Garmin tested

December 18, 2010

This Tuesday on 14th I had a trial run using my new toy I turned back at the same old point. The record was:

Garmin 410 = 4.06k
Nike+ = 4.33k

The mapping provider is Bing which isn’t very good as you can see below Bowen Road isn’t there on their map. If you look for the same spot in Google map you can find the entire Bowen Trail from start to end.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.49.58 PM

Today I ran 10k which covered the entire Bowen Trail as you can see below it’s disappointing to not seeing the route on the Bing map.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.28.54 PM

Record today was

Garmin 410 = 10k
Nike+ = 9.47k

This time Garmin showed more! There are milestones along the route and I saw that Garmin was in fact about 300m short (for 8k), well 3.75% error isn’t too bad. I have set to show GPS accuracy on the watch and noticed a worse case of about 15m with best accuracy of 5m.

Below is a graph showing run cadence and speed. I can’t explain the spikes in speed and at a few locations those spikes coincided with drop in run cadence which is weird.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.25.37 PM

Both Nike+ and Adidas miCoach say that accuracy of their gadget is about 3% out of the box. I think that statement is pretty accurate. Accuracy isn’t a main concern if you run 10k or longer. My initial conclusion after 2 runs is below

Garmin 410 Pros
Easy to use, no cord to connect up
Good build quality
Transfer and uploading of run data is easy
Can use it as everyday watch, just charge it at night before run in the morning

Garmin 410 Cons
Bing map isn’t as good as Google’s
No voice coaching/feedback
No battery meter display
If you listen to music while you run you’ll miss the beeps (AutoLap … etc)

My ultimate dream gadget would be having a Garmin designed iPhone App such that the watch can communicate with iPhone via something like Difigit Connect or Wahoo Fisica. All the coaching/feedback can be made available via the Garmin’s App that voice over the music that you are listening to while you run. You could also transfer back and forth data between watch and the Garmin Connect website without a computer.

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