Forerunner 610 Review

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29/05/2011 at 13:50
Just a quick post to say that I was given one of the new Garmin Forerunner 610 watches to review and have posted my first impressions on my blog.

In summary, once you get used to the touch screen interface the watch is much easier to navigate then the old FR 405 and 410 models and can be operated without any problems when either wearing gloves or when it is raining.

I tested the forerunner last weekend during a Half IronMan triathlon that I took part in and really like the way that you can switch between running and cycling mode with one click of a button. During the race I relied heavily on the the distance alerts to remind me when I needed to take on nutrition and also tied it into my bike cadence sensor to make sure that I want exerting my legs to much before the run section of the race.

The watch is very quick to lock onto a GPS signal and the figures that are reported seem match up to the other Forerunners that I have run with, so no problems there. There is a bug in the current firmware release that causes the GPS accuracy to fall when you use lap/split, but hopefully Garmin will be releasing a fix to this soon.

Full review here: Forerunner 610 Review
Edited: 29/05/2011 at 13:53
29/05/2011 at 14:16
There is a big negative with the 610 especially if your using it for triathlon. The watch is not waterproof.
29/05/2011 at 15:48
according to the garmin manual the watch is waterproof to 30m

can be used for swimming but GPS and HRM wont work
29/05/2011 at 15:52

You also can't download courses with the 610.  Here's a review by dcrainmaker

I'd bet an upgrade to the 310xt comes out this year.

29/05/2011 at 16:26
Got a question - How are the batteries replaced ? The only reason I ask is because every time I take my Fr60 to jewellers to get the battery replaced, they tut tut and warn me that the watch is pressure sealed and they can not guarantee the pressure settings and really it should be taken to a specialist. I ignore them on this, as it's not that high tech of a watch and I only use it for running, but would you have to use a specialist for the 610 with it's touch screen capability ? I expect that this would be more of an issue ?
29/05/2011 at 16:36

You can change the battery yourself Bob. The battery is a standard one sold in Sainsbury's for a couple of quid. All you need is a small screwdriver which you can pick up in a cheap hardware store.Just make sure you don't lose the ring inside the watch and change the battery on a white sheet so you don't lose the little screws. 

Edited: 29/05/2011 at 16:53
29/05/2011 at 16:38

Thanks Ninja.

Why do jewellers worry so much about pressure then - is that only relevant for people using in water, or is it another con ?

29/05/2011 at 16:42

I think some watches need to have a pressure-seal like Fossil. It's to apparently keep out the moisture and particles so nothing affects the mechanics. 

Edited: 29/05/2011 at 16:57
29/05/2011 at 17:13
Garmin UK website says waterproof to IPX7 that's only waterproof to 1 meter and not for suitable for swimming.

DC Rainer also confirms this.

29/05/2011 at 17:31
ETA - just a side note, if the 310xt is in Multisport mode, you only need to hit the lap button for it to change to a different sport, and that's customisable as well.
29/05/2011 at 19:47

sorry, just read the manual again. Previous page has a note saying not suitable for swimming, 1m for 30mins

what are garmin doing

I can be running for 3hours in the rain so if theres a choice of this or a rival thats fully waterproof....

29/05/2011 at 23:27

Generally when the battery is changed on a waterproof watch the seals should be checked and usually changed. Then if it is an expensive watch they usually pressure test it and guarantee that it will be waterproof for a year. That's why it costs a lot (£50 for my Tag).

31/05/2011 at 13:53
I've currently got a fully function Garmin 405 ...... as I'm a geek I'm tempted by the 610 ...... is the 610 significantly sleeker / geekier than the 405?
31/05/2011 at 14:04
Little Ninja wrote (see)

I'd bet an upgrade to the 310xt comes out this year.

You may well be right
03/06/2011 at 08:10
I think garmin forerunner 610 has bring many new features that can help people to get better result on training or just for healthy body.
09/06/2011 at 13:28

Can I ask iof the touch screen can be "locked" to avoid unwanted operation if for example being worn as a normal watch?

i.e. if I try to wipe off a smudge on the glass will it operate the watch?

09/06/2011 at 13:56

What I'm trying to ascertain is that the watch can be used as a normal watch without too much mucking about?

If the "power save" could be selected manually and stays on until de-selected then that would (IMHO) make sense.

Do I have to just select the "time" display and then wait for the pre-set power save time to elapse before daring to touch the screen?

Can I immediatley disable GPS function manually or as above, wait for the auto lock to kick in?

I presume the same questions would apply to the 210 also, minus the touch screen issue of course?

21/07/2011 at 21:41
Have had my 610 for around 3 weeks now. It has replaced a 405CX. I have run with it 15 times in conditions ranging from heavy rain to hot & sunny, covering just over 120 miles. The 610 has worked without fault. The display is easy to read, the touch screen is easy to use, and I particularly like the vibration feature, which means I can listen to music while on interval runs.

The watch is much more wearable day to day than the 405. So much so that if I am planning a run at lunch time while in the office, I ditch my Panerai and wear the Garmin all day! Battery life has also been excellent with the watch lasting for a full week on a charge; and thats with 5 hours plus of training with HR monitor.

I can also download all of the RW training plans from Garmin Training Centre as with the 405.
28/07/2011 at 21:57


Ive got the "brick on the wrist" garmin 305 and its working really well but I am a bit of a gadget freak and im tempted with the 610. Im curious as to how youve managed to download the garmin schedules because it doesnt list the 610. Im training for the liverpool marathon and im well into a 16 week programme. Ps is it really as good as it looks ??????

29/07/2011 at 07:53
I agree that the RW schedules do not list the 610, but if you check the Garmin website you will see that the 610 is compatible with Garmin Training Centre (GTC). And, GTC is where all of the RW training schedules get pushed for download to the compatible Garmin devices!
So, it all works perfectly.
I am really happy with the 610. Bottom line is that it has no more capability than the 405, but the way it delivers the capability makes it functionally a much better package. And it looks so much better!
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