Friday, 18 June 2010
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.