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176 Reviews
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent product
I've had this watch for a couple of weeks. Having never used anything like this before, and only 6mths into running/fitness, i was very unsure whether to spend this kind of money and especially as it only had 7 reviews at the time. But i read a lot of reviews on other similar products, and the older Garmin ones, and felt that getting the latest version was a chance worth...
Published on 31 Dec 2011 by nick

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate Distances and Pace
I bought this after running for a year. I was training for a half marathon. It took some time to understand how to use it, how to connect it, etc; not fully intuitive, in my opinion.

My main problem is that while running my half marathon, I discovered the watch was not accurately calculating distance. This, obviously, impacts the pace it says you are running at...
Published 3 months ago by ENelson


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent product, 31 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I've had this watch for a couple of weeks. Having never used anything like this before, and only 6mths into running/fitness, i was very unsure whether to spend this kind of money and especially as it only had 7 reviews at the time. But i read a lot of reviews on other similar products, and the older Garmin ones, and felt that getting the latest version was a chance worth taking, on the basis that most of the -ve's points in the reviews on the older Garmin products would probably have been addressed with the 610 (eg buttons on the older watches, poor battery life etc etc). And i have to say, it would seem that's been the case.

I've used the watch for a couple of 10k runs outside, and about 15 hrs at the gym.

It does everything that it claims to, and very well:

Satellites take 30 seconds or so to locate.

The "swipe" touchscreen is excellent. I just tap it and it changes to the next screen, so very good whilst running (Havn't used it in the rain, so i can't comment).

I'm not especially tech-oriented, but it is very intuitive. The manual is very straight forward and easy to read. I very quickly set-up the screens i wanted to see on the watch.

The HRM strap is very comfortable, and has never lost any signal to the watch.

The only area where i struggled a touch was the software, but if you follow the intructions (ie dont plug in the USB stick right away,,tempting tho it is, before going on the website). I clicked on the Garmin website link via the instruction disk. Created a sign-in, and after that you just click on upload. The data it provides is, for what i want, perfect. EG i set the watch to lap every KM (and also to alert me every KM). When uploaded, the website shows a breakdown of the time, elevation, HR etc etc for each lap, making comprisons very easy. The map of the route loads very quickly, as do charts showing HR, speed, pace etc. It shows very clearly all of the runs/activities, making historical comparisons very easy, and to monitor progress/improvement.

The battery life seems very good, and the alert to tell you the battery's low, gives a fair amount of notice. The wrist strap is very robust, but can be changed if necessary.

Overall, i'm pleasantly surprised at how good this is, and the fact that i actually use all its functionality.

I would highly recommend this product.
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118 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb addition to the Garmin forerunner line, 30 Aug 2011
By 
Steven Brown (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I picked this up almost as soon as it came out, as been desperate from an upgrade from my forerunner 305. Avoided the 405 due to the huge amount of criticism on the bezel control format.

Did have to think twice about spending such an amount on a running watch, but I'm pleased to report I've very happy with my purchase.

My main reasons for upgrading from the Forerunner 305 were, firstly, the very slow GPS pickup. If I had moved a fair distance, and started running, it could easily take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes to get satellite reception.
The 610, despite it's far smaller size, blows this out of the water. My average time so far has probably been about 30 seconds. Often less, though more a couple of times - but never more than a minute.

Secondly was the battery on my 305. Would only take a few decent sized runs before recharging was required. The 610 can manage about 8 hours. From what I've read, this isn't much better than a 405, but definitely better than my 305.

My worry on the 610 was the control mechanism. I was happy with the 305 controls, and the "improvement" on the 405 was regarded as a bit of a disaster.
The 610 has 3 hard buttons on the sizes (for power, start/stop, and lap/reset), everything else is touch screen. I'm finding it very useful. In particular, swiping between screen you've pre configured by tap or swiping is great, much better than the hard buttons on the 305.
I've not had any issues with rain/sweat affecting the connection between your finger at the screen either.

Other features I'm enjoying over the 305 -
- Wireless Sync. When the watch is on near the ANT USB stick, data automatically gets transferred (have tried on Windows and Mac, with success on both). really nice feature.

- Virtual Partner. This has changed from my 305. Partner used to be a virtual character from a previous run (which I thought was a great feature). This is now called Virtual Racer. Virtual Partner is now a pacer - set it to run at 8 minute miles, and you can see distance/time behind (or on a rare occasion, ahead :-)

- Easy changing of data fields during activity. You don't even have to preconfigure the screens - holding a data field will change the information available on that field.

In summary - a superb running watch. The only downside is that it is a pretty steep price. But if you're doing a lot of miles, this great bit of kit is definitely worth the money.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Device, 9 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before buying the 610, I used a Garmin FR60 (also excellent) together with iPhone apps to do GPS tracks of my runs. The data from both never quite matched up. I was hoping to integrate the FR60's HRM and footpod with the the iPhone but didn't have much success with the Wahoo dongle. I also found that the iPhone app GPS tracking was a little off, not very good at pace based coaching and risky to use in the rain. I wanted something that would combine the best of both devices and I was glad I had experimented with cheaper things first so that I knew what I was looking for. The lower end GPS Garmin models would have been a mistake for me.

I've been using the 610 for nearly two months now and I'm delighted with it.

I've found the GPS tracking much more accurate than the iPhone apps I tried. The pace based coaching features like custom workouts and virtual partner are very good. I also really like that you can make the watch vibrate to alert you instead of beeping.

My only slight criticism is that when using a custom workout you can't simultaneously use the standard alerts. However, even had I known beforehand, it would not have changed my decision to buy. This limitation may even be addressed in future software releases.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally heart it, 24 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
Easy to set up. Easy to use and with lots of functionality. You can be as techno geeky as you like with this particular model. Is it worth spending the extra £100 and not going for one of the cheaper versions? It depends on what you are after- for me I wanted to be able to run against virtual partners and my historical self. I also thought the free heart rate monitor was a bonus. Plus you could look upon it as the more times you run using it the less it costs per run. So get one and get out there and do it.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant piece of equipment, 22 Sep 2011
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I bought this watch as an upgrade to my Garmin FR60 (which is still working fine, but I wanted something that would log my routes via GPS).
I'd researched the models out there and finally decided to go with DCRainmaker's recommendation, following his excellent online, indepth review.

My plan was to get to know all the features over a 3 week period, prior to my half marathon - but in the event, injury laid me up, so the first time I used the watch was on race day!

I haven't used the watch intensively enough to give much of an indepth review, so I'll leave a few bullet-points on my experiences with the watch.

* I love the customisable pages (but wish you could turn off the time/date page in auto-scroll - hopefully that'll come in a future firmware update).
* Virtual partner was invaluable. I ended up using this exclusively during the race - I'd pre-programmed it with the pace I wanted to keep - and it constantly kept me on track. Much more useful than just glancing at your current or average pace, as it gives an overall report of whether you're behind or ahead - and continually adjusts if you speed up/slow down. It takes all the guesswork out of racing (or training) and allows you to just get on with it.
* The vibrating alerts are brilliant. During my race I was wearing headphones, but had no problem missing any of the alerts (eg behind pace in Virtual Partner).
* Set-up and options are very straightforward and easy to navigate. Initially the touchscreen does take a little getting used to when you're negotiating the different settings, but you soon get the hang of it. I'd initially been a bit dubious about the touchscreen, as I'm usually a buttons woman, but it was surprisingly user-friendly - even in pouring rain.
* Speaking of pouring rain, no complaints whatsoever. Worked a charm, with no ill-effects - and at one point during the race, the rain was monsoon-like.
* I haven't used the intervals feature, but my running partner has (she has the same watch). She loves it. Allowing you to set your interval sets and recoveries in between, with a vibrating alert is apparently "the dog's tenticles".
* The HRM strap is very comfortable, absolutely no chafing (which had been a problem with previous Garmins) - and a much better fit than previous models.

I download the workout activities via a MacBook Pro and the ANT+ stick to Garmin Connect. Training Center doesn't run too well on Mac, and Garmin Connect is a ropey online programme overall, but I've been using it for over a year now and it's perfectly adequate for analysing your runs, etc. I also use TrailRunner and RubiTrack. No problems uploading with the supplied ANT+ stick to any of these programs.

I'm looking forward to using more of the features of the watch. I've got a feeling I'm going to love it - and although it *is* comparatively expensive, it all boils down to what you're willing to pay for a training tool. If the features this watch offers aren't important to you - it won't be worth the money. Conversely, if statistics and the features it offers will enhance your training sessions, then it'll be as vital a piece of equipment as your running shoes.

I also have a bike set up on a turbo trainer, with a GSC10 speed/cadence sensor. I haven't used this HRM with the turbo yet, but would expect it to perform as well as the FR60 I've previously been using.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb addition to the Garmin forerunner line, 30 Aug 2011
By 
Steven Brown (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I picked this up almost as soon as it came out, as been desperate from an upgrade from my forerunner 305. Avoided the 405 due to the huge amount of criticism on the bezel control format.

Did have to think twice about spending such an amount on a running watch, but I'm pleased to report I've very happy with my purchase.

My main reasons for upgrading from the Forerunner 305 were, firstly, the very slow GPS pickup. If I had moved a fair distance, and started running, it could easily take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes to get satellite reception.
The 610, despite it's far smaller size, blows this out of the water. My average time so far has probably been about 30 seconds. Often less, though more a couple of times - but never more than a minute.

Secondly was the battery on my 305. Would only take a few decent sized runs before recharging was required. The 610 can manage about 8 hours. From what I've read, this isn't much better than a 405, but definitely better than my 305.

My worry on the 610 was the control mechanism. I was happy with the 305 controls, and the "improvement" on the 405 was regarded as a bit of a disaster.
The 610 has 3 hard buttons on the sizes (for power, start/stop, and lap/reset), everything else is touch screen. I'm finding it very useful. In particular, swiping between screen you've pre configured by tap or swiping is great, much better than the hard buttons on the 305.
I've not had any issues with rain/sweat affecting the connection between your finger at the screen either.

Other features I'm enjoying over the 305 -
- Wireless Sync. When the watch is on near the ANT USB stick, data automatically gets transferred (have tried on Windows and Mac, with success on both). really nice feature.

- Virtual Partner. This has changed from my 305. Partner used to be a virtual character from a previous run (which I thought was a great feature). This is now called Virtual Racer. Virtual Partner is now a pacer - set it to run at 8 minute miles, and you can see distance/time behind (or on a rare occasion, ahead :-)

- Easy changing of data fields during activity. You don't even have to preconfigure the screens - holding a data field will change the information available on that field.

In summary - a superb running watch. The only downside is that it is a pretty steep price. But if you're doing a lot of miles, this great bit of kit is definitely worth the money.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product, 23 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had heard many good reviews about this product, however was unsure whether to part with the large amount of money it costs. But in the end it has been totally worth it, this it is the best watch I have ever had and I would highly recommend this to others. I especially like the feature of the total distances covered in the past week/ month.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate Distances and Pace, 15 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I bought this after running for a year. I was training for a half marathon. It took some time to understand how to use it, how to connect it, etc; not fully intuitive, in my opinion.

My main problem is that while running my half marathon, I discovered the watch was not accurately calculating distance. This, obviously, impacts the pace it says you are running at as well. So it said I had run 1 mile when in fact it was around .95 miles. So I had been running shorter 'long runs' than I had thought (by up to .6 miles), my understanding of my pace was incorrect, and, worst of all, when I was in the race, I found I had to run farther, faster, than as per my race plan.

This is not a one-off. I have run several 5K and 10K events and found it to be exactly the same - off by around .05 - .06 miles per mile. I have also measured it against other odometers, which has found it to be inconsistent (although the validity of these odometers could also be in question).

I purchased the watch to help with my training. If I wanted something that was "somewhat" accurate, there are plenty of free apps that will do that. This watch has failed to deliver on its promise. It is a lot of money to pay for something that I think Strava will do as well ... for free.

It is now over to Garmin to rectify the situation. Looking at some of the comments here, I remain sceptical the issue will be fixed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid at all costs, 10 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Google the term reverse charging. It's incredibly common and didn't happen to me until a year after I bought it. The watch still works but does not charge reliably. Sometimes it doesn't even turn on. Very badly designed charging cable. Way too unreliable for the price.

It's a pity, as I do like the watch but anyone considering this should buy a more reliable one. This charging problem is extremely common.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent running watch, 13 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
This is a great running watch. It has definitely helped my training by making it more measurable and improving my motivation. It has a lot of complex functionality, but is also intuitive enough to get started quickly with the basics and then learn about the advanced features later. The touch screen works well, making that wealth of features accessible in a way buttons never could. Configurable training screens let me see exactly the information I want and nothing else. I like the fact it's (just) wearable as a regular watch. Though larger than most regular watches, it doesn't look out of place on my wrist when I'm not running.

However, the 610 isn't perfect. There are a few things it could do better:
* The heart rate monitor stopped working after about a month and began constantly showing my heart rate at an arbitrarily high number, regardless of whether I was resting or running. Garmin is replacing it under warranty; I hope the new one lasts longer.

* It always takes mine a few minutes to locate satellites. Other reviewers have had more success, but I have to hang around for a while waiting to start my run.

* The vibration alerts are a bit too strong - they make a buzzing sound. The alerts were a big draw for me since I don't like to hear a lot of beeping while I run. It's a shame they are still audible.

* Who needs two different computer interfaces? TrainingCenter isn't portable, while GarminConnect doesn't access the watch's full functionality. I wish Garmin would do away with one (preferably TrainingCenter) and improve the other.
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