Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Review of the Garmin 405 HR

If you're like me you have been seeing the ads for the Garmin 405 for about 9 months now. Well... we have them in stock.

About 3 weeks ago I got a unit to test out.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how much smaller the unit is compared to the earlier models (205, 305). The next thing I noticed is how light the unit is.

The quick-start guide instructed me to charge it up and go. So, I did just that. I took it on a ten mile run that had some climbing and that I planned to negative split.

Starting it up...

I did notice that it took a few more minutes to acquire a GPS signal than my 305 did. Once the signal acquired and I figured out how to manipulate the touch sensitive bezel, I was off. I had set the unit to display the fields I like and to rotate between them at the speed I like.

Once I was running...

Wow! It's like wearing a watch but I'm getting all the data that my big 305 would give only in a normal sized watch package. The display is small. It borders on hard-to-read at times. I have found after multiple runs that I know how long to hold it up so I can get a good view of the data but what was a quick glance on my old unit is now a 2-5 second look because of the small font.

Overall running with the device was really nice, simply because of the smaller form factor.

Once I was done ...

I installed the software onto a PC (Mac software compatibility is not scheduled to be available until Fall 2008), downloaded the latest updates and connected the device to the USB cord and the data moved over seamlessly. I then erased that workout, unhooked the watch and plugged in the ANT Stick (this device is included with the Garmin and allows you to wirelessly synch your Garmin to your PC), clicked on a few settings for the device, moved within about ten feet of the computer and the data wirelessly synched to the PC. Viewing the data in the software was just like previous versions. There seem to have been a few updates to the Training Center software but nothing significant enough to mention here. Just a side note, if you're looking for more elaborate software and more data, maps and tracking to look at, I recommend using It will satisfy all of you Data-Heads.

Conclusion ...

After not charging it since the initial charge, I've come to the conclusion that the battery which Garmin claims lasts 8 hours with the GPS on, only lasted for me a little over 7 hours. I grew more comfortable with the small font size of the display and have now learned how hard and where to press on the touch-bezel control, which improved my ease of use. Overall, this is a solid training tool that I believe is a must-have for anyone who is trying to improve their running fitness or race performance by having tons of data to help them plot their course and track their results.


Garmin said...

At Garmin we'll soon be uploading training plans for the 405 - you can read all about our latest news on the Garmin Blog @

Brian Sylvester said...

This watch is the best GPS watch out on the market. I first purchased the Sunnto X10 and it was a piece of crap so if you are thinking about going with the x10 don't and go with the 405. I've had it for about three months and have logged in almost 400 miles and it has performed flawlessly. The online features are fabulous! If you are a serious runner, then you need to purchase this watch.