To fit a variety of consumers, Garmin has created several watches for runners under the forerunner title. The 220 GPS Running Watch with color display is just one of those. It is set apart by the features it contains which differ from other Garmin runner’s watches like the 110. Two things to instantly notice about this watch is its accelerometer and variation. It comes with or without the heart rate monitor. As the title suggests, it also has a color display which brings it up a notch if you like to have more color to your screen than a standard watch providing running information. Yet, is it worth owning. Do these added features make it worth the upgrade from a previous model or a switch from your current brand?
Description and Features
This red and black watch is 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.2 cm in size with a display of 1 inch in diameter. It has 180 x 180 pixel resolution for the display. It is not a touchscreen device, but it does offer a water rating of 5 ATMs. The battery life is tested up to 6 weeks in standard watch mode, and 10 hours for training. It is GPS enabled with the ability to store up to 200 hours of activity. Numerous other features are provided such as a heart rate monitor, automatic sync with a computer, access to Garmin Connect, auto pause, auto lap, and auto scroll. The auto scroll feature allows you to examine data while you are working out by scrolling through the pages of recorded information. It has advanced workout features where you can create custom, goal based workouts and be alerted of your past if it is varying from your preset requirement.
Users have the option of setting up interval training so there are rest periods tracked along with the workout information of time, distance, and pace. While not all have a heart rate monitor, it does carry a feature of heart rate calorie computation to track how many calories you burn based on your heart rate. Overall in features, it offers a customizable screen runners can use to get the exact data they want while working out. The Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS has an accelerometer, which is fairly important as a feature. It enables you to run inside or outside without losing data, even if you are using a treadmill instead of a track or other path. With the ability to sync it to Bluetooth or ANT+ you are able to monitor your phone and heart rate.
Advantages and Disadvantages
If you want to begin your run without complications, this watch allows you to hit Run three times and head out. It will record the data for you. Satellite GPS tracking is quick. You can also pause and resume quickly without having to hit a button. For instance, if you want to pause to look at the data, you can as the watch will scroll through everything. It offers two screens of data so you can keep up with your run. As the screen display is customizable, you can ensure the data you want to see will scroll. One feature besides the time, pace, and distance is running cadence. This does not display automatically, but you can go to your display and change it to do so. If you care about running cadence this is a very helpful feature. This watch truly offers plenty of options when it comes to information and the display screen. You can change the theme colors if you do not like the defaults.
As mentioned in the features you have interval settings, therefore, if you like interval training this is the right watch for you. Not all of the Garmin Forerunners will allow for interval training options. Some you need to set up after going through a long process. This watch makes it easy with the advanced technology. Now it might not work as you hope as there are still a few bugs for interval training, but it can also depend on what you input into the watch. Another advantage is being able to record your history with ease. In the event you cannot get to your computer to download the history, it can upload by syncing your device through Bluetooth. In this way you do not lose the data. Speaking of syncing, be aware that sometimes it can be problematic for some reason you might have to start and stop syncing before it actually syncs with the computer correctly. Be aware there are space limitations for recording, so you will want to sync often.
Is this the Right Watch?
The cost of this watch is on the high side due to the multiple features it comes with. The Forerunner 220 does have a few downsides: like syncing errors and complicated recordings of interval training; however, it is a light watch with more functions than your lower cost Garmin Forerunners. It is not something to use with cycling or swimming, but as a running watch, even on a treadmill, it definitely performs. Overall, it has value. It is difficult to say it has enough value for the current listing price if you buy direct from Garmin. You may want to shop around to see if you can find a discount. Some of the glitches, like the syncing, should not occur on such a watch. Although you do have more features than the less expensive options, it is still a little pricey in comparison to value. In saying that, do remember you have a customizable display screen that can tell you a lot about your run while running. The accelerometer is certainly handy to give you a wider array of options for running, particularly in inclement weather when you want to be inside. Certainly there are better watches on the market if you train for triathlons. Someone who does swim or bike would find another product more useful, especially for the price. But if you are a runner a comparison is worthy.