Most helpful positive review
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Good, but not brilliant. Garmin Forerunner 15.
on 15 June 2014
This is really nice piece of kit, and now that I've had it for a couple of weeks I feel qualified to review!
- Solid construction and feels well made.
- Lovely large screen that it easy to read, even when running.
- Walk/Run mode is great and can be used for interval training.
- Garmin Connect website is interesting and shows lots of useful data that can be easily exported.
- Connected to my heart rate strap straight away, no problems.
- The charging / sync lead looks well designed and constructued, and works well.
- The software that comes with the watch is easy to use.
- No wireless sync ability. Taking watch off to sync with the PC doesn't sound like a chore, but it is.
- Getting GPS lock takes a couple of minutes. Waiting for this before starting your run is irritating!
- Can't get the 'inactivity monitor' function to do anything. Maybe I'm just never inactive :-)
- Garmin Connect website is slow to use on anything but the fastest internet connection, and not as good as SportTracks.
- Activity Tracker appears to be little more than a step counter - does not record stairs / altitude, for example.
- No mode for other activities like cycling. You can change the activity type in Garmin Connect afterwards, but it's a surprising omission on the watch itself.
- Doesn't appear to be a sleep monitoring mode, even though the Garmin Connect website references sleep quality tracking.
- Watch is chunkier than the photographs make it look. I do wear mine all the time, but it is thicker (depth) than you might expect based on the photographs - i'd estimate it is about 15mm thick - and this makes it hard to tuck into the sleeves of a shirt at work.
- On first use, the Garmin Express software wanted to do firmware updates. I let it do them, only for one part to fail because the unit apparently didn't have enough memory to complete it. Not knowing what to do next, and staring an an unhelpful triangle on the watch and an error message on the screen, I disconnected the watch; it then rebooted and updated itself. Then I reconnected to the computer and tried the update again - the remaining update worked second time round. I couldn't help but think that it was very poor of Garmin that an out of the box firmware update would need to be applied in two parts and would fail otherwise. No documentation or explanation, and an unhelpful misdirection when it told me that I might like to clear some space on my brand new and completely empty watch in order to apply the update. Where was their testing?
I don't regret buying this watch - it does everything I expected it to do, and I'm pretty happy with how it functions. That said, I am mildly disappointed. For it to score a full five stars, it would need to wirelessly sync, and it would need to do more with regard to activity tracking functions than act as the simple step counter that it currently does.
I'd like it to be able to track my workouts in the gym as well as outside, and while you can switch off GPS and use 'indoor mode', the watch appears to be clueless about things like cross trainers and exercise bikes - basic functionality that a mid range Polar HRM could offer should surely be possible on a device like the Forerunner 15 with a software update?