Easy to use, custom training plans and the Virtual Partner are great features of the Garmin 410 that many similar devices simply don't offer or don't do well enough.Cons
You could probably replicate everything the 410 has with a pocket full of other devices if you wanted to.Verdict
If you're on the fence about it, do yourself a favor and grab the Garmin Forerunner 410 now, I recommend getting the heart monitor version for even more detailed training.
REVIEW: Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Watch
The thing I really like about the Garmin Forerunner 410 is that it has something earlier models didn't have and is very unique to Garmin. This is the Virtual Partner. Where I live, there aren't a lot of people and finding a running partner or hiker is limited to my neighbors, none of whom seem to do much outdoor activities. The Virtual Partner helps set a goal and try to match your pace with it as best you can. This makes the dull running, biking or hiking sessions into more of a "game" and that appeals to me and many others much more than basic stat counting.
To make things even more addicting, the Garmin Forerunner 410 comes with access to Garmin Connect, an online resource for stat counting, graphs, goals, detailed performance records and things of this nature. This might sound boring to some but for the determined micromanager, this is a dream come true. I've been in the system for 1.5 years now and all my data is still there, urging me to improve and glaringly displaying bouts of laziness or periods of terrible weather.
I could go on and on about ways to use this device to motivate yourself but let's stop now and take a look at the features:
Ease of Use
One of the first things you'll notice about the Garmin Forerunner 410 is how easy it is to flip through screens and understand exactly what's being displayed. There's a touch bezel for flipping through things and scrolling and it works extremely well. I've tried in weather from -10 F to 100 F, rain, snow and glaring sun and it always works very well. You can turn on the backlighting easy as well for dark excursions.
The Garmin Forerunner 410 has built in wireless connectivity via the Ant Stick (a small USB drive) so you can just stick that into your PC and it simply works. You can have all your info uploaded in about a minute then you're done. You don't have any wires which is nice if your desk is already overflowing with phone, camera, camcorder, and other USB cords that for some reason are never universal.
This is a combination of the Garmin Connect plus the Virtual Partner for many people. You can tailor each hike, bike or run for specific goals whether it's to have your heart rate in a desired zone, follow a trail system, or simply run laps around a track. Some features will require either the 410 with heart sensor or the GSC10 unit that converts bike wheel rotations into usable data. The Garmin Connect feature has an impressive amount of information you can use and it's also fun simply to visit the site, examine your data and tinker with it.
The GPS unit built into the Garmin Forerunner 410 is perfect. I have been through some rugged areas and it's always been spot on getting me back to my starting point or to where I want to go. You will have to double check settings if you're using the GSC10 unit because if you put in the wrong wheel size, you can end up with some issues. I've personally used just the 410 for some geocaching adventures with my children and it's never let us down yet.
What do others think of the Garmin Forerunner 410?
Mark V. (Amazon.com user)
"I'v had the Garmin Forerunner 410 for a couple of months now and have used it probably 30 times. It really works well and was easy to setup. They have lots of "How To" videos on Garmin's website that teach you how to set it up and customize displays. The documentation is also very easy to follow. Uploading your run info. to Garmin Connect is very easy using the Ant+ wireless connection. I recommend getting the version with the Heart Rate Monitor. Heart rate is very useful during your run to maintain the proper pace and keeping track of which zone you are in. I very much enjoy using it. It's like having a video game on your wrist!"
Riviera-Luke (Roadrunnersports.com User)
"This watch is fantastic. It helps you keep track of your pace during your run, and shows you how far ahead or behind your desired pace you are. The garmin connect online features are excellent as well and can be used to analyse your run. I have increased my pace since getting the watch."
The Bottom Line
If you're passionate about running, biking or hiking, the Garmin 410 is a pretty cool device. It can really motivate you to improve performance in a fun way, the online features are great and the GPS is flawless. Some people complain of a short battery life and some errors here and there but if you keep the firmware updated from the official site, it should work fine. Mine seems to be just fine after a lot of heavy use.
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