on 14 September 2011
This watch arrived from Amazon just two days ago, and overall impressions are good. Before I get started on the positives, here are the issues I've found with it:
- Stop/start buttons harder to press
- Side buttons maybe too easy to press? This to me seems counter-intuitive as I would have thought somebody would be more likely to press the buttons on the side of the watch - as I already have on one occasion.
- The pacing metronome thing only goes from 100-200 bpm. For most runners, this would mean setting it at double their normal stride rate, and enduring the slightly annoying beeping at double pace for the 30 seconds it lasts when the 'B' button is pressed.
- The 8-second delay where the time freezes after pressing the lap/split button in stop-watch mode has the potential to be irritating; that said, for longer distances it won't matter, and doing 200m intervals on the track doesn't really involve looking at your watch!
- The distance calculator seems like it's pretty much a gimmick. I don't know, maybe some people do use it and find it useful, but for me it seems that on the variable road/trail surfaces you'd get off a track, it won't be accurate as stride distance varies to match the terrain (and in most cases - though the ideal would be for this to be avoided - stride rate will vary also). On track, it's very easy to judge distance - every lap is 400m. I guess if you're running a very long way on a track and have a tendency to lose count, you might use it...
- It annoys me that the stopwatch saves every bit of data, even when I'm just using it for breathing exercises or to time something trivial, but I guess making saving optional could result in not saving important training data - after all, it's easy to delete any unneeded records.
A point about the stop/start buttons being hard to press is that the key is to press them on the right edge, so in the middle of the watch rim. This is where the actual button is; the extension to the left is purely aesthetic.
Aside from these minor niggles, I've found the watch so far to be excellent. Of course, it will vary from person to person, but it fits my needs perfectly. The timer goes up to 99 hours, so is perfect for the 24 hour runs I occasionally partake in, and both it and the stopwatch can be run simultaneously. A nifty feature I only found out about after getting the watch is that it has a mode whereby lifting the watch up (the manual says tilting it from the horizontal to 40 degrees away from the horizontal) turns the backlight on. Very useful for night running, though I could see how this could appear unnecessary to many runners. A point about the backlight is that it doesn't last very long - even when the button is held down. For looking at data in low light, this could be irritating, though it would greatly wear down the battery if the light button was pressed accidentally in a bag or something.
The water resistance is good (I couldn't resist testing it under a tap...), and overall the watch is very comfortable. The straps come down at quite a steep angle though, so as other reviews have confirmed, larger wrist-ed people may find it more uncomfortable - it would probably fit, but not nearly so well. The strap feels reasonably solid, though time may prove it to be a little less so. Some have made the point that the screen is smaller that advertised - the glass is around 25mm, the screen about 22mm. The picture is misleading in size - I thought the watch would be bigger. I actually prefer the smaller size; I think it looks much better.
The alarms are good, with one for wake-up, with a snooze option, and four others. It's easy to turn them on and off, and the watch displays a small icon in all modes when any of them is on, as well as a SNZ icon on the upper blue bar running across the display. It's worth noting that some of the icons on this bar can be a little hard to read, as they are small, with a darker background, and can cast a shadow on the screen behind. The dual-time setting could be useful, but it seems to me that for anyone being in a country for any length of time, it would be worth just changing the normal time, so you don't lose the extra data on the main screen, such as the date.
Casio say the watch has a 10-year value, but this is based upon one alarm and one backlight use per day, which I think is unrealistic. However, I can't imagine many will carry on using the watch for that long anyway!
A few final things I've found useful: the watch shows the time on all screens, allowing uninterrupted usage of the function. The manual is very clear (for the most part). A lot of data is packed onto the screen - for example, when the stopwatch screen is not in use, it shows the date and remaining memory as well as the digits, and when it is in use, it shows hours, minutes, lap no., overall time and current lap time.
The best reason for buying this watch is the price - the price here is fantastic and you get many more features for your money than with comparative Timex watches (the brand I was initially looking at). The lower price may reflect lower quality, but personally even if it wears out after a year, it still seems good value. The watch is functional, attractive and comfortable, and has few minor niggles that need not compromise the overall use. For the money, it's excellent, especially for distance athletes such as myself.
on 3 March 2012
Look, this is a cheap watch. It doesn't set the world on fire in terms of functionality. It claims to measure distance, but it is one of those stride length multiplying set ups, and I haven't even bothered to get it set up.
However, it has a really nice thing where if you lift the watch up the light comes up and you can see the screen for a few seconds. If you live in London like I do, and run during winter in the mornings, then this is a really handy feature, and I like it a lot for that reason alone.
So, for the price, you can't go wrong. If you need to drop £300 on a Garmon watch, to measure distance and do all that fancy stuff, then that's great. However, I can measure my distance on mapmyrundotcom after the event if I really need to. And right now, I just need to get out there, run as far as I am running, have a basic stopwatch and timer function, and I am good from there.
So it depends on your needs. But if your needs are simple, then this is a good buy.
on 3 January 2016
I've worn Casio wrist watches for more years than I care to remember and for value and accuracy I think they are excellent.
Unfortunately I can't get on with the STR-300C-1VER. It's got all the functions I want and I'm sure it is accurate, but I can't reliably operate the start/stop and lap/split buttons. The controls are built into the watch bezel, each covered by largish plastic mouldings. There's nothing to tell you, by feel, that you are pressing the right area.
With the watch off my wrist, looking at what I'm doing in a well lit room, I get a 70% success rate starting and stopping the stop watch.
While riding a bike, in the dark, with the watch on my wrist, partly under my cycling gear, my success rate falls to around 0%.
It needs some sort of tactile indication that you are groping about in the right area and a much more positive action for my big clumsy hands.....
on 26 July 2013
I bought this coming up on 2 years ago. I wanted a digital watch that was relatively simple without loads of gaudy styling and bits I wouldn't use and on that count it has been perfect. The pacing functionality is rather rubbish so I barely bothered using it, but it tells the time, has alarms, stopwatch, and countdown timer, which is all I wanted.
The other night I was taking it off and the strap just broke, sheared in half at about the point where the little band you tuck the strap in would be. For a cheap watch I suppose two years isn't bad and the strap is perhaps the most well worn. A replacement strap is just shy of the price of a new one so I'll probably just replace it.
on 1 February 2012
This is a well-designed and affordable runner's watch. It arrived two days before a marathon, as I'd lost my old watch on the road recently, and it is very straightforward to operate. Fortunately, since I was running abroad, it has enough splits for continental marathons, and the dual display enables the runner to keep tabs on their overall time while the last lap time is displayed. Finally and crucially, it was perfectly comfortable, even as everything else hurt after 42km!