What is the best GPS Watch for running??

Hi guys, HELP! I'm looking to buy a watch for running to track my minute miles etc. I have been looking at both the Garmin forerunner 405 and the Garmin forerunner 110. Does anyone have one of these? What are they like and is there anything better out in the market for the money (£150ish).Any advice would be massively appreciated!




  • Check out this website: www.dcrainmaker.com

    Loads of product reviews on there (in exhaustive detail) of Garmin, Polar and Suunto GPS watches.

    If it were me, I'd go for the Garmin 110. Simple to use and gives good data. The 405 has a touch bezel as the primary means of navigating the watch, which some people find difficult to use.

    Happy running!

  • I use a 405 and I don't find it tricky to use at all. Some people do tho'

    I think a lot depends on what you want it to do.  I looked at the 110 and the 405.  If you only want to know your pace and some basic functions it is fine.  I don't think it can programme interval training for example.  That is one of the most useful features of the 405 so I can do intervals on the road as there is no track near me.

  • I have the 110 - it is brilliant. Even a dolt like me can use it. Best bit of kit I've bought (other than the bra and shoes!)
  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭
    Of those two the 405 is the more sophisticated watch, with more advanced features. The difference in price on Amazon is only around £30 as the 405 model is older (replaced by the 410), but at original retail it was a lot more.

    As Fiona J said, the interval function was the decider for me. I went for the 405 and I understand the criticism of the bezel, but its easily avoided by locking it during runs.

    You haven't given any details of what you'll use it for, so its hard to judge for you. If its to track your runs then the 110 is enough, but if you want the watch to assist with more advanced training plans the 405 is better suited.
  • Hi Richard

    We have both of those in our house, I recently switched from a 205 to the 405, I really like it the bezel thing is not a problem as long as you make sure you lock it, which is fine for me as I only use one screen of data when running and if you need multiples you can make it auto scroll, it has way more features than the 110 so as already mentioned you can set up your intervals etc.  The 110 my wife loves, she hated the 405,  it is a great little unit that provides distance, time and pace (pace I believe is either the average pace for the run or average for that lap, so can be set to miles, KM's or even 250m if the urged took you)  as far as I am aware it  can't do spot pace, for me this is not a problem as I like my average pace over a mile.

     In my opinion both good units for the money

  • Hi Rich

    I know you didn't mention the FR210, but I tried my new one of these out for the first time yesterday and it was great.  It's relatively small, easy to setup and picks up satellites nice and quickly.

    I think it has the same form factor as the 110, but offers you your current pace rather than just giving you the pace of your last split.

     I was considering the 410, but was put off by the mixed reviews on the internet.  DCRainmaker was a good recommendation for reviews though, so give his site a read.

  • I splashed out on a MotoActv at the VLM Expo.  Only used it once and don't have the necessary HRM yet, but I'm pleased with it so far.  Function overload compared to my old Timex Bodylink system.
  • Hi guys, Thanks everyone for the advice (especially JoBa595 for the link to dcrainmaker.com - very very informative). I think I have pretty much made up my mind; I'm going to go with the Garmin FR210. This however was a really close call. Ideally I would like the FR405 or FR410 but I've been really put off by the bezel! If only they could make the FR410 without the bezel and for £150!The review of the FR210 seems pretty good too, so I’ll give it a bash….. Thanks again! Rich  
  • I was choosing between the 210 and the 410 and what swung me to the 410 was the virtual partner. You can set it to a pace and see at a glance whether you're running faster or slower than that pace (there're two little runners, one's running at your pace and one is running at the pace you set on the watch).

    I've really used that feature and I'm really glad I bought the 410. Even I can use the bezel.

  • Don't forget there is a difference between the 405 & 405cx.. Bug fixes too.
    405 can come without the heart rate strap, 405cx always does.

    You can pick the 405cx a bit cheaper than the 410 so worth checking £30-40.

    Virtual partner is good. The Course feature is awesome on all the 405 models up

    I ran a 24-25 mile fell trail run a month ago, not 100% sure of the course... Was with a friend and had map but Garmin pointed the way the whole time using someone's course from previous year.
  • i saw a few tests where 305 side by side still outperforms pretty much all but the 610/910.
  • Battery wise I'm sure it does. 7-8 hours on 405/410, 12 for the 305 so still okay for some ultras.
  • I got my 410 last year during a period where they were selling it for around £100. No idea what happened, but you don't seem to be able to find one for less than £140 now.

    No problems with the much maligned bezel, batteries or poor water-proofing, so I suspect Garmin updated the manufacturing process slightly in response to the poor user reviews. The GPS tends to be extremely reliable.

    Only thing is, it has 10 squillion features I never learnt to use. Oh, and the battery is only at its best if you take it off charge right before use: no way you can effectively use it as both an everyday watch and GPS.
  • Marshalling a couple of ultras recently I noticed that the older 305 seems to be the GPS of choice for loads of runners. I saw more of them than any of the other Garmin models. of course, that might just be cause they're so big they're hard to miss!

    I use a 405 and while the bezel can be annoying at times (in rain or when v sweaty) overall it's not a major hassle. Most annoying is when it has to be tapped three or four times to get it to change screens, but I can live with it...

  • has anyone tried the 310XT? Apparently it has a 20 hour battery life and is swim proof!!! I had kind of thought about trading my 305 in for one but not sure if it is worth it!
  • Despite what I said in an earlier post, I have now gone full circle and decided to break the bank and buy the Garmin FR610. It's about another £110 more than the FR210 but I figure it'll be worth it......

    I'm not normally this indecisive, honest!!

  • D0MD0M ✭✭✭
    I`ve just ordered a Garmin 410 from Amazon (£170) to replace my original Forerunner 210, bought back in 2005. That 210 is a brick on your arm compared to the recent models, it still gives me 14 hours battery life but loses signal if you run under a small leaf. Now that i`ve started to train more seriously, having a gps watch where you take the distance with a pinch of salt was not on any more. Anyone else used (or still use) the original Garmins and the new ones. Are they much better?
  • D0MD0M ✭✭✭
    Sorry, meant 201 not 210.
  • I have a 310 xt - got it when the 205's battery life got too short for marathons (I wasn't getting any faster image). Aside from a cracked-screen issue when Garmin sent me a new one so that ended OK it's been fine, like my old 205 but with fantastic battery life, a hrm and a bit better at picking up the satellites. Got my OH a 610xt when the 205 battery got too weedy for his half marathons image
  • I've just bought a 410 and I love it. The bezel hasn't been a problem at all - there's been quite a bit of criticism of it but perhaps Garmin have updated it slightly, as it functions very well for me.
  • I have the 405 it's fantastic I love it never had any trouble with the bezel even when doing mud runs!!
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I've had nearly five years very good service out of my 305, but having recently lost my HR strap (left it at a race I think!) I've decided to finally upgrade.  Have been reading this post with interest and I think my options are narrowed down to the 410 and 610.  Money-no-object I'd definitely go with the 610 but it's a LOT of money. 

    Main advantages of the 410 over the 305, for me, from what I've seen are:

    - smaller, more comfortable.  Not fussed about wearing it as a casual watch but the clunky 305 was never entirely comfy on my bony wrist.
    - improved satellite reception (clever GPS that locks on to satellite reception in your usual locations more quickly)
    - improved HR strap (I'm often frustrated that I can't record a true max for an easy run for example, because the 305 obviously thinks that one of the earlier spikes is a true reading)
    - more sophisticated interval training options - you can mix up 'distance' intervals and 'time' recoveries, right?

    I've got a big birthday coming up, so I may just put up both options of the 410 and 610 on my wish list and see which one my well-to-do bruv wants to get me.  image

  • If he gets you both, can I have one?

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Yes, should that happen you can definitely have one!  image

  • I use the Nike plus gps sportwatch. It is one of the best things I own. Really easy to use, really easy to read when you are running and plugs straight into your computer where it syncs with the amazing Nike plus software.
  • phil, i'd debate the "improved satalite reception" part, the 305 side by side with the 410 almost always performs better, its marginal but still. dcrainmaker did a test with them all running at the same time on the same runs (pre 910xt release) and the 305 was top on almost all the tests,

  • ah, i just re found the test and it was the nike + gps, ironman timex, garmins - 305, 310, 405 (not the 410) and 610, my mistake. 

  • Hi. I'm looking to buy my husband a GPS watch for Christmas (Hope he's not reading this!) I've looked at the Garmin Forerunner 405 for £120 on Amazon, is this recommended by you seasoned runners? I'm not a runner myself so would appreciate some guidance.

    My husband regularly takes part in half marathons and trains by running different routes around our neighbourhood, timing himself on his 'normal' watch. He finds the information provided online from his chip after his offical runs very useful so I thought that this type of watch would help him be more informed about his performance and the virtual trainer feature would be an aid to his training.

    Do you guys have any (kind) advice or comments?

  • Hi, having started this thread earlier this year I eventually went for the Garmin Forerunner 610 and have found it great. If you are struggling to decide I would check out this website www.dcrainmaker.com which I found really useful!!
  • Go for 410 rather than 405 as it is a newer version. The version with heart rate monitor is now for about ??150. I spoiled myself and went for 610 but it's nearly ??100 more expensive
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