Monday, 14 December 2015

Garmin Forerunner 225 - Test

Inspired by the debate of capability of optical heart rate monitor has inspired Team2ndskin athletes to highlight some of the interesting features in Garmin Forerunner 225. The conventional chest strap tracks the heart rate closer to the heart so some athletes argue that it is much more accurate than the wrist optical heart rate that read the flow of blood. Eager to stay relevant in the HRM market, the chest straps now are installed with more sensors for more data collection which the wrist optical sensors are still catching up. Since both have its own strength, let's do a reality check to confirm.

Team2ndskin Athlete Tri Stupe wrote the Unboxing and Review for Garmin Forerunner 225 here.

The Garmin Forerunner 225 needs to be strapped properly to get an accurate reading. Get the green light nicely sealed, the heart rate reading is pretty much comparable to the chest strap. Those days when the the chest strap dominates the market, there's not a choice for us to read our heart rate. In terms of comfort and convenience, definitely the wrist optical heart rate wins the battle.

Garmin Forerunner 225 is equipped with a detachable soft silicon seal surrounding the optical sensor for better light sealing. It cups on the wrist nicely and seals the green light from leaking. It's quite comfortable to be worn over a long period compared to those HRM without silicon seal. 

This is a good watch for the gym goers post office hours, save the hassle of digging the gym bag searching for the chest strap. Surprisingly, it is still able to give me reading with my long sleeve shirt underneath! This GPS watch has a built in accelerometer to capture distance and pace for indoor workout too. Other than functioning as a GPS watch, Garmin Forerunner 225 doubles the value by working as an activity tracker (distance, calorie burned, steps).

Will the Garmin Forerunner 225 give reading underwater? The answer is YES!
I made my mum dip her wrist inside a bucket of water, this is the evidence.

If a bucket of water is not enough to convince u, here is a workout I did in Gunung Keriang Indoor Pool just to get the heart rate data. Disregard the messy GPS because indoor pool swim's GPS data is definitely inaccurate. 

Coming to the ultimate battle between a chest strap HRM of Garmin Forerunner 920xt and wrist base Optical HRM, team2ndskin athlete Lt Chan Jun Shen ran a 20km to test both of the hottest watches in Garmin's product range! 

In general, the pace, cadence and elevation give nearly the same reading. However, the main concern is the heart rate. The first 10km, the Garmin Forerunner 225 was worn slightly loose which gives spiky heart rate graph due to the possible optical light leak during arm swing motion. The 2nd half of the run was done with a tighter fit, proven to have smoother graph and as smooth as the data gained from chest strap of Garmin Forerunner 920xt.  
*the heart rate zone for Garmin Forerunner 225 was not set to max heart rate because I did the test after my teammate Tri Stupe used it so it explains why the zone is different. 

Hope the test clears some of the doubts on the ability of Garmin Forerunner 225. This unit of FR225 is sponsored to Team 2ndSkin by AECO Technologies, the authorised Distributor of Garmin Malaysia. RRP for FR225 is RM1299 including GST and available at all authorised resellers. 

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