I’m on a quest to find a great affordable triathlon watch. Finding a really water resistant (from ATM 3) watch with good functions isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. After searching the internet, contacting manufacturers and visiting stores, I decided to test some alternatives and compare them a bit. The first candidate that landed on my wrist is the 820i model of GoWatch (from the manufacturer GoLife). With a price tag of way under 100 EUR!
Or actually I already tested TomTom MultiSport Cardio and Adidas FitSmart, but the first one was a disappointment in swimming (bad tracking, no open water swimming) and the second one is not suitable for swimming at all.
First impression of 820i
The watch gives a good solid impression. Unboxing not that spectacular but where is it? As the battery was almost empty I decided to charge the watch first for some time. The connectors and chargers clicked together and the watch started charging. It took a bit time to find the find position until the connectors got connected, but charging worked well.
Running with a watch with integrated GPS function gives you the freedom to leave your smartphone home. Only if these waterproof smartwatches would have 3G/4G and heart rate sensor (we’ll get to this matter later!). The first run was good and the route was tracked perfectly.
The watch comes with an App called GoLife. Really popular in the east and for a reason. The data the app gives about your run ja performance is overwhelming. I don’t even know how to take advantage of all that data, but for someone who really trains for some competition (like Ironman distance of triathlon) there’s a lot of useful data.
820i in action
As the watch states to be a triathlon watch, there’s no better test environment than a triathlon race. I wore the watch during my Frankfurt City Triathlon to put the watch in real testing.
The race started on a sunny sunday morning as I and all the other hit the water. With a couple of buttons I activated the triathlon mode and started the race. Apparently the GPS module gets disabled for swimming (like in many other models), as the swimming route wasn’t tracked. Have to test this later again.
Getting out of the water meant also one click on the watch. The transition 1 begins. As the water was warm enough neopren suits were not allowed – meaning slower swimming, but a bit faster transition. Next click on the watch was by the time I jumped on the bike – cycling start. After the really nice (but windy) route to the heart of Frankfurt, it was time for the transition 2. Again a click to start the transition and another to start the run.
Arriving to the goal is always great, regardless of your time. This makes sports just awesome. This can also make you forget to stop your watch! But after about good minutes in the goal, I remembered to click one last time the watch to stop the tracking.
Looking at the race results in the app was quite entertaining. You can really see the ups and downs, high speed and low speed parts and everything.
The 820i model from GoLife is a good solid triathlon watch for basic usage. You can track the route, it has a triathlon mode for the competitions and a really good app to check your data.
What is missing is an integrated heart rate measuring sensor and modern colourfull display. With a better display the watch could make it to my daily usage. Now the watch is my favourite triathlon watch, but only for the sessions which I want to track.
If you’re looking for a good solid triathlon watch, you should definitely try the 820i. Have your one sent directly from the manufacturer and cut the middlemen to save some extra money!