Garmin Forerunner 220 run computer
Niggles addressed and plenty of new features justify the extra spend on this cracking running watch
Although we're rather flattered that Garmin have chosen to name their new, mid-range GPS unit after your favourite tri mag, do its upgrades really justify the £70 price bump over its predecessor, the 210?
The 220 comes in a range of colours, is significantly thinner than the bulky 210 and is 11g lighter. The charging/USB cable is far more secure, thus addressing a major flaw of the previous incarnation. The set-up is intuitive and, most importantly, you can programme in five, custom heart rate zones. You can also customise the data fields and training pages, while another key upgrade is the inclusion of auto-pause. To pre-programme workouts, you can do so on Garmin Connect, which also gives you full post-workout analysis.
Onto the trails, and satellite acquisition (especially in its maiden use) is noticeably faster than the 210, tracking and synching with the heart rate strap flawlessly. Another upgrade is an internal accelerometer that provides your running cadence and allows for indoor use on a treadmill without an additional footpod.
A cool touch is the Bluetooth connectivity, giving you instant workout uploads and live tracking via your mobile. Plus, as you're not using your phone's GPS, phone battery drain isn't an issue. The 10hr battery life rules it out for long-course racing for most of us, but it'll switch to speed rather than pace for use on the bike. And, in a final significant change, it's waterproof rates for swimming.
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