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Garmin Forerunner 405 - Garmin Forerunner 405

By James Morris



Our Score:


When it's time to analyse your training data, the Forerunner must be paired with the ANT USB stick, which as we've already mentioned requires software downloaded from Garmin's website. Then you can use one of the two options (or both) to see how your training is coming along. Garmin Connect and Training Center provide broadly the same information. However, there are subtle differences.

Both have readouts for pace, elevation, heart rate (if you were using the HRM) and cadence (if you're using the GSC 10). But Garmin Connect provides these either separately or two at a time, where Training Center can present up to three graphs together, which is handy for checking how your heart rate relates to pace and going up hills.

Garmin Connect hooks in directly to Google Maps, so shows your route overlaid onto a map, which Training Center doesn't. You can also enter the Player mode to see precisely how the data relates to your physical location at the time. For a map view of your routes in Training Center, you can export them to Google Earth. But this doesn't provide the finely sliced detail of Garmin Connect's Player mode. Where Garmin Connect stores your data online, Training Center stores it locally, so you may want to use both at the same time for a complete picture.


Once past the initial stage of learning, Garmin's Forerunner 405 provides a wealth of facilities to help you monitor and guide your fitness training on foot or bike. The Qstarz BT-Q2000 offers similar route tracking and pace capabilities for a lot less. But it doesn't have the extra peripheral options, the standalone GPS navigation abilities, nor Virtual Partners, making it a much more limited device. So although the Forerunner is rather pricey, it's a uniquely powerful device and could give you that all-important edge when training.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 10
  • Value 8


April 6, 2009, 5:38 pm

I looked at this a few months ago when i was looking for a GPS training aid, but opted for the 305 as it was a bit cheaper and the controls looked considerably less fiddly than the ones on the 405. Also, i hear that the 405 is a pain to operate in the web due to its touch controls, rather than having physical buttons.

I don't use any of Garmin's software solutions, i use SportTracks to log all my runs, its a great piece of software, and it is free.


April 6, 2009, 5:59 pm

Why didn't you review the newer 'CX' version? https://buy.garmin.com/shop... I hope it comes in at the same price.

Brian ONeill

April 6, 2009, 6:17 pm

I got the wife one of these and she hated it. Two points with it:

1:You need to be a geek to use it, the interface is very fiddly. She did not have the patience for it.

2:Coverage can be ropey, she found running on paths/forests etc the gps signal would drop.

She ended up selling it to a friend, he likes it ok because he has the patience to persiverve with it. So bottom line make sure you like your tech before buying it :-)

James Morris

April 6, 2009, 6:37 pm

@Simon The touch controls are okay when you get used to them. You need to use them exactly as Garmin intends, though.

@Lamboy Garmin didn't have the CX yet to send me. It's due Q2, so I expect I'll get one when it arrives in the UK.

@Brian ONeill Totally agree. As I said in my review, all those menus on the watch are not that user friendly - you need to read the PDF manual to understand them. In fact, I submitted this review a few days late because I spent too long scratching my head and thinking WTF? But then it clicked, and I started to find the 405 quite manageable. The point is that once you've set things up you spend most of your time in Training mode, where you're essentially just using the two buttons plus the touch ring to scroll through the views as you run. Not tried it in a forest, though, only roads and parks in London, where I've had no trouble keeping a lock - although it does take a minute or two to fix satellites in the first place.


April 6, 2009, 7:50 pm

If you think the 405 is ropey for GPS reception then try the 305 and see what a massive improvement it is. I got the 405 for my wife and she's fairly hapy with it, but as you say it's just a case of setting it up correctly and then pressing go. She doesn't use preset training sessions or virtual partner, ornly recording her times and HR.

Hers picks up satellites indoors, when we go for a run our mate with a 305 has to leave hers outside for 5 minutes before we go.

James Morris

April 6, 2009, 8:46 pm

The 405 does have an improved satellite receiver over the 305. I did find it took longer to pick up a fix in a conservatory than outside. GPS receivers really need direct, unobstructed line of sight.


April 6, 2009, 9:05 pm

Lovely gadgets but ultimately just pointless novelties swamping you with needless information in my opinion. Most people run the same circuits week in week out and once you've got your mile/km markers set all you need is a stopwatch with lap-counter. HR is nice until you realise you run according to how you feel irrespective of what its reading and the rest is just fluff.


April 6, 2009, 9:18 pm

@ClownShoes I must admit that the 305 does take a bit of an age to lock on to satellites.


April 7, 2009, 12:06 am

How is the battery on this? Does it take a standard watch battery?

I hope its a li-ion :)

Also how long does the battery last?


James Morris

April 7, 2009, 2:15 am

The battery will probably last a couple of weeks on standby/low power - where the thing is acting as just a watch. I left it lying around for about a week and it used up half the battery. But in use it appeared to consume a little over 10 per cent of its battery per hour, so that would be 8-10 hours of use. It has a Lithium-Ion battery you recharge with a clip-on attachment.


April 7, 2009, 2:17 am

I've been using my 405 for 9 months now so feel entitled to weigh in with my tuppence worth.

First gripe: being wireless, there is no way of retrieving the data if the watch decides to play up. It has only done this once, but it was right after the Great North Run so I lost the data that I had trained for 6 months to attain.

Second gripe: when the bezel gets wet, either from rain or a sweaty sleeve, the 405 tends to enter malfunction mode wherein it will not respond or function other than to beep intermittently. This was the cause of Gripe 1, and to be fair you can hit both buttons to lock the bezel, but then you have to unlock it to view your data on the move.

My wife uses a 205 which although chunkier and slower to lock onto GPS, keeps those signals better and exhibits no flakiness in the wet whatsoever.


April 7, 2009, 1:57 pm

Lukeotron - you can set the data to rotate, so it will show you each data item for a set period of time and then move on to the next one. If you do this you can lock the bezel and then run to your heart's content.


June 5, 2009, 2:39 pm

Hi All, my husband got me the 405 to train for an upcoming half marathon. Got it yesterday, charged it and started reading the manual. Seemed easy at first until I tried to turn it off! fairly legitimate thing to do to save the battery and stop it from bipping due to battery getting low, right? Well as you all know by now, there is no power off option other than power save mode. So last night, charged it again, then pressed the 2 right-hand side buttons, which locked the bezel, but did not stop it from using the battery (4% left this morning). What am I missing? Isn't that how I am supposed to put in on sleep mode? Guys, please help. ta.

James Morris

June 9, 2009, 6:38 pm

I would recommend you leave it plugged in and charging when not in use. That way it will always be 100% when you need it.

Sweat and Tears

June 10, 2009, 9:33 pm

Sandrine, I think if you turn off the GPS function (only turn back on when ready to use)it will conserve some battery. I am not sure about this. Search your manual or search the net to confirm.

I really wish Garmin would design a power off function into a future version. I understand not having battery access for the purpose of waterproofing, but just the click of a button (with confirmation) to power it off would be great.


June 27, 2012, 2:16 pm

I bought one for my wife but after less than 18 months it now holds the full charge for about 15 mins then shuts down. Asked garmin about it and they said try a software download(which didn't help)or buy a new battery for around £80. Needless to say I'm not impressed and wont be buying any Garmin in future.

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