Jump to content


Sponsored Links

Recent Columns

  • James Norton's Photo
    The James Norton Column: MoDaCo reviews and battery tests

    The James Norton column

  • James Norton's Photo
    The James Norton Column: Camera Shoot-out

    The James Norton column

  • James Norton's Photo
    The James Norton Column: The MoDaCo Man

    The James Norton column


Recent Articles

  • icon
    MMW 89 - Does it spring?

    PaulOBrien -

  • icon
    MMW 88 - So much to discuss

    PaulOBrien -

  • icon
    Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen Review

    Mark Dearlove -

  • icon
    MMW 87 - Sweeter than an apple pie

    PaulOBrien -

  • icon
    Is the 2014 Moto X a true contender for the top spot?

    James Norton -

  • icon
    Ask MoDaCo: The Vodafone Smart Tab 4G

    PaulOBrien -


Recent Article Comments

  • Ricey155's Photo
    Nexus 9 Review

    Ricey155 -

  • 8eaker's Photo
    MMW 90 - L's bells!

    8eaker -

  • Dave UK's Photo
    LG G Watch R Review

    Dave UK -

  • Voxpop2011's Photo
    Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen Review

    Voxpop2011 -

  • PaulOBrien's Photo
    MMW 89 - Does it spring?

    PaulOBrien -

  • PaulOBrien's Photo
    MMW 88 - So much to discuss

    PaulOBrien -


Sponsored Links

Recent Topics

  • Benfll's Photo
    Ascend Y300: 'Emergency Calls Only' Icon Location

    Benfll -

  • korekore1's Photo
    3g on both sim slots

    korekore1 -

  • monesocr's Photo
    [APP] Bitmoji - Emoji by Bitstrips v1.0.332

    monesocr -

  • monesocr's Photo
    [Game] 3D - Bike Racing v1.6

    monesocr -

  • scheb's Photo
    Broke glass on Open C

    scheb -

  • Romagnolo1973's Photo
    [MOD][AOSP/CM10.1] Theme Lollipop using xposed and XThemeEngine

    Romagnolo1973 -


Recent Replies

  • anddeveloper's Photo
    GApps for CM11 (last updated: 2014-11-21)

    anddeveloper -

  • Carandroid's Photo
    [ROM] [ALL] [KK] Aospa 4.6 Beta 6 [11/11/14]

    Carandroid -

  • Keeping Up's Photo
    hudl2 does not charge

    Keeping Up -

  • jem2369's Photo
    [HOW TO] Unlock the Orange San Francisco II - Complete, beginner, noob friendly guide.

    jem2369 -

  • corvettec3's Photo
    Coolpad F1 8297w - Review / Info / Software / Custom Roms

    corvettec3 -

  • luca020400's Photo
    [JB] [4.2.2] CyanogenMod 10.1 [ROM]

    luca020400 -


Sponsored Links



- - - - -

Could and should Garmin enter the Smartwatch market?


Garmin have been producing digital multi-sports watches since 2003 under the 'Forerunner' moniker.

The majority of the range now have GPS for tracking your workout atop a whole host of other sports related features (heart rate monitor-HRM, cadence recording foot pods, bicycle attachments etc). All of which can be uploaded to their online workout tracking site; Garmin Connect for analysis.

All of this comes in devices that aren't that much bigger than a regular wristwatch.

I used to use an old Android phone (San Francisco actually) and Endomondo from the Play Store for my running training. But since deciding to invest in a Forerunner 610 with HRM and footpod the amount of data a geek like me can pour over after a run is frightening. :)

This week Garmin have announced two new running watches; The Forerunner 620 and 220.

Posted Image


Both models build on the solid reputation of previous Garmin devices but the devices add functionality akin to some of the Smartwatches already out there. This got me thinking, why doesn't Garmin enter this market?

As you can see from the picture of the 620 and 220 they are very pretty devices, weighing just over 40g and barely larger than a conventional wristwatch. The display is 1-inch (180 x 180) and for the first time they feature colour.

Both devices follow their predecessor with regards to input. The 620 is the same as the 610 and has a touch screen and buttons, while the 220 copies the 210 and is controlled solely by buttons.

Connectivity wise the 620 has Bluetooth, WiFi and USB while the 220 drops WiFi. So if you take your phone out with you along with your 620/220, people can live track your run over the internet through Garmin Connect.... cool? Sadly, it appears the Bluetooth connection is iPhone 4S and above ONLY at the moment with Garmin assuring Android support is coming soon. I can only assume this is due the Bluetooth LE problems finally resolved in 4.3?

The non removable battery is lithium-ion with quoted life of 6 weeks in watch mode and upto 10 hours in training mode.

RRP on the 620 is £329 and the 220 at £219. Prices will vary for HRM packs and you probably find the units cheaper on Amazon upon release. Talking of release, Garmin currently only commit to 'Fall 2013', so it could be anytime soon?

Compare the specs of the two new models here on the Garmin Site.

This announcement from Garmin comes hot on the heels of TomTom who recently announced their first multi-sports and running watches.

Posted Image


So back to my original question, if Garmin can produce such great sports-focussed devices, why can't they bring this expertise to the Smartwatch market?

What would they need to add to compete with the Galaxy Gear, Pebble and Apple/Google Smartwatches of the future?

TomTom are new to the sports watch market but bring years of GPS device experience to the table. We may be focussed on Pebble, Samsung, Apple etc but who's to say it won't be someone like Garmin or TomTom that produce that killer Smartwatch?

Interesting times ahead?

About the author

Zarch1972's Photo
Zarch is a veteran gadgeteer who has owned everything from a Commodore VIC-20 to an iPhone 5S and much of what came in-between.

  • 0


3 Comments

Let's hope not. My experience of Garmin over the last 10+ years has not been that good. Customer Service was pretty poor too.
    • 0
Photo
sandriderman
Sep 22 2013 05:10 PM

I had a garmin Forerunner 210 for about 5 years (Paid £110 from Amazon), loved it.  Could operate it with my eyes closed, usually very accurate and quick to get a GPS lock.  Probably logged about 7000 miles in all weather.

 

Last year I got a Forerunner 410 (paid around £160 from Amazon), I needed a watch with a heart rate monitor and its not a bad bit of kit.  I find the touch screen a bit hit and miss some times (particularly in the rain).  The heart rate strap became faulty but Garmin replaced it so pleased with that.

 

If the price was right I would consider a Garmin smart watch (less than £200).

    • 0
Photo
dabotsonline
Sep 23 2013 02:03 PM

At $250 or $300 (depending on version, plus $15 worldwide shipping), isn't the Omate TrueSmart a more powerful and flexible option than the above £200+/£300+ options?

    • 0