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Garmin Forerunner 210 - Accuracy and Performance

By Cliff Jones



Our Score:


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


March 1, 2011, 3:44 pm

I've had this watch for a while. I think its excellent as it hasnt got any gimics. One real downside though is that the warning for not being waterproof is serious, mine suffers from condensation under the screen which doesnt inspire confidence!


March 1, 2011, 4:17 pm

Roblpm - That's very interesting - this is where user feedback makes our reviews ever more useful. We don't get as much time with every product as we would like, and even though we test thoroughly in real-life situations,some emerge only after a few months. It's great that you have backed up our concerns.

Not so good for your Garmin, though. Have you tried the old trick of leaving it turned off in a sealed bag with a sachet of silica gel for three days? Failing than, people swear by leaving wet devices in a sealed container of uncooked rice for a couple of days.


March 1, 2011, 6:44 pm

I'm just starting out jogging and a product like this could be useful. When TR reviews a new product category i'd appreciate a buyers guide or a lay of the land. I have no idea what other products there are available that might do a similar/better/other job.

Useful functionality i can think of is GPS (something that links to map sites), MP3 player & running monitors (heart rate/number of steps?) but i wouldnt know what else is available.

Bill 66

April 29, 2011, 1:45 am

I also have suffered with condensation and have had three watch changes, I am now having my last one returned to garmin with promised report as to why this watch suffers with misting, garmin need to look into this before the watch gets a bad name , if they can sort out this problem it would be a great item


November 13, 2011, 1:52 pm

They clearly haven't resolved this issue. I took delivery of a 210w this week. On my first trip out with it in the sunshine yesterday the middle of the face had steamed up within 30 minutes - completely obscuring the heart rate information.

Brian Denmark

September 25, 2012, 4:48 pm

Still problem with the watch.
Just bought it for the wife and the misting still occurs on the back of the glass makeing it unreadable.
My wife is not a happy bunny.
While Garmin still can not resolve this issue, my advice is do NOT buy it at all.


October 10, 2012, 12:58 am

Watch under 2yrs old and my strap went today,four days before the Liverpool marathon! Also noticed condesation on display last week. May contact garmin and see what they can do with the strap, but dont fancy paying 78 quid! If thats the case then i will be making my own . All in all dissapointing as i do not consider this watch to be cheap. Have enjoyed using it and it has helped me to a few pbs but surely it should last longer than this!

derek s

November 14, 2012, 9:28 pm

I to have had problem with misting in my approach golf watch. It's been back twice and returned very quickly. It still misted up and on speaking to Garmin today they say it will do this for 10 minutes. I asked why my normal watch doesn't do it and the reply was because my normal watch is not waterproof.I beg to differ as it is a Seiko divers watch designed for professional diving( not a look alike)and is essential that it is waterproof !

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