Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS Watch Review


Now that I've used my Garmin Forerunner 220 for two races, a 25K and a 39 mile race, I want to tell you about it. Just a week before I ran my 25K race, my Garmin Forerunner 610 died so I went to Luke's Locker, a local running store, and bought a Forerunner 220.

I used my new watch three times before race day. Fortunately, that was enough time to become familiar with how it worked so that I wasn't anxious about using it during the race.

Here's what I like best about my Garmin Forerunner 220:

  • The 220 doesn't go into "power save mode" for 30 minutes. With my 610, I'd get to the race start and then have to remember to not let it go into "power save mode" before the race started. If it did, it would have do a new satellite search and might not be ready when the gun went off. 
  • The 220 battery power lasts at least 9 hours. Towards the end of the 39 mile race, my 220 gave me a warning that it was getting low on battery power. I was relieved when it lasted longer than it took me to cross the finish line.
  • Compared to my old 610, the 220 is lightweight. It hardly feels like anything is on my arm when I wear it.

Here are some more Garmin Forerunner 220 reviews.


An advantage to buying another Garmin watch is that I can continue to use the Garmin Connect training calendar where I upload my workouts. They've recently made some improvements and have added some race training plans I might use.

I've used my 220 for over a month. I've only had one problem with it and that was with the auto-pause feature, but that was fixed during a recent update. There are so many watches to choose from, but the 220 works for me. Plus, I like the color! 

Comments

  1. Nice! I like the colors on your watch too. I've had my Garmin 110 for a little over 2 years now and it still works, but I've been kind of interested in getting a new one. I'm secretly hoping it quits working so I can justify it, haha :) The only thing I don't like about mine is that it doesn't always latch into charging well and you have to fiddle with the clamp all the time to make sure it is charging correctly.

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    1. Since Garmin did a 220 update, my watch can even find the satellites from inside my house. It's fast, too.

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  2. Awesome! I'm actually looking to replace my Garmin 305 and have bee looking for options.

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    1. I probably would have looked for a watch longer if I'd have more time, but I probably would have ended up with a 220 anyway. I do that a lot... Look around a long time and then buy one of the first items I saw and liked anyway!

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  3. It's a nice looking watch that's for sure! Not clunky and boxy like a lot of running watches. I use the Nike+ gps sportswatch and it has an 8 hour battery life which wasn't enough for my ultra.

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    1. I sure didn't think I'd need my watch to last 9 hours for a race anytime soon, but I guess you never know! I thought about trying something other than Garmin for a change, but it's nice to have a lot of my running history in one place like I do on Garmin Connect.

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  4. The power save mode is one thing I don't like about my Forerunner 10. I've lost a signal more then once at the start of the race and ended up starting the run before my watch caught up. At that point, the only thing the watch was good for was for the interval beeping...lol

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    1. That's a stressful way to start a race!

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  5. I just bought a 220 the week before my race - the first time I wore it was for the race because I rarely follow "rules" about that kind of thing!
    I do love it so much better than my previous Garmin!!

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    1. We were probably buying our 220's at about the same time. I've had a few Garmin watches and it's my favorite so far.

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  6. Sounds like a great watch! I, too, dislike the power save mode on my Forerunner 405. I have looked down at my watch right as I cross the start line of a race, only to find that my watch has gone into power save mode. They don't make the 405 anymore, so when my watch wheezes it's last wheeze, I'll definitely take a look at the 220!

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    1. As if the start of a race isn't stressful enough!

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  7. Fantastic review. I definitely like the color, do they have other color choices available?. The battery life sounds really good!

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    1. There's a black one, too. I thought about getting that one instead because black goes with anything, but I'm glad I went with the pretty purple one.

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  8. I just got that one too, I love it :) I have been using the Garmin connect, and it is really cool to look back over! One thing I do not like about this one is how it goes to power save while I am looking at my history....it goes back to the clock within about 30 seconds if I am typing something on my log. Otherwise I love it!

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    1. I haven't had trouble with timing out on my log, but you might Google the problem. That's an easy way to find answers in the Garmin Forum - it will probably lead you there.

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  9. i just read DC rainmaker's reviews too! But it's always helpful to get s second opinion from a woman.

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    1. DC Rainmaker has helped me out a couple of times with his Garmin reviews. Helpful stuff!

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  10. I have a 220 too! I really like it. It's the perfect # of functions for me.

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    1. Another new one, the 620, has even more functions, but I didn't want to spend the $$ and I like this one, too.

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  11. Sounds awesome. I have a cheaper one so it only lasts 5 hours and the power save kills me.

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    1. It would be great if they would make a way to turn the power save off on all of the watches.

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  12. I have a Garmin 210 and the only complaint I have about it (and this will probably never change, no matter what kind of watch I get) is that I hate having something around my wrist when I'm running. But other than that, I love it!

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    1. I guess you've probably looked at options other than watches to track your runs, like Map My Run, or maybe you could wait for Google glass!

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  13. I think I have a 210, and I really like it. I had a 305 before and I loved everything about it except how big it was and it rubbed on my wrist bones. I had to buy the velcro strap to make it fit better. I am a big Garmin fan though :)

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    1. I used to have a Garmin velcro strap for one of my other watches, too.

      The 220 strap is great. It fits small wrists. It's flexible. All of the holes might even make it more breathable.

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  14. Thanks for the review!
    I would love to know if the 220 can be lapped manually, as you are running.. Like if I was running a mile and wanted a 1 minute lap at the end of it and then run another mile. Can it do that? My old 305 is really acting up and i might need a new watch.

    smalltownrunner.com

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    1. I'm not positive, but I think you want to do something like what I did this morning with the 220. Before the run, I set it up for me to warm-up. Then run 10 min. and rest 2 min. and repeat twice. Cool-down. You can set it up for intervals by time, like I did, or length like a mile. Plus, there's a lap button to trigger laps manually.

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  15. It's so cute! I'm reading reviews - looks like a great one. Do you know if it does average pace? I'd like that option...
    Glad your running is going great!

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    1. Yes, it does! I have it set up to show me my average pace for the whole run, pace for the mile and pace at the moment. Other data fields I have set up to see are distance, time and speed. Speed is good to see when I ride my bike.

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  16. I have the Garmin 610 and absolutely hate that power save feature. It drives me nuts. Luckily I have an older model, can't remember the number, but it's a great fall back come race time when my nerves get the better of me and that last thing I want to worry about is the GArmin not being ready to race.

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    1. That's a good reason to hang onto your old one! With the 610, I had to remember to do something on my watch every couple of minutes so it wouldn't go into power save mode at race start lines. It was nice to not have to deal with that bit of stress at the start of the last 2 races with my 220.

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  17. I have the Garmin 10. It's super simple, but I really like it. I wouldn't mind the 220 though!

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    1. The price on the 10 is the reason I considered that one, too.

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  18. I have this watch too and I love it!

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    1. That's great! Another reason I like the 220 that I didn't mention - it tracks cadence, which I write about in the next post.

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  19. I recently got a 220 as well, but I went with the black and red. It's my first GPS watch and I LOVE it!! It certainly has the battery power to get me through my "long" runs of 5-8 miles. Glad to hear that yours survived for 40!!

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    1. You'll see - having a watch with GPS is a lot of fun! There's so much information you can learn from it about your run right down to your cadence.

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