Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Watch Review

Garmin Forerunner 410
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Our Verdict: If you are in the market for a high-quality GPS watch that has top-notch, highly-customisable features, you will be more than happy with the Garmin Forerunner 410.

Having said that, it's not one we recommend currently. We believe it is currently overpriced compared to the Forerunner 405CX, which is the watch we would currently recommend for competitive runners who want a highly customisable set of metrics.

If you want a high quality but less complicated GPS watch then the Garmin Forerunner 210 would be our recommendation. The FR210 also has the advantage of being push button operated rather than relying on the problematic bezel controls of the 4 series Forerunners.

The low down on the Garmin 410

With convenient features like remote data uploads, PC and Mac compatibility, lightning-fast satellite acquisition and Auto Pause, there is a lot to love about this relatively lightweight, midsized watch. But is is the upgrades from the Forerunner 405 and 405CX that regular GPS watch users will be most interested in and here Garmin don't disappoint, with the problematic bezel finally fixed and a proper power off function added to name just two of the these.

Here is what we found when we put the Forerunner 410 through it's paces:

What is Included in your Forerunner 410 box

The Garmin Forerunner 410 comes with:

  • the device itself
  • two spare wrist straps
  • a USB/ANT stick for wireless uploading
  • a USB cable for charging only
  • power adapters with U.S., U.K. and European compatibility
  • a quick-start manual
  • an on-disk owner’s manual

  • Optional accessories that can be purchased separately or in bundles include:

  • a foot pod that allows you to use the Forerunner 410 while using an indoor treadmill
  • a premium heart-rate strap
  • a speed and cadence sensor for cycling
  • a rubber bike mount to turn the Forerunner 410 into a data display
  • Getting Started with the Garmin Forerunner 410

    Getting started with the Forerunner 410 is remarkably easy. While most of the controls are accessed through its touch-bezel, there are two actual buttons: a lap/reset button and a stop/start button. To get the device ready for use, simply tap the “start” button on the upper-right. From there, press and hold the “training” bezel to prepare the device for your run. Within a few seconds, satellite acquisition should have occurred and you will be ready to go; just press the start/stop button and be on your way – it is as easy as that.

    Before embarking on that first run, however, you should take the time to set up and install the software that was included with the device. The software can be used on PCs or on Mac computers that run OS 10.4.11 or higher, along with the Safari web browser. Installing the software, which is called the Garmin ANT Agent, is intuitive; if you’ve ever installed anything on your computer, you’ll be able to manage. After your run, the data that is stored by the Forerunner 410 will be wirelessly pulled over to Garmin Connect, where it can be used in a number of different ways.

    Key Changes to the Garmin Forerunner 410

    If you’re acquainted with the Garmin Forerunner 405, you may have been less than thrilled with its flaky contact bezel controls. Fortunately, Garmin has largely addressed those issues with the Forerunner 410. You operate the touch bezel by tapping or swiping the outer edge of the device. This time around, Garmin has designed the bezel to include four distinct quadrants; this change has vastly improved the Forerunner 410’s sensitivity and responsiveness, but not to the point where you’re constantly triggering various fields by accident. Still, using the device while you are wearing gloves continues to be an issue.

    Additional changes and upgrades include:

  • Power-Off Option - It’s now possible to turn off the entire wrist unit, which allows you to save a lot of battery power.
  • Modify Data Fields - You can customize the data fields on the Forerunner 410; configurations include one large display or two or three fields.
  • Toggle Operational Mode - Run the Forerunner 410 in watch mode or in GPS mode, whichever suits your needs.
  • Top Features of the Garmin 410

    The Garmin Forerunner 410 includes a bounty of excellent features. In the following section, we will take a brief look at a handful of the most notable ones.

    Track-Back Functionality

    If you’re apt to lose your head in the clouds and end up somewhere off the beaten path, never fear: The Forerunner 410 includes a handy track-back feature that will lead you back home. Access this feature through the regular menu.

    Battery Life

    When running GPS, the Forerunner 410’s battery will last anywhere from seven to eight hours. Assuming that you run about one hour per day, then, you should only need to charge it one time per week. However, this isn’t an exceedingly impressive amount of battery life; several other popular models boast more powerful batteries.

    HotFix Satellite Prediction

    Nothing can make you lose your momentum quite like having to wait for your runner’s watch to acquire nearby satellites. The Forerunner 410 boasts HotFix satellite prediction technology, which means that it “remembers” where nearby satellites are to speed up the satellite acquisition process. In most cases, it takes a scant 10 to 15 seconds; times of up to one minute have been reported, however.

    Auto Pause

    This feature comes especially in handy for people who do most of their running in urban areas, where the need to stop frequently can wreak havoc on a device’s ability to track progress. The Auto Pause function allows you to make the device stop automatically whenever you drop below a specified pace. Instead of having to press a button each time you stop, then, you can go on about your business without another thought. Handy, yes, but it’s not for everyone.

    Virtual Partner

    If you’ve used other Garmin GPS sports watches before, you’re probably already acquainted with the Virtual Partner feature. It’s delightful that it is included in the Forerunner 410, though, since it can be highly motivating. Basically, you set your ideal pace; the Virtual Partner “runs” at that pace. Meanwhile, the device clocks your actual pace. This way, you are given a real-time idea about how you are faring in terms of your goals.

    Auto Lap

    Setting up the parameters for the Auto Lap function is simple, and it can be done in one of two ways: by position or by distance. In the case of distance, just input the number of kilometres that should qualify as a single lap. In the case of position, define a starting point using the Forerunner 410’s GPS capabilities; every time you pass that point, another lap will be clocked.

    Customizable Backlight

    Although it’s usually best to run during the daylight hours, work and family obligations sometimes compel us to run in the predawn or the late evening. Happily, the Forerunner 410 includes a backlight that can be customized to your liking. If you prefer to be able to glance down and read the display at any given moment, set the backlight to stay on forever. Otherwise, you can set it to stay on, when triggered, for a specific period of time; 10 seconds is an ideal option.

    Remote Upload

    The Garmin Forerunner 410 comes with a USB cable, but it’s not for transferring data to a computer – it’s for charging its battery. Rather, data is transferred from the device to a computer wirelessly. As soon as you are within a certain distance of the computer on which you’ve loaded the included software, the upload commences. It’s amazing what a huge difference this convenient feature can make.

    Customizable Data Fields

    There are 34 data fields that can be used to customize the experience of using the Forerunner 410. They can be used to create strategically targeted workouts with the Garmin Training Center. They can also be used to create new courses. Most importantly, you can use the data that is collected to gauge how successful each run is. A few of the customizable data fields that are available on the Forerunner 410 include:

  • average speed
  • average lap time
  • heart rate
  • calories
  • elevation
  • average pace
  • speed
  • heart-rate zone
  • grade
  • time of day

  • It should also be noted that these fields can be used to customize the training pages that are displayed on the Forerunner 410 while it is in use. You can use three or four training pages with three fields per page. One page is dedicated to heart rate data, but the fields can still be changed to suit your needs. Enable the Auto Scroll feature to cycle through the various pages without having to do a thing.

    Using the Forerunner 410 for Cycling and Swimming

    Although the Forerunner 410 is touted as a sports watch that can be used for many different activities, it is most ideally suited for running. In terms of swimming, its waterproof capabilities are lacklustre at best; the device malfunctions when it is submerged too frequently. As a display during cycling, it is somewhat too small to be of great use. For these reasons we continue to recommend the Garmin Forerunner 310XT if you are looking for a GPS watch which you can swim and cycle with.

    The Bottom Line on the Garmin Forerunner 410

    All told, the Forerunner 410 offers spot-on data collection and impeccable features for anyone who is a truly dedicated runner. Once the data has been wirelessly uploaded to a PC or Mac, it can be shared on the Garmin Connect online community, among other things. Its lightweight design makes it a joy to wear and it performs capably during dry or wet weather.

    While the improved functionality of the bezel compared to the Forerunner 405CX is welcome and enhances the usefulness of the watch, we would question whether the difference in price between the two models is really worth it, especially with the deep discounts being offered on the Garmin Forerunner 405CX currently.

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