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The Garmin Forerunner 100 has been out for almost five years, and that’s a long time in the world of tech devices. Unlike many other cellphones, tablets, and other GPS units, the passage of time hasn’t made either its hardware or software capabilities obsolete, and it’s still a favorite with runners that want straightforward performance joined with no-nonsense appearance. The Garmin Forerunner 110 was credited with being one of the first really normal-sized running watches, and for many it was one of the first sports watches that they considered wearing all day instead of just when they were working out.
Garmin has released a lot of newer models of running watches since the introduction of the Forerunner 110, but many people have become so attached to the model that they refuse to upgrade to a newer model. For many people, the Forerunner 110 does everything that a running watch needs to do, and looks good doing it, so any change in the design simply adds complexity that they’d rather avoid.
Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS Watch
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- GPS-enabled running watch
- Records time, distance, and pace
- GPS receiver is designed to pick up signal when used near tall buildings or under tree cover
- Collected data can be uploaded to keep track of workouts over time and set new goals
- Water-resistant to IPX7 standard
- Can synch with an ANT+ device to measure heart rate and calculate calorie-burning effects of workouts
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery supplies up to 8 hours of training time
- Functions as a conventional watch for up to 3 weeks on a charge
- 1.8 ounces
- 2.7 inches x 0.6 inches x 1.8 inches
- 1 inch diameter display
- 52 x 30 display resolution
- One-year manufacturer’s warranty
The Garmin Forerunner 110 charges easily by either hooking it up to your computer via its USB cable or by plugging it into a wall outlet using the supplied wall charger. The Forerunner 110 charges quickly, so you’ll rarely have to wait for it to be ready for even an extended workout.
When you first turn it on, the Forerunner cycles through a series of questions that sets up your watch to display information that’s tailored to the user. You can choose from a multitude of languages, and then you enter your weight, age, and your preferences for measurements in either metric or Imperial. Questions about weight and other similar measurements allow the Forerunner 110 to automatically produce calculations about the amount of calories you’re burning during a workout.
Setup Is Easy
After you’ve completed the setup menu, you’ll need to either bring the device to a window with an unobstructed view of the sky, or bring it outside. The 110 will automatically locate and lock on a satellite, and this will update the watch with time and date information as well as location data. After that, your Forerunner will be set up and fully functional for a workout. As long as you’re the only user of the watch, you will only need to perform these setup operations once. Multiple users will have to update age and weight data each time if they share the watch.
An Integral Watchband Fits Most Everyone
The Garmin Forerunner 110 has an integral watchband, so it’s not wearable as a stand-alone device without a strap, and you can’t swap out the watchband for one of your own choosing, but the watch is very light, and the band can be adjusted for even slender wrists, so users will probably not mind the one-size-fits-all approach to wearing the device. To start the watch, you simply tap the Menu button, and in a few seconds you’re ready to begin your run. The watch shows a helpful progress bar while it’s searching for satellites, so you won’t have to wonder if it’s ready to begin.
Smoothing Occurs Throughout Your Lap
The default workout information displayed on the watch face is distance traveled, lap pace, and if you have the heart rate strap, your current heart rate. The current time is also always displayed at the same time. The Forerunner 110 smoothes your pace information over the entire distance of your lap, which is somewhat unusual for running watches. Most running watches employ smoothing, but only over a period of seconds, so that slowing a bit to check your watch doesn’t affect your pace measurement so strongly. The Forerunner 110 is constantly averaging your pace over whatever lap you set, so a short sprint or stop doesn’t skew your pace as much as it might. Some users might prefer a shorter measuring interval for pace, but the 110 will allow you to set it for any length you prefer.
- Smaller form factor than many other running watches
- GPS works well even on cloudy days
- Able to pick up a signal under significant tree canopy
- Fewer menus to scroll through to get to often-used information
- Numbers on the LCD display are big and easy to read
- Fits even runners with slender wrists
- Attractive, unisex style
- Actual buttons instead of touchscreen commands make it easy to operate while on the run
- Acquires satellite signals quickly, which helps runners avoid standing around at the start of their workouts
- Water resistant
- Very easy to use
- Easy to synch to other devices via USB
- Round shape and round bezel looks like a regular watch
- Good battery life
- Some users prefer to display heart rate at the same time as elapsed time, which requires switching screens on the 110
- Integral watchband doesn’t allow you to detach the device and wear it without the band, or choose your own watchband
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Because the Forerunner has been around for so long, it has a big, established base of runners that prefer it to all other running watches. The Forerunner 110 is very highly rated by users, garnering at least a four-star rating from up to 72 percent of purchasers, many of whom report using the watch constantly for many years without a hitch. Many models of sports and running watches have come out after the Forerunner 110, so new users might find it lacking in a few features that have been added to Garmin models since the 110 was introduced, but most current users would prefer their existing watch for as long as it keeps working. That kind of brand loyalty is a sure sign of a good buy. The Garmin Forerunner 110 is highly recommended.