Apple is definitely a tech giant that is tough to beat as many of its products sitting at the top of their categories. However, if you’re looking for a fitness-centric wearable, Garmin has multiple models that could suit the purpose of both a smartwatch and an activity tracker while also going easy on your budget. Right now, those who love to run will be thrilled that Amazon has discounted the Garmin Forerunner 235 and 645 watches by up to $80 off. An additional $50 price cut can be applied when approved for an Amazon Rewards Visa card.
The Garmin Forerunner 645 as the moniker suggests is primarily made for running, so it only makes sense that its design is more on the rugged and sporty side. You could, however, switch out its silicone bands for a leather one to increase its style versatility, while the Connect IQ store allows you to customize its dial, widgets, and more. The edge it has over the Apple Watch is probably its lightweight construction and battery life that can last up to seven days.
More than a GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 is equipped with GLONASS, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, barometric altimeter, and an Elevate wrist heart rate sensor. As a company that was manufacturing fitness trackers well before the iPhone came along, Garmin has put in the time to perfect its running watch with specific activity profiles and options to create your own workouts. You’ll also be able to monitor and analyze your performance with Training Status and with biomechanical measurements (cadence, stride length, and more) to get tips on how to improve your form.
The Forerunner 645 Music has the capacity to store up to 500 songs downloaded from either your computer or synced to select streaming services so you can run hands-free. With Bluetooth, smart notifications for calls, texts, and other app alerts can be accessible, while NFC makes it possible for you to make contactless payments. The Garmin Connect app easily lets you review your past efforts and engage with an online fitness community.
The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is a cool and smart wearable scoring 3.5 stars in our review. It’s usually priced at $450 but Amazon’s $180 discount drops it to a more affordable $270.
Like the 645 Music, Garmin’s Forerunner 235 is ideally for runners but fitness enthusiasts will also be able to take advantage of its all-day tracking. Beyond its ability to track running-related metrics such as distance, pace, speed, and cadence, as well as your chosen route, this GPS watch can also monitor the basics such as sleep, steps, and calories burnt and consumed. It also comes equipped with Elevate wrist heart rate technology that not only determines your heart rate zone and beats per minute in real time but also displays it in a colorful gauge to give you an accurate visual.
To further complement its purpose as a fitness wearable, it also features VO2 Max Estimate that gives you an idea of your oxygen uptake during a particular activity and when it senses you’ve been sitting or inactive for too long, the Forerunner 235 would vibrate to get you back on the move. Though it doesn’t track swimming, you won’t have any problem getting it wet or shielding it from splashes as it is water-resistant within the depths of 50 meters.
Long-term progress tracking is also facilitated through the Garmin Connect app which is again a portal to an online fitness community. Smart notifications for calls, text messages, emails, and other app alerts are also automatically enabled after pairing the Forerunner 235 with your Bluetooth compatible device. While it lacks music storage, it does step up with a bigger battery that can last up to nine days on smartwatch mode or 11 hours in GPS mode.
Normally retailing for $330, you can run wild and free for only $170 when you order the Garmin Forerunner 235 from Amazon.
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