Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS watch

A premium GPS watch from Garmin

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Garmin Forerunner 405CX
  • Garmin Forerunner 405CX
  • Garmin Forerunner 405CX

Pros

  • Simple to set up, fairly light

Cons

  • Bezel control is not intuitive

Bottom Line

While the bezel control takes a bit of getting used to, the Garmin Forerunner 405CX is packed with features and is the perfect companion for serious runners

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Loaded with features for the serious runner, the Garmin Forerunner 405CX is a premium GPS watch aimed at the enthusiast end of the market.

Charging fully in three hours, the Forerunner 405CX is simple to set up — on-screen instructions explain how to set your user profile, configure the watch and use the touch-sensitive bezel control.

The touch control is designed to simplify navigation — you tap or hold the outer edge of the watch's face to find your way through the 405CX's menus. Pressing the two buttons on the right-hand side of the watch locks the bezel control to prevent accidental taps when exercising. However, it takes a bit of getting used to, and is far from intuitive for first-time users. In fact, you'll probably need to refer to the manual to avoid getting lost in a maze of on-screen options.

But once you've got the hang of the bezel control, the Forerunner 405CX is a breeze to use. We found that it located the satellites quickly, on the whole. On some occasions we were ready to go within ten seconds, although it was noticeably slower to connect in central London. The only time we lost satellite connection was during a rather extreme stress-test travelling at 60mph on a commuter train; at a rather more leisurely 7mph in leafy suburbia we had no such problems.

Various workouts are available to the serious athlete — but we opted for the tried-and-tested run-as-far-as-you-can-without-collapsing approach, i.e. we set the timer running and started running. The 405CX is fairly lightweight and stayed safely secured on the wrist by the strong strap closure.

Those who like to track their routes and measure their progress using a PC are well catered for by Garmin's Connect service. Once you sign up online, you can keep a log of distance travelled and speed, and see your route on Google Maps. It also estimates how many calories you've burned.

The Forerunner 405CX also comes with wireless heart rate monitor to help you get the most out of your training. The heart rate monitor continuously tracks heart beats per minute and uses your heart rate for advanced calorie computation, so you know how many calories you're burning. The idea is that you train in a certain heart rate zone to improve your fitness level or compare your pace and heart rate to past performance on the same run.

To upload the data from the Forerunner 405CX to web, you must first download Garmin's ANT Agent, and then pair the watch with your computer via Bluetooth using the ANT stick provided in the box. This took a couple of minutes, after which details of every run we took was automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect each time the Forerunner was within reach of our PC to connect.

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Dan

1

I bought this watch and have the following ratings for ease if use on whether you feel you should buy or not!

Ease of use - once you get into the area you want, to start stop the stopwatch with GPS is easy - getting to this using the bezel is not. I know why they introduced the bezel control - but at times wished they had not. It not only takes a long time to get used to, but even then it still does not always go to the selection you want, especially when 'swiping' the top part to the left or right. The bezel is not user friendly. For ease of use I would give it 1 out of 5.

Heart Rate Monitor - as soon as you wear the strap, the watch alerts you that it is synced. This is very useful, and once again, once you have managed to use the bezel to get into the training section, you can use the watch just as a very accurate HRM. Whilst training you can also set it to give you upper/lower limits with alerts and other useful features based on your age, weight etc. You have about 5 minutes before the watch reverts to time. For the HRM I would give it 5 out of 5.

GPS - whilst going out for a run for example, the watch automatically gives you info on mile markers with average mins p/m as well as current time all on the screen at once which is useful for when you are competing in a marathon or any other relevant race. For the GPS I would give it 5 out of 5.

All in all this watch has received an average based on these three scores 11/15 (3.67/5) but only because of the bezel I would have to give it 2/5. Would I have bought this watch knowing how difficult it would be (bezel) to use? No. I would go for an alternative with 'traditional' buttons which would be more user friendly.

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