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Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black-Red Bundle (Includes Heart Rate Monitor) by Review Summary ,  Sep 26, 2015

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Garmin Forerunner 220 - Black/Red Bundle (Includes Heart Rate Monitor)
Report Date: 09/25/2015
Based on 787 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.5
Returned or considering to return: 3.6%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Computer5.0   above average
Weight4.8   average
Comfortable4.7   average
Connect4.7   above average
Track4.7   average
Accurate4.6   above average
Quality4.6   above average
Vibration4.6   average
Workout4.6   above average
Display4.5   average
Running4.5   average
Battery4.4   above average
Monitoring4.3   average
Run4.3   above average
Strap4.2   above average
Tracking4.2   average
Sync3.9   above average
Button3.7   above average
Connection3.7   above average
Apps3.6   above average
Treadmill3.6   above average
Website3.5   below average
Bluetooth3.4   average
Software3.2   average
Support2.3   average


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Accurate

Accurate:
"accurate GPS position which was my husband's chief complaint about the accuracy of GPS on his smart phone."
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"The 220 seemed more accurate, but I had no easy way to verify it."
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"My best advice is that this is a nice watch with good features, GPS works nicely, and it is accurate, but the HR monitor was a total fail for me, and the website is a labor of love at times."
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"Therefore, I would say that it is a good watch for the average runner because it is generally + - .01 accuracy per mile, but I personally found it to be disappointing because I was expecting it to be as accurate as my 305, and it isn't."
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"I have done a total of about 12 runs with this watch and it is dead on accurate."
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"Works great, the software rocks and it's pretty accurate."
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"This item is very intuitive with the controls, comfortable to wear, and appears to be very accurate."
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"It is a good size and very accurate."
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"The pace measurements are very accurate and adjust surprisingly well during your run."
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"The first day I used it was amazed on how accurate and easy it was to read, this is much more comfortable than the 305."
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Apps

Apps:
"I was frustrated with trying to use running apps on my phone which either had trouble picking up the satellite or stopped working mid run."
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"The downside is that the interface of the Garmin Connect app and website are just flat out horrible and most smartphone apps are now far more configurable with voice updates and displayed data."
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"I run in some fairly remote areas where other apps were unable to find satellite -- the garmin has yet to fail me -- seems to always know where it is."
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"With the Bluetooth feature, it'd be nice if I could have it sync to apps of my choice or, at the very least, offer voice updates through the smartphone."
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"Overall it's a great product with great apps surrounding it."
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"Bluetooth doesn't work, garmin's apps don't work, how frustrating."
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"I really like both apps, I have found that the web app is a little easier to use and has more functionality."
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"I have been using running apps on my smartphone, but this is great."
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Battery

Battery:
"The reason I took off three stars is due to a persistent battery charging problem that popped up very soon after I bought the watch."
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"The battery is almost dead but it lasts for a run or two."
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"I bought numerous replacement batteries, hoping that the batteries i was buying were the problem, but regardless, the problems persisted."
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"Based on comments on many message boards it also appears that Garmin has been selling HRM with batteries that's almost dead - that's the one thing I've not tried yet."
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"The battery life is not as good as they claim but is good enough for 99% of the activities you will use this for."
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"Battery life is excellent, as now she can get through a 4-hour marathon and still has about 65% battery life left."
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"Another nice upgrade, battery lasts longer, I ran 17 miles over a 5 day span and my charge was still over 50% before I recharged it; I also use it as a watch so I think the battery power is a definite plus."
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"Nice long battery life as well."
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"The battery lasts a decent amount of time (I can go over a week without charging with four 30-60min runs)."
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Bluetooth

Bluetooth:
"It works exactly as intended, although the bluetooth pairing was a bit of a challenge initially; since then it's synced easily."
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"So far, I've had it active about 1-2 hrs run (~ 8hrs total) and the battery is currently at half capacity (with bluetooth, gps, and heart rate monitor on).The only drawback that I have with the forerunner 220 is the design."
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"Unfortunately, it only synchronizes with the Forerunner 220 is you enable the phone's Bluetooth after the app is open."
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"I don't know if the Forerunner issue was Android's bluetooth implementation, or Garmin's, though I suspect both were at fault to some extent."
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"It caused some occasional hiccups (maybe once every 15 minutes) with the bluetooth headphones, but nothing nearly as bad as the Forerunner."
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"I will admit that I was frustrated with it at first, there were a lot of glitches (mostly because they had just released it) with syncing to my iphone via Bluetooth and the distance calculations were not as accurate as I was hoping."
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"If you are looking for a basic GPS watch I'd stick to the much cheaper ones $100-110 but if you are a devoted runner that can get alot of use out of the additional features such as training programs, training calendar, easy upload via bluetooth I would suggest this."
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"Works great and the bluetooth sync is 100% overtime."
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"The Bluetooth option is also great if you take your phone with you while running."
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"The bluetooth upload to my phone (android) was incredibly easy."
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"I love that I can sync my workouts with my iPhone 6 via Bluetooth and not have to wait until I get to my home computer."
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Button

Button:
"I run between 20-50 miles a week, The battery life is great, The buttons are easy to push, but not easy enough you push them when running."
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"I hate the stupid lap button, it screwed up one of my runs when I accidentally pressed it."
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"Also, while running I tend to hit the wrong button to change screens which creates a new lap."
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"The lap button works great but unless I'm missing something you can't see your lap count until you plug in and download to Garmin connect."
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"I could select a workout and start it so I knew the button was functioning but any attempt to just start a generic RUN would do nothing."
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"The 210 I had to replace for my wife because the buttons broke 2 months after the end of the warranty."
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"It is easy to use, just push a button and run."
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"I found the buttons and display to work quite well."
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"I also love the push buttons as opposed to my previous sensor touch model."
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"Advantages over the 610:- Lighter, less sweaty on your wrist- Less buggy with customized screens- Buttons instead of touch screen are a more reliable way to navigate menus."
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")- Lightweight (205 was bulky and too big to wear as a regular watch)- Buttons are easy to press (205 buttons had to be mashed; the 220 buttons just feel perfect to me, even when I'm wearing gloves)- Cradle locks securely for charging- Badges are cool to see whenever you accomplish a new record- Fairly intuitive (setting up the watch is fairly easy)- Downloadable training plans!"
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Charging

Charging:
"To begin with, the charger cradle problem with the 210 has been fixed - this watch is easy to connect and charges quickly."
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"The reason I took off three stars is due to a persistent battery charging problem that popped up very soon after I bought the watch."
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"Only downside was that it didn't come with a complete charger, we have to plug it in to our iPhone charger."
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"If I was going to do it again I'd save $100 and get a watch without Bluetooth, it's just too easy to plug the watch into the cradle and you have to anyways to charge."
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"The battery lasts a decent amount of time (I can go over a week without charging with four 30-60min runs)."
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"To begin with, the charger cradle problem with the 210 has been fixed - this watch is easy to connect and charges quickly."
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"Lightweight, easy to charge."
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"no complaints, lots of features, easy to charge, comfortable and stylish."
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"Charging is easier and hooking to your PC is pretty simple as well since it uses a USB connection."
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Comfortable

Comfortable:
"My wife has the Garmin forerunner 15, a newer version watch, and it is not as easy to use, in my opinion...It fits well, and is comfortable to wear as a day to day watch."
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"The little time I have had it may not give me the best insight to all of the functions, but it is very comfortable to wear, and so far seems intuitive to use."
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"I love the fact there are vibrating km mile markers and that it is comfortable to wear."
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"Customizable screens allow you to choose exactly what you want to see, GPS connects quickly when activated, beep vibration features at customizable lap distances are very helpful, and size comfort are perfect."
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"The other aspects of the watch are great and it is comfortable to wear."
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"Overall this is now a critical component to my running equipment right up there with good shoes and comfortable socks."
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"This item is very intuitive with the controls, comfortable to wear, and appears to be very accurate."
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Computer

Computer:
"Easy to interface with the computer to download and track progress."
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"So for my purposes, it works perfectly well as a cycling computer, minus the cadence data."
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"I love that I don't have to connect it to my computer to sync my workouts, because it automatically connects to my phone via bluetooth and syncs with the phone, which syncs with Garmin Connect, so my runs just show up on the Garmin Connect site automagically."
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"I'm very good with electronics and I could never get it to synch - with any computer."
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"It connect pretty easily to the software online through the computer."
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Connect

Connect:
"The device also syncs to my samsung galaxy s5 phone without any problems and I am able to access the data from both my phone and garmin connect's online website."
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"Connects to my iphone via app with no problems."
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"Easy to use and set up, the GPS connects in seconds, very accurate and easy to read on the run."
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"Does everything as expected: connects very fast to gps, no problems so far, water resistant (ran in the rain) battery lasts for a while."
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"This watch easily connects to the sensor via ant+, and as advertised gets a GPS fix pretty quickly."
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"I love the ease of syncing to the Garmin Connect app, I love how quickly it connects with the GPS, I love being able to create pace alerts."
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Connection

Connection:
"Garmin Connect does not work well with this watch."
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"To begin with, the charger cradle problem with the 210 has been fixed - this watch is easy to connect and charges quickly."
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"The watch also used to beep and vibrate to indicate it connected with the GPS - it no longer does that, so I basically have to walk and constantly check the watch for the green signal that it's connected - annoying."
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"I have had trouble connecting to the app on my iPhone but it think that is more user error than anything wrong with the watch or app."
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"We still have occasional problems getting it to connect and synch with the iPhone."
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"I am not able to connect to the web site' for the past weeks a remark that it has some problem is showing."
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"I've only been able to get the Garmin to connect to my iPhone 5s once."
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"To begin with, the charger cradle problem with the 210 has been fixed - this watch is easy to connect and charges quickly."
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"When it saves the rides and syncs to my phone, it always displays them as runs, clearly, though the Garmin Connect app makes it infinitely easy to modify that to a ride with only a few clicks."
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"Easy to use and loads to Garmin Connect App (which the app can use some improvements)."
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"It works great with Garmin Connect and the Heart Rate telemetry strap."
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Display

Display:
"But they share a problem: When the display reads 1.00, 2.00 etc., it takes 2-5 sec."
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"Other than that, I have not had any problems at all, and I love the look, the displays, and the features."
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"After that, I wasn't able to change the display screens."
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"---Some negatives:-Not able to change main clock display lay-out."
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"My only minor complaint is that it would be nice if the display used up more of the watch face for easier viewing while running."
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"Nice displays."
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"Easy to read display."
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"It also displays a much easier to hear audible alert and vibration for laps or units of distance."
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"The 220 is so easy to use and see (bigger text) and the display offers flexibility I didn't seem to have in the 110."
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"Display is big, love that."
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Fit

Fit:
"I am a woman with small wrists so the hard pre-shaped band of the 405 had always been a problem; the fully flexible band of the 220 fits much better."
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"My wife has the Garmin forerunner 15, a newer version watch, and it is not as easy to use, in my opinion...It fits well, and is comfortable to wear as a day to day watch."
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"Size: I have very small wrists for a guy, but this watch fits perfectly."
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"Comfortable on the wrist and fits surprisingly well for a guy with skinny wrists."
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"Fits perfectly!"
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"It's a fabulous big watch that fits just right (even on my small wrist!"
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"The Garmin Forerunner is a great running watch; for one reason it's extremely clear and easy to read while running, and once you're familiar with it it's easy to use, and it's also very light yet it has a very sturdy and durable feel to it, and it fits like a glove."
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Monitoring

Monitoring:
"I don't race with my HR monitor on (too scary!"
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"So far, I've had it active about 1-2 hrs run (~ 8hrs total) and the battery is currently at half capacity (with bluetooth, gps, and heart rate monitor on).The only drawback that I have with the forerunner 220 is the design."
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"My best advice is that this is a nice watch with good features, GPS works nicely, and it is accurate, but the HR monitor was a total fail for me, and the website is a labor of love at times."
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"I bought the 220 with the Heart Monitor, since I had a heart attack and have 70% blockage of the coronary artery and LAD (not good), so I want to monitor my heart rate while walking - just in case and if the watch tells me I can pop my nitro and call 911 (taking tons of supplements and walking trying to reverse the damage."
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"It had problems with the heart rate monitor, which Garmin could only fix by trading my brand new unit for a refurbished one, and couldn't acquire satellites around high-rise buildings."
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"My only complaint is the heart rate monitor."
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"It pairs seamlessly with the Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband (which I strap to the inside of my wrist instead of my forearm as they suggest)."
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"I probably should have splurged for the next model up with heart rate monitor, but aside from that, it's perfect."
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"LOVE It.. easy to pair with the heart monitor and my iPhone 6plus."
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"I'm sure the watch and separate heart rate monitor work well, but that is not what I thought I was purchasing and assume others may be misled by this as well."
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"I have one of the earlier GPS and heart monitor watches from Garmin that has served me well for a good while but it is heavy and large on your wrist."
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Quality

Quality:
"It doesn't track well... but, its good look, good quality... Garmin Connect its OK, but the software not so good... Well, dont buy!"
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"The looks, the quality, the accuracy, and the price; everything about this watch is great."
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"Great producte great quality good delivery"
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"Data provided is accurate and the maps are high quality."
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"Good quality."
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"lightweight and excellent build quality."
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Run

Run:
"If you are a runner, you know how stressful it can make your run if you have to constantly worry if your old GPS watch is going to cut off or have an error while you are out on your run."
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"However this is time consuming and annoying, given that one usually discovers that the watch is dead when actually suited up and ready to go for a run."
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"And even once i am there it often takes a good 5 minutes and or multiple attempts at restarting the link-up before I actually am ready to run."
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"With the 610, you could calibrate the footpod once and distance would read the same every time - when I compared with treadmills at home or the gym, it was dead on every run."
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"If you begin your run before the GPS finds you, that data will be missing the entire run."
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"It's easy to add activities online besides runs."
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"I've used the watch on several runs now, and it is very accurate."
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"It is easy to use, just push a button and run."
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"Recently I was deployed and needed a watch to measure my distance through gps, as well as my steps when I have to run on treadmill."
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"Love tracking my runs at my wrist versus an app on my phone!"
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Running

Running:
"It's a bit challenging to read when running late night or early morning"
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"I run between 20-50 miles a week, The battery life is great, The buttons are easy to push, but not easy enough you push them when running."
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"I was frustrated with trying to use running apps on my phone which either had trouble picking up the satellite or stopped working mid run."
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"Also, while running I tend to hit the wrong button to change screens which creates a new lap."
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"(Update: I ran the oval again and got a different reading for every lap lol)I should also mention as a 51 yo guy I was worried about being able to read the watch while running."
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"I do not want to have to run with reading glasses, on a dark cloudy late afternoon it can be rough but doable, but on a sunny day I could easily read it if I set it for just one field (distance) With two fields showing I could mostly make it out, if I slowed and focused I could read it, three fields showing was a challenge to see while running."
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"The watch is slightly bulky, and makes a clicking noise at times when running, but otherwise has been perfect."
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"Of course having lots of bells and whistles is nice, but I realized that for the type of running that I do, I really don't need all of them, and spending the extra money would be a waste."
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"One of the best running watches on the market at a good ass price too! "
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"If all you are doing is running this is the perfect watch."
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"Nice running watch."
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Software

Software:
"worst part about it is the garmin software, which crapped out on me."
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"The only problem is the option to do that in the software is itself greyed out."
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"It doesn't track well... but, its good look, good quality... Garmin Connect its OK, but the software not so good... Well, dont buy!"
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"The watch works well when out running- but the software and website support beyond that are disappointing."
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"Also unable to download any updated software."
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"The software is horrible and slow."
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"Works great, the software rocks and it's pretty accurate."
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"I guess thinking about it, it would be nice to have a backup on your PC like the older software provided."
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"Very easy to use and the best software to follow my results."
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"It connect pretty easily to the software online through the computer."
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"Garmin Connect is a great software to pair with your running"
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Strap

Strap:
"I typically use 10.--The wrist strap is inexplicably hard to get on and off."
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"I have not really tried to use it on a treadmill yet, and to be honest I am not a huge fan of the heart rate strap (those things really are not very comfortable)."
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"The design of the wrist strap is easier to use than the 110 which was a bit stiff."
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"The watch feels great on your wrist and the chest strap works well although I find it odd that you have 3 spots to wet including one that is very different than every other heart strap I have and I have several for different devices so I am very used to using these types of chest straps."
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"The newer chest strap is a lot more comfortable."
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"The HRM strap is comfortable and sometimes I forget to take it off after my workouts because I don't even feel it."
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"The watch has a sleek and thin design with comfortable straps that are completely mobile."
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Support

Support:
"If you have dealt with Garmin before you know their support is horrible, their manuals are useless and if something doesn't work, you are on your own."
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"It is frustrating, and Garmin support is utterly non-existant."
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"This is when i started my frustrating journey with the Garmin support team."
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"Then I made the mistake of trying to email the customer support department."
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"The watch works well when out running- but the software and website support beyond that are disappointing."
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"Only complaint-- doesn't support Android phones!"
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"It is easy to use while running and connection to Garmin support is a breeze! "
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"I loved using my Garmin product, and I guess the 220 is a great product as well, but given the poor customer support level i [didn't] got from them, I will not purchase any of their products."
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"One of the reasons I got this model over a cheaper older model was the BT support, for being able to synchronize my data with various web sites through my smartphone rather than having to use the USB dock all the time."
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"The watch works well when out running- but the software and website support beyond that are disappointing."
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"You'd think contacting tech support for a registered product would be easy."
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Sync

Sync:
"It works exactly as intended, although the bluetooth pairing was a bit of a challenge initially; since then it's synced easily."
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"The only problem Ive encountered are the occasional glitches when the watch tries to wirelessly sync with the Garmin Connect Mobile App."
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"The only reason this review is not getting 5 stars is because of the problem with the wireless syncing."
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"We still have occasional problems getting it to connect and synch with the iPhone."
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"And many times i have to manually upload my workout becuase the sync function is not always reliable."
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"The Android app will just randomly stop syncing, servers will go down and the error messages themselves are unhelpful to the point of absurdity."
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"It works exactly as intended, although the bluetooth pairing was a bit of a challenge initially; since then it's synced easily."
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"I love the wireless synching and some of the data customizations that you can make to the watch."
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"The wireless syncing feature is really nice."
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"It syncs up with satellites very quickly and the results appear to be pretty accurate."
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"Works great and the bluetooth sync is 100% overtime."
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Track

Track:
"It doesn't work well when the GPS is off to use for an indoor track."
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"It doesn't track well... but, its good look, good quality... Garmin Connect its OK, but the software not so good... Well, dont buy!"
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"The value lies in being able to train on heart rate and logging decently accurate mileage (not accurate enough for tracks) without having to map it out beforehand."
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"So far I love the Live track so that my family can follow my progress during my early morning runs."
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"I really enjoy how it keeps track of your records at the various distances (mile, 10k, half marathon, ect ect,) and will let you know when saving a run if you beat any of your previous pr's."
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"Easy to interface with the computer to download and track progress."
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"I wanted the ease of the watch to track my runs and not have to fumble with unlocking my phone and hitting the start button like I do with my fitbit one."
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"I cannot recommend this product enough if you are a runner or cyclist, if you are in the market for a mid-range GPS enabled watch, which can do running natively but also easily enough track your rides, get it!"
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Tracking

Tracking:
"The treadmill tracking has significant errors - + -50% in my opinion, and doesn't provide a way to override its results."
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"However I've found the distance tracking is wildly inconsistent and inaccurate in this 220."
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"Try another, because its not good tracking watch."
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"I could just use the Garmin without the phone as well, but I bought it specifically for the live tracking feature, and that simply didn't work for me with Android."
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"I bought this for my wife after she complained for weeks that she didn't think she was tracking mileage correctly with her smartphone apps."
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"One thing that annoys me is the inability to use live tracking due to being incompatible with android devices."
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"I do not need to carry my phone, but still have all the perks of accurate gps tracking."
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"Love tracking my runs at my wrist versus an app on my phone!"
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"She likes to run long distance outside and it is great for tracking distance as well as pace."
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"It looks great for the run tracking, interval timing and all of that but I also liked knowing how many flights of stairs I climbed a day, how many total steps, how many active minutes."
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"If you are looking for the perfect watch for tracking your runs, this is it! "
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Treadmill

Treadmill:
"Given that one of the selling points of the new version of this watch is that you can use it on a treadmill, it's frustrating to me that I can't use it on a treadmill unless I go outside first.2."
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"The treadmill tracking has significant errors - + -50% in my opinion, and doesn't provide a way to override its results."
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"HOWEVER, not perfect of treadmills, since it's off by 1 4 mile on distance, though I mainly got it for out door usage, hence why still the 5 stars."
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"With the 610, you could calibrate the footpod once and distance would read the same every time - when I compared with treadmills at home or the gym, it was dead on every run."
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"I tried different types of treadmills and got the same error: either the watch shows much faster or much slower pace."
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"Recently I was deployed and needed a watch to measure my distance through gps, as well as my steps when I have to run on treadmill."
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"It works really well and even works with my treadmill! "
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"Didn't track my distance very well, was actually pretty off, but I do own a old treadmill."
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"Also it tracks distance pretty accurately while on the treadmill, which may be of value if you want to record your run and or heart rate on the website."
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"The watch works well with the exception of treadmill."
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Vibration

Vibration:
"Many times i am unable to hear the sound, but i am always alerted by the vibration."
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"I love the fact there are vibrating km mile markers and that it is comfortable to wear."
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"It also displays a much easier to hear audible alert and vibration for laps or units of distance."
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"Both units do that well, with the 220's notification (vibration) and display being better."
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"The vibration notifications for completed laps is excellent, it briefly displays the completed lap split before going back to the regular screen."
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"- I love being able to send a 16 week plan to the 220 without having to manually punch in every workout)- GPS acquisition is super fast (just takes a few seconds)- Bluetooth synchronization of workout data to my phone is great- Receiving alerts by audio & vibration is helpfulCons- More colors would be nice (I love the Forerunner 620 colors, but I'm not interested in the $400 price point)- Can't think of much else because I love this watch!"
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Website

Website:
"And my only other beef is that the Garmin Connect website is kind of erratic, and i have had a fair amount of frustration getting it to download my workouts onto the website."
_
"My best advice is that this is a nice watch with good features, GPS works nicely, and it is accurate, but the HR monitor was a total fail for me, and the website is a labor of love at times."
_
"The downside is that the interface of the Garmin Connect app and website are just flat out horrible and most smartphone apps are now far more configurable with voice updates and displayed data."
_
"Battery life is questionable, Garmin's connect website isn't so good."
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"An easy linking ability would be fantastic (as opposed to a weird website I found through a lot of web searches)."
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"I would have added a star back if Garmin directly addressed this issue on their website, or offered excellent customer service for owners with this problem."
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"I still need to spend more time with it to get to know it better, but as with the watch itself, this looks like it will be an improvement over the Nike website as well."
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"Sure the stats on the connect website are kinda cool (and yes the website can be unstable) but what good are they when the mileage is way off?"
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"Eventually I wrote my own graphing website to complement the data I get from my 220."
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"But both the website and the watch are really pretty good, and even though i have wasted many hours on the website connectivity, i think they are both worthwhile."
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Weight

Weight:
"It's light weight so I can see how some might feel it's kind of flimsy, but I don't consider it flimsy at all."
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"Lightweight and comfortable without the bulky feel."
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"Great watch...light weight!"
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"I also love how lightweight it is and I get tons of compliments on how it looks (most people don't realize it is a garmin watch)."
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"Lightweight, easy to charge."
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"Very sleek and lightweight."
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Workout

Workout:
"I was greatly disappointed to say the least and returned it after using it for 2 workouts."
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"And my only other beef is that the Garmin Connect website is kind of erratic, and i have had a fair amount of frustration getting it to download my workouts onto the website."
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"I could select a workout and start it so I knew the button was functioning but any attempt to just start a generic RUN would do nothing."
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"Garmin used to make a good watch that allowed the runner to create workouts on the fly right on the watch, including sophisticated interval training."
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"I love all the extra features and it is very easy to transfer your workout information online via Garmin Connect."
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"Setting tempo ranges is a great way to keep yourself on pace during speed workouts."
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"I love that I don't have to connect it to my computer to sync my workouts, because it automatically connects to my phone via bluetooth and syncs with the phone, which syncs with Garmin Connect, so my runs just show up on the Garmin Connect site automagically."
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"I read about people having problems downloading to their phones but I had no problem connecting my Motorola Moto X and downloading my workouts."
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