The Garmin Forerunner 235 is the latest iteration of its much successful predecessor the Forerunner 225 and this time comes in with a rich new set of features. For starters, this latest wrist running watch is appointed with an optical heart rate sensor, which is not the Mio sensor but own engineered by Garmin. Upon first glance, the FR235 isn’t much of a departure from Garmin’s other fitness watches yet there are some significant aesthetical updates that make it stand out from the pack.
Weighing in at just 42 grams, the Forerunner 25 looks good on a suit and at the gym, and even comes with a swappable strap so you can mix and match on the fly. With regards to battery life, the FR 235 is good for an astounding 11 hours in training mode and up to 9 days in activity mode with smart notifications turned on.
Apart from heart rate monitoring, this Garmin running watch is designed to calculate a plethora of running metrics most notably ground contact symmetry, stress score, vertical score, stride length and vertical ratio. In addition, all run data is automatically uploaded to the Garmin Connect mobile app, and can be linked with a MyFitnessPal account to sync nutrition and calories information. Continue reading
The Moto 360 when first introduced came in with a host of issues including horrid battery life, performance stutters and software glitches, but the Moto 360 second generation addresses these issues quite well, making it one of the best Android smartwatches in its segment. For starters, the new Moto 360 leaves behind the TI processor and upgrades to a snappier Snapdragon 400.
But the most noteworthy worthy change in the Moto 360 second gen is the long lasting battery life of an astounding 15 days with the 3000 mAh powerhouse and up to 2 days with the 400 mAh battery. On that note, the Moto 360 2nd generation can be ordered in two sizes for men namely 42mm and 46mm and 42mm for women. Another area that has been considerably improved is heart monitoring and now renders much more accurate readings.
What’s in the Box?
Highlights of the Moto 360 Second Gen
Garmin Forerunner 235 (GPS watch for runners) had been introduced to the Thai market.
Forerunner 235 Garmin Part Number: 010-03717-54
Last year tendency of including wrist-based heart rate (HR) is also provided in this model. 🙂
At first glimpse easily noticeable lightweight of this watch. Pretty impressive if you consider all the technology Garmin put into it, including GPS and GLONASS receivers, vibration alerts, Bluetooth, battery (life: 11 hours training, 9 days watch + activity tracking + notifications + heart rate), and of course the wrist-based heart rate sensor.
The review on Forerunner 235 should follow next Monday (8th February).
Physical & Performance
|Physical dimensions||1.77″ x 1.77″ x 0.46″ (45 x 45 x 11.7 mm)|
|Display size, WxH||1.23″ (31.1 mm) diameter|
|Display resolution, WxH||215 x 180 pixels|
|Weight||1.5 oz (42 g)|
|Battery life||11 hours training, 9 days watch + activity tracking + notifications + heart rate|
|Water rating||5 ATM|
|Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone)||✅|
|Find my phone||✅|
|Watch functions||Includes date and alarm|
Maps & Memory
|History||200 hours of activity data|
|V02 max estimate||✅|
|Accelerometer (calculates distance for indoor workouts, without need for a foot pod)||✅|
|Bike speed/cadence sensor||Yes (optional)|
|Heart rate monitor||Yes (wrist-based)|
|Foot pod||Yes (optional)|
|Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)||✅|
|Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)||✅|
|Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)||✅|
|Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)||✅|
|Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)||✅|
|Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)||✅|
|Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)||✅|
|Heart rate-based calorie computation||✅|
|Calculates calories burned||✅|
|Training Effect (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness)||✅|
Activity Tracking Features
|Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)||✅|
|Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)||✅|
|Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)||✅|
|Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)||✅|
|Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)||✅|
Just like its predecessor the Forerunner 15, the Forerunner 25 is yet another great addition to Garmin’s popular lineup of fitness watches. As one would expect, the Forerunner 25 does arrive with a few more features compared to the Forerunner 15 starting with Bluetooth smart connectivity to enable smartphone notifications (emails, calls, texts) and upload workouts from the Garmin fitness watch to the web via the Garmin Connect Mobile App available for Android and iOS devices.
New to the Garmin Forerunner 25 but already available in existing high end Garmin fitness trackers include:
The Forerunner 25 can be had in two separate versions – one with the Forerunner only and other with a heart rate monitor. In addition, there’s even two different sizes and two colors for each color variant to choose from namely black/red and black/blue for the large size and black/purple and white/pink for the smaller size. The FR25 is designed to capture all types of GPS data on a run including distance, pace and even heart rate.
What’s in the Box?
Compared to the older FR15, the Forerunner 25 is slimmer for both the large and small face versions. Although upon first glance the screen area of the Forerunner 25 may look the same, the portion where you can write text is slightly bigger hence the 33 percent increase. The face of the FR25 is flanked by four buttons – start or enter, down or scroll, back or return and backlight LED.
The display of the FR25 is pretty sharp and is visible in bright daylight and the LED backlight the Garmin fitness watch is well lit during dark and low light conditions. One thing worth noting is the Forerunner does not offer any vibration alerts so it’s all beeps be it alarms, phone notifications, or even training cues. The FR25 is both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart enabled, but only the former sensors can connect with the device.
Along with onsite GPS to track pace and distance, the FR25 also features a built in accelerometer to track things such as calories burned, steps, distance travelled, and sleep at night. The one element lacking is a heart rate sensor, but Garmin does offer a bundled Forerunner 25 version that brings in an ANT+ heart rate chest strap.
The charging cable is proprietary, and battery life for the Forerunner 25 is clocked at 8 weeks (small) or 10 weeks (large) when used in watch/training mode and 8 hours (small) or 10 hours (large) with GPS turned on. In addition, the Forerunner 25 is also waterproof up to 50 meters so it will be just fine if you accidently wear it in the shower or it gets caught up in the rain or even goes for a swim.
Key Features of the Forerunner 25
One of the nifty features of the Garmin Forerunner 25 is it can estimate the distance covered without a food pod using its onsite accelerometer. The FR25 GPS watch receives signals fairly quickly and during runs provides access to two displays that display up to 4 stats (2 per screen) and 3 when connected with a heart rate monitor. The screen of the FR25 is highly customizable and can display a myriad of stats including distance, time lapsed, calories, pace, lap pace, lap time and average pace.
The Forerunner 25 even offers a few run modes to choose from, where you would just select “Basic Run” when you’re just going on well a basic run. Furthermore, you can also set parameters such as distance, time, calories to aim towards, whereas lap tracking can be manually or automatically activated. The Auto Pause feature of the FR25 stops the device from tracking once you stop moving, which proves handy in several situations such as when you’re at a red light.
The tracked stats can be viewed within the Garmin App where you can review your run, zoom in and out, and examine your stats at every lap. The run/walk intervals feature of the FR25 for users who’d like to see parts of their activity, i.e. running and walking. With this feature enabled, you can set walk and run intervals and the device will notify you with audible beeps once the interval is achieved.
Another noteworthy feature and one that is generally seen on higher priced fitness watches is Inactivity Alert, which on the Forerunner is represented by a Movement Bar that fills up gradually after every one hour of inactivity. You are notified of inactivity every by a beep and even a “Move’ message across the screen. So every 15 minutes of inactivity add a segment to the Movement bar, and clear it is just a matter of getting up and walking for a few minutes.
Just like most other Garmin fitness watches, the FR25 tracks daily activity in the form of sleep and steps, whereas calories and distance travelled are estimated based on the user’s activity levels and personal settings. The Forerunner 25 even allows you keep tabs on your progress throughout the day by simply pressing the “back” button, and scroll through date, calories burned, steps taken, distance covered and goals.
As you get acquainted with the Forerunner 25 and vice versa, the fitness tracker will gauge your activity levels and assign goals automatically for you to achieve or you can complete this task manually. However, sleep tracking is automatically activated based on regular sleeping hours, which is configured in the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
On that note and definitely worth mentioning is the highly advanced app, which is rated as one of the most informative in its segment. It allows you to join social groups, review your data and even accrue badges as you go along. You can even notify your friends to check on your progress on your run with Live Tracking, which will allow them to see your pace, speed, elevation among other metrics.
Pros of the Garmin Forerunner 25
Cons of the Forerunner 25
All in all, the Garmin Forerunner 25 is a great fitness watch for both entry level runners and seasoned gym goers. It arrives with all the features necessary to rack all aspects of your runs and walks and even your sleep. Add to is its superior battery life that simply gives it an edge over its competition.
The Garmin Connect app is regarded as one of the best in its segment, and allows you get comprehensive details about your workout, join groups, earn badges and even set fitness goals. If you’re just getting started with running and walking or simply looking to buy a fitness tracker, the Garmin Forerunner 25 should definitely be on your list.
Physical & Performance
|Physical dimensions||Black/Violet & White/Pink: 1.41” x 1.73” x 0.55” (35.9 x 43.9 x 13.9 mm); Black/Blue & Black/Red: 1.58” x 1.85” x 0.55” (40.2 x 47.0 x 13.9 mm)|
|Display size, WxH||Black/Violet & White/Pink: 0.73” x 0.73” (18.5 x 18.5 mm); Black/Blue & Red/Black: 0.91” x 0.91” (23 x 23 mm)|
|Display resolution, WxH||128 x 128 pixels|
|Weight||Small: 31 g (1.1 oz); Large: 39 g (1.4 oz)|
|Battery life||Small: 8 weeks, watch mode; 8 hours in training mode; Large: 10 weeks, watch mode; 10 hours in training mode|
|Water rating||5 ATM|
|Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone)||✔|
Maps & Memory
|Virtual Pacer™ (compares current pace to target)||✔|
|Accelerometer (calculates distance for indoor workouts, without need for a foot pod)||✔|
|Heart rate monitor||Yes (Some versions)|
|Foot pod||Yes (optional)|
|Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)||✔|
|Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)||✔|
|Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)||✔|
|Heart rate-based calorie computation||✔|
|Calculates calories burned||✔|
Activity Tracking Features
|Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)||✔|
|Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)||✔|
|Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)||✔|
|Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)||✔|
|Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)||✔|
First unveiled at the IFA I in Berlin in September 2015, the TomTom Spark is a feature rich fitness watch that is designed for cyclists, swimmers, runners and gym goers alike. You’re probably thinking that there are several watches that do the same exact same thing, but what makes the Spark stand distinct from its competition is heart rate monitoring, GPS and even onsite wrist based music playback – a feature that many fitness watches lack.
In addition to its lightweight design and fairly large monochrome display, the TomTom spark also offers onboard local to store up to 500 (3 GB of local storage) of your favorite tunes and playback via Bluetooth. This feature alone gives the Spark an edge over its competition and makes it a solid choice if you’re looking to incorporate music into your workouts. This latest fitness watch by TomTom is a significant departure from its predecessors, and can be ordered in several different color variants.
In the box you receive:
The one thing that Polar has been doing a bit differently in the last few iterations of its fitness watches it trimming down their physical size and improving their look and this is quite evident in their flagship model – The V800. A successor to the Polar M400, the V800 Polar fitness watch is mainly designed with triathletes in mind, but also offers open water and swimming modes as well as cycle and run tracking.
The only feature that the V800 does lack is an onsite heart rate sensor, but fitness experts claim that accurate heart rate readings are best be determined with when paired with a standalone heart rate monitor chest strap. On a brighter note, the Polar V800 has recently received a slew of software updates, most notably one that now renders smartphone type notifications on the display when paired with an iOS device.
If heart rate monitoring is a must have in your fitness regime, Polar does offer a package that comes along with a H7 heart rate sensor, and at a cost that won’t break the bank!
What’s in the Box?
Highlights of the Polar V800 GPS Watch
Design, Build and Battery Life
For starters, the Polar V800 boasts a robust build, and features five metal buttons, comfortable rubber strap that’s perfect for a fitness watch and a high resolution Gorilla Glass protected 128×128 pixel dot matrix display. Adding to this, the screen surprisingly is clearly visible in almost all light conditions and even offers a choice of watch faces.
The actually watch face design is pretty much the same as the M400, but the V800 owing to Gorilla Glass protection is more water proof up to 30 meters deep and also exudes a much more premium feel. The V800 is lean enough to be worn all day and can even pass as normal digital watch, The two silver buttons on the right control up/down functionality, whereas the red button on the right is starting laps and selecting and confirming items in the menu.
The first button on the right is to power on the light and also to access the menu while running, whereas the other serves as a back button to pause or end a particular activity. It comes pre-loaded with a plethora of metric screens laps, distance, and pace and heart rate, and the screen displays date time and even your name. To view metrics such as distance, heart rate or pace as you want them, you will have to use the Polar software to set up the respective data pages.
Battery life is another area where the Polar V800 excels and clocks in at a whopping 50 hours of power in low GPS mode or 13 hours of training time or 10 kms runs or 4-hour cycle rides. The V800 features an onsite barometric altimeter that helps determine elevation changes so each time the fitness watch is powered on, it will use GPS technology to calibrate the altimeter. After successful calibration, you can you will begin to receive altitude information during a specific activity.
24×7 Activity Tracking and Orthostatic Test
The Polar V800 offers superior activity tracking features perhaps because it was one of the first fitness watches to double as an activity monitor. Activity tracking does not refer to tracking sports activities, but rather what you do when you’re not exercising like walking to a grocery store or other normal non-endurance activities. The goal of activity training is to give you a clear insight of the activities you do outside of training, and determine your day to day workout effort.
The V800 displays metrics such as distance walked, steps taken, calories and your progress towards a pre-defined goal when synced with your phone or other compatible device. One of the noteworthy features of the Polar V800 is the orthostatic test, which measures fatigue and understanding the results helps you understand patterns and create specific training goals based on it. These reports can then be viewed on the Polar Flow app.
Polar V800 Running, Cycling and Swimming
Before heading out on a run with the Polar V800 fitness watch, you will have to acquire a GPS signal in order for accurate tracking. This process takes less than a minute for acquiring GPS signals from a new locations and less than 30 seconds when you start and activity from the same location. When paired with the optional Stride sensor, the Polar V800 can be mated with your running shoes to monitor cadence or footfall.
If you’d like to take the Polar V800 on a bicycle ride and have it track your performance, you can either strap it around your handlebars (no strap included) or wear it around your wrist. However, take note that the latter option entails that you take one hand off the handlebars to read data – a bit unsafe.
Being waterproof up to 30 meters deep, the Polar V800 is also designed for swimming and entering into this mode allows this fitness watch to measure time, distance, heart rate and analyze stokes in the pool with the help of the SWOLF (Swim Golf) score. Additionally, the Polar V800 will recognize several strokes including breast stroke, back stroke free stroke and everyone’s favorite breast stroke.
To enter into the swim mode, simply press the start button and select Pool Swim, and you can even change the lane length pressing down on the Light button until the quick menu appears and then setting your preferred length between 50 meters, 250 meters and 25 yards. After your swimming session, all the measured details can then be synced with the Polar Flow app.
Although the display of the Polar V800 does not render comprehensive details of a specific activity, the dedicated app and browser software is just the opposite. The app can be paired easily via Bluetooth with Android and iOS powered smartphones and data can be synced rapidly just by holding down the back button.
Apart from laying out your sports training activity, the Polar app also displays your daily activity from the steps taken to sleep quality. The app even allows you to create workout session with respective sections such as rest and sprint goals. Take note that data from the V800 can only be synced by pairing the device with a compatible phone via Bluetooth or to a computer via USB and not over WI-FI.
Pros of the Polar V800
Cons of the V800
The Polar V800 is rich in features and is a proven GPS tracker with a large clear display and impressive battery life. It is easy to use and designed to track several different activities and even fatigue with an orthostatic test. The details from the V800 can then be viewed by pairing the device with a compatible smartphone or PC through Bluetooth or USB.
The watch has received constant updates and the latest one enables smartphone notifications on the screen, making the Polar V800 on par with other more expensive fitness watches in the market
The Fitbit Charge HR is inarguably one of the best activity trackers in the market today for several reasons. For starters, the Charge HR is an all around activity tracker that offers on the wrist non-stop heart rate monitoring, tracks your sleep, tracks your active heart rate levels while you sleep or workout or rest, and syncs this vital data with virtually any major tablet or smartphone.
The Fitbit Charge HR is basically a back device with a miniscule LED screen, but its rich in features, and much more than other expensive fitness devices in its segment. It also doubles as a watch and boasts class leading battery life, and that’s with continuous heart rate monitoring. The web based interface of the Fitbit Charge HR offers a clean layout and is simple to use and integrates seamlessly with popular workout apps such as Strava, Endomondo, RunKeeper, Runtastic among others.
Polar recently unveiled their latest watch – the M400, which is mostly designed to bridge the gap between GPS watches and activity trackers. For starters, the Polar M400 GPS watch is the mostly competitively priced device in its segment yet is able to deliver a superb performance in several areas. The M400 is Polar’s second GPS watch and includes a slew of features including tracking ability for calories burned and sleep, distance travelled and steps taken and even sleep tracking.
This Polar GPS watch can be ordered in white, black, blue and pink color variants, and can also be mated with a compatible chest based heart rate monitor. Compatible heart rate monitors can be non-Polar devices as long as they support Bluetooth LE technology (Low Energy) dubbed Bluetooth Smart. Take note that Garmin heart rate sensors cannot be paired with this Polar GPS watch for the fact that they use ANT + Technology and not Bluetooth Smart.
What’s in the Box?
Highlights of the Polar M400 GPS Watch
Design of the Polar GPS Running Watch
Lightweight at just 56.6 grams and 11.5 mm thick, makes the M400 GPS watch much slimmer than other watches in its class. Its sits snuggly around your wrist with a rubber watch strap fastened by a robust security loop, and is extremely comfortable to wear even for longer periods. The rear of the Polar M400 GPS running watch is crafted of stainless steel and features a small rubber flap that shields a microUSB port, which is also a noteworthy feature of the M400 considering it doesn’t use a proprietary dock connector.
The package of the M400 Polar GPS watch includes a USB cable, which can be a smartphone adapter or computer for charging as well as transfer of data. Although the rubber flap protects the USB port from water seeping in, the USB port of the M400 Polar GPS running watch is internally waterproof as the watch itself, allowing you to take the plunge up to 30 meters, making it a great companion in the shower or while swimming.
Coming to the front of the M400 GPS watch, it is appointed with five buttons – three on the right and two on the left. The backlight can be activated by pressing the top left button, while the bottom left is the back and end button. Moving forward, scrolling can be done by pressing the top right button, while the middle is to select and start activities and the bottom right for scrolling down. That’s not all – some of the buttons of the Polar GPS watch also have secondary uses such as enabling a button lock by holding the top left button, syncing the watch by holding the bottom left button or scrolling through the many watch faces by pressing and holding down on the top right button.
The 128×128-pixel resolution black and white screen of the Polar M400 GPS watch is large, making it easy to see what’s going on when it’s charging, which is a feature other smaller fitness watches struggle with. Adding to this, the display of the M400 GPS fitness watch is a monochrome dot matrix style and is boasts an excellent backlight, making it easy to read even in some low visibility situations.
With regards to battery life, the Polar watch is simply outstanding with up to eight hours of use with the GPS turned on, making it good for two or three weeks worth of regular training regimes. And again to reiterate, one of the most powerful features of the Polar GPS watch is inarguably its simple charging capabilities thanks to the use of micro USB rather than charging and proprietary cradles that you often break or loose.
Key Features of the Polar M400 GPS Watch
With a recent firmware update, the Polar M400 GPS watch is able to display notifications such as text and call alerts. New to the M400 is it Running Estimate option, which like the name suggests estimates how long it’ll take you to complete a run at the current pace you’re running. Next new feature of the M400 is PR (Personal Records/Bests) support, which lets you know each time you break a new PR for a set time/distance benchmark.
Additionally, the M400 GPS watch also comes with a “Back to Start” feature that will help you compass back to your start point, which is great if you’re lost and helps retrace your path. The screen of the M400allows you to view several key metrics such as fat burn percentage of calories, calories burned, start time, duration, average pace, max altitude, max pace, descent, ascent, best lap time, auto lap times and average lap time.
The internal storage of the Polar M400 running watch can alone store up to an astounding 30 hours of past run data, and this vital information can then be uploaded to Polar’s website and mobile app either by connecting your smartphone over Bluetooth or using your computer. Just like most activity trackers, the M40 will alert you when you’ve been idle for longer than an hour, and there’s also a sleep tracking feature that is activated automatically once you go to bed.
Calories burned, activity time and steps can be viewed by simply opening up the Activity menu. The Polar M400 GPS watch is highly customizable in that it offers four different watch faces to choose from, one with an analog face, a face with date, time and a daily activity progress bar, one with your name instead of the progress bar and a face with time in large numbers. Other features worth mentioning include an alarm that can be set to wake you up in the morning.
M400 Software & Support
The M400 can be easily synced with your mobile device by holding down the left square button, but you will need to get the FlowSync software in order to sync it from your PC to the Polar Flow website. Although you will mostly use the app, the Polar Flow website does offer additional features such as Relive, which displays information from your runs such as pace, time and distance and street view images on locations on your running path.
Nevertheless, both the website and mobile app will indicate how many hours you spent sitting, resting, standing, jogging and walking, They will also show you the map of your daily runs, calories burned distance travelled and of course your steps taken among others. The Polar Flow app even congratulates you when you achieve your active goals for the day, and can also be synced with Apple’s Health app, giving you another option to view your data.
Pros of the Polar M400 GPS Watch
Cons of the M400 GPS Watch
The Polar GPS watch offers a powerful set of features, some that aren’t available even the best GPS watch in its segment. It charges with its USB port so there’s no worrying about proprietary charging cables or cradles. Among other metrics, it also provides information on your sleep patterns and daily activities, which can be viewed either on the mobile app or website. If you’re looking for a fitness watch that arrives with a plethora of features and one that won’t break the bank, the Polar M400 GPS running watch is definitely worth a second look.
When shopping for a fitness tracker, you will be spoilt for choice considering the array of brands available. Fitbit however is one brand that is distinct from the competition, and its Surge fitness tracking watch is just one reason why! Fitbit – one of the first companies to create a smartphone-connected device has been creating different iterations of its original Fitbit Ultra smart pedometer, and its latest product the Surge comes in the form of a rather sophisticated device that basically does it all.
For starters, the Surge is not only able to track your sleep and every step you take, but also uses GPS technology to track outdoor activity, keep tabs on your heart rate with its onsite optical heart rate monitor and even alert you of incoming phone calls and messages in its vibrant touchscreen display. Apart from its glorious battery life, the Surge boasts all the features of other Fitbit products plus a myriad of other sports features and add to this a more aesthetically appealing and comfortable watch like design.
What’s in the Box?
To update the
Probably the easiest way to update the software on your vivoactive, would be with the Garmin Express.
Review on Garmin Vivoactive here.