Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Announces New Forerunner 25


Garmin has a handful of devices in its up-and-coming GPS running watches, most specifically the Forerunner series. Well, earlier this week Garmin released details on its newest running watch aimed at both beginner runners and people new to the running watch market. Designed to be a successor to the popular hobby running watch the Forerunner 10, this device is even lighter in terms of functionality which may or may not appeal to some.

The Forerunner 25 is, at its core, a pretty basic running watch. It includes the ability to track all of the things you’d expect on an entry-level running watch including distance, pace, heart rate (when using a heart rate monitor), number of steps taken and calories burnt.

The press release doesn’t say anything specifically about tracking route, I would assume that it also does this although I am sure that you’d have to upload the data to a computer to be able to view it. The device also is capable of Live Tracking when compared with a compatible smartphone so that friends and loved ones can follow your runs and workouts.

Unlike a lot of other more running watches intended for more serious runners, Garmin’s Forerunner 25 is also designed to act as an activity tracker and keeps track of how many steps you’ve taken and includes a move reminder if you’ve been inactive for too long. To further the fitness goals, the device can sync with MyFitnessPal and will help monitor calories spent and goals.

Additionally, the device also has the ability to sync with Garmin Connect and can receive alerts from a compatible smartphone including missed calls, texts, calendar reminders and emails. Why you’d want that while out on a run, I’m not sure, but I suppose it’s nice to have.

When compared with its predecessor, the Forerunner 15, the Forerunner 25 seems to be really aimed more at the hobby runner than anything. The Forerunner 25 gains a lot of smartphone connectivity for missed alerts and syncs with MyFitnessPal but loses some of the actual running features like virtual pacer, auto pause and auto lap. In my personal opinion, the design is pretty ugly and really resembles a child’s watch. Not something I’d want to wear everyday.

However, all of that aside, I am sure that this watch will be great for runners who are interested in a few light statistics to go along with their daily runs. The device is not currently available and in typical Garmin fashion a specific date has not been set although you should expect to see it sometime in the third quarter (which should be the next few months). The price point is about the same as the Forerunner 15 with an expected retail value at $169.99 or $199.99 when bundled with a heart rate monitor.

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