updated 02:44 pm EDT, Tue May 6, 2014
GPS running watch can track heart rate, synchronizes with online service
Garmin has introduced what the company claims to be its lowest-priced GPS-enabled running watch. The Forerunner 15 is a step down from the more-recent Forerunner and Fenix releases, in that it keeps track of standard running-related statistics and activity tracking functions, but without adding enhanced features nor smart watch-style smartphone connectivity.
The Forerunner 15 can track steps taken, calories burned, and the distance traveled over the last seven activities. Runners will be able to view the current pace, set a target lap pace or average pace, and receive automatic alerts for every mile traveled. The watch can also track the wearer's heart rate with an optional monitor, while a foot pod will let the Forerunner 15 be used for training indoors. It will even remind wearers to move after one hour of inactivity, with the reminder reset after a few minutes of continual walking.
Water resistant to 5 ATM (50 meters or 164 feet), the 1.3-ounce watch has a 55x32-resolution display and four buttons for control, and a battery that will last up to five weeks in watch mode and 8 hours in training. Though it does not directly synchronize with a smart watch, connecting the Forerunner 15 to a PC or Mac will sync it with Garmin Connect, the company's online fitness community, providing training analysis and goal tracking, as well as various social elements.
Garmin is shipping the Forerunner 15 this spring for $170, or $200 when combined with the heart rate monitor. The foot pod will be available separately.