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Garmin vivosmart HR plus review

Garmin is a promising name in the world of fitness trackers and if you want to go for a good product, the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus is a great one to choose as a beginner. You have to understand the fact that this is not one of the cheapest ones out there and the brand does not want to make that happen either. It is a premium fitness tracker and it offers special features to those who need it. If you are looking for an affordable, still reliable fintess tracker, check Mi Band 1S (Mi band 1s review here).

So, as you can already understand, we are going to do a complete Garmin Vivosmart HR plus review in this article. Our target is simple. We want to make sure that we provide information to you based on which, you can make your decisions. There is no point in wasting hours and reading reviews if they make things tough for you. Let’s get started. Continue reading

Mi Band 1s review

Budget fitness tracker with wrist-based heart rate monitor – Mi Band 1S

Mi Band 1s

Mi Band 1s

This is a Mi band 1s review so if you are looking for one, this might be a good place to finish your research. We all know how awesome the brand Mi is in the technology world at recent times. If you can recall, Mi was never there anywhere in the industry even five years ago from today. Then they came in and oh boy, they did things right. The company started with mobile phones and their flagship killers took everyone by storm.

This review is  about Mi Band 1S which is a smart wristband from the company Xiaomi. Let’s move to the features of Mi Band 1S now and then we will talk about the pros, cons. Continue reading

Samsung Gear Fit2 review

Samsung Gear Fit2Well, let’s start with a good news first. We have seen lots of things made by a certain company explode recently. The Samsung Gear Fit2 Smartwatch review will tell you that this is not one of those items. This is never going to explode which is satisfactory to know.

Apart from the jokes, this is a fun wristband to go for. This is considered as a premium model and it has every other feature that you will want in a wristband. This feature enriched model comes at a premium price and it is not obviously one of the lowest ones out there but if you want a great combination of features and brand, this is the one to go for without much doubt.

As always, we will focus on the features first which will be followed by the pros, the cons, FAQ and finally some finishing words. Continue reading

TomTom Touch review

Fitness tracker with built-in heart rate monitor and body composition measurement – TomTom Touch review
The name might not sound super familiar to some of you guys, but Tom Tom Touch is an interesting fitness tracker to talk about. This fitness tracker is one of the very latest in the industry and it has been able to please people who are interested in high tech fitness tracker units.

There is a thing with the technology industry. No matter what you see today, you will always expect something better tomorrow. Following that trend, the companies like Tom Tom are starting to flourish. This body composition measuring unit has a lot of features which will excite you and if you are a tech lover, you might go for one as well. More on that later though as we are going to review this interesting fitness tracker in this article. Let’s start. Continue reading

Garmin Vivoactive HR vs Fitbit Surge

Garmin Vivoactive HR or Fitbit Surge?

Whenever we think about the best fitness tracker, comparisons start to occur. After all, without comparing a few, how on the earth will you be able to decide which one to go for?

In this article, we will talk about two multi-sport watch models to figure out which is the best GPS smartwatch to go for.

We don’t assume that our analogy or analysis will meet or exceed your opinion but is better to get the ball rolling. After we are done with this article, you will have a clear idea about at least two of the most promising GPS smartwatch models and will know which one to go for and what to ignore. Continue reading

Garmin GPS Bike Computer EDGE 20 Review

Garmin EDGE 20 Review

Garmin EDGE 20 - bike GPS

Garmin EDGE 20 – bike GPS

Garmin Part Number: 010-03709-00. Prices (at the time of writing this review): on Garmin – USD 129.99, On Amazon: USD 120.99 (for current price on Amazon click here), In Thailand: 4,990 THB (approximately USD 139) 

If you’re looking for an easy to use, compact GPS cycling computer to track your distance, speed and even share your rides with websites such as Strava the Garmin Edge 20 is a great choice. Weighing just 25 grams and measuring 4cm x 4cm, the Edge 20 boasts a compact footprint and is outfitted with a plethora of intuitive user settings including auto pauses to stop tracking when stopped at a red light, an indoor training setting when you don’t need GPS and an auto lap feature for designated times or distances. Continue reading

Moto 360 2nd Generation Review

 Smart Watch with GPS – Moto 360 2nd Generation

Moto 360 2nd GenThe 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?

  • Moto 360 2nd Generation smartwatch
  • User guide
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Wireless charging dock

Highlights of the Moto 360 Second Gen

  • Water resistant
  • Onsite heart rate sensor
  • Long battery life
  • Works with both Android and iPhone
  • Available in different sizes
  • Includes wireless charging dock

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Garmin VARIA review

Garmin Varia Review

The number of bicyclists hitting the roads around the globe has surged to over 400%, but this consequently and considerably increases the number of bike related roadway deaths. If you’re an avid cyclist, you know the inherent danger of sharing lanes with motor vehicles, and Garmin’s Varia Radar helps create a safer cycling environment by warning you of approaching vehicles from behind up to 140 meters or 153 yards away – a trick most vehicles can’t even do!

Although the Garmin Varia will not completely eliminate bike-car crashes, it does offer cyclists better piece of mind knowing the distance of vehicles behind them. Adding to this, this bicycle radar is definitely not a substitute for remaining vigilant, but allows you to focus more on other aspects of the road. The Varia arrives with a bunch of mounting gear to ensure the pieces firmly attach to the handlebars and seat posts. Adding to this, these included accessories are easy to remove, and can be easily tucked away in your pocket after locking your bicycle.

Unboxing the Garmin Varia

The Varia can be had in two different variants, one with and one without the front display unit, where the latter option would need to be paired with a compatible Garmin Edge device. In the box of the Garmin Varia, you receive:

Radar Bundle Variant

  • Radar tail light
  • Radar display unit
  • Micro USB cable
  • Universal seat-post quarter-turn mount
  • Stem mount
  • User guides
  • Seat-post quarter-turn mount

Tail Light Only Variant

  • Universal seat-post quarter-turn mount
  • Seat-post quarter-turn mount
  • Radar tail light
  • User guides
  • Micro USB cable

Garmin Varia Design

The rear radar of the Varia is lightweight at 63 grams, while the front display unit weighs 28 grams. The device is easy to operate with only a few options available on it, which is a good thing in this case. It does however transmit a lot of important data, by pressing a few buttons. Charged via an included micro USB cable, the Varia boasts a battery life of 10 hours in flashing mode, and roughly 5 hours in always on mode.

Highlights of the Garmin Varia

  • Billed as world’s first cycling radar
  • Can be mated with Edge device
  • Can detect vehicles up to 140 meters away
  • Taillight brightens and expands as traffic approaches
  • Can be charged via included USB cable

The status of the battery is clearly indicated on the display, and one of the noteworthy features of the battery is the latest Varia firmware will switch the device off and on automatically based on the usage of the Garmin Edge. And if you’d like to switch the Varia off and on manually, you can do so easily by pressing down the single button at the top for a few seconds. The Varia even allows you to toggle between two light modes, one mode that will keep the taillight in an always on configuration, while the second configuration keeps the taillight in a blinking position.

With regards to mounting the Varia, Garmin has used the same 6 year old quarter turn mount concept on all its cycling products. As mentioned before, the Garmin Varia package arrives with a few different seat post mounting options, where you can use the round mount (included) for round seat post and triangular mount (included) for an aero seat post. The display unit of the Varia pairs wirelessly with the rear radar, and can be charged in the exact same way, i.e. via micro USB.

When successfully paired, the unit of the Varia will display a small white dot as a car approaches from behind, and this dot will gradually move from the bottom of the display to the top as the car gets closer. Along with the white moving dot, the unit will also display a yellow light at the top, and a green light to indicate the coast is clear. Adding to this, the display of the Varia will be populated with multiple dots for multiple cars, whereas the two white dots located below the blue dot indicate the battery status for display unit and the radar.

Pairing the Varia with a Garmin Edge Display

If you purchase just the radar package, you can pair the device with a Garmin Edge device. Compatible devices include the Edge 25, Edge 520, Explore 1000, Edge 1000, Edge Explore 1000, Edge 810, Edge 510 and Touring Plus. When you pair the Garmin radar with any of the aforementioned devices, the information will be indicated directly on the Edge. To connect with the radar, the Edge device uses ANT and ANT + to transmit the radar related information.

When you switch to the ride mode, you’ll notice a sort of upside down Wi-Fi like symbol at the top of the Edge screen, which is actually a radar symbol that indicates the radar is connected and transmitting to your bike computer. A missing symbol could mean one of two things, either the radar unit is turned off or fell off. If you’re riding on a clear road with no cars, the side of the Edge screen will not display any information, but as soon as cars come into view, the Edge device will beep and display a cautionary color on the edges of its display.

Out of the white dots and indicators, you may at times notice a red color dot, which represents a fast approaching vehicle. This is just to alert you that you’re about to be overtaken by a high speed car. While all this action is displayed on the display of the Edge, the light of the rear radar is actually changing to react to the traffic as well. Closer approaching vehicles will trigger the red taillight bar to expand, and sounds are only emitted from the Edge device not the taillights.

Pros of the Garmin Varia

  • Much smarter than a typical bike light
  • Can detect vehicles approaching from up to 140 meters
  • Can be paired with an existing compatible Edge device
  • Tail light brightens and expands to notify approaching traffic of a cyclist ahead
  • Indicates relative speed of approach and threat level
  • Displays multiple approaching vehicles
  • Can be used as a standalone taillight
  • Light can be changed from blinking to steady mode

Cons of the Garmin Varia

  • Pricey, but definitely worth it considering that getting hit from behind is the major cause of cycling fatalities

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Varia is an expensive device, but could mean the difference between life and death. And if you’re a cycling enthusiast, this is something worth considering. It can be paired with an Edge device, saving you money if you’re device is compatible. Additionally, the Varia eliminates the cumbersome task of riding with mirrors resulting in a smoother cycling experience.

Vehicles these days are equipped with a plethora of high end security features such as rear sensors, lights, airbags, etc, whereas apart from helmets cyclists have to be extra cautious on the road. The Varia not only keeps you safe knowing what’s behind you, but also allows you to focus on other aspects of the road.

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NEW! Forerunner 225 with wrist-based heart rate monitor

Forerunner 225Garmin introduced new model called Forerunner 225, and it’s the very first Garmin with wrist-based heart rate monitor. Yes!

2015 brings us a lot of cool gadgets and seems like it will be the most innovative year ever in Garmin’s products line. Lucky to be here and observe these revolutionary changes.
As for just introduced Forerunner 225, I already feel better thinking that there will be one less item to carry – the HRM strap.
Have you ever drove through the city to a park for a nice recharging run, just to find out at the destination that you left your HRM on the desk at the office? Well, with FR225 we won’t get into Forerunner 225this kind of disappointment. Really excited to check this model out. Right now available for pre-order only. Expected to show up in the market in the second quarter of this year. Price: USD 299.99 (approximately 9,900 THB).

The heart rate is provided thanks to an optical sensor which can detect changes when the blood pumps through the wrist.

Up to date, there was practically only one worldwide known company, which provides fitness trackers with wrist-based heart rate monitoring system – Fibit:

  1. Fibit Charge HR
  2. Fibit Surge

But as the electronics still are – not perfect. I was very much tempted by checking this new gadget, but before purchase, I always like spending some time on reading reviews and investigating if that model would suit my needs. At that time I came across of an article reporting that the wristband on Fitbit was causing some allergy. You can read more on BBC: “Fitbit says new wearable device can cause skin rash“, and also defensive arguments on Engadget: “Fitbit says Charge skin issues aren’t caused by its materials “.

“After more than 10 years of developing GPS running watches we are very excited to team up with Mio to introduce our first device featuring wrist-based heart rate,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.

“We are proud of our partnership with Garmin. When the leading brand in GPS teams up with a leading brand in wrist-based heart rate monitoring technology, it’s a win for athletes at all levels,” says Liz Dickinson, CEO of Mio Global. “More and more, athletes are recognizing the role that heart rate plays in their training intensity and efficacy, and it has become evident that heart rate is a must-have feature in wearable technology.”

I believe having the writs-based heart rate monitor system working in the way that satisfies nearly all users (there always will be somebody complaining), will require another few more years of researches, but can’t wait to see how accurate the FR225 can be. I would also be glad to make some comparison with the Fitbit series if required (let me know in comments).

Related links:

  1. Garmin Blog – introducing the Forerunner 225
  2. MioGlobal
  3. MioGlobal – Discover Heart Rate Training
  4. MioGlobal – Calculate Your Heart Rate Zones
  5. Garmin Forerunner 225 product page

Garmin Forerunner 225 on Amazon (currently does not ship to Thailand)


This model will be available in Thailand from 9th July 2015.

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Garmin Vivoactive review

After Garmin introduced Vivoactive in Thailand, there have been quite a few gadget hunters asking about this model. I’m not surprised, I’m one of them. Here is a review providing hopefully enough information. Otherwise, just let me know. Any questions, comments very welcome (except folks selling SEO services, viagxx etc 😉 – those comments are NOT welcome).

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Here comes the Garmin Vivoactive Review:

Continue reading