>12/4/13: Garmin 620 Review

Until recently, the Garmin Forerunner 610 was arguably the best running GPS watch on the planet.  Garmin had revolutionized the market by integrating a functional touch screen based on their Edge technology, reducing the profile to make it more wearable, maintaining a significant battery life, and expanding the data and customization options.


So how do you improve on the innovation of the 610, which still boasts new technology that other competitors haven’t yet been able to integrate into their GPS units?  Answer – the Garmin Forerunner 620.


Here’s the short list of improvements:

-       Lighter

-       Better fit

-       Higher resolution

-       New performance features


Lighter:  The 620 is 38% lighter than the 610 – around 1 ounce.  That may not seem like much at all, but in a watch it is a significant different.  Bare in mind that 1-ounce is sometimes the difference between a moderate cushion shoe and a lightweight trainer, or a lightweight trainer and a racing flat.


Better Fit:  The 620 features a new-hinged wristband – something they had not been able to do until the Forerunner 10.  In previous GPS watches, the GPS receiver has been placed below the 6pm position on the face of the watch.  That’s because as you run, the top of your wrist is aimed toward the satellites that are tracking your distance.  Garmin introduced a new receiver that utilized the whole face of the watch in the 10, and they rolled over the technology into the 620.  The hinged wristband is more comfortable, and offers a more customizable fit for wrists of all sizes.


Higher Resolution:  The 620 features a screen display of 108 pixels by 108 pixels.  As a reference, the average resolution in fitness watches is 60 pixels by 60 pixels.  Higher resolution in conjunction with a four-color display makes it easier to read the data.


New Performance Features

-       New HRM Strap:  The innovation doesn’t stop with the wrist unit.  Garmin has created a brand new HRM strap that works in conjunction with the new 620.  This strap is pretty sharp.  New technologies in the strap are able to monitor things like vertical oscillation, cadence, and ground contact time.

-       Water resistant to 50 meters:  The 610 was only water resistant to 3 meters – fine for a downpour, but not a watch you’d want to wear while swimming.  The 620 features a different case construction that allows it to be worn while completely submerged for extended periods of time – great for the multi-sport athlete.


The 620 is the best running GPS watch on the market today.  Period.  You may not need all the bells and whistles it brings to the table, but for any tech obsessed gadget lover, this is a must have accessory.