Garmin sports watches now operate much more like smartwatches, with a plethora of apps and faces downloadable from the Garmin Connect IQ store.
Changing your Garmin watch face means you can add specific metrics and widgets to the home screen, just as you would when customizing the data fields for your workouts.
These are watch faces made by third-party developers and the in-house Garmin folks, too, with the collection growing all the time.
We've tested pretty much every Garmin watch here at Wareable, and we've downloaded and played around with our fair share of watch faces in the process. So, we've picked out some of our favorites for you to consider.
Garmin watches that support Connect IQ faces
The list of options we've highlighted below is constantly evolving, but we've done our best to include faces with wide support for Garmin's popular Forerunner, Fenix, Venu, and Vivoactive models.
Garmin's more niche watches, like ones from the Approach, Marq, Enduro and Descent lines, are almost always supported by developers, too.
Here's the latest list of Garmin watches that support Connect IQ faces:
- Garmin Approach S60
- Garmin Approach S62
- Garmin D2 Series
- Garmin Descent Series
- Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
- Garmin Enduro
- Garmin Fenix 5 Series
- Garmin Fenix 6 Series
- Garmin Fenix 7 Series
- Garmin Forerunner 45
- Garmin Forerunner 55
- Garmin Forerunner 245
- Garmin Forerunner 255
- Garmin Forerunner 265
- Garmin Forerunner 645
- Garmin Forerunner 745
- Garmin Forerunner 945
- Garmin Forerunner 955
- Garmin Forerunner 965
- Garmin Marq (Gen 1 and Gen 2)
- Garmin Venu
- Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus
- Garmin Venu Sq and Venu 2 Sq
- Garmin Vivoactive 3
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
A nice option if you're rocking a Garmin with a color screen like the Epix (Gen 2) or the Venu series, Breeze V2 puts the time front and center and splits things like daily step counts, current outdoor temperature, battery status, and current heart rate up into quarters.
There's also a more simplified version available, too, letting you ditch those additional stats to show off time, date, and heart rate only if things get a bit too busy for you.
It's one you're going to need to pay for, however - £1.99/$1.99 if you want this slick face on your Garmin face.
If you love a Parkrun (and we're sure a lot of you do), then you need this watch face in your life.
You can simply display your Parkrun ID and barcode to be scanned along with ICE emergency information if you have any problems on your 5k jaunt.
There is a widget version, too, but, if your Garmin doesn't support widgets and does let you add watch faces, this is a useful one to have for your morning weekend runouts.
Some of the best Garmin watch faces are the ones that manage to present your stats and data in a really nice, clean manner. Otron definitely fits that bill.
It sticks the time up top and then splits up the rest of the screen to show off information like heart rate, battery, and current temperature with smaller icons below to let you know if you're being buzzed with notifications and messages.
You can trial the face first and then you'll need to pay $1.99 to have it for keeps. It's one that needs to run in the background, which will knock the battery, so that's something to keep in mind.
There are also Otron 2.0 and 3.0 faces that tinker with that look, but we'd say this is our favorite of the three.
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When Garmin launches a new watch, it's often the case that it reserves some new faces for those watches only. Thankfully, Connect IQ developers get on the case recreating them for other watches in its collection.
So, if you can't stomach the price of Garmin's ultrarunner-friendly Enduro, you can still get one of its best faces.
This colorful, data-rich option lets you show off sunset/sunrise times, weather forecasts, and staples like steps and heart rate. It does need to be able to run in the background when not in use, so can drain the battery, and it's one you'll also need to pay $1.99 for.
If you want one of the nicest Enduro faces on your Garmin, though, it might just be worth it.
One for mindfulness fans - or anyone that needs to take a breather after a stressful moment in their day - the CalmGuru face uses breath circles to indicate when to breathe in and out, with your current heart rate positioned at the center of the screen.
You can also set up calm heart rate alerts to let you know when you've returned to a calmer state.
You can adjust text and circle colors and can also keep step count progress and of course the time still in clear view. You'll need to give access to your watch's heart rate sensor, as well as barometer, temperature, and altitude history. and is one that's free to download.
Summit Watch Face
Mixing analog and digital watch looks, Summit gives you room to pick what's shown on the three digital sub-dials including battery and distance covered.
There are plenty of colored themes to pick from and it's now added the ability to show solar intensity data from watches like the Fenix 6 Pro Solar.
You'll need to permit access to the heart rate sensor, barometer, temperature, and altitude data, but it is one you can download for free and great if you can't choose between digital and analog watch worlds.
This weather-centric face looks great on the Fenix series and the Garmin Enduro, pulling in current conditions from openweather.org.
Along with showing off current weather, you also have additional fields for battery status, real-time heart rate, step counts, floors climbed, and environmental data like humidity and weather conditions.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors exploring, this is the kind of free face to have loaded up onto your Garmin.
This is an official Garmin watch face that sits firmly in the data-packed category but nicely breaks up the metrics, making them easy to glance at.
You can adjust the base colors in the face and there are six data fields you can customize to show off your preferred data. That's built around Garmin's Move Bar, time, date and a nice battery status indicator.
You'll need to permit access to your heart rate data, the barometer, temperature and altitude information to make the most of this metric-rich option.
Not Enduro reminds us a lot of the kind of colorful watch faces you'll find available to Fitbit smartwatch users. It nicely breaks down your preferred stats into a colored bar and drops the time and other watch features below.
You can select from 17 different stats to display and color options to choose from. Just be aware that using it will hog your battery life. It's a great looker, though, and a great one for Garmin's AMOLED-packing Venu smartwatches.
Since the arrival of the Venu and Venu Sq collections, we've been treated to an influx of bright, vibrant watch faces that look much nicer on AMOLED displays than transflective ones. Sunset definitely falls into that bracket and is a good fit for any Venu model.
Along with that sunset-inspired look, you can keep the stats on show minimal with steps, and small indicators for battery or incoming notifications tucked away at the bottom of the face.
It's one you're going to need to pay $2.39 to download, but it's a sleek face that we think is worthy of your time and money.
Another one that looks great on the Venu and Epix, you can throw some shapes onto your screen for a more fun look on your Garmin.
You can pick from either black or white themes and then you can choose to add stats like step counts and calories burned, along with the current date and time.
It costs $1.99 to purchase and does work on other Garmin watches that lack a more colorful screen. It's just going to feel and look nicer to use on the Venu though.
It's always a bit annoying when you see a watch face crop up on another Garmin and you scroll through to find out you don't have it in yours.
This Garmin Tactix D-inspired face looks great in all black with white text, but you can also customize to change up the colors to show off the metrics and information you care about the most.
It will require permission to the likes of heart rate and barometer and temperature sensors to give that added data hit on your watch face. It's a looker and works on a host of Garmin watches, too.
One of our faves on the Fenix, Infocal puts the watch time front and center and moves your glanceable data around the edges.
You can add up to eight complications, which you configure from Garmin Connect or Express, and it'll let you invert the colors if you prefer black text on a white face instead.
It will need access to onboard sensors to relay data to the watch face, whether you need to glance at weather updates, daily fitness tracking stats, or sunrise/sunset times.
Jogging Master is an official watch face made by Garmin that offers a nice-looking analog option where you can still show off your stats.
There are three sub-dials you can customize including the color and we found it's a good way to keep tabs on battery life status and daily step counts.
It's a good face to show how you can get that traditional watch face look and still find room for complications to live on it too.
If you like your watch faces crammed with complications, Rails is most certainly one for you.
This face lets you tinker with the icons dotted above and below the rails and you can adjust the thickness of the hours and minutes in the middle too.
You can also mix up the colors if you don't want to go with the yellow-themed one we've featured. You'll need to give it access to GPS location and sensors if you want to pull in information like weather, heart rate, and elevation.
Ranger is a very sleek analog face if you prefer to focus on the time and keep the step counts and heart rate readings well out of sight.
You can adjust the color of the face and the watch hands to make it a better fit for your Garmin and watch band. It's really simple, minimalist and that's why what we really like about it.
Movement is an official watch face made by Garmin that's all about bringing a splash of color to your sports watch.
The rainbow effect does its very best to bring some life to a display that can feel a little less vibrant when compared to an Apple or Samsung smartwatch display.
Along with the time, it'll let you view metrics like elevation (if your watch supports it) battery status and there's a little graphic equalizer that lets you know the music is playing.
In the watch face settings, which you can find in Connect IQ, you can tinker with the colors to mix things up. We think the default option is the most eye-catching though.
Ha Long Bay
One of our current new faves, the Ha Long Bay watch face will give your Garmin wearable a nice animated scene if you don't want it filled with all of those metrics.
Along with a boat that slowly moves across your face, you can see your step count along with the time, battery status, and whether you've got a Bluetooth connection to your paired smartphone.
Aiming to put as much useful information in front of your eyes as possible, ActiFace shows the time and date, your activity history graph in calories and distance, plus daily goal progress, step count, and notifications.
It's a big improvement on some of Garmin's dull efforts, and certainly one for data lovers.
Winner of the best new watch face at Garmin's 2019 Connect IQ Developer awards, Crystal is a really great example of a watch face that piles on the data without making it feel like a crowded mess.
There are three configurable data fields: heart rate, battery, and notifications.
You can have it display whether your watch is currently connected to your phone and it also incorporates Garmin's Move Bar. Down the side of the face, you can also assign features like battery life and your step count to complete your data fix.
If you've seen the Nike watch face you can find on the Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch, then DigiSport will feel familiar.
It pushes the time to the right, leaving room for three circular icons (large, medium, and small), which can be assigned information such as steps, Bluetooth connection status, and notifications.
You'll need to pay $0.99 to unlock those additional data fields if you want to complete the look of that Nike-like watch face on your Garmin.
This is a watch face that's a good fit for Garmin's more elegant-looking devices.
As well as displaying watch face staples like time and date, it uses glowing lines around the edge of the face to give you a visual indicator of your step-tracking progress.
It's available in four beach-themed colors and is definitely one of the best we've used on the older Forerunner models.
If you're all about the weather, this is a face that does a really nice job of displaying that metrological data.
As well as letting you glance at your heart rate, battery life, and notifications, it'll also place weather conditions from your current location with a sunny, rainy, or even snowy icon to let you know if you need to grab yourself a jacket before you leave the house.
You can also unlock extra options, which include additional color themes, weather data, and displaying seconds for the time.
The clue is in the name of this one. If you want the time front and center, that's what this watch face will do.
\It focuses on dedicating the watch screen largely to the time, but will also display data around it like heart rate, do not disturb mode, battery life status, and activity tracking information like steps and distance covered.
If you want a watch face in which time dominates the screen, this is one of the best we've used.
This watch face deals with the masses of data Garmin devices can churn out by simply putting a line down the screen to separate time from all that other information.
It's a bit more elegantly done once it's on your watch, dedicating the right side of the screen to calorie burn, battery life, weather, and heart rate.
On the left, you'll get the time and date. All in all, it's a nice alternative to the way other faces on the Connect IQ Store deal with all of those metrics.
If you're looking for an analog watch face, Polaris is a space-themed option that looks quite nice on Garmin's newer watches.
It's available in four cosmic-themed colors that, along with swapping numbers for watch hands, will also elegantly display the date and battery life status. It keeps things simple, but that's quite alright with us.
If you played the Nintendo classic all those years ago, then this dog appearing from the bushes will be a very familiar sight.
Inspired by the game, the animated watch face strips away the metrics and focuses on telling you the time and nothing else. If you don't need your data on show all day and you loved the game, this is definitely one for you.
This one is only fitting to wear in December (unless you're a total Christmas fanatic), but it's also the best watch face you want if you want to make your wrist feel more festive.
It's been built by Garmin and will let you pick from five patterns that bring that knitted jumper look to your watch face. Crucially, it'll still display data like battery life, the date, and step counts along with that woolly jumper.
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