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Garmin Forerunner 405

Old 04-27-15, 10:06 AM
  #1  
scuboo
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Garmin Forerunner 405

Hi

I'm thinking of buying a garmin Forerunner 405, I was just wondering if anybody here has one and what they thought, good and bad.
I do a lot of running as well as biking so I thought a watch would be better then just a gps bike computer.
Thanks
Robbie
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Old 04-27-15, 12:50 PM
  #2  
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I have a 405. I like it, but I like the 305s MUCH better. Yes, the 305 is bigger, and if you have skinny wrists it looks.... off, but the bigger screen and actual physical buttons make the 305 far superior in my book. (I've used both. I used the 305 in college for a few months then I went out and bought a 405.)

Plus, I'm pretty sure the 305 has better battery life and it connects via an actual usb cord instead of a ridiculous proprietary clip on charger.

I am not a fan of the "touch" bezel on the 405. It works, but not very well (and ONLY when dry obviously). Buttons work 100x better, especially when moving. Plus, you HAVE to lock the bezel (making it useless) if you plan to sweat or get the watch wet in any way, shape, or form. The ant+ connectivity of the 405 is nice over the 305 (it syncs with your computer wirelessly), but unless you NEED the ant+ connectivity (to connect to something specific) it's more of a gimmick than anything. (How hard is it to plug a usb cord into your computer?)

Let me be clear here, if the bezel of the 405 has gotten wet in the last 5 minutes, even if you've dried it off, it still won't work. If it's gotten wet your best chance is to lock the bezel and hope for the best. Locking the bezel involves hitting the start/lab and stop/reset buttons at the same time. If you accidently hit one before the other significantly, it WILL perform the action you hit, which is very annoying. I have accidently "lapped" my run while trying to lock or unlock the bezel.

Lastly, the 405 has a slightly smaller screen so it can only display 3 "things" at once where as the 305 can display 4 "things" at once. Generally I only want to see 4 things when running, pace, time, distance and heart rate. I can't see all of those on the 405, which means I have to switch to the 2nd screen, which means I have to unlock the bezel, which means... yada yada yada... I think the 305 would make a better bike computer than the 405 because of it's bigger screen. Also, watches are hard to use on a bike, as they don't always face you, so get the bike handlebar mount thingy.

Overall: Buy the 305 if you have the choice. Both are great watches, and I would recommend either of them, but I would recommend the 305 over the 405.

Last edited by corrado33; 04-27-15 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 04-27-15, 01:01 PM
  #3  
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FAR better to look at the Garmin 610 if you're seeking a running + simple cycling watch. Touch screen is resistive so it's immune to moisture and works with gloves (i.e. opposite of a cell phone style capacitive technology screen). In other words it works just fine in the rain or in the shower.

Inexpensive Garmin factory refurbs on Amazon from vendors like PrimeDeal with 1yr Garmin warranty.

If you're willing to look at other options, check out DC Rainmaker for a plethora of information on various watches from over the years.
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Old 04-27-15, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
FAR better to look at the Garmin 610 if you're seeking a running + simple cycling watch. Touch screen is resistive so it's immune to moisture and works with gloves (i.e. opposite of a cell phone style capacitive technology screen). In other words it works just fine in the rain or in the shower.

Inexpensive Garmin factory refurbs on Amazon from vendors like PrimeDeal with 1yr Garmin warranty.

If you're willing to look at other options, check out DC Rainmaker for a plethora of information on various watches from over the years.
I have not tried the 610, so I cannot comment, but I'm not convinced that touch sensitive watches are the way to go. Definitely try them out before you buy them if you can. Why are people moving away from simple buttons that work and aren't finicky when moving.
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Old 04-27-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I have not tried the 610, so I cannot comment, but I'm not convinced that touch sensitive watches are the way to go.
I agree completely that one should try it out and see if it works for them. My 610 worked great for me for over three years before I got the upgrade bug. I bought a 920xt and used it a while, then for the past few weeks have been trying out a fenix3. Prior to the 610 I had a Polar RS200SD for years and it was buttons only.


Remember that in the case of the 610 it's a combination; three hard buttons plus touch screen. So common in-workout stuff like Start/Stop or Lap/Reset (and Light/Power) are hard buttons and easily used without even looking. Changing display pages is a swipe left or right, or just a tap advances to the next display page. Functionally indifferent to up/down buttons in my experience.


Using the touch screen to scroll something can be a little fiddly but rarely something done during an actual workout. Using the buttons to scroll and select stuff on the 920xt or fenix3 can be a pain in the azz too; a lot easier to select one of four things on screen by simply touching it instead of going through half a dozen button presses.
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Old 04-27-15, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
I agree completely that one should try it out and see if it works for them. My 610 worked great for me for over three years before I got the upgrade bug. I bought a 920xt and used it a while, then for the past few weeks have been trying out a fenix3. Prior to the 610 I had a Polar RS200SD for years and it was buttons only.
...
Good to know. I think I could manage swipes left and right, but working the 405 bezel while biking is... hard. It's VERY sensitive, and when you turn the sensitivity down it takes AGES to scroll through menus.

I can work a hard button watch much faster through menus than a touch sensitive watch.
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Old 04-27-15, 02:02 PM
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Having no hands on experience with the 405 I can't comment directly. I do think the user interface is sufficiently different between the 405 and 610 that I wouldn't let experience with the 405 color one's expectation of the 610.

The big caveat I'll add is that a 1" round screen is kind of small to be looking at while riding. Factor that in too.
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Old 04-27-15, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
I agree completely that one should try it out and see if it works for them. My 610 worked great for me for over three years before I got the upgrade bug. I bought a 920xt and used it a while, then for the past few weeks have been trying out a fenix3.
How are you finding track accuracy on the F3?
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Old 04-27-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
How are you finding track accuracy on the F3?
In terms of running in suburban residential and light office areas it's been pretty good the past couple revisions, particularly with my routes which aren't very twisty. Essentially the same as my 920xt wearing both at the same time. For example I did a 5K race a few days ago and my f3 ended up with 3.15mi vs my 920xt showing 3.11mi. Also had good results in a late March half marathon. Comparing my track to others via Strava flyover my fenix3 distance was spot on par with all the others; and that was in an urban half here in Atlanta. I haven't used it or anything else on bike enough to give an assessment.

I understand folks continue to see some substantial distance issues with trail running or mountain biking where there's a lot of twists and turns particularly without clear sky views.

I'd say if you don't have to have it right now, give Garmin a couple more months to see if they sort it out or if it's inherently flawed. If you do want to give it a go, pay the little bit extra to buy it from a place like REI where you have a long runway in case it isn't suitable. Whatever you do, don't get rid of whatever you're currently happy with quite yet. I'm not yet comfortable enough that I've sold my 920xt, but I'm also not so disappointed that I've returned my Fenix3. I like the looks, enjoy wearing it at an all-day watch without getting odd looks at the office. Even got a compliment on my watch one day from a woman who had no idea it was anything but a watch. NOT gonna happen with a 920xt.
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Old 04-28-15, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience!

I've had a Fenix 3 for about a month and a half and have been a little bit underwhelmed by the GPS tracks, but pretty happy with everything else.
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