What GPS Watch

Hi all, I'm looking for a bit of help with a GPS watch choice.Budget is a huge consideration but I don't want to end up with something that doesn't work very well just to save a bit of money. One thing to note though is that I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, an avid runner. I do it to keep fit and train towards a goal, which generally means a half marathon a year. However, I am very sporty and regularly train with free weights, circuit training and Thai boxing. For the watch my biggest considerations are: Accuracy, HRM, Ease of Use (see below) and Aesthetics. In terms of ease of use, I don’t really want to mess about with the watch while I’m running, I would like it to show overall mileage, average pace and last mile pace without having to press complicated buttons to get the information. In terms of my training, I am going to be training for a half marathon soon and will be running at least twice a week. Outside of my half marathon training I would like the HRM to be used during my normal cardio training which is 5 times a week, mainly around fat burning sessions after weights, where I want to keep my heart rate at ~130bpm, using the heart rate monitor with the Life Fitness Equipment at my gym would be fantastic but I think this would be limited to the Polar/Nike combo?Initially I fell in love with the Nike+ Sportwatch because it looks great and whilst the reviews are mixed it looks as though the firmware updates have sorted most of the big bugs...There is also a great deal on the 405cx on Amazon, for £121.80 you can get it with the HRM. I have read bad reviews regarding the bezel, is this just when trying to change display on a run? I’m not too fussed on this as long as it can show overall mileage, average pace and last mile pace on the same screen. Whenever I look at the two above, I keep thinking I can get the 310xt including HRM for around £220 from Handtec, this is only £30 more than the Nike but a hefty £100 more than the 405cx. The main seller of the 310xt is the software support and the vibration feature. As I will be listening to my iPod the majority of my time training, an alarm alone would probably not suffice. I am very, very stuck guys. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, 



  • If you're not an avid runner - do you really need GPS ?
    Smartphones can record milage for you. Free Apps will show you the pace - not sure of the last mile pace - but the current one certainly. You should be able to judge pace anyway from the HRM ?

    Any cheap HRM can show you the HR - do you need an alarm ? Just look at the figure.
  • Ideally yes, previously I have used Endomondo on my HTC Desire but it is ridiculously bulky and very, very annoying when running, especially over a decent distance.
  • I use two devices, a bog standard Polar RS100 for recording heart rate (which would work for tracking your HR in the gym) and I supplement this with a Garmin Forerunner 205- you can customise the screens to show the information you need.  The Forerunner is set to auto-lap at one mile intervals, when this beeps I then hit the lap split on the Polar to give me an average HRM for that mile. 
  • Simon - put it in a freezer bag and then in the pouch of an energy gel belt. Put it inside your shorts and you wont even notice its there.

    You wont have access to the data as you run mind you - but it would be zero cost.
  • Hi Simon,

    I have the 405. The main problem with the bezel is that the display can change if you knock it or it rubs against your sleeve. Also, if it is raining, and the bezel gets wet, the display can go haywire. This can be overcome by locking the bezel, but this needs both buttons to be pressed simultaneously. I often miss this and either start/stop the stopwatch or get a lap where I didn't want one. If I was buying again, I'd get the 610 for both the touchscreen and also the vibrate function. I often miss the beep when I hit the mile-point, even if I'm not wearing headphones!

    I'd be careful with the 405cx that you quote the price of on Amazon, I don't think that includes the chest strap. It also doesn't mention the ANT+ stick, both of which are fairly important.

    One thought for in the gym, you could just buy a replacement Polar chest strap that works with the equipment in there.
  • Just had a quick look at the 605 but it is around £250 which is more expensive than the 310xt!
  • The Garmin 305 will do everything you want on a budget, Amazon and others often have them at just under £100. Good GPS, HR monitor, and you can customise the screens to show up to four functions on each, and set intervals etc., and upload stats. I upgraded from a 305 to a 310xt and love it, but it might not be worth the extra cost just for the vibrate function, as the 305 does pretty much the same (except you can't swim with it) ... my OH didn't get on with the 405 cos the bezel kept mucking around in the rain ...
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Do you want GPS for a particular reason, or just because it's a way of tracking your distance and speed? If you're not bothered about mapping and navigation etc, you could look at the Garmin FR60 with footpod. Currently under £100 at some retailers. The footpod accelerometer is as accurate as GPS once calibrated, which doesn't take long and is easy. The FR60 is also much less bulky than a GPS unit and doesn't need recharging.
  • Garmin 110 is brill shows distance, time, ave speed, speed per mile which u can change, hr. It isn't to big I've had ones in the past that look ready to beam up somewhere, and it is easy to use. Reasonable price, don't forget u get what u pay for.

  • @B The 305 is starting to look like a good bet to be honest. It seems to do everything I want and all the test I've seen put it up there with the best for accuracy. When you are running with it, does it feel heavy and weigh your wrist down at all?

    @Muttley I would like the GPS for mapping and to show elevation more than anything to be honest. 

    @Paula had a quick look at the 110 and it seems it doesn't show average pace just lap times? Also, for around the same money you can get the 305....

  • 305 is brilliant - not exactly compact but you actually really appreciate the size on a run. Well worth around the £100!

  • Can't seem to find it anywhere for £100, handtec have it for a little more but it's out of stock...
  • It doesn't show ave speed but if u go onto endomondo that does, I used to have a 305 yes it does show more but there was to much on the screen I had to stop sometimes to see because there was to much going on. And I found it to heavy, but that is probably because I am small my wrists are tiny. Trouble is we seem to be spoilt for choose.
  • http://www.amazon.co.uk/Garmin-Forerunner-305-Wrist-Worn-Personal/dp/B000FMQ296/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325713933&sr=8-1

    Just saw it's £145 on Amazon!!! Keep an eye on it - it definitely varies massively in price week on week, seems to depend on demand!

    I think it's Achilles Heel or Sweatshop who will be doing a Garmin 110 for £75 in mid January...
  • Just checked - it's Sweatshop.

    Half price Garmin Forerunner 110 - Week 3 - 9th January to 15th January

    £74.99 voucher price. Online discount added automatically!

    Worth waiting for I reckon...
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Simon Ross 6 wrote (see)

    @Muttley I would like the GPS for mapping and to show elevation more than anything to be honest. 

    Ah, I see. In that case, as others say, the 305 is probably the best bet. A bit clunky compared to the latest and sleekest models but tried and tested. Again, as others say, keep an eye out for the price. They've been under a ton at Amazon but currently at silly money. Price varies almost daily, I suspect there's some kind of price-matching algorithm at work here.
  • I'll keep my eyes open.

    A half price 110 is very interesting, especially at £75! Seems that it does everything that I want it to. Are there any real downsides to it?

  • Had mine a while havent come across any yet.
  • The downside of the £75 110 from sweatshop for you Simon is that, I believe the special offer is on this one, rather than this one, linky. i.e. it doesn't come with the HRM strap which you say is important for you. You can buy a HRM strap seperately but that will cost something like an extra £30
  • Not suitable for you perhaps, but for anyone that doesn't need the HRM function, the Soleus is very good value at £100, new, easy to operate and stores up to a 100 routes. It doesn't have the same functionality as the latest Garmins and ironmans and so on but if, like me, all you need to know is accurate time, distance, pace then this makes a lot of sense at a price less than some well featured chronos.

    You can find them pretty much anywhere:


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