Time for a GPS & HRM Update…

A while ago I was asked on the Q&A with #RSP – What #running watch to go for? and my answer, based on the functions and price at that time, was unequivocally the Polar M400

I’m revising this opinion as there has been a change in how Garmin products are being brought into Ireland.

Without having to go into the history too much, the distribution model as well as currency changes and the higher Irish VAT level meant that in most cases it was cheaper to buy your Garmin overseas (not the handiest in terms of warranty claims – there was a unique setup for Irish bought units that added value) but this has now changed.

Today, you will find that we have most of the current Garmin range at prices LOWER than the equivalent from UK online retailers.

Garmin FR 220 with HRM – UK website €299 Our Price €255.00

Garmin FR220 Violet

Garmin Fenix 3 with HRM – UK website €556 Our Price €509.00

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Garmin Fenix 3 no HRM – UK website €515.00 Our Price €460.00

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(Garmin 920XT is the same price as the Fenix 3 bundles)

In the context of the article I wrote following the #RSP Q&A the price gap between the Polar M400 and the Garmin FR220 is much narrower.

The decision based on the value of the watches is tougher to make as while the Polar has more functions in relation to the activity monitor and multiple sport profiles; Garmin does have the legacy effect of dependable GPS and recognition of being the ‘running watch’.

The playing field has changed slightly and we are delighted with the changes in the price structure.

One final thought is in relation to the upcoming FR225 with optical HR. The feedback I’m hearing is that the wrist detector is 5% less accurate than that of the FR220 with chest strap. I would be reluctant to recommend the 225 for this reason, at this moment, as, if you are training to HR you need accuracy and dependability of readings.

What do you think of the new prices?

6 thoughts on “Time for a GPS & HRM Update…

  1. Not sure about the new Garmen range but I went with the Polar M400 based on your advice Sean and its just flawless. Its so neat you can wear it as a normal watch… not sure Garmen are there yet with their GPS watches.. battery lasts forever, picks up GPS immediately, HRM is accurate and their software, which is good, is getting better all the time. I’ve had Garmen and Nike (Tom Tom) in the past and this is by far the best.

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    1. Good to hear Conor.

      Still a big fan of what Polar are doing and there will always be a divide in loyalties. I know which side of the fence I prefer but each to their own 🙂

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    1. Hey Robbie, thanks for your comment.

      I’ve been teased by Suunto for a while, specifically the Ambit 3. I did try out the Ambit 2R a while back and found it fine. They are a cracking looking watch and function just the way you want them to. I particularly like the Movescount.com app platform and think it is a great addition to functionality.

      I suppose the biggest issue in Ireland is brand recognition. Most people are looking for Garmin, in the same way that most people look for ASICS as a proper running shoe. It’s been a long road for Polar getting recognition and personally I’d love to throw Suunto into the mix too but it would likely end up confusing consumers more.

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