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Garmin 210 vs Motoactv (Read 2395 times)

dhawk312


    I'm new to RA but I've been running for a while now. For the past 6 months or so I've been running with my Android phone to log distance, program intervals, and listen to music. I use apps like Runkeeper or MyTracks then import the logs here. I have an armband but still managed to drop my phone several times. I'm now looking to 'upgrade' to a GPS watch that can (mostly) replace my phone.

     

    After reading reviews all over, including DC Rainmaker's awesome site, I've narrowed my choice down to a Garmin 210 or a Motoactv. I've never worn or used a watch like these. I was pretty set on the 210 (and iPod for music) until I learned that it lacks what I consider essential features, such as workouts. The Motoactv seems to be a complete replacement, but reviews are way more mixed, and I can't find any blogs or reviews that discuss how the rapid firmware updates are actually improving it (e.g., how long is battery life with the recent updates, have any newer functions been added, how accurate is the GPS and calorie measure vs Garmin, etc.).

     

    I really didn't think selecting a GPS watch would be so difficult but there are SO many on the market. I think my demands in a watch are pretty reasonable and fall in line with most runners today. My price limit is around $200-250, which puts the 610 out of reach even though it's a better device for what I want to do than the 210. The 410 also seems like a good alternative but the Garmin forums are littered with people complaining of touch bezels issues with many noting that their bezel interface stopped working after several months. The Motoactv is in this price range with the features I want. Motorola also keeps running promotions putting it in the $180 range. But, it has such mixed reviews that I keep coming back the seemingly trusty FR210. The 210 price doesn't seem to fluctuate much and the people selling used Garmin GPS watches on eBay/Craigslist seem way too overpriced to me.

     

    Any comments about these watches would be great. I'm basically to the point where I want to buy both at BestBuy, running in them for 2 weeks, then return the 'loser.'

     

    Thanks.

      I have owned both.

       

      While the Motoactv has a more impressive feature set, it lacks in execution. Mine was very buggy. Even the second one I had gotten was buggy so they both went back to the retailer. Their web portal is horrible which makes it frustrating to use. 

       

      While the 210 may have less features, the ones that it does have work flawlessly. I now run exclusively with my 210. You can't program workouts, but you can set alerts for time or distance so if you were going to sprint 200m then rest for 30 seconds, and repeat you could do that. I use the alerts for run/walk method. 

       

      In order to upload into RA, with Motoactv you would have to load the run into their web portal, then download a csv from their site, save it to your computer then upload it here to RA. Kind of a pain considering the 210 will upload directly into RA. 

       

      To Motorola's credit, they do updates regularly which do improve the product, but if I'm spending $200 I want something that functions perfectly from the start.

       

      Hope this helps somewhat.

      Running my way to being a little less fat.

        Why not consider the Garmin 305?  Its inexpensive and has the workout feature.

        dhawk312


          Why not consider the Garmin 305?  Its inexpensive and has the workout feature.

           

          305 is way too bulky. I plan on wearing which ever watch I buy around all day.  And, with the 305's age, unless I buy it refurbished I don't want to deal with replacing the battery.

           

           

           

          @Montco - can you elaborate more on the alerts and intervals? I haven't read anything about this feature but it seems to fit my basic workout needs. Are the alerts audio? Do they vibrate? How complex can you make the intervals? Will they also work for HR ranges? Do you wear your 210 all day?

            Audio alerts only.

             

            The very basic workouts or "alerts" feature has one "work" function and one "rest function". They can be set up by time or distance. So you could set it up to do one of the following:

             

            Workout 1:

            Warmup 5 min, Run 1 mile, Walk 1 minute, Run 1 mile (repeat up to 99x) then Cooldown 5 min.

             

            Workout 2:

            Warmup 1 mile, Run 12 minutes, Rest 30 seconds, Run 12 minutes, Rest 30 seconds (repeat up to 99x) then Cooldown 5 min.

             

            So basically you just can't fully customize to where the distance changes mid workout. Once you set up your "work" and "rest" functions it will only repeat those over and over and will chirp when it's time to switch things up.

            Running my way to being a little less fat.

              Which watch (which watch - hahahah) are you describing, Montco?  If 210, the lack of customizable workouts would be a deal-breaker.

               

              FYI - my thoughts when I made my latest decision:

               

              205 & 305 - have fully customizable advanced workout features with audibile only alerts, no vibration engine.

               

              Motoactv - has advanced workout features with audible-only alerts BUT they are through a pair of headphones.  Barring any other problems or features, this is a deal-breaker for me.

               

              Based on all the research I did on the watches currently available, I came to the conclusion that the 205 (no HR monitor) was still the champion of watches for someone like me (runs lots of advanced workouts on roads/bikepaths, doesn't use the thing as a all-day watch, doesn't need an HR montior, doesn't do triathlons or swim with it, doesn't do ultramarathons requiring battery life longer than ~ 4 or 5 hours, screen is big enough that my 51 year-old eyes can still read it in low light conditions).  It helps that I've owned two other 205/305's that have lasted for years (misplaced the last one).  I just bought a new 205 at Amazon for $141 total.

                I was describing the 210. 

                 

                I've owned the 305, 210, 610 (briefly - returned it) and Motoactv. I'll take the 210 every time. The only downside to the 210 is the process of connecting to the charger clip. 

                 

                The 305 was perfect, but way too bulky for me. The 610 was great, but I already had the 210 and decided it wasn't worth the extra money in the long run so I returned it. I returned the Motoactv because I felt like I was part of their "focus group" and testing the product because it was so buggy at times.

                Running my way to being a little less fat.

                  I was describing the 210. 

                   

                  I've owned the 305, 210, 610 (briefly - returned it) and Motoactv. I'll take the 210 every time. The only downside to the 210 is the process of connecting to the charger clip. 

                   

                  The 305 was perfect, but way too bulky for me. The 610 was great, but I already had the 210 and decided it wasn't worth the extra money in the long run so I returned it. I returned the Motoactv because I felt like I was part of their "focus group" and testing the product because it was so buggy at times.

                   

                  I got the sense that the Motoactv was 'buggy' from all the reviews I read on it.  I really, really wanted to like it and buy it but decided against it.    Rainmaker has good things to say about it but most users have problems with it, from what I could tell.  This is good discussion for us GPS addicts.

                  The 205/305 are definitely bulky but I guess after years of wearing them I don't even notice the bulk.  

                   

                  MTA - you mentioned another thing I like about the 205/305 ... the way it is attached to the computer and charged.  I like that it's not an ANT device.  Plus, since I've owned two previous 205/305's, I have two extra sets of crades/cables.  I'm able to have a cradle at my work cubicle, one in my car and one at home.  Sweet!  My 205 is always charged and at the ready.

                    No doubt that if you don't mind the bulk, the 205/305 is the way to go. Well, it used to be the way to go. The prices on the 305 have skyrocketed since it is discontinued. When I bought mine it was $128 on Amazon a while back. Now it is much more than that. Although I think you can get the 205 for around that price, but the no heart rate is a deal breaker for me. 

                     

                    DCRainmaker is a great reviewer, but he made that Motoactv review really early on in the release, and all the bugs hadn't really come out yet. Back then it was mostly the battery life people were complaining about, but that has been somewhat fixed. For me it was all about how buggy the web portal is, and my Motoactv would just randomly shut off and what not. 

                     

                    DCR also said that the 210 is the perfect option for 95% of runners, but if you needed more advanced workouts to pony up for the 610 if you have an extra $150 to spend.

                    Running my way to being a little less fat.

                    dhawk312


                      Thanks for all the feedback on this. I actually settled on a 305 before but once the price started going up so much I decided that it'd be better to move on to a newer device that I can wear most of the day.

                       

                      The audio only alerts is problematic for me because I listen to music or podcasts when I run. With my Android phone I just set my audio alerts to be louder than my music, and I set the phone to vibrate for running alerts too just in case I miss the audio cue. I guess this would mean the 210 is out. I would consider the 410/405 if people here say good things about them, as they are around the same price as the 210 on Amazon. I haven't heard many good things about the touch bezel interface though. Maybe I'll look around for a used or refurbed 610.


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        I'm not sure what I would do if I wanted advanced workouts.  I've used it a few times on my 305, but not enough where I would call it a necessity.

                         

                        I LOVED my first 305...it was wonderful and trouble-free for about 3 years.  Then it literally stated to fall apart and would crash at random.  Battery life was always good, but I also let it live on the cradle when not in use.

                         

                        My 2nd 305...meh.  It's a lemon much of the time.  And it doesn't play nice with RA once it has more than a few workouts on it.  I have an Edge 500 bike computer that works with RA MUCH more reliably.  Towards the end of its life my first 305 didn't always upload easily, either, so I suspect it has something to do with it being older technology.

                         

                        When my current 305 dies I'm not sure what I will replace it with.  I have never once used the HRM, so I don't need that feature.

                        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          The 610 went on sale recently at REI for $259. Unfortunately that sale has ended, but at least it shows the it can go that low. Just gotta keep an eye out. 

                           

                          You might want to consider another brand, maybe like the Timex Run Trainer. Check out DC Rainmaker's review as it is very thorough, and he seems to like it. Not sure if it has a vibration feature though. 

                           

                          Magellan is set to release the Switch, which has vibration alert and you can customize workouts. That's more than the 210 in cost, but less than the 610. It's either just released or will be shortly.

                          Running my way to being a little less fat.

                            There is also the 310 which is water proof and can provide alerts via vibration.  I love these two features but I am not going to pay an extra $100 for them!

                              Yea, the 310xt is a great option if you don't mind the bulkiness. If I'm not mistaken it's roughly the same size as the 305.

                              Running my way to being a little less fat.

                              xor


                                Sorta kinda.  It is a different form factor really.  Check dcrainmaker's review of the 910xt... he puts all the various units on a rolling pin side by side and you can see the size differences.  It's not that the 310xt is a lot smaller than the 205/305, it's a LITTLE smaller, but also a different shape.

                                 

                                Wearing it as a watch aside... which I wouldn't do... I really do not notice the "bulkiness" of my 310 when I run. 

                                 

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