178 of 204 people found the following review helpful
Decent watch, but a lot of catches
, August 21, 2009
This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 310XT Waterproof Running GPS with USB ANT Stick (Electronics)
The 310xt was my first Garmin purchase. After years of having family use the Edge and the Forerunner for biking/running I decided I'd take the plunge when they came out with "the triathlete's indispensable training tool" in the 310xt.
My first thought was this was pricey. But, looking at the ForeRunner 305 & 405, I realized it wasn't that much more expensive for the additional supposed features and the "newness". Then I looked at the price here on Amazon and almost passed out. $550? Without the HRM strap? Ouch. If you're really into this watch, don't buy at that price. Search for the ones priced at $399. Most sites sell at that price.
Ok, onto the feature set. Large, clear buttons. Large screen. Ability to track multiple sports. Quick upload of data. Lots of customizable options and screens.
Easy to set up and use. Pairing with the ANT USB stick is simple and can quickly get you started without the manual.
Online tools are pretty good (much better than previous iterations). Also, works with the MapMy list of sites (fitness, run, walk, hike, bike, swim, tri).
Customizable display allows for up to 4 tracking items per screen. So, you can track pace, HR, time and distance covered on one screen then scroll to another and get a map of your HR, your calories burned and a bunch of other potential options, all determined by you.
You can create routes on your watch and when you run it, it will record whenever you are on that route path. Great for comparing against previous training routes and for quickly setting the route and having it track you properly. Once you are on the route, it tracks you.
Auto-multisport option allows you to set that and when you click lap, it will dump you to the next "sport" whether it be a transition or another sport such as biking/running.
Tracks you the individual after you enter your height, weight, level of fitness. Provides caloric burn and other related info based on your input.
Virtual training partner. You can actually have it show how you're doing on a saved route versus your virtual training partner. This partner is a previous version of you doing the same route and tells your pace and how far you're up/behind. Pretty cool.
Multitude of things you can configure and display/adjust/fine tune.
Swim? As I quoted from the Garmin site above, this watch bills itself as the triathlete's indispensable training tool. Umm.. triathlete means 3 sports, typically involving SWIMMING, biking and running. Swim is not an option. In fact, when I clicked other one time, it had what appeared to be an icon of a downhill skier. I'm not sure how that showed up since that option isn't there. HUGE mistake in my book for a watch billed to be for triathletes.
Elevation Accuracy? This one is WAAAAAY off. On a 3.3 mile run, it had me ascending 853 feet. Unless I'm climbing the Washington Monument, I'm not getting that type of elevation in 3.3 miles. I'd have to say it is off by, 600 feet or so. On a 60 mile bike ride, it had me at 1500 feet and that one at least took me up some legitimate hills.
Switching events: There is no way to switch events mid-stream on the watch if you didn't set it properly to begin. Let's say you ran one day and then biked the following day. If you left it on run then switched when you realized the mistake, it clears the data and you start with a new workout. The original workout is kept but you can't append the "new" workout on either on the watch or with any of their software (both installed SW and online site). So, when workouts are categorized, it shows a multisport recording on the installable software and whatever you mistakenly set in the online site. You then have 2 workouts you can't consolidate or run reports against without manual intervention.
Swim accuracy leaves a bit to be desired. While I haven't put it through its paces and will hopefully edit this review in the future, for a 1/2 mile swim, this thing was way off. Beach, opposite direction, gaps. All were part of that swim result.
While there are a lot of pros (which do warrant a 4 star), the cons are extremely negative. Since I don't have a watch to keep track of everything, this one will have to do. At such a price point, I'm highly disappointed in the overall performance considering it is billed as the triathlete's dream. It really does track mileage well and with enough fudging (using the elevation in MapMyRide instead of from the watch) and by manually adjusting routes in my various tracking sites, I can get close what I want. The HRM is good and the coupled effect of it all makes it as worthwhile as having a set of watches out there. But, I will not be ultimately promoting this to other athletes. While I've managed to make it work to a 4-star rating with my own fiddling, I wouldn't recommend it to a hardcore triathlete. Being my first training watch for my first Ironman, I wish I could say there were other watches which had the functionality I needed. Unfortunately, I'd have to wear two or more plus a bike computer. Even more unfortunate, in order to get what this watch said it can do all in one I might still need another to keep this one honest.
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