Garmin has long been working to design GPS-equipped watches that don’t look like a monstrosity strapped to your wrist. And the company’s new Forerunner 220 and 620 manage a svelte form factor that also squeezes in wireless connectivity, touchscreen functionality, colour displays, and enough stat tracking to predict how far a run you can muster.
Both watches feature Garmin’s one-inch Chroma display and Bluetooth connectivity, but the 620 adds the option to connect to a Wi-Fi network for tracking your stats on an accompanying app, as well as a touchscreen that works even while wearing gloves.
Both use a built-in accelerometer to track your steps and strides, and combining that with GPS data they’re able to keep tabs on your pace and performance compared to past runs — but the 620 goes one step further. When used with an optional heart rate monitor it can even calculate an athlete’s V02 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen a runner can consumer per minute. This allows the watch to then predict what their race times will be for a given distance, displaying their performance potential via a graph on the watch’s display.
So it’s not surprising that the 620 will set you back around $400 later this year, while the 220 is slightly more affordable at around $250. And if you want to take advantage of all the features both watches offer, you’ll need to cough up extra for bundles that include a heart rate monitor. But look on the bright side: they’re still cheaper/less annoying than a personal running coach. [Garmin via Engadget]