Which GPS should I buy?

I am entering the bewildering world of GPS watches and need advice on which one to get.

I've narrowed my choice down to a Garmin, either the Forerunner 610 with heart rate monitor, or the Forerunner 10.

I would only be using it on training runs to see how far and fast I've run and how many calories I've burned.  Looking at the specs on the 610, I reckon I'd also use the lap pacer for interval training.

I already use a Polar heart rate monitor so am not completely clueless with gadgets, but I'm not brilliant either!

The difference between the 10 and the 610 is cost and the heart rate monitor, I know, but just wondered what you more experienced GPS watch users would recomend.





  • Well I've the 610 since release and it is great, wouldn't change it - but it is expensive.  The 10 isn't really comparable - especially in price! I'd probably say 210 or 610 depending on how much money you wanted to spend (only used Garmin myself so can't comment on others).

    Check out dcrainmaker's blog as it is probably the best source of info/reviews on GPS watches.

  • Garmin 410 for me. Never leave home without it
  • sorry but you've lost me on this one.

  • Why don't you use Gmap pedometer or Training Peaks to calculate you routes distance and then you don't need a GPS
  • The 610 is the top of the range - all the bells and whistles and sleek.  It is also the tried and tested as compared to the 10 which came out in late 2012.  The 10 is the smallest and simplest, but has some training features not present in the watches next up the Garmin range. It does not work with an HRM or footpod, so no gadget upgrade. It is however water proofed to 50m which none of Garmin's other running watches are.

  • Jane,

    One thing for sure is that everyone has their own favourites, so you are unlikely to get a consenus. Map software is fine if you want to calculate before or after your run but no good whilst you are out. 

    Don't worry too much about the waterproof rating on some of the Garmins as they are waterproof to 1 metre for 30 minutes. So only an issue if you want to swim in it.

    You already have a HRM and know the benefits so are you sure you want the Forerunner 10 that doesn't have it.

    Some dislike the bezel on the Forerunner 410 and some dislike the touch screen on the 610. Again you can't please everyone.

    Can you get a GPS footpod for your HRM, if so it could save a lot of money

    There are a number of options from other brands - take a look at these links http://bit.ly/14QFJyi and http://bit.ly/W6n7Iq for more options

  • The 10 and the 610 seem a very odd pair to be choosing between! One is dead basic, and the other is top of the range. 

    TBH I'd pretty much ignore the calories burned - it won't vary very much by pace. If you are reasonably average weight then just assume 100 Kcals per mile and you won't be that far out!

    If you really are only going to want to know how far and fast you have run after the event, then mapping software is free and does the job well.

    If you want to know on the hoof then gps is probably the route to go down.

    The question really is what else do you want & what might you want to do, but haven't yet thought of? When choosing for myself (on a limited budget), I knew that though my most usual use would be pretty standard, I would want the opportunity of setting up my own interval sessions, and also multisport use. I chose to go for an old 2nd hand 305 with the features I wanted rather than a newer, sleeker, simpler model.

    As Daeve says, check out DCrainmaker's site, if you haven't already done so,as he really puts his gadgets through their paces, and thinks of doing all sorts of things with them which you might not have thought of, but might want to do once you know about them. Be prepared to take some time - he is very detailed, I had to read stuff several times in order to really take it all in. Because he has used so many gadgets he can really get into the minutiae of that particular minor feature which actually is really great, or a real annoyance. Remember though that he is a triathlete so some of the things which are important to him may not be to you.

  • Another thought - treat the stats as an interesting diversion rather than gospel. Comparative, rather than absolute numbers. Example: same run Monday, Garmin 721kCal, 1020' climbing; Strava 974 kCal, 512' climbing.

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