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Garmin launch new £139 Forerunner GPS watch with activity tracker

Following the launch of the Edge 1000, Garmin continue to expand their product line and the latest is the Forerunner 15, a £139 GPS sports watch that can track running and cycling activities and will also give you a prod when you’ve been inactive for too long, in a similar fashion to the many fitness bands currently gaining popularity.

Although its aimed at runners and not cyclists - they’ve got their Edge series for cyclists - there are plenty of sports people who want a multipurpose device that can be used for cycling, running and other sports. And like Garmin’s own Vivofit fitness tracker band, it can count steps and calories burned when not actually exercising, to track your activity level throughout the day.

It’s a stylish looking watch available in a range of colours and can be worn all day. The battery lasts a claimed 5 weeks, but drops down to 8 hours if using the GPS tracking. It’s also water resistant up to 50 metres so no problems taking it into the shower or swim

The Forerunner 15  can be partnered with heart rate monitors and foot pods to collect more data, or can be used as a pedometer in a similar way to the rise in popularity of fitness bands, that can alert you when you’ve been inactive for a long period of time. Once you’ve finished an activity, you can upload the data to Garmin Connect.

The Forerunner 15, available now in black/green, teal/white, and violet/white colours and two face sizes, costs £139 for the watch on its own and £169 if you include a heart rate strap. 

www.garmin.com/en-GB

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

6 comments

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nowasps [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Is there a reason why something strapped to your wrist can't do the same heart rate monitoring job of something strapped around your chest?

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 2 years ago
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nowasps wrote:

Is there a reason why something strapped to your wrist can't do the same heart rate monitoring job of something strapped around your chest?

yes and no. a chest strap listens for the electrical activity of your heart, so that wouldn't work, but there are various solutions for looking out for a pulse that can be implemented on the wrist.

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bikebot [1924 posts] 2 years ago
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Garmin have too many blasted devices, and it's a strategy that's going to bite them in the backside before too long.

I've just taken a look at this on their US product page (not listed yet in the UK) and they have ten different forerunner watches. I honestly can't be bothered to work out what the differences are, it's too much effort.

But that's not even all their watches. They have yet more ranges for swimming, golf, hiking etc.

I expect this is the first market that smart watches will steal over the next few years. The hardware isn't that different between all these devices, you're paying for different software features. I'd rather have a standardised platform and be able to buy the features (apps) as I need them.

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giobox [356 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

Garmin have too many blasted devices, and it's a strategy that's going to bite them in the backside before too long.

I've just taken a look at this on their US product page (not listed yet in the UK) and they have ten different forerunner watches. I honestly can't be bothered to work out what the differences are, it's too much effort.

Totally agree, but the Forerunner 15 is actually a new model that does something pretty unique, unusually for Garmin! You get a fitness band style accelerometer built in, so it can track movement even when the GPS is off, a pretty nifty feature. You are basically getting a built in Garmin Vivofit/Nike Fuel band included in the price, which makes this arguably the pick of the cheap multi sport watches at the moment.

The only other GPS watch that can do this right now is the Polar V800, and its way more expsensive.

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bikebot [1924 posts] 2 years ago
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giobox wrote:

Totally agree, but the Forerunner 15 is actually a new model that does something pretty unique, unusually for Garmin! You get a fitness band style accelerometer built in, so it can track movement even when the GPS is off, a pretty nifty feature. You are basically getting a built in Garmin Vivofit/Nike Fuel band included in the price, which makes this arguably the pick of the cheap multi sport watches at the moment.

That's good for this individual device, and I'm slightly interested. I was just having a bit of a rant about the overall strategy. For the average consumer the range is completely baffling. Hell, it's getting that way for the enthusiast.

Now the cycling kit is going the same way. We've got four different base models (200, 500, 800, 1000) plus variations within those models (510, 810), plus at least one more specifically for touring.

I think they could crunch that range right down to two. A basic model similar to the 500 today which is an advanced cycle computer with GPS and sensor support. Then a high end model which does all the navigation features and other things on the 800/1000.

If they stay as they are, someone will make a cheap as chips cycle computer based on a ruggedised bit of last generation android hardware. We'll see it pop up at Decathlon or even Aldi one day, and it will eat Garmin's lunch.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 2 years ago
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Not more plastic tech land fill? Zzzzzz. Just ride.