TECH4O GPS WATCH by JOHNSON OUTDOORS GEAR
Due to hit the streets in mid-July, this watch should stir up some excitement in the field of marathon running. It’s everything you wanted and expected your personal GPS (brand names omitted to protect myself from slander issues) device to be before you became so completely disappointed. I have gone through all the instructions (a seriously long manual for such a simple looking device) and determined that the watch can be operated by a person of normal intelligence and that that person could manage to perform the “on-the-run-button-pushing” that a serious user would need/want to do. Ease of operation through navigation of sensible menus is paramount and it’s obvious Johnson Outdoors understood that what’s needed and has been missing in this genre. As far as fashion goes, forget it, it’s as plain as a hockey puck.
You can read more about this product at their website store:
I would love to get some feedback from users of this device – hopefully be able to publish endorsements. I think this is the entry-level gadget that changes the wrist-GPS industry.
TO GARMIN, OR NOT TO GARMIN..
Garmin Forerunner 610
There’s so many features that I won’t trouble you with my version of them. You can get a good idea if this is the device for you by watching the videos. Detailed specifications and in-depth explanation of the features and benefits can be examined at their website, garmin.com. This review (below) makes a couple comments that may be helpful if you are trying to make up your mind on which HRM (GPS, maybe) wrist gizmo you should be looking at.
What’s to like –
Vibration alert – because it’s hard to know if it’s your watch making all the noise when you’re in a tight pack of 10,000 other well equipped runners (or in some other noisy place).
Touch screen – bravo, Garmin! We are getting used to those touch and swipe interfaces and this is the perfect application for them.
Size – at 46mm X 16mm this watch is smaller than it’s less capable predecessors and is just about average for what is considered a fashionably “big” watch. And kudos to Garmin for making the display so readable and the menus so easy to navigate.
General Look and Feel – the simple, clean design has not a speck of gratuitous knubbing, wording, bumps, or self-promoting. Excellent.
Support – Garmin has a real-person help center, forums and tons of fans that can help you figure out how to take advantage of the myriad features. Upgrades to firmware are easily downloaded to keep the product current.
Features – I love the idea of a virtual running buddy. Wireless accessories like heart rate monitor and foot pad are the only way to go in 2011. (I do hope that a biking sender becomes available). Info automatically uploaded to a computer is fantastic. Training Effect is a major enhancement – read more about it at their site, garmin.com.
What’s not to like – It only comes in black. It is expensive by the time you add on the HRM and foot pad ($450 or so). It is only marginally waterproof. The band (and especially the pins) could have used a little more engineering.
But, all in all, this is the 800 pound Gorilla in this category. No other watch comes close and this blog recommends it without reservation.
Garmin Forerunner 610
Garmin Forerunner 610
Garmin Forerunner 610
Timex, Nike and Bowflex GPS HRM Watches
The Bowflex SB-GPS-905, when it’s available for under $90 is a good buy. It has a lot of the more important features that you’ve been reading about in the articles above, but it’s an older unit with some dated technology making it big, more complicated to operate and hard on it’s battery. Makes a great starter watch – use it to death, throw it away and then get a Garmin.
I wanted to report on the Timex GPS watches, but there were so many bad reviews that I’ve decided to wait for the Timex “do-over”. Problems reported: the watch is gigundojumbo – too big for a woman’s wrist. No footpad ability. The buckle on the strap tends to abrade the arm. The linking time to acquire satellites can take a long time and the unit tends to drop the signal under trees and bridges (a lot more than Garmin units). There are numerous issues with the software. So, overall, this blog recommends a No-Buy on the current model.
I like the look of the Nike+ GPS – flat, huge, simple display screens, and feminine. Unisex, my butt, this thing is as girly as a chiffon dress. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one. Gender notwithstanding, this first generation of the watch has just enough problems reported by early owners that I’d only recommend it to the competition who will be left at the starting line waiting for a satellite acquire.
There is hope – Timex has become the biggest player in the HRM watch genre. One of their cheaper units sells worldwide in the top five. Count on this – they won’t give up on the GPS products, but will continue to improve them and keep lowering the price until they are able to kill off most of their competitors GPS entries. Doggedly persevering through the first few tries, Timex has a history eventually landing on it’s corporate feet. They know how to own more than their fair share of space in the stores. And if that’s not enough, some smart marketing person figured a way to spread a rumor through Walmart jewelry counters that Casio watches are manufactured in Timex plants, so, “either way, you’re getting a Timex – might as well jus’ buy a Timex.” Unreal.
And Nike? Well, they have the right partners, a huge customer base, and are so well entrenched in the sports apparel industry that it’s hard to see how they could fail to prevail. I mean, who better than Nike to integrate sensors into running footwear, t-shirts and hats?
New Puma HRM Multi-funciton Digital Watches
Chronograph, dual alarm, count-down timer; Heart rate monitor with wireless ECG sensor belt included and preset HR zone or manual set hi/lo HR zone
Equipped to display heart rate as BPM, heart rate as percentage of maximum heart rate, HR max (age based) calories burned during workout, minimum HR of total exercise, maximum HR of total exercise and average HR of total exercise
Water-resistant: 165 feet
Dial window material type: Acrylic
Display Type: digital LED,EL backlight
Case material: Plastic
Case diameter: 38 millimeters
Case Thickness: 12 millimeters
Band material: Polyurethane
Band length: unisex
Band width: 28 millimeters
Bezel material: Plastic
Bezel Function: stationary
item-weight: 1.76 Ounces
Price: $100 – $110
PUMA Unisex PU910501005 Cardiac II White Heart Rate Monitor Watch
PUMA Men’s PU910501009 Cardiac II Metallic Silver Heart Rate Monitor Watch
PUMA Men’s PU910501006 Cardiac II Metallic Black Heart Rate Monitor Watch
PUMA Men’s PU910501007 Cardiac II Metallic Gold Heart Rate Monitor Watch
PUMA Women’s PU910501008 Cardiac II Metallic Pink Heart Rate Monitor Watch