Garmin

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – For Dedicated Athletes

garmin forerunner 220 review-wt-vox top fitness tracker sport

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – This is Garmin Forerunner 220 review after 3 weeks of usage.

Most of you know Garmin as the manufacturer of your in-car GPS mapping device. But, the U.S. based company is also known for its line of GPS fitness trackers and smartwatches.

In fact, Garmin has a long tradition in GPS trackers. Garmin released its first three “Forerunner” watches, 101, 201, and 301 in 2003.

Garmin Forerunner 220 and 225 are the latest watches to hit the markets. There is a difference between the two. Garmin Forerunner 220 has the HR sensor on a strap where the 225 model has the HR sensor inside the watch.

Today, we’ll review the Forerunner 220. A mid-priced tracker that you can connect to a “heart rate strap” via Bluetooth and sync your fitness data with your mobile. We’ve tested the Garmin Forerunner 220 for two weeks and here is our verdict.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – Design And Specs

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review - Design And Specs front

Garmin Forerunner 220 sports a colour screen that is easy to read even in very bright light.

Let’s start with the design. The new Forerunner 220 comes in two colour modes. The red with black for guys and violet with white for girls. Or, the other way around.

The body of the watch is plastic, and the straps are from rubber. It is an ingenious material combination as it makes the watch appealing but also lightweight. At just 40g, I keep forgetting that I have it on my wrist.

Related Read: Fitbit Surge Review

Garmin Forerunner 220 is also water resistant to 50 metres, making this watch an ideal option for swimmers or decathlon runners.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review - Design And Specs buttons

Large buttons on the side of Garmin Forerunner 220. Easy to find and use while on the move.

The strap has holes along its length designed to help with the release of sweat. The middle row of holes doubles up as the catching system. A neat idea as it offers plenty of options for those with thinner wrists.

The display is for the first time colour but quite small. It is small despite the body of the watch being quite large. The whole watch face has a diameter of 4.5cm but, the screen uses only 2.5cm.

It has the same circular cover, like the new Pebble Time Round. There is a reason for that “on screen cover” as underneath are hiding the sensors.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review - Design And Specs back

The Garmin Forerunner 220 case if made from plastic while the strap is from rubber.

The Forerunner 220 has five large buttons, easy to find and use. On the right, you’ll find the start/stop/OK button and the back/lap button. On the left, you’ll find the on-off and backlight button.

Also, on the left, you’ll find the scroll up and down buttons that you’ll need to navigate through menus and data screens when you are on the go. The Garmin Forerunner 220 can be used indoors too. When you are in the gym or swimming. It does not use the GPS but the onboard accelerometer.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – Performance And Features

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review app running

For detailed metrics of your activity, you have to download and install the Garmin Connect Mobile app on your phone.

The Garmin Forerunner 220 has quite a large storage memory that can save up to 1.000 laps of data. More important, upload your data to Garmin Connect Mobile where you can analyse and get more insights about your fitness level, etc.

The app is quite helpful as it will allow you to view your activities to date, altogether with route maps and relevant metrics.

Garmin Connect Mobile also includes a feature called LiveTrack. It is a new characteristic that will allow you to invite your friends or family to watch your training, in real time.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review app heart rate and cadence

The Garmin Connect Mobile app is free for both platforms, iOS and Android. It communicates with your watch via Bluetooth.

The function can also help your family to track you when you are out on the trail, and see your location. It is a feature that can save lives. Imagine that it is late and, you are not back home. Thanks to this function, your friends will know exactly where you are.

You can also use Garmin Connect Mobile app to share your fitness info on your Twitter, Facebook, etc.

More features you’ll find useful on your Garmin Connect Mobile app are the weather updates for the next few hours and being able to download the satellite position data for the next few days on your device. This last option helps a lot in locations where the GPS signal is poor, and you fail to get a lock.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review app running live track settings

You can share your activity data with your social media friends. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

When connected to GPS, the flashing light at the top of the display stops flashing and turns solid instead.

Still, if you want to look at performance stats in depth, you need to log in to Garmin Connect from your computer. The online app is detailed, and it gives you access to a broad range of metrics.

Garmin forerunner 220 training and history menu

Garmin forerunner 220 has a detailed menu that you can access with the buttons on the side.

Apart from keeping an eye on your performance, you can also use the Garmin Connect app to plan your training, thanks to the preloaded training programs.

You can choose plans for many different fitness levels. From 1k run to a full marathon run or, a plan designed for a complete beginner. However, if you don’t like the existing programs, you can always make your own.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – Battery Life And Charger

To charge your Forerunner 220, you must attach a clip that connects four metal contacts on the back of the watch. On the other end of the clip, it has a USB plug.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review - Battery Life And Conclusion

Garmin forerunner 220 has a custom clip-on charger that locks the watch in. Quite big but it does the job well.

This connector can also be sued to download data from the watch to your laptop, as well as update the watch’s firmware. The battery of your Forerunner 220 will last up to 6 weeks in watch mode. It is quite a long time, but it will last only 10 hours with the GPS turned on.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review - charging cable

The custom charger on Garmin forerunner 220 has a USB port on the other end that connects to a computer. It can also be used to update the firmware on the watch.

Just the watch will cost you $159.99. If you want to add the heart rate monitor, then you’ll have to fork out $169.99. That’s just an extra $10. Just to give you an idea, the main competitor to this watch is another tracker we reviewed here. TomTom Spark, priced at $149.99.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – Conclusion

garmin forerunner 220 menu

Garmin forerunner 220 has an excellent built quality. Light, easy to wear, easy to read the screen in very bright light conditions.

Just like TomTom, the Forerunner 220 GPS watch will help you reach objectives and explain your fitness evolution step by step.

The GPS sensor will measure your workout data, such as distance and pace, and if you’ve lost the GPS signal, the accelerometer will kick in and take over. Between the TomTom Spark and Forerunner 220, the latter is my favourite.

If you are looking for a quality midrange GPS tracker, the $159.99 Forerunner 220 is a great running “partner” that won’t break the bank.

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review – Gallery

Garmin Forerunner 220 Review
8.6 OUR RATING
Pros
  • 10 hours of GPS-tracking/running time
  • Colour display
  • Waterproof to 50 meters
  • Cadence tracking
Cons
  • Charging cradle is a bit bulky
  • Sub-par heart rate consistency
Summary
If you are looking for a quality midrange GPS tracker, the $159.99 Garmin Forerunner 220 is a great running "partner" that won’t break the bank.
FUNCTIONALITY9
APP AND METRICS8.5
BATTERY LIFE8.5
LOOK AND FEEL8.5
PRICE8.5

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