Posts Tagged ‘Mac OS’

Garmin Forerunner 405CX Review

November 10th, 2010

Pros:

  • Very accurate GPS tracking and workout data
  • Various display options available
  • Comes with dock/clip for rechargeable battery
  • Backlight is bright but not battery-draining
  • Reliable in various temperatures
  • Reputation among users as one of the best available

Cons:

  • Software for Mac OS is barely compatible and behind on updates (most Mac users use third party software instead)
  • Bevel control is highly contested
  • Somewhat clunky for users with smaller wrists
  • Small screen and text can be hard to view while running
  • Non-intuitive operation requires thorough instruction reading to start

Review

Garmin Forerunner 405CXThe Garmin Forerunner 405CX is the most recent edition of Garmin’s popular Forerunner GPS running watch series. The watch tracks a considerable amount of data, much of which can be read on the watch face while running, and all of which can be uploaded to a computer for filtering, tracking, mapping, and comparison after the run.

The Garmin 405CX records time, pace, distance, route (including altitude), heart rate, and calories burned. With the exception of GPS location, the data collected by the watch can be viewed by users while they run. The screen allows for up to four fields of data, which many users find convenient, but a few find difficult to read. In addition to recording current data, the watch can be used to recall previous workouts, and runners can compete against their own workout history with the watch’s Virtual Partner feature.

After the workout, collected data automatically uploads onto the owner’s computer when the watch is within wireless range. For the most part, owners are pleased with the Garmin workout tracking software, which provides a wide range of tools for filtering, tracking, comparison, and organization. However, the Mac version of this software is notoriously problematic and infrequently updated, and Mac users overwhelming turn to third-party software for use with the Garmin 405CX.

The GPS feature on the Forerunner 405CX has been praised as one of the most geographically accurate among running watches. In cases where the GPS function is not needed (such as indoor workouts or wearing the watch in a stationary location between runs), the GPS can be turned off, which helps conserve battery life.

The battery is rechargeable, and the watch fits easily into a charging clip so it can be charged on an ongoing basis. The watch’s power save mode allows it to operate for up to two weeks on a single charge. Garmin says it runs for 8 hours in regular mode with GPS enabled; some owners have reported shorter battery lives and some have reported longer.

The Garmin Forerunner 405CX is very well received and has earned consistently positive reviews. The most frequent complaint about is about the functionality of the bevel-switch. Numerous owners have reported that sweating causes the bevel to stick and stop working, but most owners who regularly rinse the watch with clean water or towel it off report that these measures keep it working fine.

Bottom line: The Garmin Forerunner 405CX is one of the leading and most well-received GPS running watches on the market. Its design isn’t perfect and its software could be better, but it is extremely accurate and records an impressive range of data, which allows for excellent workout tracking.