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Garmin takes on Fitbit with new heart rate watches

By Shannon Williams
Wed 28 Oct 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Garmin New Zealand has released three new GPS running watches that are capable of measuring heart rates on the wrist.

The Forerunner 230, the Forerunner 235 and the Forerunner 630 track distance, pace, time, and heart rate.

The Forerunner 235 is the first product to feature Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, which displays heart rate and zone on an easy-to-read, colourful graphic interface, so runners new to tracking heart rate can train more effectively, Garmin says. Daily activity tracking features include all-day heart rate tracking on the 235 keep runners apprised of their all-day steps, calories and sleep.  

The Forerunner 230 pairs easily with a chest-worn strap to get all the same data right on the watch. When connected to a compatible smartphone, runners can stay connected with smart notifications, and motivated with music controls and audio prompts that announce their lap times.

The Forerunner 630 features Garmin’s most advanced running watch technology yet, the company explains.

The touchscreen Forerunner 630 boasts more running dynamics than its predecessor (the Forerunner 620), and additional physiological measurements so runners can be more aware of their bodies before, during and after a run.

All three running watches are compatible with the Connect IQ smartwatch platform. With Connect IQ, users are able to customise their watch with additional apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields.

“We’re excited to add three new devices to our lineup of GPS running watches with the Forerunner 230, 235 and 630,” says Matt DeMoss, general manager, Garmin Australasia.

“These watches provide a new form factor and training tool-set, plus the convenient wrist-based heart rate in the 235 is one more way Garmin is helping runners meet their training goals, whether it be running a 5K or a marathon,” he sys.

“As our most advanced GPS running watch to date, we’re thrilled to bring the Forerunner 630 to market,” DeMoss adds. “The next generation of running dynamics, along with the physiological measurements and Connect IQ compatibility, makes the 630 an essential tool for the serious and data-driven runner.”

Through a compatible smartphone, 230, 235 and 630 users can stay connected and motivated during and in-between workouts with smart notifications for call, text and email alerts, music controls and audio alerts for lap and lap times during a run.

All three watches automatically sync with the recently updated Garmin Connect Mobile app when in range, so users can check in throughout the day to view reports on activity progress, track their sleep hours, and join step challenges.

The interface provides daily information and trends over time and can be linked to a MyFitnessPal account to automatically sync calorie and nutritional information, allowing users to view active and consumed calories, and remaining calories (based on goals set in MyFitnessPal).

Battery Life

Forerunner 230 has up to 16 hours of battery life in training mode and 5 weeks in watch mode with activity tracking and smart notifications, the boasts extended battery life to get more workouts in on a single charge.

The 235 can get up to 11 hours of battery life in training mode and up to nine days in activity tracking mode with smart notifications. Both the 230 and 235 are also water resistant to 50 metres4 to withstand the elements.

Between runs, the Forerunner 630 has daily activity tracking3 features to monitor valuable data including steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep, and its move bar with vibration alert provides motivation to stay active all day. It is water resistant to 50 metres4 and boasts up to 16 hours of battery life in training mode and 4 weeks in watch mode with activity tracking and smart notifications.

Availability

The Forerunner 230 will be available in black/white, purple strike/white and force yellow/black, and will be in stores later this year. It will have a recommended retail price of NZ$429.00.

The Forerunner 235 will be available in black/grey, black/marsala and frost blue/black, and will be in stores late 2015. It will have a suggested retail price of NZ$499.00.

The Forerunner 630 will be available in black/white and midnight blue, and will be in stores late 2015.It will have a suggested retail price of NZ$599.00, and the performer bundle with HRM-Run will have a suggested retail price of NZ$679.00.

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