Garmin launches entry-level Forerunner 50 fitness range

Garmin has launched the Forerunner 50 range of five fitness products in the States.

At the centre of the range is an advanced fitness watch which interfaces wirelessly with three other devices - suitable for either runners, walkers or cyclists.

The system includes a wireless USB ANT Stick that plugs into the user's PC and automatically downloads workout data from the watch.

No cables are necessary as the Forerunner 50 syncs with the computer once it is in close proximity.

The wireless features of the Forerunner 50 are enabled by ANT+Sport personal area network technology.

ANT+Sport is a wireless interface protocol enabling ultra low power applications like fitness monitors.

Depending on the model purchased, the Forerunner 50 accurately monitors and records heart rate or speed and distance or all of the above.

The heart rate monitor and foot pod activates automatically upon movement, so you don't need to remember to turn them on and off.

Unlike other offerings from Garmin, the Forerunner 50 watch is not GPS-enabled which means its cheaper and smaller.

A bonus of it not being GPS-activated is that it can be used indoors - for example, accurately monitoring their heart rate while on a treadmill or tracking how far they walk each day in the office.

By pairing the Forerunner 50 with Garmin Connect (Garmin's online site) users can automatically log their workouts, track totals, share workouts and participate in an online fitness community with similar interests.

The Forerunner 50 and USB ANT Stick with Heart Rate Monitor will be $99/£69/€119 while the pack with the Foot Pod instead will be $149/£99/€149.

The Forerunner 50, USB ANT Stick with Foot Pod and Heart Rate Monitor will be $199£119/€199.

All products are due out in the States in October - no word on a European release as of yet.