The Garmin 410
is the latest development from the Garmin team in Olathe, Kansas. The Garmin 410 was released in November 2010. It's been over two years since the Garmin 405
came out and during that time the only product change was the Garmin 405CX
which is the same watch but offered the new feature of heart rate based calorie computation, was the only change for the top running watch offered by Garmin.
Having previously owned the Garmin 201
, Garmin 205
and the Garmin 405
, I was eager to try out the Garmin Forerunner 410
. First, you might be looking at the above picture and thinking, wait it looks just like the Garmin 405. The watch is identical in appearance, with a slight change in design style. The Garmin 410 retails for $324.99 and if you want one with a heart rate monitor the price is $374.95. Garmin also offers a new premium heart rate monitor
that is supposed to be more accurate and comfortable. I have an old heart rate monitor that I used with my Garmin 405, but I rarely use it as I do not train by heart rate, thus this review will not comment on the heart rate monitor or data.
One of the new features of the Garmin 410 is the ability to turn the watch completely off when not using it. With the Garmin 405, the watch would enter power save mode but you could not turn the watch off, like one could with the Garmin 205/305. This is a nice feature, but to turn the watch off you must go into the menu/settings, thus it requires about four steps. This is a nice feature, but it would be a lot more useful if you could simply turn the watch off by holding down one of the buttons on the watch. Another small change is that now when the watch goes into power save mode, it gives the user a warning via display and a beep, and starts counting down from 30 seconds. This is also a nice feature as there were times when my Garmin 405 would go into power save mode and I would rather have not had that happen.
Garmin also got rid of the activity class setting on the Forerunner, where you would input what type of activity you were engaging. Now the watch offers an advanced algorithm from Firstbeat that is self-learning and tracks changes in your fitness over time to give one a better caloric consumption calculation. The biggest improvement in the Garmin 410 has to do with the bezel, the biggest complaint of users of the Garmin 405 is that the watch was hard to use when the watch became sweaty or it was raining. The Garmin 410 is not as sensitive and it does work a lot better when my hands were sweaty. When running with a long sleeved shirt, I always had to lock the bezel for my Garmin 405 as my shirt touching the bezel was enough to make it change screens. With the 410 this is no longer an issue, a nice improvement.
Out of the package, the Garmin 410 comes with a few extra features that did not come up with the Garmin 405. The watch offers two different watch bands
which are Velcro and function like the early Garmin models. I never had any issues with the Garmin 405 watch band, but perhaps some runners prefer the tighter feel of a Velcro strap.
In conclusion, I'm rather disappointed that after two years Garmin has not released a new product. The Garmin 410 is new in name only; essentially it's just an update of the Garmin 405 with two to three new features. Right now the Garmin 410 retails for $25 more than the Garmin 405, so if you're buying a new one, spend the extra $25 on the Garmin 410. However, I see no reason to upgrade your Garmin 405.
When it comes to GPS running watches, I feel that we are close to the law of diminishing returns. The Garmin 405 already offers me everything that I need and I honestly don't care that much about the exact amount of calories that I burned on a run, in fact I'm not sure if I know of any runners who consider that important.
With the current state of affairs, I see two areas of improvement. The first is to simply make the watch smaller, figure out how to get GPS technology in the Garmin FR60
. The size of the Garmin 405/410 does not bother me, I wouldn't mind seeing it a tad smaller, but I think for women a smaller GPS watch could really boost sales. Lastly, the GPS accuracy is really good, but I'm sure there is room for improvement. I noticed no difference between the 405 and the 410 on the time it took to acquire a satellite signal.
I think part of the problem is the lack of competition in the GPS running watch market. We reviewed the Timex Ironman Global Trainer
a few months ago and it was complete rubbish. Thus for now, if you have a Garmin 405 hang on to it, until Garmin comes out with the latest and greatest, when that will be, I have no idea.