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Garmin Forerunner 210 review

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Compact design
  • Accurate route tracking
  • Easy to setup

Cons

  • No removable strap
  • Lack of wireless sync
  • No customisable display

Key Features

  • GPS tracking
  • Live pace stats
  • Garmin Connect interface
  • Easy upload
  • Manufacturer: Garmin
  • Review Price: £229.99

The Forerunner 210 is one half of Garmin's duo of new GPS-enabled sport watches - the other being the high-end Garmin Forerunner 410. In contrast to its bigger and more complicated brother, Garmin says the Forerunner 210 is aimed at runners “who simply want to step outside, acquire satellites and start their workout.”

Both watches are well-designed, looking more like regular timepieces than some sport watches. Polar Fitness monitors tend to look like an unimaginative child’s science fiction doodle and the Timex Global Trainer looks like a stop watch awaiting the outcome of an IAAF investigation on banned substances.

The Forerunner 210 is a reasonably compact 4.5 x 6.9 x 1.4 cm, making it 3mm narrower than the 410 and 2mm thinner. It's significantly slimmer, and 12 grams lighter too at 52g. The display size is 2.5cm x 2.5cm, with a 52 X 30 pixel resolution, and is clear with excellent viewing angles and a bright user-activated backlight.

The slimmed-down dimensions do not hinder the operation of the watch during training - we found the buttons easy to operate and were relieved that it doesn't feature the 410’s touch-sensitive bezel, of which we were slightly critical.

The Forerunner 210 feels secure on the wrist, and has a tooth under the band that keeps the strap in place. Unlike other models in the Forerunner range, the strap is integral to the watch’s structure and is not user-replaceable. This worries us slightly as it means you’re stuck with it if it gets torn or damaged. Garmin told us it had yet to encounter this problem, adding that it would replace any damaged devices within the 12 month warranty period “without question” and owners outside this period would have to pay a flat replacement fee of £78.29. While it’s early days - the product was launched in October 2010 - we felt professionally bound to raise the point with the manufacturer.

Roblpm

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!

Cliff

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.

surf999

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

K8

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.

alticry

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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