Garmin Forerunner 225 adds heart-rate measurement at wrist

Optical heart-rate technology developed by Mio eliminates the need for a chest strap

The Garmin Forerunner 225 has a built-in heart-rate monitor

The new Garmin Forerunner 225 is the first Garmin watch that measures heart rate at your wrist. This GPS-enabled watch uses optical heart-rate technology developed by Mio. Although targeted at runners with various run-specific metrics, the Forerunner watches are also popular with some mountain bikers, who appreciate having a GPS unit that isn’t mounted to the stem or handlebar where it could get damaged in a crash.

Related reading: Garmin mounts for mountain bikers

The Forerunner 225’s color screen has a few different displays, including a programmable tachometer that shows HR beats per minute with your max HR defining the top end and training zones broken out by color. The zones come preset based on age-based maximum HR estimates, but you can change these on the watch itself or on Garmin’s website.

The Forerunner 225 also adds fitness tracker elements, such counters for steps, calories and distance, plus a ‘move bar’ with a vibration alert for when you’ve been stationary for a while, and a sleep monitor.

To measure heart rate, the Forerunner 225 uses an optical sensor on the back of the watch that shines light into your skin and measures the amount of light returned. This measurement of the fluctuations is run through a filter, and a heart-rate measurement is produced.

Workouts can be configured with vibration alerts based on time, distance, calories or heart rate.

Battery life is a claimed four weeks in watch mode and 7-10 hours in GPS mode. 

When paired with a smartphone, the Forerunner 225 can automatically upload completed activities to Garmin Connect. Activities can also be automatically uploaded when the device is paired with a home Wi-Fi network. 

The Forerunner 225 will be available in black/red for US$299. UK and AU pricing was not immediately available.