Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS watch

Garmin Forerunner 610 review: A GPS watch aimed at the fitness junkie

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (3)
  • Buy Now 7
Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 3 Reviews)

Pros

  • Looks like a normal watch, albeit a bulky one
  • Huge range of workout features integrated
  • GPS works accurately and stores plenty of data

Cons

  • Battery life is limited to eight hours of exercise
  • Not waterproof (so no swimming)
  • Touchscreen isn't great

Bottom Line

Garmin's Forerunner 610 is pricy but if you're a serious athlete we can definitely see its value. It's able to track and store a huge range of workout metrics in combination with the bundled heart-rate monitor, and includes software to monitor your long-term progress via PC. The touchscreen may be a bit fiddly but our biggest concern is the short-ish battery life.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 7 stores)

See all prices

Once you’ve taken care of the watch’s initial setup, all you need to do is hit the start button when you begin exercising, the lap button when you finish an interval, and the stop button when you can’t be bothered to move any more. The Forerunner 610 takes care of all the data entry and can store 180 hours of data — even if you don’t download the watch’s saved data to a PC, this is a year’s worth of data if you’re running for an hour every two days before it’s full.

Using the Garmin Forerunner 610 with the bundled heart-rate monitor brought out the statistics geek in us. We found ourselves checking the results every few minutes throughout the day, cataloguing our heart rate during walking and running and sitting and lying down and eating and coughing and talking — it got a little excessive. In any case the heart-rate monitor worked as we expected and we got a wealth of data to plug into Garmin’s Training Centre application.

The Garmin Forerunner 610 syncs wirelessly and uploads data to your PC through the bundled Garmin ANT+ wireless USB dongle — Windows XP onwards and all recent flavours of Mac OS X are supported. We didn’t have any problems with only plugging in the dongle when we wanted to upload data — no crashes or loss of data.

The Garmin Training Centre application lets you view your activity against a map, create custom work-outs to carry out, and look through a huge number of graphs and figures and statistics. It even works with Google Earth, so you can share or show-off your routes and data with others. We found the application had more data than we knew what to do with — we think anyone up to professional athlete level would be catered for.

Similarly, you can use the Garmin Forerunner 610 and ANT+ dongle to upload data to the Garmin Connect+ Web site. It’s got a small range of social features — you can compare your fitness routine with other Connect+ users if you want, or export some of your data to Facebook, Digg or del.icio.us — but the value lies in its wide range of logs, listings, goal settings and analysis that the service offers. If you think keeping track of your exercises would be valuable to your fitness, the Forerunner 610 and Garmin Connect+ offers more data than you could reasonably need. The data logging and feedback features of the Garmin Forerunner 610 are excellent.

Garmin Forerunner 610: Battery life

Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS watch

We tested the Garmin Forerunner 610 over two weeks, over eight runs of 30 to 45 minutes in length. As we’re writing this review it’s only just run out of battery life; Garmin’s claim of eight hours battery life during active use are credible. If you’re not using the GPS every day or two we think it’d be possible to stretch the battery out to a monthly recharge. The Forerunner 610 comes with an AC adapter that clips into two electrical contacts on the back of the watch, with magnets to hold the charging plate secure. If you keep the charger plugged in it’s easy to regularly keep the Forerunner 610’s battery topped up.

Garmin Forerunner 610: Conclusion

The Garmin Forerunner 610 is a watch that’s filled with useful features and statistics tracking gizmos. If you’re the kind of person that wants to find out every last detail about their exercise routine — why it is you slow down on that hill, or where you could push yourself a little harder to make up lost time, or to mark where that annoying dog lives — it’s got everything you need.

The bundled software and Internet features are more than capable enough, and we couldn’t think of anything extra we’d want to add in. Unless you have a particularly pressing need for an especially niche feature, the Garmin Forerunner 610 should be able to take care of your fitness logging needs. Plus, it does a surprisingly good job of telling the time.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kaos

1

I think it's a bit unfair to criticise the battery life, before this was released you'd have to choose between the 405cx which had 6 hours of battery and the 310xt which had 20. This made the 405cx a bit useless for shorter ultras like Six Foot Track, and the 310xt overkill. I think the 610 neatly hits the spot!

sundog

2

I have the 610, great features. All is perfect. But...the battery life sux !! When doing a 100KM it just does not finish with me...looking forward to a new battery..

Edwin

3

Just drive faster!
But seriously, what is the batterylife?

Yvan

4

I necedad help. Main menu is not displaying

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

itwwti

4.0

1

Pros
Summer
Cons
Winter
• • •

Battery life is a big deal - mine conks out after @7 hours. Good luck if you're on even a moderately-long hike or competing in an ironman.

Robbie

0.5

2

Pros
N/A
Cons
Garmin Forerunner 610
• • •

I have run with my new Garmin Forerunner 610 watch 2 times so far and I have found that the battery life is a farce. I ran a 10K in 43 minutes and it drained about 50% of my battery life. I charged it overnight to completion and then ran for 1hr and 22 minutes and it drained 80 percent of the watches battery. So it is not even going to last for a 2hr run. This watch is useless to me when I do longer runs. Something cant be right. My Garmin 305 lasted a long time in between charges. I think I would stay away from getting this watch.

Paul

5.0

3

Pros
Garmin Forerunner 610
Cons
All other sports watches
• • •

I am a new runner and I recently bought the Forerunner 610 because I wanted a watch that would motivate me as I start my running routine. I love this watch because I do run/walk intervals and I can do this while still listening to music since the watch has vibration alerts based on customized intervals I create ahead of time. There are soooo many features on this watch it's crazy. I want to run every day now!

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?