Go on the run with this GPS watch
GPS devices are common these days, with the clever satellite-based location technology found in cars and even many mobile phones.
If you like to run, hike or walk, though, Garmin makes another kind of GPS device: watches that track you on foot, and the Forerunner 110 is the cheapest yet. You can pick it up online for around £120, or pay £30 more to get a heart rate monitor strap thrown in.
The Forerunner looks just like a normal digital watch with an LCD display, simple plastic strap and just four buttons. Before use it needs to be charged – this is done using a cable with a USB plug at one end and a plastic clip that holds the watch on the other. Once fully charged you should get eight hours of battery life with the GPS active.
Using the watch to track progress is easy: push the Menu button and the watch will start to seek satellites, which took around a minute, then press Start to begin recording.
The screen shows a timer in the middle, distance covered in miles or kilometres at the top and pace at the bottom, and the button system is actually simpler to use when running than the ‘touch bezel’ of Garmin’s more powerful models.
Once finished you’ll need to get the recorded information off the watch and onto the Garmin Connect website, which converts it into maps and useful graphs. This process was usually simple, but on one occasion it crashed, losing the data we had recorded. Fortunately we later found that it’s possible to guard against this by copying files from the watch before synchronising it.
There are a few options available on the watch itself. The auto-lap tool allows users to automatically set a lap marker every time a distance is covered – every kilometre or mile, for example, and there’s an alarm. That’s about it, though: unlike on pricier models there are no interval training, target heart-rate zones or ‘virtual partner’ options. More surprisingly you can’t even set a target workout time or distance, which is disappointing – this is a fairly basic option.
There’s no denying that the pricier Forerunner models offer far more, and the lack of even basic workout tools is annoying, but with online prices starting at around £120 the 110 is very good value. If taking part in carefully planned training it’s worth paying more for a model with workout options, but for everyday runners this is a handy way to track your progress.
Read more reviews
The cheapest GPS watch yet, and it works well Good points Easy to use; finds satellites quickly; works with Garmin Connect website Bad points No workout options; resetting deletes all workouts
Updating your subscription status