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Need help deciding on a new GPS watch (Read 1012 times)

    I currently have a forerunner 305 that is over 4 years old and still working as good as new (knock on wood). But with so many new watches out there, I'm looking to replace my gigantic 305 with something a little smaller. I have done plenty of research but after reading dozens of in-dept reviews, I'm just more confused than ever on which one to get.

     

    Must have features...

     

    • Durability - I want something that is going to last miles and years just as my 305 has. I will keep my 305 until it dies, I just want something that feels and looks more like a watch than a computer, especially being a women who does lunch time runs. It would be nice if my day-to-day watch was also my GPS running watch.
    • Battery life - I love that my 305 charges while it syncs so I know it's always at full or near full charge when I head out for my next run.  Most of my runs are less than an hour and my longest runs will be half marathons so a 5 hour battery with GPS and 2-3 weeks standby time is fine. I run every other day so it would get charged just about every other day.
    • Waterproof - While I would love for my running watch to be waterproof, it's not a deal breaker. I do run in the rain and it is humid a lot in the south so it will get wet by rain and sweat but never submerged in water.
    • Intervals or Walk/Run feature - I'm a run/walker so the ability to do run/walk intervals is definitely a must!
    • Heart rate monitor - I run by feel/effort and HR and rarely by pace so HR monitor is more important to me than "real-time" pace.
    • Low Price - Ideally I would like to stay under $200 but it seems like my choices are limited under that price point. Max price is $300.
    • Must work with RunningAhead! I have tried MayMyRun and Training Peaks but I keep coming back to RunningAhead.
    • Brand - I prefer Garmin but as long as it has all my must have features, I don't really care what brand it is.

      The Garmin Forerunner 210 is the product that meets all of your requirements, except that it does not have an explicit Run/Walk feature.  It does have an Interval timer, though, and as you understand this can easily be configured for Run/Walk application.

       

      I have run with many many GPS running watches from lots of different manufacturers (seriously -- it's part of my job).  If I were spending my own $$, the 210 would definitely be the product I would purchase.  In my view it is the best value available.

       

      Sometimes people call me out on these forums for my vested interest, which is fine, so I'll save them the trouble and tell you that I work for Garmin.  Nevertheless (take it or leave it) it is my honest opinion that the Forerunner 210 is the best answer for you.  And this is a good week to get my truly honest and unbiased opinion, because I am very very unhappy (might even say massively hacked off) with my employer this week.  Dead

       

      Good luck!

      - Joe

      all running goals are under review by the executive committee.


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        Garmin 610 hits everything but the low price.  Touch-screen is a nice innovation, but prolly not worth $100 over the 210.

        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

        Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon


        Prince of Fatness

          The Garmin Forerunner 210 is the product that meets all of your requirements, except that it does not have an explicit Run/Walk feature.  It does have an Interval timer, though, and as you understand this can easily be configured for Run/Walk application.

           

          +1.  Regarding the intervals you cannot program complex workouts with it but as long as your run / walk segments are static throughout the workout it will work fine.  Also it saves the last interval workout that you programmed in, so if you do the same workout over and over again after the first time all you need to do is turn the interval feature on.

           

          Also I do not have a HR monitor with my 210 .... I believe that you add that on at an incremental cost.

          Semi-retired.

             

            Also I do not have a HR monitor with my 210 .... I believe that you add that on at an incremental cost.

             

            Your 305 HRM should work with the 210.  No need to buy another HRM.

              If HRM is not a requirement then the new Garmin 10 might be an alternative, has a basic run/walk function for about $70 less than the Garmin210, or if HRM more important than run/walk, then I'd go with 110.  One could walk for 100 steps or so every time the watch beeps for the mile Lap.  If you absolutely need both features the 305 might be your cheapest alternative, almost looks like Garmin did this to protect each of the product lines.  

               

              From DCRainmaker's excellent review

               


              Over Analyzer of My Log

                http://dcrainmaker.com. Best place to learn about all the options. I have a timex run trainer and it's perfect for my use and budget. Only drawback is that I manually upload the files to RA after saving them in the device manager software but it's so easy it's barely worth pointing out.

                Rodgers Running

                2012 Goals

                Run a 10K 15K Half Marathon

                  ...almost looks like Garmin did this to protect each of the product lines.  

                   

                   

                  I wish we were really that smart.  Wink

                  - Joe

                  all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                    http://dcrainmaker.com. Best place to learn about all the options. I have a timex run trainer and it's perfect for my use and budget. Only drawback is that I manually upload the files to RA after saving them in the device manager software but it's so easy it's barely worth pointing out.

                     

                    rainmaker is great (and I understand he is also a great guy), but I personally think he is a bit out on the fringe as a reviewer for most everyday runners.  If you are a hardcore triathlete who loves techy gear and lots of bells and whistles, then he is your man.  But if you are primarily a runner, and maybe even a fairly recreational/casual one at that, then I don't think his reviews are as helpful.

                    - Joe

                    all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                      rainmaker is great (and I understand he is also a great guy), but I personally think he is a bit out on the fringe as a reviewer for most everyday runners.  If you are a hardcore triathlete who loves techy gear and lots of bells and whistles, then he is your man.  But if you are primarily a runner, and maybe even a fairly recreational/casual one at that, then I don't think his reviews are as helpful.

                       

                      As a recreational runner, I think that rainmaker does excellent reviews.  I recently used his reviews (along with a few others) to help me decide

                       

                      which GPS to purchase after killing my third Garmin 305.  I just skip all of the bike / swim stuff Smile    

                       

                       

                      Garmin 310xt Wink

                      steph  

                       

                      OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                        FWIW, I really dig my 610 (after years of being an Ironman, uh, man).  I got around the price issue by getting someone to buy it for me as a gift.  Wink

                        "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                        Jack Kerouac

                        xor


                          I think rainmaker's reviews are helpful mostly because he's da guy.  It's hard to find as much side-by-side stuff elsewhere.

                           

                          I'm another nontriathlete with a 310xt.  While I don't care about the triathlete hoohah, the waterproofness is good (especially compared to the touch bezel stuff), and the loooong battery life is the thing.

                           

                          Which, btw, I would not wear as a 'watch'.

                           

                          Anyway, as 'waterproof' and battery life are two things on your list, then the 310xt and the 910 may be your two choices.  But the 910 is really spendy.

                           

                          StellarsJJayS


                            It souldns to me like you want a 305 only smaller.  That, I think, is a 310 or 310x or something like.  I have 205, which is the same as a 305 except no heart rate monitor.  Yes, it's bigg-ish, but I've gotten used to it, and have no intention of wearing it as an everyday watch.  My suggestion is continue using the 305 until it dies (indefinitely!) then buy another 305 at rock bottom prices!!!

                            Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.

                              -- Berra

                             

                            No matter how fast you are, you'll never out run a Polar Bear

                             

                              Garmin 610 hits everything but the low price.  Touch-screen is a nice innovation, but prolly not worth $100 over the 210.

                               

                              Gotta say the 610 is really easy to use. I think most of it's features were on my old 305 but I could never figure out how to use them w/o effort.

                               

                              My biggest gripe with the 610 is the band isn't very robust at all. I think Rainmaker has noted this as well. A couple weeks back I was 10 minutes into a cyclocross race and the vibrations from riding off road took one of the pins right out. Well, it only needs to slide 1.5mm to become unhinged and fall off. Considering it's cost I was happy I noticed it fall off and  was quick to go back and find it.


                              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                                Gotta say the 610 is really easy to use. I think most of it's features were on my old 305 but I could never figure out how to use them w/o effort.

                                 

                                My biggest gripe with the 610 is the band isn't very robust at all. I think Rainmaker has noted this as well. A couple weeks back I was 10 minutes into a cyclocross race and the vibrations from riding off road took one of the pins right out. Well, it only needs to slide 1.5mm to become unhinged and fall off. Considering it's cost I was happy I noticed it fall off and  was quick to go back and find it.

                                 

                                The battery is a bit disappointing with the 610 -- but now I keep it on the charger all day, so that helps.


                                A friend has the same pin issues -- if you bend the pin slightly and shove it back in place it won't fall out.

                                 

                                My little annoyance with the 610 is based on the a UI nigglet: when running in the dark, I have the watch set so if I tap on the face it lights for 5 seconds.  Unfortunately, that is also a signal to rotate between training pages.  So instead of tap to see what I want, it becomes "tap tap tap tap" to move through the screens back to the original one on display to see it lit up.

                                 

                                Now I just have the watch set to keep the light on all the time.

                                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

                                Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

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