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Garmin Forerunner 220 Review

As some of you may remember earlier in January, I splurged and bought myself an early birthday gift.

I was so excited that I even ordered overnight shipping to take it on my Saturday long run. I was especially excited about the live tracking feature so B wouldn't be too worried during my runs. Well, I am sad to report things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. 

I set up the watch to the exact specification on the Owner's Manuel. Linked via Bluetooth, time, satellite and downloaded the software to send data to my computer. Even better the data would transfer onto my phone via the Garmin Connect application on my iPhone. 

I went out for my run, satellites were found, but the watch wouldn't link to my phone. So I couldn't send Live Tracking to B. I chalked it up to "I am rushing it, I will deal with it after". The run was great! My laps were excellent and the watch vibrated to let me know when I hit my miles.

After being exhilarated from my run, I couldn't wait to look at the splits on my computer. Well, I had trouble with my phone linking to the watch, again. 

I patiently waited and followed all the direction to pair the watch to my phone. I spent a good 2 hours staring at the screen.

I would then verify the passkey on the mobile app and would wait to pair.

I continued the steps for what felt like forever. I even tried to plug the watch into the computer; no dice. I cried a little, walked away to reset my brain and tried again. 

Sadly the watch defeated me. I had spent a good deal of money, time, and speaking to Garmin support with no solution. I reluctantly returned the watch despite my inner runner screaming at me to just deal with it. 

I have heard other reviews from runners and really expected everything go smoothly. Maybe I got a dud and need to try again. What can I say? I love my Garmin Forerunner 205.

I am sure I will try to upgrade to another Garmin in the future. The brand has been really good to me, so it was hard to write this review.

Have you had any issues with new running technology you were excited about?

Any new watch recommendations? 

Happy Running!


  1. Oh no! Bummer it wouldn't work for you. I had the HARDest time getting my computer to recognize my Garmin10 when I got it. Like you, hours and hours trying to figure it out & with phone support. I eventually gave up. One day, I plugged it in to charge and BAM! It linked. Weird. Technology... I'll never pretend to understand. LOL

  2. What a bummer.... I hate it when technology doesn't work how you expect it to.

  3. The Garmin Forerunner 220 looks rather stylish, hate that it didn't workout for you. I was really excited to try out the Nike+ SportWatch. Went for a nice 3 mile run and noticed that my pace per minute according to the watch was totally incorrect. I was totally disappointed.

  4. After reading your review I did a little research. Looking over at dcrainmaker's in-depth review (in case anyone reading hasn't heard of him, he is the authoritative voice on reviews for this kind of stuff) found here: he mentions that there are some compatability issues with Bluetooth smart with some phones. If you have an Android or older iPhone (younger than 4s) that may have been your issue.

    For what it's worth, the blurb I found in his article is below:
    "With Bluetooth Smart being used here in the FR620, you’ll need an iPhone 4s or newer in order to take advantage of the uploads and connectivity. At this time, Android is not supported. Again, Android is not supported today. This is largely because the Android Bluetooth Smart story/support has been a complete cluster until recently (notably, Android OS version 4.3). Thus, it’s really only been the last couple of months that we’ve see that hit handsets, and even now for example, Samsung users in the US on AT&T only got it last week. Remember that Bluetooth Smart is a subset of Bluetooth 4.0. So it’s not only a case of ensuring your phone physically contains a Bluetooth 4.0 chipset, but also that the handset is running Android 4.3. And of course, beyond that, getting the app to support it (which, it doesn’t today)."

    1. Hi Cliff - Thanks for more info! I actually have the iPhone 4s and initially the watch and phone paired without any issues. I wish I could of understood why it worked during set up but not the following times. I spoke to Garmin support and they were unsure of the best resolution. I wish it had worked out because the features of the watch would of come in handy!

    2. Well darn! I thought I had found something for you to try. In any case it sounds like Garmin's bluetooth connectivity for this has a few kinks for work out. I am planning on buying the 620 once I get over my torn meniscus. I'll report back to you how the bluetooth connectivity works for me and my 5s.

      Silver Lining: maybe an android user read this and we helped them???

  5. sorry, that review was for the Garmin 620 but I forgot to mention that the Garmin 220 review, found here: refers you there. He does mention in the 220 review that: "Note that Garmin has not yet released the Android version, and has stated that’s coming in Q1 2014, so sometime between January and March 2014."

    Sorry for the confusion, hope this helps!

  6. Hi TCR, was your iPhone 4S running IOS 7?