Monday, February 27, 2012

Product Review - Garmin 610

Remember back when I posted that I got a new toy?

Well I have actually run with it several times and thought I would give you my thoughts on it.

I have been running with the old school Garmin 205 for several years now, and while the thing still works splendidly (only had to replace the strap just recently), I was longing for the new Garmin 610 once they came out with it after the disaster that, in my opinion, is and was the Garmin 405 and 410.

I was recently gifted with this lovely 'time piece' and couldn't wait to try it out.

After initially charging it up, I began the set up, which I will admit, using the touch screen takes a bit of getting use to (amount of pressure for example).  A few times I would get aggravated (after the initial set up) when trying to manuever through screens to change some things.  Once I got down the amount of finger pressure to use, it went much more smoothly.

I love that you can set up to 4 custom screens that you can scroll through for information during your run, at a water stop, or whenever.  I however do not need all that since all I care about are distance, pace and overall time (1st photo below).  This is how I have my main screen programmed.

I do love that the 2nd screen is the actual time in big fat numbers (no picture posted)!  On my old Garmin, I never knew what time it actually was, but with just a touch/slide the time shows up then after a few seconds reverts back to the original screen.

Pony had said that she remembered reading on another review (possibly Runners World) where the fact that it was difficult to manuever through the screens while running. First off I have no idea why one would be doing that, unless like me you want to know what time it is (which I don't care while actually running a route), but to see if it was a hinderance, I tried it this past weekend.

Wasn't that difficult.  Took me 2 swipes before the screen moved but again, set the thing up the way you want it, and you shouldnt have to do it and if you do, and its difficult then stop for a few seconds.

Blurry photo huh?
One of the best things about this Garmin is the big fat numbers.  The older Garmin, while I could make out the numbers, it wasn't always easy and certainly not while actually running.  This one is clear and easy for someone like me with vision issues for anything small and closer than arms length :O)

Another great thing that I love about this new Garmin is the ability to wirelessly connect (see picture below).  You just put the ANT stick into your computer, set the watch within an inch or so, and bamm!  It starts connecting and downloading.

The one thing though is the first time I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't connect and download and it was because I hadn't 'ended' my run.  I had stopped the watch, but I hadn't reset it (which is done the same way as the Garmin 205/305; by holding down the reset button (bottom right) until you see the 3-2-1.  Then it will connect and download.

In addtion to the easy peasy wireless download of data, I really love the slick new and updated screens of viewing and analyzing of the data from your run.
Route by street; while not new feature, it seems slicker, easier to view/read

Elevation and/or changes; side bar has useful information as well such as running time, actual time, pace for each, etc.


I absolutely love love love this new Garmin!  Its thin and light weight so if you wanted to, its ok as a watch as well.  I am not a fan of the band, but after a few times I'm use to it.  Its just thicker than my velcro band, plus its new and just not very pliable just yet.  I'm sure once its broken in, it'll be better.

All the old features are still there, intervals, running partner, etc, but there are 2 features that are new that I am absolutely in love with!!!
  1. It vibrates.  Meaning it vibrates first when its found its satellite, so you don't have to continually stare at the screen waiting...waiting...waiting...It also vibrates at every 'lap'.  In my case I have my laps at each mile. So every time I hit a new mile marker it vibrates and flashes the last miles pace.  In big numbers too!  It will also vibrate if you are using intervals.  So if you are doing 400's with a 1 min rest instead of having to listen for a beep, it will vibrate.  This is great for someone like me that loves to run with music and never hears a darn thing.
  2. In addition to the intervals still being there, which most people used for run/walk as well, there is a new feature located under Alerts guessed it....Run/Walk.   LOVE!  I tried this feature out the first day (which is the screen shots from above if I am not mistaken) and haven't again since, but I did indeed love it.  The only thing is that when you turn on the run/walk alert, you have to remember to turn it off the next run if you are not wanting walk/run vibrate/beep alerts.  And yes, it also vibrates whenever its time to walk and when to run again.  Again this is pure gold for anyone that listens to music or just has a bit of a hearing issue.  I use to miss the beeps all the time even when not listening to music since I would zone out, traffic would be loud or something.

    I used it again this evening during our hill workout which were relays (2 person teams) and I liked that I had it on auto pause when not moving (since I had to wait until my person hit a certain point before beginning my hill loop again), so it would vibrate when I stopped moving and then vibrate again when I started running.  I was easily able to see the numbers to know that each 10 min session I was moving faster than the last 10 minute session.  I haven't downloaded the data just yet, but anxious to see what kind of feedback it gives me on the workout.

    My old Garmin is officially retired.
    Love love love this new Garmin.

    Questions via comment or email will be answered!

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