Seeking GPS watch recommendations

I’m getting pretty frustrated with my Garmin 235 (purchased in late 2019) and am looking for recommendations for a replacement.

Here’s what I don’t like:
:-1: Battery went from 45% to “low battery” on a 95 minute run this morning
:-1: Doesn’t have a “swim” mode
:-1: GPS has been wildly inaccurate lately counting a few 7-something miles as 12+ and what was probably two 9:30-10min miles as 7:52 and 5:53. Umm, no, I didn’t do a race warmup that fast.

Here’s what I like:
:+1: Using the garmin app (though this isn’t strictly a requirement)
:+1: Easy to use the watch
:+1: Normally battery life is good enough
:+1: Got it for less than $200
:+1: built in heart rate monitor (though I know accuracy is not stellar)

I run 5-days/week mainly on roads, swim 3-4 times a week and would love something with better gps accuracy and (if this exists) somewhat accurate heart rate monitoring for under $300.

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I would not recommend the Fenix 5 either. It does track swims and has a lot of functions for the bike (which is why I chose this model), but the pace is frequently off by 2-3 min/mile. It is slightly better on roads than trails. But if you want something that is going to give you real time pace the Fenix 5 is not it.

I have a Garmin Forerunner 645 Music that I used to replace my Forerunner 620 when its battery life became too short for some of my winter long runs and XC ski outings (cold does bad things to battery life). The 645 is not a current model but may be available refurbished for cheap. It does track swimming and biking (and other sports) and it’s reasonably accurate—I never look at it and think, “Well, that’s wrong.”

The current Garmin models would be the Forerunner 245 and the Forerunner 745, but the former won’t track swimming and the latter may be more expensive than you’d like.

Perhaps @Ian has some other recommendations based on what he carries at the store.

One suggestion. You can get much better bands for Garmin watches. I hated the hard plastic band that came with the 645 and replaced it with something like the Apple Watch sports loop, a soft nylon band that adjusts infinitely and stays tight with velcro.

Liz, you can pick up a Fitbit Sense for $199 on Amazon (33% off). I use the FItbit Versa3 daily, and the battery life is about 2-3 days for me, which usually includes up to an hour a day GPS usage when running. It syncs effortlessly with my online Strava account. The Fitbit watch is less powerful than the Apple Watch, but it is cheaper and the 20-hour battery life of the Apple Watch is frustrating.

Disclaimer: I am a hobbyist developer of Fitbit wearable apps ( Fitbit sends me free swag like the Versa3 (but not a Sense - sigh).

Thanks, all! I called Garmin to discuss all the issues my watch has been having and they are sending me a replacement. So, hopefully that one will behave better and I won’t have to worry about actually buying a new watch for a while!