Garmin Forerunner 405 Watch is Packed With Awesome Features for Healthy Types

Illustration for article titled Garmin Forerunner 405 Watch is Packed With Awesome Features for Healthy Types

The Skinny: Garmin takes a giant leap forward over the Forerunner 50 with their new 405 sports watch. Unlike its predecessor, this baby includes GPS and the ability for users to wirelessly sync with a PC using ANT+Sport technology.

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Athletic types can record data regarding speed, distance, heart rate and location as well as info about courses, goals and specific workouts to help them train more efficiently. Users can even send the collected data from one 405 to another wirelessly. And if that wasn't cool enough, the computer will sync with the watch as soon as the user enters the room. The Forerunner 405 will be available for $299 sometime later this year.

The Catch: Despite being described as featuring "lower power consumption than other wireless protocols" one has to wonder whether all of this functionality will be a major battery drain.

DISCUSSION

The big question I have for the makers of all these speed/distance running watches is why, oh why don't they combine GPS and accelerometer for a more accurate reading? The watches that use an accelerometer calibrated to your stride length (like Nike+iPod) can actually yield pretty decent results when calibrated properly. Obviously, the GPS units give good results as well. The problem is, the GPS units, at least the Garmin 305 and I suspect others as well, definitely need an unobstructed line of sight to three GPS satellites and most interesting places to run will take through locations where three point access is lost.

For whatever reason (implementation issues, presumably), even the manufacturers of units with both accelerometer and GPS (e.g. Timex Bodylink) only use one data stream or the other at any given time and never try to merge the two. Lame. IMO.