It's been two years since we reviewed the Garmin Forerunner 405, a $301 GPS fitness watch that worked well and offered innovative new features. Now Garmin has taken the best parts of that expensive watch and offered them in a more reasonably priced model. The result is the $250 Garmin Forerunner 110, a GPS fitness watch that lacks its older brother's high-tech features but still gets the job done.
No, you don't have to spend nearly $300 for a good fitness watch from Garmin. You can get all the same location data, timing and pacing with the Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS-enabled Sport Watch for less money.
What's the difference? Instead of the Forerunner 405's touch controls, on the Forerunner 110 there are four buttons situated on the bezel that we found a whole lot easier to use. Also missing from the 110 is that excellent wireless connectivity which we loved on the Forerunner 405. But it's not worth the extra $51 to get that capability, no matter how way-cool it is.
It's an even better deal to get the $200 version of the Forerunner 110 (only available in black with gray trim), which doesn't include the heart rate monitor. (The watch with the heart rate monitor is available in either black/red or gray/pink.) And keep in mind, these are the retail prices, destined to go lower soon.
This Forerunner 110 found the GPS satellites within about a minute. At the same time, it instantly linked up with its heart rate monitor that you wear around your chest. After that initial lock-on with the satellites, it was rock solid, measuring distance and pace just as well as its more expensive brandmate. While we don't still have the other Forerunner watch here for direct comparison, this one seems a little smaller, and is thin enough to get away with wearing to the office without looking like a complete geek.
One of the best features of Garmin's GPS fitness watches is the excellent Garmin Connect website, where you upload your daily exercise data via USB to your personalized area on this free website. There, you can track your progress from day to day with attractive graphs and mapping features. See those in the gallery below.
Technology has come a long way in two years, and the price of sophisticated GPS gear has plummeted. Because of that, even Garmin products are getting cheaper. So if you're looking for a reliable way to measure your pace and distance, the Garmin Forerunner 110 is the best value we've seen yet.
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