Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
Great hardware, Garmin Connect still developing
on August 12, 2008
I did a lot of research before purchasing and was down to the 305, 405, and 50. I really wanted a GPS watch, but the price of the Forerunner 50 with footpod and HR monitor couldn't be beat. I also liked the smaller watch and the fact that it didn't need to be charged.
After owning it a week:
I really like the watch. I don't typically wear them, but it is very comfortable. It is only slightly larger than a typical watch and has a fine adjustment on the band. I'm wearing it all the time.
The hardware is impressive. The foot pod and HR monitor worked very well right out of the box, and were comfortable to wear. They "paired" right away and were ready to go when I was ready to run. The ANT installation went as advertised on windows vista, and the upload works automatically for Garmin Training Center, but not Garmin Connect.
For the watch itself, the number of "views" while in training mode can be confusing. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it with use or reading manual, but it is clearly more than I'm used to.
Installation: The process seemed to drive you toward choosing either Garmin Training Center (software on your computer) or Garmin Connect (web sofware), but not both. I didn't know the pro/con of either, so I wanted to try both. It was awkward when it wanted me to install ANT drivers again for the installation of the second one. I canceled the installation at that point - but found that Training Center was installed.
Software: It is really not clear to me if Garmin Training Center is still being developed. They seem to be improving Garmin Connect (web) regularly, but at its current state, it doesn't have any benefit over Training Center. (remember - I'm not seeing the GPS/maps, so maybe there is distinction there). So after a week, I still find myself bouncing back and forth. There are a few bugs in Garmin Connect and a few notable features that I would really like to see (that is available in other web training software).
I'm very happy with the HR monitor and cadence results. They seem spot on and reliable. I'm still working on the distance and pace. I did a test 3 mile run on a measured course and found that it recorded 3.1 miles. I messed up a calibration run by hitting the wrong button, so I'll be trying that again (a subsequent 8 mile run was recorded as a 9 mile run... argghh). I've found that the instantaneous pace is not accurate, but hope it will improve with calibration. Garmin Connect is also doing something weird with the average pace calculation... but I think that is a bug that will be fixed.
Overall I'm very happy with the purchase, but hope they continue to improve the software. Currently, that is the weakest link. If they don't, there may be other sites that accept forerunner uploaded data to fill the gap.