19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Garmin Forerunner 310XT - Surely runners best friend?, 25 Feb. 2011
Straight out of the box this thing rocks! Within 30 secs of turning it on I'd figured out the functionality and was locking onto my nearest satellite.
Previously I'd had the Polar RS300 (In it's own right as a HRM training tool it's been brilliant) and then the Garmin 305. The 305 introduced me to the idea of setting a pace and then being able to look at your run overlayed on Bing maps. But everything the 310 does is better and improved. Firstly it's quite noticeably smaller and fits better on your wrist. It's also fully waterproofed.
I ran my favourite 6 mile off road route and wore the 305 on one arm and the 310 on the other. It was around Winchester and mostly under trees. Weather was pretty typically grisly for Feb, overcast and raining!
Turning on both units at exactly the same time the 310 locked onto the satellite's much more quickly, not twice as quick but I'd say about 40 percent faster. Both recorded very similar distances, the 305 slightly longer (6.15m vs. 6.12m) But the real difference was when I compared the two routes on Garmin's brilliant "Garmin Connect" website. There's so much less averaging with the 310, with corners not flatted off and me running through buildings etc. I'm no techy but to the untrained eye I'd say the GPS sensor in the 310 looks like it auto-places way-points almost twice as many times as the 305. It even picked up a couple of times where on the return loop I was a bit more left on the path, where the 305 just showed me in the same place.
The wireless connection (via a little usb style stick called ANT+) is an example of elegant and simple software engineering. You simply have your computer on, plug the USB in, then turn the 310 on and it auto transfers your latest data to your account for you to analyze. That's it. Genius! This is where Garmins are light years ahead of Polar.
It's so easy to navigate round, so much better than the fiddly bezel what-sit's on the 405 that goes all funny when you get sweaty. Prices are coming down to.
My wife would argue that unless you need it to be fully waterproof (Or you are a triathlete who wants everything in one (You can get a cadence sensor and bike mount relatively inexpensively to) why spend another £80 on top of the brilliant Garmin Forerunner 110. But what does she know! This 310 is every runner's dream companion, I love it.
Any gripes from me? - Well it's early days so nothing so far. Being hyper hyper critical I wish one of the many screens showing performance when you're on the move (You get three, Virtual Partner, the main time, distance and HR and Pace) was simply the actual time and maybe the date. Yes ok everyone knows what day it is, but it's easy to get lost in the moment when you're pounding the streets and it'd be handy to see if you could squeeze in another couple of miles before you have to get back to get the dinner on!
Any gripes from my wife? - Only one colour scheme! Come on where's the light grey and pink Garmin!
Go and buy this watch it's a belter!