Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS Watch Review

Garmin Forerunner 110

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Released in the UK in June 2010, the Garmin Forerunner 110 is the latest Garmin GPS watch to enter the market.

The watch has been released in 3 diffferent colour schemes, with a red/black version for men, a pink/grey version for women/ladies and a dark grey version for those who don't want to be stereotyped.  There is no difference between the 3 watches other than their colours.

The Garmin Forerunner 110 is sold with and without a heart rate monitor (HRM) with the difference in price being around £30.  We believe it is well worth the extra money to add the HRM.

The Forerunner 110 is clearly aimed at the recreational runner who would like some help getting fitter and as such has been designed as an entry level GPS watch with all of the functionality you would expect such as route tracking, pace monitoring, uploading of data to Garmin Connect etc.  In effect it is similar to the excellent Forerunner 60 (FR60) to which GPS functionality has been added. On the downside, if you are a hardcore runner/athlete then this isn't the watch for you and you can probably stop reading now and have a look at our review of the Garmin Forerunner 405.

Difference between the Garmin Forerunner 110 and the Forerunner 205, 305, 310 X, 405 and 405 CX

garmin forerunner 110 21The first immediate difference to previous Garmin model's is the size of the watch, which is significantly smaller than other the Forerunner models including the Forerunner 205, Forerunner 305, Forerunner 310XT, Forerunner 405 and Forerunner 405 CX.  This is a major plus for those who find GPS watches to be too bulky to be comfortable.

The other main difference is in the feature set the 110 contains compared to the other Forerunners.  Firstly, the Forerunner 110 has the same water resistance level as the Forerunner 310XT, making these two watches the only two Garmin GPS watches which you can swim with.  For the more technical of you, the watch is IPX7 rated which means it is water resistant to a depth of 1 metre for up to one hour.

Secondly, Garmin have simplified the functionality built into the watch and extended the storage size so that it can store 200 hours of activity before you need to sync it with your computer.  The Forerunner 110 also uses the new SiRFstarIV chipset which it has better tracking accuracy than other Garmin watches.

By simplifying the functions in the 110, Garmin have stirred up a bit of a debate about the merits of the watch which we believe has been overdone.  For example, a consequence of the decision is that the Forerunner 110 will not work with either a Foot POD or the GSC10 bike speed / cadence sensor in contrast to the Forerunnr 310XT, 405 and 405CX.

This is a negative if you want your watch to tell you your pace while on a treadmill indoors (the main use of the Footpod) or your pedal cadence while cycling (the main use of the GSC10 sensor). However, if you are a recreational runner then we suspect that neither of these functions will be important to you.   More important is that if you have never had any need for these features then you no longer need to pay a premium price for a watch which has these features.

And that really is the main draw of the Forerunner 110, it provides a choice where previously there wasn't one.

Our verdict on the Garmin Forerunner 110

The Garmin Forerunner 110 is a good entry level GPS watch for recreational runners who do not want to pay for a bunch of additional features they will never use.  If that describes you then this is an ideal starting watch.

If you are a more hardcore runner on the other hand, you would be better looking at the Forerunner 405 CX or the Polar RS800CX Run.  Meanwhile, the lack of compatibility with the GSC10 bike sensor means that triathletes and ironmen should continue to choose the Garmin 310XT.

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