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Garmin Forerunner 220 Review

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We review the latest mid-range running watch from Garmin, the Forerunner 220. The FR 220 replaces the previous FR 210 but is it a worthy upgrade? With features such as a color-display, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, the Garmin FR 220 looks set to get the upper hand over other mid-range GPS running watches. Read on for our review of the Garmin Forerunner 220.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review

Overview

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Garmin Forerunner 220

The Garmin Forerunner 220 features a light and sturdy wristband, which makes the watch comfortable for any wrist size and the simple button makes the Garmin FR 220 easy to use and set-up straight out-of-the-box.

The watch itself contains many noticeable improvements over the previous FR 210 such as a higher resolution color display, lighter and thinner and Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to pair with your iPhone.

As mentioned, the Garmin FR 220 features a high-resolution color display, GPS, distance, pace and heart rate tracking (with optional heart rate monitor), personal record tracking and auto-pause function.

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Garmin Forerunner 220 Black/Red

If you prefer to train indoors, the Garmin 220 also contains a built-in accelerometer so you will always know your distance and pace data. The Garmin FR 220 also allows you to design your own training plan via Garmin Connect, which features live tracking and social media sharing.

Some of the more useful running features include the vibration alerts that vibrates to let you know when you’re either ahead or behind the pace you have set the watch to track. Runners can also set the vibrate alerts for mile splits, laps, heart rate or create custom alerts for other information.

When it comes to connectivity, the Garmin Forerunner 220 allows users to wirelessly connect to Garmin Connect Mobile via their smartphone so runners can upload their training data wirelessly.

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Garmin Forerunner 220 White/Violet

The Garmin Forerunner 220 is available in black/red and white/violent favours and is currently available from approx. $249.99 for the base model (watch only) and approx. $299.99 with a heart-rate monitor model.

Positives
1. Very lightweight for a GPS watch
2. GPS accuracy is pretty good and the watch finds satellites pretty instantly.
3. Custom workout function very useful, which the previous Forerunner 210 lacked.
4. Auto-pause function, which automatically pauses your run when you’re waiting to cross a road etc.
5. Water resistant of up to 50 metres.
6. Bluetooth connectivity makes uploading data simple and convenient.
7. Vibrate and audio alerts useful to notify you whether you’re behind or ahead of the pace you’ve set.
8. Battery life of up to 10 hours between charges.

Negatives
1. The accuracy of the built-in accelerometer is questionable.
2. The available color combinations (black/red and white/violent) may not be to everyones liking.
3. The price of the Garmin FR 220 is at the top end for mid-range running GPS watches.
4. At the moment, the Garmin Mobile Connect App only supports iPhone 4S or later but Android support is expected in January 2014.

Specifications
Dimensions: 1.8″ x 1.8″ x 0.5″ (4.5 x 4.5 x 1.2 cm)
Display size: 1.0″ (2.54 cm) diameter
Display resolution: 180 x 180 pixels
Weight: 1.4 oz (40.7 g)
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: up to 6 weeks in watch mode; up to 10 hours in training mode
Water resistant: Yes (50m)
GPS-enabled: Yes
High-sensitivity receiver: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes (Some versions)
Foot pod: Yes (optional)
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer): Yes
Garmin Connect™ compatible: Yes
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed): Yes
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap): Yes
Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout): Yes
Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts): Yes
Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace): Yes
Vibration alert: (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert): Yes
Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals): Yes
Heart rate-based calorie computation: Yes
Customizable screen(s): Yes
Watch functions include date and alarm.
Run/walk feature: yes

Related Post  Garmin Forerunner 230 Review

What’s in the Box?

Watch only model
1 x Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS Watch
1 x Charging/data cradle
1 x User manual

Garmin 220 + HR Monitor
1 x Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS watch
1 x Premium (soft strap) heart rate monitor
1 x Charging/data cradle
1 x User Manual

What Other People Say About the Garmin Forerunner 220
An excellent training tool for the serious runner. Notable improvement from Forerunner 210 – “This watch is probably one of the best I’ve seen in the market for a while. The $250 (or $300 if you get the heart rate monitor with it) is well worth it if you actually use it/serious about running. This little device will tell you everything you need and want to know about your body and your training. If running is a hobby, then I suggest just using mapmyrun.com or just getting a simple wristwatch. The value lies in being able to train on heart rate and logging decently accurate mileage (not accurate enough for tracks) without having to map it out beforehand.” By Jerry

Great GPS watch ever, worst App – “It is very light weight, and of small profile, just like a regular watch, maybe even smaller than, like, Casio G-shock. If it is not for the color, I think no one will even notice you are wearing a high-tech GPS watch.” By Wei

Great motivator for those that love running data – “I’ve had this watch for about 10 days now and I’ve only gone on 4 runs, each about two miles long. I am loving it so far.” By J.Lee

Video On Garmin Forerunner 220

Conclusion
The Garmin Forerunner 220 is arguably the most advanced mid-range GPS watch currently available. With features such as GPS, color display, built-in accelerometer and Bluetooth Connectivity, the price is at the top end for mid-range GPS running watches.

With such features, the Garmin FR 220 does sit at the top end of mid-range GPS running watches in terms of price. However, if you want to take running seriously, the Garmin Forerunner 220 might be the best investment to take your training to the next level. If you have a larger budget, you might want to consider the Forerunner 620, which is the latest and most advanced GPS watch produced by Garmin. We recently reviewed the Garmin FR 620 here.

Where to Buy the Garmin Forerunner 220?
Prices start at approx. $249.99 for the watch only model and $299.99 for the heart-rate monitor only model and you can currently order the Garmin Forerunner 220 from Amazon or directly from Garmin.

Dislike the Garmin Forerunner 220?
If the Garmin Forerunner 220 isn’t the running GPS watch for you, you can check out our other running watch reviews here.

Do you run with the Garmin Forerunner 220? Share your experiences or questions with us below.