With all the noise around recent smartwatch releases from Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm, its easy to forget that many runners have been running with these devices for several years. GPS-enabled watches that track your distance, pace, and heartbeat, are a crucial part of many runner’s equipment, and the market may have just seen a new stand-out offering in the form of two new releases from Garmin.
The Forerunner 620 and Forerunner 220 watches pack 1-inch colour display screens, along with an accelerometer to track motion, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 low energy support for smartphone syncing, and alerts for when you start to slack, giving you more in-depth training information than ever before.
The new 620 tracks running cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time – and when paired up with a heart rate monitor, it’ll serve up an estimated VO2 max and recovery time readout on its colour gauge ring. The 620 also links nicely with Garmin’s HRM-Run recovery advisor, providing info on your running form and calculating your recovery time between workouts.
Both watches can be paired to smartphones and upload their live data via the Garmin app, and the 620 will even sync with the Garmin Connect workout log over Wi-Fi. The 620 has a touchscreen – which will, it’s promised, work with running gloves – while the 220 is button-operated. Both watches will stand up to the elements, with 50m waterproofing.
The 620 is priced at US$400 ($450 with HR belt) while the 220 is US$250 ($300 with HR belt) – UK pricing has yet to be revealed, while the release date is currently set as a vague “Fall 2013”.