on August 16, 2010
I have used a Garmin 405 to track my weekend long runs for about 1.5 years. Previously I owned the Garmin 305. I'm using the 110 with with my 405 chest strap (saved me $50).
The 110 does everything I do with my 405 in a significantly smaller, lighter form factor with a superior GPS chip (in theory, to be proven).
REASONS WHY I LIKE MY NEW 110 BETTER THAN MY OLD 405:
* It's smaller and less bulky than the 405, looks and feels like a regular watch, and wraps snugly around my smallish wrist.
* I don't have to fiddle around with the temperamental 405 touch-(in)sensitive bezel.
* The displayed numbers for distance/hr/time/pace are bigger on the 110 than the 405, so easier for me to read on the run.
* There are fewer menus to navigate.
* Like the 405, GPS locking and accuracy works just fine, even under trees (more below).
* Like the 405, I can set the auto-lap to increment every 1 mile (other distances available).
* The 110 displays everything I want to track during and after my run.
- Elapsed distance (for run), Elapsed time (for run), Current HR, Average pace (for current lap), Last lap pace (displayed automatically for a few seconds after each lap), Average HR (for run), Average pace (for run). Average HR and pace for the entire run are show under "History" at the end of my run.
* To make this tangible, I can glance at the watch to see that so far I've run 2.1 miles in 21 minutes, my current HR is 160, my pace for the current mile (mile 3) is 9:56 and my pace for the last lap (mile 2) was 10:01. At the end of my run, I click through to "History" and see that my average HR for the entire run was 162bpm and my average pace was 9:54 minute miles. For me, currently, all I care about is keeping my HR in the 160-170bpm range (your range will probably be different) while trying to keep my pace under 10:00. In general, I suspect most runners will have the same requirements: Track your current HR to keep it within a target range while attempting to meet or beat a per-mile pace goal.
* The 110 has a longer battery life
* I never used the other 405 features like courses, virtual partner, etc. Ironically, I "customized" the 405 screens to pretty much do what the 110 displays by default (but cannot be changes).
WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT "CURRENT PACE"?
I guess some runners want to know the pace they are running RIGHT NOW. Think of it as their instantaneous pace - kinda like what a car speedometer gives you. Some folks call it "current pace" but that can be confusing when you also have average pace for the current mile, so let's call current pace the "right-now" pace. Unlike the 405, the 110 does not give you your right-now pace. Instead you get your average pace for the current lap. If your auto-lap is set to 1 mile (the default setting) then you'll see your average pace for the current mile. I for one don't need right-now pace. Since I'm trying to hit per-mile pace goals I want to see my average pace for the current mile. If I'm trying to hit a 10:00 pace for the current mile, and I start out too slow, the 110 will tell me my average pace for the current mile is slower, let's say 11:00, and I know I need to run the rest of the mile faster to bring my average pace for the current mile down from 11:00 to my target pace of 10:00. As I speed up, my average pace for the current mile will slowly drop from 11:00 to 10:00. Bottom line: Right-now pace doesn't help me hit per-mile pace goals so I could care less if it's "missing" from the 110. If all you are doing is trying to hit per-mile pace goals (eg run a 10:00 miles) then you'll be just fine with the 110.
ANY GPS ISSUES?
Not for me. Check out connect dot garmin dot com slash activity slash 44862992 and you'll see my test walk/run. Click to view the map in "Satellite" mode and notice that most of my test walk was under thick tree cover.
on February 24, 2011
i have had this watch for about 3 months now. i have never owned any other type of gps enable watch before this one. however, my father owns the forerunner 305 and my mother has the forerunner 405 so i do still have some experience with those watches as well. in my opinion this is the best watch of the group hands down. the watch literally feels like a standard stopwatch. no extra weight, no extra bulk. the 405 does not quite fit like a normal watch due to the antenna extending down into the wrist strap. this watch is extremely comfortable to wear at all times and very adjustable in size (the holes go around the entire strap). this watch is very basic for runners and thus lacks the extra bells and whistles that the 305 and 405 have such as "ghost" trainers and "breadcrumb" directions. however this watch gives you current pace (more in just a moment), distance, calories, time, heart rate, and chimes at each "lap." for a standard running regimen this watch is more than enough to supplement a good, hard workout.
CURRENT PACE EXPLANATION
-i have noticed a lot of confusion about the idea of this watch lacking current "real-time" pace. However, to be quite honest, "real time" pace on a gps watch is pretty useless. the gps in the watch is NOT hooked up to a satellite CONTINUOUSLY. no gps in the world has this capability. instead, each gps has a certain "ping" time to send and receive a signal from a satellite. more advanced gps systems have quicker "pings" to more closely mimic a continuous connection but the connection is still never actually continuous. on watches that advertise "current pace," the watch is simply showing you the exact speed at which you were going between the last two pings. basically the watch calculates the distance traveled between each ping and then uses the time it took you to go that distance to get a speed. this leaves a lot of room for random spikes and troughs in the data. no human can run at a single speed across a certain distance. the human body simply cannot set itself to "cruise" and go from there. thus a "real time" pace is fairly useless for a runner. let me give an example. if someone were to turn on their forerunner 405 and set it to show current pace and run for 20 seconds at an 8:00min/mi pace, assuming the watch has a ping every 2 seconds or so, the data would look something like this: 6:52, 7:20, 8:15,7:47, 8:30, 6:59, 8:02, 8:10, etc...obviously this data is not really constant with an 8:00min/mi pace however the person may still very well be able to hit EXACTLY an 8:00min mile. What the forerunner 110 does, rather than show the data from EACH ping, is it takes each ping and adds it to a list with every other ping that has been recorded across the time frame and averages them all together. the final number that is shown on your watch will thus be called the "current AVERAGE pace." which in all honesty is MUCH more useful if one is trying to hit a certain pace goal. basically this current average pace can quite accurately depict your mile split well before you've reached the mile marker..if you speed up significantly then the ping data will thus be in a lower range and bring your "average" time down. now some of you might think that this means that the watch only displays a pace that doesnt refresh very often. however, the exact opposite is true. the watch will refresh the current average pace every time another ping comes in..so basically your current average pace could hypothetically move up or down with every single ping. but due to the beauty of the AVERAGE, the watch will not jump around sporadically like in a "current pace" but rather stay around a certain time and gradually move up or down according to your speed. in essence, the "current pace" on a lot of gps watches is really truly useless and most people will never end up using it because it doesnt actually give you any solid data to work off of. because the data is changing so dramatically each second, the data is just plain useless. FYI: some runners may have noticed very random spikes in their "fastest" pace that the garmin software will show after uploading the data. basically, "fastest pace" during your run means that for one single ping during the run you might have run a 5:34min/mile pace for all of 1 second. however, because that pace is still part of the data that is added into the overall time, it still counts as your "fastest pace" for the run even though your average mile pace for the workout was only 8:34...
another nice thing about this watch is that after each run is saved to the history on the watch, it can be accessed to show the average pace over the entire distance rather than just the mile splits. the mile splits for older runs can only be accessed and viewed once the watch is connected to a computer and the data is uploaded.
hope all of this has cleared up any confusion about current average pace for the forerunner 110!
on January 12, 2014
I was initially happy to see a watch with such high ratings at an affordable price. Boy was I mistaken. To sum it up: this is a piece of crap that should be avoided at all costs.
I am very surprised at all the high ratings for this watch. Great watch…when it works. Syncing into satellites can take a while and is very inconsistent. Uploading to the computer is near impossible. It used to work every 3rd time now it never works.
This morning I saw that the battery life was at 2 bars (out of 3). I plugged it into the charger for 20 minutes to give it some extra juice before a long run…boy was that a mistake. Came back and the thing is dead. How does the charger kill the watch? Tried plugging it back in and get no response. This watch just an expensive piece of rubber and plastic wasting space in my apartment. I bought this watch in August, do all the updates and have never had it in the shower/underwater/etc. So disappointed in the product it just irks me thinking about it.
on June 15, 2012
I want to love this watch. I really do. But frankly, it drives me crazy. When I first got it a year ago it synced to the GPS system very quickly. I could hit the button and start running within a minute. Now it takes 10, 15, 25 minutes to lock on to satellite signals - if it does at all. Many times i leave it at home, sitting on my patio table, and run without it. When I get home an hour later it is still trying to find satellites. I've tried everything - updating the software, resetting the watch, wiping old data - but nothing works. I live outside Boston and have a clear view of the sky. The dang watch just doesn't work.
Garmin customer service has gone out of their way to be unhelpful. They leave me on long holds and then say they can't help because the watch is just over a year old. I've had Garmin portable car units for years with great success, but I'm beyond disappointed in this watch and more so with Garmin's customer service. If TomTom made a GPS watch I'd buy that in a heartbeat and post a video online of me smashing this one with a sledgehammer or driving over it or maybe blowing it up. I know there are mostly positive reviews of this watch here on Amazon, but clearly I got a dud. Shame on Garmin for refusing to fix or replace it.
on December 16, 2013
When this watch works, it is a fantastic device that provides accurate pacing and logging of run splits. However, the reliability apparently is extremely poor. My first watch lasted about 4 months before I started having problems. One of the contacts corroded and the unit would not hold a charge. It would indicate full charge when I disconnected from the charger, but would only last 30 minutes to an hour on a run.
My second unit lasted about 30 days before total failure. That unit now displays a blank screen and does not appear to power on. I suspect the problem is the unit has very poor water resistance, and inevitable as a runner you will sweat or take this out in the rain. Perhaps enclosing the unit it a plastic zipper bag will increase the lifespan of the unit, but that just seems silly.
on June 22, 2010
Forerunner 110 by Garmin
I purchased this unit to primairly track my mileage and times.
-Easy set up. Simple to follow instructions, worked right the 1st time.
-Easy to use as there are limited functions.
-No problems with connecting to the satellite- 15 seconds or less in my area.
-Option to use without satellite.
-Great size, just like a regular watch and looks good as well.
-Garmin Connect- easy to download your activities. Site gives you everything you need to track your runs/progress and it's FREE!
-I would buy this running watch again....
-While several reviews have noted the inability to get current lap times, I have not found this to be an issue for my purposes of tracking mileage and overall time. The acutual lap pace can be seen once the download to Garmin Connect is completed.
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." Jim Ryun
on May 22, 2013
If you live in a city of any size where buildings around you are over 3 stories save your time and money. This watch will never finish obtaining satelites. The only time I can ever get this watch to locate satelites is out in the country with no large buildings. I have never gotten it to work in the city.
on September 15, 2010
I'll keep this short and to the point since there are numerous complete reviews. For the past 6 or 7 years, I have been tracking my mileage in Excel which has required using previously measured runs or measuring new ones by computer or bike, etc. I wanted a watch that was the smallest, lightest one that would free me from the same old runs and allow me to run anywhere and easily get the mileage and my time. I didn't want a heart monitor, don't need directions back home or anything else...
The Forerunner links to satellites in about 10 seconds and does everything I need. The software it works with, Garmin Connect or Training Center are excellent also. I use them, but still use Excel for tracking mileage although the Garmin software can do this also.
One key point because there seems to be confusion about this - the watch by default beeps at each mile and tells you your pace for that mile, but at the end of your run, it tells you only the total distance and time. You CANNOT get your mile splits from the watch but you CAN get them by downloading your activity to Garmin Connect or Garmin Training Center. Once you do that (and it is simple and takes just a few seconds), you get all your splits and more including elevations, speeds and a map. Garmin Connect also has a player to replay your runs. Very fun and cool. You change the splits to other values, Miles or Kilometers, and other distances in case you want to run on a track, etc.
Bottom line - I am thrilled with this watch and it has motivated me to run new routes and go greater distances. I have also used it during one race which was helpful and am looking forward to wearing it in a half marathon next month to make my time goal. If I could give this thing 10 stars, I would - it is a great training aid, motivational aid and... cool toy.
on December 8, 2013
I bought this watch in mid-August 2013 to complement the Garmin Edge 810 that I use for road cycling, and specifically so that I could upload data on my daily walks and thrice-weekly indoor workouts to the Garmin Connect website -- where I'd been uploading data from my bike rides for several months. I've used the Forerunner 110 daily since then.
This product almost certainly should never have been released to the general public.
I don't mind having to use a physical cable to connect the watch to my desktop computer, or to charge it. I didn't want to spend several hundred more dollars to get a Forerunner model that would upload wirelessly.
But the product-unique connection cable is an irretrievably flawed design: To make the connection, one must VERY, VERY carefully position four tiny contact pins in the alligator-clip at one end of the cable so that they'll make contact with four tiny, almost-smooth spots on the back of the watch case. It's almost impossible to tell when those four contact-points are correctly seated -- no audible or tactile click. It's been a matter of guesswork every single time I've used it, which is to say, daily.
Once connected, one must then VERY, VERY carefully set the watch down so that none of the four connection points are accidentally dislodged. A tiny slip of the insecurely fastened clip -- a movement measured in MILLIMETERS, almost too small to be perceptible -- will break the connection, without giving any clear warning that's happened.
Consequently, several times I thought I'd left the watch to recharge overnight, it didn't recharge at all -- meaning I had an inadequate charge to last through my next day's workout. Yes, there is a small icon on the watch's face to indicate that the watch is charging. But checking that closely, typically with the watch face in an inconvenient position as the watch is laid down on its side (to keep from dislodging the contact points), is another part of the careful daily routine that one must follow simply to use this product for its intended purpose.
Moreover, one must carefully follow the exact sequence Garmin prescribes, which is to first connect the clip to the watch, and ONLY THEN to plug the other end of the cable into a computer USB port. Otherwise Windows won't recognize the device properly (meaning the watch can't upload data or even recharge itself). Since my only free USB port is on the back of my desktop computer, this means I have to do an acrobatics routine, working by feel, on the back panel of my computer every single day.
These unfixable design flaws alone would cause me not to recommend this model. But there are other flaws.
The software is buggy -- fit, maybe, for beta testing, but not adequate for a watch that I paid $155 for. Garmin's software updates are infrequent enough, even on my very-much-more expensive Edge 810 cycling computer/GPS. But the Forerunner 110 seems to be an orphaned product. Garmin's only had one software update to it in the four months I've owned mine.
Satellite acquisition is maddeningly slow, even when outside and away from trees or other obstructions. Frequently -- but seemingly at random -- after I "wake up" the watch from its power-saving mode and press the button that signals it to try to get a satellite fix, the watch will stop trying to get a fix. Instead it asks me if I want to use it indoors. Well, sometimes I do use it for indoor workouts, and on those occasions I don't need the GPS function. But several times I've been miles into an outdoor walk before realizing that the darned thing has never completed the satellite acquisition process, and therefore never even started keeping a record of my data.
Unlike the cheap (but no GPS, no website-connectivity) Timex heart monitor watch I used before, the Forerunner 110 won't automatically track one- or two-minute heart recovery rates (the rate at which one's heartbeat drops during the one- or two-minute period after stopping a workout). That's a fairly key measure of cardio health, but the Forerunner won't even let me manually calculate that: As soon as I stop recording data, the watch becomes incapable of displaying my heart-rate. This is the kind of basic feature that could, and should, have been added by a software upgrade. I've made that suggestion, and many other suggestions, via the Garmin website. If they give a flying hoot about consumer input, though, I've yet to see any evidence of that.
When I'm very, very careful, and somewhat lucky, the watch works as intended. For that, and for the very modest but slow improvements to the Garmin Connect website in the last four months, I'll give this product two stars.
But I'm sorry I bought it.
UPDATE November 16, 2014: I've used this watch almost daily for a year. Almost every damn day it makes me angry, even on the days when it's not run to flat battery by the awful, awful charging system.
Today I couldn't take it any more. I smashed the watch to 1000 smithereens. That gave me more pleasure than anything else this watch has ever done for me, and I only wish I'd ceremonially burned and pulverized it on video that I could post here and send to Garmin.
DON'T BUY THIS WATCH.
on May 5, 2010
NOTE THAT THIS IS A FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW:
Here is some information I couldn't find elsewhere
1. The watch does not have "bike mode" as has its predecessors, but it CAN be set to tell you your speed in mph/kph.
2. The the light and right buttons take a bit of force to press while the lower left button is much easier. Maybe the tougher buttons are that way so your wrist doesn't press them.
3. When you start and stop the timer, the watch gives you a pop-up window that says "timer started" or "timer stopped" which takes a few seconds to disappear. It's kind of annoying.
4. When you tell the watch to go out of gps mode, you have to wait about a minute before you can tell it to go back into gps mode. The reverse is also true. Again, this nuance is not a deal breaker, but it's annoying.
5. When you press the "lap" button while timing. The screen will change and give you the lap time for about 10 seconds and then return to the screen that gives you total elapsed time. In other words, there is no way to view your lap time as it increases. It's only viewable at the END of the lap.
6. To reset the stopwatch, you have to hold "reset" for 3 seconds. That's irritatingly slow.
This watch is certainly less gigantic than the 205/305. I think it's a bit smaller than the 405 too. It has a solid, well made "feel" but is not very heavy. The band is comfortable for a plastic watch and has a circumference of about 9". As stated in the instructions, you have to hold still for the watch to acquire satellite signals. It easily gets signals faster than my 60csx which has a SiRf III chip, but I'm not sure how the 205/305/405's compare. Beyond telling the watch to report 12/24 hour mode, pace/speed, km/mi, and beeps/alarm only/off you can't customize much about what it shows you.
Sadly, I haven't had time to take the watch on a run or match it with my 60csx, but I will try to post that data this weekend.
Overall, this watch seems like it should do what it was made to do just fine. Due to its sluggish stopwatch, expense, bulk, and lack of simultaneous showing of elapsed lap and total elapsed times, I won't take it to the gym any time soon. That said, I am still excited to try it on runs and bike rides.
Also, I highly recommend Clever Training as a vendor. I ordered the watch on Sunday and got it on Wednesday.
I took this watch on a run along with my 60csx. For the duration of the 2.4 mile run, they stayed within 0.02 of a mile of each other (usually 0.01). I could not compare the speeds directly because the 110 only gives you a running average. It would be nice if Garmin would allow you to change that feature. Sometimes the 110 will get a signal in about 15 seconds, but sometimes it takes more like a minute.
The watch has performed well over the at past year. I've found it annoying that it can't give you an instantaneous speed. You only get your average speed from the previous mile you ran. That is sometimes convenient and sometimes irritating. Hopefully the new 210 and 410's don't have this problem.