Apple Watch or Garmin Forerunner 15?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Azzin, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Azzin macrumors 601

    Azzin

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    Location:
    London, England.
    #1
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    A dedicated fitness tracker is the way to go in my opinion.
     
  3. alFR macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #3
    Why not give the Watch app a try? I'd class myself as a (very) light runner (25-30k/week), I use the Watch app and it's fine for me. It doesn't let you export your info as a .fit file or anything like that and it doesn't give you a GPS track of where you have been, so if you want to do "serious" training it's not for you: there are a couple of threads on here from serious runners who do marathons etc. and they have pretty mixed feelings about it. However, for me it's pretty accurate distance-wise when calibrated and if you wear the strap appropriately tight the HR measurement seems pretty accurate too compared to my Polar HRM. You can also pair an external bluetooth HRM to the Watch if you want. The only problem I've run into is that wet sleeves can trigger the screen unintentionally (once it put it into power save mode accidentally while I was running) so I tend to roll my sleeve back so it sits just above the watch now.

    p.s. forgot to say that if you try the watch and don't like it or find it works for you, you can always get the Garmin afterwards so you've not lost anything.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #4
    If you're only interested in light running the apple watch will be adequate. Any specialized fitness watch with a GPS will always out perform the AW but if you're not going to be getting serious about running the AW will be ok.

    I use my AW for short 3 to 5 mile runs, and then I use my fitbit surge for anything longer or if I'm running a 10k or 1/2 marathon.
     
  5. iPhysicist macrumors 65816

    iPhysicist

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    Dresden
    #5
    This.
    For light running Apple Watch is all you need since you already have one. I remember a time when people just bought a pair of shoes to start a running career.
    The AW does not track elevation but you will not need that info anyway if you don't plan to do uphill running.
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #6
    The AW is more akin to a simple stopwatch with distance estimation. It will show you splits, but it will not do anything more. Distance accuracy is all over the board. It is good for some, but not everyone, and not predictable.

    The Forerunner 15 is a great entry-level running watch, and if you add a HR sensor, it can do a lot to help you understand and manage performance. For example, after every run, I like to look at my average HR, cadence, elevation change, and pace for each mile. Garmin's also record weather conditions, so you can mentally adjust your performance relative to temperature. Occasionally, as I am improving, I like to look back at similar runs from a month or two ago and compare to a current run. This is table stakes for a Forerunner 15, but the AW cannot do any of that.
     
  7. masands macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2010
    #7
    Theoretically, 3rd part apps should have made the Apple Watch a better device with great statistics to measure your performance. Unfortunately, it looks like no developer has bothered to take it seriously. The Workout app is decent for basic stuff. 3rd part apps like Runkeeper are half-assed and broken.
     
  8. igrover macrumors regular

    igrover

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  9. BarracksSi, Nov 5, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015

    BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #9
    I haven't used my Garmin 410 (much more complicated and capable than the 15) for anything since finding that it was showing nearly the same numbers as my AW.

    The AW doesn't give me mapping, interval alarms, or a "virtual partner", but most of the time, I don't need those functions.
     
  10. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #10
    Ah, to be simple again. Yeah, all I want to know anymore is how much time I've been running. Distance only matters if there's a finish line -- and I don't need a fitness watch to see a finish line.
    When I've run (or biked) uphill, the only thing I cared about was heart rate. And, after learning which number correlated with the sensation of a painful death, I decided I didn't need the number after all. ;)
     
  11. iPhysicist macrumors 65816

    iPhysicist

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    Location:
    Dresden
    #11
    Gear won't help much for the first year. The OP mentioned light running so why waste a lot of money in not needed running gear?
    First thing one have to learn for running is continuity. First this means to run 3 times a week at the least (start low and slow). Don't care about the weather condition, care about appropriate clothing. Second go at a steady pace after you warmed up and don't do interval training for the first months. Your tendons adjust slower than the muscles. This can be dangerous for some people. I read of a young women who was really into running and ended in over training and a Achilles' tendon rupture.
    Of course you can carry a lot of gear with you during training but it won't give you any more power than you have within you.

    This is of course just my opinion mixed with my lessons learned.
     
  12. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #12
    The cost of an FR 15 is about the same as a pair of running shoes.
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Detroit
    #13
    Don't consider the Forerunner 15. Go for the 220 (older model, less expensive) or the 225. The cheaper Garmins are prone to long delays getting GPS lock and poor battery life. Not something even a casual runner should have to put up with, hence my statement regarding Apple watch: Apple Watch is not ready for running use.

    There are some pros, like very good quality third party running apps such as Runmeter. And for casual running, Runkeeper is enough. Then there's the ability to glance down during running or even a yoga session and see your latest text message or the caller ID of an incoming call. However the AW suffers from what I have found to be fatal flaws for inclement weather (long sleeved) running...

    1) Inability to lock screen in third party running apps. This makes running with long sleeves impossible.

    2) Ability to lock screen in workout, but inability to export meaningful data such as cadence, intervals and any split interval other than miles.

    3) Inconsistent battery life during runs. Switch off heart rate during runs still might not be enough to guarantee AW finishes a run with it's brains intact. Example: battery died after about 4 hours when I ran a full marathon and I lost all the workout data taken over those 26.2 miles! Even with the screen locked, perhaps my sleeve was still waking up the watch during the marathon.

    4) Even when used with an iPhone, AW distance measurement is suspect. When I wear my AW and my Garmin Forerunner 220, I get about 5% longer distance recorded on the AW which dramatically throws off pace calculations. That's the difference between a 8:15 a mile pace and an 8:40 a mile pace. In other words basically useless for anything beyond basic fitness tracking and step count.

    5) Cannot wear AW loose without it losing contact with my wrist and asking for my unlock code. This can be solved by removing the unlock code but then I lose the ability to use my AW for ApplePay. This can also be solved by wearing my AW tight but I tend to like things on my body loose when I'm running (with the exception of my compression shorts and compression socks). The combination of a loose AW and long sleeves can lead to the watch thinking you've been putting in the wrong unlock code for the last half-dozen miles and wiping itself to defend your data against theft by your sleeve!

    6) Teeny itsy bitsy tiny icons that are impossible to hit while running, especially with sweaty fingers. Your sleeve got you on the stock reports instead of pace? Try getting back into runmeter without walking or ven stopping and focusing intently on your watch.

    Now there are quite a few reasons to choose Garmin for running, even if you already own an Apple Watch...

    1) One. Big. Red. Button. Ironically the same location as the digital crown on the AW. It wakes the Garmin, starts your run and stops your run. Yes that's right. No staring at a display you have to actually read to determine what state the Garmin is in and no time wasted wading through menus just as the gun goes off to start running. And you would have thought Apple could figure out this whole one button thing after decades selling a one-buttoned mouse!

    2) Long battery life (if you choose the 200 series model or higher, I'm not sure about the rest and a friend had the Forerunner 10 and had horrible battery life). We are talking days on standby and enough power reserve to jog/walk two marathons before even thinking about charging.

    3) Trailing pace displayed every mile accompanied by a vibration and a beep. During the marathon, at each mile marker it sounded like a symphony of Garmin beeps followed by everyone glancing down at their wrist.

    4) Simple non-touchscreen display. No way to swipe into a game of solitaire or stock reports during a run. Thank GOD! This is also a good reason to avoid the higher end Garmins as they suffer from mankind's obsession with all things touchscreen. Give me physical buttons when my hands are sweaty or when it's raining out.

    5) Garmin connect. This iOS app has surprisingly mixed reviews but it has worked flawlessly for me, posting my run data to the web where I could either browse it online or download it in several file formats. And when I say data, I mean lots of data including cadence, splits, elevation gain/loss, speed, average pace, elapsed time, gps map, calories (if you tell it your weight), and even average stride length.
     
  14. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #14
    Is this true of the FR15? It is a pretty substantial leap forward from the FR10. And, I think the FR15 GPS lock time is the same as my 910XT. It is on the very newest that are in the 1-2 second range for GPS lock.
     
  15. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #15
    Sorry I'm not familiar with the FR15 but I understand it's the replacement for the FR10. A friend has the 10 and she gave up on using it because of slow GPS lock and battery problems. When we were at REI picking out our watches, a rep from Garmin was at the display bragging about Garmin's sophisticated algorithm that can tell where you are in a given stride based solely on the accelerometer. He indicated that the 220/225 and up had the same GPS performance but higher end watches added things like built in wrist-sensor heart rate. I didn't bother to ask him about the FR15 as I was already leaning toward the 220 because of its easy to read backlit color display.
     

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