Fitness GPS watches w/music

Spooky68

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Aug 24, 2014
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I’m trying to find a way to track time and distance for running, biking, and swimming. I also want to download music to the device and stream to Bluetooth ear phones. I don’t want to attach my phone to my arm/leg/ torso etc...so I was thinking some kind of watch. I don’t need pre loaded exercise programs, O2 sensors, heart rate monitor, maps, menstral tracking, pay options or any of that other bs. I just need, how far? How long? and music. Obviously waterproof for swimming. Anyone have suggestions for something this basic?
 

E. Bryant

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I've got the Fitbit Ionic, and use it as a watch and for monitoring biometrics. It does indeed have a ton of additional features, but I've never once thought about setting it up for payments or whatever other crap it may offer.

Integration with Strava is pretty straight-forward for running and cycling (and maybe swimming, although I've never tried to record one of those workouts). It will record many other types of workouts (such as weight training), but it does not pass along that info via the Strava API. The integrated heart rate monitor is really nice for those days when I don't want to bother with putting on a chest strap, and tracking overnight resting heart rate is the single best indicator of fatigue/recovery/illness that I routinely monitor. Battery life is decent; several days when not actively recording a workout using GPS, and about 7-8 hours of recording with GPS turned on.

Durability has been so-so. The Ionic is nominally waterproof and I've yet to crack the screen despite several good attempts, but my first unit mysteriously shit the bed just prior to the 2-year mark. I briefly shopped some alternatives - namely, the Garmin Fenix - and bought another Ionic.
 

Spooky68

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Thanks! I’ve been leaning towards the Garmin Vivioactive 4. Downloading amazon music playlists was a plus. I’ve discovered that there really isn’t a simplistic device. That Fitbit is worth looking at a little deeper though.
 
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M8541Reaper

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I wanted the same thing so I could leave the phone at home, but ended up going with the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. It has a lot of the stuff you aren’t looking for but, their earlier models are slimmed down and should fit your needs.

Initially I didn’t want or need any of the extra sensors and stuff either, but what I found was that the battery life, glass durability/quality, music play time, gps tracking, and map features (these are pretty much the only features I care about) were better with this model.
 

Spooky68

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I’m usually the type of guy who will go all out on gear and throw money at the top of the line stuff...but I’m finding myself doing that less and less. No doubt that Fenix is a piece of badass kit but it is just too much. Thanks for the suggestion though.

The watch will only be worn during the exercise activity and will be taken off afterwards to charge etc... so while battery life is important it only needs to go an hour or so. If I break the watch while running I’m doing something very very wrong😀
 
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mzvarner

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Another Fenix 5 user. I dont use Strava, I just stick with Garmin Connect. I also do not use any of the pay by watch features, and i dont even load music on it since i always have my phone.

I have enjoyed the auto route feature where you just set a distance and it maps a route for you. It takes some toying with at first, but is really nice. I also use mine to track dirt bike rides, as well as road and mtn bikes.

For others reading this. It IS NOT like an apple watch in that it can be used in place of your cell phone. It WILL show texts and other notifications, but in order to reply you can choose from preset basic responses or use your phone.

It also has a lot of training metrics that can be overwhelming or discouraging if your only using them as a means to measure progress. You really should look at lift maxes, improved lap times, overall time to recover, etc and not just the estimated VO2 max, lactate threshold, training status, etc.
 

Crabcore

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you should check out the Garmin 245M. there is a 245, and the 245M (M for music), so make sure to check out the correct one. I think it will do everything you are looking for. I wear a plain 245 every day as my regular watch. I do not think the 245 series watches can track an open water swim, but i do think they work in a pool. Full disclosure, I only use my 245 for running; I track swims with my trusty 920.

here is an overview

Garmin 245 Music review
 
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