Product Type: Garmin in GPS Navigation
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Garmin leads the race
Garmin Forerunner 305
Member Name: TRadford
Garmin Forerunner 305
Date: 28/02/10, updated on 28/02/10 (29 review reads)
Advantages: GPS tracking, full data logging. Lightweight easy to use.
Disadvantages: Quite large, so many features you might not ever find them all.
I have only just seriously started running, and I have been on several running websites looking for a Heart rate Monitor and wrist top computer to record the stats. On every site the Garmin 305 was mentioned and very highly rated, so I went off to Ebay and manged to get one slightly used for £110.
My first impressions were its size. The actual watch is big.. Very big, but also very light. Im an avid watch wearer and have several large watches in my collection, so I wasnt to put off by this. On the wrist its doesnt feel as big as it is.
The watch sits on a neat little stand which when plugged into the mains or to a compuer by USB charges the watch up. I have noticed and also read that quite often the watch shows the charge to be fully complete, when in fact its not. This is something to be aware of you are planning on taking the unit out for a long run. I recommened charging the unit for at least 6 hours to be sure its fully charged.
On the the actual operation. When you start the unit up, it comes up with a diagram and shows the progress of finding satelites for the GPS function. Outside this takes a matter of seconds, inside takes minutes an usualy results in not finding any at all. You can bypass this screen by pressing the menu button which will take you onto the main data screen.
The data screens can be set up in all manner of ways. There are 4 to choose from and each can be set up to show a number of different sets of data. For instance on my first main screen, I have HR, distance, Time and speed. On the next page I have Max speed, calories and elevation.
The screen is large so all the data is easily visable, even with muliple data sets on screen.
The unit allows you to create custom workouts and will prompt you when you fall below or go above set heart rate or speed limits. It can keep you in your fat burning zone so you dont waste energy running to slow or too fast. The GPS on the unit is very accurate. As a slight cheat when I got it, I took it out in my car for a short journey and then transfered the data to the computer and Gamins Connect website. This downloads the data off the watch and shows you exactly where you have been on Google maps, and also shows your speed, HR Calorie, Elevation and time in easy to read tables. Other websites can provide a more detailed analyisis if you prefer. The data showed the exact route I drove,all the speed data, and even showed when I had stopped.
The watch features many more functions, some I havent even used yet, so cant review, but on the bits I have used, the watch was well worth the price.
The HRM part of the watch is a wireless rubber strap that you wear accross your chest. Its elasticated and adjustable, so should fit most people. Simply wet the sensor parts with a little water before putting it on and thats it. It stays there all day and is very comfortable. I wore it for a whole day at work, and didnt notice it after a while.
For those wanting something similar but for indoor running, dont dismay. The Garmin can do that too!
All you need is the Garmin Foot Pod, available seperately. This is a small deivce which attaches to your running shoe and wirelessly sends data to the watch. It records everyhting the watch normally would, except the GPS data. So you can use the watch on the treadmill or indoor circuit and still have all your HR and speed data. Brilliant!
Out of the box the foot pod does an acuurate job, but you can if needed set it up to be even more accurate by callibrating it on an known 800m circuit. This will then learn your stride and habbits and make the reading that bit more accurate. Please see my seperate review of the footpod.
This watch is a qulaity product that does everything and more a runner or cyclist could want. It has so many features, I havent even found them all yet. The manual is clear and consise, so all the features are explained easilly. Weather you run inside or outside, 100m or marathons, this watch hs something for you!
Summary: Excelent quality and superb implementation of this do anything watch.
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