Product Review: Garmin Forerunner 10

 Garmin Forerunner 10

Bells and whistles.  That’s what we associate with Garmin.  All the ultra-triathlon glory of the 910XT…  The touch screen capabilities and customizable features of the 610…  In their latest addition to their fitness GPS line, Garmin has taken a step back and gone for a more basic approach. 

Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 10.  This little beauty is available in 2 different sizes, and 3 different colors.  In the smaller size, it is available in pink and green.  In the slightly larger size, it is available in black.  The smaller size measures 1.58” by 2.05” by .62”.  The larger size measures 2.1” by 2.4” by .6”. 

Out of all the GPS units I’ve tested, this is the first that actually fits a smaller wrist comfortably with minimal gapping between the band and skin.  Women and men with tiny wrists – rejoice!  The band has the signature Garmin feel - very comfortable, flexible and durable.

Many people wonder why Garmin was so late to the game at bringing an entry level GPS unit to market.  The Soleus GPS at $99 has been on the market for a year, and the Timex Marathon GPS at $99 has been on the market for about 6 months.  Even though Garmin is late to the game, the wait was well worth it.  While the Forerunner 10 has a price point that is a bit higher - $129 – the extra $30 covers a host of features that comparable units don’t currently offer.

-       Garmin “10” GPS Chip

o   The new Forerunner 10 utilizes the same GPS chip found in the 910XT, 610, 410, 210, and 110 units.  For those of you who don’t know, the last 2 numbers of the Garmin model represent which generation of GPS chip is being utilized.  All of the units ending in “10” are utilizing Garmin’s most current GPS technology.

-       Garmin Connect

o   You can upload your workouts to the Garmin Connect site – This is a great feature for people who want to actively analyze their previous runs and track progress.

-       Virtual Pacer

o   You can set your watch to alert you when you are behind or ahead of a pre-determined pace.

-       Auto Pause

o   The watch will automatically pause if you stop for a red light, etc.  The paused time will not be logged to the workout.

-       5 Weeks in Standby Mode/5 Hours in GPS Mode

o   The efficient battery makes it easy to wear this watch as an everyday timepiece, and the 5 hours in GPS mode is plenty of time for most people’s workouts. 

Despite the generous number of features in the Forerunner 10, it is remarkably simple to use.  There are only 4 buttons and navigation is very intuitive.  One of the nice things about having less bells and whistles than other Garmin models is that the interface is even more simplified.

At the $129 price point, there are a few features that the unit can’t currently support.

-       HRM

o   If you are interested in utilizing a heart rate monitor, you will not be able to with this unit.

-       7 Workout Memory

o   If you are the type of person who likes to save and scroll through a bunch of workouts, you will only be able to save 7 on this unit.  Remember though – you can upload your workouts to Garmin Connect to reference at a later time.

All in all, Garmin has come to market with a competitive and impressive product at a very reasonable price point.  It is currently available at all 7 Marathon Sports locations.