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159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent training tool for the serious runner. Notable improvement from Forerunner 210.
Pros:
- Thinner and lighter than the FR210
- Color display with better resolution
- GPS signal works well, even in midtown Manhattan, where it's densely populated and loaded with skyscrapers (average satellite lock time: 5-6 seconds for me)
- GPS is accurate and reliable. I have yet to experience problems. Will update if this changes.
- Heart rate...
Published 9 months ago by Jerry

versus
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to give this a better rating.
This could be a great watch. It may be eventually, if they can get the firmware right. As it stands, it's not worth the price - the GPS is noticeably poorer compared to other watches - it loses signal frequently, the pace calculations are all over the place, and there are times when it doesn't appear to have a signal or be looking for one (the satellite symbol is solid...
Published 5 months ago by Jeremy


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159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent training tool for the serious runner. Notable improvement from Forerunner 210., November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red (Electronics)
Pros:
- Thinner and lighter than the FR210
- Color display with better resolution
- GPS signal works well, even in midtown Manhattan, where it's densely populated and loaded with skyscrapers (average satellite lock time: 5-6 seconds for me)
- GPS is accurate and reliable. I have yet to experience problems. Will update if this changes.
- Heart rate monitor (bought as a package) and Bluetooth to iPhone work well
- Waterproof so I don't have problems with sweat or wearing it when I shower
- Variety of screens you can choose from to display data during your run
- Can transfer data via Bluetooth to my iPhone app (which is linked to Garmin Connect) or through the cable provided
- Garmin Connect is actually quite useful in detecting patterns in your training, monitoring the physiological responses you have during various types of workouts, and sending training plans to your watch
- Functions and buttons are very intuitive; I spent less than 3 minutes looking at the manual before mastering the watch

Con:
- Wish there were more color combos (like all black)
- GPS takes forever to establish connection with the satellite for the first time (but it is very quick after)
- The Garmin Connect app on the iPhone is a bit glitchy, but tech support said they are already working on updates
- Battery life was very average in this day and age

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 and/or just getting a simple wrist watch. 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.

As a competitive runner logging 60 to 80 miles per week, I would recommend this watch to runners who are serious and want to be scientific with their training.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great motivator for those that love running data!, December 8, 2013
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. My main complaint would probably be all the hubbub that went on with many stores claiming these were in stock and not actually being in stock. But I'm sure many of those inventory problems have all been settled.

Pros:
* Very low profile and works as an everyday watch. Love that I can just always be wearing this and can just press the RUN button a few times and go.
* The band is removable. One of the main reasons I went for this particular watch was that the wrist strap is changeable. I had seen too many people post pictures of their old watches with a tear and having to use duct tape to keep it together. Some people have complained that it feels cheapy but I think it's fine and would last a while. I believe Garmin sells the replacement bands for about $20 or so.
* GPS preloading is great, ready to run within seconds of going outside.
* Indoor treadmill tracking has been pretty accurate. Just turn off the gps and the watch will use the integrated accelorometer to calculate your distance. When you're running with gps, the watch will use the gps data in combination with your arm movements to make calculations when there is no gps.
* So much customization! It was a little overwhelming when I first got the watch but it's pretty intuitive and does not take long to get used to.
* Little bit of color in the screen is nice. You can only pick one theme color at a time but it still looks nice and is customizable.
* Not sure if the cadence is measured by the watch or the HRM monitor, but that's interesting information to have as well. Apparently good runners get around 180 spm.
* I haven't used it yet, but one of the features I liked when I was choosing which watch to purchase was the ability to set RUN/WALK intervals.

Cons:
* The Android Garmin Connect app does not yet work with their newest watches quite yet. Garmin says they will release this soon though.
* I did have one occasion where it took a few tries for the Garmin website to accept a data transfer for one of my runs.

Reading other reviews about previous versions of Garmin watches, this appeared to be the first time that Garmin offered many of the advanced features on their second tier of watches. From my understanding the main difference between this and the 620 is the Virtual Trainer feature, 4 data fields per screen (vs 3 on the 220), the VO2 max measurement, and the recovery advisor. So if you don't care for those 4 features, I would save the $150 and go with the 220 over the 620.

05/05/14 UPDATE:

Watch is still going strong and battery life is still great. Just used in my first half marathon and it helped me greatly with my pacing. Love it. A few notes:
-As others have noted the cadence is measured by the watch and not the HRM strap.
-The Garmin Android app now works with the 220 over bluetooth, but it is a little slow.
-The data transfer issues I was having turned out to be more of an issue with the laptop I was using, as I don't have the same problem when using any of my other computers.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to give this a better rating., March 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This could be a great watch. It may be eventually, if they can get the firmware right. As it stands, it's not worth the price - the GPS is noticeably poorer compared to other watches - it loses signal frequently, the pace calculations are all over the place, and there are times when it doesn't appear to have a signal or be looking for one (the satellite symbol is solid green, but the calculated pace is "--:--"). I am hoping the latest set of updates have improved the situation, but based on my experience so far, I can't recommend it unless you never run trails and you live in an area where the skies are always cloud-free. The walk/run timer and the heart rate alerts are useful if you're into that sort of thing, but you could get those features for much less money.

*Update 4/16/14*

After the last firmware update, the GPS seems to be a lot better; while the pace calculations can be laggy still, setting pace alerts is no longer completely pointless. I've tried running with the watch in a variety of conditions now, and it seems to hold onto a signal much better than it did initially, including extremely overcast days or pouring rain. It drops signal from time to time, but this is much more rare, and it tends to pick it back up faster when this does happen. I wish Garmin would get their software in order BEFORE they released their products, rather than months after.
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72 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great GPS watch ever, November 24, 2013
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red (Electronics)
I got it from my local REI store as amazon is out of stock, as a replacement of my Timex run trainer.

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.

I like its LCD (or LED I don't know) screen. It shows different color which extends the information convey-ness from 2-D into 3-D: some alert could be shown not by words, just by color. The visible angle is wide, you can see the characters very clearly even you see it from almost 180' angle, good feature when you are in motion.

It's ability to locate GPS is incredible. I opened the box right away when I headed out the REI store. For the first use, it takes about 15 second to locate satellite. It can even find and lock on satellite when I was in the middle of the 2nd floor room of a 3 floor building. I don't need to stand out my front door to wait it lock on satellite in a 30-40F cold weather. Just press the button before I put on my shoes and I am all set when I tighten my lace and ready to head out.

There is nothing to mention the accuracy of 2-D location, which is accurate for most watches. But the altitude on this watch is much accurate than that of my previous Timex run trainer, which is one of the reason I switch to Garmin. I compared the elevation data chart with google map for altitude, the error is just 2 3 feet.

The Garmin Connect Mobile is also a fantastic feature, but some favorable feature is needed: I thought the watch could find my paired iphone once I put it within the bluetooth range, but it's not. I need to put the watch into "run" mode and open the Garmin Connect on iphone, then they will automatically connect and transfer data. As I do not bring my phone when running, and already switch the satellite off during my cool down time which means "run" mode is already off when I entered my home, I hope in the future it could search and transfer data to iphone even it is not in "run" mode, just like my bluetooth mouse, I power on my laptop and the mouse is connected automatically.

Another thinking is it'll be better if Garmin allow to connect laptop computer via bluetooth, current it only works with cable if I want to transfer data to computer.

All in all, I think this watch is very good and like it a lot over my previous Timex. As I have used it only 1 times, I don't know the durability and may potentially existing bugs.

By the way, no offence with another reviewers, I don't agree it is for "serious runners" only, anyone who can afford should get one. Running with knowing those kind of data gives your exercise a lot fun, and which is just the motivation for you to keep on going, like beat yourself of last record, show off your progress in front of your friends..:)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, February 1, 2014
By 
Chris Gille (Aurora, Colorado USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to admit that it took me awhile to retire my 305 but alas it was time to go. One reason for my hesitation was that I heard so many mixed reviews from other runner friends who had previous Garmin products. When i saw this one though I thought I would give it a go. So far I have to say that I absolutely love it! I have done a total of about 12 runs with this watch and it is dead on accurate. It finds a signal very quickly and is so easy to use. It is comfortable and lightweight and of course the design is cool. I love the colors. I read the reviews from others about android support and to be honest was not even aware of that being an issue and not my main reason for purchasing this in the first place. I am not a a huge techie type person so having something that you just press a button and go is fine by me. When I finish my run I just download my data into Garmin Connect and that is really all I need. The face of this is huge and very easy to read, the timer goes off every mile so you can keep track of laps. It also has a feature that tracks your actual pace vs resting pace (so you do not really have to stop it at lights and things like that). You can wear it as a watch for up to 6 weeks without charging it. Another great thing is the battery life. When i read the reviews for other Garmin products this seemed to be an issue. I needed a trainer that would not poop out on me during a 5 hour run. This one so far has been great. I have only used the HRM once or twice so I cannot really write an accurate review but the few times I have worn it, it does not slip around like my Polar, is very comfortable and does not chaff. It is fun to track your data and set goals, this watch is a must have for newbie runners and experienced marathoners alike.

UPDATE: It is now August 21st and I am still in love with this device. I have found it to be more accurate when you actually stop and start it as opposed to letting it figure out your pace (I stop it at lights and crosswalks). I love the connect feature and being able to track my elevation, pace and mileage. I have not really tried to use it on a treadmill yet, and to be honest I am not a huge fan of the heart rate strap (those things really are not very comfortable). I wear it everyday as a watch and the battery life is spectacular. I am averaging about 35-40 miles a week with this thing and it is still going strong.

I have not been able to use the bluetooth component yet with my phone as I have an older Samsung. I was however able to use it with my hubbies S5, and it seems to work very well. Being as that was never a deal breaker for me, It really does not matter so much. I know this seems to be a sticking point for most but I am just not that fussy. This device is really perfect for me, press and go, track distance and pace. That is all I want. So much more comfortable than my old 305.

OK, off for a run! Enjoy peeps!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars comparing Forerunner 220 with Nike+Sportwatch GPS, April 28, 2014
By 
UnkWot "millerwally" (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I have used the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS since Aug. 2012 and recently purchased the Garmin Forerunner 220 with heart rate monitor. I have enjoyed using the Nike as it is easy to navigate, the screen is easy to read, a plus when I am kayaking and not wearing prescription glasses, and the data fields helped my training for 1/2 marathons. Also I like the Nike online site for viewing my training workouts and competitive events. The Nike map of my workout is color coded to show visually where I was faster and slower during the workout. It provides a way to track the total miles each pair of shoes has been worn during workouts. And I use the bar graph, on the Activities page, to compare the training distances and times of the current year with previous years.

I wanted to get a new watch that would do some things the Nike didn't do or I thought didn't do as well as I thought it should. These included, a watch that vibrated as well as beeping (as I couldn't hear the Nike watch beeping), a watch that would be more accurate when using the current pace setting, and a web site that enabled me to track other activities besides running.
I was quite pleased when introduced to the Forerunner 220. It was less bulky, by far, than the Nike watch, and it seemed to have many more features than the Nike, including vibration alerts and being able to use it while exercising on a treadmill without having to use a shoe pod.

I have used the Forerunner 6 times now and am truly impressed with its battery life. I have worn both watches during these 6 workouts and have used a heart rate monitor with the Forerunner and had it Bluetooth connected to my Apple cellphone. Even with the heart rate monitor and cellphone usage the Forerunner had more energy left at the end of the workout. The Forerunner 220 only uses about 10% while the Nike uses 25%. The Forerunner also recharges much faster, as in a few minutes while the Nike takes about an hour to recharge.

When the Forerunner is turned on it immediately acquires the GPS signal while the Nike takes a few minutes. I do like the Nike's
screen after it acquires the GPS signal better than the Forerunner. The Nike displays the word "READY" and will hold that for 15 minutes which enables me to acquire the GPS signal, prior to an event, warm-up and exercise and then just push the start button as I cross the starting line. The Forerunner probably does the same thing but I do not have complete working knowledge of it's screens as yet. They are not as simple as the Nike. But the Forerunner does a lot more that the Nike including uploading your workout to Garmin Connect via your cellphone, after it is saved on the watch. And allowing others to track your progress during an event. In my last 1/2 marathon I was texting friends and relatives as I finished each mile. I missed the 7 mile mark and didn't send a text figuring I would soon be at the 8 mile mark. I began receiving inquiries as to whether I was okay. With friends etc. being able to track my progress visually through the cellphone connection, I won't have this problem in the future. I have not tried this function as yet but will prior to my next event.

Wearing the two watches during a workout I have found the Forerunner loses about 4 hundredths of a mile of the distance traveled (my workouts so far are around 6 miles). It seems to lose distance to the Nike when/after I make U-turns. The Forerunner does seem to be more accurate using the Current Pace setting than the Nike, and I enjoy the vibration feature. I can also hear the Forerunner's beeps.

The Garmin Connect data, after a workout, is very good. It provide graphs of the elevations, the pace, cadence and a graph of heart rates for those with heart rate monitors. I am using this data more than I expected. It also provides cadence, pace and heart rate for each mile. Much more informative than the Nike site.

Regarding treadmill usage, I have twice tried to use this function but have not succeeded as yet. The last time I thought I had turned off the GPS function but apparently failed in this attempt. Update, I found you must not power down after turning the GPS off as GPS will be active when you turn the Forerunner back on. Learning this I was able to use the Forerunner on the treadmill and it worked great except I use a shortened stride on the treadmill so distance was off for me. If your stride is different when using a treadmill compared to outdoor training and you need accurate data I recommend getting a shoe pod. Also, I have not been able to record cycling rides under cycling on Garmin Connect. I can edit the data and reclassify it as "Cycling" but it is still listed under "Running". Maybe you need the cycling accessory to make this work.

Regarding the wristbands, I seem to perspire more under Forerunner 220's wristband than I do under the Nike wristband. Also, there is a hole at the very end/tip of the Forerunner wristband and I seem to frequently get the clasp caught in this hole when trying to take the watch off.

Overall the Forerunner 220 does much more than the Nike but it's screens are more cumbersome to navigate. I appreciate the thinness of the 220, especially when compared to the bulkiness of the Nike. The Forerunner seems to be more accurate at Current Pace but less accurate at total distance (by a small amount in hundredths of a mile during a 6 mile workout). I like the Forerunner's vibration alerts and the fact I can hear its beeping. The Nike has no vibration and I can't hear its beeping. The Garmin Connect website provides a lot more useful data fields than the Nike website but there are a couple of features the Nike site has that the Garmin site doesn't have. And I really enjoy the battery life and recharge time of the Forerunner 220 which is much better than the Nike.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious Running Hardware, April 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red (Electronics)
My sole purpose in buying a GPS watch was to train myself for a Boston Qualifying marathon (thus needing to know how fast I go when I run to better know how prepared I am for it). I purchased the Forerunner 220 (Black/Red) without a heart rate monitor instead of the Forerunner 110 due to some of its added capabilities (which really aren't too many).

PROs:

- Getting started with this watch is a breeze. Press the run button twice and off you go. Satellites are picked up quickly after the first time you take it out of the box (and the first time only takes a few minutes), meaning you don't have to fuss at all.
- Small wrist? No problem! This watch fits on virtually anyone's wrist. I have ridiculously small wrists and there are still a dozen more holes to make it tighter. The watch is also very small and unobtrusive which feels like a normal watch.
- The screen is extremely readable and the button inputs help to easily navigate. It doesn't require rocket science to change settings or go for a jog.
- While running you can view your current pace, lap pace, distance traveled, current time, running cadence, etc. If you want to keep running at a 7:00 mile pace you can even get an alarm that alerts you when you aren't going at the proper speed.
- The auto-lap feature can be configured so that you can get updates on your pace and lap splits at set distances (I normally keep this to update me every mile). You can set it to chime, vibrate, or both to let you know to look at your wrist and see how you're doing. This helps to understand if you are slowing down or speeding up in a workout.
- Garmin Connect has training plans for various distances. As I'm training for a marathon, I've been loosely following their Level II marathon plan. You can transfer the training calendar to your watch to let you know what workout to do. Custom workouts like Fartleks are easy as reoccurring alarms can let you know when to speed up or slow down. You can follow the premade workout plans or make up your own entirely.

CONs:

- Garmin Connect has an app for smartphones, but the selection of compatible smartphones is seriously lacking. My LG G2 can't connect with the Bluetooth from the watch, meaning that I need to physically plug my watch into my computer to upload data (wireless connectivity is one of the 220's selling points). I feel like any phone with bluetooth compatability should be easily supported, but that's just me.
- The (Android) app is also minimalistic and not particularly user friendly. It feels to me like Garmin wanted to tell folks it has an app but then never supports it.
- The autolap feature I enjoy so much doesn't work in custom workouts. This means if I create a workout that tells me to run for an hour and a half it won't give me the update chime and display every mile. That feature only works for the normal "run".

SUMMARY:

If you really want to have pace alerts, custom workouts, and the ability to set interval training (like Fartleks), the 220 is the watch to have. If you aren't using this watch for anything complicated, I'd strongly recommend the 110 and save yourself some money. The Forerunner 220 is a great running watch, but may be a bit much if you don't need to keep track of a lot of metrics or if you aren't using a complicated workout plan.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About as good as it gets, November 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red (Electronics)
I'm a fairly consistent runner who runs halfs and shorter races. My other garmin died and frankly I didn't like it that much. So I decided to get away from garmin and bought the tomtom runner. Bad decision, not great gps coverage and it didn't maintain lap pace in the history. This is a crucial feature as your running picks up because you want to see how progression and pyramid runs go. And every basic running iPhone app has this. So I sent the tom tom back and stepped up to the garmin. The good after one month:

Excellent GPS signal. I start a lot of runs under a freeway where I park and the watch picks up the signal at the start.
Intutitive interface: it is not out of the box completely easy to use but spend about 15 solid minutes getting to know it and it will make perfect sense. (I am not sure whether I got the full manual with the shipment but I downloaded it off the site)
Complete history: set lap pace at a mile and it works like a charm. I have not tried track intervals with it. So I can't comment on whether it is easy to use in that context. Nothing suggests that it isn't as easy to use.
Indoor use. Not entirely accurate on the treadmill but close enough for me. Ability to use indoors was a vety pleasant surprise.
Auto start and stop: ever get to the stoplight and notice you forgot to start it after the last one? Set auto stop start and that problem is solved. If anything it's almost too sensitive. But it is a neat trick.
Downers:
Still haven't been able to Bluetooth to phone as it doesn't show up as a recognized divice on the app. I plug it into the computer as I did the othe one so I'm not too bummed.
Price: if you run with your phone app and are cool with it, I could not recommend ponying up the $250 for this watch. Also, if you wanted a basic watch that tracks your pace and time while you run, there are cheaper options. That said, if you wanted what for me has been close to a perfect watch then step up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catches the GPS signal much faster, has a larger display and is lighter than the Garmin Forerunner 210, January 13, 2014
I just received my Garmin Forerunner 220 and went for a few runs to try it out.
* The watch catches the signal much faster compared to the Forerunner 210.
* It is much easier to read the color display while running (including at night using the back-light).
* You can set up alerts (vibration and/or audio alert) for heart rate, pace or run/walk intervals to help you stay in a specific range. * * The watch also notifies you if you hit any personal records on that run. Eg: your fastest mile, 5k, etc
* It also Bluetooth technology. which allows you to sync with your phone and upload the data to Garmin Connect (unlike the previous Forerunner 210 version). I have an iPhone and all I do is turn on the Bluetooth on my phone and sync it. It was very easy to set it up.
* You can setup a training and upload it to your watch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, Great upgrade from the 410., July 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red (Electronics)
I needed to replace my Forerunner 410 because of a broken band and found it difficult to decide between the 220 or 420. Was happy that for my needs of mapping my outdoor runs and measuring my treadmill time for distance and heart rate, this watch was an upgrade from what I was use to. The auto-update using my cellphone instead of an ANT+ stick give me quick bragging rights. At events, the free live track feature at appreciated by my wife who can figure out if she has time to get a second (and usually third) cup of coffee while waiting for me to get to the finish line.
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Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red
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