At the time I originally wrote this post, the Garmin FR620 and FR220 models were just about ready to ship out to stores everywhere. Since then, I ended up purchasing the Forerunner 220, but I did get to play with the 620 at a local running store event where Garmin representatives were demonstrating its capabilities.
So it goes without saying that, just a few months after I purchased a brand new Garmin 610 Forerunner, Garmin came out with their brand new FR620 and FR220 models. I seem to have the same luck with cell phones – if I buy the latest model, before I even get the thing home, it’s already outdated.
Before we move forward, I’d like to publicly disclose that I have no professional relationship with Garmin. They do not send me products to evaluate, unlike other popular review sites or bloggers (although it would be nice if they did 🙂 ). Because I don’t have a formal relationship with them, I am under no obligation to give them a positive review. I am simply a running coach who is evaluating their watches for what they are and how they work. I have an added advantage over the average user, because I have an established base of athletes who use Garmin watches who I often solicit for feedback. I do love Garmin, and you should also note that, in a few links below, I may receive a small affiliate commission from Amazon (at no additional cost to you) should you go to their website and purchase a watch by using a link below. Please do not feel obligated to purchase through any of my links. Just think of it as a virtual “tip jar” and a great way to support the site and podcast show. With that said, lets get started!
I have to say, the Forerunner 620 is quite impressive. For me, the watch sync’ed with the satellite very fast, although the first time it was a little slower, most likely because it was learning where it was in relation to the satellite. After that initial sync, it connected within 10-15 seconds on average which is a lot better than the Garmin 110’s and some of the 200′ series watches which usually took a few seconds more.
While I believe a lot of the features are “cool,” I am not sure I personally would use most of them that often. This watch is feature rich, but these features are really targeted for the most serious of runners. If I had more time in a day to analyze the data, then I would certainly consider this watch.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to whether you are someone who is really into analyzing data and want some cool things to look at or track or if you’re someone who wants a subset of features at a cheaper price point. If you fall into the first category, the Forerunner 620 is for you. If not, then go with a cheaper model with fewer features.
The only other thing I should mention is that, when I looked at this watch, the version the rep shared with me was still an early release. It was expected to have additional firmware releases to improve the functionality of the watch and stability. I have not reviewed it since. However, a runner in my running club owns one and reports that they’ve updated the watch once, and that runner has not yet had any issues.
In its marketing campaign, Garmin equates the watch to having your own running coach. As a running coach myself, (and I admit, I am biased) that seems a little far fetched. A watch is certainly not a replacement for a good coach. Regardless, as long as you’re realistic in your expectations, this is OK. It does have some really cool features:
Here are some of the features that make this a high end running watch worth seriously considering:
Compare the Garmin 620 against other Garmin running watch models
Photos courtesy of garmin.com