Help with fitness/smartwatch decision

I know there are threads for about every watch out there and I have read them. I’m suffering from analysis paralysis to a comical level. I’ve had a Whoop for 3 years and like checking my metrics in the morning. But my subscription is about to expire and, until the V5 is released, I think I’ve gained all I can from it. So, I’m thinking of something new. I’m looking at the AW8 and the FR955.
I’m more attracted to the 955. But, I use a Wahoo when riding. If I go with the 955, I’m beholden to the Connect ecosystem, correct? In order to use my Wahoo when riding (there’s no way I’m looking at a watch mtn biking and while on gravel) and to get the data to the Garmin, I have to route the data through Strava or TPeaks, correct? Am I missing something? I assume most people who use a bike computer and a watch stay with Garmin for both. I don’t really want to buy 2 new head units.
If I don’t integrate the data, then an AW8 for basic health metrics and the Wahoo for training data might be the way to go, since it’s at least a superior smartwatch. The current Apple health metrics should be close to what I’m getting from the Whoop.
I’ll miss out on the body battery. Is this a big deal? Some of the other features sound cool, but I can also see using them for the first couple weeks and then forgetting about them.

As the Ultra seemed like a warning shot to Garmin, I assume Apple will add about half the features it’s missing over the course of the next year.

Am I looking at this correctly? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

Garmin Connect only allows automatic import of activities from a few places, Wahoo, Strava and TrainingPeaks are not on that list. To get the activity into Garmin Connect you have to manually upload the FIT file on the Garmin Connect site. This won’t give you training status or training effect for it. It just shows up as an activity for that date and you can analyze it there.

Dual recording is also an option where the watch is recording at the same time as the Wahoo ELEMNT.


If you go the Apple Watch route you might want to consider dual recording with your cycling computer and the watch. Heart rate monitoring on your wrist won’t be as good as a heart rate strap. In my case my HRM is connected to a Wahoo Bolt, which then uploads to Strava, which then loads to Apple Health. The problem with that however is that when it gets to Apple Health many of the metrics such as heart rate are essentially summary-posted (not all the detail passes through). If you also record on an Apple Watch it will bring the full granularity into Apple Heath - as good as heart rate data can be from the wrist. Theoretically you can pair your HRM with the Apple Watch, but I’m not sure if a HRM can be paired with a cycling computer and a watch at the same time. One other thing to note is if you record on multiple devices and those all report into Apple Health, then Apple Health will de-dupe the data, though I don’t know if that applies to all metrics. Hopefully I’m not inserting more complexity here :confused:

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What do you want the fitness watch for? More fitness or smart watch?
If Fitness I would lean towards the Garmin 955, I picked one up a couple of months ago and love it. Garmin Connect sends data to Apple Health if you want it to.
For fitness it has far more options and capability for various activities and support for ANT+ and 3rd party accessories (try connecting a HRM or PM to an Apple Watch) :roll_eyes: I think you can over BLE with some 3rd Party Apps
Battery life is superior, weighs less and in my opinion looks better too.

For riding, I would just dual record. I still haven’t bought a bike computer yet and still use an old Android Phone running Wahoos App for cycling, I get all my metrics from the phone app whilst riding and my Garmin 955 records the activity and syncs to Connect—>Strava/Training Peaks etc…
The only issue I have today is with outdoor rides (I have to use watch as can’t sync Workouts to wahoo phone app)

I was initially curious about the Apple Ultra when released , but more and more less impressed, I think it still lacks a lot of maturity in the fitness software.

I find the Garmin fine for wrist notifications, excellent for sleep tracking and really enjoy the new metrics such as real-time Stamina and Body Battery , all other smart features I’m happy to action on my iPhone :grinning:

But, if you’re primarily after a smart watch, that can record runs/swims etc (albeit with limited options) then go Apple.

I have used Apple watch since the day the first version was released. AW is a very nice way to get notifications, reminders, messages and other info without having to carry and use the iphone. However, I have never considered it as a sport watch. Especially for cycling, with all the different sensors, the specialized devices from Garmin etc.are in my opinion the better choice. I understand that with the new AW Ultra and the future versions this may change, so perhaps I will need to look into them again. For following all my fitness metrics I also use the Oura ring. The data from the ring and AW and the data imported from my workouts provides me with all the information I need.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro.

I’ve got the Fenix 6 Pro and it’s a massively clever, full featured piece of kit.

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I combine a Garmin Edge 1040, Garmin Smart Scale, TrainerRoad, and an Apple Ultra into TrainingPeaks / WKO5 and Apple Health.

For heavy analysis I use WKO5. I can push metrics (e.g., HRV, etc.) from my Apple Ultra to TrainingPeaks / WKO5, so I end up with everything in one place. This is really the key to having a heterogeneous environment: figuring out the data consolidation strategy ahead of time and making sure it will work

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Fenix 6S for me. I have tiny little matchstick-like arms. The Fenix is amazing. No issues with battery life, functionality, etc.

I have disabled all smartphone notifications on it however; the constant buzzing and flashing of emails and text messages simply created too much anxiety in my life.

I love the Fenix for all the tracking stuff, seamless integration with my 830, Garmin Scale, and the NFC (tap-and-pay) is a delight.

(p.s. I use it with a Pixel phone)

I have to leave notifications on: we use Okta verify, and the Apple Watch app is sooooo much nicer than logging into my phone just so I can say yes to Okta

Thanks everyone! This is helping tip me back towards the 955. I have to admit I’m rather embarrassed I never thought to check whether you can pair a powermeter and hr strap to two devices at once. I now see it’s no issue with ant+; that really helps ameliorate the synching headache I was envisioning.