Garmin has long been working to design GPS-equipped watches that don't look like a monstrosity strapped to your wrist. And the company's new Forerunner 220 and 620 manage a svelte form factor that also squeezes in wireless connectivity, touchscreen functionality, colour displays, and enough stat-tracking to predict how far a run you can muster.
Both watches feature Garmin's one-inch Chroma display and Bluetooth connectivity, but the 620 adds the option to connect to a Wi-Fi network for tracking your stats on an accompanying app, as well as a touchscreen that works even while wearing gloves.
Both use a built-in accelerometer to track your steps and strides, and combining that with GPS data they're able to keep tabs on your pace and performance compared to past runs—but the 620 goes one step further. When used with an optional heart rate monitor it can even calculate an athlete's V02 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen a runner can consumer per minute. This allows the watch to then predict what their race times will be for a given distance, displaying their performance potential via a graph on the watch's display.
Garmin's not yet announced UK pricing, but over in the US, it's not surprising to hear that the 620 will cost $400 (£250, before tax) this Autumn, while the 220 is slightly more affordable at $250 (£156). And if you want to take advantage of all the features both watches offer once they become available here, you'll need to cough up an extra $50 (around £30) for bundles that include a heart rate monitor. But look on the bright side, they're still cheaper/less annoying than a personal running coach. [Garmin via Engadget]