Garmin Forerunner 210 - Accuracy and Performance
Where the Forerunner 410 allows users to display an impressive 35 sets of data across 3 screens of customisable fields on its little LCD, the 210 displays only distance and pace, with either time time lapsed or heart rate in the main field.
Nor does the 210 does store routes or have the Virtual Partner feature, which lets you pace yourself against a friend's time on a previous run. These omissions aside, the GPS accuracy of the watch is every bit as good as the more expensive version, locking-on to satellites in less than a minute to quickly provide the runner with reliable feedback on speed, route and mileage.
Runs are stored in the History section of the watch, allowing you to view your training log at a glance without having to sync up with a computer. The layout is clear, and we liked that runs completed today are labeled by default as “Today”, before changing to “Yesterday”, then cycling through named days of the week before being stored with a calendar date. Each saved activity contains lap times so you can review your pace per mile over the course of that particular run.
Runners on a budget will no-doubt already be aware of a number of free GPS tracking smartphone apps that map your route, track your pace and break down workout stats. We found these to be a mixed bag and not as accurate as the Garmin 210.
To demonstrate this, we deliberately took a zigzag route along a section of pavement on the course of a longer run. The Forerunner 210 tracked the path very accurately, whereas Adidas’s miCoach for iPhone showed us running through the field alongside the road as we set off, and on completely the wrong side of the road on our return. In addition, a run clocked at 15 miles by the Garmin was notched-up at only 14.85 on the miCoach iPhone app. Not the end of the world, but these things matter to runners.
The watch uses the USB cable to sync with Garmin Connect, where statistics are abundant. This free-to-use service allows runners to view their workout details and share the fruits of their labours across social networking sites or email.
We covered the pros and cons of Garmin Connect in our review of the Garmin Forerunner 410 and concluded that it packs an impressive amount of data, although we encountered an error with the speed on our final mile.
Looking at our fifteen mile run with the Forerunner 210, we found the data to be accurate, and both the timing and route were reported faithfully with no errors