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GARMIN 010-00466-00 Forerunner 205 GPS Receiver
List Price: $267.99

Our Price: Too low to display

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Product Description

Package Includes: Forerunner 205, docking cradle, expander strap, AC charger, PC/USB interface cable, Quick start guide, Garmin Training Center CD & owner's manual With the Garmin Forerunner 205, form meets function with a sleek and stylish personal trainer. Designed for athletes of all levels, this running partner and personal trainer tracks your every move with a super-sensitive GPS. The GPS tool even works on tree-covered trails and near tall buildings. It continuously monitors your speed, distance, pace and calories burned so you can train smarter, more effectively. Don't let their good looks fool you -- these taskmasters will continually push you to do your personal best. Virtual Partner lets you train against a digital person at specified time, distance or pace goals AutoScroll cycles through data pages during a workout Auto Pause pauses and resumes training timer based on a specified speed Easy to use - No calibration required, just turn it on and go Multi-sport capability lets you transition between sports without resetting -- you can use it for running, biking, and more Customizable screens let you view up to 12 data fields on 3 data screens for immediate feedback Lap Memory - 1,000 laps Rechargeable internal lithium ion battery - life of 10 hours (typical use) Waterproof - Submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 mins. Transfer data from Forerunner to your PC for a detailed analysis of your workout Create, schedule and download workouts to your Forerunner View data for each workout, including your heart rate, time, distance, speed, pat Display Size(WxH) - 1.3 x 0.8 (33 x 20.3 mm) Physical Size(WxHxD) - 2.1 x. 7 x 2.7 (53.3 x 17.8 x 68.6 mm) Weight - 2.72 oz. (77 g)

Just when you thought Garmin had cornered the market on powerful, affordable, and effective wrist-mounted GPS devices, here comes the Forerunner 205. The release of this device is a major achievement from a design and technology perspective. This isn't just marketing-speak; the Forerunner 205 is the most accurate, most reliable wrist-mounted performance and GPS tracking tool we've ever tested. Yes, it's that good. While no device this compact can do everything (yet), the 205 pushes the boundaries of what is possible from something strapped around your wrist. While the 205 doesn't offer heart rate monitoring, or connectivity with Garmin's wireless speed and cadence sensor -- for that, you'll need to step up to the Forerunner 305 -- but it's a great way to get basic GPS location and performance data.

View Garmin's Forerunner demonstration video.



Choose from 12 data fields to display on the 305's screen. View larger.


The design cleverly integrates the GPS antenna and aims it towards the sky when you're running or walking. View larger.


The Virtual Partner function makes your workouts more competitive. View larger.


Choose from three workout modes that help you target your training goals. View larger.


The 305 features rudimentary mapping and location marking functions. View larger.
Design
The 205's design is a radical departure from Garmin's previous generation of wrist mounted GPS devices, which reached a pinnacle with the Garmin Forerunner 301. While the 301 delivered accurate heart rate monitoring, good performance tracking, and decent GPS reception, it didn't quite deliver in the design department. The form factor was bulky and wearing it wasn't much different than duct taping a full-sized GPS device to your wrist.

Not so with the 205. Garmin's engineers obviously burned the midnight oil and have come up with a waterproof design that, while certainly not as small as a sports watch, feels just as comfortable. The curved casing allows the unit's antenna to face the sky when you're running, while the widescreen display is perfectly positioned for viewing when you need it. And the display certainly deserves a few kudos. While it's smaller than the display found on previous Forerunners, its resolution is far higher, offering incredible clarity and crispness.

Garmin has smartly given the 205 a simple button layout and the buttons have a nice tactile feel with good pressure response. The right side houses the menu selection and enter buttons, while the left houses a power/backlight button and a mode button. This simple and elegant solution is a big improvement over the sometimes confusing button functionality of previous Forerunners. View button layout.

The underside of the 205 is pretty nondescript, except for a row of contacts that interface with the included charging and data cradle. The cradle is small and unobtrusive and its single mini-USB port connects to either an included AC adapter, or a USB cable that connects to your PC. In addition to data transfer with the USB cable, you can also charge the 205's embedded lithium-ion battery via a powered USB connection from your computer.

GPS Performance
The big news about the Forerunner 205 is that it features an integrated, high-sensitivity SiRFstar III GPS receiver. What does this mean? It means that the 205's ability to both track, and maintain a lock on, your position is better than anything before it. After an intial battery charge, our product tester had the 205 on his wrist and was tracking speed and distance with GPS satellites within 3 minutes. The next time we used the 205, satellite acquisition was nearly instantaneous. A run through dense trees didn't faze the unit either; tracking remained true and steady. Performance on a bike was equally impressive. Whatever witchcraft has been cooked up by the designers of the SiRF technology, we like it!



The simple docking cradle makes charging and data connectivity a snap (Forerunner 305 model shown).
While the Forerunner 205 isn't billed as a GPS navigation device, it does have some rudimentary mapping, waypoint marking, and routing capabilities. In addition to marking locations along your journey, you can zoom in or out of a simple map that displays your current direction and path. There's also a "go to location" feature that routes you back to your starting location, or to any location you have defined. Once you have defined several locations, you can save this information as a route, allowing you to travel the same path in the future. As you'll see below, the 205's new "Courses" feature gives you new levels of control over how you define your favorite runs and rides.

Training Functions
The 205 is first and foremost a training tool, and its ability to organize a ton of data types into a user experience that is intuitive and simple is no small feat. Whiz-bang technology aside, if you can't use it and make it a natural part of your exercise routine, it's worthless. When it comes to these factors -- and here's the take home message on the 205 -- this device is successful where many other devices fail.

The heart and soul of the 205 can be found on the data screens, which give you real-time information about all aspects of your workout. In fact, the 305 can display a dizzying array of data, such as calories burned, distance, elevation, grade, and heading, as well as multiple lap and pace modes.

Thankfully, the device makes it easy to define how much or how little data you want to view during a workout. You can arrange the data that's most important to you and then make that data appear front and center on the device. Indeed, within a few minutes of skimming the manual and fiddling with the device setup, you'll have your most important data displaying just the way you like it.

Garmin's Virtual Partner function was cool feature of previous Forerunners and they've decided to keep a good thing going with the 205. If you're the type that performs best when you've got a competitor egging you on, you'll love this function, as it allows you to set up virtual running or biking companions that compete against you.

If you're looking for an complicated workout with a variety of intervals and intensity levels, or just a quick three-mile jog against your best time last week, the 205 has you covered. Navigating to the Workouts menu on the device yields three options: Quick Workouts, Interval, and Advanced Workout. A quick workout is just that; set the distance and time, distance and pace, or time and pace of your planned workout and off you go. Interval workouts are just the same, but they allow you to add repetitions and rest between them. When you really want to get fancy with your exercise, you can step up to advanced workouts, which include goals for each workout step, as well as varied distances, times, and rest periods. You can use the Garmin Training Center software to set up these workouts and then upload them to the device.

PC Connectivity and Software
Garmin has been outfitting their devices with USB connectivity for some time now -- a welcome move for those who struggled with serial port connections in the days of yore. Thanks to USB, the 205 integrates seamlessly with the Training Center software and we quickly had workout history uploaded and stored on the PC (Sadly, Training Center is not Mac-compatible).

In a first for the Forerunner series, the Training Center software also lets you define courses on your PC that you can upload to the device. When course information is combined with uploaded workout information, the Forerunner becomes a complete guide, telling you where to go, when to make a turn, and what kind of workout to do when you're on the road or path. Back on the PC, the software's ability to overlay workout data on maps of the course makes it easy to see where the course offers up the tough hills and the easy recovery spots. Plus, the ability to track historical performance on a given course is a great way to measure your improvement.

The 205 is also fully compatible with Garmin's MotionBased service, which takes your training to another level by connecting your data with the Internet. While we weren't able to use the service, the promise of sharing courses, maps, workouts, and performance data with other users is intriguing. And if you're a serious endurance athlete, you'll be glad to know that the 205 is also compatible with TrainingPeaks.com, an easy-to-use web based training system designed to help athletes train for any event.

Pros

  • Radically new design is better in every way
  • Amazing accuracy and fast satellite acquisition time
  • So simple to set up and use, you will actually use it
Cons
  • No Mac OS compatibility
  • Okay, it's bigger than a sport's watch -- but so much more powerful
What's in the Box
Forerunner 205, Garmin Training Center CD-ROM, docking cradle, expander strap, A/C charger, USB cable, owner's manual, quick start guide.

Just when you thought Garmin had cornered the market on powerful, affordable, and effective wrist-mounted GPS devices, here comes the Forerunner 205. The release of this device is a major achievement from a design and technology perspective. This isn't just marketing-speak; the Forerunner 205 is the most accurate, most reliable wrist-mounted performance and GPS tracking tool we've ever tested. Yes, it's that good. While no device this compact can do everything (yet), the 205 pushes the boundaries of what is possible from something strapped around your wrist. While the 205 doesn't offer heart rate monitoring, or connectivity with Garmin's wireless speed and cadence sensor--for that, you'll need to step up to the Forerunner 305--but it's a great way to get basic GPS location and performance data.

View Garmin's Forerunner demonstration video.



Choose from 12 data fields to display on the 305's screen. View larger.


The design cleverly integrates the GPS antenna and aims it towards the sky when you're running or walking. View larger.


The simple docking cradle makes charging and data connectivity a snap (Forerunner 305 model shown).


The Virtual Partner function makes your workouts more competitive. View larger.


Choose from three workout modes that help you target your training goals. View larger.


The 305 features rudimentary mapping and location marking functions. View larger.
Design
The 205's design is a radical departure from Garmin's previous generation of wrist mounted GPS devices, which reached a pinnacle with the Garmin Forerunner 301. While the 301 delivered accurate heart rate monitoring, good performance tracking, and decent GPS reception, it didn't quite deliver in the design department. The form factor was bulky and wearing it wasn't much different than duct taping a full-sized GPS device to your wrist.

Not so with the 205. Garmin's engineers obviously burned the midnight oil and have come up with a waterproof design that, while certainly not as small as a sports watch, feels just as comfortable. The curved casing allows the unit's antenna to face the sky when you're running, while the widescreen display is perfectly positioned for viewing when you need it. And the display certainly deserves a few kudos. While it's smaller than the display found on previous Forerunners, its resolution is far higher, offering incredible clarity and crispness.

Garmin has smartly given the 205 a simple button layout and the buttons have a nice tactile feel with good pressure response. The right side houses the menu selection and enter buttons, while the left houses a power/backlight button and a mode button. This simple and elegant solution is a big improvement over the sometimes confusing button functionality of previous Forerunners. View button layout.

The underside of the 205 is pretty nondescript, except for a row of contacts that interface with the included charging and data cradle. The cradle is small and unobtrusive and its single mini-USB port connects to either an included AC adapter, or a USB cable that connects to your PC. In addition to data transfer with the USB cable, you can also charge the 205's embedded lithium-ion battery via a powered USB connection from your computer.

GPS Performance
The big news about the Forerunner 205 is that it features an integrated, high-sensitivity SiRFstar III GPS receiver. What does this mean? It means that the 205's ability to both track, and maintain a lock on, your position is better than anything before it. After an intial battery charge, our product tester had the 205 on his wrist and was tracking speed and distance with GPS satellites within 3 minutes. The next time we used the 205, satellite acquisition was nearly instantaneous. A run through dense trees didn't faze the unit either; tracking remained true and steady. Performance on a bike was equally impressive. Whatever witchcraft has been cooked up by the designers of the SiRF technology, we like it!

While the Forerunner 205 isn't billed as a GPS navigation device, it does have some rudimentary mapping, waypoint marking, and routing capabilities. In addition to marking locations along your journey, you can zoom in or out of a simple map that displays your current direction and path. There's also a "go to location" feature that routes you back to your starting location, or to any location you have defined. Once you have defined several locations, you can save this information as a route, allowing you to travel the same path in the future. As you'll see below, the 205's new "Courses" feature gives you new levels of control over how you define your favorite runs and rides.

Training Functions
The 205 is first and foremost a training tool, and its ability to organize a ton of data types into a user experience that is intuitive and simple is no small feat. Whiz-bang technology aside, if you can't use it and make it a natural part of your exercise routine, it's worthless. When it comes to these factors -- and here's the take home message on the 205 -- this device is successful where many other devices fail.

The heart and soul of the 205 can be found on the data screens, which give you real-time information about all aspects of your workout. In fact, the 305 can display a dizzying array of data, such as calories burned, distance, elevation, grade, and heading, as well as multiple lap and pace modes.

Thankfully, the device makes it easy to define how much or how little data you want to view during a workout. You can arrange the data that's most important to you and then make that data appear front and center on the device. Indeed, within a few minutes of skimming the manual and fiddling with the device setup, you'll have your most important data displaying just the way you like it.

Garmin's Virtual Partner function was cool feature of previous Forerunners and they've decided to keep a good thing going with the 205. If you're the type that performs best when you've got a competitor egging you on, you'll love this function, as it allows you to set up virtual running or biking companions that compete against you.

If you're looking for an complicated workout with a variety of intervals and intensity levels, or just a quick three-mile jog against your best time last week, the 205 has you covered. Navigating to the Workouts menu on the device yields three options: Quick Workouts, Interval, and Advanced Workout. A quick workout is just that; set the distance and time, distance and pace, or time and pace of your planned workout and off you go. Interval workouts are just the same, but they allow you to add repetitions and rest between them. When you really want to get fancy with your exercise, you can step up to advanced workouts, which include goals for each workout step, as well as varied distances, times, and rest periods. You can use the Garmin Training Center software to set up these workouts and then upload them to the device.

PC Connectivity and Software
Garmin has been outfitting their devices with USB connectivity for some time now -- a welcome move for those who struggled with serial port connections in the days of yore. Thanks to USB, the 205 integrates seamlessly with the Training Center software and we quickly had workout history uploaded and stored on the PC (Sadly, Training Center is not Mac-compatible).

In a first for the Forerunner series, the Training Center software also lets you define courses on your PC that you can upload to the device. When course information is combined with uploaded workout information, the Forerunner becomes a complete guide, telling you where to go, when to make a turn, and what kind of workout to do when you're on the road or path. Back on the PC, the software's ability to overlay workout data on maps of the course makes it easy to see where the course offers up the tough hills and the easy recovery spots. Plus, the ability to track historical performance on a given course is a great way to measure your improvement.

The 205 is also fully compatible with Garmin's MotionBased service, which takes your training to another level by connecting your data with the Internet. While we weren't able to use the service, the promise of sharing courses, maps, workouts, and performance data with other users is intriguing. And if you're a serious endurance athlete, you'll be glad to know that the 205 is also compatible with TrainingPeaks.com, an easy-to-use web based training system designed to help athletes train for any event.

Pros

  • Radically new design is better in every way
  • Amazing accuracy and fast satellite acquisition time
  • So simple to set up and use, you will actually use it
Cons
  • No Mac OS compatibility
  • Okay, it's bigger than a sport's watch -- but so much more powerful
What's in the Box
Forerunner 205, Garmin Training Center CD-ROM, docking cradle, expander strap, A/C charger, USB cable, owner's manual, quick start guide.
Features:
  • High-Sensitivity, Watch-Like GPS Receiver That Provides Exceptional Signal Reception
  • 1 Piece Training Assistant That Provides Athletes With Precise Speed, Distance & Pace Data
  • Includes Training Center Software, Which Allows Users To Download Workout Data For A Detailed Analysis
  • Used For Multiple Sports Such As Cycling, Cross- Country Skiing & Windsurfing

Customer Reviews:

  • Walking With the Garmin Forerunner 205
    This device allows me to know how far I am walking and to change my pace at will. It would be great if I could have a map of my walk....more info
  • Forerunner Rocks.
    Does Everything it says it does, well. No complaints. If you have old eyes like me set it for one field per screen. If you see well you can do so much more with it. Either way, well worth the money. Great training tool. ...more info
  • Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS is great.
    Garmin Forerunner 205
    This item works as advertised, when there is reasonable visual access to the GPS satellites. The interface is intuitive. The screens customizable and
    versatile. Does just what I wanted....more info
  • Love it.
    I wasn't going to give a review because I think people really don't actually take the advice, but I have to since I love this watch. I just got this in October, 2008 and I love it. The 205 is great, you don't need the 305 or the 405 unless you are a hardcord runner and really want to know everything about your work out. If anyone is confused about getting it...then don't be. It's a great device and you will hate going out for a run without it. ...more info
  • Wouldn't run without it
    I used to love running on a treadmill. Now with this watch I prefer running outside. Having real-time stats makes running less boring and keeps you at your desired pace. I wouldn't run without it again. Takes about 20-30 seconds to find a satellite when you power it up. About 8 hours of rechargable battery life. Love it....more info
  • Must-have product for runners, cyclists, triathletes of all ability levels
    What a great device this is! The owner of my local running shop recommended it as a way for me to really pinpoint my pace and distance on my daily running workouts. It does all this and more -- I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do! And you don't have to be a hardcore athlete to justify owning one of these-this is an earlier model so the price is very reasonable (and personally, I didn't need the heart monitor or other bells and whistles that jack up the price on newer models). If you are just interested in setting goals, mapping routes, monitoring distance, and/or really understanding your mile by mile pace, this is the device for you. You can set it up to gauge distance x pace or distance x time or time x pace. You can set up intervals (e.g., mile increments) that will track your average time and pace for each one and alert you when you've finished an interval. You can set alarms that let you know when you exceed or go below a certain pace. You can run against a virtual runner. And if you take it to an unfamiliar place (e.g., on vacation) you can use it to map out a route or determine how far you've gone to reach your distance goals. It saves a history of your workouts for comparison and you can upload the data to your computer for further analysis (haven't done that yet but will in the future). Although not applicable to me, it also has a multi-sport mode that can be used for triathlon work (biking and running components) or even other types (e.g., cross-country skiing), with all the appropriate programmables to get a full gauge of each component. You can use the device for just cycling or walking too. The instructions are pretty straightforward and it's easy to get up to speed with it. It is extremely comfortable to wear and the display is easy to read (I can read it along the way without my glasses). There's a backlight too. There's a straight GPS component too so you can use it to retrace steps or get to a destination. The only downside, which I think is inherent to any GPS system, is the satellites take a few minutes to load each time and you really need to get away from buildings and trees for effective loading. But the upsides of the device so outweigh that minor inconvenience! I have been recommending the Forerunner to all my athletic friends.





    ...more info
  • Better Than Imagined
    I had no interest in the heart monitor so I was determined to find a Forerunner 205. It is a little big but once I start running I never notice it. I started out running on trails I knew very well and was pleasantly suprised to find that distances on the Forerunner were within ten feet or less from what I knew to be accurate over one mile stretches. Now I can run without worrying about the route I take or whether or not I got the correct distance to figure my pace and run times.
    I absolutley love it and I don't think I would have held out for the newer smaller unit that you can swim with or the comparable unit with the heart monitor. The 205 works perfect for me....more info
  • One of the Best
    I bought this watch as a gift for my wife a couple of months ago, and she loves it. I decided to go with the 205 instead of the 305 because it had all of the same functions except for the heart rate monitor.

    The watch is a bit larger than most, so if you have smaller wrist you well have to get used to the size. The gps module locates the satellites farely quickly depending on your surroundings and is quick to give you your needed information.

    So overall garmin made a good product and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to run....more info
  • It works good but could be better
    I might be asking too much. This Garmin 205 is all right but it can't seem to satisfy my needs as I am always on the go, by foot, walking my daughters to school or pre-school. I would actually give it a 3.5
    1) I forget to turn it on when I leave
    2) I forget to turn it off when I come back
    3) When I use it next, it won't turn on because the battery is dead from leaving it on
    4) Pain to always have to recharge the battery every day or so
    5) It doesn't seem 100% accurate for the distance walked because it gives me a different value for the same path taken
    6) It died on me in less than a month but Amazon was great to work with and they exchanged it without a question.

    ...more info
  • Surprisingly helpful
    Although I don't train for racing, I do train for general fitness, and wish to keep track of my pace and distance. This helps to ensure I don't start slacking off in my exercise (that, and I love gadgets). I opted for the 205 instead of the 305 because I already had a Polar heart rate monitor. I kind of wish now I spent the extra $50 and got the 305 so that it was all in one, and so I could download my heart rate information on the computer with the running information. Live and learn.

    The pluses on this are: 1)Adjustable display-I can set it up to show up to four pieces of information selected from a long list including lap time, pace, speed, altitude, time of day, etc. 2)When displaying only one or two pieces of information, the numbers are larger and easier to read. 3)The buttons are easy to locate by feel while running, even when wearing thin gloves. 4)I can use this just as a GPS, i.e. locating and saving landmark coordinates and paths, although it requires a lot of fishing through the menus; not something you want to do while running or biking. 5)Virtual running partner-I set the desired pace in the watch and stick figure runners show if I would be in front of, with, or behind a running partner who held the set pace.

    The minuses are: 1)The backlighting borders on worthless. I sometimes run in the twilight after sunset or before sunrise, and I can only use this for the downloadable data. 2)The bundled software seems to crash more often than I care for. Downloading the latest update from Garmin usually fixes that, but it is inconvenient. 3)The battery lasts a few hours, but that might not be enough. If I ride my bike to work while wearing this watch, and forget to turn it off upon arrival, I may not have enough power to run it on the way home eight hours later.

    For someone who is not training for a marathon, this is an expensive toy, but worth it to me. For determining distance on new running routes, this can't be beat. I have tried carrying my heavier hiker's GPS 12XL while jogging, and it is just enough to wear my down after a couple of miles. This is an improvement....more info
  • It's excellent
    I love the watch. The only problem is the battery does not last long enough. I seem to have to recharge after every use....more info
  • works well, but...
    This watch works great and is much better than the previous model as it seems to give more accurate pace data and distance data which is repeatable with a high degree of accuracy. Some things, though they work fine, are hard to set up. For example, the virtual partner, to get it to work, requires several button strokes to bring it up for a daily run. Another thing that always amazes me, is that one cannot put in your own lap marks and still have the watch keep track of mile mark settings, too. For example, a favorite turn past a give tree, is not able to be marked on the fly and still have the watch keep on tracking mile settings. Overall, the watch does work very well for its intended purpose....more info
  • The Macintosh is now supported
    Training Center For Mac software version 2.1.6 is available as of October 14, 2008, according the Garmin site....more info
  • Most likely the the Garmin is great but...
    I am sure that this is a great product, but I never received the shipment from Amazon. When I didn't receive the USPS shipment, I called Amazon and they promised to send another Garmin. Then, they informed me that the product was out of stock, so they would have to refund my money. I still don't have a Garmin, so I will be buying it elsewhere....more info
  • Garmin Forerunner 205 review
    I love my Garmin Forerunner 205. It is great to be able to instantly see what pace you are running as well as your distance covered. The device also has interesting features such as a "virtual partner" setting that helps you to run a certain pace over a certain distance. Also, the Garmin functions as a speedometer whenever you take it on a bicycle ride - awesome!
    ...more info
  • great start-bad finish
    i have bought several of these 205's, they worked great and i really hated to run without them but each one has died within a year of purchase. simply will not turn on, tried tech support at garmin but after an hour wait each time and then can't help you with that because you failed to register your product i thought i would give folks a heads up that the break after less than a year at least the three i have bought....more info
  • Problems with the 205
    I am a runner and was excited to receive a 205, but now my 15 month old 205 no longer works. I have had problems with the buttons on the watch. First the "enter" button quit working, but I was still able to use the watch. Now, unfortunately the power button has quit working making the watch unusable. According to the Garmin web site it will cost me $69 to have it fixed since it is out of warranty.

    Prior to the watch going bad, I really liked it. It's performance exceeded my expectations, but apparently there is a manufacturing problem with the switches, I have seen others with the same problem. I don't know if they have fixed the problem or not, so I guess buyer beware. ...more info
  • Love my garmin
    This is by far my favorite piece of running gear. My husband has the 305 with the heartrate monitor. I prefer not to wear the heartrate strap so the 205 is for me. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to find the satellites, especially if it's overcast. As for monitoring your pace, I will often check a few times in a row and then go with the average. I love being able to see my average pace per mile, having the watch alert me at each mile and accurately monitor my distance. Garmin support is great if you have problems with the software. There are lots of features on the watch, but you have to READ THE MANUAL to be able to use all the features. I've had my garmin for a two years and if it died today I would immediatley buy a new one! ...more info
  • Vast improvement over previous model
    Better tracking is fantastic (especially as I tend to do a lot of running in urban and wooded environments, with lots of tight turns), and the speed-of-lock is excellent (I had it out of the box, turned on, and tracking in all of one minute--in a moving car!) but what I really like is the re-engineered design. Being able to EASILY pair distance with time elapsed, and being able to stop both at the touch of a very easily-locatable button, is great for water stops and intersections.
    Also, the shape--no more lozenge, no longer feels like strapping a standard unit to my arm--this was MADE for runners. And the resolution. Screen has shrunk a bit from previous models, but it more than makes up with the greater pixel count--more information, less scrolling, more running for me. Great job, Garmin!...more info
  • Mostly Positive
    I have not had any problems with satellite reception or accuracy. The menus offer a tremendous number of display options--too many for a simple wrist-worn device if you ask me, but I suppose someone must be interested in all that stuff.

    A couple of times I have turned the unit on several minutes before a race or workout to allow it to locate the satellites and when I got ready to start the timer, I found it was already running. I'm guessing that I must have inadvertently brushed the start button against my leg or hip while waiting for the race to start. Seems like it shouldn't be so easy to activate the timer. On the other hand, I sometimes have to push on the mode button five or six times with extreme force to get it to activate. I have an uneasy feeling that the button will one day stop working altogether.

    The included software, Garmin Training Center, will be adequate for most people for viewing the data and graphs of the data. However, the map database used by the Training Center is a joke, since it only shows major highways and thoroughfares. Fortunately, the software allows you to view the route on Google Earth--a huge improvement....more info
  • Garmin 205 versus 301
    I have both of these devices. They are both great in their own way. I love the old 301 due to the large face and ability to see things even when you are in the last miles of a marathon and your brain is oxygen deprived. There is alot to be said for that. However, the new 205 is also nice in that I believe I have a better time finding satellites and maintaining a signal even when in woodsy or dense high rise bldg areas. The hook ups to download to your computer are different as well. On the 301 you plug directly from the device into the computer (USB). On the 205 you have a docking device that your garmin sits atop of and then that device plugs into your computer via usb. My only problem with the 301 is that the rubber plug that protects your usb plug from sweat and moisture broke off after about 9 months and as a result, I can no longer download anything to my computer. It continues to work as far as mapping and distance, laps etc and I can review the information but I can't download it. For a mere $65 Garmin will let me send it back to them and send me a refurbished one. Not a bad deal. The 205 doesn't have a plug on it, it has 4-5 copper contacts on the skin side of the device and you are supposed to wipe them off with a damp rag and let dry before using the docking station. That seems to be working fine. The 301 has the heart monitor with it the 205 doesnt. I like them both and would recommend either....more info
  • Much better than 101/201, Better than 405 & Polar...
    I bought the 201 when it first came out. It was head and shoulders above the Timex product with the remote arm pod and I would have rated it 5 stars back then because it was the best of it's kind. I even used it to go geocaching.

    The problem is, I have to strongly recommend against anyone buying it today - I was "lucky" to have lost this kayaking a couple of years ago at which point I upgraded to the 305. It is SOOOOO much better that I have to now rate the 201 as one star in comparison. The 205 is the same but without heart rate.

    First, the 101/201 had a very unusual shape. The 205/305 is a bulky watch but the looong 201 prevented you from wearing gloves - a real problem when skiing, cycling, etc.

    Second - and more importantly, the 205/305 have the SIRF Star III Chipset which means it can lock on and hold the lock better.

    Imagine if you will - you're all ready to run and pumped up - whoops, you now have to wait an extra few minutes to lock your position, otherwise it cannot tell you your speed, location, etc.

    My old 201 locked on far faster than my running partner's Timex (He had to hang it on a tree while he was getting ready since it often took 5 minutes or more to lock.) the 305 can lock in 5-10 seconds most days while the 201 would lock in ~2 minutes *most* of the time but occasionally would take up to 5 minutes. If you were ~100 miles away from your prior location, the 201 would take up to 10 minutes to get a new lock. ARRRGGGGHH.

    Also the 201 would lose lock all the time when running in even moderate tree cover or heavy clouds. With the 305 I can even get a lock in my house most of the time.

    Finally, the 201 cannot lock IF YOU ARE MOVING! The 305 can lock even if you're riding a bicycle. I think I've even gotten a lock while driving.

    Yes the 205 and 305 cost more but with the huge difference in functionality I find it astonishing that Garmin would continue to sell the 201 given how much better the 205 and 305 are.

    p.s. Don't bother with the 405. Interesting concept but not practical. Read the reviews.

    I use mine for cycling and running, the direct link to see your workouts mapped on GOOGLE EARTH is FANTASTIC!!!! (the included software is far more stable than the junk Polar included with their HRM's.

    Heart rate strap with replaceable battery is coded and comfortable. It's better in my opinion than the Polar products (of which I've owned three)

    I'd avoid the 405 unless you really want to use this watch as a normal day to day wristwatch (check out the 405 reviews)

    My only complaint is that it's easy to leave it on and run the battery down - which is a bummer if you're just about to work out. I wish there was an "auto off" feature which would shut it down if it detects no movement or heart rate within an hour or so. Fortunately, with Li-Ion batteries, as little as a 10 minute charge gives you enough juice for a 90 minute run.

    If you've found this review to be helpful, please let me know! ...more info
  • Such a let down!
    I kept this product for 1 day before returning it. The nike/ipod sensor had better distance accuracy than the gps unit. I live in the city and run among high rise buildings so maybe that is the problem. The provided software was archaic and the data was not mapped correctly often showing me 2 streets away from my actual location. Further, the distance readings were inaccurate by up to 1 kilometer (in the 3 runs I did whilst having the unit for 24 hours). I also tried the online interface and I was unable to upload any data successfully. I returned the unit the next day. ...more info
  • Great Watch
    I run anywhere from 10-15 miles per week and love to run outside. Also, I like to run 5k races and am currently training for an 8k and am considering a 1/2 marathon. With the Garmin 205 I am easily able to keep up with my pace, how far I have gone, and my total time. The watch has several other features that I have not attempted to use. The only drawback I have found is when running in a downtown area. The GPS sometimes goes in and out, but otherwise I have not had any issues. I have definitely been able to train better and with more purpose using the watch. It was definitely worth the price that I paid for it....more info
  • Works Great
    Very pleased with this product. I run a very hilly and tree covered course. The Garmin was right on with the mileage....more info
  • Overall great though tough to navigate
    Other than the next higher model going on sale just as I bought my 205, I have been very happy. Nice and simple GPS that is easy to learn if you are familiar with other Garmin products.
    One limitation that I didn't realize is the difficulty in using this GPS to navigate a route. You basically have to go there first and then save your route if your going to use it. "Motion Based" web site has other user routes that can be downloaded though I would rather create my own route and then use this GPS rather than a map (tough to do on my bike)....more info
  • Non-techie racewalker
    I am an older, non-technical minded racewalker, and I needed to know how far I have been walking and how many calories, and also my pace - in preparation for my first marathon. I purchased the Garmin and it has been a wonderful companion. There are a few features that I have yet to figure out - but the features that provide my above stated goals, are easy to use and they are well worth the money. If I would just stop walking long enough to read the instruction manual, I am pretty sure, I can master the other features. I have not yet used the virtual partner, but I will figure that one out soon. The size is not a great deal larger than the watch I had been wearing, and the information is presented in a very readable format. I highly recommend the gps features and I am glad I made the purchase....more info