4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Watch for Runners,
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This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Sportswatch with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I have been running on and off for about a year now and always used the Nike+ app on my iPhone with a Nike+ footpod. This worked really well, but as I have got more serious (now training for a marathon), the features of Nike+ just aren't enough and the battery on the iPhone just not good enough for a long run.
So, after a bit of research I decided to get a heart rate monitor watch and settled on Garmin as I had heard a lot of good things about the brand.
I was actually considering the 610 but found the 410 on offer on Amazon which at the time made it almost £100 cheaper with only a few features (which I arguably wouldn't use) which were different.
It's my first heart rate monitor so nothing else to compare it too, but having been using for a few months now I am very impressed.
First the physical side of things:
The heart rate chest strap is very comfortable and once on I don't even notice I am wearing it, even on a long run. The actual sensor itself clips to the chest strap with press studs so it can be removed and the strap can be washed which is good as it does get quite sweaty! The sensor is attached very firmly and I have no concerns that it may detach.
The watch itself is well built and feels very solid. It comes with a plastic/rubber-type strap already attached which I have been using and is very comfortable. Also in the box is a fabric/velcro wrist strap and a small screwdriver to allow you to swap them over. I find that my wrist behind the watch gets quite sweaty but this is going to be the case with any watch when exercising.
Not a huge fan of the charging system. It is a clip (like a peg almost) which clips over the watch and has two small pins which go into two small holes on the rear of the watch to charge it. Although this works fine and I have never had a problem, it doesn't feel very well attached to the watch and I find myself being over-careful how I place the watch when on charge as I worry it may unclip itself. I am always careful to wipe the back of the watch when taking off as well as I assume any sweat not wiped off could ultimately corrode the charge points - no sign of any problems to date but something to be careful of. The charge cable is a USB cable and is very small and compact so easy to carry when travelling. It comes with a USB plug as well but if you have a few gadgets like I do then you probably already have a few of these around.
The bezel - I read many reviews about this watch and quite a few were negative about the touch-sensitive bezel. Personally, after a couple of minutes of getting use to this I have had no problems. I have not used the watch in the rain so cannot comment on how it performs when wet.
So the features:
This watch has a lot of features that I will probably never use, so I can only comment on the ones I use.
When not being used it is a perfectly acceptable watch, showing time and date.
In any mode the screen can be illuminated by tapping the bezel at the top and bottom. This lights up the screen in a very bright blue light, which works very well.
The watch was very quick and easy to link to the heart rate monitor. When not being used it drops this connection, but is very quick to reconnect as soon as you activate the watch when the heart rate monitor is in range.
I have also purchased the Garmin Foot Pod which is the same size and shape as the Nike+ one so fits in my running shoes. This also connects to the watch and provides cadence information and allows the watch to calculate speed when indoors (on the treadmill for example). The Foot Pod cost about £40 so quite expensive but does the job well.
The display can be customised to display a number of pieces of information to suit your own personal needs. There are three screens (a tap of the bezel switches between them) and you can have 1, 2 or all 3 in use. Each screen can have 3 pieces of information on - 1 displayed large and 2 underneath it smaller. There is far too much information to list here but grab the PDF manual from the Garmin site if you want to see before you buy.
The virtual racer feature is quite good for seeing how you are getting on. I am training for a marathon and for a particular pace, so set the virtual racer for my target pace and then as I go can see whether I am ahead or behind the target pace and by how much (minutes and seconds).
Battery life is estimated to be about 8 hours with GPS activated. I have used it with heart rate monitor, foot pod and GPS all in use and it uses about 20% every 1 hour 45 minutes, so it is actually a little better than estimated in my experience.
GPS works well. The time it takes to lock onto GPS can be a little slow but this does vary depending on how long since you last used it and how much sky you can see. This is fairly similar to most GPS devices. You can connect it to the computer and download the GPS Quick Fix data and upload it to the watch but I have never done this so don't know how well it works. Never had it lose the GPS fix except when indoors (popping into a shop for example) but it locks on almost immediately when back in the open.
The watch uploads its data to the Garmin Connect website by a small Ant+ USB dongle which you have to plug into your computer. It's about the same size as the average USB memory stick. It's a shame it doesn't have Wi-Fi built in to connect directly to the internet but I guess that would impact the physical size and battery consumption.
The Garmin Connect website is a free to sign up to and use and is a really good training tool. You can see all the data about your run at every point of your run. If you have used GPS it will show you a map (choose between Bing or Google, standard or satellite) with your run plotted on it. Everything from heart rate, timing, elevation, cadence (if you use the foot pod), laps and much more is displayed. You can also compare one run to another and play them through to see how you performed at a particular time/place. Finally, the data can be exported to
To sum up, it's a great watch for runners and has a lot more potential than I use it for (read about them all in the specs) but after a few months I am very impressed and glad I purchased this one.
I have knocked off a star for the charging system.