on October 23, 2014
Love this watch. My old Garmin died and I am loving this one even more. Picks up satellites super fast. Love the live tracking feature when I have my iPhone. Hubby can see where I am along my route. Also like that when in vicinity of phone, automatically uploads to Garmin Connect. After completing a run, tells you what "records" you just beat. (Longest run, fastest mile, fastest 5k) Easy to use and navigate the screens. My photo shows the summary screen at end of run.
on November 22, 2013
- 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
- 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.
on 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.
* 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.
* 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.
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.
on April 13, 2014
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).
- 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.
- 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".
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.
on December 18, 2014
The watch is accurate and easy but it doesn't stand up to an active lifestyle. The "glass" on the watch showed scratches early and often, then broke after 6 months of use. When I contacted garmin customer support they wanted almost $90 to fix it.
on March 19, 2014
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.
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.
on April 28, 2014
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.
Update dtd 11/12/2014: I just competed in a half marathon using the Forerunner 220. I really enjoyed using the two data screens the Forerunner provides. I set the first data screen with pace, distance, and heart rate and the second screen with distance, elapsed time and average pace. I used the first screen for the first 9 miles and the second screen the last 4.1 miles as I wanted to be certain my pace and time were ahead of my goal for the event. Being able to switch between these 2 screens easily was very useful and definitely has me preferring the 220 over the Nike.
on April 20, 2015
Joined a Triathlon team in NYC where there's plenty of buildings to get in the way and provide inaccurate GPS tracking/distance but this little gem handled it like a champ! This was a central park light jog at 6am and tracked the pace/distance/time identically to my running buddy who was just using a totally different phone app. HOWEVER, not perfect of treadmills, since it's off by 1/4 mile on distance, though I mainly got it for out door usage, hence why still the 5 stars. Also, after reading other reviews and watching youtube vids, doesn't seem like its ideal for swims, and haven't tried it on the biking. Other than that, I'm really pleased and would definitely recommend.
on August 22, 2015
I had a forerunner 210 that died on me so I sought a replacement that would be a step up. The 220 it's my choice and I'm extremely satisfied with my choice. It does everything the description says, and as others have said, it's crazy quick when getting a SAT signal, a welcome change from the 210 that would sometimes take upto 5 mins. You can set up 2 data screens to see during a run; three fields per and you can change them around to your desire... nice. Another nice upgrade, battery lasts longer, I ran 17 miles over a 5 day span and my charge was still over 50% before I recharged it; I also use it as a watch so I think the battery power is a definite plus. The Bluetooth allows you to upload to connect as soon as you're close to the linked smartphone, and if nike+ is your app, connect will link to connect. Overall, a good choice for the runner that just has to know how long they are along their run and later look at the route to make future route decisions.
on July 23, 2014
This a good straight forward running watch. It is huge on my wrist (skinny 5' 4" female), but smaller than many of its predecessors. I don't have to spend 10 minutes holding my hand out to the sky like some deranged schizophrenic like I used to with my old Garmin watches to get the GPS to connect. I occasionally have a day where it simply will not track my pace, so I keep Strava on my phone as a backup. It is a shame that it will not sync with my android phone, but I have gotten over it.
After about five months, my watch failed to properly install an update. It exhibited some interesting spasmodic behavior for a couple weeks and then died completely. Then I made the mistake of trying to email the customer support department. I received emails every few days for about two weeks asking me questions and giving me additional homework to try to get my completely nonfunctional (it would not even turn on) watch to work. I was pretty annoyed by the time that I finally called Garmin (their phone support is only open while I am at work). Do NOT bother with the email support for Garmin. Apparently they don't even have the authority to send a replacement device. After three weeks, I finally have a replacement device.