Battery life is excellent at four weeks on watch mode and eight hours in training mode with GPS turned on. For a real-life view, we charged the watch on Friday and went for a 10k, 53-minute run the following Tuesday and had 50 per cent battery life left.
While the battery lasted longer than the 410's, it did take nearly twice as long to charge at almost three hours. However, the watch is easy to power down into sleep mode. If you want to save the battery, you can hold down the Power/Light button on the top-right of the watch, as opposed to the Forerunner 410, which required the user to go through a Menu>Setting>System>Shutdown>Yes process to shut down.
The charger connects magnetically and is more sturdy than Garmin’s previous clasps, which can be knocked loose. The design and metallic back of the watch ensures a secure connection while the watch is being charged.
Additional features include a Virtual Partner, letting you can time yourself against a target pace to keep up with. However, it doesn’t have the Courses functionality of the 410. This allowed you to compete against a previously-completed run. This may be a small omission, but one Garmin felt happy to leave out.
The watch can be set to alert you if you drop below a target pace or speed, and you can set interval training to customise a walk/run or jog/sprint routine. The notification can be set to either beep or vibrate – another welcome addition and a first for a sport watch.
Both Virtual Partner and the custom workouts can be set on the watch itself without the need to connect it to a PC, unlike the Nike SportWatch which needs to be tethered to a computer just to change the time. In fact, the 610 allows users to set the time manually, a simple feature overlooked by the 410.
Among other advanced features is the Where To option, which allows you to pinpoint and save up to 100 locations, from a parked car or a friend’s house, and return them using a bearing and distance. It’s not exactly turn-by-turn navigation, but it’s a function lacking in most sport watches. And one any distance runner who has gotten lost on a run before would welcome.