If you’re in the market for running trackers, GPS watches or fitness activity trackers, then you have no shortage of options. There are literally dozens of different units on the market right now, and they are all pretty similar. But, if you’re looking for something that does all of the above, then Garmin has finally delivered.
This week, Garmin introduced the next Forerunner running watch. Called the Forerunner 225, this GPS watch is the first Garmin device to include heart-rate monitoring without uncomfortable and more expensive straps or any external devices whatsoever. Thanks to a partnership with Mio, industry-leading technology has made this particular running watch stand out.
The Forerunner 225 uses build-in optical sensors that sign light into a user’s skin, then measures the amount of light returned to gauge heart rate. Such measurements are important for heart zone-specific activities, and the watch can track heart rate in real time to provides runners with a colorful display gauge to help determine whether the heart rate zone is warm-up, easy, aerobic, threshold or maximum.
In addition to the heart rate feature, the Forerunner 225 does, of course, also have a host of other features including:
- water resistant up to 50 meters
- Extended battery life (four weeks in watch mode/seven-ten hours in GPS mode)
- Activity tracking of other stats like steps taken, calories burnt, distance, etc
- built-in accelerometer
- move alerts to help users stay active
- sleep trackin
- Compatible with Garmin Connect
- Bluetooth compatible
The device isn’t available yet, but the press release said that it was expected to be available in the second quarter of this year (which means sometime before the end of July). There wasn’t a whole lot of information on the GPS tracking abilities in the press release that I read, but I would expect that it will function very similar to other Forerunner series models as far as these features go.
The Forerunner 225 is expected to retail for $299.99 and will be available at Garmin’s website and Garmin partner stores as well.
Personally, I think that this has been a long time in coming and might just be enough to help Garmin stay ahead of Apple; as the Apple Watch GPS capabilities are expected to be turned on sometime this year. Many people have been claiming that Apple is going to be a huge competitor for Garmin, but personally I don’t see it. Not only have the Apple Watches faced issues with its heart rate monitoring, but I think that people will naturally prefer using Garmin to track physical activity over an Apple Watch. Only time will tell. Either way, if you’re into running and training, then this watch might be a pretty good investment.