Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS Running Watch Review
Although running watches with GPS functionality have been available on the market for some time now, the Garmin Forerunner 405 is the latest model in Garmin’s industry leading Forerunner series and has quickly become the GPS watch of fchoice for amateurs and professional athletes alike.
Garmin Forerunner 405 Overview
The Garmin Forerunner 405 combines best best in class and best practice technology that enables the wearer to control a whole host of functions designed to compliment and drive their training schedule. The GPS functionality allows the user to accurately record
aspects of their running such as distance, speed and pace along with the usual time and calorie calculations. Using the online Garmin Connect portal, the user can record and log their GPS recorded runs on the Garmin 405 and see them plotted automatically into a map and chart view. Combining the 405 watch unit with a heart rate monitor yields even greater functionality, as users can record their heart rate over the entire run and can therefore target a specific heart rate zone or track their fitness over a longer period of time.
Garmin Forerunner 405 look and feel
The Gamin 405 is slightly chunkier than your average wrist watch, but still falls below the weight and size of alternative GPS watches from both other manufacturers and previous GarminForerunner models.
The Garmin 405 is made of a durable black plastic with what feels like a rubber wrist strap for added comfort. This has the advantage of keeping the watch watertight for the purposes of running in the rain and also makes the watch easy to wipe down after a heavy training session.
The 405 has a silver bezel surrounding the watch face which is silver in colour and allows the user control of the watches various functions via its touch controlled capabilities. Simply tapping the touch bezel in one of four places brings up the various menus and taping two places on the bezel at once turns the screen backlight on and off.
Along with the touch bezel, the Garmin 405 watch also has the conventional start/stop and lap/reset buttons on the right hand size of the unit.
Garmin Forerunner 405 Functionality
The GPS functionality is the main selling point of the Forerunner 405. Tapping the ‘training’ button on the bezel brings up a temporary screen which indicates that the unit is searching for a GPS signal. 99% of the time the watch finds a signal within 30seconds, even when in built up or hilly areas. This is considerably less than other GPS watches the team at RunTheLine.com have used previously and what differentiates the Forerunner 405 as a useful training aid as opposed to a stylish toy.
Before starting a run, it is possible to customise the various fields that are displayed when the watch is in action. There are up to three screens to customise, with each screen allowing three fields of live training data to be displayed. You can change between each screen with a simple tap of the bezel when you are out on your run. Fields you can select from include things like pace, speed, time, heart rate and averages of all the previous.
Garmin also has added nifty little feature to the 405 that consists of a virtual training partner. Once the pace of the partner is set, the watch displays how far behind or in front of the partner a runner is, providing details of both time and distance. This is a highly recommended and powerfull feature as the runner can see how far or behind their target race pace they are and can adjust their speed accordingly.
The watch GPS function can also be turned off which conserves battery power and extends the life of the unit as a simple wrist watch. Using the watch in training mode without the GPS functionality is also possible, in which case the distance and pace functionality is unavailable
Garmin Connect Portal
The Garmin Forerunner 405 is complemented by Garmin’s patented Garmin Connect portal and software which extends the functionality of the watch considerably and lets you view your training data in various useful ways.
You can use the Garmin Connect software online or it is possible to download a more slim line version to your computer if you prefer, but the online version is highly recommended due to the additional functionality is provides.
Data is transferred from the watch to firstly your computer via the wireless USB adaptor provided in the box, and then either to your Garmin Connect online account or to the software on your PC.
The Garmin Connect portal is informative and easy to use with a selection of useful displays to aid your training. You are able to create and tack goals, view past runs with associated mapping and search for other runners runs in a kind of online community. Here you are also able to update your watch software and find support for any technical queries you may have.
Opinions of the Forerunner 405
Overall all the contributors to RunTheLine.com who have used the watch over the past 12 months were very pleased with both the ease of use and the functionality the watch provided. One frequent Forerunner enthusiast mentioned that the only problem he had experienced was that the touch bezel could sometimes take a while to get used to and could be unresponsive when quick changes to the watch display need to be made during a race or run. He found that the easiest way to fix this was to change the sensitivity of the bezel in the user menu and reported that this seemed to fix the problem.
Garmin Forerunner 405 Cheapest Price
As the Garmin ForeRunner 405 is the industry leader in GPS sports watches expect to pay around the £190 mark for a brand new unit without a heart rate monitor. The RunTheLine.com team feel this is a fair price to pay for the unit, especially considering the fact that Garmin are constantly improving their Garmin Connect online portal