Sep 16, 2013

Take a look at Garmin's new $450 running watch

Today Garmin introduced two new running watches in the Forerunner line: The 220 and the 620.

The watches are packed with new features (and a price to match) but the first thing you'll probably notice...


Notable features:

  • Bluetooth & WiFi connection
  • USB mountable storage access (goodbye sketchy ANT+ downloads)
  • Internal accelerometer - run cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time
  • Predictive analytics, presumably based on TRIMP) (see photo above)

One glaring feature I wanted to see that is missing: a heart-rate sensor integrated in the watch so we can get rid of those annoying heart-rate straps. The Mio Alpha does this, for under $200 bucks.

Which brings us to price. Garmin is suggesting a price of $450 with HRM for the 620, $300 with HRM for the 220.

This rounds out Garmin's Forerunner product line at the high end, and compares favorably to premium watches such as the Suunto Ambit2. But for some this will be a tough pill to swallow. The Forerunner is not a "proper" triathlete watch. It's not a cycling watch (there isn't even a cycling mode available). And there are perfectly capable GPS+HRM watches in the $120-$150 range, not to mention running with your smartphone, which is "free".

Is there still a market in 2013 for a pure running watch in the $450 range? Time will tell. The good news is that Garmin watches have a relatively predictable $70-100 price drop per year after release. I'll be looking to buy mine next spring or summer when the price is more reasonable and some of the firmware bugs have been worked out.

Gotta have that COLOR screen.

There's A Coach In Every Watch - Garmin Forerunner 620 and 220 With Color Display (

First look at Garmin’s new FR620 & FR220 GPS running watches (