Garmin is a veteran in wearable technology serving outdoor sports enthusiasts for decades. Oura, on the other hand, is fairly new to the game. You might think the former can easily beat the latter in the fitness tracking space, but is it even the case? In this quick Oura vs. Garmin comparison guide, you’ll find out which brand is better when it comes to activity, sleep, and recovery tracking.
Oura can track over 50 kinds of activities, such as walking, running, core exercises, HIIT, strength training, mountain biking, surfing, and even household chores. It’s also capable of tracking activities automatically and suggests the time, duration, type, and intensity of activities you do. It’s not perfect, though. In fact, it needs a lot of work to make more precise.
Garmin smartwatches and fitness trackers are much more suitable for activity tracking. From slimmer models like Vivosmart 5 and Vivofit 4 to more advanced smartwatches like Vivomove Sport and Venu 2, Garmin wearables take the cake.
All in all, Oura and Garmin have good fitness tracking capabilities with insights into your daily and weekly activities as well as basic metrics like calorie burn, steps, average heart rate.
Oura is hands down the best sleep tracking device you can get. This smart ring tracks a user’s total sleep duration, time in bed, resting heart rate or the number of times your heart beats per minute when you’re at rest, sleep stages, sleep timing, and sleep latency or how long it takes for you to fall asleep.
Unlike Oura’s multiple sets of different sensors, Garmin’s sleep monitoring only uses its optical heart sensor to track sleep, thus you get a very limited dataset. Not all Garmin devices can monitor sleep, although most of their smartwatches and fitness trackers are supported, including Forerunner 945, Venu Sq, Venu 2 Plus, and Fenix 6.
Overall, Garmin has decent sleep tracking capabilities. However, a wristband-type wearable might not be the most comfortable device to wear when sleeping. Oura has more advanced sleep tracking technology and is less cumbersome to wear at night.
Oura scores a user’s recovery based on what it calls ‘Readiness,’ which measures how ready you are for the day. Scored up to 100, this score is based on a few factors, including body temperature, lowest overnight resting heart rate, body temperature, previous day’s activity, sleep and activity balance, and heart rate variability (HRV). Oura recommends targeting at least 85 for best recovery. Nevertheless, at least 70 is deemed good. Oura also gives insights and practical recommendations if your Readiness score falls below 70.
On the other hand, Garmin uses what it calls ‘Body Battery’ to measure a user’s recovery. Scored on a scale from 1 to 100, Body Battery primarily looks at HRV, stress, and activity levels to come up with a result. It’s not as good as Oura’s, but it does the job.
In terms of form factor, Oura and Garmin wearables are very different. However, they have almost the same electronics that power them up.
Battery-wise, Oura can last for up to 7 days after one full charge. Garmin can last for up to 80 days in battery saver mode and 46 days in Expedition GPS mode. But realistically, you’re going to use the watches or fitness tracker to their full ability, so expect the battery to run dry around a week, depending on the model you’re getting.
In terms of protection, Oura smart rings are full protected from water, dust, and scratch. It’s categorized under 10 ATM, so that means you can use the rings underwater for up to 100 meters for 1 hour. Meanwhile, not all Garmin devices are waterproof. Some of its waterproof wearables include Fenix 6 (10 ATM), Instinct (10 ATM), Venu (5 ATM), and Vivoactive 4 (5 ATM).
Oura is available in different colors silver, gold, black, and stealth black. Garmin has all sorts of colors for its straps, including red, gray, black, and blue. In terms of sizing, Garmin has standard sizes that you can adjust according to your wrist, while Oura is available between 6 and 12 mm.
Both also have mobile apps for iOS and Android devices where users can access more in-depth data and insights into their activities, sleep, and recovery.
Pricing & Availability
Oura and Garmin are so different in terms of pricing. Oura 3 costs $299 for a one-time payment. You have the option to become a premium member for $5.99 per month, which gives you access to a more in-depth content library.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly Garmin devices, Venu Sq ($200), Vivosmart 4 ($150), and Vivofit 4 ($100) are the best deals out there. The best mid-range Garmin watches are Venu 2S ($450) and Venu 2 Plus ($400).
Oura vs. Garmin: Which One Suits You?
In conclusion, you can never go wrong whether you’re getting Oura or a Garmin fitness tracker or smartwatch. But which is which? If it’s activity tracking, a Garmin fitness tracker like Vivofit 4 and Vivosmart 4 are great options. If you need the display screen functionality of a smartwatch, the Venu Sq and Vivomove Sport are viable choices. If you value sleep tracking more, Oura is your best bet. At the end of the day, your decision should be based on what you value more.
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Best Garmin Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers
If your choice is Garmin, you will have an endless portfolio of high-quality, good looking watches to choose from. Our blogs make your selection process a little easier by reviewing five Garmin smartwatches and the best Garmin fitness trackers that have a ton of health and activity features packed in stylish and robust devices!