How Long Does a Garmin Fitness Tracker Last?
Garmin fitness trackers are durable, they cover almost all activities, and they don’t need to be charged every night (looking at you Apple). Garmin watches can be pricy though, so you may want to know how long you can expect to have your watch.
Garmin fitness trackers will last at least 3 to 4 years with daily use. Their trackers receive large software updates for 2 years after being released and then small updates with bug fixes for several years after that. Garmin makes their trackers durable, ensuring that they last a long time.
Garmin watches do tend to last a lot longer than most other small electronics, but they don’t last forever. Keep reading to find out more about what you can expect from your Garmin below.
How Long Do the Batteries Last?
Batteries in Garmin Watches can last for years. They will typically last 3 years before losing charge capacity.
Garmin uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in their trackers just like the ones that most other small electronics have. Lithium Ion batteries will last from 300-500 cycles before beginning to lose charge capacity. A battery cycle is going from a full charge to an empty to a full charge again. After 300-500 cycles, the batteries will start to gradually hold less of a charge. Once a battery has gone through 1,500 cycles, it will have about 80% of its original capacity.
Many people are used to devices like smartphones and Apple watches that you charge every day. Those devices begin to lose their capacity after about 2 years of use. Unlike those other devices though, Garmin only needs to be charged once or twice a week, sometimes less. This means that you’ll reach 500 cycles on your smartphone after about a year and a half, while it will take you 3-5 years to reach that on a lot of Garmin watches.
You can make your battery last longer by avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures and by storing the watch at a half charge when you don’t use it for an extended period of time.
For most people, the battery capacity is not going to be an issue. Most battery issues will actually be a problem with the charging mechanism or the software.
Do Garmin Watches Lose Accuracy?
Some people report that Garmin watches lose accuracy with the GPS over time, but you’re unlikely to notice this problem. As the electronics in the watch age and degrade, the watch could potentially start to have issues with tracking, but by the time it gets to that point, it’s likely not the only issue the watch has.
There are certain situations unrelated to the age of the watch than can make the watch inaccurate. GPS, for example, will not work indoors and may struggle in areas such as canyons, city streets with tall buildings, and under thick foliage. Some watches experience software bugs that make them lose accuracy at times. Those issues can usually be resolved by turning the watch off and back on again or updating the software.
More likely as some models of Garmin watches get older, Garmin will stop prioritizing software updates and bug fixes for those watches, which will lead to some software issues. Newer models will likely be more accurate as both the software and the hardware in the devices improve.
It should take many years for you to notice this problem with your Garmin watch, and most people won’t have this problem.
Can My Garmin Be Repaired?
Garmin does not allow for their watches to be repaired and there are almost no outside technicians that can repair the watches, unfortunately.
Like other small electronics companies, Garmin chooses to forego the expenses associated with providing spare parts and service manuals. They also say that repairing the watches requires special training and tools that most people don’t have, so they just don’t offer any of the parts.
Garmin watches do not have user-replaceable batteries either, due to the rechargeable lithium batteries the watches use.
Garmin does have a warranty program for factory defects for up to 1 year. If you find something wrong with your watch that was not user caused (crashing your bike and smacking it on a rock doesn’t count) you can send in your watch to be serviced. Generally, however, they will simply send a different watch rather than repairing and sending the same one you sent in if they determine that it’s eligible for the warranty.
What Do You Do When Your Garmin Watch Stops Working?
There are a few things you can do when your Garmin watch stops working. If your watch is still within the first year of purchase, you may still be eligible for a replacement under the warranty. In that case, you can find information on how to file a claim on Garmin’s website.
If you’re past the warranty, you can find some troubleshooting tips on Garmin’s support website. Some problems can be fixed by resetting the watch, installing the latest update, or cleaning the charging port.
If your watch was physically damaged during your adventures, it’s time for a new watch. There really isn’t much you can do to fix a broken watch.
When you do throw out the old watch, look into e-waste recyclers in your area. Since Garmin fitness trackers have small electronics and batteries in them, this is the best way to dispose of them.
How Long Can a Garmin Instinct last?
You can expect about 3 to 4 years of use for your Garmin watch. Realistically your watch will probably last much longer than that as long as you don’t damage it.
The Garmin Instinct has one of the longest battery lives of all Garmin watches. The Instinct can last up to 4 weeks on a single charge. The solar version can push that to 6 weeks. With this longer battery life, you can bet that your battery is not going to wear out for a long time.
The Instinct is also designed to be one of their more rugged watches. The controls are buttons instead of a more fragile touchscreen, and the body of the watch is strong.
Your watch will likely outlast your desire to keep wearing it. Most people will replace the watch because they get bored with it and not because it breaks.