Best Non-Garmin GPS Watch (Read 1827 times)

    My Garmin 210 is giving me a blank screen after 3 months of service.   3 months of fun with it's stupid connector clip.


    This is my third Garmin product, and my third Garmin product to die in less than a year.  I'd like to take my business elsewhere.  Suggestions?

      I'm not sure you'll do better. I've got a 201 I've had since 2004 that still works perfectly and a 305 I bought because I wanted one that'll connect with USB.


      I go through Timex Ironman watches sans GPS much faster, usually only get 2-3 years out of them.


      I've heard good things about Suunto, to actually answer your question.

        I have no relevant input because I love my Garmin. If I were to switch, however, I would give serious thought to the Motorola one I saw at Best Buy a while ago. It holds music in addition to being a GPS watch & it's tiny & wireless. Can be worn as a watch or added to an armband. I'm on my phone or I would provide a link.

        I don't half-ass anything


        "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning



          While garmins are tricky beasts sometimes, if yours consistently go Boobies North in 3 months (or even "less than a year"), something's not right there.  I'm assuming you know how to do the various resets and that's not working for you.


          I've had my 310xt for 3ish years, and while it is spooky and I've had to reset it a few times, it is still functional.  I know lots of people with the old school 205/305, and those last for at least a couple years.


          Tomorrow will be worse

            I think the best suggestion would be to buy your next garmin from somewhere with a better warranty. Costco will take them back no questions asked if it's less than 6 months, and their prices are pretty good. If you have a credit card with buyer protection, that will give you a year replacement warranty (at least my Amex does).


            The motorola looks cool,  but only has 4 hr battery life so wireless is useless - you have to plug it in nearly every day anyway, and Suunto is rather expensive, as I understand it. I think the vast majority of people on here would recommend Garmin over the other options available, sorry. I'd say buy another one, but make sure you buy it from someplace that'll take it back if it goes tits-up again.

            Tomorrow will be worse

              ...I should add though that if you're that off of Garmin, you might think about checking some of the foot-pod options, like Nike+. I can't really comment on it though, since I have no experience with it.

                I have the Motorola Motoactv and it has much better than 4 hours of battery life. Recent software updates have increased the battery life up to close to 10 hours (gps only, no music or bluetooth). It's actually a really cool little gadget. If you run GPS, music, and ANT+ heart rate monitor you will get at least 6 hours. They have a setting now where it turns the screen off, but if you shake your wrist it will come on to view your stats. 


                I've also heard good things about the Timex Run Trainer. Timex has a new one that has GPS for $99, but you can't download your data, just view the splits and what not on the watch. 


                Anyways, just wanted to chime in on the Motoactv. Nice little product and the customer service is excellent. They are improving it all the time with software updates. 

                Running my way to being a little less fat.

                  Thanks all.  The 210 responded to inputs again after a restful 24 hours, and I was able to do a full reset and recharge.  We'll see.  Whatever replacement I buy, I'll buy at a bricks & mortar retailer where I can walk out with a replacement. 


                  Garmin said they'd repair under warranty, but I don't really think that this is an acceptable solution for newish consumer electronics anymore.  When my son's Kindle Fire malfunctioned, Amazon overnighted a new one free provided I gave a credit card # to guaranty my promise to return the defunct model.  I think that's the appropriate standard when a $200 item malfunctions when under warranty.

                    I've had 3 Garmins (FR 201,FR 205, FR 305) and a Polar RCX5.


                    The 201 I sold on ebay (to some fool who bid full price) and bought the 205 for the better GPS.

                    The 205 got me 3 years before corrosion on the battery contacts killed it. (I still have it if I can think of a way to replace those tiny copper contacts).

                    Still using the 305.


                    I won the Polar RCX5 and I would recommend it if the interval workout functionality wasn't so stupid.  You have to setup intervals on the computer and download to the watch.   With the 305, you can quickly set up an interval workout as you walk out the door (and change it right before you hit start) - not so with the newer (and much more expensive polar).  If you don't do intervals and don't mind a seperate GPS pod, you can try Polar. There are some positives (and quirks) with polar though, which is why they don't dominate the market like Garmin does.




                    I can't get the RCX5 .hrm files to upload to RunningAhead either! Another huge negative!!!

                    2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

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                      Garmin said they'd repair under warranty, but I don't really think that this is an acceptable solution for newish consumer electronics anymore.


                      I'm probably missing your point (a particular specialty of mine...), but I wanted point out that Garmin doesn't actually fix yours and send it back to you.  For your $79, they reach into the big bin of factory refurb'd units and ship that to you asap, and chuck your dead one in another bin to be completely refurb'd.

                      I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)


                        Meaning: you don't wait that long.


                        Also, do they even make 205s anymore?  I realize that you bought something new that was taken out of stock somewhere... but when it comes to equipment that a company stopped making (perhaps in this case maybe even a couple years ago), I dunno that expectations should be at the exact same level.


                        I take that previous paragraph back.  I don't know why I thought we were talking about 205s.


                          Assuming we're talking about a new-ish model (e.g. the 210 or 310XT): if I bought one that started developing issues after only 2-3 months, I don't want Garmin to replace it with a refurbished unit.  I want what I should be holding for what I paid so recently: a pretty much NEW unit that works properly.


                          (Maybe "refurb" still has a sloppy-seconds connotation.  Maybe it's my experience years ago with reconditioned electronics, which typically did NOT behave as first-quality despite the reconditioning.  Maybe it's just me.)

                          "I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

                          -- Dick LeBeau


                            Best GPS watch IS a Garmin. 


                            I've had my 205 over a year and half...bought it as a cheap refurbished model and haven't had a problem with it.  It's a little big and clunky, but I bought it cheap wanting to see how I felt about GPS, and didn't want to spend a fortune to do so.  When it does die, I will most definitely buy another Garmin.

                              Best GPS watch IS a Garmin.  


                              The fitness GPS market agrees with you.  Obviously, not everyone will have a great experience (if I had gotten a couple lemons I wouldn't be high on Garmin either), but I've found the Garmins have best product when you consider:


                              1. functionality (ease of use) / 2. GPS performance/ 3.  price /  4. durablity .  Garmin has the best mix of the 4, IMHO.  Durability might be the Garmin weak point, but that is generally tied close to price.  The Garmin software is weak too, but with all the 3rd party options out there, I don't consider this important anymore.


                              Compared to Polar (my other personal data point) for example, you can perhaps get better durability and equal performance....but... you give back other areas, like functionality and definitely price.


                              There is more competition than there was 3-4 years ago in most of the key price points, so that's good.  Timex is finally giving Garmin a run in the lower price ranges.

                              2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

                                I have a Garmin 405 and a Polar RCX5. The Polar is more durable and would be my preferred device except for one thing: no "lap pace" feature. Polar's opinion is that this feature isn't important because you can get better pace data from their foot pod, but after trying to perfect the foot pod calibrations, I disagree with them.


                                All of which goes to say I think "lap pace" is a critical feature. If you don't, and durability is your main concern, I'd highly recommend the Polar.

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