Garmin has announced three new exercise smartwatches in an already over-saturated market. The Forerunner 230, 235, and 630 are upgraded versions of previous Garmin models with a competitive set of new features. I’m particularly impressed by the Forerunner 630, which will appeal to fitness freaks and runners (not me). The 630 measures some very specific things such as stride length, lactate threshold, and can even tell you what your overall level of stress is based on your heart rate variability while running.
Garmin’s decision to get into the smartwatch market is a great shift in their strategy as a company. With more and more auto manufacturers offering built-in GPS systems in their cars, Garmin has decided to focus on some of the more niche market uses of GPS technology. This includes activities such as geo-caching, cycling, hiking, and running. Now, I mentioned that the smartwatch market is saturated, but I find that some of the features offered in Garmin’s watches keep them very competitive as they appeal to a specific subset of fitness watch wearers. It will be interesting to see what sort of reviews these watches will receive from tech blogs and fitness enthusiasts, and to see if the watches can be successful.
For more reading about the new Garmin Forerunner watches, check out these articles: