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Are Garmin Watches Compatible with iPhones? Let’s Find Out


Garmin watches are some of the top models on the market. From counting steps and keeping track of your energy levels to mapping routes and estimating calories, the latest Garmin watches can do a lot for you. But are Garmin watches compatible with iPhones?

A Garmin smartwatch can work with an iPhones via the Garmin Connect app. Your iPhone must be running on iOS version 7 or higher, or you might have a compatibility issue that makes it difficult for a Garmin watch to pair and sync to the mobile device.

With the Garmin Connect app, you can synchronize data from your watch to your smartphone and have more details to analyze.

The data include skin temperature, perceived efforts, BMI, and fitness progress alerts.

Are Garmin Watches Compatible With iPhones?

A Garmin smartwatch can connect and work with an iPhone provided the phone runs on iOS version 7 or higher.

If your iPhone meets the iOS condition set by Apple for Garmin smartwatch compatibility, you’ll need to download the Garmin Connect app and use Bluetooth technology to synchronize the watch and the phone.

I’ll show you exactly how to connect your Garmin smartwatch to your iPhone later in this guide. For now, let’s look at some examples of Garmin smartwatches that work well with iPhones.

Best Garmin Smartwatch for iPhones

Some of the best Garmin watches that work well with iPhones running on iOS version 7 or higher are as follows:  

  • Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4
  • Garmin Venu

1. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

The Fenix 6 Pro stands out as a solid, weatherproof model with a rugged design. Optimized for all-time visibility, the display is so clear that you can view the screen even under direct sunlight.

Fenix 6 Pro measures heart rate from the wrist and uses the Pulse Ox technology to monitor and deliver advanced sleep metrics. With its PacePro feature, the Fenix 6 Pro can give you a reliable pace guidance on activities of varying intensity.

When it comes to outdoor navigation, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro uses preloaded maps to help you stay on track. Its GPS system is to powerful that you never have to worry about losing direction if you ever find yourself in a foreign place.


  • Up to 14 days battery life on a single charge in smartwatch mode
  • Supports Garmin Pay for making contactless payments
  • Features advanced mapping with multiple GPS and 3-axis compass 


  • Poor battery life in GPS and music mode
  • Garmin Pay contactless payments not available in some countries
  • Hard to read in extremely low light
  • Whether info could use some touchups to enhance accuracy

Click Here to Buy Fenix 6 Pro

2. Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4 can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle by letting you keep track of your daily activities.

The watch features an easy to read, 1.3-inch, touchscreen display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which protects the screen from cracks and abrasion.

For what it’s worth, I find the sunlight visible, trans-reflective MIP display quite impressive for outdoor activities. And the ability to read the watch even under direct sunlight is something hard not to love.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 includes the Garmin fitness coaching, which, in my opinion, an impressive technology takes personal training from the field and places it right on your wrist.

It’s interesting just how Garmin has focused on ensuring that the Vivoactive 4 tracks metrics accurately.

For example, the band include Pulse Oximeter, hydration, sleep, and respiratory sensors, all which return reliable estimates.

Again, if you’re currently on the market for an iPhone compatible Garmin smartwatch that guarantees an accurate estimate of your heart rate, the Vivoactive 4 is a good choice.


  • Comes with good battery life
  • Supports cashless payment
  • Durable screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Several helpful sensors and live coaching right from the screen


  • Heart Rate and ANT+ aren’t available for broadcast
  • Poor battery life in GPS mode

Click Here to Buy Garmin Vivoactive 4

3. Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu is an outdoor activity tracker with a 1.2-inch AMOLED optical, always-on touchscreen display.

The watch connects to Spotify and iHeartRadio to keep you entertained while working out. Alternatively, you can use the 4GB internal storage to store up to 500 quality songs of your choice.

Because Garmin Venu is a waterproof fitness tracker with a 5 ATM rating, you can wear it to the shower or use it to hit the pool and track your swim stats.

Garmin Venu also features an ANT+ sensor whose purpose is to let you connect to fitness equipment like treadmills.

If you love cycling and would like to track your progress and see your stats in the Garmin Connect app for iPhone, Garmin Venu is the smartwatch for you. That’s because the band has a cadence sensor that tracks the number of pedal revolutions per minute.


  • Tracks different types of activities
  • The screen responds well to touches
  • It feature a clear, easy to navigate display


  • The results aren’t always accurate

Click Here to Buy Garmin Venu

How to Connect Garmin Watch to Your iPhone

I’m assuming you already have a Garmin smartwatch that’s compatible with iPhone and you’re ready to do the pairing.

Follow these steps to connect the Garmin watch to iPhone:

1. Charge Your Garmin Watch

Every Garmin watch that works with iPhone comes with some charge, but I strongly recommend charging the battery until it’s full before you start using it.

My guide on how to charge a Garmin watch should be helpful if you’re just getting started with smartwatches from this brand.

Your options including using a wall charger or using a USB cable. I recommend the former option because it can charge the device faster.

2. Download Garmin Connect for iOS

The Garmin Connect app for iOS is must have. Otherwise, you can’t pair a Garmin watch to your iPhone if you don’t have the app installed.

To install the app if you don’t have it already, click here.

3. Enable Bluetooth Connection

Your Garmin watch requires Bluetooth connection to communicate with your iPhone via the Garmin connect app.

So make sure you enable this option to pair the two devices successfully.

4. Setup Your Garmin Watch

Once you have your Garmin watch fully charged and powered on:

  • Use the up and down buttons to select your preferred language.
  • Accept the option to pair the device with your phone, and then go to the next step.

5. Link the Watch to the Garmin Connect App 

Follow these steps carefully to link your Garmin watch to your iPhone smartphone:

  • Sign in to your Garmin account or sign up if you don’t have an active account yet.
  • Tap More in the Garmin app.
  • Select Garmin Devices and then choose Add Garmin Device

Give Garmin Connect a few minutes to search for your device. Remember, you must enable Bluetooth technology for this process to work.

If the Garmin Connect fails to identify your device automatically, choose your model from the list of options in the app.

  • Enter the 6-digit code that appears on your smartwatch’s display into the pop-up window that appears on the Garmin Connect app.
  • Wait for the connection to commence and finish the rest of the setup as instructed on the screens that follow.

And that’s it.

You have successfully connected your Garmin watch to an iPhone. 

Remember, Garmin watches are compatible only with iPhone watches that run on iOS 7 or later version. You will have a compatibility or connectivity issue if your smartphone doesn’t meet this condition.

How to Sync Garmin Watch to Your iPhone

There are two ways to sync data from your Garmin watch to iPhone:

  • Manual Sync: Bring the watch closer to your iPhone, open the app, tap on the sync icon, and wait for the data to synchronize. 
  • Automatic Periodic Sync: Turn on the Auto Sync option in the Garmin Connect. Doing so will activate periodic data sync whenever your smartwatch is closer to your iPhone.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Garmin Watches Sync with Apple Health?

There’s no direct way to connect a Garmin watch to Apple Health.

If you would like to see data from your Garmin watch in the Apple Health app, you will have to connect Garmin Connect to Apple Health first. 

2. Why Can’t I Connect My Garmin to iPhone?

Your Garmin watch can’t connect to iPhone because you haven’t had it configured properly.

When properly configured to a compatible iPhone, you’ll see a green do on the My Day View in the Garmin Connect app.

To fix this issue: 

  • Shut down both the Garmin watch and the iPhone, and then turn them back on.
  • Go to Settings on your iPhone and activate the Bluetooth.
  • Go to Apple App Store, look for Garmin Connect, and update the app the latest version.
  • Launch the Garmin Connect app and remove the Garmin watch from the list of paired devices. Or, you can clear the Garmin Connect app data.
  • Go to settings, select Bluetooth, and remove the Garmin watch from the list of paired devices.
  • Try connecting your Garmin watch to the iPhone again by following the same steps I shared in this guide.

Related Reading

Final Thoughts

Apple watches are the best to use with iPhone smartphones, but the best models can be quite expensive. An alternative option is to get a model from Garmin and connect it to your iPhone via the Garmin Connect app.

What draws the line between Apple and Garmin watches is connectivity. An Apple watch will only sync to iOS devices while the Garmin watch are so versatile that they can connect to iOS and Android devices.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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