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on October 17, 2011
The entire review history is below, but my most recent remarks, dated 4/13/12, are here.

If you read the prior remarks, you'll learn I bought this watch mainly for its pulse rate monitoring feature. It took me a while to figure out how to used the device, but after a few weeks the bells and whistles were ringing and tooting as they should, and I was 5 start happy with the purchase.

We had a leap year this year, and the embedded software did not take that into account. It began reporting the day of the week wrong. The date was correct, that was probably worth a one star reduction.

I've owned the about half a year. In the last few weeks the heart rate monitoring function seems to have gone wrong. Replacing the battery in the chest strap transmitter and carefully cleaning the chest strap pads did not help the unit recover this basic function. I'm back to Timex HRM watches now. This watch is something I may use when running a new route because its GPS functions still work, but it is not useful to me as a HRM. It's now 1 star. I hope others who bought it are not having the same problems.

After one week:

First, to set the stage: I had been an avid user of the Timex heart rate monitor watches. I am hardly an elite runner, simply needing the PRM to keep my pulse rate in the right range and for the timing function of the watch to remind me to turn back to home after 20 minutes. The Timex does that very well.After three years the buttons on this watch are not operating as smoothly as they once had. It is time to replace it.

I planned on another Timex, but who can resist all of the bells and whistles this watch provides at a small increase in price?

It seems to do heart rate better than the Timex. The Timex would often report a pulse of 90 after I had been running long enough so that I knew it was at least 140. This watch does a better monitoring job. The stopwatch works well enough. The compass function actually works too -- the GPS chip knows the direction you've been running and it's happy to tell you.

Initial satellite reception on turn on is slow -- the receiver actually is turned on manually. I turned off the receiver for a few minutes, turned it on again and it found the satellites very quickly.

There had been some complaints about the Garmin Forerunner 305 (?) having a limited battery life. A full charge on this watch lasts at least days, probably longer.

I ran a known 2.91 mile trail, the watch reported it as 2.7. It was a deeply wooded trail, but even if reception was poor connecting the dots on a trail that was one big loop should not have resulted in that big an error. It could be the watch was not set up correctly.

I also can't connect this thing to the mapping function on the computer and there are other functions I simply am not able to invoke -- the instructions could be a lot more clear!

I'll spend another week playing with this -- that probably means 3 or 4 more runs -- and if I can't figure out the correct way to do mapping and get a little more confidence in its GPS functions and some of the other features it will have to go back and I'll revert to the Timex again.

Oh, the other thing is this watch is just about 2 inches in diameter and about .75 inches thick. I could wear the Timex as an informal watch without having people ask about it: this one is hard not to notice. If I can make all of the features work that would be a small disadvantage.

Here's hoping it turns out to be a keeper! I'll update this in a week or two. Note to other purchasers: please post your findings and whatever tricks you've learned to better use this watch here.

Update 10/26/11

First, about the GPS function. The trail known to be 2.91 miles long mentioned above that the watch claims is a 2.74 mile loop is wooded. It may be there are areas where the watch loses its GPS function. I today ran a known 5k route, largely open, and the watch reported it as 3.09 miles -- close enough!

It took some doing but I was able to get the watch to talk to the computer press mode (the D button) to stopwatch, press A to start the timing, press A again to stop it when done and then press B to carry the information to memory. It can then be downloaded to the computer. The trail shape and route shows correctly but is not overlaid onto a map. I have not figured out how to show a pulse rate v distance chart on the computer either.

Update 10/30/11

I upped this to a 4 star rating -- if the learning curve was not as steep it'd be 5 stars. The watch does all I wanted it to (heart rate, timing). It downloads to the computer (finally), the compass function is pretty nice, especially if you're out on a trail and want confirmation as to which trail branch is the best way back to the car. The recorded distances, which I questioned earlier, are pretty much what I expect now, I was misusing some of the functions. (see the learning curve comment above).

Getting the GPS determined route to overlay onto a map -- Google or otherwise -- can probably be done, but I have not figured out how to do that yet.

The price of this watch on Amazon when compared to the more basic HRM watches offered by Timex makes this a great value. The extra features for me are well worth the few extra dollars.

I hope some other users who have figured out how to use all the functions tell us about their experiences. For me, however, the packaging the watch came in goes to the recycling bin, it is not going back to Amazon.

11/4 update
So after owning this thing for a while the pain of the learning curve is fading and I now have this interacting with maps too. I now like it 5 stars worth.

It seems to be more responsive than the Timex it's replacing to heart rates. The extra functions, like way point navigation, are simply a lot of fun.

The watch has about 10 hours of battery life when the GPS function is turned on, and an unknown but seemingly many days worth of life when it's used as a time piece.

For people like me who view exercise as a way to maintain health it's a neat tool. It probably has some shortcomings for others who are working at shaving seconds from personal best records and it would be good to hear from them.

If you're considering getting something like this give it a try. Amazon's return policy gives you ample time to return it if you don't like it. If your experience is like mine, in the first week that return policy will look like something you'd want to use, but after less than a month you'll probably be keeping it. I do recommend you print out the 17 page instruction manual, it's easier to follow than the one sent with the watch.

One other minor thing. This HRM defaults to a maximum pulse rate determined by the 220 minus your age formula. When you are trying to set pulse rate ranges based on specific knowledge that your determined max rate is greater than the one given by that formula, you'll have to put in a number lower than your actual age.

Nov 19 2011
I had this GPS on during a flight. It did a good job reporting altitude, but the speed function in the runner's mode worked only to 200 miles an hour.

I still like this thing 5 stars worth. My biggest early error was not getting a 10 year old to get all the functions working.

Saturday Feb 11, 2012
I still consider this a 5 star device, but maybe not as a watch. Today it correctly is reporting the time and the date but it is reporting today as Sunday, not Saturday.

I'd be interested if other owners are experiencing the same error.

Also, a caution. The 10 hour memory does fill up, and attempts to save new data are rejected. Older information is not overwritten. Don't let your memory buffer get to 100% as I did, or your last exercise activity will not be recorded.
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on November 8, 2011
I was a bit hesitant to order this. Now, after two weeks of use (10 runs of 2 to 2.5 miles each), I have no regrets with the purchase whatsoever. I haven't had any problems with this item. It seems to track my pace very well, tracks distance well, and the heart rate monitor seems WAY more accurate than the dedicated exercise machines at my local gym.
I'm a beginning runner... but if I keep a solid pace... it reports about 10mins/mile... if I push a little harder... about 9mins/mile... if I let up... about 11mins/mile. It seems very consistent over my entire 2-2.5 mile run. I have thyroid and heart issues, and this watch gives me the confidence to know I'm not exceeding my max hr for too long (I can easily get into the 180's) and gives me the feedback and stats to keep me motivated.
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on January 12, 2012
I liked this watch but it arrived defective and had previously been opened and repackaged and should not have been sold as new!
I decided to try it out anyway and quickly found that even though I set the correct time zone, it would never show the correct day of the week. The included CD was also defective and after trying it in three different laptop's I gave up on it.

I really did like the heart rate monitor, it worked very well, the chest strap/ monitor was comfortable and easy to put on and I liked the compass which was pretty impressive. The watch is pretty thick but I had only planned to use it for walking and hiking so that was OK.The charger was interesting, a kind of clip on charger that worked very well.
Although I had to return it because of the defects (they were out of stock and could not ship a replacement) I would consider buying another, just wish I could have tried out the GPS mapping feature. However, pressing the GPS button, it picks up satellite signals quite quickly and it set the time and date ( except day of week) the compass works of the GPS signal and was very accurate.
The watch is quite stylish and comfortable and the display is easy to read. The wrist strap was also surprisingly comfortable and looked built to last. Too bad really!
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on November 8, 2011
This was my comment I posted on someone elses review:

11/5/11

received mine today will give it a mytry, after replacing Garmin 305 once and my Garmin 205 once I said why not give this a try. I have followed the user manual and things seems to be going well. I will say way too big for me to use as a every day watch as I see that you can, it does not turn off and on like the Garmin. The satellite did not take long to pick up signal. I will use it in a race tomorrow 5k thats part xc, will of course come back and report. I will stat my own Posting about this product as well. I hope to grow to like it as you. Thank you for your review.

11/8/11

I am still loving this watch I will keep you posted. the 5k race I used it in on 11/6/11 went well. The GPS signal is very strong and the race distance measured 3.1!! really surprised at its accuracy. I will keep you posted.
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on October 12, 2011
I ordered one of these to replace a flaky Garmin 405CX. This one at least works so far. I've had no luck getting it to talk to the computer though. I've tried contacting GSI through their website but the email bounced - I now have a request in to Amazon customer service asking for a good email address for GSI.

This just arrived today so I haven't really used it yet other than to see that it works. It found satellites very quickly and shows the correct lat and long for my location, the heart rate monitor function seems accurate, the time setting is right. The literature is somewhat incomplete, for instance I can't find any info on the degree of waterproofness, if any - it's just not mentioned. A sports watch might be assumed to be at least water resistant but it would be nice to know what the maker specifies.

Another oddity is that there is no manufacturer info anywhere on the watch - no serial number, model number, patent info - nothing. It says "Navigator" on the front face and "CE" on the back and that's it.

The USB cable supplied is similar to the Garmin one that came with the 405CX, i.e. a USB connector on one end and a clip on the other, but this one has 4 pins instead of the 2 that the Garmin has. I guess because this one is meant to communicate through the USB port and not through an ANT wireless connection. It does show that the battery in the watch is charging when the cable is plugged in and the clip is in place on the watch.

Another bit of info I can't find is some guesstimate of how long the battery will last following a charge and whether or not it's replaceable - I suspect not but again it would be nice to know for sure.

The software supplied is just the USB driver and a plugin for "Sporttracks", which is Windows only and must be downloaded from the Sporttracks website. They have 2 versions, one free and one upgrade that costs $35. I don't know if it's any good as I can't get the watch to talk to it so far. I've tried it on a Windows 7 machine and on an XP machine with the same result, when I try to "Import" data from the watch I get a message that says "Could not open specified device". I've tried rebooting and restarting several times and get identical results. The software seemed to install correctly and I did repeat the process more than once.

So the jury is still out on this one - I hope I can get it to work but don't have much confidence - the supplier (GSI) seems to be hiding and the info supplied is incomplete. It may have to go back - the Garmin did go back after a few days of blank screens and mysterious beeps - but at least I could find Garmin to ask questions.

October 13 2011 - update - I decided to return this item - cannot get the USB connection to work with either computer. I tried to contact GSI through their website, emails bounced back with "no such address" or somesuch. Amazon customer service couldn't find them either. There is no phone number shown on the website. This is just too frustrating. I started out to update my old Polar S625X HRM to one that I hoped would be less susceptible to interference with the GPS tracking as an added bonus. Apparently these systems are not yet ready for primetime - I'll just keep using the old one.
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on February 9, 2012
I never write reviews but figured since it took me so long to decide which HRM I was going to buy that I would review the product I finally decided on. I read hundreds of reviews on dozens of HRM's from basic functions units as cheap as $36.00 to advanced, brand name GPS capable units costing $300.00+. I finally decided to roll the dice on the Pyle PGSPW1 (and have owned for 2 months) because:
1) Buying from Amazon, I knew it could be returned.
2) Price (when purchased) $99.00.
3) Functionality as marketed - it was marketed to do many of the things that Garmin units costing 3X more could do.
4) I have owed Plye Audio products before so the brand wasn't completely unknown to me.

First impression:
I like large watches, 44mm to 48mm and this is approximately 48mm (measured from 2 o'clock to 7 o'clock) width and 18mm thick. So, it works well for me but it may not for smaller wrists or ladies. Since it has fixed curve, simi-rigid strap it actually wears even larger than 48mm.

Same old, weak directions/manual you've come to expect from most Chi-Com products. I would love to and would pay more for something made in the USA but it just isn't possible. That said, the instructions are serviceable and can actually be downloaded from Plye Audio's website if you'd like to take a look before you buy.

Now, functionality. The unit has really grown on me, when I where it just as a sport watch and am not using the GPS or HRM functions it is comfortable and easy to read. In watch mode, the battery (which is rechargeable via a usb cable) lasts approximately 2.5 weeks+/-. I thought that would be annoying but it isn't a big deal.

In HRM and GPS mode (you can do either one with or without the other), the zones are easy to set with or without warning alarms. The main and sub-display allows many different choices for what you are viewing such HR/speed, Speed/Cals burned, HR/stop watch, etc. The GPS signal typically connects in about two minutes (could be faster but...) and is quite accurate. I have viewed seed/direction against my car and it is right on.

More on the GPS: In GPS mode, the battery lasts approximately 12 hours before you'll need to charge the battery. When I am running around my home routes, I don't use the GPS since I mapped out the distance for each. On a new track/route, it is really great to know how far you are running for pace, calories, etc. One of the things that made me happy about purchasing this unit (GPS functionality over a basic HRM) was being in Vail recently. It is cool to be able to tell the elevation changes, compass heading, speed, distance travelede, etc when you are on a mountain that big.

I haven't used the PC sync software but intend to work on that next. Since the review is getting longer than I had intended I'll stop it here for now.
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on January 16, 2012
This Pyle watch is a great GPS watch for running, biking and lifting weights. It only took few minutes to get satelite signals. I like the fact that I can use the watch's HRM when working out indoors. It's nice to see how hard you workout by checking your heart rate. This watch has different modes, but the display only shows two things at a time. Like if you set it on HRM, you can see your speed, but you can't see your time or calories. Also this GPS watch doesn't have PACE time, it shows your speed, but not your pace. The two things I think I would like Pyle to add on the new version of this watch are the Pace and multi display on the screen so you don't have to keep pressing the mode button to see your hear rate, speed, distance, pace and time. But overall this is still a great gps watch. Also, the battery seems good. I used it twice for about 3 hrs and the battery is still on full.
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on September 14, 2013
Original 9/14/13 This is a great hr monitor WITH gps. Nice features easy to us. A little big for daily use, but perfect for seeing display and using on the run. Able to use hr right away...took a little bit longer to get to the data and figure out how to get to the hr data. Did get help from Pyle, but was in directions...need to have stop watch going to "record" gps and hr data, which is nice to start or stop or restart recording.
Seen hr only monitors at walmart for the same price, but this with gps and nothing flaky (hr or gps reception) and rechargeable/ long batter life.
I us it for indoor activity to record hr and outdoor running for hr AND gps tracking/ record. Wish it had speed in min/ mi...but that's and it would be nice to customize display, like you get use to with some of the running apps on smart phone. Would also be nice to have it work with other programs (not just SportTracks)...but you can export import data to spreadsheet and gpx.
As a stand alone, reliable unit, and one that is inexpensive It's perfect.

Update 1/21/14 after using and working great recording hr for 3 month watch reset its self and will not connect with ST3. Still under warranty so sending back for repair (plus a $10 for shipping).
So, not a good sign, dropped to 3 stars

Update 2/22/14 sent in for warranty repair. Pyle sent back a new watch...but a different model, hr only. Said mine was discontinued and similar is out of stock. If I don't like hr only I can get a gps only watch.
Still working with Pyle, but not a good sign, dropped to 2 stars.
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on June 17, 2012
GPS takes a few minutes to locate. The CD that came with it didn't work. Took two months to get the company to get the software to me only after numerous email. Even after that, the software is very confusing and terribly written. The mapping software (my main reason for buying it) simply does not work. The watch itself is not bad other then not intuitive what so ever and can't even track the date properly. Some how its always a day off. No idea how that even happens considering it uses GPS. The alligator clip that charges the watch is coming apart although I've only used it twice. The watch is OK simply to track current speed, other than that don't bother. Every time I walk by it sitting on my desk I get upset. Comlete rip off! Should have spent a little extra and got the Nike + like I wanted.
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on July 27, 2013
This watch is good quality and the price is excellent. Now, the software... You have to either use the trial version or purchase the full version. I had this up and running, sync'd to my computer and had a gps signal in under 15 minutes. It sync's up no problem with my computer. However I'm still suffering from the learning curve. The instructions aren't as detailed as I would like. However, the heart rate is accurate, the calories burned seem spot-on, and the gps tracking matches perfectly to my phone's gps using Runkeeper. I've recommended this watch to others and they're happy as well. If you just want a hr monitor you can find cheaper. If you want gps as well, you won't find any cheaper. Just gotta suck up the learning curve for sync'ing it right.
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