Thinking of pursuing running in order to get a fitter and healthier body? You might want to get yourself a fitness tracker. Luckily, there are a lot of options to choose from, ranging from those that are inexpensive and have only the most essential functions, to the ones that are a bit more costly but are jam-packed with features. One of the most trusted makers of health-centric wearables is Garmin, and right now two of its bestsellers, the Forerunner 35 and the Forerunner 645, are available at cool discounted prices on Amazon.
Let’s start with the more affordable of the two, the Forerunner 35. This budget-friendly smartwatch might not cost much, but it’s near-perfect for runners. It’s rugged, handsome, easy-to-use, and most importantly, boasts a good set of features that make it a genuine bargain purchase. The Forerunner 35 is slim and lightweight and has a squarish design similar to an Apple Watch (most Garmin watches are normally round). On its right side are two buttons: One for navigating through the menu items and one for selecting your workout. Its monochromatic display is bright and crisp and doesn’t fog up when you exercise, but it’s not a touchscreen. This watch is water-resistant to depths of up to 130 feet which makes it OK for swimming but not for scuba diving.
The Forerunner 35 has a built-in GPS that tracks how far, how fast, and where you run. The all-day activity tracking counts your steps, calories burned, distance covered, and sleep time. It features the Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, a 24/7 heart rate monitor that observes your pulse while you work out and when you sleep. You can sync the Forerunner 35 with your smartphone for it to receive smart notifications, and it’s also capable of music control. It doesn’t have onboard music storage, though, so it needs your smartphone nearby for you to listen to your music. This fitness watch also has a Move alert: If it notices that you’ve been sitting for a long time, it will lightly vibrate and tell you to take\
a 5-minute walk.
This fitness watch automatically uploads your workout stats on the Garmin Connect app, a free online fitness community where you can check your progress and fitness milestones and share them through social media. If there’s a major drawback to the Forerunner 35, it’s that it only keeps track of running and cycling exercises. Plus, it only syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi. Still, for only $120, which is $50 less than its normal retail price of $170, Amazon’s deal on the Forerunner 35 is pretty sweet, as long as you use it exclusively as a running watch.
Much like the Forerunner 35, the Forerunner 645 is designed primarily for runners, although it’s capable of doing so much more. It is rugged and has a sporty appearance, with a stainless-steel bezel surrounding a chemically strengthened glass crystal watch face. Like the Forerunner 35, this watch doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead, you’ll find five physical buttons around it. Going through the watch’s interface is quite easy though, and there are a few handy secondary button shortcuts for quicker navigation.
The Forerunner 645 is packed with sensors. It comes with a built-in GPS, GLONASS, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, barometric altimeter, and a heart-rate monitor. Basically, there’s not much that this watch can’t do. This version also comes with onboard music storage so you can leave your phone in your bag while you sweat it out on the track or treadmill.
This watch is a runner’s dream. While cycling or running, it knows exactly when you stop and will automatically pause the GPS, so it won’t mess up your metrics. Aside from the usual speed and distance, you also get numbers on stride length, cadence, vertical ratio, ground contact time, and balance. All this data can be overwhelming but thankfully the Garmin Connect app presents all the information clearly, so you’ll be able to make perfect sense out of it. The watch will also inform you if you’re working out not nearly enough, too much, or just the right amount. At the end of each exercise, it will spit out readings and suggestions to keep you more invested in your fitness journey.
In terms of smart features, the Forerunner 645 allows you to read and respond to text messages and notifies you of social media updates and emails. Everything is easy to read even with direct sunlight thanks to its Chroma Display. You can also customize the watch face, widgets, and featured apps to your liking. The Forerunner 645 normally costs $450, but with Amazon’s deal, you’ll get a huge $73 worth of savings, cutting the price down to $377. What’s more, you can get an additional $50 off upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, bringing the price even lower to $327.
If you need a no-frills and affordable smartwatch that you’re just going to use to track running, then the Garmin Forerunner 35 is your ideal workout buddy. But if you need something that has far more tricks up its sleeve, including onboard music storage and multiple activity sensors, then the Garmin Forerunner 645 is perfect for you.
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