Another day, another fitness device that can track your distance, pace, heart rate, and nag you when you don’t exercise. This time we have the Garmin 230, 235, and 630, three great smartwatches with exercise freaks in mind.
The 230 and 235 have colorful screens and the 235 includes built-in heart rate tracking technology. They can connect to a phone to bring up notifications and it also keeps track of daily activity, not just your runs.
The 630 is a lot smarter and is focused primarily on running. From the product page:
￼Featuring Garmin’s most advanced running watch technology yet, the touchscreen Forerunner 630 boasts more running dynamics than its predecessor, and additional physiological measurements so runners can be more aware of their bodies before, during and after a run. Runners can stay connected and motivated throughout and in-between workouts with smart notifications, music controls and audio prompts via a compatible smartphone and daily activity tracking features. The 630 is also compatible with the Connect IQ smartwatch platform. With Connect IQ, users are able to customize their watch with additional apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields.
￼Stride Length: Measures the length of a runner’s stride in real time.
Ground Contact Time Balance: Measures a runner’s ground contact symmetry, which some runners have found to correlate with injuries or strength imbalances.
Vertical Ratio:The cost-benefit ratio of vertical oscillation to stride length, serving as one indictor of a runner’s efficiency.
Lactate Threshold: Estimates the level of effort at which fatigue rapidly increases in terms of a runner’s heart rate and pace.
Stress Score:Measures heart rate variability to make an assessment of a user’s overall level of stress.
Performance Condition: Provides a real-time fitness-level measurement relative to a runner’s average baseline, which indicates performance readiness for the day’s workout or races.
I’m a huge fan of Garmin gear – the one marathon I ran I wore one of the original GPS watches they made – and they keep getting better. These new watches are obviously focused on hard core exercise folks like me so if you see me jogging by at 2 miles an hour while eating a chicken sandwich then you’ll know I’ll be wearing a Garmin.
The 630 will cost $399 and the 230 and 235 cost $299 and $329, respectively. They will be available next quarter.