For over 1 year now Agata has taunted and teased me with her Garmin 305 GPS assisted training watch. She wears a heart rate monitor belt on her chest and her Garmin 305 monitors this and her GPS position whilst on a run cycle or trek.
You can then dock the Garmin 305 to your PC and upload the data to the Internet where you can see your route graphically, see what heart rate you had where. Basically amazing functionality.
So when Garmin announced the 405 watch this spring 2008 I felt at last time for some payback. Here are the results so far.
- My initial experience with the 405 was disastrous whereby; I accidentally set the language to an Eastern European totally unpronounceable and unreadable (to me) language. Then spent over 30 angry minutes trying to reset back to English. The 4 page supplied paper guide did not help or the PDF manual
- The getting started manual could do with some major improvements, particularly the precise end to end set of steps to getting yourself registered and downloading the necessary ANT software.
- Like any HR watch you need to wear a HR belt over your chest. I just want to grumble that I still find this very irritating, either it's so tight that I fell slightly constrained or loose in which case it keeps sliding down to my large tummy.
- First to say. Yes it works! I can go for a run or cycle, monitor my heart rate, distance travelled, speed etc whilst I workout. On finish, stop the timer and GPS, then as I approach my PC the data is automatically uploaded to my place in connect.garmin.com from where I can view the details e.g. look at the route or my heart-rate
- Like old garmin GPS (pre maps) you can mark a waypoint and give it a name. Then navigate to it with a compass point display
- Says Water resistant to 1 metre for 30 minutes but I have been too chicken to take it swimming so far (plus the manual expressly tells you not to use it whilst swimming)
- Installing the PC software was slightly troublesome. You have to register at connect.garmin.com and download some programs. As a PC professional I determined it was Garmins' and not my fault.
Unused so far
- Virtual partner allows you to set a pace before the run and then whilst running display whether you are ahead or behind
- Workouts: Set a series of stps eg calories, heart rate, times and then perform activities in sequence against this goal set.
- Courses: Follow a course you either previously recorded or uploaded into the Unit. E.g. a set of way points detailing a local 20km run.
- Transfer workouts, courses and locations to another Garmin 405 wirelessly (but not to a 305)
- Scrolling thru menus by rotating your finder around the watch bezel is a really great idea. Makes for better usability than Garmin 305
- Certainly small and looks like a watch not some monster abomination on my arm
- GPS finds position much much faster than the 305, typically about 30 seconds
- Can talk to Garmin foot pod and Cycling cadence sensor
- Can setup 4 screens (Training 1-3 and Heart Rate) with upto 3 fields per display
- Auto Scroll will move between these 4 screens automatically
- Can select running or cycling mode. When the data is uploaded it is automatically tagged as such
- Supplied with a USB male to Garmin watch cable so can be charged by the Mains to USB adapter (included) or any USB power socket
- Pressing both buttons locks (or unlocks) the touch sensitive bezel. Good since otherwise touching it whilst running can switch display or turn on the backlight.
- Within one week of careful use I have managed to scratch the sharp bezel (not the glass face)
- It makes a track point every 4 seconds and can store 20 hours of points. So after that it overwrites points. There is no option (for example) to slow down recording so as to allow a greater time recording. So this rules out its use for a multi day sporting event when you have no PC access
- Garmin 305 has a bigger screen allowing 4 (instead of 3) information points (e.g. altitude, speed, workout-time, time of day) being displayed
- Garmin 305 internal battery will last for over 12 hours, the 405 will last 8 hours max.