am fine with having the Garmin app on the phone and sync the data (in fact that is desired). I don't need anything beyond that (like getting message notifications and music). Also don't want to install any apps on the watch itself (like on the fenix).

In reply to StefanB:

I think the Garmin instinct 2 does everything you are after (and a lot more that you probably won't need) 

I had the original instinct, and you can still get that for about £170 on Amazon, the 2 is closer to £300 but has improved battery and other features.

In reply to StefanB:

Just get a watch that does what you need and turn off notifications/smartwatch functionality. 

 jethro kiernan 11 Jun 2022
In reply to StefanB:

The instinct 2 would tick most boxes, I’m having a play with the instinct 2 next weekend I’ll let you know how it goes.

In reply to StefanB:

Just get a new Fenix 6/7 and turn off notifications

In reply to echo34:

> Just get a new Fenix 6/7 and turn off notifications

Great watches, I now have the 6x and love it, but sounds like the instinct will do everything Stefan wants for considerably less money.

 Dave B 11 Jun 2022
In reply to StefanB:

My second hand fenix 6?

In reply to StefanB:

Instinct solar is really good. 
pros - not a massive unit so doesn’t flop around on wrist

decent value (somewhere around £200)

can set up a few different tracking modes which are easy to use etc

good battery life - the solar works well even with screen protector (30hrs of tracking without this or 24days of basic use)  it also changes to full pretty quick (1.5hrs from fairly low)

HR and oximeter

cons - the altimeter goes out pretty easily when not tracking  there’s a simple fix to this (allowing it to correct before logging stuff) this frustrated me at first but I think it was really just user error and living in fort William (lots of pressure changes)

I tried a few different watches before getting this and am pretty impressed (the ones I remember trying were the Suunto ambit and the fenix 5)

 Solaris 11 Jun 2022
In reply to StefanB:

Another vote for Garmin Instinct Solar (Mk 1), for running: I have no idea what it's like in swimming mode, sorry.

 TMM 12 Jun 2022
In reply to SouthernSteve:

> I was looking with a friend this week and the Garmin FR 255 (without music - 2 sizes) looked good @ £299. You will have to pay more for real barometer function. The next one up (FR955) is almost £200 more and not available in a smaller size

> To unsmart a Garmin you just go into settings and flick down to phone and disconnect. I don't think there will be a watch with the other functions you discuss without connectivity as I think Garmin expect you to use a phone to download your data. 

 

I’ve just got a 255 to replace my 645. It’s very good. The multi mode GPS is super accurate and battery life is impressive. I think it might get pushed up in price as a lot reviews note it does everything thing the top of the range 955 does apart from having music, a touchscreen and maps. I can live with that. I got mine for £270 which seemed fair.

OP StefanB 12 Jun 2022

Thanks, everyone! Looks like the Instinct will be my choice. 

 random_watcher 12 Jun 2022
In reply to StefanB:

I've got an Instinct that I've upgraded from that I'm going to be selling if you are interested?


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