on September 29, 2012
Before this watch came on to the market, I had looked at other GPS watches from time to time, but they generally seemed too big/bulky and expensive. This is the first moderately priced GPS watch with the features I was looking for. I have been using it for 1 week and am happy to say that it operates as advertised. It is lightweight, not too bulky, and starts/stops with the push of one button. The main face is preset to display run time and total distance, but you can toggle to a second screen to see your pace. The watch notifies you as you complete each mile, and displays your average pace for the mile as well as your average pace at the end of your run. You can also set the watch for run/walk intervals, or use the "virtual pacer" to notify you if you are running slower or faster than your desired pace.
Battery life may be a big issue if you want to use the watch outside of running, but I have just used it during runs, and recharged while connecting to Garmin's website to download my run stats, so it hasn't been an issue for me. If you are looking for a basic GPS watch that tracks how far and how fast, this is a great choice! Note that it will not monitor your heart rate, so if that feature is important to you, you should like at a higher end version.
on October 16, 2012
What I want from a running watch is pretty simple. I want a watch that shows me my time, distance, and pace, in reasonably big font that I can read while running. I want decent battery life, so I don't have to charge every single run. I want a watch that doesn't make me wait for 5 minutes while it looks for satellites. And I want a watch that looks and feels like a watch rather than a small computer strapped to my arm.
For years, I've run with the Forerunner 305. It is a product I love to hate. It works well, and in a way it's been indispensable to me as a runner, but it is also a little bit deficient in nearly every respect mentioned above.
I've considered buying a new Garmin, such as the 410, but always decided not to after reading reviews. So when I heard about the 10, I was thrilled. Finally, Garmin had figured it out.
I've had it now for a couple weeks. The watch is a big improvement, but it also remains deficient in some critical respects. In fact, sadly, I am not sure I will keep it.
It is small. It looks and feels infinitely better than the 305. The display is easy to read. Big font means I can see and read it at a quick glance. The buttons are easy to find. The interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy to scroll around and program the watch. The battery life seems very good so far. Finally, it seems to pick up the satellites much quicker than the 305 does. In short, there are many things to love.
1. The display is not fully customizable. There are only four things that it can display (1) pace, (2) distance, (3) time, (4) calories. You can display two and only two of those at any time, in pairs.
2. While running, I generally want to know three things -- pace, distance, and time. On the 305, I can customize to view all three at once. On the 10, I can't. I understand the trade-off: if the watch displayed three things, then the font would be smaller, and so you couldn't see stuff at a glance. So I get why they made this choice. But it is nonetheless a drawback.
3. [See UPDATE below.] I could live with 1 and 2. But then there is the killer -- it will not display lap pace. Instead, it will only show current pace.
Over the years, with my 305, I've come to rely on lap pace for the simple reason that it is much, much more accurate. "Current pace" jumps around a lot, even if you are running at a completely even pace. The reason, I suppose, is the watch only communicates with the satellite every few seconds, so then it makes a sort of quick estimation about your spot pace. Lap pace, by contrast, has a bunch more data points, everything in the last mile (if you have it set to auto-lap at one mile). So it is far, far more accurate.
Let's say you're running a 7:35 pace. Your lap pace will say 7:35. Your current pace, however, will jump around -- 7:20, then 7:40, then 7:30, etc.
I'm sorry, but if you are even a remotely serious runner, this matters a great deal. If you are running a race, you probably have a goal in mind. You therefore probably have a specific pace you need to run. Like you want to run a 1:50 half marathon, so you know you need to stay with a 8:23 pace. The Garmin Forerunner 10 will not help you very much -- because you can't tell whether you are actually running an 8:23 as opposed to an 8:15 or an 8:30. Because all you get is the rough approximation of "current pace."
Now, if you have it set to auto-lap, then it will display your lap pace as a "lap banner" at the completion of each lap. So you have it set to auto-lap each mile, then at the end of each mile, it will show you your exact time. That's good, and to some extent, it helps to make up for the lack of constant lap pace display.
But in a way, that almost makes the whole thing more maddening. I know that my watch is calculating lap pace -- it is in there somewhere. But I can't see it until the end of my mile. Why? WHY???
I understand that they made a choice to cut down on features to make a simpler watch. But this watch still has a few more elaborate features like "virtual pacer" (which I will never use). If they can have that, why can't they at least give you an option of viewing lap pace?
I am running a half marathon next weekend. I would like to wear my new pretty Forerunner 10, but I will probably end up wearing my old clunky 305, just so I can know what my actual pace is. And honestly, that is hugely depressing.
UPDATE 7/22/13 -- I'm upgrading to 4 stars based on the lap pace firmware update.
This watch has been in a drawer, unused, for 6 months. I was finally getting around to selling it on ebay when I saw that Garmin had made a firmware update allowing for lap pace and average pace display. So I downloaded the update and run with it a couple times.
There is something a bit funky about the lap pace. It bounces around more than it should, and it seems to jump up randomly at the beginning of the lap. Nonetheless, this is a big improvement, and kudos to Garmin to listening to customer feedback on this.
I'm going to run with it for a few weeks, including some runs wearing multiple watches, and I'll update again if there is anything noteworthy.
on December 5, 2013
I was frustrated with the lack of accuracy I was getting from free running apps like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo, etc. and simultaneously annoyed with/creeped out by the automated voices giving me my pace (and yes, I realize you can turn them off, but it's the most efficient way to stay aware of how fast you're going, especially if your phone is in an armband). I decided to pony up for a watch and went back and forth for quite a while on what entry-level running GPS to buy. I have a pretty small wrist and didn't want the bulk of some of the higher-end Garmin models anyway. I liked the FR 10's easy interface, and I didn't feel that I needed a lot of bells and whistles (heart rate, waterproof, touchscreen and (heaven forbid) live tracking).
I guess it is a truth universally acknowledged that "you get what you pay for" because after 2+ months of using the FR 10, the experience has left something to be desired.
- Without a doubt, the biggest frustration has been getting satellites. I live in New York, and while it is hit or miss, it's mostly a miss. If it's a cloudy day or at night, I just leave the watch home at this point. I don't live in a neighborhood with many tall buildings, but I basically need to stand in the middle of the street of the avenue a half block away to pick up anything, even in the best possible conditions. Even then, there is a lot of starting / restarting of the watch that has to go on. I have had problems getting satellites on bridges and in Central Park (away from tree cover) as well. Not the best way to start a run.
- After spending 5 minutes trying to get satellites, I have had the GPS just crap out after 1.45 miles. When you're halfway through an 8-mile run and you look down at your watch and it says you've gone only 1.45 mi, your motivation drops far faster than it takes for logic and reason to set in. I assume this is because I was wearing a heavier jacket, and the watch slid under it a bit. I suppose for winter running, I'll have to wear the watch on the outside of my jacket, which will look cool...
- The beep at the end of each mile is barely audible. If you are listening to music, you will never, ever hear it.
- The watch tells you what you'll likely need and want to know if you are an amateur running enthusiast. It will also let you know when you've had a PR, which is fun. Yes, it doesn't spit out your average pace for the entire run until the end (you get your pace for that mile at each mile's conclusion and can see your current pace by scrolling down), but if this is not your very first run and you have some basic math skills, you can probably make a pretty reasonable guesstimate as to your overall pace so far.
- I've been impressed with the battery life. You can probably use it for about 5 hours without recharging.
- I guess this applies for all Garmins, but I truly love the breadth of data I get when I upload my runs to Garmin Connect. I love geeking out at the maps, the elevation profiles of my runs, etc. One unexpected thing that Garmin Connect offers that I love is an overview of the weather conditions during each run (temp, humidity, wind speed, sun/clouds). It's just basic stuff, but as someone who has definitely tried to Google for weather conditions at a specific date and time (which is more difficult than it sounds) in order to dress smarter, this has been a huge help.
- Race finish photos are now of you looking at your watch, so you are spared a certain number of photos where you have the face of someone at death's door, but you also look like a giant tool for staring at your watch.
Summary: I think if I were buying my first running GPS watch again, I would spend a little more (or not, since currently they are currently the same price on Amazon) and get the Forerunner 110 without the heart rate monitor because of the higher sensivity GPS, or stick it out with the apps and wait until I was ready to spend more serious money. I'm really intrigued by the new Forerunner 220, which seems to be getting great reviews, albeit at $250.
on October 17, 2012
I'm a long-time Garmin Forerunner user. My first was the 305 and I now use the 310XT as I do ultra-distance marathons and Ironman distance triathlons. I got the Forerunner 10 for my wife, which is about perfect for her. She's under 5 foot with small wrists so the size of the Forerunner 10 is perfect. The simplicity is also very welcome. Nothing fancy, just start, stop, just as she wants. The lime green color is also a huge bonus for her.
I used her Forerunner 10 a couple times and she's had it for a couple weeks now. Now for the problems, which there are only two.
First, the missing lap pace and average pace display. While the current pace is fairly accurate, but it doesn't replace the need to know your AVERAGE pace over the entire run and your average pace for the current lap. This is really vital information for any runner doing say a half marathon that's looking to finish at a certain time. I figured the virtual pacer would solve this problem. But, it still only shows your current pace vs. what you set for your virtual pace. It should show you how far ahead or behind you are compared to your virtual pacer. Basically, the virtual pacer is useless, as it just shows your current pace, just as the pace field does. The only time you can actually get an average pace is at the end of a mile (lap) where it displays the average for that mile. This dove-tales into the second problem...
Secondly, the beeper is VERY quiet. My wife cannot hear it at all while running unless she puts the watch against her ear. This is important because to know your average pace for the last mile, you need to catch it right at the time the mile (lap) ends. It only displays the lap time for a few seconds. If you can't hear it beep, you can't really get your mile pace. My hope is that she'll become accustomed to the beep frequency and be able to hear it. But, it's still really quiet and at a high frequency which is much more difficult to hear than my 305 or 310XT.
My hope is that Garmin will realize they missed a few things and a firmware update will address it. As it is now, I can't recommend this to anyone looking to run in any type of race where you're trying to hit a goal time. Or even training where you're trying to run at a specific average page, as you have basically no clue as to what your average pace is. And even with the Virtual Pacer, you have no idea if you need to slow down or speed up to hit your goal. All you know is your CURRENT pace, which is about worthless when trying to hit a goal time or pace. I'll change my review and rating if Garmin fixes things with firmware update.
** 11/27/12 UPDATE **
Still no firmware update from Garmin to fix the problems with this. Wife is okay with the limitations, but hopeful that Garmin will fix things. I've received many firmware updates to my other Garmin GPS watches, so I'm hopeful the problems will be addressed in fairly short order. Garmin, if you're reading this, here's what your new firmware should fix:
1) Beep for lap needs to be more like the beep for the Virtual Pacer. The lap beep is just too quiet to hear while running. The Virtual Pacer beep is obnoxiously loud, so I know it's possible.
2) Virtual Pacer is worthless. It doesn't show if you're ahead or behind your pace plan, just if you're CURRENTLY running faster or slower. This is the same information you get if looking at your current pace. The Virtual Pacer needs to show your current AVERAGE page from the start, and if you're behind or ahead of this AVERAGE pace. This is the way the Virtual Pacer function works for every other Garmin watch.
3) You can set to display pace on the display panels, but both of the pace options are instant pace. There's no lap pace or average pace option. You really have no idea what your average pace is till you're done with your run. Works fine for training, but try hitting a goal time in a half or full marathon if you have no idea what your average pace is till the race is over. Just a few quick water stops and you're never going to know what pace you should be running at. This dovetails with the Virtual Pacer, as that also doesn't show what you should be doing to hit your goal finishing time.
I'm a long time Garmin owner, owned the 205, 305, 310XT, and now the 10 (my wife's first Garmin). I'm an ultra marathoner (up to 50 miles) and Ironman, who does around 8 marathons or longer a year. I always wear my Garmin and have for several years. My point is that I know what I'm talking about. I've always been very happy with all my Garmin watches. This is the first time where it appears that whoever designed the watch software wasn't a runner. They added all the features requested, but not correctly. Feel free to contact me if you need any clarification.
** 04/17/13 UPDATE **
The software update adds the much needed average pace! However, the watch still is faulty in the following two areas:
1) Lap beep is still super quiet, so much so you can't hear it while running. The Virtual Pacer beep is obnoxiously loud, so it's possible to fix this.
2) Virtual Pacer is still worthless. It doesn't show if you're ahead or behind your pace plan, just if you're CURRENTLY running faster or slower. This is not how a virtual pacer should work. It should compare against your average page, not instant pace.
If Garmin can fix these broken features, it will be a 5 star watch.
on May 7, 2015
So far so good! I ordered the Orange and my wife ordered the green. I've had a chance to wear and run with this model and it came highly recommended from other runners. So I'll write another review later when we've had time to go through the paces but what I've seen so far, this is going to be a great watch for running! We didn't need the Fitbit type functions the 15 offers as this provides what we need.
on September 23, 2013
I've been using the [discontinued] Garmin 205 for the last 4 years and since I love it, I thought I'd treat myself to a new, smaller, brightly colored Garmin. I read the reviews on the 10 and it sounded perfect.
This GPS watch has very short battery life. I didn't even think to check the battery specs since my 205 lasts for many hours of running before I have to charge it. According to the specs, the Garmin 10's battery only lasts for 5 hours and so I don't know what the reality is, but I think that's too short. Be aware of the battery limitations on this watch.
With that said, I would've kept the watch since it's so small and lightweight. It is very comfortable to wear and not bulky at all. Compared to the old 205, you don't even feel this 10 on your wrist. The interface is relatively simple. If you're used to the fancier Garmins, then read up on this watch; it's functions are pared down and the data fields are not customizable.
Here's the major fail: I first wore the watch on a 6-mile run and it worked fine. Two days later I used it on a 20-miler and after a while I noticed that the distance was stuck at 10.46 miles. The time kept going, but the distance didn't move. I tried to get it going again (without losing the run data) and it was just frozen. (There was absolutely nothing between the Garmin and the satellites, not a single tree, or building, or even a cloud.) My pace did display and seemed about right. When I got home and downloaded the data, it showed the accurate time spent running and even an accurate path/map of where I had run (in Garmin Connect), but it only reported 10.46 miles. So the pace it recorded was way way off. Since it recorded my entire running path, it couldn't have lost satellite signal. I don't run 20-milers very often, so when I do I want an accurate recording of my stats. Unfortunately, the Garmin 10 did not deliver.
on February 9, 2013
I had been using a heartrate monitor for the last couple of years but grew tired of that and didn't find the information it gave to be all that useful. What I really wanted to know was how far I had run and how fast I was currently running. So, when I found the reasonably priced F10 it seemed like a good fit, and it is.
The watch is a very reasonable size. Bigger than most dedicated watches but plenty small enough to be comfortable and unobtrusive. The watch keeps track of pace, time, distance and calories burned. There are two display pages which can be toggled with a button. The information displayed on each page is customizable in the "Run Options" menu. I set mine up to display Pace & Distance on the main page, which is what I'm really interested in, and Time & Calories on the second page, which I never look at while running.
The GPS takes a couple of minutes to lock on to a signal when first turned on. Once it took 7 or 8 minutes and I had to stand around outside. But other times it has locked on in 4 seconds (I timed it) while sitting at my desk inside my house! As I write this, I just tested the GPS lock-on time. It took 18 seconds! It likely varies depending on the location of the GPS satellites. If the satellites are in a favorable position, it locks on quickly, if not ... well. Overall, this has not been an issue. Once the GPS has locked on, you actually start your run with the press of a button. You don't have to stand around at your starting location waiting for it to lock onto a GPS signal. I let it lock on while I'm inside my house, then I go outside to my starting point and begin my run as I press the start button. Simple.
The GPS tracks very well, accurately tracking when I cross the street or make odd turns, though it seems to often round-off square corners.
The instant pace display is pretty consistent. Likely it averages sensing over maybe 10 seconds, but I have seen it track my sprints across streets to avoid traffic.
I love the Auto Pause option (settable in the Run Options menu) that excludes time spent standing still or walking very slowly. I used to hate having to wait to cross a street because it would throw off my pace calculations. Don't have to worry about that anymore!
The latest firmware update is V2.20 which lets you choose the type of pace information from instantaneous pace, pace from last lap point, or overall average pace. So those who want to know their overall pace while running a race can have that information. For me, I just want to know how fast I'm running right now.
What I really like is that, using this watch, I'm not stuck to any particular course. I always like to keep track of how far I run and my overall pace. Before, this meant I had to run on known routes where I had previously measured the distance. Now, with the GPS, I run whatever route I want, and I always know how far I've gone. It makes my running much more flexible, free and spontaneous.
The F10 does not have the option to use with a heartrate monitor. I suppose if you are really serious about running, this could be useful information. Even if you're not a serious runner, that information could still be interesting, especially when matched with the pace and elevation changes that the GPS (throuch the Garmin website) provides. When the tech advances in a few years maybe I'll upgrade to a different unit, or maybe not. This is a pretty sweet GPS that I'm very happy with so far.
on July 6, 2014
I'm sure you've read the reviews and learned that this is as basic as it gets, so don't expect too much of it. I've been using this for a month now and it just works. Let's discuss the issues instead and see how to best address them.
1. Battery life: Quit whining and just charge the battery when it's low. Ok it runs on GPS for only 5 hours. Limit your GPS-assisted runs for less than 5 hours on a fresh battery then. Or run a sub-5 marathon. Still whining? Then this isn't for you. Get something else.
2. Instant pace: It's been updated. It has it. Moving on....
3. Acquiring GPS signal: Stay in place and wait. If it really takes too long then press the lower right button. Once it asks: Use GPS? Select No. End the supposed non-GPS workout and try the GPS again. Worked for me.
4. Display: Just choose the display options you want and scroll through them. Time/distance and Time/pace is enough for me.
5. Strap: After a sweaty run, rinse it off with running water and dry it with a cloth. The watch is waterproof, and rated water resistant at 50 meters. Rinsing will make it last longer. Sweat can be corrosive.
6. High price: I got a refurbished unit instead from a trusted dealer in Amazon for less than a hundred. Works like new. What if it breaks? I'm not gonna sweat it. Life's short.
I guess that's pretty much it. I am a sub-2 half marathoner who runs in a humid country. I alternate my running days with my road bike or Mountain bike. Used to run using a Garmin FR210 but the dumb strap is part of the watch and is non-user replaceable. Wasn't able to do the rinse-off practice then. I used to do the whole uploading of running data on the Garmin website and fuss over the numbers. Not anymore. I'd rather head down for breakfast and interact with my family.
on August 18, 2013
AVERAGE PACE CAN BE DISPLAYED WHILE RUNNING. You just have to change the settings.
Go to run options > pace/speed > avg. pace. It also allows you to select lap pace or current pace.
While running, the first screen will display distance/time, and a quick push of the down button on the right will allow you to see pace/time. You can change which screen you see first by going to run options > data fields, and then selecting whatever you prefer. It also has other options for display (speed/distance, time/pace, etc.). That gets you four pieces of data with the push of a button, so those complaining about only having two data fields might've not found this feature yet.
I almost decided against buying this watch because I thought it wouldn't tell me my average pace. Hopefully others don't make the same mistake. I'm really happy with it.
on October 8, 2012
As soon as I heard that the forerunner 10 would be hitting the market I did a ton of research on the thing to figure out if it was right for me or not. This is my first GPS watch so I wanted to familiarize myself with all the features and consider if indeed this was the one for me. In the past I was aware that Garmin watches are great but I must say, they are not very attractive (for most women's smaller wrists). This compared with their price point kept me away but the F10 is very affordable and cute in either pink/green. Note the black version is a bit larger than the pink or green. I got the watch about a week ago and so far I love it. The instruction manual it came with is barely needed (and lacks a lot of info anyways). It was super easy for me to figure out and lightweight on the run. I love how it has the run/walk feature, virtual pacer and is water proof as well. All I really wanted/needed was a watch that will tell me exactly how far I went, how fast, avg speed so any additional info for me was an xtra. It holds up to your last 5 runs showing you avg speed for each, total time, calories burned, date and distance. It has a break down for laps (each is 1 mile and no you can't change the lap distance) it will show your pace per lap as well. Syncing with Garmin connect was very simple and Wow, tons of information on there as well. For me, this will greatly enhance my runs whether I am training for an event or just going out running for fun. I enjoy being able to look back and compare my achievements over time. You can even set weekly or monthly goals on the garmin connect site. Before this watch I was using runkeeper to track my runs but it was not very precise at all. That combined with having to lug my phone on my arm was a drag. It's nice to look down on your wrist and see the info right there. I love this watch and highly recommend it for anyone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of the more expensive and detailed Garmin GPS watches. Pros: Reliable, Easy to use, Waterproof, Lightweight, Nice size display w/light, Easy to sync w/Garmin connect Cons: 5 hour battery time (after 5 hrs you have to charge it via USB cable to your computer). Personally this doesn't bother me as I usually run for about an hour 5x a week. If you plan on going for runs longer than 5 hrs at a time, this is NOT the watch for you. If the watch is not in GPS mode it is said to last about 2 weeks.
*Update on 2/11/13* Due to a recent injury I've been unable to run but I still love my Garmin. I'm happy to report 4+ weeks without charging and it's still ON like a watch (not using GPS feature) a bonus!!