Lots of companies are pushing their own wearable products at the moment and that’s good, extra competition is what this industry needs, but most of them are taking a “more is more,” approach to development, with tonnes of features, fancy wrist bands or mounting positions, integration with different apps and phones and other gadgets. It’s a lot to take in. However Garmin is going in the other direction, offering simple, streamlined watches with a little added functionality.
The Forerunner 10 is the latest in this lineup, offering traditional digital watch functions (with a traditional watch look) through a black and white display, with a few fitness extras. Thanks to a built in GPS, it’s able to track the distance you run, at what pace and how many calories you’ve burned based on your body’s metrics. It’s also designed to be incredibly simple. You don’t need to set anything up before hand, just hit go and it starts tracking you. Turn it off and it quantifies your stats, or you can keep an eye on it while you’re on the go.
You can also track your stats over time, to see how much you’re improving and how close you’re getting to personal goals – which can be set in the Forerunner itself.
Other features include the ability to store your best runs to compare against later, or share them with friends with Garmin’s own little social networking tool, Garmin Connect. This also lets you see your run on a map, giving you a better idea of where you’ve gone on your regular runs.
The Garmin Forerunner 10 is currently priced at £100 on the official site, with more expensive options with extra features costing a lot more.
The Forerunner 10 feature page actually tells you a lot of its drawbacks. Like the fact that it doesn’t have a heart-rate monitor, bike speed sensor, foot pod, automatic sync, virtual partner, virtual racer, courses, auto scroll, muti-sport and tonnes of other features, all with a big “No,” next to them.
This is all well and good, but judging by the fact that it costs almost as much as a bunch of fitness bands that do what it does (perhaps not quite so succinctly) and a whole lot more, this feature list starts to make the Forerunner look bad, rather than good.
Of course the reason for all these missing features, is because Garmin’s more expensive products feature them, but when some of them are only £30 or so more, it does make you wonder why you wouldn’t spend the extra.
For absolute purist runners, the Forerunner 10 is perfect, if a little pricey, but considering the added features of the other Garmin products, I’d want to look into each of them before making a decision. It might just be worth spending that bit more to get a lot more function out of your new wearable.