GPS Watch

Hi guys,

have been thinking about getting a GPS watch for running and was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction. I don't really want to spend a complete fortune and really just want it to monitor pace and distance. I had looked at the Garmin range but are pretty expensive.

Thanks in advance


  • Amazon are doing the Garmin 305 for £107 inc delivery, sweetshop are doing the 205 for £99...


  • I had been looking at the 205 a few months ago and checked the Garmin website which shows me they have launched a new range.

    Have you experience of either?
  • Yes they`ve launched the new forerunner 110 - 210 - 410..  the 110 - 210 are much smaller on the wrist than the 205/305 but  the 110/210 lack many of there features, I`ve also read about 110 units locking up and screens misting over.... in the end the price/reliability of the 305 won me over....

  • Another happy 305 user here, only thing missing is a vibrate function like the 310xt (305 has a crap speaker)
  • Nothing beats the Garmin 305 value for money wise. Humanity reached its technological peak when they created it. I have had mine for 3 years and recently bought the brand new Timex Global GPS (I like gadgets) and it is not as good as the Garmin. 100 knicker is an absolute bargain for something that can be used for years on a daily basis.

  • I looked into this for weeks and ended up getting the 310xt. It was more than I wanted to pay (£170 on ebay) but that was with the heart rate monitor which Im going to probably sell to get £20-25 back. In my opinion its well worth the extra money - my only real issue with the 305 was that the battery life is only 10hrs. The 310 is also waterproof and is supposed to have quicker/more acurate gps receiver (although some people say this isnt true). My only 'tiny' and I repeat 'tiny' grip of the 310 is the size of it, but then it is a tool, not a fashion item for wearing down the pub.  I did look at the 405 for this reason, but a lot of people appear to have problems wit the touch screen.
  • I got the 405CX for Christmas and I'm really liking it at the moment. The main reason I chose it was because of the size, as most GPS units seem to look like you are carrying a gameboy around and I'm slow enough without something like that weighing me down!

     Have only used the basic functions so far (ie start and stop and how far I've gone) but it's really simple to use and the touch bezel thing is great. I think you can get it off Amazon for £185 including a heart rate monitor (which I haven't used yet) so although it is expensive it is a great piece of kit, and is small enough for me to wear as a normal watch without looking like a tool!

  • End of a crap week at work and what do you get to finish it email alert taking you to a forum with someone you dont even know calling you a tool. Cheers for that Dave !

    For me, functionality comes first.  With limited battery life, its not a watch that youre going to wear down the pub anyway.  The touch screen of the 405 is a great gizmo for showing your mates (I bought a Tissot Touch a few years back for exactly that reason) but there do seem to be a few problems with it, especially when it rains.

     Have a good weekend all (especially my fellow 310xt wearing tools)

  • Sorry, no offence meant!

     As I said I have only had my watch since Christmas so only time will tell if the touch bezel holds up. Size was the main consideration for me so I just gave the in-laws a list of watches I quite liked and this is the one I ended up with.

     Also, I got told that the battery doesn't last very long, but if you turn the GPS off while you aren't using it for running it seems to last a good few days between charges. I don't want to wear it down the pub or anything but I do wear it for work if I am going running that day.

  • Happy 205 user here, don't need the HRM function as I already have a Polar.  First 205 threw a bit of a wobbler after 6-7 months but was replaced without a squeak by Garmin.  Signal acquisition can be a little slow, but that's rarely a problem.   
  • I tried the 205 on in sweatshop yesterday and I don't think I'd be happy running with it (or the 305 for the same reason) because of its bulk.  But I don't want to shell out for the 405.  Like the OP I'm just looking for something that can tell me distance, current pace and average pace.  Is there anything out there that doesn't sit like a brick on your wrist that doesn't cost a fortune?
  • Kosie, I have a 305 and am a girl with small wrists........and can honestly say it isn't uncomfortable in the slightest when I'm running. I image my 305 image
  • I love the 310XT

    I have skinny wrists and it is FINE.

    The screen is easier to see than the 405CX and the vibrate mode is great

    I had a 405cx;but sold it'cos I hated the bezel and the battery life was rubbish,also the screen kept on freezingimage

    The 405cx is still fairly "heavy" on a slim wrist

  • Looking at the "Timex Mens Expedition Trial Series Digital Compass watch with fastwrap strap - T49688SU "   - it claims to have GPS but this doesn't seem to be mentioned at all in any descriptions.   Has anyone come across this watch and its (possible) GPS capabilities?

    All I'm after is something that can tell me how far I've gone, and how long I've taken to do it   (and if it can divide one by the other and give me my average pace, that would be nice).   About the best reviews I've found so far are for the Soleus GPS 1.0   - does anyone know of anything else in this price range (ie below about £100)?

  • im thinking about the soleus range, either 2.0 or 3.0 wouldnt mind the hr monitor, have got garmin 305 but want something similar with out the bulk on my wrist. any reviews?

  • hello techypeeps,

    So I have beenusing a Polar heart monitor which is great but doesn't tell me anything in terms of times, splits etc and as my training gets more serious, this info I would like to know.

    I hear overwhelmingly that the Garmin 305 is the best around, but my local running store tells me that they are now discontinued and there is a new range out 10, 110, 210 up to 610.

    Now I am blithered! Anyone have experience of the new range who can compare to the 305?

  • and P.S I have a Mac, if that makes any difference as to whether or not they would suit


  • I have the Ironman GPS watch with heart monitor T5K575

    Pretty happy with it, I like the web based 'training peaks' on line portal that helps get the most from the data, overlays a map, etc.

    Haven't tried the garmin.

  • Looks like i am the first to admit it, I have the Nike GPS, really like it and its very easy to use both on the off the run, want to get the HRM to go with it but havent got round to that yet!

  • imk - have a look on dcrainmaker's site for reviews.

    Basically 305 - old, but great, loads of features.

    New range - some much simpler, not so many features, smaller, bit faster locking on to satellites, and better batteries. Disadvantages are lack of features on some models,  and the bezel is loathed by some (not by others) - that only applies to the 405 or 410.

  • I didnt actually know Nike make a GPS watch. I presently use the Nike + app on my iphone but during my recent HM it told me I had completed 2 miles before I even got to the first and I would really like to be able to measure splits and don't think I can on there.

    Anyone got more thoughts on the 310 xt? Is it just the 305 but improved?

    I like the look of the 610 features but I dont think I will get on with touch screen - so would this, the 310, be the next option down offering most of the features of the 610 but without the touchscreen right? Too many models for me to pick! I am so confused. Trip to runshop I think.

    Plus I currently use a polar HRM. I dont suppose my HR strap will be compatible with a Garmin will it?!

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I've just treated myself to a 310 (from Handtec, who are selling them "newly overhauled by Garmin" for £150 and, claiming to be good as new - I'd go along with that).

    It's slightly sleeker than the 305, which for me it's replacing. Has all the same functions and similar interface. Battery life is twice as long, the virtual partner is better implemented, and there's a vibration alert on top of the beeps.

    I like the older-style Garmins because the screens are big enough to read.

    I think the only feature I wish the 310xt did have was a run-walk training programme, but that can probably be bodged on the 31xt if I do some research.

  • The other advantage that the 310 has over the 305 is that you can use it for open water swimming (not as a HRM whilst swimming though). However if you are desperate to swim with it, you can stick a 305 in a ziplock back and stick it under your swim hat.

    Muttley, surely you can just set up an interval session in Garmin Connect and then export to the watch? Set it up by time or distance and run for the interval and walk the recovery.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Yup, that's what I was thinking of looking into. The trouble with walk-run on a strict time basis is that it doesn't always fit the terrain. For the time being I'm planning on a run-walk strategy for really long runs of run a mile or so and then walk maybe a set distance (100 yards, say) or time, and this is where the vibrate alarm comes in handy.

    Not impressed by the wireless transfer though. I think the 305's USB setup is better.

  • I just went to my local runshop and they told me that the 310xt is discontinued and repaced by the 910xt which is mega bucks. The guy also let slip that they are phasing back out the touchscreens....apparently. Touchscreens arent for me anyway. I think the 310xt sounds like the one for me. 

  • Has anybody tried the Suunto Ambit? I've been told it's the best HRM on the market (plus it looks awesome) but I'm not sure how it performs for runners as it is set up to work well for a whole range of sports and outdoor adventure type activities. I'd be really interested to hear if any runners out there think it's any good.

    The other one I'm considering is the Timex Ironman GPS. But I'm not sure how this compares to the Garmin 310 which seems to be everyone's favourite?

    Any advice would be great - I'm getting pretty baffled by all the reviews out there!

  • Kate - me too, totally confused!! image

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