Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Forerunner 220 and 620 add color screens, new features

Garmin Forerunner 220 and 620Garmin has announced the Forerunner 220 and 620, adding color screens and a host of new features. At 1/2″ thick and around 1-1/2 ounces, the company calls them two of their thinnest, lightest sportwatches yet. Both watches feature Bluetooth Smart technology for live tracking (via your smartphone) and wireless upload to Garmin Connect or the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

The 220 and 620 are water resistant to 50 meters, offer run/walk alerts and “have rechargeable batteries lasting up to six weeks in watch mode and up to 10 hours in training mode.” They also have a built-in accelerometer to track distance and pace on a treadmill, and “notice if runners hit any personal records on that run, like their fastest mile, 5k, 10k, half or full marathon or their longest run to date.”

Speeding satellite lock

I’m not sure if this is new or not, but the 220/620 download severn days of satellite data when you transfer data to Gamin Connect, to help speed satellite acquisition times.

Forerunner 620 features include recovery advisor

The Forerunner 620 adds a touchscreen interface, WiFi (which can be set up for automatic data transfer), recovery advisor, race predictor and VO2 max estimate. The recovery advisor is particularly interesting. When paired with the new HRM-Run monitor…

…it learns the runner and their physiology based on heart rate data, so it factors this against their last workout and then shows how much time before they are fully recovered and ready for their next hard running workout. Color-coding on the high-resolution Chroma display gauge makes it easy to interpret — green, of course, means they are good to go. When runners see red on the display and a recovery time of more than 3 days, they might consider taking a rest day or just doing a light recovery run. HRM-Run also has an accelerometer in the module that measures torso movement in order to calculate 3 different running metrics:

·       Cadence — the number of steps per minute. It displays the total steps (right and left combined)

·       Vertical oscillation — the bounce in runners’ running motion. It displays the vertical motion of a runners’ torso, measured in centimeters.

·       Ground contact time — the amount of time in each step that you spend on the ground while running, measured in milliseconds.

Garmin Forerunner 620 recovery advisor

Recovery advisor feature

Colors and availability

Both models are expected to ship this fall. The Forerunner 620 will be available in blue/black and white/orange and lists for $399.99 ($449.99 with the HRM-Run bundle). The 220 will come in black/red and white/violet and carries an MSRP of $249.99 ($299.99 for the heart rate bundle). UPDATED: Here’s the full news release, a link to the 220/620 mini-site and a promo video:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. I love the purple one.

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