Garmin 620 - First Impressions
I’ve been running with my FR305 for a a pretty long time now. I got it 3 months after I started running in 2009 as a gift from the bf. I used the shit out of it. I love numbers and charts and things and I’m a big gadget geek. I’m also pretty good at listening to my body though. So for me, my watch is a nice tool to keep track of my runs and I just find it really fun to analyze things. It keeps me motivated as well to see progress in terms of charts and numbers. That said, I don’t rely on numbers and data to tell me how I feel. My body still has the loudest voice.
I wanted a new Garmin because my old watch was starting to show wear and tear. It wasn’t holding its charge as well anymore and for longer races and runs it was becoming pretty useless. Charging it was always an ordeal because the old FR305 cradle is a pain in the ass.
I’m really pleased with the new 620 so far. I’ve only used it for one run but I’m really impressed. I should say that I am disappointed with the fact that Garmin decided to forego adding a cycling mode and some navigational features (I remember using the back-to-start feature on my 305 more than once to get me out of the woods! One time I’m sure it pretty much saved my life or at least my sanity). Still, the 620 is a marvellous improvement on the 305. It feels like a training aid and not just a tracker. I love the fact that I can now have my training calendar on my watch. I feel so organized! I also really enjoy the fact that I can wear it as a watch now. There’s no way I could pass the 305 off as a daily watch. It was really a computer on my wrist. The 620 is smaller and with the power-save function it can actually function as a day to day watch. It looks pretty snazzy too.
I’ve heard more than a few complaints about the 620. Mostly about the missing features - I’m confident that Garmin will listen to their customers and re-add those features though - but I’ve also heard people complaining about GPS inaccuracy and other bugs regarding connectivity issues. So far I haven’t experienced any problems save for an issue with the training calendar syncing to my device. I think it was more an issue with Garmin Connect and in the end the issue resolved itself.
I’ve heard a few people whine about the fact that the running metrics are useless. I think that’s just categorically wrong. You may not be interested but they aren’t useless at all. I thought they were really interesting. I was surprised to see that my Vertical Oscillation was a heck of a lot less than I thought. And my cadence was much higher than I had anticipated. All things that were really interesting to me. I like having that information. And I think it’s great that there’s another option for those who might not really care - so if that’s the case get the 220. The recovery check and advisor are neat features and I can definitely see how they would help runners who might be too eager to pound out miles too soon. I also found the HR data to be a lot smoother. I was using the super duper old HR strap that first came with my FR305. So uncomfortable. I love the soft strap! It feels like I’m not wearing anything at all. Way better than hard cold plastic! Especially when you’re putting it on in the morning.
I also love love love that I can simply come home and my workout downloads wirelessly to Garmin Connect. That totally blows my mind. Again, some of you who have been using the newer models might not really care - I know that the newer models have been using ANT+ technology. But with my 305, I always had to stick the watch on the cradle and download everything manually. And that would be after I had managed to get the stupid thing to sit right on the cradle. After years of use the contacts had really worn away and getting the watch to stick to the cradle was a very precarious balancing act. So now it’s almost magical the way my watch just poofs the workout into the cloud. I get excited very easily truth be told, but I’m still really impressed with this watch and I’m very very happy with it.
It’s a quality product. I’m confident Garmin will do their best to update the firmware accordingly and fix some of the issues mentioned by some users and that they will work hard to add or retool some of the missing features - like a cycling mode and navigational features.
I forgot to mention that I had some issues with the Livetrack feature. My track seemed to expire really soon into the run (my mom told me after the run) and I’m not quite sure why. I assume it was a connection problem between my phone and the watch. I’ll have to test it out again to see.
I’ll be out with the watch again tomorrow, against the recovery advisor’s advice actually. It told me to wait 72 hours. Of course, tomorrow will simply be an easy short run. Today was deceptively tough because of the fresh layer of snow and slippery slush. One step forward, five steps back. I’m eager to run again with this new watch! It makes me feel like I’m on the Starship Enterprise…..