As well as the buttons, Garmin has upgraded the bezel control from the 405 to give it more sensitive multi-touch controls. Two fingers either side of the face turn on the backlight and different areas of the bezel can be pressed to bring up various functions. Scroll clockwise and anti-clockwise and you can navigate up and down through statistics and menu options.
The system is responsive but not over sensitive and in-run operation is smooth and straightforward. However, it works best in dry conditions and can be unresponsive if you’re trying to use it wearing gloves. Frustratingly, we found that it navigated deep into random sections of the menu after being activated by a wet sleeve while jogging, and that wiping rain off the face to read the display also activated the backlight or menu options.
This isn’t a major problem for runners who don’t want to check their stats on the move, as the controls can be locked by pressing the two buttons simultaneously. Also, the watch keeps recording data while on a run regardless of the menu selection. Nevertheless it is annoying having to navigate back to your run stats mid-run just because of added functionality that’s a nice to have, but is neither flawless nor essential.
The 410 has a water resistance rating of IPX7, which means it has been tested to work underwater at a depth of one metre for up to thirty minutes. While Garmin argues that GPS signals don’t penetrate water anyway, ironman triathletes might want to leave their watch on the bike for their hour-long swim
It’s behind the face that the Forerunner 410 really impressed us, not just with the accuracy of the GPS but the software and built-in functionality. Like many devices, including the recently announced Nike+ Sportwatch, the 410 can tell you how fast and how far you have run. Where the 410 excels is the training functionality which will help athletes go further, faster. One example is the Virtual Partner tool, which lets you race alongside – or against – a digital trainer, telling you how far you are ahead or off a set time.