Way back when my Nats were still playing October ball, I got a new Garmin FR 10. I needed a new watch and wanted to try something a little smaller and easier. Since I didn’t use most of the functions on the 305, I opted for the 10 and I’m really impressed with it!
Let’s talk about what’s different first:
Obviously, the biggest difference comes in the size. The FR 10 is just so much smaller. While you get used to the size of the 305, there’s nothing to get used to with the 10. It’s just small and light weight!
The button situation is simplified too. The start button also serves as the enter button when you’re scrolling through menus (and the stop button when you’re done). If you’re not a fan of auto-lapping, you can set the back button to be the manual lap button. Toggling between data field screens is easy, you just press the down button to flip back and forth between them. Your run history now will also keep track of your PRs. Your watch keeps a record of your fastest mile, fastest 5K, 10K, etc. I really like this feature!
The FR10 connects to satellites MUCH faster than the 305. I always thought my apartment building, which is fairly tall, interfered with my watch picking up a signal outside. Apparently not. This one picks me up pretty much immediately.
Finally, the last big change is that it’s water proof up to 50 meters. That means that if you want to take your watch in the pool and swim laps, you can. You’ll be using it in indoor mode and manually hitting the lap button but it’s an option. You can also take advantage of the indoor mode and use the timer for interval training on treadmills and other cardio machines.
It also does a lot of the same:
- Still connects to Garmin connect.
- Still has interval options.
- Still has the virtual pacer option.
- Still provides pace/distance/time data, which is pretty much all I need in a watch.
- The watch has no function while it’s charging. I could flip through the Garmin 305 while it was plugged into my computer charging and look at run history. When the FR10 is charging it can’t do anything else.
- No heart rate monitor option. This doesn’t bug me too much. I can always wear my Polar for HR data but it seems weird that it is not compatible with their already existing heart rate straps.
- Battery life is only 5 hours when the GPS is on. As a slower runner that makes me a little nervous about potentially wearing this watch in a marathon one day.
I really like the FR 10 and definitely recommend it. It’s cheaper than a lot of the other GPS watches on the market and I feel like the functions it has are the ones that are used by most people. I know it’s a little early to start recommending holiday gifts, but this would be a great one for a runner in your life!
Do you run with a GPS watch? Do you use all of the features it offers?