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Garmin digs in as the smartwatch maker for everyone

Jacob Palmer/BestReviews

Garmin exhibits multiple smartwatch series at CES 2024

As far as the eye could see at the Garmin CES exhibit, there were smartwatches — for divers, for golfers, for runners, for hikers, for office workers.

As they expand into a watch for every single kind of person, it’s easy to wonder if and when their quality will start to dilute. As the old saying goes, you can’t be everything to everyone. But, so far, they haven’t had a product go through the BestReviews Testing Lab without receiving the highest of marks. Here’s what was new at CES this year from Garmin that caught our eye — and what we’re eager to put through our testing process later this year.

More coverage from CES: 

For fitness: Venu 3 Series Smartwatches

Exhibit display of seven smartwatches of different colors and faces.
Jacob Palmer/BestReviews

A huge winner at CES this year — taking home CES Innovation Awards for both the Sports/Fitness and Accessibility categories — the Venu 3 has rolled out new features that are first of its kind like wheelchair mode, which tracks pushes as opposed to steps. 

They come packed with features many have come to expect from Garmin, like GPS and impressive displays that are intuitive to control.

You can get one now on Amazon for less than $450 — putting them in the middle-zone of the price spectrum for Garmin smart watches.

For the office: Lily 2 Series Smartwatches

Exhibit display of three smartwatches of different colors and faces.
Jacob Palmer/BestReviews

A trend has emerged at CES that I’ll call the anti-smartwatch smartwatch. They don’t look like your traditional smartwatches, and in many ways, that’s a good thing. Take the Lily 2 from Garmin, which gives you a sleek look that you’d be happy wearing to the office or a wedding — something you simply can’t say about something that is more optimized for trail running.

The Lily 2 comes with all the features you’d expect for wellness monitoring but also gives you a sophisticated look 

As with all Garmin smartwatches, it pairs with your smartphone and performs as well as any proprietary watch that lives on the same system, according to our testers in the BestReviews lab. Get the Lily 2 now for $249.99 on Amazon

The quintessential anti-smartwatch smartwatch: Nowatch

Wooden exhibit display of six smartwatches of different colors and faces.
Jacob Palmer/BestReviews

The worst part about smartwatches for many is that they don’t make life any less stressful. If you don’t manage your notification settings, you can find yourself more irritated than before. It’s always been my feeling that you don’t need to know about a social-media notification directly to your wrist.

That’s where the Nowatch comes in as a watch totally centered on wellness in all its forms. Because even if you know how many steps you’ve taken in a given day, it’s probably a net negative if you are adding stress to the equation.

The Nowatch measures stress, sleep and activities and will alert its users when it’s time to re-center and find some calmness. It features a sleek app for when you’re ready to dive deep, but the actual watch itself is as simple as it gets. The bands are also built for both exercise as well as officewear. 

Currently only available in Europe, they aim to start selling in America sometime in the non-descript future. 

For the golfer: Marq Golfer

Exhibit display of six smartwatches of different colors and faces.
Jacob Palmer/BestReviews

Plain and simple, Garmin has the best smartwatches for golfers. I’ve tested models in this category going back to the originals that simply gave you yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. But the Approach S62 changed everything when it comes to my expectations for what this tech can bring you on the course.

It gives you as much information as your smartphone could but on your wrist at a not-ridiculous size. That’s quite the feat.

This year, Garmin is touting its Marq line for golfers, which has much of the same technology but is more style-oriented. It won the CES Innovation Award in the Wearable Technologies category due to its lightweight design and impressive AMOLED touchscreen display. It comes preloaded with 43,000 golf courses. 

We look forward to comparing it side-by-side with the Approach line. 

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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