updated 01:55 pm EDT, Thu April 2, 2009
Garmin fitness watches
Garmin on Thursday announced the upcoming release of a pair of new fitness watches, including the Forerunner 310XT and Forerunner 405CX. The former is waterproof down to 50 meters (164 feet) and thus meant for water sports as well as running and cycling and will be packaged together with a waterproof heart rate monitor as well as in a stand-alone version. Compared to the current Forerunner 305 that it's based on, the new watch has improved battery life, now rated at 20 hours, as well as a more comfortable design.
The 310XT is GPS-enabled, allowing it to track distance covered. It uses ANT+ technology, allowing it to send or receive data wirelessly from compatible devices such as foot pods, heart rate monitors of fitness equipment as well as sync with users' computers. It has built-in audible signals and vibration alerts to tell users when they've reached milestones in their workout.
The Forerunner 405CX improves upon the company's existing Forerunner 405 with better accuracy for calorie logging and wearable comfort. The device is not waterproof but IPX7 water-resistant, relegating it to land use only, but it has the same integrated GPS sensor and ANT+ compatibility as the new 310XT. It has a touch bezel for quicker control, and is offered in a new deep blue color.
The Forerunner 310XT will be available during the second quarter, priced at $350, while the Forerunner 405CX costs $370, and is also due for a release sometime during the spring.