Are Michael Kors or Garmin smartwatches better? 

Smartwatches have become more than just extensions of cellphones and fitness trackers. Their tracking and connectivity add flexibility and ease to daily life. When deciding on which smartwatch brand is right for you, consider your lifestyle; consider how much time you exercise or spend outside and how important the look and style of the watch is to you. What’s more, many brands even make smartwatches for kids

Garmin and Michael Kors have many different models of smartwatches to help you stay connected and on track with your goals. Garmin’s rugged and reliable smartwatches will accompany you anywhere you need to go and make sure you don’t get lost along the way, while Michael Kors’ sleek and stylish watches are discrete and will keep you connected. 

Garmin smartwatches

Garmin smartwatches will withstand any indoor or outdoor adventure. Their wide variety of models have features that can track fitness, as well as keep you connected on the trail. In addition, Garmin has built many different apps that come preloaded into their watches, and many models connect easily to Garmin’s Coach or Explore programs, extending the features available. 

Garmin builds most of its watches to U.S. military standards so they can withstand sudden changes in temperature and water pressure. In particular, the Instinct watch has some of the most unique features, like a three-axis compass, multiple global navigation systems and a trackback feature to help you find your way home. Their watches also connect with a Garmin explore profile, so you can plan trips in advance. 

Lighter and less expensive models like the Vivoactive track your heart rate, activity, sleep and stress and have long battery lives. The Vivoactive connects to Garmin Coach, and its preloaded apps have all types of workouts that you can follow on your screen. All of Garmin’s watches boast great battery life and some models, like the Instinct Solar, have solar charging systems to extend their battery life even more. 

Garmin smartwatches cost anywhere from $200-$700, depending on the number of features included in the watch. More expensive models have better navigation systems and battery life. 

Garmin smartwatch pros

  • Able to withstand rugged outdoor activities
  • GPS and TracBack technology
  • Long battery life 
  • Ability to connect to Garmin Explore and Coach website and app

Garmin smartwatch cons

  • Not all models have microphones.
  • Screen designs are monochrome and simple. 
  • Models with the most features are bulkier in size.

Best Garmin smartwatches

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct

The Instinct is great for keeping fit and planning outdoor adventures. The heart rate and activity monitors will help you stay in shape. Also, its multiple navigation systems and route-tracking features will ensure you never get lost. 

Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Garmin Instinct Solar

Garmin Instinct Solar

For a little extra money, you can get all the features of the standard Instinct model, plus a solar charging option. This model can extend its battery life when exposed to the sun. 

Sold by Amazon 

Garmin Vivoactive

Garmin Vivoactive

The Vivoactive still has GPS and fitness-tracking features, but is sleeker than other models. Its microphone and contactless payments make it better for everyday use. In addition, the face is customizable through free watch faces and widgets from Garmin’s Connect IQ. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Michael Kors Smartwatch

Michael Kors smartwatches are sleek and stylish. Each of their three models will help you stay connected in your everyday life. Every model is powered by Google’s Wear OS, an Android operating system designed for watches. But all models are compatible with iPhones as well. Also, their watch faces are discrete and look more like a traditional watch.

All Michael Kors watches track your heart rate and other activities, with some of them being waterproof up to 100 feet. Some have wellness enhancements that can track how much sleep you get and help you set future goals.

Most of the models contain many of the same features, so choosing the right one is a matter of which watch design matches your style. The newest model, Gen6 comes in four colors, and it stands out on the wrist with a metallic watch face and a thick band. The Gen5E Darci has a rounder watch face with thinner band and comes in different colors. However, if metallic watches are not your style, the MKGO series is made with lightweight aluminum and has a rubber strap that bears the Michael Kors logo. 

Michael Kors watches cost anywhere from $225-$425, with more expensive designs having more fitness-tracking features and a better battery life. 

Michael Kors smartwatches pros

  • LED display 
  • Stylish and discrete design
  • Long battery life 
  • Quick charge

Michael Kors smartwatches cons

  • Lower fitness- and activity-tracking capability
  • Fewer models to choose from 
  • Less customizable 

Best Michael Kors smartwatches

Michael Kors Gen 6

Michael Kors Gen 6

This model comes in four colors and has enhanced performance because it contains the newest Qualcomm 4100+ chipset. It has the best fitness and activity tracking ability, including a blood oxygen monitor. The Gen6 also charges faster than other models and has a long battery life. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Michael Kors MKGO

Michael Kors MKGO

This watch is sleeker and less bulky than other Michael Kors models, making it perfect for someone with an active, on-the-go lifestyle. What’s more, it can track heart rate and other fitness activities and is waterproof. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Should you get a Garmin or Michael Kors smartwatch?

Choosing between these two smartwatch brands is difficult. However, when you consider which brand has more capabilities and flexibility, Garmin is your best bet. Garmin has more smartwatch models available, and they will fit any lifestyle, not just the outdoor enthusiast. Furthermore, Garmin apps allow you to experience even more features with your watch. If you are looking for a smartwatch that goes beyond just fitness tracking and easy control of your phone, then Garmin will add adventure to your life. 

On the other hand, if you want the benefits of a smartwatch like fitness tracking, easy access to your phone and apps, but don’t want to sacrifice style, then Michael Kors is a great choice. All of its models are sleek and have great connectivity to most smartphones.


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Grace Miserocchi writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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