Garmin Running Dynamics Pod Review: Better Than a Strap?

No one likes anything that holds them back from going forward. Be it your weekend sleep stopping you from working out or chest straps making you feel uncomfortable at a smooth morning jog.

Fitness tech and gadgets are being developed daily to provide everyone with ease and convenience. On that note, thanks to Garmin Running Dynamics Pod, counting running dynamics have never been more effortless.

The Pod hooks to the belt worn on your waist (waistband) and records your running statistics to help you keep track and improve over time. In addition, this innovative pod allows you to jog without using a chest strap for a wearable heart monitor.

You have to simply plug it into the backside and middle of your waistband after it’s been linked with your supported smartwatch/wearable wrist device. Afterward, it is all-smooth jogging for you!

However, is this Garmin running pod just another fitness gadget on the market? Or does it offer valuable power data to you? Let’s get on to our review to find out!

1. Design

With this Running Dynamics pod from Garmin, movement is made super easy for you. In addition, this neon-lime-looking pod provides you with much more comfort than conventional chest straps. Although, if compared, the pod is even smaller than those mini m&m candies we buy, we hope that speaks for itself. 

Now, we do not know why Garmin made it this small and put it in a box. But we surely know it will easily clip to your running clothes with the small clip-like button on the back of the pod. The pod measures 37.6 x 23.2 x 19.2mm and weighs about 14 grams. Do not worry about misplacing it because smartwatches remind you to remove the pod after you’re done running.

The material of the pod is made of green silicon wrapped alongside a black rubber puck. The pod is known to have a great battery life span of about one year; thus, taking down the pod for recharge would not be necessary for a long time.

While the silicone wrap is undoubtedly a good part of the pod with its 1ATM waterproof rating, we would not recommend you to go diving or swimming with the pod on. But again, a buttonless design with a great battery life saves you many hassles.

It is undeniable that we do prefer comfort over everything when carrying things around; thereby, Garmin seems to have done a great job designing this pod to our convenience. However, remember that the pod needs to be linked with Garmin Connect 2 gears to evaluate the numbers.

2. Features

01.

Accelerometer to Measure Statistics

The accelerometer built inside the pod will give you your needed power data readings.

It is made to process stats by reading your Contact Time Balance and Contact Time on the Ground and Vertical Oscillation, Vertical Ratio, and Running Cadence. This Garmin pod considers these metrics to produce the readings.

  • The series of phases per minute is referred to as cadence. It shows the total steps taken (left side and right side both). 
  • While jogging, the contact time balance on ground indicates your ground contact time’s right side to left side balancing. For instance, it shows the total percentage of 53.2, with a pointer moving either on the left side or the right side.
  • Your bounces while running is called vertical oscillation. It shows your torso’s vertical movement, recorded in centimeters for every stride. 
  • The vertical ratio is the amount of vertical movement divided by the stride length. Therefore, a lower score signifies a better jogging style. 
  • Contact time on the ground refers to how much time (in milliseconds) that the runner is investing on ground surface for each step.

Additionally, there is also stride length. The width of your step from one stride to the next is known as stride length. The size is expressed in meters in the pod.

On the other hand, note that the pod does not provide you with heart rate stats. Therefore, if you wish to obtain heart dynamics as well, you should pair your pod with a smartwatch (we would recommend Garmin watches). It is inevitable to pair your pod with a wearable smart device regardless.

02.

Connectivity

Most commonly, people have loved the connectivity ease of this pod. All you have to do is visit your compatible smartwatch’s sensors settings/menu and pair it like you pair Bluetooth devices, same method. 

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Data would be getting displayed while you are on the run but will serve you with the complete summarized data after you are done. The metrics will be individually showcased with stats. So convenient!

However, there have been complaints about the pod getting disconnected frequently when the runners are in motion; this might be a significant downside to this versatile pod.

03.

App-Tech Suitable

Let us restate that using a smartwatch with the pod is convenient and necessary without any alternatives. To enjoy the most of the Garmin pod’s tech features, you might as well get a Garmin smartwatch.

The pod is designed to send all your power data with your compatible smartwatch and its relevant app. For example, the Garmin smartwatch being in linked with the Connect App from Garmin. The data is showcased as graphs with necessary markers and indicators.

This is precisely the time the matrices will be easy for you to evaluate while you wake up the next day to beat yesterday’s scores, as Garmin says! So, remember its past you VS present you; build yourself accordingly with this gadget’s data.

04.

Battery Life

CR1632 batteries are used in this pod. These batteries remove the need to recharge the pod every while. This is because you can achieve the run time of a year with the health of this battery.

Thereby, you would not need to worry about recharging it and reusing it the next day as you are good to go for a year.

05.

Durability: Resistant to Water

As mentioned, priorly, the rubbery lime-green case and the black puck are exceptionally designed to provide utmost ease to the users. However, misplacing can be a problem; then again, some smartwatches send out notifications to remind you to remove the pod after the run is done.

Some people advise attaching the pod to the laces of your shoe when done so that you remember to take it off.

The silicone material is waterproof and has a 1ATM rating, but it is still suggested that you do not use it during swimming or wash it excessively.

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3. Performance

As advertised, the running dynamics pod from Garmin sticks as precisely as it can to the promised metrics and gives nearly the most accurate power data possible.

You can go ahead and use alternative motion trackers or monitors. But pairing this pod with a compatible smartwatch will give you the perfect cadence stat that the other gadgets wouldn’t.

Moreover, it turns on or off depending on your activities and how you use them. Even if you forget to turn it off, no worries! Remember that it has the best battery life out there for a pod-reader.

On the contrary, there are points to note when accuracy is concerned. For instance, data might not be 100% accurate during your run if you are swinging your arms or holding something in hand. Or there is something unconventional about your posture than the classing jogging. This does not indicate something wrong with the pod. But it is undoubtedly our way to advise you to use it right when you jog.

4. Value for Money

When it comes to the prices, we believe that this Dynamics Pod from Garmin is available in the market at a very fair price for the value it offers. 

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Some people might disagree. It only makes sense because the pod will always need a complementary relevant smartwatch to fulfill its purpose. In that case, maybe select an addition accordingly.

For example, if you already own a smartwatch, go and buy the running dynamics pod, and if you already own a pod..well, you know the answer! So, we are indeed now relating to what the customers might have been saying.

The Dynamics Pod from Garmin is many times compared with the Stryd Pod Sensor in the market. However, we honor the comparison because these two tech gadgets are undoubtedly perfect rivals.

However, we would gladly have to choose this Dynamics Pod from Garmin over Stryd Sensor since the Garmin pod can be purchased for fifty percent or even less than the price of Stryd Sensor.

It is true that Garmin does not have the best list of devices that it is compatible with for a smartwatch. But when compared with the price range, it gives way more than what it charges.

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HRM straps are also held against Dynamics Pod in terms of additional features. However, the whole point of Garmin’s pod is providing you with ease of movement while HRM straps oppose that exact idea.

And remember, a good purchase that breaks your bank is not an expense but rather an investment that will serve you for long.

5. Our Rating

7.9 Total Score
Garmin Running Dynamics Pod

The Garmin Running Dynamics Pod offers a neon style, ease of carrying (no-strap) sensor, and great battery life with six impressive metrics that are essential for keeping the best record of your running journey.

Design
8
Features
7
Performance
8
Value for Money
8.5
PROS
  • Budget-friendly; way less than other similar trackers in the market
  • Excellent battery life; up to 1-year of usage without recharging
  • Six metrics were taken to produce reading
  • Portability ensures; small, lightweight
  • Water-resistant; 1ATM rating
  • Durable; silicon rubber content
  • Precise accuracy data; showcased later on the app
CONS
  • Not of use as it is stand-alone; requires links with smartwatches to work
  • It can only be paired with devices with Connect IQ2 software
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