on 16 May 2010
The Garmin Forerunner 110 is a great training aid for your outdoor runs. It doesn't have custom screens so you can just see distance, time and average pace and you can scroll through to see heart rate as well. It doesn't have the feature to set interval targets or heart rate zones, or pace alarms, but let's be honest - unless you are training for the next olympics, do you really need all that!
You can upload all the data to Garmin Connect and you can see a map of your run through the Google maps interface and you can look at your heart rate and pace along the length of your run. You can set an autolap so that the Forerunner records data every mile, for instance and for most runners this is surely enough.
It's really easy to use and perfect for anyone who wants an automatic record of their runs.
on 18 June 2010
<<< I've edited my previous positive review here to reflect the terrible service I've received from Garmin, following persistent satellite link issues with my Forerunner 110 >>>
After about 18 months of occasional use, my Forerunner 110 intermittently became unable to find satellites. The problem got worse and worse, and, after getting bored of standing outside my flat for 20 minutes in the cold before a run, I decided to send it back to Garmin for repair - paying a £60 maintenance fee. I promptly received a reconditioned watch back from Garmin, with a 90 day warranty.
After 91 days, the reconditioned watch started experiencing the same problem, even worse than my original. It wouldn't find satellites at all. On calling Garmin support I was condescendingly told that, obviously, it was a software issue (of my own making), because I hadn't run a software update when I received it (since they send out hardware with out-of-date software installed as standard).
This did nothing to alleviate the problem. Garmin Support now (condescendingly, again) insist that, because it's outside of the warranty period, my only course of action is to pay another £60 maintenance fee and get another reconditioned watch.
Do not buy Garmin products.
on 1 November 2010
I've given this five stars.
I had tried on some of the 105, 205, 310, and 405 watches and I was generally unhappy with the size / comfort of them. Especially the 405 range - they're really uncomfortable for someone with small wrists, as even though you'll be able to adjust the strap to fit you okay - the back facing on the 405s don't fit snug against the forearm part of your wrist (again that's just for people with small wrists.)
The 110 fits very comforably. I went for the version without heartrate as I don't have a requirement for heartrate. I think the watch looks plain but nice. You could get away with wearing this as a normal watch. It also looks nice when the blue backlight is operated.
Functionality. This is the ideal watch for me. I haven't connected it to a pc yet as I was I'm only just back from injury and haven't had much time to check out pc features yet. I deliberately went for the simpler option of the 110 gps as I don't want to get too caught up in after training analysis (Analysis is Paralysis!)
The watch comes with a small user manual that's very easy to read and understand so I'd advise any purchaser to read that.
In the set up you can select your 110 gps watch to measure your PACE or your SPEED. You can amend your set up at any stage in the future so don't be afraid to experiment. I have mine set up to measure my PACE. You're also asked to set the units at miles or km. And you're also asked to set lap distances. I have my watch on Miles, and I set my lap distance to 0.25 Mile. You can turn the alarm beep on / off (it beeps every lap unless you turn the beep off.)
My watch takes about 1 minute approximately to locate the satelites at which point you can press the start button to begin your run. One day I started my run while it was still locating the satelites with the intention of pressing "start" when the satelites were located but it was taking ages and ages and the progress bar was fluctuating but never completing. After about five minutes I decided to stop running and wait for the satelite location to complete. Once I stopped running it took about just 30 seconds to complete the satelite location. I don't think that's a fault though. I imagine that you need to be stationary while the gps device locates the satelites and running during this phase disrupts the process. So my advice is if you've already bought this watch or if you're thinking of buying one - DON'T start your run until the satelite location is completed.
When using the settings as described above (MILES, PACE, lap 0.25 mile) - when running, on the display you'll have three readngs.
1) Main reading in the centre of display - The total time elapsed since you started your run
2) At the top of the display in small digits - The total distance elapsed since you started your run
3) At the bottom of the display - The current pace (e.g. 8:30) - with my settings as described, means in this example my current pace is 8 min 30 sec miles.
Every lap (0.25 mile in my case) it beeps (you can turn the beep off if you like.) Every time you complete a lap the display gives new info for a few seconds (you can also press "ok" when the "last lap" info is displayed to get back to your normal display.) The three readings on the "last lap" display are:
1) Main reading in the centre of display - The time taken to run last lap
2) At the top of the display - The distance of the last lap (this is obviously what you set your lap at, i.e. 0.25 mile in my case.)
3) At the bottom of the display - The average pace of the last lap (for example, average 8 min 20 sec / miles pace for that lap)
Finally at the end of your run, press the stop button. Then hold the reset button (it prompts you to hold if for a few seconds.) At that point the watch then re-calculates your average pace for the WHOLE of the run and saves it to the history. Simple. Perfect.
As of yet I haven't experimented further with what it can do when connected to a pc. But I purchased it primarily for the uses outlined above. It's ideal (for me) plus from a hardware point of view it's superb. I've given it five stars without hesitation, and if I'm happy with additional features when I eventually rig it up to my pc - I'd give it six stars then if I was able to !!!
The watch delivered free to me in Ireland by Amazon UK. Thanks for that.
on 18 November 2010
My Garmin 305 did everything I needed (plus plenty more that I never used) but eventually after many years of service, and too many rainy runs, it died. It was quite large on my average woman's wrist and as I did not use all of the functions the new Garmin 110 seemed like the perfect solution.
I have now been using the Garmin 110 for about a month and there are aspects I like, but several that I do not!
It looks fine. It is very easy to use. It locates satellites fairly quickly (noticably more quickly than my 305).
BUT it does not display actual speed/pace whilst running! Why not? Why would anyone prefer to look at average speed/pace? You can set it to auto lap and use very short laps so that the avarage is close to your actual but that causes probelms dowloading the run to Sporttracks as this then sees each lap as a separate run!
Downloading to Sporttracks directly also seems not to be possible so I use Garmin Training Centre and can then export runs from there to Sporttracks.
Also it has frozen on me twice now, on each occasion as I connected to my PC. Re-setting the watch as directed is supposed not to cause you to lose data, but it does! All of your stored runs and all of your entered personal data and setting preferences! The connecting device is also slightly fiddly.
Finally I was caught out at the start of my first race using it as I got it set up to go in anticipation of the race (satellites found) but there was thena short delay before the race actually started and the watch went back to watch mode. I failed to notice this meaning I started the race fiddling with my watch to re-locate satellites etc!
on 4 June 2010
I'd wanted a GPS watch for about a year, but had been put off my Garmin's previous models, which were too bulky for my small wrists, and there were reports that they were slow to pick up a satellite. I thought I'd better wait; there had to be something sleeker, cheaper and faster round the corner.
I wasn't wrong: the 110 promised to be all those things.
Receiving the watch, my immediate impressions were highly positive: it's small, not at all noticeably a GPS watch. The styling is attractive, and the finish is tight. The rubbery plastic feels just right against the skin, and the watch strap fits comfortably. Top marks to the hardware design team.
No CD-ROM was included, which was positive, as users of this device almost certainly have access to broadband. No wasted CDRs gathering dust like all the other driver discs that tend to gather up. Thumbs-down, however, for the big stack of instruction manuals in every language imaginable: I plucked off the English version, and promptly dumped the rest in the recycling bin. Wasteful.
I quickly plugged the device into my work computer to charge-up during my lunch break, and decided to give it a whirl by letting it run on the walk home from work. That's when the problems started.
The software was profoundly unresponsive, not detecting a satellite, or allowing me to cycle through the menus. A splash screen with 'Garmin' logo blinked stupidly at me. Holding 'menu' got me to a menu, but letting it go sent me straight back to the splash screen. There are only four buttons, so having tried all of them, I figured I couldn't be doing too much wrong!
Things looked up when I got home and downloaded some software off the site. Now it would pick up a satellite, and quickly too. I went for my first run, which was a revelation. Someone else wrote somewhere on the Web that it was a drawback that the device doesn't tell you how fast you're going, but that wasn't a problem for me: it beeps helpfully every kilometre to prompt me to check how fast I've run that kilometre, and usefully displays that lap time for a few seconds to let me do so.
Unfortunately, I just couldn't get the device to save a run. There's no prompt at the end of a run after pressing 'start/stop' asking you if you'd like to save what you've just done. Reading the manual more carefully (I just felt that a four-button device shouldn't need a manual), it tells me to press 'reset' to reset and save.
Now, is it just me, or does pressing 'reset' to 'save' seem somewhat counter-intuitive to someone whose been using an ordinary stopwatch for the whole of his life? I think that's poor design, and even worse that it then still didn't actually work. I'm not the world's most tech-savvy guy, but I would think that anybody who can operate a Blackberry and an iPod should be able to find his way around something with four buttons, no?
A call to UK tech support then. Hold times were reasonable for a Friday morning, about six minutes; the number is free at least. The tech was reasonably quick and courteous, and suggested I check for software updates, which I initially thought was bizarre advice; this thing was released two months ago, and the software that I had on my computer was downloaded off the Web. Surely it was as updated as it could be?
It turns out that it wasn't.
A further download of 'Web Updater' and a check for updates revealed that I had Version 2.0 of the firmware, and that 2.2 was there to download. Out of curiosity, I looked at the change history. Here it is:
Changes made from version 2.00 to 2.20:
* Fixed issue where the watch could freeze when dropping a lap.
* Fixed issue where the current activity file could fail to save.
* Changed to allow the watch to show the current activity in history.
* Changed history page to show "Today," "Yesterday," or the day of the week for the last six days rather than the date.
* Added feature to turn off the watch by holding the light key and answering yes to the prompt.
* Changed to allow all menus/lists to wrap.
* Updated translations.
'Fixed issue where the current activity file could fail to save.' Bingo. OTOH, how on earth could an 'issue' like that be allowed to persist when the product was released? If the watch can't save its history, I can't view what I've been doing on the nice Garmin website, and am forced to remember how fast/well I did last time. Someone's got to be responsible for not checking this properly, and a company with Garmin's rep shouldn't be beta-testing on its customers.
Well, the issue hasn't been fixed by the software update, which installed smoothly, and the watch is going back to Garmin to be examined. The lack of Web comment suggests this might be an isolated issue, and I'm guessing this can probably be fixed, but no way should this purchase have entailed this much fuss. The watch is well-made, connects quickly, and does track your run very well, but the software has been botched, and I can only recommend that a buyer hold on to his or her packaging very carefully until things have been checked over.
I'll come back and update this review once I've heard back from Garmin.
UPDATE, 22 JUNE 2010:
Within a week of me sending the watch back to Garmin, they sent a replacement with heart rate monitor, so a nice little bonus. That doesn't engender confidence in the original product, but customer service doesn't get better than this. I haven't tested that function yet (I don't need it, and am not keen on wearing the strap whilst running), I am happy to report that the watch itself works absolutely fine, and as expected. It still seems counterintuitive to press 'reset' to save, but now that my runs are saving, using the watch is a pleasure. Another twelve manuals in the bin, and a spare set of leads and adaptors... sigh.
on 23 May 2011
My wife bought me this watch for my birthday, and i'm thrilled with it! Incredibly easy to set up, after a quick charge, and inputting a few details (weight, height, age etc) you are ready to go! The watch located a signal within 30 seconds, and its as simple as pressing start and off you go. The face is easy to read and it's comfortable and lightweight, the heart rate monitor is comfortable and automatically synced with the watch straight away. I'm currently training for a marathon and fount the wealth of information available at a glance really useful. To me( a stats geek!) the information about your run available on the garmin website is fascinating, to be able to see every detail of your run laid out in an easy to understand and comprehensive way is the cherry on the cake! Far more in depth than the Nike plus website, I really think this has been designed for runners BY runners. Essential.
on 18 August 2010
I've had my 110 for just over a week and I am completely hooked. It's perfect for my standard of running - not too serious, just the odd race here and there - so the watch's inability to show current pace isn't an issue (besides, I can have a fairly good guess at current pace by looking at the average pace shown on the watch, which has become my greatest training aid). It's also fantastic to be able to see the actual distance I've run, as it turns out that mapmyrun isn't that accurate! It's comfortable to wear - as is the heart rate monitor, and it looks nice. I couldn't be without it and have recommended it to all my friends, who are now all going to purchase.
on 24 August 2010
I bought the Garmin 110 because it was exactly what I was after - a GPS watch that didn't look like you were wearing a tank on your wrist and yet gave me what I wanted: Distance (plus that vital 'bleep' every KM), Time, Pace, Calories (less vital!) and an easy upload via usb (provided) to the Garmin Site. Fascinating looking at the run you just did and all the info linked to it.
I cannot fault it. I guess if you are a triathlete you'd want to investigate just how waterproof it is and for those that need the 'virtual partner' facility then this isn't for you. But for me, as I said, perfect.