Forerunner has made a choice in the name of ambition: to spread a new ‘culture’ of sport. The desire of the American company has been translated into two new tools dedicated to running: the Forerunner 620 and the Forerunner 220. A natural evolution of the previous FR610 and FR210 the new Garmin FR220 is aimed at beginner to mid-level runners while the FR620 is for the more advanced runner who needs more complicated functions. With significantly lighter weight and improved fit, these two sport watches offer new features: the 220 is more basic and designed for less demanding runners and the 620 is more complex and precise designed to meet specific needs. For example, on the 620 the ‘recovery advisor’ allows you to manage the recovery time and the ‘race predictor,’ estimates what your likely performance would be if you were participating in a race. The evaluation function of VO2max is designed to compensate for the lack of a coach or specific test. Truly valid? new heart rate monitor HRM-Run which allows you to detect not only the heart rate, but also provides a real-time feedback on the quality of your run, thanks to the presence of the accelerometer in the module, which can detect the movement and inclination of your torso.
These are the new parameters you can monitor:
-Cadence: i.e. the number of steps you take per minute (total from adding left and right)
-Vertical Oscillation: the oscillatory movement if the torso, namely the inclination with respect to the vertical, measured in centimeters.
-Time of contact with the ground: the time, measured in milliseconds, that your feet take from when they touch the ground to when they spring off.
With regard to the fit, the FR620 is definitely lighter than its predecessor (43.6 grams) and also slightly thinner than the 610. The all black color has been abandoned and switched to a ‘smart’ blue-black version. For both watches the company offers a color display with a 2.54 inch diameter and high resolution (180 x 180 pixels), however, the FR620 is also a touchscreen and usable even while wearing gloves. The battery has a 10 hour life while being used in training mode (with GPS enabled) and a life of 6 weeks while in watch mode i.e. power saving mode.
Both watches are interfaced with Garmin Connect thanks to the capabilities of wireless uploading, eliminating the need to connect to a computer. FR620 and FR220 allow the use of the LiveTrack function, which is very useful for coaches who want to follow in real-time the competition of their athletes. The Forerunner 620 is available in blue/white and black/orange at a suggested retail price starting from €399.00 while the Forerunner 200 is available in the colors black/red and white/purple at a suggested retail price starting from €249.00.
Product evaluation is very personal and varies according to the expectations that your have for a GPS wristwatch. Definitely very detailed and complex, the features of the 620 are capable of satisfying even the most demanding and methodical runners, but are unnecessary for the occasional runner. Instead, the 220 is very complete and despite being more basic, certainly possesses all the necessary functions for a well monitored training and is available at a lower price.