Do Garmin Watches Work with iPhones? [Solved]

Digital Life Central is reader-powered. We are a participant in the Amazon LLC Associates Program and other affiliates programs. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are an iPhone user thinking about buying a Garmin Smartwatch, there are a few things you need to know. First, do Garmin watches work with iPhones? The answer is yes, but let’s go into more detail.

Garmin is one of the more popular smartwatch brands with serious athletes. So when you need to train with a purpose, this is the one fitness tracker and smartwatch you should consider investing in.

What Do I Need To Do To Get My iPhone to Sync with My Garmin? 

One of the things you need to do when you set up Garmin is to get it to link with your iPhone. To do that, you need to download the Connect IQ app

As an iPhone user, you would have thought this would make them fully compatible. But, let’s put it this way, downloading the Connect IQ app makes them more compatible.

It is essential to be aware that there are limitations. For instance, you will not be able to send text messages from all Garmins. On top of that, replying to messages is not possible. 

Can you receive text messages on your Garmin watch? Yes, you can, but sending them is a different story. 


Is It Worth Owning a Garmin Watch? 

You can use all of the other features once your Garmin watch is connected via Bluetooth to your iPhone. 

Maybe that makes you wonder if owning a Garmin watch is worth it? If you are committed to keeping fit and have an intense training schedule, there is no doubt about it – Garmin watches are worth it. 

Pros of owning a Garmin smartwatch: 

  • Advanced running data
  • Lasts longer when compared to other fitness trackers
  • Excellent backup service
  • Advanced location data
  • Better battery life
  • Recovery time indicator

A Garmin is the best way to track your fitness and training status if you are a marathon runner or a triathlete

Do I Need to Be An Athlete to Own a Garmin? 

No, you don’t need to be an athlete. But, of course, if you are getting into fitness and sport, a Garmin smartwatch may not be your first choice. But, it should undoubtedly be on your shopping list. 

Once you own a Garmin, you will better appreciate its many advantages. 

Are All Garmin Watches Compatible with iPhone? 

You need to have iOS 7 or above for your Garmin smartwatch to work with your iPhone. If you are thinking about buying a Garmin, this is the selection you should be taking a look at.

  • Garmin Fenix 7S
  • Garmin Hybrid
  • Garmin Fenix 5
  • Garmin Fenix 6
  • Garmin Vivoactiv 3 Music
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus
  • Garmib Vivomore HR
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4
  • Garmin Vivoactive 5


How Do I Set Up My Compatible Garmin Watch to Sync with My iPhone? 

Fortunately, Garmin has realized that we are not all tech experts. So syncing your Garmin smartwatch with your iPhone is not difficult. 

Follow the following steps, and you should get your Garmin and iPhone to sync: 

  • Open the Garmin Connect Mobile
  • Tap on select more
  • Select Garmin Devices
  • Place Instinct in pairing mode with available devices.
  • Hold Menu and enter the main menu. 

Connecting from your iPhone: 

  • From your iPhone, select Add Device
  • When Garmin mobile finds Instinct, enter the six-digit code which is displayed in the Instinct to your iPhone

Once connected, sync will occur automatically in the background each time you open the app. If it doesn’t, or you want to force a refresh, push the icon on the top right corner.

What Do I Do When I Can’t Connect? 

If you have picked the suitable Garmin model to work with your iPhone, there is no reason why the setup should not work. 

However, don’t forget that smart devices receive updates all of the time. For example, do you have all the latest updates downloaded on your Garmin and your iPhone? 

That is the first thing you need to check. Once you have updated your device and phone, you should be good to go. 

As a backup plan, it is good to switch off both devices after you have downloaded updates for both. This is because updates are not recognized and fully integrated on occasion unless you have rebooted both devices. 

What If I Can’t Connect After Installing Updates? 

More often than, you should not have a problem once you have rebooted your phone and device. 

If you still have a problem, the first thing you should do is wait for 24 hours. After that, there could be another update, including a patch to fix any existing problem. 

Once you have linked the two devices, you should not have any problems. It seems that Garmin technology is a bit better when compared to Fitbit tech

What About Server Errors? 

If you owned another fitness tracker before you bought your Garmin, you would know that most tech companies experience server errors from time to time. 

The same is true of Garmin and Apple as well. As a result, both companies occasionally experience server errors. 

Interestingly enough, Apple seems to experience more server errors than Garmin. However, as Garmin is popular with what can best be described as high-end users, the company appears to maintain its servers to a very high standard. 

Other Issues Affecting Connectivity

Other issues can affect the connectivity between the two devices. The most common ones include a change in permissions and network problems. 

When you suspect that a permission issue is affecting the connectivity, try to check the permissions of any recently installed apps. Are they overriding your already set up permissions? 

If an app is not 100% compatible with your iPhone, you may find that not only does the new app affect functions on your iPhone. It may also affect the functions of other apps. 

When you suspect an app issue, remove the recently installed app. Does it work now? If so, there was a problem with the new app. 

Do I Need to Set up the GPS Function? 

Garmin has first-class GPS functions. After all, this is perhaps what the company is best known for in the sports space and military usage. 

This seems to be a bit hit and miss still when it comes to the connection between the two devices. However, in general, you should be able to set it up under Apps that you will find in your settings. 

Does My Garmin Device Work Without My Smartphone? 

Many Garmin users never link their devices to their smartphones. When you take part in more advanced sports, find yourself in the military and compete in endurance events, the last thing you want to do is carry another device. 

Garmin is perfectly happy to work without a smartphone. However, when you come home and connect your smartphone with your Garmin, the data should sync automatically. 

That being said, it is a good idea to put them next to each other. If you notice that they have not “found each other” after a while, restart both devices. That should work. 

Can I Answer Calls On My Garmin? 

You can answer calls when you use Garmin Venu 2 Plus. It has a built-in speaker and mic, so you should not have a problem interacting with it. 

You can also answer messages on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, thanks to dedicated answer buttons on the watch face. 

To make calls and answer messages, the device does need to be wirelessly connected to your phone. 

The downside of that is that the phone needs to be within range. 

One of the pros of buying a Garmin Venu 2 Plus is that you can access Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby from Samsung. 

What Do I Need to Know Before I Buy A Garmin Watch? 

If you have an iPhone already, you first need to know if your new Garmin is going to be compatible with your iPhone. 

When you buy one of the models mentioned above, you don’t have to worry about that. They are all compatible with iPhone. 

If you have owned an Apple watch in the past, you will know that it serves what many would call a “general purpose.” In other words, it is not dedicated to one particular sport. 

Some Garmin watches are dedicated to particular sports. Therefore, you need to make sure that you buy a suitable device. 

When connectivity is essential to you, it is even more important that you make your buying decision carefully. Garmin is bringing out new watches all of the time. They are becoming increasingly multi-purpose, which is a good thing for user-ability. 

It will take you a while to get familiar with your Garmin watch. However, the amount of health metric data it offers you is pretty staggering. 

better battery life is one of the top reasons many smartwatch users opt for Garmin instead of Fitbit and the Apple Watch. The battery life is excellent. Even if you are going on a 5-day hike, you don’t have to worry about the battery. 

The battery on most Garmin watches lasts for seven days. 

In Conclusion

Do Garmin watches work with iPhones? Unfortunately, not all of the older models do. However, the new models work with iPhone. Remember that you need to check before buying and make sure Garmin is a good choice for you.