Friday, 18 June 2010

Garmin Forerunner 110 unboxing


I'm not usually one for the "that's so cool I want one!" impulse purchases. But when my gym instructor showed me her new GPS watch I had to get one! I've been idly thinking of getting a heart rate monitor to track my exercise for a while, and have recently started doing some running with a group of people from the gym. Bundling a heart rate monitor and GPS functionality together seemed too good to refuse.

The Forerunner 110 is an entry level GPS watch by Garmin. It cost $300 (AUD) which I think is pretty reasonable. Inside the box you get a USB charger and cable/cradle to connect the watch to the charger or your computer.


You also get a standard wireless heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor combined with distance, speed and static information you input (age, height & weight) to the watch calculates the calories burnt while you train.


Below is a shot of the watch sitting in its' cradle. I was pleasantly surprised how small and lightweight the watch is considering it contains GPS functionality. When not training the watch displays the time and date. When training you can see your distance, training time and speed.


Garmin seem to have taken a minimal approach to the instruction manual. Perhaps because most people don't read them? At first glance it is missing some information that I'd like to know (e.g. how to turn off GPS when you are indoors*) which has proved frustrating.
*See Update II below.


I've only used the watch once so far and first impressions are good. It takes 60 seconds to connect to a satellite which can seem like an age on a cold winters morning, but more expensive watches don't seem to promise any faster response times.

The watch is specifically advertised for running only. However, I am hoping to use it for cycling - if it can track speed and distance, why not? (I can see the calorie count being off.) I was hoping I'd be able to turn off the GPS functionality and use it as a heart rate monitor only in the gym. So far I haven't worked out how to do this, and the rather spares instruction manual isn't offering any tips. I'll be a bit disappointed if I can't do this, but it will serve me right for making an impulse purchase without research!

A quick hat tip for First Endurance from whom I bought the watch. They had it dispatched and delivered from Brisbane to Sydney in three hours. That's 1,000km door to door!

UPDATE: After a couple of weeks with my Forerunner 110 here's my review.

UPDATE II: I've had a few search hits asking how to turn off GPS while being indoors. Here's how:
- Press the Page/Menu button as you would to start any activity.
- When the locating Locating Satellite screen appears, press the Page/Menu button for a second time.
- Use Indoors? displays on the screen. Press the Lap/Reset button to scroll down to Yes.
- Press the Page/Menu button.
- The timer screen will now be display and you are ready to start your activity.

21 comments:

  1. Hey I'm a bit disappointed you didn't get Suunto! Finns are pretty good at making these you know! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't heard of Suunto. I shall look them up! I don't doubt the Finns make a high quality version!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You should be able to use the 110 for cycling no problem as I have read a blog that says it even works underwater and on a plane lol.

    I have been running with my 110 for about a month now and honestly couldn't now imagine training without it lol

    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my goodness! Thanks so very much for helping with the GPS shut down. I agree that the manual is very sparse and after "googling" other sites, I came up with nothing. Whew! Really glad I came across your blog. Thanks a bunch!

    ReplyDelete
  5. heyy i worked out how to turn off the gps by myself after fiddling about for an hour or so...however i am a little annoyed that you can only turn it back on by shutting down the entire watch. Do you know if you can turn it on without having to do this?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Michael. I usually do an indoor or ourdoor training session, so I haven't tried to do this before. I tried this morning when I was in the gym and it didn't look like it was possible.

    Let me know if you find out how to do it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    Do you find that if you turn your forerunner off by the light and page/menu button down it won't start up again properly? It powers up but has all wierd info come up on the screen and wierd pictures.

    I thought it was an error with my watch and Garmin sent me a new one but it's doing it again so it must be a user error! Garmin aren't much help to me. They just keep telling me to send it back.

    Maybe you just can't turn it off and on again without it being charged?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Anon,

    I don't shut down my watch very often (I just leave it in power save mode). However, when I have shut it down it has started back up again without any issues. I just did another check now, with about 50% battery, and everything was ok.

    You probably do need some battery left in the watch to shutdown and reboot.

    I hope you figure out what the problem is or get another replacement from Garmin.

    Richard

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello

    Just wondering whether the Garmin picks up calories burnt when training in the gym, for example during a spin class.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi,

    Yes you can and it's something I do quite frequently. When you turn the watch on indoors (and the watch can't find a satellite) an option on the display will appear asking you if you want to use the watch indoors. When you select 'yes' the watch will then operate just as a heart rate monitor.

    Richard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi
      Thank you for your reply. So the heart rate monitor will definitely calculate your calories burnt? And if so is this calculation somewhat accurate? Also do you expect a newer version of this sort of model is be released soonish? Sorry for all the questions, I am scared about spending money on this and then finding out it doesn't do what I need.

      Delete
    2. Yes, as a heart rate monitor it definitely calculates calories. I never tested the accuracy but they seemed reasonable to what I'd expect.

      I don't follow Garmin releases so have no idea if a new model is out soon. Have you checked out the DC Rainmaker blog? It's the best sports technology website I've found and it you tweet or leave a comment for Ray he is pretty good at getting back to you.

      Delete
    3. I will check that out. Thanks for your help.

      Delete
  11. Hi
    Can anyone tell me more about the power safe mode on a FR 110?
    Can you turn it off? When I'm training the watch keeps turning off , is it still recording my workouts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I don't think I have ever experienced what you are describing so not sure if I will be able to help without seeing the watch during work out.

      The Garmin FR 110 has three display modes while you are working out:
      1. Shows the actual time e.g. 15:00
      2. Duration of workout
      3. Heart rate
      (On the last two screens you also get distance and pace info, it will depend slightly on your configuration)

      The first screen (time) also looks like the standby mode. However, in my experience, if you have started recording a workout and then select this screen it will continue to record your workout in the background. I rarely have the time screen displaying while I work out as I prefer to look at my distance, pace or heart rate.

      I am not aware of being able to turn off the power save mode.

      I hope this helps.

      Richard

      Delete
  12. Can someone tell me how i get the 110 out of power mode save

    ReplyDelete
  13. I forgot to turn off my watch after a hike today so it kept tracking as we drove away. Is there a way to change my "finish point" on the garmin connect website so my stats are more accurate?
    Thanks!!
    Kimberly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly,

      It would be a great feature if you were able to 'slice and dice' activities on Garmin Connect, but sadly I don't think it is a feature they currently support.

      I don't know of a way to change the finish point, but if you go to the 'Full Edit' feature you can override the activity length and duration, this will then feed through to your other statistics e.g. average pace. It isn't perfect, but might help.

      Richard

      Delete
    2. Thanks Richard. That's kind of what I thought. I appreciate you getting back to me! Have a great Friday!

      Delete
  14. Hi,
    I'd like the alarm to buzz after each mile. How to set the watch? The alarm is on, miles are selected, but I don't know what else to do so it rings after each mile. I've just come back from a long run - it did not ring once. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Hopefully this will work for you:
      Enter the menu
      Select the Setup sub-menu
      Change the tones setting to 'on'

      Richard

      Delete