The Forerunner is just about the perfect real-time distance calculator for long-distance runners. But the previous model had one major drawback: The signal got lost in trees or even when jogging in big cities where tall buildings might block the GPS signal. Garmin claims to have fixed that problem with its 205 and 305 models by deploying a SiRFstar III chip architecture with higher gain sensitivity. The Forerunners have also been redesigned so that the antenna wraps around the wrist, which also gives it a better shot at finding a signal. The display is customizable, and an AutoLap function records lap data based on a specific time, distance or position. There is also a Virtual Partner that will pace you based on time, duration or distance. And there is a course memory feature that lets you download or swap routes with other runners.
The 205 will sell for $249. The 305, which includes a heart monitor, will go for $349. Both are available starting in February.