The Garmin Forerunner 225 is the first smartwatch from an American company to debut in the watch segment’s race for the heart-rate monitor.
For the first time, Garmin has decided to put an optical system for measuring the heart rate in one of its best GPS watches, leaving behind the uncomfortable heart-rate monitor.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 is a GPS for tracking routes, and a heart-rate monitor optically integrated in the watch can track with precision greater distance and calories. It’s also waterproof, and can be worn in the shower and even in the pool.
All those who practice racing can use this smartwatch with GPS for running, a very attractive alternative for the ultimate solution to their workout problems.
Garmin Forerunner 225: Design and Construction
Looking at the front of the Garmin Forerunner 225, you will immediately notice that the design is very familiar: this smartwatch retains much of the DNA of the Garmin Forerunner family. It has the same round dial of the Forerunner 220 and 620, the same color LCD display – even if this is not touch – and the same buttons on the control side. The soft silicone strap is in line with other recent Garmin watches as well.
Compared with its precursor, it has a thickness of 16 millimeters and is significantly more robust than its closest relatives, the 220 and the 620.
Despite the size, which has been increased to accommodate the latest version of the optical heartbeat detector MY (OHR), its weight remains exceptionally low. We are talking of only 54 grams; this circumstance makes it, in fact, very comfortable to wear for long periods, to the point that it’s possible to forget that you have it on your wrist.
Garmin has also added a small circle of silicone on the bottom around the sensor OHR that embraces the wrist, helping to prevent infiltration of ambient light, which could affect the accuracy of the LEDs.
Besides the watch’s beauty and comfort, robustness is critical for a good racing watch and the 225 is well suited to situations of everyday use with ease. It’s also impermeable to water and can be used in the pool up to 50 meters deep. The only care instruction to follow is to rinse the smartwatch to remove chlorine that could ruin it.
We’ve seen the new watches for running with GPS (such as, for example, the TomTom Cardio Runner) abandon the use of physical buttons in favor of a central joystick. Even Adidas Smart Fit has minimized the number of buttons in favor of a cleaner design. Garmin, however, remains firmly on the classic by providing a device equipped with side buttons.
The Garmin 225 comes with five buttons in total, which require a little getting used to, if you are not already a user of Garmin. A big advantage is that the menus are quite intuitive and can easily be stored without having to leaf through the manual. Unlike with some devices, it is difficult to get lost with the 225. The menus are logical and navigation within them is simple.
Garmin Forerunner 225: Tracking Heart Rate
The Forerunner 225 calculates the intensity or the training load through the integrated heart-rate monitor. And it presents a color indicator that identifies the area of heart rate and the heart beats per minute. Five colors cover the functions from the “zone heating” up to “maximum zone,” and that provides an immediate reading of the heart range without distracting the user from the workout.
The detection of the heartbeat, however, must be activated manually. Garmin has three different modes of detection of frequency:
– 1) During physical activity: in that case, it is also able to track GPS data. The tracking ends when the user decides it should stop.
– 2) By the clock screen: the Garmin, in this case, tracks the heartbeat for about 10 seconds and then shows it to the user. The tracking is disabled automatically after a few seconds;
– 3) The task screen: the timeout, in this case, is larger and displays all changes in real-time beat.
The Forerunner 225 calculates the heart rate zones by estimating the maximum heart rate based on the calculation of Karvonen, deduced by subtracting your age from the number 220. It can still customize your zones using Garmin Connect, or directly by the clock – you can also create advanced training sessions or download free ready-made workout plans from Garmin Connect. The data is transmitted via USB or wireless.
Once paired with the 225 smartphone via Bluetooth, you can use the Live Tracking to instantly share details of the race in real time with friends and family around the world through social media.
The Bluetooth connection can be switched off and disabled, although it’s perhaps not convenient to do it when you are saving a business or you are receiving messages or phone calls on your smartphone. Thanks to the LIVETRACK supplied clock, in fact, you can receive all notifications from your smartphone.
Bluetooth, however, does not affect the autonomy of the internal battery.
The Garmin forerunner 225 can also store all the routes; this data is stored and downloaded in chronological order to Garmin Connect and can be viewed easily.
The Garmin 225 can also be used even when wearing the optional heart-rate monitor.
Garmin Forerunner 225: Activity Monitoring
While its point of greatest strength is clearly the heart-rate monitor directly on your wrist, there is much more to this watch than simply the bpm. In addition to heart rate, Garmin has added other features that make it a great smartwatch.
On-screen, the clock shows a series of statistics such as the goal pace, distance covered, calories burned that day, and your current heart rate.
Garmin 225 also calculates the speed and the distance covered during the race, thanks to the integrated GPS.
The accelerometer in the watch makes the monitoring also work indoors, such as while using a treadmill or in the gym.
Garmin Forerunner 225: Applications and Statistics
Forerunner 225 joins the online platform that enables Garmin Connect to, for example, create and manage training plans, to link up with other riders with the Garmin community, and earn badges or gather data from other tracking devices in Garmin at a unique destination.
In addition, the Garmin Forerunner connects to the application Runtastic.
The Forerunner 225 can be upgraded using Garmin Express which introduces continuous improvements on software, new features, and changes.
As for battery life, according to Garmin, the Forerunner 225 reaches 7-10 hours with GPS and heart monitor active.