A break from The Deep. In New watch, old watch, still the same I described the truely fascinating tale of me buying a replacement Garmin Forerunner 110. A few weeks ago I was faced with the replacement having the strap broken in a second place, and the glass having cracked when I incautiously thrutched a chimney having tied the watch to the back of my harness. I put sellotape across the crack, but it was ugly and it clearly wasn’t going to stay waterproof on a long term basis.
I very nearly reflexively bought my fourth 110 (a bargain at about £80-90 now) but paused long enough to think of its weaknesses and wonder if I wanted a new one. And ended up deciding that I wanted a 610. So in case you care, this is my comparison.
Virtues of the 610
* Visually, slightly cleaner, though I’d prefer them to take the word “Garmin” off the front.
* Charging now gives you a clear %-charged, and who knows might even be accurate.
* I can now get instantaneous pace, as well as average lap pace. This is a major plus for rowing purposes. Update: but in use its still smearing / averaging the pace it shows.
* Being able to have customisable screens is very nice. I ended up with heart rate and pace last night.
* Recording to 1-second time is good too. See graph (vertical axis pace. Ignore the green line, that’s a different piece. Ignore the absolute splits, I was subbing with the Ladies). I ought to do some more analysis on this, but I’m not convinced that either handles sharp changes well.
* Update: It will show you height – ha, I found this at last, it buried under “other” in the options screen. W00t!
Irritations with the 610
* Upload is via the silly USB-Ant-stick, rather than via the USB cable. Idiots.
* The USB cable is different from the 110. Having had multiple 110’s, I’m used to the luxury of a cable at home and at work.
Still no height.
* The touch screen is OK, but is annoying while I’m getting used to it.
* The Garmin website smears 1-second data in the way it used to smear the 5-second, but worse. Not the watch’s fault, I admit.
* The 610 is about £160, which is about twice the price of the 110.
* Its compatible with the old style heart rate strap.
* I was surprised to find the strap on the 110 breaking. I’ve used it pretty heavily, but it seems like a design flaw. Others have had this problem and some have solved it. If I hadn’t cracked the screen I might try for a replacement. I did like I just cut the band off and used superglue to glue it to my wrist. It lasts about a week or 10 days depending and it doesn’t slip around anymore. Hard to recharge, though.