Garmin Forerunner 15 is a new GPS watch capable of all major running metrics, indoor use and it can track 24/7 activity but here’s the catch: the distance accuracy is far greater than any of the activity trackers.
I said in a post early this year that what the activity tracker band market needed was GPS in a post I made in late 2013. Maybe somebody was listening, but anyway, here they are.
What’s To Like?
You can use Forerunner 15 like a standard GPS running watch, to my knowledge it does not include cycling GPS features like speed expressed in miles per hour.
It has a somewhat limited memory, the claim is that it holds 7 workouts before download would be needed.
Garmin 15 has the AutoLap feature that allows you to set laps up as a specific distance, like a mile, and then receive alerts on your last mile times on screen, which is a pretty cool deal. It also has AutoPause so you can cut out the data for time wasted waiting at a stoplight.
This GPS watch also has Virtual Pacer which compares your pace in real-time to a target time, which is also a nice feature to have, along with a Run/Walk alternating feature. It can also pair up with an optional foot pod for indoor use, like on a treadmill or track.
Garmin 15 is light at 1.3 to 1.5 ounces and it is water resistant to 5 ATM with an estimated 8 hour battery life in GPS mode, which probably means more like 6 hours the way things usually work. Of course you only need GPS mode for actual exercise and the watch eats up very little battery the rest of the day while it is acting as an activity tracker.
It also provides detailed maps of your runs, hikes and more, so unlike activity tracker bands you get a real history with accurate distances.
Activity Tracking Features
Activity tracking features for Garmin 15 include steps, calories and reminders for when it is time to move if you have been inactive for too long.
You can also participate in challenges online at Garmin Connect, a user community with over 6 million users.
What Could Be Improved?
Well, just like with the Garmin Vivofit activity tracker bands with heart rate, the Forerunner 15 uses a standard Garmin heart rate monitor. The Garmin Premium soft strap is lighter, much nicer and more comfortable. Therefore, if you are going to get the version with heart rate we would recommend buying the chest strap separately.
When Are They Due Out and What Is The Price?
Garmin says the Forerunner 15′s are due out in the 2nd quarter, which isn’t real definitive since quarters last 3 months. Fortunately 5 weeks of a 12 week quarter are gone now. If we had to guess probably early June but we’ll see for sure as I should get order updates quite soon.
You can advance order the Garmin 15 right now on our website and we won’t charge you until it ships. It comes in 5 different colors, three with a smaller band for women and two for men in black and red.
Prices will be $169 for the watch unit and charger and $199 for the additional heart rate strap.
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