Garmin’s new Forerunner watches track every running stat you can imagine

22 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3, 2, 1, Go! Garmin releases trio of new running watches.

Another day, another fitness device that can track your distance, pace, heart rate, and nag you when you don’t exercise. The satellite navigation firm later this year will launch three new GPS running watches, compatible with the updated Garmin Connect Mobile app (below). But while the 230 must be paired with a chest strap to monitor your pulse, the 235 features Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology. “These watches provide a new form factor and training toolset, plus the convenient wrist-based heart rate in the 325 is one more way Garmin is helping runners meet their training goals, whether it be running a 5K or a marathon,” Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement.

Featuring Garmin’s most advanced running watch technology yet, the touchscreen Forerunner 630 boasts more running dynamics than its predecessor, and additional physiological measurements [1 ] so runners can be more aware of their bodies before, during and after a run. If you use any of Garmin’s activity tracking devices — be it Edge, Forerunner, Approach, or any of the others — then you’ve likely used the Garmin Connect app.

With up to 16 hours of battery life in training mode and five weeks in watch mode with activity tracking and smart notifications, the black/white, purple/white, and yellow/black Forerunner 230 will retail for $249.99 (or $299.99 when bundled with the Premium Heart Rate Monitor). Runners can stay connected and motivated throughout and in-between workouts with smart notifications, music controls and audio prompts via a compatible smartphone [2] and daily activity tracking features. Apart from that, both watches are pretty similar—and nearly identical to the Forerunner 220 and 225 that came before: simple, decent-looking GPS watches that sync to your phone to offer fitness tracking and smartwatch functionality.

The biggest change this year is a 44 percent bigger color screen: it looks like Garmin’s slimmed down the bezel, which looks much better, and should make the watch easier to read when you’re starting to go cross-eyed from exhaustion. The new metrics include: Train more effectively with the Forerunner 630 by tracking cardio data such as heart rate, heart rate zones and VO2 max estimate with any ANT+ compatible heart rate monitor. Ground Contact Time Balance: Measures a runner’s ground contact symmetry, which some runners have found to correlate with injuries or strength imbalances. Performance Condition: Provides a real-time fitness-level measurement relative to a runner’s average baseline, which indicates performance readiness for the day’s workout or races. It’s an important number for anyone doing an endurance sport, but measuring it normally involves an awful treadmill test where you run until you puke.

The high-resolution color touchscreen is 44% larger with an updated graphical interface is also easy-to-read at a quick glance, so users can stay focused on their run. By plugging information about your heart rate, running speed, age and weight into an algorithm, Garmin can not only estimate your VO2 Max, but also predict race times and give you recovery intervals after workouts.

These new watches are obviously focused on hard core exercise folks like me so if you see me jogging by at 2 miles an hour while eating a chicken sandwich then you’ll know I’ll be wearing a Garmin. Through a connected smartphone, users can get call, text and email notifications right on the watch at any time, as well as audio alerts for lap and lap times while running. The 630 is getting the same bigger screen as its cheaper cousins, but with a much longer list of things to measure, ranging from actually-useful cadence measurements, to dubiously-useful stress estimation. It also allows for additional social sharing, and lets users wirelessly upload data from their device to the online network and share workouts in real time using the Live Track feature. Otherwise, it’s really just the same Forerunner 620 that we know and love: Wi-Fi syncs your data whenever you come home, Bluetooth pairs with your smartphone for all sorts of smartwatch-esque functions, and the GPS will track your every move when you’re actually out running.

Garmin Connect Mobile’s easy-to-use interface provides daily information and trends over time and can be linked to a MyFitnessPal account to automatically sync calorie and nutritional information, allowing users to view active and consumed calories, and remaining calories (based on goals set in MyFitnessPal). Otherwise, the entire layout is far more intuitive than before, and pretty much everything I used to go to the web for — like the calendar that shows all of my tracked activities — is now available directly in the app.

For more than 25 years, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at,, or GRMN, +1.13% Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2014, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983).

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