RW Blurb on the 405

The review that wasn't

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Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 12:04

Anybody read this review? Was it written by someone in marketing?

It's "sexier" - really? I think not, I've never fancied inanimate objects personally and I don't think that "sexy" is at all helpful in a review.

It's really good? Why? What does it do that the 305 does not? It's a speed distance/ hrm but there's lots of that about. What is different about the 405?

It's sleek - oops there we go, almost said sexy again

It uses awesome new ANT tecnology to upload wirelessly without you needing to plug it in!

Right, so as opposed to the daft way of corroded brass studs in a cradle or the irDa alternative of similar products, they are using wifi. Hoo Hah!!!

So far, I'm not sure whether the product is cack and the article is a sublime bit of smoke and mirrors or whether it's a decent bit of kit and poor writing.

I can't see anything that references usage so why do I believe the writer hasn't used it?

OK - So I'll do my own. Without ever actually having touched one.  No point in moaning without having a go.

Garmin Forerunner 405.

This is a speed/distance monitor combined with a heart rate monitor that you can wear. It comes in two parts, a wrist unit that looks like a watch and a HRM strap which is an elasticated, belt like object, that goes round your chest.

The unit can measure and record your speed, your pace, the elevation and grade of your runs as well as your heart rate.

It allows you to set heart rate zones and can output your time in zone for maximum training granularity.

A host of alerts can be set from max hr to max speed so that you maintain your desired effort levels during draining.

Routes and courses can be compared over time using the downloadable Training Centre software that can build up a detailed picture of your training progress and allow you to fine tune your training periods for maximal training benefit. Or alternatively cock it right up.

It's quality information but only you are responsible for your training.

Further gadgets can be bought such as the cadence sensor that will allow multisport athletes to accurately assess their cycling performance.

Is it any good for a triathlete?

No idea. The specs say it is waterproof, to a specification, but I don't know if that spec means I can swim in it. I can swim in my polar RS200 and it does HR and zones.

So I can wear it as a watch but it's battery life is 8 hours or less. So that's no use and it's no use for long distance tri work as I will be defiantely taking longer than 8 hours and there is a swim.

 In conclusion.

There is nothing that this unit does that you can't get cheaper from other bits of kit. It's a good looking piece of kit and if you really, really need satellite tracking rather than a footpod then this would be worth looking at if you didn't have anything already.

An upgrade from a 305? Not for me. Too limited, too short a charge life, not worth it.

What am I looking at instead of my 305?

I'm torn between polar and the footpods, and sunnto - Knowing my speed via uncle sam just isn't that much of a plus.

If you liked the iphone then this will appeal to you

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 12:11
Sexy review
04/04/2008 at 12:24

I think the looks are definately an upgrade. Nowt wrong with a 305, but people do look like Star Trek extra's wearing them.

And if you're wearing it as a watch the battery life is something like a couple of weeks, no?

I can't see why you would upgrade from a 305, but it's most definately a better proposition to me than the 305.

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 12:27

Imski - what about the article?

Forget the product! Peeps will buy it whatever is said.

What do you think of RW's attempt at a review?

04/04/2008 at 13:50

What I really want to now I can't find out 

Is it now compatible with a Mac computer ?    Garmin website doesn't really make this clear

Does anyone have a definitive answer ?

Daniel Benson.    pirate
04/04/2008 at 14:04

Hi Stump,

I'm sorry you didn't find the review helpful, but like all our reviews it was based on personal experience of testing the kit. If it reads like a marketing piece that's only because we're genuinely impressed with it - and bearing in mind that we see pretty much all the big gear releases, we're in as good a position as anyone to say if a new piece is really good.

re 'sexy' - it's not top of everyone's list of priorities, but as Imski says, the 305 made people look like they were on Star Trek and for women in particular, its size and shape were a real drawback. Plus, the point of the review is not to be a list of features but to try to give some idea how it feels to use it, so some subjective comments have to be in there.

On the triathlon side of things, one element I did miss is that the history feature doesn't allow you to separate cycling and running miles in the unit. It is possible in Training Center though.

I think (and I'll check) Garmin are working on the Mac issue and it should be resolved within the second half of the year. I'll post back once I know more. 


Dan RW

04/04/2008 at 14:12
There is a beta test version of Training Center available, downloadable from the Garmin website. I don't have a Mac, so can't try it.
Daniel Benson.    pirate
04/04/2008 at 14:14
04/04/2008 at 14:18

OK, hold it right there....

I'd forgotten that the 405 uses ANT for connectivity. The requisite ANT agent isn't yet available for MAC, so the Mac TC beta is only of use to 305/205/301 owners, I think.

Edited: 04/04/2008 at 14:19
Daniel Benson.    pirate
04/04/2008 at 14:20

Always one step ahead SOK...

I'll wait for the chaps at Garmin to come back to me.


04/04/2008 at 14:32

The RRP is £229!  So only going to be used by fools and those who got it for free at the moment then.  Given that you can get 205/ 305s for around £100 (less for the 205), they'd be better options for what most people are looking for in a speed/ distance/ HRM device.

Personally if Garmin wanted to upgrade the x05 models then they should look at extending not shortening the battery life and making it properly waterproof (ironmen triathletes will buy anything so there's a guaranteed market). 

But if they want to send me one to try out then I'll see if I can give an unbiased yet still sexy review. 

04/04/2008 at 14:34
Sorry KK. I'll put my tinfoil hat back on. That usually stops the voices.
04/04/2008 at 14:46

i currently have a 201 model, which although fairly bulky does the job very well.  I didn't bother with the 205, as it looked even more uncomfortable, and my friends who do have one seem to take much longer to get 'missile lock!'.

however, the new one really does appear to be a step in the right direction.  Looks much better, and is supposed to have even quicker aquistion time.

I won't be rushing straight out to buy one, but it may make it onto my 2008 Xmas list.

Be interesting to see what the feedback is from more people, once on the open market.   Also i'd like to know about the swimming issue, if only for in the pool on holiday!!!!

04/04/2008 at 15:23

I thought the review was okay.  Maybe a little effusive for my liking but informative and not the worst i've ever seen.

And the 405 is the first Garmin I've been seriously tempted by as the size of the previous ones have put me off.

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 15:24

DanRW - you speak in tongues man!

You're even worse than the reviewer! You're impressed and cos you're all professional city magazine peeps then it's bound to be spot on?

Maybe I'm just a dumb hick from the sticks but that doesn't wash.

Don't get me wrong. I have a polar and a garmin 305 already. I love toys! I've spent hours with my garmin.

It's not the kit I've the issue with. It's the review.

If I hadn't spent the best part of 2 hours ferreting out info on the 405 from various sources over the last couple of months the review would have been pointless advertising.

It's front page on the RW site with a "sexy" fade in. Serious money in terms of ad space.

Zip in terms of critical review.

Come on Dan, I respect this organ and what it says but this is just a bit slack. You lot have worked hard to establish credibility but this does you no service.

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 15:26

Mister W - You going to shell out 200+ quid  and that article helped?

If I was shelling out 20 quid then I'd agree

For that kind of price point I expect some meat not just some garnish!

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 15:30

I just followed Dans link to my reviews! Cheers mate.

Nice distraction to read my amateur ramblings and compare them to RW's polished professionalism

Stump    pirate
04/04/2008 at 15:32
Now, where is the B Ark?
04/04/2008 at 16:50

I have to say that I agree with the tortoise ... I mean the stump.

There's no indication in the article of someone actually taking the 405 out for a run (or several runs, just to be sure) Garmin claim quicker satellite lock-on and better signal especially under tree cover and among tall buildings. They claim that it's easier and more intuitive to use. And what about the claimed battery life - Garmin say 8 hours training use, a couple of weeks on powersave. Do all of these claims hold up in practice? Does the new data transfer technology work as advertised? And what about the new and rather smaller screen - is the readout visible and readable on the run?

It does look more like a marketing spiel than an actual hands-on review.

Edited: 04/04/2008 at 17:18
04/04/2008 at 17:13

I also concur. I read the review and instantly thought 'advertising deal'.

Bit like Saucony shoes (no, I didn't win a pair)

The review is fine, but there's no real sense that the reveiwer took the 405 out on a long run. It sounds like he walked around the block with it, then rushed back to watch the 'magic' happen as the data flew through the air onto his PC. What I want to know is should I bother buying it? Does it make your arm drop off after 15miles? Can I bosh it into rocks and drop it in the bath? Why is the 'ipod' esque scroll thing better? I only have a shuffle, I'm not blessed with such experience. Why is not looking like a StarTrek extra better than looking like a Star Trek extra?

I'd go and review the thing myself, except I haven't got £300 lying spare. If I did, I probably wouldn't need to read reviews in the first place!

Ok, that is all.

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