Garmin has finally joined the competition in offering a sports GPS watch that tracks heart rate using optics built-into the watch rather than a connected chest strap. The Garmin Forerunner 225 will be the company's first optical HR watch.
Pocket-lint previously asked Garmin why it was sticking to chest straps over optical heart rate and was told the technology wasn't reliable enough yet.
It appears that's now changed after Garmin announced a partnership with Mio, which specialises in optical heart rate monitors. This apparently means EKG accuracy in HR data, right from the wrist.
That's not to say that chest straps, as an option, will be taken away anytime soon. The Forerunner 225 is a £240 watch meaning it's not a flagship offering, but more likely a testing ground for this new technology.
The Forerunner 225 will not only measure heart rate but will use an accelerometer to track running indoors. This will also act as an activity tracker to count steps throughout the day and will even alert the wearer to move if stagnant for too long.
The watch will show metrics like pace, distance, steps, calories burned, lap times and more.
All the data is shown off on the colour screen, the watch is waterproof to 50 metres and battery life should go a full month in watch mode with activity tracking, or seven hours in GPS mode with heart rate monitoring. Data is automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect via a paired smartphone.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 will be available in black/red from June for £240.