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Garmin Forerunner 110 In Depth Product Review

When the Garmin Forerunner 110 was first announced earlier this spring, many folks were excited to finally see a GPS watch that didn’t look like a cinder block attached to their wrist.  As GPS chipsets and the supporting technology got smaller, more focus went towards making the watches smaller as well.  So it was only inevitable that it would finally get down to a normal sized watch form factor.

With GPS comes the ability to not only track exactly where you went on a run/activity, but also how far and how fast.  These would end up being the key focal points of Garmin’s FR110 marketing campaign (or ‘scheme’ for you Brits).  The watch would be targeted at runners looking to get into GPS watches for the first time.  As such, the user interface would be simplified to ensure that users didn’t end up on the starting line still trying to make their watch work.  During an interview with the Garmin Engineering team regarding the FR110, they related how the overwhelming goal was to reduce stories where their engineers went to races only to find some folks simply couldn’t successfully operate the more complex Garmin fitness devices.

Like all my reviews, they tend to be pretty in depth (perhaps overly so) – but that’s just my trademark DC Rainmaker way of doing things.  Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries.  I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more.  My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews, as I mentioned when I first got the device – Garmin sent me this FR110 for a period of 60 days as a trial unit.  Once that period has elapsed, I send the whole beaten box back to the folks in Kansas.  Simple as that.  Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints.  If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular triathlete out there.  I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can.  But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

While Garmin Forerunner 110 is the latest and most streamlined running GPS available, how does it stand up to real world pounding? For that…onto the review…


Once you get the FR110 box in your hands, it’s time to take it all apart.  But first, we will take a moment to observe the outside:

Garmin FR110 Outside Box Shot

Ok…observation complete.  Let’s tear it open.

Garmin FR110 Unpacked Box Shot

Now that you have all the parts laid out in neat little lines on the table, let’s go through what they all are:

Garmin FR110 Unpacked Box Shot with labels

First up, you have the watch itself.  This comes with a handy little yellow tag reminding you to charge it prior to using it.

Garmin FR110 with warning label

After that you’ll find the required charging and data transfer cable.  This is unique to the FR110 and does not interoperate with any of the other Garmin’s.  It uses USB to both charge and transfer:

Garmin FR110 Charging Clip

The kit also comes with a wall charging block, that allows you to connect the USB cable for non-computerized charging.

Garmin FR110 Wall Charging UnitGarmin FR110 Wall Charging Unit

Next is the ever important miniature paper manual.  This basically tells you to turn it on and that you shouldn’t expect it to work in temperature above 140*F, among other things.

The ever so useful manual

And finally, last but not least – depending on which version you bought – it comes with a classic heart rate strap:

Garmin Classic Heart Rate Strap

We’ll get into the heart rate strap a bit later on in the accessories section.

With all the parts and pieces complete – let’s get onto seeing how big the watch really is.

Size and Size Comparison:

The first thing you probably already noticed, is that the FR110 is the first GPS watch that’s FINALLY normal sized.  After years of work, we finally have a watch that doesn’t look like a giant 1980’s era cellphone on our wrist – and for that, we can all be thankful!

But, just how big is it compared to some of the other models out there?  Well, let’s take a look:

Garmin Foreunner Size Comparison - 310XT, 305, 405, 110, FR60

(Yes, that’s a rolling pin…how else would you line up five of them?)

(From left to right: Garmin FR310XT, FR305, FR405, FR110, FR60)

Clearly, it’s pretty small and pretty much in line with the FR60 non-GPS watch and the FR405 GPS watch and on par with your average stop watch you might pickup at a department store.

Getting Started:

With the introductions out of the way, let’s get to using the thing.  First up though, charging it.  Remember, you did read the little yellow tag, right?

Garmin Forerunner 110 Charging Tag

Just simply connect it to either a computer, or the supplied wall charger:

Garmin Forerunner 110 Charging Clip

A bit later you can come back and get ready to start using the watch.  It charges pretty quickly.

First up, let’s turn it on.  When you do so, it’ll start by asking you what language you speak:

Garmin Forerunner 110 First Startup

Then, it moves onto asking you things like statue or metric (miles or KM), your age and weight.  This allows it to determine calorie usage.

Garmin Forerunner 110 Weight Entry

From there you’ll want to set it by a window (or just walk outdoors) so it can get its first satellite reading.  This allows is to determine the correct date of time for your location.  It’s kinda like a cell-phone in that respect.

Once done, it’ll show you the time of day, and be ready to roll:

Forerunner 110 Ready to Play

Now…let’s head outside!


Without question, the FR110 was designed for running.  As such, you’ll probably want to wear it on your wrist.  The device doesn’t include any sort of detachable wristband – so the wrist is the best place.

Garmin Forerunner 110 Outside

Once outside, simply tap the Page/Menu button to turn on the GPS.  Within a few seconds it’s pretty much ready to start running.

Locating Satellites

From there, you’ll go ahead and press the ‘Start/Stop’ button to initiate the run.

At this point, it’ll start to show you distance travelled, lap pace – and if you have the heart rate strap, your current heart rate.

Garmin Forerunner 110 Running data fields

Note that the FR110 actually only has four data fields that it will display.  They are: Lap Pace, Total Distance, Heart Rate, Current Time of Day.  There are no other fields than those I just listed.  Meaning, just the picture above – and the picture below (except one more showing just time).

Garmin Forerunner 110 showing lap while running

The lap pace field is determined by the total lap distance divided by time spent within that lap.  Laps can be set manually (by pressing the lap button), or automatically using Auto Lap (which I’ll discuss in a moment).  Note that most GPS watches actually show ‘instant pace’, whereas the FR110 shows lap pace.  What’s the difference?  Well, pretend you’re running 5 miles at a constant pace.  In the middle of that effort you decide to sprint all-out for 30 seconds.  In the ‘instant pace’ scenario, the speed/pace would show your speed at that exact point in time (fast).  But the ‘lap pace’ speed would only show that as an average over the entire distance of the lap (5 miles as an example), so it wouldn’t change the speed displayed very much at all (and be slower looking).  Just something to be aware of.

Garmin Forerunner 110 Lap Split

Auto Lap:

Auto Lap is pretty cool feature that will automatically create splits/laps every time you go a set distance.  Many runners do this today in races or training when they see mile marker signs, this simply saves you that step.

You can configure the Auto Lap feature in increments from .25 miles to 2.0 miles.  By default it’s 1.0 miles.

FR110 Auto Lap Quarter MileFR110 Auto Lap Mile

During a run, when you press the lap button it will show a mini-summary of the past lap, including information such as your average pace, and total time spent running:

FR110 Lap Summary

You can turn Auto Lap on/off whenever you’d like via the settings menu.  Once you upload the data, you can see it shown for each split in more detail:

Garmin Connect Lap Data

Heart Rate Data/Monitor:

One of the major drivers to getting a fitness watch is the ability to monitor your heart rate while exercising.  The Forerunner 110 allows one to utilize any ANT+ heart rate strap to get heart rate readings.  Depending on which FR110 bundle you buy, it will either come with the heart rate strap, or you have to buy it separately.  I discuss the heart rate strap in more detail in the accessories section.  Pairing the strap is relatively easy though, and only takes a moment.

Pairing FR110 Heart Rate Strap

Once paired, your current heart rate will display on one of the three data pages that you can show.

FR110 Heart Rate Display

Heart rate data is then recorded continuously while in recording mode, and is then part of the data that is available on Garmin Connect once you upload the data from the watch.

Garmin Connect Heart Rate Data

Indoor Use:

You can use FR110 indoors if you just want to utilize it as a simple stopwatch to record an activity with time/splits.  Or if you’re just training indoors often and want to record heart rate.

FR110 Indoor Mode

When in this mode, the watch will only display the current lap time, heart rate and time of day.  It won’t display distance (because GPS isn’t being used).

FR110 Indoor Mode Timing Split

All of this data will record just as normal and can be uploaded to Garmin Connect, where you can display your lap splits.

Note, that as of this writing (July 13th, 2010), you cannot use a footpod (Garmin ANT+ or otherwise) to connect to the FR110.  I talk about this more in detail in the accessories section.  If this changes, I’ll update this section.

At night/Backlight:

The backlight on the FR110 is exceptionally bright and certainly isn’t your little old lame stopwatch light.  This thing could be used as a beacon to flag down passing aircraft if need be.

So much so that getting a good picture of it was surprisingly difficult.  Nonetheless, I sorta prevailed…98 photo attempts later:

FR110 backlight

Anyway, the light stays on for 8 seconds, though unlike other watches in the Forerunner/Edge series, the time it stays on is not adjustable.

History View on the watch:

While most folks will probably be viewing history on Garmin Connect (which I discuss later) – you can actually view an abbreviated version of your historical information on the watch itself.  By holding down the Page/Menu button for a few seconds, the history option will appear:

FR110 History Mode

From there you can navigate into the different activities one at a time and view summary information for each activity – including distance and time.

FR110 History Mode Details

It’s brief, but it’s great if you’re standing roadside and want to quickly review what you just completed.


While cycling is not this watches main purpose in life – it does work quite well.  First up, you’ll want to switch the display mode from ‘Pace’ to ‘Speed’:

FR110 Speed

You can use the watch on your wrist, or pickup the relatively inexpensive Forerunner bike mount (shown below).

Forerunner Bike Mount

Next, you just use as normal. It will display your speed instead of pace, shown on the bottom of the watch:

FR110 while cycling

In the above picture, I have heart rate shown as well.  Beyond that, the watch works in the exact same manner as while running.  Meaning functions like auto lap still work, as well as history, etc…

You can of course also just use it on your wrist, which is what I normally do.

Garmin FR110 while cycling


While one might be inclined to swim with the FR110…that would turn out to be a very poor decision.  See, the FR110 isn’t exactly fully waterproof.  The current version of the manual notes that it’s IPX7 – but doesn’t list what that means (I’m pretty sure the manual is now being updated).  Unfortunately for the first FR110 demo unit that Garmin sent me, this meant it met a very early death.

See, I use a simple stop-watch for 99% of my pool swims.  Most of the time I just use my trusty FR60 watch – which is waterproof down to 30 meters (scuba diving depths).  Naturally, given this looks like a normal stopwatch, I assumed it too was at least waterproofed to 10-20m.  But…it turns out it wasn’t.

After just 20 minutes of swimming (technically below the IPX7 30 minute threshold), it had fogged up.

FR110 Fogged Up

A few hours later, it would be dead.  Sad panda.

Now, luckily I’m a handy person – and I really wanted the data that was on the watch.  So I set about with a screwdriver, a hairdryer…and made right again.  Probably much to the Garmin team’s dismay when they got their mostly reassembled watch back in the mail a few days later.  Sorry guys, that one last screw just wouldn’t go in quite right!

FR110 Taken Apart

You can see in the above picture why the waterproofing failed, it simply wasn’t designed to seal a watch for prolonged periods of time.

FR110 and a hairdryer making love

I did indeed get the data off (Read: I won) – but the watch went back to Garmin for a swap out.  I asked the Garmin Engineering team why the FR110 wasn’t waterproofed like the FR60, given they are about the same size.  They said it was primarily a tradeoff in materials and the ability to keep the costs down.  While I can to some degree understand that – I will point out that the FR60’s base cost is only $99, compared to the  FR110’s base cost at $199.  A simple $20 Timex stopwatch from Walmart is waterproofed to 30 meters.  A $200 stopwatch should be as well in my opinion.  But that’s just my two cents.

FR110 and Niagara Falls

So the lesson learned here is…avoid water submersion.  A quick shower or running with it is fine, but swimming is not. Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist boat ride is fine (above), but scuba diving is not.

If you’re looking for a GPS-enabled swimming device – your best bet is the fully waterproofed Garmin Forerunner 310XT (with the new openwater swim mode), or for non-GPS, the FR60.

Sport Device GPS Accuracy:

I suspect the most common question folks ask when they first start looking at GPS based watches is: Are they accurate?

In short: Absolutely

In long: You have to understand how they work and the limitations.  Primarily that generally speaking you’ll see slightly (very tiny, within 1-2% usually) variations of the distance measured between two devices doing the same route on the same day at the same time.  Why?  Well, GPS has a certain accuracy level (+/- a few meters).  Thus, over the course of a multi-mile route, that variance can cause slight changes in distance.  However, I generally find them very accurate.  I train using GPS devices every day – often up to two workouts a day.  And in most cases, they are pretty close to matching.  Here’s an example I did on a run back a few weeks ago using both the Garmin 310XT and Garmin FR110 (one on each wrist).  Pretty close after 10 miles of running – especially since I had a few seconds where one was stopped and the other wasn’t.

Garmin FR110 and 310XT Run Comparison

(As you can see above – after 10 miles, they were only off by .03 miles in total, and the longer one had four additional seconds, probably about .01-.02 miles right there – making them virtually identical)

Finally, even if you removed GPS and went to a footpod based system – that technology while very accurate, does have limitations with respect to stride changes and portability between shoes and people (re-calibration required).

Battery life:

A huge challenge amongst any fitness device is balancing battery life with functionality.  The FR110 makes good strides in this area for the most part.  My general test is actually rather simple: Does it feel like I’m always charging the thing?  And the answer here is no.

See, the FR110 is designed to operate as a normal watch the majority of the time, which means it must be ‘lean’.  The FR110 works to accomplish this in a few ways.  First up, is the automatic power saving mode.  After five minutes of inactivity (not in recording mode), it’ll quietly go back to regular time mode:


Second, is by using less memory to record less data streams, and doing it less often.  The FR110 uses Smart Recording mode to save both battery life, as well as eventual storage/transfer space.

But what does the end resultant on battery life look like?  Well, let’s start with Garmin’s published chart for the FR110:


In my experience, this has been fairly accurate.  It’s hard to match tests 100% with battery life and sport devices, because there are so many factors involved – meaning, it’s not as easy as just leaving it on for a few weeks.  But, in my case, it easily lasted a full length flight in recording mode from Washington DC to San Diego (about 6 hours including delays), with plenty left over to go back into normal watch mode.  That’s pretty solid in my book.

Other sports/adventures:

Probably my favorite thing about the FR110 is that it just looks like a normal watch.  This means that I can pretty much do anything with it and record standard GPS data.  For example – say you take an airplane flight – you can record that data:

Garmin FR110 on an airplane

(You can see the speed listed above as 544 MPH on one flight)
(Here’s a different flight up the coast shown in Garmin Connect)

Garmin Forerunner 110 flying route

Want to go skydiving?  Sure, no problem:

Garmin FR110 Skydiving

See, because the FR110 via Garmin Connect can then be downloaded to a GPX file – which is the industry standard for exchanging GPS data points – you can do virtually anything you want, and the data is easily accessible.

FR110 Export Menu


The FR110 is designed to be simplistic and minimalistic – that means that accessories are currently kept to a minimum.  Your current choice of accessories is simply two different heart rate strap versions (if you bought the FR110 without the heart rate strap).

The Classic Heart Rate Strap:

This is the old school classic heart rate strap that comes with (or is compatible with) virtually every Garmin fitness device out there.  The battery lasts forever, and the device is simple to use and wear.  You can pair it with any number of different Garmin devices as well.

Note that the FR110 (like all Garmin devices) is only compatible with ANT+ heart rate straps.  So straps from non-ANT+ devices won’t work (like a Polar device).

Some folks don’t like the plastic feel of the strap, and opt instead for the premium soft fabric strap instead.  But here’s a picture of the classic one on top, and the premium one on the bottom:

Garmin Heart Rate Straps

You can pickup the classic strap on Amazon.com for about $32.

The Premium Soft Heart Rate Strap:

Introduced last summer in conjunction with the Garmin 310XT– the new Premium Soft Strap incorporates a soft fabric strap the entire way around – with only a tiny plastic piece in the front of the strap.

Personally, I love this strap and use it day to day for everything I do with all my devices.  My girlfriend also uses it and loves it.

Premium Heart Rate Strap

You can pickup the premium soft strap on Amazon.com for about $70 (see picture above).

Running Footpod:

As of this today (early July 2010), the FR110 does not support the footpod.  This means you can’t use the watch indoors to record distance on a treadmill (but heart rate will work just fine indoors).

Garmin Footpod

However, what’s interesting is if you look at the display carefully, you’ll notice a little icon for the footpod – just like what they have on other watches to indicate the footpod is paired.

Garmin FR110 Footpod Support

I asked the Garmin product team about this during a recent call and was told ‘They didn’t want to box themselves in and wanted to keep their options open’.  I then pushed forward and asked if they were planning on adding ANT+ footpod support and was essentially given the silent smile (I describe the silent smile as essentially pleading the 5th…).

I’d be very surprised if we don’t see this enabled in an upcoming firmware update…

Speed/Cadence Sensor:

The FR110 does not support the existing GSC10 ANT+ speed/cadence sensors that other Garmin units support.  If you want cadence (or speed while indoors on a bike trainer), you’ll need to look at the FR60, 405, 305, 310XT, or any of the Edge cycling computers.

Also, the FR110 does not support any cycling power meters.  Which, is pretty logical when you look at the market segment they are targeting (not cycling power users).


In this section I’ll walk through how the included software works, as well as a few other options for tracking your training.

Downloading Data/Connection:

The Forerunner 110 connects to your computer using an included USB charging/synchronization cable.  This cable in turns makes the FR110 appear to your computer simply as a mass storage device – or basically, just like a USB thumb drive.  This will be familiar for Edge 500 and Edge 705 users.

FR110 Download Clip

Quick note: This next section is more for geeks than regular users. As a regular user, you can just skip to the next section titled ‘Garmin Connect’.

Once plugged in, on a Windows PC it will look like this:

FR110 on PC

While on an Apple computer, it will look like this:

FR110 on Mac

If you were to drill down into the the activities folder, you’ll see a list of files.  One for each activity.  These files are stored in Garmin’s .FIT file format, which is an encapsulated binary format designed to maximize file space.

FR110 File Structure

Of course, a file unto itself isn’t terribly useful (especially because if you open it with Notepad, you’ll just see junk).  The good news is that as a normal user, you’ll pretty much never look at these pieces.  Instead, you’ll fully utilize Garmin Connect…

Garmin Connect:

Garmin Connect is Garmin’s premier online site for managing all your activities from all your Garmin fitness devices.  The site is fully free to users of Garmin devices, and also integrates with fitness devices such as the Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ scale.

Once you plug-in the Garmin FR110 and browse to Garmin Connect, you’ll be able to start uploading your activities directly from the device itself.

Garmin Connect Searching

After a few moments it’ll collect any files which haven’t been uploaded yet.

Garmin Connect Uploading

Garmin Connect Upload

From there you can select a given file to view details.  In this case, I’ll select a simple run I did down in Florida.  You can see that it shows the route of the run, as well as the high level summaries on the left hand side.

Garmin Connect Run Overview

If I scroll down, I’m presented with detailed graphs for Pace, Elevation and Heart Rate.

Garmin Connect Detial Page

In addition, it should be noted that the FR110 does track calories, based on your age and weight data entry when you first configured the watch.  Also, it utilizes a fitness score (1-10) that’s based on how often you exercise to try and narrow down the calories a bit more.

Calories Burned

I can also delve into the cool player functionality, which will automatically do an ‘instant replay’ of your run in high speed.  Pretty cool to watch the different values (pace/heart rate/elevation) go up and down correspondingly:

Garmin Connect Player

In addition to being able to view individual activities, it also has a calendar for viewing your full activity schedule.

Garmin Connect Calendar View

Like the FR110, Garmin Connect is ideally suited at those looking to get ‘the basics’ of their fitness data.  It’s easy to use, and simple to manage your data.

Training Peaks:

Training Peaks is a popular online tool used by many athletes (amateur and professional) to store and analyze training data.  I personally use Training Peaks daily as a method to upload and transmit my workouts to my coach, who then in turn analyzes them and provides feedback to me…all electronically.  The service is fully web based, but has a piece of software that you can install on your desktop to assist in uploading training data to the web.  This piece is called the Device Agent.  Training Peaks offers both a free and paid version of the software, though the free version will cover virtually all of the features a user of the FR110 would likely use.

To upload works, you simply install and then open the Training Peaks Device Agent software:

Training Peaks Device Agent

From there, in the dropdown you’ll select the Forerunner 110 as the device type and then choose your activity file:

Training Peaks Device Agent Upload

Once that’s completed it’ll upload the file to Training Peaks (TP) – where you can go online and check out your activity.

Training Peaks Calendar

Like Garmin Connect, TP offers map views, as well as detailed analysis of your pace and splits.

Training Peaks workout overview

Here’s the basic map view:

Training Peaks Map View

I can then drill into the different paces and splits for each run if I wanted to.  One of my favorite features of Training Peaks is the ability to show ‘bests’ for different laps – such as best pace, like below:

Training Peaks Bests View

Training Peaks also offers a host of other features, including tracking your daily metrics (weight, food, calories, you name it) as well as compatibility with a slew of other device.  I use Training Peaks with my Edge 500 and Forerunner 310XT as well, as it offers in depth analysis that I desire for day to day tracking of my workouts.

Sport Tracks:

Sport Tracks is my favorite downloadable application for managing your athletic activities (and also some 85,000 peoples favorite as well!).  To start with, it’s free!  And secondly, it’s got a ton of plug-ins that you can also grab for free doing all assortment of interesting things (see my huge post here on that).

The only challenge with Sport Tracks is it doesn’t natively support the newer Garmin .FIT files within Sport Tracks 2.0 (current version).  An update to the next version coming out shortly (Sport Tracks 3.0) will support the .FIT files – but in the mean time you’ll have to do a two-step-tango and export the TCX file from Garmin Connect first.  But I talked with the founder/lead developer of Sport Tracks tonight, and that’s just a few weeks away.  Soon!

Garmin Connect Export Files

However, once you do that…the reward is significant!

Sport Tracks 3.0 Import Files

In the Sport Tracks main console you’ll see all your activities that you’ve been doing.  You can customize this a million different ways:

Sport Tracks 3.0 Overview

But we’ll go ahead and drill into a FR110 activity.  Similar to both Garmin Connect and Training Peaks, ST allows you to view satellite maps as well as heart rate and pace information.

Sport Tracks Run Overview

One feature though that only Sport Tracks has is the ability to reparse your laps in any distance you’d like…on the fly.  Meaning, instead of having a ‘lap’ every 1 mile, you can see what it would look like if you created laps every quarter mile instead (or any distance you choose).  This allows you to better analyze your workouts based on whichever distance you’d prefer.  Think of this as variable lap splicing.  Splits on demand!

Sport Tracks Variable Lap Splicing

You can grab Sport Tracks free from their site at Zone Five Software.  Also check out the very active user forums if you have any questions.

Comparison Chart:

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 3rd, 2022 @ 5:42 am New Window
Product Announcement DateMAR 29, 2010June 2nd, 2021Mar 24th, 2021June 30th, 2020Feb 2019
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMAY 2010June 2nd, 2021Mar 2021July 2020Apr 2019
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesOnly via Phone Connected GPSYes
WaterproofingIPX750 metersYes - 30mYes - 30m50m
Battery Life (GPS)~10 hours20 hoursUp to 20 hoursUp to 50hrs with phone GPS (4 days standby)20 hours GPS (and 28 days standby)
Recording IntervalSmart1s/Smart1s1sVariable (every few seconds)
AlertsLap OnlySound/Visual/VibrateVibrate/VisualVibrate/VisualAudible/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGoodGreatGreatGreatGood
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoYes (all Connect IQ Apps)NoNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
MusicGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Can control phone musicYesYesNoYes
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNoNoNoNo
PaymentsGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingNoYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoYesNoNoNo
Group trackingNoNoNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoYes (via phone)NoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Designed for cyclingBarelyYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableNoYesNoNoNo
Strava segments live on deviceNoNoNoNo
Crash detectionYesNoNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Designed for runningYesYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)NoYES (ALSO HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)NoNo (but has accelerometer for indoor running)No (but can track indoor run)
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoNoNoNo
Running PowerNoNoNoNo
VO2Max EstimationNoYesYesYesNo
Race PredictorNoYesNoNoNo
Recovery AdvisorNoYesNoNoNo
Run/Walk ModeNoYesNoNoYes
Track Recognition ModeYesNo
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Designed for swimmingNoYesYesSorta (waterproof but HR only tracking)No (but is waterproof)
Openwater swimming modeN/AN/AYesNoNo
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AYesYesNoN/A
Record HR underwaterNoYesYesYesN/A
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AYesNoN/A
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesNoN/A
Indoor Drill ModeN/ANoNoN/A
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AYesNoN/A
Change pool sizeN/AYesYesNoN/A
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/A20M/Y to 250 m/yN/AN/A
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AYesYesYesN/A
Can change yards to metersN/AYesYesN/AN/A
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AYesYesNoN/A
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNoNo
Multisport modeN/ANoNoNoNo
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Create/Follow custom workoutsNoYesYesYesSorta (Yes but not with GPS)
On-unit interval FeatureNoYesSorta (offers structured workouts)Sorta (offers structured workouts)Sorta (race mode, but not intervals per se)
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoYesHas daily suggested workoutsSorta (offers daily workouts)No
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Auto Start/StopNoYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoVirtual PacerNo (but can give out of zone information)No (but can give out of zone information)Yes (past efforts only)
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNoNoYes (specified distances)
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoYesNoNoVia app
Day to day watch abilityYesYesYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoYesYesNoYes
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)NoNoNoNoNo
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoNoNoNo
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoNoNo
Back to startNoNoNoNoNo
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoNoNoNo
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Altimeter TypeYesNoGPSNoneGPS
Compass TypeN/ANoneN/AN/AN/A
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYesYesYes
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)NoNoNoNo
ECG FunctionalityNoNO
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesNo
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoYesYesNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
PC ApplicationGTCGarmin Express (PC/Mac)Polar Flowsync - Windows/MacPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacN/A
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectPolar FlowPolar FlowN/A
Phone AppGarmin FitiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 110Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar UniteTimex R300 GPS
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Forerunner 110 Review Summary

I think any time you go to purchase a device – be it a TV or a fitness device – you need to evaluate what your needs are, and whether or not that product is the right fit for your needs.  In the case of the Forerunner 110, the product is aimed at runners wanting to get into the ‘how far and how fast’ world of GPS fitness devices, all while doing so on a slim and ‘pretty’ form factor.  To that end, the FR110 meets that goal quite well.  There’s no doubt it’s easy to use, and looks nice.  It also does a great job at recording data and uploading it to Garmin Connect.  If I’m out for a run where I just want to simply run (and not worry about hitting exact intervals or heart rate zones) – then the FR110 is the perfect watch for that.  A recent 10 mile run I did in New York’s Central Park is a great example of that.

For the other end of the spectrum, there are athletes and runners who want a different set of functionality from their devices.  They (like me) are looking for complete customization of the device, and the ability to get more information out of a single device, as opposed to having multiple devices.  In the case of the FR110, it doesn’t quite meet the goals of more advanced users of these fitness devices.  Choosing a FR310XT or FR60 is probably your best bet.  That’s not to say that Garmin couldn’t take it in that direction with either a software update, or the next generation of the product.  It’s just that as the software sits today, they’ve taken the approach of keeping it extremely simple – by removing functionality found in their higher end and multisport devices.  Make sense?

Pro’s & Con’s

If you’ve managed to survive to this point in the review (I applaud you!), or just simply skipped ahead – here’s the boiled down list of pro’s and con’s:


– Easy and simple to use device (you can’t screw it up!)
– Records data flawlessly, no issues with data loss or data drops
– Finally a GPS watch that looks ‘normal’
– Good battery life
– Very quick satellite acquisition with latest GPS chipset
– Accurate


– Simplified interface means loss of many common Garmin features
– No current support for ANT+ indoor footpod
– No workouts, courses, interval training, etc…
– Not waterproof (beyond simple rain)
– Doesn’t show current pace – only lap average

Hopefully you found this review useful!  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I use the device.  Also, I took a lot of pictures over the course of writing this review – 374 of them to be exact.  And I know that a lot of folks (like myself) like to see different angles of the product used in different ways.  So instead of just leaving them on my hard drive forever, I’ve taken a fair chunk of them and put them up in this little gallery above for you to be able to browse through.

Found this review useful?  Here’s how you can help support future reviews with just a single click!  Read on…

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items).  You can pickup the FR110 below (with or without HR strap). Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount.  And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Garmin FR110 Red (Pink and Black also available)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (all colors shown after clicking through to the left) or accessories (though, no discount).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.  Though, Clever Training also ships there too and you get the 10% discount.

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin Bike Mount Kit (for mounting any watch onto handlebars)
Garmin Forerunner 110/210 Charging/Download Cable

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. Ray,

    How would you compare this device to the 305? It would seem like a strange price point for Garmin to price a more basic watch at $75-$100 more expensive than the 305. I know the 305 is technically “old news” with the release of the 310 but mine’s been going strong for 2 years and no complaints.

  2. Thanks for the awesome detailed review! I’m fairly new to running and have been trying to get a handle on the different GPS units available. Your review is incredibly helpful!

  3. don

    Thanks for the report Ray. You mention that the battery life is “good”. What exactly does that mean? Is it better than the Garmin 405 which seems to last only 6 to 7 hours?

  4. For what it does not do, it looks a tad too expensive.

    As for usability standpoint, I thought the Forerunner 405 is already simple enough, if you don’t want to muck with the details. Just hit “Training” and start. Garmin just need to create the 405 with no Bezel and add buttons. And the ANT+ accessories omission, not good.

    I’ll wait for the next one. The 310XT does seem to do a lot things well IMO, except for the looks department.

  5. Lack of real-time pace is a deal-breaker for me. When I am running intervals I have to know my pace as it’s happening. Too bad for Garmin, otherwise I would have already bought 2 of them.

  6. Ray,

    Great review as always. I have a hard time understanding the lack of waterproofing. Seriously? Cost? I don’t really buy that logic. I think they took the simplicity a little too far with this watch.

    I was thinking this might be the new watch for me, but I will keep with the FR60 and 305 combo.

  7. Hi DCMidnight-

    RE: Comparison to FR305

    The FR110 has better sat aquisition than the FR305, but otherwise the 305 has far more features. In general, if style isn’t an issue – I’d recommend the FR305 over the FR110 from a functionality standpoint.

    Hi Don-

    RE: Battery

    Just for ya, I added a battery secsection into the review.

    Thanks all!

  8. Anzhu

    Thank you for some fantastic reviews. Very helpful indeed.
    I am in a quandry – do I buy the 110 or the FR60 or do I splash out some more money and get the 310XT?
    I mainly run, but also mountain bike (although my bike computer gives me time/distance/ave speed etc).
    I am looking for a watch that will tell me how far I run (accurately) and at what pace. My running is mainly trail running on the mountain and I am worried that a footpod will not give an accurate distance due to the uneven terrain. Is this correct?
    My next concern is that 110 is a bit basic and that in time, as I get used to using a GPS watch, I will want more functionality esp. the Virtual Partner and current pace.

  9. Anonymous

    Thanks for the review. I would like to know, if its possible to choose kilometers instead of miles in autolap mode? I run in Finland – miles are not so familiar to me. Or can I set miles like 0,62 ? Thanks for the answer.

  10. @Anonymous, all Garmin products, and most GPS products I believe, supports metric units. Heck on my units, I set to metric, but do set the autolap to 1.61km so that I know how long it takes to go a mile.

  11. Anonymous

    is there a way to manage multiple users?


  12. Anonymous

    Actually, you don’t need the Device Agent software from Training Peaks to upload your file. When you are on the Garmin Connect website, you can export your file as a TCX file. Then save it to your computer. Then, in Training Peaks, you just use the “Upload File” button on your workout, and then choose the file you downloaded to your computer. This is what I do and I love it. Since I can upload all my data to Garmin Connect, and then later from any computer (like at work) download it as a TCX and then upload it to Training Peaks. Overall, that makes it very easy.

  13. Thanks for a great and detailed review of this device (and indeed other reviews which I’m reading too).

    Just one question.

    Did you test the 110 in poor GPS tracking conditions (e.g. near tall buldings, in mountainous forests etc.)? One problem I have with my old (practically stone age) garmin 201 is that it tends to lose signal from time to time. I would assume this is better (my wife’s 205 is somewhat better than the 201 but still not perfect). I would expect this to be better but I’d be interested if you can confirm this or not.

  14. Ray:

    Bought the 110 3 weeks ago and like it. However while running in Cape Cod last week under very humid conditions, I notice that droplets of water had formed under the watch face. I notice you had a similar issue. The screws are very difficult to remove so do you recommend that I return the unit. Have tried heat and dessicant approach but with no luck. Could play around further but feel like having spent $200+, they should replace the unit. Any thoughts ?


  15. Anonymous

    Is it okay to run with in some heavy rain, pretty often?

  16. Thanks for the great reviews. In the end, they helped me make the decision of which product to buy. Love the detail and the ‘character’ of your reviews.

  17. Hi Anzhu-

    RE: FR110, FR60, FR310XT

    Honestly, go with the FR310XT – I guarantee you you won’t be disappointed. It’s more versatile for mountain biking.

    Agree RE: footpod and trail running – it’ll be close, but not as close as GPS.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: KM vs Miles

    Yes, as Wari noted you can use Metric on everything instead.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Multiple users

    No, no Garmin devices currently support multiple users

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Using Garmin Connect instead of TP

    Yup, that’s true. Though there are actually two reasons I prefer the DA over GC for exports to TP. First, it’s just easier for me. But secondly (and more importantly), in the case of Edge or 310XT exports with a power meter, the GC TCX files don’t correctly get parsed in many cases. Kinda sucks.

    Hi Francis-

    RE: In poor tracking conditions

    Yup, I ran all over the place and in a number of cities (NYC a few times). The Garmin 201 uses a REALLY old chipset that’s not even in the same ballpark as the new v3 chipsets being used on this watch. Sorta like comparing a jogger to a 100m world class sprinter.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Rain (heavy)

    I’ve found it fine in heavy ran (and ran numerous times), though I have heard of folks having issues in heavy rain and heavy sweat.

    Hi Joseph-


  18. Anonymous

    Hey Ray, just wanted to post a thank-you greeting from Copenhagen, Denmark. Thanks for all your hard work and effort, I really appreciate your reviews! Thank you

  19. Anonymous

    Hi, do you know if all the packages that have the heart rate monitor included come with the original “hard” strap? If I want the SOFT strap do I have to buy the watch and the strap separate?

  20. Anonymous

    Hi there

    Thanks for the great review. Detailed and great from a runners perspective.

    Like the watch and all it’s functions (as compared to the 405cx). However, the lack of basic water-proofing and current pace (instead of lap average) is a no-go for me.

    Doubt this will be corrected through software upgrades. But do let us know if I am wrong…!!!

    Thanks for the review again.



  21. Anonymous


    Love your reviews, I’m going to use them again this week to find a new watch.

    Something I’d like to add to this review. I’m a climber not a runner; mountains and hills are more my thing.

    I bought a 110 a week ago and I’ve already had to warranty return it. Seems that the seals on the 110 don’t hold up over about 3-4000 feet.

    I don’t know when my watch failed but the next day the watch was fogged up similar to yours. Very disappointing.

    My real concern now is airplane flights, cabin pressure is equivalent to about 7000 ft altitude. Will this model break if someone flies with it?

    Oh and I do have to mention the new GPS chipset, I carry a Garmin 60CSX for trail maps, this watch logged trails better than the 60 which is one of Garmin’s better products in the last decade.

    Oh and battery life on the 110 is right on about 8 hours, I just got back to the car and stopped the logging with the battery icon flashing.

  22. I might have missed it in the review, but is it possible to get “instant” pace after the fact via either the Garmin software or a third-party piece of software? That is, can I look at the workout information after it’s downloaded and find out how fast I was going at point X? This clearly isn’t as useful as knowing during the workout (on the watch face itself), but it would still be useful to me.

    Thanks for all your detailed reviews.

  23. Anonymous

    thanks for the great review! I just got my FR110 and since I want to use indoor mode for my speed training could you please explain me how to activate this mode, because I could not find it in the manual nor in any menu.
    Thanks in advance,

  24. Anonymous

    Does the 110 have a chime for each lap? I have a 305 and I have it set to chime at each mile. Can the 110 do this?

  25. Hi Ray,
    I’m fairly new to running and looking into a GPS-enabled device to get a handle on the specifics of my workouts. I love the content and description you provide in your reviews, but I’m still a little confused. I’m trying to find a unit that will allow me to track distance and time (i.e. interval training and run for x amount of time) with GPS capabilities without being obnoxious in size. I’m probably asking for too much in one product, but you seem to be the person to ask, so I thought it’d be worth the shot. Thanks!

  26. Anonymous

    I am wondering how the GPS watches, specifically the Forerunner 110 & 405 do in tracking pace in distance on trails. A considerable amount of the running I do is on trails with thick trees overhead.

  27. Anonymous

    pace *and* distance

  28. Hi Anon-

    RE: Heart Rate Strap

    The packages include the original hard HR strap. If you want the soft, you’ll have to buy it seperately.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Altitude

    Nope, I’ve used it on a ton of flights – including some in the review. Because this watch uses a GPS barometric altimeter it’ll actually record the correct height.

    Good to know about the 8-hour battery for continous.

    Hi Robert-

    RE: Instant pace

    No, there is no instantly pace on the watch. But yes, you do get instant pace afterwards. It uses smart recording, so that’s generally every 5-10 seconds. And you can choose any point you’d like.

    Hi Tom-

    RE: Indoor mode

    Indoor mode with the watch currently will not do speed because the foot pod accessory is not supported on the FR110 (yet, though I suspect we’ll see it this fall).

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Chim for each lap

    Yes, it’ll beep at ya for each autolap.

    Hi Chic-

    RE: Right watch including intervals

    You should look at either the FR310XT or FR305 (cheaper). The 310XT is smaller than the FR305 and all around better/cleaner. The Timex Global Trainer is an option as well, around the same size and sorta looks like a normal watch (but big).

    Hi Anon-

    RE: FR110 vs FR405 on trails

    The FR110 has a better chipset than the FR405, but both track just fine on trails. You’ll be good either way.

  29. Anonymous

    seems like you are the guy to ask. I have been searching for a device that will give me what I’m looking for. I just got the forerunner 110 with the add on HR strap. I run indoors/outdoors and now with the fall/winter months I stay indoors for my training. I take tons of spin classes and cycle. Want to know if this is the watch for me. I want my HR displayed while I do any type of workout and tracks my distance when I go out for a run. Going to test the forerunner 110 but before I even test it does this watch WORK indoors when I’m not running or spinning and gives me my HR and calories? Help

  30. Does anyone know if there are problems with the 110 losing signal while trail running. I mostly run trails and need it to work there

  31. How does the 110 work for trail running, meaning dose it lose signal in the woods easily?

  32. Hi Anon-

    RE: Indoors/outdoors

    This watch won’t do distance or pace on a treadmill, so while it’ll calculate calories based on HR while running and spinning inside – it’s not going to be perfect.

    Personally, I’d recommend either the FR305 or 310XT as a much better choice, as both support the foot pod.

    Hi Jason-

    RE: Signal in trails

    The FR110 has no issues tracking in the trees or trails and I’ve had no problems to date with doing so. The chipset is far more advanced than even the trail-capable GPS watches of 2-3 years ago. Enjoy!

  33. Hi Rainmaker,

    really dig your site and comments about all the Garmin watches. You have given great feedback on the forerunner 110 it is TURE it is just a RUNNERS watch. Not friendly at all for the triathlete. Thanks again for all your help. This is from the indoor/outdoor athlete the 310 XT/305.
    Thanks again, I will for sure come back and read more on your AWESOME detailed reviews. Anything on polar just curious?

  34. RLAM

    Great review! Your detailed review of the FR110 was just what I needed to read before purchasing!

  35. Hi,
    Do you have any idea what to do when the screen is frozen on “Saving activity?” I tried plugging my Forerunner into my computer and the screen froze and now won’t recognize my watch. Any way to reset my Garmin?


  36. Anonymous

    Hi, Haig here from Berkshire, UK. Great review. Bought a 110 for my wife’s birthday and I have it on charge as I write. Already been out for a run (charged it a little while in order to use it) – was wondering how you see the actual time of day whilst it is in timing mode? Must be simple and I’m sure I’ll work it out but thought I’d ask. Also the powersave feature – can it be engaged manually or do you need to wait for the prescribed ‘period of inactivity’? Basically, can I just press something to get read of GPS mode.
    I’ll probably work this out once it comes off the charger and I have scrutinized it a little more but I am a real phillistine when it comes to technology – which is why I bought this for its simplicity. Right now I think it is an excellent purchase.
    Thank you again for a superb review.

  37. Ray,
    Error in your response. You said, “this watch uses a GPS barometric altimeter it’ll actually record the correct height,” in response to a comment, above. The Garmin site says not barometric altimeter in this watch.

  38. trent

    Great review man – really good to know about the lack of waterproofing for tri use – stupid miss by garmin, as i’ll now pass for sure

  39. HI,
    great review, very useful indeed thanks for all the details and info!
    Now the store where I bought the Forerunner 110, told me I could actually download the software for the interval training from Garmin. Is it true? where can we download those softwares? because this will improve the pros 7 cons I think and add a feature to this great watch.
    thanks for your answer.

  40. @Veronique, the feature you wanted (intervals or workouts, etc) is not available for the Forerunner 110, the other watches, like FR60 (not custom, I think), 205, 305, 405, 310XT, etc, does support it.

  41. Anonymous

    Great review Ray. Can you answer the following:

    1. If I set the autolap to 1km, does the watch display my pace for every kilometre ?

    2. Say I am running 8 km with 1km autolaps, and happen to have run 5.5km, does the watch display my total distance, total time as well as the lap distance and lap time all at once ? Assuming I run 5min per km, for example, would it show:

    Total Dist: 5.5km

    Total Time: 27min 30 sec

    Current Lap Distance: 0.5km

    Current Lap Time: 2min 30 sec

    If so, I think it would be a clincher for me. I have a good memory so can live with remembering each split or uploading

    Also, I have a small wrist and don’t fancy a velcro strap on the 405cx (as I sweat a lot!!)

    Many Thanks


  42. Hi, I too would like to decide between this watch and the 305. I’m not a runner. I bought the 305 hoping for some motivation in becoming a runner.
    I’ve used it once. I could get used to it, but my wrists are pretty small. So I am almost certain that I want to swap it for the 110.
    Of course the main concern is the lack of instant pace. But if understand correctly, I could just set laps to 1km, or less, and have a “semi-instant pace”?

    Plus perhaps I should go for the 110 if it has a better GPS chip and I intend to run in North Vancouver woods (think very tall evergreens).

    Being new, I imagine that it would take a while for me to get into seriously training for races and wanting more data and training tools, if that ever happens.

    I should be happy with the 110 right? How important is it to know your current pace anyways?

    On that first run my avg pace was 5:37/km. Say I keep that as a target, I would just have to look at my watch at least once every km to see if I am over or under it right? After a few km I might no longer remember how many were above, how many were below.
    Or I might just run as fast as I can, not look at it much, and have fun with the data afterwords…I dunno.
    Do 305 users really use the fancy features? Those like me who just want to get healthy. I dunno, maybe I would enjoy running against my own previous run.

    I went into a Richmond bakery today. All they is sell one kind of bread, only one size. You walk in, you walk out. Sometimes I wish more of my purchases were like that.

  43. Anonymous

    GREAT Review of the 110. I had the 101–the brick, have had the 305 for 3+ yrs and just purchased the 110. I love it. Having run for over 34 yrs (over 71,600+ miles)I can pretty well guestimate current pace and find the 110 more than adequate.Plus I love being able to wear it as a watch.
    My question: I rode a 70 mile bike ride this AM–70 miles exact reading on my cycle wireless “computer”. My 110 read 71.94 miles. I stopped the tracking when I got off the bike to get additional liquids/stretch, etc. In your opinion/experience what device is more accurate? Thanks.

  44. Anonymous Said:

    > 70 miles exact reading on my cycle wireless “computer”. My 110 read 71.94 miles… In your opinion/experience what device is more accurate?

    Cycle computer computes the number of revolutions your wheels made to get speed. How accurate it is really depends if you measured it properly, and ‘recalibrate’ it every time. You don’t usually have the same PSI every week, and tires wear out, making 1 revolution shorter the more you ride it. If you use the tables provided by your cycle computer booklet for the wheel size, then I’d say, the number would be overly ‘generous’.

    As for trusting the GPS, well that depends on where you went. Was there tall buildings/trees to skew your results. Did you stopped too long without pressing pause (GPS noise contributes to extra data). Did you ride slow or fast, etc. So many variables. But somehow, I do trust my GPS more than the cycle computer. I do use one, but as a backup for my log, just in case something goes wrong with the GPS unit, highly unlikely, but anything that can go wrong, will.

    Anyway, 72-ish and 70miles, is really a 2% discrepancy, but it’s not by a lot, so, I’ll just take the bigger number, thank you 🙂

  45. Anonymous

    Thanks for your response to my question re:accuracy of bike computer vs my 110.

    Question/s: To delete a run/ride on the 110 the directions advise holding both arrows at the same time then hitting OK. I can’t get it to delete. I tried holding both arrows “in” and pushing the ok at the same time and separately. Run remains. Help!

    Also, once GPS is activated and I stand around (say waitng for a race to start–how long will the GPS stay on before going to sleep? It seems to only stay on for about 2 minutes. Can it be adjusted to remain on even if there is no movement?

  46. Anonymous

    Hello. First off – awesome website! There’s tons of great info on here.

    In regards to the Forerunner 110.. how big are your wrists around? Just for comparison’s sake from the pictures since I only have 16cm wrists.. Thanks.

  47. Great website and great product reviews. I want to get a GPS watch, but i think the 110 doesn’t have enough bells and whistles for me, but the 405 and the Timex have to many. I like that you can set up that you want to stay in a certian range and how you can compare yourself to other times, but it seems the 110 doesn’t do these things. Am i correct? Should i go with the 405?

  48. Hey,

    I was looking for FR110 reviews, since according to the Garmin site it seemed to be the best choice for me, and i found you! This is by far the best written review i’ve ever seen, for any product out there! And i do all my research online, i read my fair share of them. Thanks a lot for the great work on this, wish Amazon would ship to Romania so i could support the site, sadly that’s not the case atm.

    My first 5K race is in 2 weeks and this is perfect for a beginner runner with small wrists that wants basic info she got from the Nike+ app for the iPhone (without dragging the iPhone along).

    Thanks again, you made my day!

  49. Question for you – can you show a picture to compare the thickness of the 405 and the 110? thanks

  50. Todd

    Thanks for an awesome review. I am a runner and I’m doing a marathon soon and looking at getting a 110. Is there a way to use autolap and see your current lap pace, but also be able to view your overall average pace? Want to be able to know how Im doing “now” but also if I am on target to hit my pace goal. thanks again. Would 405 be better. I can buy a 405 for $225, so price isnt an issue.

  51. Anonymous

    What an informative review. Thanks for your efforts. I’m a bit of a newbie re GPS Watches – this being the first time that I’ve looked into it. I’m looking for something suitable for road cycling and running. I think it’s between the FR110 and the FR305.
    My questions:
    – Is all the analysis on the web or is there a local application. – Will I get more out of it than I can currently get from Runtastic Pro on my IPhone?
    – Can I edit my activity? Eg I forgot to press ‘Stop’ when I finished my 10K today and so my Runtastic data is wrong and I can’t see how to correct it.


  52. The Forerunner 110 has a SERIOUS defect. I ran the ARMY ten miler today and tried to upload the data after the race. The unit hung and I was forced to reset the watch. Despite what the manual states, I lost ALL of my data. Based on the Garmin forum, it’s a common problem (link to forums.garmin.com). AVOID THIS PIECE OF JUNK

  53. Anonymous

    Hi Ray,

    Im Planning to buy a Garmin Forerunner 210 , do you have any upcoming review on them? or is it the same as 110 meaning little difference? I read also your 405 but it has some bezel thing problem , so i dont know if if 210 is ok?

    any advice? thank.

  54. Hi Joanne-

    RE: Polar

    I just picked up a Polar unit, and may start doing some reviews there soon.

    Hi RLAM-


    Hi Lindsey-

    RE: Resetting

    You’re best bet is a soft reset (though I suspect by know you’ve got it all settled).

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Getting out of GPS mode

    If you press stop, and then go to the time screen, it puts it into power-save mode quicker

    Hi Nathan-

    RE: Error

    Good catch, I’ll have to correct that. Indeed, this watch doesn’t have a barometric altimeter. Must have been a late night… Only the Edge series devices have baro altimeters.

    Hi Tren-


    Hi Veronique-

    RE: Interval training

    No, the store is incorrect. The FR110 doesn’t support the GTC based interval training software. Only the new FR210 supports intervals (on watch), but not from GTC.

    Thanks Wari as well!

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Autolap

    Yes, it’ll display lap avg at the end of each split

    RE: Display parameters

    It doesn’t display lap-time, just distance. Otherwise, the rest of what you described is correct.

    Hi Vancouver Dude-

    RE: FR110 vs FR305

    It really depends. It sounds like the FR110 is probably the watch for you. Some folks use the advanced features of the FR305 (for example…me), it really depends on how you structure your training. But yes, the FR110 does have a more advanced chip than the FR110.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Accuracy

    It depends highly on if the cycle computer was calibrated correctly. It also depends on any obstructions. But I’d expect that the FR110 should be within 1% of actual distance (based on my testing recently).

    But, Wari’s explanation is super-detailed and very accurate.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Sleep

    That sounds about right. Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust this. But with the GPS hotfix technology, if you haven’t moved spots, it’ll pickup super-quick the next time (a few minutes later).

    Hi John-

    RE: FR405 vs FR110

    That’s a tough one, it really depends if you like the touch bezel – if so – that’s the more advanced watch.

    Hi Ruxandra-


    Hi Captain Awesome-

    RE: Picture for thickness

    There should be one in the gallery, – or, check out the Timex Global Trainer review here (upper sidebar), as I know there’s one there. Thanks!

    Hi Todd-

    RE: Lap vs avg pace

    Yes, you can swap between them.

    RE: FR405 vs FR110

    Personally, I dislike the bezel on the FR405, so I’d probably choose the FR110 instead for running.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: FR110 vs iPhone

    Honestly, no. The iPhone based apps will give you more detailed data.

    RE: Editing data

    No, you cannot edit data from the Garmin devices.

    Hi Michael-

    RE: Data loss

    Sorry to hear that. There have been issues in the past with Garmin devices occasionally suffering an issue (like all computing devices). Hopefully they’ll be able to fix it in an upcoming firmware release.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: FR210 vs FR110

    I just got the FR210 yesterday, and so far love it with having the realtime pace (current pace) – as well as footpod support. The FR210 is not a bezel system, only the FR405/FR410.


  55. Hey there,
    I great reviews.
    Do you know if the FR110 will be Ok after let’s say a 2-4 hours in the (heavy) rain- the time for a half or a full marathon? And, as it seems your girlfriend is an athlete too (and I need a female opinion sorry 😉 ).
    Has she tried the FR 305 or 310 on long runs? are they comfortable for smaller wrists? I did put the 310 on in a shop, and although it fits OK- I wonder what is the experience after prolonged use. Thanks for any thoughts.

  56. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the reviews on the fr110, even in Holland we read them!
    I just bought aFR 110 a week ago. The first run was marvelous, it just did everything I needed. Then last tuesday I tested it on the running court, while doing 10 times 400 mt. I found out that I could not measure every 400 mt, also because in between I slowed down 200 mt. So what I wanted, every 400 mt clocked, it didn’t work. Do you have a solution, or what am I doing wrong?

    Thanks already,
    Amersfoort, the Netherlands

  57. Hi Bori-

    RE: Rain

    No issues in heavy rain for hours…been there. 🙂

    RE: Wrist size

    She normally uses the FR310XT, but previously used the FR305 – and finds that you get used to it after only a run or so.

    Hi Karin-

    RE: 400m tests

    Hmm, typically you’re going to see slightly different results in the case of 400m (+/- say 10m), though if you’re seeing significant variances, I’d recommend doing a soft reset to reaquire the satellite map.

  58. i bought this watch in nov 2010. shortly after that i wore it in a race under a heavy down pour, the screen got foggy. another 2 weeks later, i found my garmin’s battery life had become very poor. after a full charge, even i don’t use it (standby mode all the time), it can only last for max 2 days… so now i gotta charge it everytime before i run… and i am from another country, it is not convenient for me to send for repair… *sigh….

  59. Thank you for taking the time to compose such an in depth review.
    Much appreciated!

  60. Thanks for the review, very helpful. I just bought my first Garmin and I purchased the 110. The issue I am having is that I pick up the satellites before a race. Then we stand around waiting on the start. When I try to start the run it is not longer on the data screen but back on the time screen. I hit all the buttons during the run trying to get it to start to no avail. Today I just shut it off, restarted it, reacquired and then started which is tough on a trail run. It must shut down after finding satellites in a set amount of time. I am testing on the counter as I type this. Any comments on length of time and any resolution to get the satellites to reconnect once it has paused would be appreciated.


  61. Hi Doris-
    RE: Waterproofing

    Indeed, sounds like some water got in, which sucks. One of the one areas I’m disappointed with this watch. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do at this point aside from sending in to repair.

    Hi Steven-

    Hi Mark-
    RE: Auto-shutoff

    Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do here. This is a case of the watch automatically going into power saving mode. I believe it’s either 2m or 4m. The good news is with hotfix satellite reception, it should be pretty quick when you turn it back on again – maybe 10-20 seconds.

  62. I am shopping for a GPS watch that will do well for my bicycle, and have the flexibility for other activities. thus I am not looking at bike computers. I appreciate the time you put into your reviews. Have found them very helpful.

    Trying to decided between the 110 210 or the 410. balancing price with features with necessity.

    one thing I can not glean from these reviews is which watches have the calorie count displayed in real time as you are exercising. As I am primarily getting into weight loss with longer term cycling goals in mind, I would find this helpful in a GPS watch meant to be used for a number of years.

    Your clarification is appreciated, and perhaps a push in the right direction? Thanks.

  63. The low battery life issue seems to be resolved after resetting the watch by holding the “light” button (see manual for proper instruction). I didn’t intend to reset it actually, I had forgotten this function, it was because some other problem with the watch, then I found out resetting the watch has helped the battery life problem too. Hope this tip would help others who face similar issue.

  64. Anonymous

    Hi I have a brand new 110 and am really enjoying using it. Unfortunately in my 3 runs the calorie calculation is just not right. The first run was about 1/10 of what it should have been and the 2nd and 3rd said I burned none. My HRM seems to be working OK and my parameters are all apparently right (age 38, weight 60kgs heigh 168cms, female). I’ve emailed Garmin and done some searches to see its not an uncommon problem but so far I have no suggestions to resolve other than, maybe, a hard reset. I’m not sure about this though (how to or whether to)….. Any advice would be great!


  65. Hi, DC Rainmaker.
    Thank you for this deep analysis of these great watch and also for all others.Really interesting read, with excellent arguments for pro’s and con’s. Precisely because of this analysis, I decided to buy Forerunner 110 HRM. You got another fan. Greetings from Slovenia


  66. Steve E

    Just a heads-up for REI shoppers looking at the 110. It’s currently on sale, which is rare for anything GPS at REI.

  67. Hi Josh-
    RE: FR110/210/410

    In general I’d say that if you want to use the the watch inside on a treadmill, then you’ll want the FR210. In my opinion, the best way to compare watches would be FR110 vs FR210, and then the FR610 for all the fancy features. Between the FR110/210 the key difference is really the footpod support and instant pace support.

    Hi Doris-
    RE: Light

    Good to hear!

    Hi Anon/Sam-
    RE: Calorie Calcs

    These can be tough to troubleshoot. One other area to look at is the athlete status (1-10/Lifetime). Also, doublechecking that the HR data looks clean (no dropouts/etc…), as that’s the primary driver for calorie calcs.

    Hi Ales-

    Hi Steve-
    Thanks for the heads up, just tweeted it out! Here’s a link to REI that’ll support the site for those interested: link to ow.ly

  68. Steve E.

    They also have the heart rate monitor version ($30 more) on sale too.

  69. Matt M

    Thanks for the review. Very helpful. Top man.

  70. Ray,

    thank you for the review, it took me some time to find it though as the link on your review site links to the “pre-review”. Apart from that, excellent job as usual.

    Just bought it as a “middle step” before I can afford the 610 obviously 🙂

    I am thinking about increasing the displayed pace accuracy by setting it to the shortest possible pace … hope that will do the trick for a long distance runner.

    Looking forward to the race report!

  71. El


    Can you tell me if the FR110 (purchased without an HR strap) works with the new/latest premium HR strap (the one you found eliminated 95% of drops)?


  72. Shane S.

    thank you for the awsome review! helped a whole lot.

  73. My 110 is about to become a xmas tree ornament !! And it’s less than a year old. My advice to other runners: DON’T BOTHER WITH IT. It loses data, loses satellites, and runs out of batteries. When these things will happen varies in distance, but not in regularity. My 110 has gone back to Garmin 3 times. What they send back are refurbished other 110s. The serial #s are different but unfortunately, the problems are the same. When it’s working, it’s fantastic. But it’s too unreliable to be of any use. My running buddy has a garmin 305 that’s been chugging along successfully through all our runs for a couple of years. Wish I’d bought one of those workhorses, instead of being seduced by the svelte 110.

  74. The review states, “Anyway, the light stays on for 8 seconds, though unlike other watches in the Forerunner/Edge series, the time it stays on is not adjustable.”

    I just unboxed a new FR110 yesterday, and I found that if you push the light button again, it goes off, so you don’t have to wait the full 8 seconds.

    I have 2 disappointments with this watch/GPS:

    The first is a major disappointment. Just as David Embury said, “I insist a [Gin] Fizz should actually fizz.”, I insist a GPS watch should actually be able to tell you where you are. On the Garmin FR205 and FR305, you can “Mark Location” to get your long/lat. I’m not a triathlete, but I am often running in remote locations off trail in parks and forests. I consider this an issue of safety, both for myself and for whomever I happen to find on the side of a trail somewhere, and unless Garmin does an update to the software, I’m probably going to give this watch away. (And is there really that little program memory available that you can’t let me mark a waypoint where I park my car at the airport and navigate back to it when my flight is late and it’s 2am and the streetlights are busted?)

    My second disappointment is somewhat minor, but I feel as strongly about it as the first. GPSs really need to be able to display position in at least 4 formats:
    a. Degrees Minutes: ddd mm.mmmm
    b. MGRS: Military Grid
    c. UTM: same as MGRS, just written differently.
    d. Degrees Minutes Seconds

    The first two (a & b) are standard military navigator stuff, required by military “Instructions”.

    The third, UTM, is just incredibly useful for random tasks. It gives position in an x-y grid that is in meters, more or less, and it’s just awesome.

    The forth, DMS, is sort of for traditionalists, but it has its place. The other format, a., is a little quicker and probably less prone to error.

    I’m not in the military, but I have friends who buy cheap GPSs (such as older Garmin eTrex models) off eBay and send them to “any soldier”. Lots of people send items like the FR110 to their military relatives and friends. Is it too much to ask to give them something that will be useful, keep them safe, and not require a coordinate-system conversion from lat-long to the format they actually use? Please please please ask Garmin to add these position formats to even their lowliest and most puny products.

  75. Nicolas

    Keep away from water!

    Loved my 110 until I happened to clean my legs a bit in the outdoor shower after a trail race… water leaked in, it started acting crazy, I dried it (opening it up) the next day and it started to work again, but now it won’t hold its charge (GPS off, just in watch mode) for more than 24h, so basically I have to keep it on the charge permanently!! Water must have made some electrical damage. Garmin won’t replace it since the warranty won’t cover “water damage”. My advice, don’t get caught in the rain if you run with it either!

  76. Lane

    Mine has never gotten wet, and it still won’t hold a charge for more than 24 hours. Battery durability has been very disappointing since I purchased in June 2010. At this point, if I give it a full charge on Monday, it won’t last thru a 5K run on Wednesday.

    >>Nicolas said…
    … water leaked in, it started acting crazy, I dried it (opening it up) the next day and it started to work again, but now it won’t hold its charge (GPS off, just in watch mode) for more than 24h, so basically I have to keep it on the charge permanently!!
    July 14, 2011 6:21 PM <<

  77. Hi Matt-

    Hi Barborkas-
    Thanks! And I’ve got it on my list in a minute to update that older page to point to this one at the top.

    Hi El-
    RE: New HR strap compat

    Yup, they all work great together, mix and match as you see fit, all are ANT+ and fully compatible with each other.

    Hi Shane-

    Hi Bill-
    RE: XMas Tree

    Bummer to hear that, but hopefully you were able to get it straightened out (or pickup a different watch), sorry!

    Hi Matthew-
    RE: Light

    Sorry, I was referring to being able to keep it on (i.e. – stay on for 30 seconds). Didn’t think about the opposite though, trying to turn it off early.

    RE: Other capabilities

    I’d agree in general, though I would say the goal with this watch was a simpler watch that folks couldn’t get caught up in. The challenge they had was that folks would end up at starting lines with watches that were showing all sorts of ‘weird’ displays because people got themselvesin trouble. I’d say that for soldiers and anyone else wanting the other display formats, the cheaper FR305 is really a better bet.

    Hi Nicolas-
    RE: Water

    Yes, indeed, water is not this watches friend.

    Hi lane-
    RE: Charge issues

    Definitely ring up Garmin and see if they cna help you. Though being from June 2010 you’re probably out of warranty, but I’ve found that they can be accomadating sometimes when out of warranty (and sometimes they just charge the usual $80 flate rate fee for a fix).

    Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.

  78. Hi Ray,

    I’ve been using the FR110 for about six weeks, and I’m pleased overall. But I’m still skeptical about the mileage accuracy.

    And here’s partly why: my old way to measure mileage was with the mapping feature on the USATF website. Basically a Google maps function – but seems very accurate.

    So just for kicks, I mapped some recent Garmin runs on the USATF feature and was really surprised at the mileage difference. In fact, for tonight’s 6 miler, the Garmin showed a 6.01 distance, while the USATF distance was 6.22 for the same run — a huge difference!

    Any thoughts? Do you know of any other online mapping applications? Any idea how accurate the USATF feature is?

    Thanks for any input!

  79. Hi Matt-

    The USATF site powered by Google Maps is accurate in a general sense, but not to the same degree that a race is measure, or a GPS unit would give you. There’s a lot of ‘guessing’ that goes on when you click each point along the route to create your full distance, easily making it longer than the actual distance. For example – did you zoom all the way in to the street level and ensure each dot was on the same side of the street?

    It does surprisingly all add up – especially after just a couple of turns.

    Check out this post I wrote that goes into it a bit more:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy!

  80. Hi,

    if you’re using speed instead of Pace, does it show the current speed, or the average speed?



  81. Hi Sven-
    RE: Avg Spd

    Yes, it shows the correct speed/pace type averages based on which mode you’re in.


  82. OK,

    so if I do 5km/h for 5 minutes and 10km/h in the next 5 minutes it wil show me 7,5 km/h after 10 minutes, and not the 10 km/h I’m doing at the moment?



  83. if the autolap is on, after 1 lap, does screen show the average pace for that particular lap or for the whole running time’s average pace?

  84. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for putting so much time and effort into your review. 100 times more informative than the little user guide that came with the 110 I recently bought.

    Just one thing is puzzling me. I went out for a run yesterday with Auto Lap set to 1 mile. For the first 3 miles everything was fine, I heard the little beep and had a quick look at my watch to check the lap time. On mile 4 I missed the beep, so instead pressed the lap button hoping for an update of the last lap. Instead it started another lap, so I had a tiny lap of 0.05 miles and the subequent laps beeped a little bit after the mile. Very confusing at the time and I only realised what had happened when I uploaded to Garmin Connect.

    Do you think this is a new software bug or user error on my part?

    Many thanks.

  85. Hi OldSAP-
    RE: Avg Pace

    No, it does not. Just time for that lap. But the Pace shows the current lap pace (not instant) – so in effect, it is just lap pace.

    Hi Squelchie-
    RE:Auto Lap

    The reason being is that .05 lap created an offset. Thus, it starts at 1.00 miles after you reset it at .05 miles. Therefor each lap thereafter would be at total milage 1.05, 2.05, 3.05, etc… Make sense?

  86. if the autolap summary shows the average lap pace for that particular lap, then it’s good enough for me. i can use it as a basis if the last lap recorder is faster or slower than the previous lap’s pace. thank you for the reply Ray.

  87. Hi again,
    Thanks for replying.

    Yes I understand why the laps were offset. But I thought from your review that in Auto Lap mode you could press the lap button to review the previous lap information. I didn’t expect it to start another lap. What do you think should happen?

  88. Anonymous

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your work preparing this review. I would like to support you by purchasing a watch via your Amazon links, but these are only for Amazon.com. Could you provide links for Amazon.co.uk?
    And the explanation of speed display while cycling is not clear enough for me. Does FR110 display your current speed in km/h at any moment, or does it only display the average speed of the lap at each autolap? Is there a way of knowing how fast are you going at any given moment?

  89. Hi Squelchie-

    When you press lap it’ll always demark a lap – and then briefly display summary information. Hope that helps!

    Hi Anon-

    No problem, here’s the tagged link to the Amazon UK store. Once you click on this link you can search for any product and I’ll get credit for it.

    link to amazon.co.uk

    The UK link is also located below the bigger Amazon logo on the side bar, for easy finding for my UK friends in the future.

    Thanks for the support!

  90. Anonymous

    Excellent review, already purchased it on Amazon after reading. Cannot wait to use it this weekend !!! Appreciated…

  91. Anonymous

    How would you compare the forerunner 110 to the Soleus GPS 1.0?

  92. Anonymous

    How would you compare the forerunner 110 to the Soleus GPS 1.0?

  93. Thanks for all the info. I use multiple Garmins problem free. This 110 however, the clip seems to be very sensitive, as it has to be “just right” to charge or sync. Did you experience this?


  94. Anonymous

    had my 110 about 3 months now

    cant seem to find my handbook

    anyone know how to set it for indoor use only?

    i know u tap the page/menu button to turn it back on

    cant remember how to turn it off

    many thanks

  95. Thanks for your ‘detailed’ review. you sure do make it easier in choosing the right running GPS watch.

    Very Helpful Review.


  96. Anonymous

    Hi Ray, great details on using the 110; had mine for a month now. Just one question, how do you get the Zone letter to display on GarminConnect under the heart rate section? A friend has a 110 and on his runs he gets a Zone C to display? I can’t find any setting to identify which zone I’m running in which will display on GarminConnect.

  97. Anonymous

    Awesome site, Thanks. My only problem with the 110 so far is the beep (mile splits) is not loud enough. I’m pretty sure my hearing is fine. Any way to increase the volume?

  98. Anonymous

    Hi there, great review – thanks.
    I’m soon to go off on a 10 day walking holiday and I want the 110 to record the walks.
    Is it possible to record 10 days of data on the 110 without uploading the data to a computer.
    Also if I go out on 2 walks on the same day will the 110 record the walks separately.
    thanks Dave

  99. Ed

    Great review. Thanks
    My FR110 always spikes the HR for the first 10-15 mins. It zooms to 180 (my max is 172) and stays there until I come to a complete stop. Once stopped it drops to resting levels. (75). Tried resetting, no help. Any suggestions. Thanks again.

  100. jj

    I need to replace my forerunner 305. My favorite ability of the watch is the bread crumb trail (i am always on travel thus running on unfamiliar environment, i need something for navigating back to hotel/home). Can you do a list of watches that gives this function? I am leaning to buy the FR110 but not sure if it has this function. Thank you

  101. @jj, the watches with breadcrumbs capabilities would be the kinds that the 305 is replacing, i.e. the 310xt and the 910xt.

  102. Anonymous


    Great review.

    I bought the 110 a couple of months ago. It’s my first GPS watch and generally I’m very pleased with it. Mine does however have two slight problems.

    First, although the display shows that satellite signal has been acquired the first 1/4 mile displayed on the GC map is incorrect. I don’t find this a problem but some people might. My BF has a 310 and experiences the same problem so perhaps it’s where we live?

    Secondly, and much more annoying, is that I have great difficulty getting a connection with the clip used to charge and upload to Garmin Connect. The four pins do not seem to make a connection even though they are positioned correctly. You have to keep retrying and wiggling the connectors. Eventually it works. Sometimes it connects quickly and other times it can take me 5 minutes to get it connected. It’s driving me MAD! This has happened right from the beginning and initially I thought there was a fault with my 110, but after searching I found many people having the exact same problem. General opinion is that it’s a design fault.

    Oh, just remembered another small thing. When running in cold weather (-5) I got a condensation spot inside the watch glass face, but it disappeared quickly. It doesn’t happen in the rain, just when it’s could.

  103. Hi Anon-


    On the connector, try grabbing an eraser (like the back of a pencil), and clean the contacts on the watch using the eraser. Sometimes when you have connection issues, that’ll fix it right up.


  104. Anonymous

    Thanks for a great review. The only concern i have in buying this product is that it doenst show current pace. Is there any possibility that a software update may provide this in the future? i just think that this is somnething that may annoy me in 12 months time!

  105. Hi Anon-

    I can pretty confidentaly say you won’t see an update to the FR110 with instant power. They introduced the FR210, with the only change really being the addition of instant power (and footpod support). I’ve confirmed with Garmin as well in recent discussions that they have no plans to add instant power to the FR110.

    Sorry! 🙁

  106. Anonymous


    Great review. I’ve had my Garmin FR110 since Christmas 2011 and find it a really useful bit of kit. I don’t need loads of functionality as I only began running last September 2011 for fitness and weight maintenance. My only gripe (well actually I have two!) is: 1) The stopwatch button can be a right pain sometimes as you need to press it quite firmly and on target to make sure it either starts or stops (especially stops!). I’ve spent quite a few minutes warming down walking back home only to realise that the bloody thing is still timing me because I didn’t press the stop button properly. 2) If you turn it off, sometimes it turns itself back on again! I googled this one and apparently if you press the ok to turn off button while the backlight is still on, it will seem to be closing down but won’t and will turn itself back on the minute you’re not looking!!
    Still, other than that, a decent little unit.
    Carole Chapple

  107. Anonymous


    I am thinking to get my first Garmin and cant decide. I really want to use it for swimming as well but my budget is not so big.. I read your review for Garmin 305 and 405 and I would like to ask you if you think that 110 could be used for swimming in the same way like 305 or 405?
    Thank you

  108. blauz


    Enjoyed reading your reviews, very informative and helpful. I am thinking of buying the women’s version of the 110 for my girlfriend but the information on the amazon page I viewed was a bit confusing. Is this watch only sold with the HR monitor or are there two different ‘boxes’? It’s fine if it is but couldn’t be really sure what is in the box from the description as one bit said ‘HRM’ and another said ‘not included’. Also, do you have a link to amazon.it (Italy) as that’s where I would be buying from? Thanks!

  109. Andrew

    Thanks for the great review, however, I’m still not completely clear about what info you can display on the screen if you’re using the heart rate monitor. You say the 110 can display four data fields, but in your pictures I only see three fields displayed at once.

    I’m new to running and I’d like to see my distance travelled, heart rate, and elapsed time or at least time of day. If I understand your review correctly I will only be able to see distance, heart rate and pace. Why would they give pace priority over elapsed time or time of day? To me that seems like the least useful piece of info.


  110. Anonymous

    Hi, can you tell me if it is possible to turn off the GPS during a training session. I would like to have it on while I run to the gym and then turn it off while in the gym. But keep the timer going so it is just one training session. And ideally be able to turn it back on for the run home. At present it is just beeping at me saying “satellite lost” the whole time I’m at the gym!

  111. Anonymous

    Late addition but I wanted to add that I also experienced the same problem with condensation on the inside of the watch following which the watch stopped working. And I didn’t even go swimming with it – just running in the rain

    The Garmin explanation that it is not water proof due to cost cutting reasons is, pardon my French, total bollocks. As the reviewer pointed out a cheap digital watch can be water proof so why not the 110?

    The reason it leaked is the design is poor, relying on a simple friction fit between the watch strap and main body

  112. late input:
    when autolap is ON, the pace shown is the average pace of your CURRENT lap, not the whole run. so it means that if the autolap is OFF, the pace shown will be the average pace of your WHOLE run.

  113. Over a year after you answered—

    DCRainmaker wrote (Aug 2011):

    “RE: Other capabilities

    I’d agree in general, though I would say the goal with this watch was a simpler watch that folks couldn’t get caught up in. The challenge they had was that folks would end up at starting lines with watches that were showing all sorts of ‘weird’ displays because people got themselvesin trouble. I’d say that for soldiers and anyone else wanting the other display formats, the cheaper FR305 is really a better bet.”

    I’m pretty confident a Forerunner 305 cannot display in the formats I mentioned. I’ve had a few times when I would’ve killed for UTM or MGRS (an x-y grid in meters), and if a FR305 can do that, it’s news to me. The Foretrex models probably can, but none of them look like a normal watch.

  114. Leanne

    How does this device work for other types of workouts – such as strength training, or using the elliptical? I do have the heart rate monitor, so for those activities I just want to know heart rate/calories burned. I’ve heard some don’t work for activities other than running/swimming/biking.

  115. Anonymous

    Hi, how long garmin will support this product in particular ( I am thinking to OS compatibility in the long term. Does the forerunner will
    communicate in 10 years under Windows 13, this concern also
    all the garmin product.
    The answer is evident NO.


  116. I think you’re good there actually. Specifically, with the FR110 (and FR210), they simply are enumerated to any file system as a standard USB mass storage device. Meaning, they are no different than a USB thumb drive, and thus no Garmin drivers are required.

    Once enumerated, the files are simply .FIT (and in some cases, .TCX) files, which means that you’re then manually uploading those files to Garmin Connect. Those are the standard file formats that Garmin uses on all devices (including those that just came out last month).

    Thus, in many ways, there’s no real concern about new operating systems, since there’s nothing on the product installed at the OS level.

    That all said, fwiw, it works with Windows 8 without issue. 🙂

  117. Richard B

    I’ve had my FR110 for about 18months now and its become part of my running routine.

    However the rubber wristband broke the other day, just at the point you need to flex it to buckle it. It appears that the strap is fully integrated into the watch, and I now have to throw away the entire watch because of a wrist strap failure.

    Not happy!! A watch should last longer than 18mths and I should not have to throw the entire watch way if a wrist strap fails.

    The build quality of these watches seems only up to occasional use while exercising. If you wear them more often than that then they are not up to task.

    The latest Sunnto watches have replaceable wrist straps and seem of much greater build quality. I wouldn’t by one of these again. They just don’t last.

  118. Anonymous

    Avg pace Issue: In Garmin’s video, runner implies avg pace will show last mile’s avg pace. I assume and hope thats cause she set it that way. In other words, is it possible to set it to display avg pace for entire run?

  119. Anonymous

    Display: It displays time of day but not elapsed time of run?? I must be failing to understand. It really does not show run time? Simply put, I would like to view the following, all at the same time, without pushing any buttons: Elapsed run time, distance, and avg pace for entire run. Will it do this? If not, which model should I buy? Thx.

  120. Anonymous

    Love the watch except for two things. The battery life is horrible. Four 30 minute runs over the course of a week and the battery is gone. Secondly, it is challenging to get the charger/data reader positioned on the watch.

  121. Anonymous

    How do I disable autolap. Clic-by-click please. thank you.

  122. i think if you turn off the auto lap, the average pace shown will be for the entire run.
    in run mode, the time shown in the middle line is the time elapsed for the entire run.

  123. Matt

    Hi folks — sorry if this has been covered already, just wondering how “Garmin miles” compare to “real miles”. Does 1 “Garmin mile” equal a real mile? Slightly longer or shorter?

    Anyway, I was shooting for 1,000 miles this year and hit the mark this week. That is, according to my Garmin 110. But if there’s a differential between “Garmin miles” and real miles, then I’m wondering if I should add 20 miles just to be sure? Or if a “Garmin mile” is a little long, then I guess I’m already over.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    • Rainmaker

      Accuracy of the FR110 is generally within about 1%. A touch bit lower if doing mostly trail runs. Typically, it’d measure short if anything, as it would cutoff switchbacks. Meaning, you’re likely already done. 🙂

  124. Matt

    ^^ Thanks for that info, Ray! I recently heard that the Garmin accuracy was sometimes off by up to 3% (which seems implausibly high). 1% is more realistic. Anyway, your expertise is always appreciated!

  125. Norway

    Hi. I have a problem with my new FR110HR. When I am using heart rate monitor it goes into power save mode aften a period. I want to see my heart rate in the display when i am training/spinning. When it goes in power save i have to press “page” button several times to get back to heartrate mode. Can you help me with this problem? Can I switch off power save mode?
    North Norway:)

    • Rainmaker

      Hi Eilif-

      No problem. When indoors, simply start an empty activity (press start button). It’ll keep the display on forever. Then when done, press stop. The unit has tons of storage, so no problems there.

  126. Terry

    Anyone has durability issue?
    I bought a 110, when I opened the box, i was so disappointed to see the quality and made of it–even worse than any $100 G-shock casio.
    After several times of use, one time when i hooked up to the USB, it suddenly died. Came back to life some days later and seemed ok. After another run, it showed half battery strength, turned it off, the next time turned it on: low battery blinking!
    One time after fully recharged, turned off. Never come back to life. Returned it. Very unhappy.
    Checked Amazon, a lot of battery complaints on the whole Garmin range.
    I need a watch, check everything, seems Garmin is the best in price and function combination–but only on paper if their QC is so poor.

  127. Gerry Cantwell

    My wife just bought me the forerunner 110 for xmas after reading this review, thank you! I am very pleased with it. I am old skool and simple is good, hence the Forerunner 110. My only question is, Can heart rate settings be input manually? I ask this as I have used polar products for years and then after a new run I always drive around the route to check the mileage, now i dont have to do that anymore. I found the polar useful because the heart rate alarm would help me stay in my intended zone. If this function is not on the forerunner it wont detract from its usefullness to me as I just check my wrist when I think I am going above my intended heartrate. If this function is on a higher level watch then the ease of use would be beyond me anyway. Love the product ,the garmin connect, and thanks again for this review which helped my wife choos a lovely gift. Rgds Gerry

  128. william hanley

    First off let me say that when you write about something, you certainly leave no stone unturned. Very, very in-depth review. Excellent. But I have one question that I can’t seem to find anywhere. How long is the wrist strap? I have large wrists and a lot of watches I buy are rather tight fitting. I have tried a Forerunner 205 on and that has a very nice long strap. But I’d hate to purchase a 110 and find out it is a snug fit. Thanks a lot. And again, nice review.

  129. Stephanie


    Thank you so much for your in depth review. My husband bought this for me for Mother’s Day last year and I loved using it – outdoors. I’m trying to figure out if I need to buy a different watch (Polar FT40, maybe?). I have the 110 w/heart rate monitor, but I was wondering if it would still calculate calories when used in indoors mode. I haven’t used it in a while since I haven’t been running outdoors and have just gotten back to working out on elliptical/treadmill. There is an indoor track at my gym so I was wondering if I could still track calories without being on a machine.

    Also, would it be a good “tracker” if being used in fitness classes – kickboxing, etc. or should I look at other watches?

    Thanks so much!

  130. Jerome

    Hi there … any idea of how long it should take for the FR110 to fully charge the first time before use … I am so keen to use the watch and for the last 3 hrs it has been charging and I do not have the “full charge” signal yet 🙁

  131. Miquel

    Congratulations! great job, though I’ve tha 910xt I’ve found everything very usefull, I’ve recomended all my friends to visit it. In fact I prefer your “in depth” review better than the manuals or instructions from the manufacturer.

  132. john d smith

    Heart Rate Monitor.
    The heart symbol on the Forerunner flashes when I wear the HRM but no data is collected. Is there something I have failed to do?

    • Rainmaker

      Hi John-

      It sounds like the unit isn’t paired to the HR strap. If you go into the pairing menu and initiate a new scan, does it find it? And failing that, perhaps swapping out the battery on the HR strap – it may be kaput (the good news is they use cheap CR2032 batteries found just about everywhere).

  133. john d smith

    After a bit of fiddling I got the HRM to pair up with the Garmin and went for a run.
    While running, the watch showed either current heart rate or total elapsed time but no distance or pace.
    I then did an upload and found that the heart rate data was OK but that was all, no data on distance and pace.

  134. john d smith

    Hi again
    Ignore my last post. I had set the garmin to indoor use while fiddling with the hrm and forgot to change it back to outdoor, hence no distances recorded.

  135. William Ayres

    Good morning, could you help me, I have Garmin Forerunner 110 and even a sudden stop to save my routes.

    What procedure take?

  136. Anonymous

    Hi, thanks for the excellent review I’m considering to buy this watch. Just one question, I have very skinny wrists, measuring 14-15cm, would the watch fit my wrist? I’m scared of ordering it and finding out that it doesn’t fit.


    • Rainmaker

      Measuring the inside of the wristband, the absolute smallest it can go and still clamp is 9cm. So you’re definitely good!

  137. Andrew Whalley

    Hi, I am starting a health kick and have started playing football again after a good few years out of the game. I would like to record my heart rate and distance travelled…..would a Garmin 110 be good for this? Would I need a Footpod to measure distance travelled? Thank you.

    • Rainmaker

      Not so much on a football field. It’s just too little movement in such a small area. People do it, and it does work – but I wouldn’t count on the accuracy being highly accurate.

    • Andrew Whalley

      What would you suggest I use to measure distance covered?

    • Rainmaker

      You could try using a footpod, that would help quite a bit. It’s not compatible with the FR110, but is compatible with the Garmin FR210, and the Timex watches (amongst other Garmin and other vendor watches). The footpod is typically much more accurate when it comes to short distance pace changes.

    • Andrew Whalley

      I’ll have a look at the FR210.
      Thanks for your time and quick responses, it is very much appreciated.

  138. Lulu

    Hi, What a great review, thankyou! I have had my Forerunner 110 since June 2011, a gift from my family. I have not used it as much as I should but love it. I have just started using it more and now it has broken down on me and I can’t seem to get any ideas how to fix it from google and don’t know how to get it fixed anywhere in Australia. My watch is acknowledging my heart rate monitor and then does nothing, the bottom two buttons will press in but make no noise and do nothing. So it won’t let me go to the menu or change to indoor training, nothing. I hope you can help 🙁 I have turned to light switch off and shut the watch down, and turned it back on again but it gets stuck on the screen asking if I want to save my data and I have to connect it to the computer again to get it back to the time, which is working fine.

    • Rainmaker

      Hi Lulu-

      It sounds like you’ll want to ring up Garmin support and have them help out on the button front. Here’s the Australia number to help you out, typically their support is pretty good: link to garmin.com

  139. Lulu

    Thanks so much, will give them a call and keep my fingers crossed.

  140. Cristian Ciolea

    Hello there, this is Cristian from Denmark.
    Thank you for this awesome review. It is very long, but with a lot of useful information, glad I took the time to read it. First I will write something from my short experience with this device, and then I will ask you a question.
    To all the folks who are curious about HOW TO POSITION THE CHARGER behind the watch: just be patient, put the charger in it’s normal position and if your computer does not recognize it immediately (wait for the connection sound), just move the rubber/softer part (the one that is touching the watch screen) to the center of the screen just 1 mm and it will be recognized.
    Second, my question. I think I read most of the comments regarding FR 110’s battery duration and battery issues, but I have a dilemma: will the watch battery last longer if I charge the watch ONLY when the battery is empty, or almost empty? Or the current battery level won’t matter when I charge it ? Note that I have the watch for almost 2 weeks and I did not have any problems with it, but I would like to know what to expect from it.

  141. Cristian Ciolea

    I forgot to ask you something else: I was cycling and getting speed on a 2 km hill (I was going downhill) and when I looked at my training on Garmin Connect, my maximum speed was 116 km/h. Should I be worried about possible errors?

  142. Cristian Ciolea

    Ok, now I will answer my own question 🙂 regarding the great speed. I thought it was not normal for a mountain bike, even in downhill, to catch up that speed. So I just looked again on my route, and I remembered that before I entered a public park, I went through a 50 meters tunnel, and most probably my GPS signal was lost in that tunnel. My logic is that the satellite remembered my position before I entered in the tunnel, and suddenly I appear on the other side in a few seconds. In order to do that, I need a great speed 🙂

  143. Roz

    I have had my Forerunner 110 for just on 2 years.
    Now the battery won’t hold a charge – always says ‘low battery’ after I’ve charged it and flicks on and off. Is it possible to get a new battery fitted?

    • Rainmaker

      Not by oneself, though, if you ring up Garmin support they’ll do it. There’s a fee involved, but sometimes they offer to just send you a refurb unit instead (which still comes from the same factory).

  144. Annie

    Hi, I am in Australia and looking to buy Garmin 210 overseas, do you know if it will be compatible here (besides the plug) but I have a Garmin 110 anyway so I can use that for charging? Thanks.

  145. Isabella Guglielmoni

    I am looking to buy the Garmin Forerunner 110, I understand that it doesn’t calculate calories as you are exercising, however I noticed when you ^^ went into history and logged it all online it did show you your calories. If I were to use this watch indoor at a class in the gym, would I be able to get my calorie count at the end of the class? Also, would I have to be wearing my heart rate monitor to find out my calorie count every time?
    Sorry for all the questions, you have the best reviews I’ve read yet!

    Many Thanks

  146. Gene

    Hi DC,
    With your vast experience on gadgetry, can you provide some insight into why owners of GPS watches seem to have extreme views on the reliability of their purchased GPS products (either they really like their model, or they hate the unit and return it because of some failure) compared to other types of consumer electronics? The reviews for watches (whether on Amazon or REI or other) are polarized – either the watch works great, or it breaks, doesn’t charge, stopped working, etc. Is the quality control of the manufacturers of these watches really so poor, or is it something to do with the users? The reviews tend to fall into the “I love this watch” camp or “This watch is unreliable!” camp, regardless of manufacturer. I looked at the reviews of other watch gadgets such as the Eco-drives or the multi-sensor Pathfinders, and there seem to be far fewer problems of the product not working.

  147. Leon


    I am looking at buying the fr 110. I started running in the new year and just used runkeeper on my phone to track my pace, distance etc but now I want all within easy reach and not in my pocket.

    I’m just wondering does the watch provide you with your average pace per min on the watch or do you need to upload the data to your laptop to see it? Is this runkeeper on my wrist, I love runkeeper but really want it all in a watch.

    Thanking You.

  148. Jujugo

    Hi Ray,

    I am using the 110 since january 2011 and I am happy with it. I do running and cycling.

    I have one concern about the altitude. I do cycling with a friend having a 910XT. I always have big differences with him on the GArmin Connect website. If I have 250D+, he has 500D+ ! Like the double? I also noticed that compare to the “official D+” of a race (generally based on OpenRunner), I only have 50% of the D+ ?
    Did you know that difference?

    My other conclusions after 2 and 1/2 years (250x):
    + Cheap
    + Do what is supposed to do
    + still updated (firmware 2.6 just released and help the speed to get the signal and download the activities)
    – No swimming allowed



    PS: Your blog is really great!

    • Rainmaker

      Have you tried toggling the ‘Elevation Correction’ button on the left side of Garmin Connect?

    • Jujugo


      It is active. There is only a change of 5 to 10% if it is not activated. Maybe that the 110 is more accurate than the 910XT ;-)…but I don’t think so. The problem is that my D+ are always lower than the official one of the race…Maybe that the 110 is not really made for that…I also noticed that on Garmin Connect, my workout is always supposed to be “running” and never “cycling” even if I do 2 hours at 30km/hours…


  149. karen

    I really appreciate all the details in this review! I know some people have asked questions in regards to calculating calories indoors and I was curious about that too, however I was hoping for clarification on one thing..you mention that it uses age and weight and the fitness range to calculate calories. Does it mainly use the heart rate though? I have read that there are some that track calories using age, weight, etc and those aren’t actually very accurate… the ones that are more accurate and higher quality are the ones that the heart rate is what actually calculates it. Which category does the 110 fall into? Thanks!

  150. Terri Lawson

    Is there a difference between the red/black and the grey/pink one? I am a female but don’t like the colors of the women’s watch and want the red/black one instead. Are they the same except for colors? Thank you.

  151. Cristian Ciolea

    I can tell you they are exactly the same, except the colors. I wear the black one, and my girlfriend has a colored one, with grey and pink.

    • Yup, Cristian is correct – they are identical. Just molded plastic colors being the difference.

      (As a random side note, on the FR10 – not the FR110, there actually is a difference in size, and thus a difference in chargers. But that’s not applicable here).

  152. Skye Cameron

    Hi there, your review was amazing and so I hope it is ok to ask…. I am just getting into the fitness game and will probably spend more time in the gym/pool and would also like to use it as a normal watch… Which watch would you recommend?

    • If you’re in the pool a lot, I’d avoid the FR110, due to lack of waterproofing. There’s not a lot of good options that cover both pool and gym usage, as the key turning point there is HR data (since I assume you want to track calories).

  153. Gavin

    Great review. My running partner and I have both purchased a fr110 but his device beeps with the completion of each km split and mine not. I can’t seem to find how to set this. Is there something wrong with the device or could you help me. It is really handy to be alerted when the set splits are achieved, especially when doing speed work

    • It sounds like the notification settings has the beep turned off (likely in silent mode). You can go into the settings and turn it back on again, and you’ll be good to go.

  154. Maverick

    Great review Rainmaker! I have some questions…With the FR 110 is it possible to see on the same screen total distance, total time and the lap pace? Is it possible to switch from HR to Total Time during the running? With AutoLap, at the end of each lap it shows total distance, lap time and lap pace? Thanks.

  155. Dagobert Brandes Junior

    I have just bought a FR 110 and my macbook air is not connectig the watch through the USB port. Is it because macbook air has the news 3.0 USB port that doesn`t read the USB port from the watch? Or in another way: Is it the FR 110 USB connector suitable for the MAC AIR 3.0 USB ports ?

    Thanks for your help!

  156. Matt

    Howdy Ray and everyone — hate to say it, but I just had my first glitchy run with the FR 110. I’ve had it for 2 years with about 1700 miles on it, no problems until today. Anyway, the info for my latest run was really weird. The map says it took place two towns away! Secondly, the pace was way off (I’d love to believe my first two miles were under 5:00 each, but I’m not nearly that fast). It was raining lightly for most of the run – maybe that caused the glitches? If so, it doesn’t speak well for Garmin. Last question, could it be a battery issue? I didn’t know the 110, or any Forerunner, needed battery replacement. Thanks for your help, Ray!

    • It sounds like it may have just had a bad satellite lock, it happens every once in a while when for some reason it thinks it’s connected to its favorite satellite, when in reality it can’t see it anymore. A soft-reset will reset the satellite cache and get you back in business. No relation to battery.

  157. Matt

    ^ Thanks for the above tip, Ray — it did the trick. Also, I wanted to mention that my “glitchy” run also included an elevation gain of over 300,000 feet (honestly, that’s what showed up). So I knew something was off. Thanks again!

  158. April

    Your site rocks! I was wondering if the 110 is good enough for a lot of treadmill use. I’m new at jogging and love my treadmill. I don’t need it for how far i’ve gone, but heart rate and calories burned on treadmill. I also do arebics indoors, along with hiking and biking on occasion. I am on a 50lb weight loss goal and love how this Garmin looks and read. Any thoughts?

  159. Gary

    Thanks Ray for your excellent review.

    Sorry if I missed a reference in the review but is it possible to set up different profiles for different users on the 110? I’m looking to share use of it with my partner and understand that the 10 model doesn’t have this option so I’m keen to find out if, by contrast, the 110 does….

  160. Bobbi

    The 110 does not work well at all. It freezes and needs to be reset almost daily. And, after using it for a couple of months, it has stopped calculating mileage and pace, so I can only see how many minutes I have run. Complete waste of money.

  161. Little boy

    Hey thanks for the great review! I want a nice simple watch that can track how far I can run and at what speed,also one I can wear all day and at work.Would you recommend this watch over………let’s say the newer 210 version or should I get this one instead

    • I generally don’t recommend the FR110 over the FR210. In fact, I generally don’t recommend the FR110 (once the FR210 came out). The reason is the lack of instant pace on the FR110, and the fact that the FR210 also supports footpods for indoor use.

  162. Laura

    Whoa!!! I need to take my 110 on my next flight, so I can burn that many calories!!!!! xD lol

  163. Michael Roberts (UK)

    Firstly, thanks for an excellent review and follow-up advice. I recently bought an FR110 and am really pleased with it, despite a couple of problems. (This was after returning two [basic] Polar units which regularly suffered from ‘drop-outs’ and ‘spikes’.) Unfortunately the screen of my 110 went blank after a few outings and would not respond to the buttons or charger. I spoke to Garmin about it – instant phone pick-up – had a really helpful chat, posted it back Tuesday, replacement model delivered Friday. First-class service. New unit seems fine. Incidentally the current model does give current pace, not just lap pace. I mean both of mine did, the current model must have been updated. The only other thing I need to sort out is that having installed the new hardware, as it were, “Windows cannot open the file(s) as it does not know which program created it” and I can’t seem to be able to find out.
    Also, when going through the installation routine, I am warned several times that the Garmin software is not approved by Microsoft, and that I should refer back to them. I decided that this must be BS and carried on, but can’t get beyond the unopenable files. Sorry to go on at such length, but as an IT man I guess you may have a bit of insight?
    Anyway, apart from all this I really like the unit, and I thought I should mention the Garmin after sales service. Thanks again, any comments would be appreciated.

    • I’m not sure which Garmin software, unless it’s talking about the Garmin Communicator piece. In any event, you’ll go ahead and go to Garmin Connect (connect.garmin.com) and then you can manually upload those .FIT files from there and be good to go.

  164. Michael Roberts

    Ah, right – I’ll try that. Thanks very much. :o)

  165. Macpaul

    Hi, very usefull review! Does it support different heart rate zones? Can you see up to 5 heart rate zones in garmin connect?

  166. fuse

    been using the FR110 for runs for almost a year. longest was 7 hr 15 min on GPS.. the battery life is good!
    it a simple , easy to use watch. for anything else try the new FR220 or direct to the xt910

  167. Philip

    Bought mine 18 months ago. Strap broke after 12 months- can’t seem to replace it as it is part of the watch! Had to run a marathon on Saturday while holding it. Lost signal after 890m, got it back at 8km, but had a lost a km. Looks like these watches are not built to last. Pretty poor for the £110.00 I paid.

  168. Breno

    Hi! I’m from Brasil and I loved your review…thanks for it…
    I’m not sure whether I buy the FR110 or the FR210. Do you consider the lack of heart rate zones in 110 a problem?

  169. Jon Storey

    I’ve recently been referred to your website as I bought my FR110, as soon as it was launched in May 2010 and it is now starting to fail. To get an idea of your reviews, I thought that I would look at your review of my watch.

    I cannot believe that you have said that the FR110 is ok in simple rain. If it is raining I just use a simple casio stopwatch, because the Garmin just steams up. The FR110 steams up frequently. If you move from a warm house in to the cold conditions outside the watch steams up. If you run in hot, humid conditions, the watch steams up.

    I have had a love/hate relationship with my Garmin over the last 3½ years. I can’t do without it but it does frustrate me.

    It has crashed on 3 occasions whilst running. It just froze partway through the run.
    The USB connection has become dodgy in it’s older age. The clip and watch often just need wipe down before connecting and I find connecting the cable to the watch first before connecting the cable to the PC seems to work better.

    It is now just starting to fall on to it’s last legs. The strap is coming away from the watch, audible beeps, no longer work.

    Apart from the misting, it has been a great watch, but it’s time to go.

    Do I stay with Garmin and go for the simple FR10 as I never used the HRM or do I try a different brand, maybe the TomTom runner?

    • Did you ever contact support about your issue? It sounds like you simply had some sort of defect in your FR110. Mine had no problems in the rain, nor does my FR210 which I was using even just a month ago – with plenty of rain (oh so much rain).

  170. Jon Storey

    Yes it was a known fault by Garmin, many were returned and swapped or returned and refunded about the time of the launch.

  171. Hans Glück

    Maybe it’s needless to ask but one can pause the run (for example at a traffic light) and then continue it again?!

  172. I’m having a hard time deciding between the forerunner 10 and the forerunner 110. I plan to use it for half marathon training. I pretty much just want to know total distance, total time and the split time of each mile. I’d like to be able to review these pieces of information at a later date.

    I have been carrying my cell phone using the map my run app. This app is great in that it stores all the desired information, however, I am leary of how accurate it is.

    Basically I want a quality, durable, accurate watch that will trace and store (on computer is fine) workout summaries. I’m an ex collegiate heptathlete and not a super competitive distance runner but would love to track my progress.

    What to do? Foreunner 10? Forerunner 110? Or something completely different?

  173. Pedro


    Simple question: does it pair with PowerCal?

    Thanks in advance!

  174. Hans Glück

    Can this watch be used on a 400-meter round?
    I want it to display total time and total amount of laps. Is it able to?

  175. Laura H

    Hi, thanks for the really indepth reviews. I’ve had a read through your review of the Forerunner 10 and this one (Forerunner 110) and like Adrienne above, I’m in a quandry as to which to get. Currently I’ve priced the two, and can get both for around the same price. I’ve never had a GPS watch before, and was previously running half marathon distances prior to injury. Looking to get back into running and just want something basic that’s simple to use for getting some stats from my running to help me improve. The 110 is usually more expensive than the 10 which would have suggested to me that it’s a better buy but from the reviews posted it sounds like some features are missing in the 110. A friend of mine has the 110 and likes it. What would you advise? Many thanks! Laura

    • Ultimately, it pretty much comes down to one question: Do you want heart rate?

      If not, I’d go FR10. If so, then FR110. There’s more tiny details beyond that, but that’s really the biggest one.

  176. Heikki

    So we have 2014 now and now foodpod support for this product, right?

  177. Heikki

    My FR 110 hanged up, when doing Menu –> History –> “Reading Data” . No button works now, and watch has hanged. There are some 10 past activites in the watch, not much. I have had 30 without reading problems.

    What to do ?

    • Michael Roberts

      To Heikki:
      This happened to me recently. I let the battery run right out (managed to keep the light on, which helped) and then recharged fully. Been OK since. Hope this helps.

    • Heikki

      Thanks, had to do the same – wait 3 hours, and now it works again.

  178. TonyD

    Thanks for the really in depth reviews. I’m a fairly novice runner who is training for a marathon. I am looking for an entry level GPS watch to replace the app (runkeeper) I’m currently using on my smartphone. I have basically narrowed it down to either the forerunner 10 or 110. My main concern with the FR10 is the battery life. Whereas the FR110 overcomes this problem I’m concerned with the waterproof issue as I usually (and more recently) have been running in very heavy downpours, would the FR110 be ok with this? Thanks Tony

  179. Michael

    Thanks for all the great reviews. I am wondering if I can you use the 110 to go from bike to run, Can you stop the run function, then restart it for the bike portion of a tri. Or should I just go with the 3110xt

    • Yes, you can stop the run, and then change the settings to show speed instead of pace, and then start a bike workout. But you will have to go into settings. Assuming you practice a bit sitting outside for a few minutes, you can probably get it down to just a few seconds worth.

      Ultimately, if you’re doing a tri though – the FR310XT is a far more capable unit.

  180. Lewis

    Great review. This review is better than any I’ve ever seen. Not just for this produce, but for any product. Better than from anything printed or web-based. It is so helpful and has plenty of easy to associate photos. Keep it up, Rainmaker.

    I’ve been using my FR110 for the last year and a half including in the Tokyo marathon. I lasted longer than the battery which is a bit of an achievement, but also inclines me to realize my lack of speed. I didn’t know a thing about it, besides the pace function. This is amazing. Great work.

    You need to put a link for donating straight to this sight (i.e. you and your team).

  181. Zol46

    Do you know if there is any plan for a new “Garmin FR 120” to replace the old 110?
    Thanks a Lot

  182. Billy Leung

    Ray: Thank you for the very useful review on the Forerunner 110. I am a very casual runner. I am looking for a GPS watch to track my distance and running pattern when I ref my soccer games. I do indoor (inside a steel structure) and out door games. Will the 110 be a suitable watch for me ? I really don’t want to spend a ton of money and I have a chance to get one at a very reasonable price.

    • For indoors, it wouldn’t work, because the GPS will block the signal. You might want to look at the FR220 – which would track indoors a bit better without a footpod (or, the FR210 with a footpod).

      The one challenge with GPS and soccer fields is that the precision isn’t quite enough. So while you’ll get a ballpark estimate, it’s not quite spot-on.

      Another option would be the usually cheap FR60 or FR70, with a footpod. No GPS, but would get you distances.

  183. Bram

    Dear Ray,

    I doubt between this Forerunner 110 and the Nike+ Sportwatch. I’m running once a week just for the fun and my condition. Sometimes I join a run, but most of the time I just run alone and want to register my speed, distance and time.
    Because of the waterproof of the Nike I’m thinking about that one. But on the other hand the glass is fragile and the way to lap your run by tapping is something I dislike.

    Which watch would you advice?


    The Netherlands

    • Honestly, I’d look at the FR10 (not the 110, just the 10). I think based on what you’re saying, that’s actually a better (and cheaper) option. Just my two cents…

  184. Kathy

    Very entertaining and thorough review of the FR110. Thanks! And now for my question: all I want is a basic Garmin that will give me distance, total time out there, regular time and probably pace but the problem is I am a walker and so I am out there more than 5 hours sometimes. I had a pink Garmin Forerunner 10 for less than one year but it totally went blank on the screen and it only lasts 5 hours so I am thinking I should get another simple watch (NO heart rate monitor) and this sounds good but since you are the “expert” is there another I should consider or do you think this would be the best option by Garmin? I would trade in the broken one instead of having them send a replacement. Can you please tell me what you think? This seems like it would be good, the most basic one but I have not checked out any others by Garmin so I am not positive. Thanks if you can please answer!

  185. Kira

    I loved reading through several of your reviews when I was looking for a watch to buy! I ended up going with the 110 and it has been great with the exception of calculating calories. It is saying my calories burned are crazy more than what they should be. I went as far one day as to wear both my Polar watch/HR monitor and the Garmin ones – both showed my HR to be almost always exactly the same but the calorie calculation at the end on the Garmin was a little more than 400 calories higher. Any ideas what might be going on?

    • I’d double-check that your weight/gender/age/activity level is identical on both. Beyond that, they won’t quite read the same, but they should be in the same ballpark (it definitely sounds like one was in the wrong city).

  186. Sarah

    So you say this will record HR & calories burned activity when inside? I’m looking for a GPS watch for running but can also replace my now poor and dilapitated Polar basic HRM FT4. I would like to use the watch to record my weight training sessions and monitor my HR and see what calories I burned. Does this device do that just fin?

  187. Antoine

    I own a Forerunner 110 for 2 years now, and was happy with until it became slower and slower to acquire GPS satellites. It takes now sometimes up to 5 min to be able to run (even once more than 10 min). I wonder what would cause that. Have you heard of similar problems ? Would it be a better idea to move on to 220 ?

    Thanks for you reviews, quite helpful and every other posts of the blog, showing a lot of things about running in Paris.

    • Go ahead and do a soft reset on the unit, that’ll clear the satellite database and get things all cleaned up. usually solves it!

    • Antoine


      Seems to have improved a bit, but not dramaticaly. Still at least 3 min to get a non blinking satellite icon, + 1min to get a consistent pace.

      Anyway, may be time to change device.

    • kim

      I also have this problem as well sometimes it takes a long time sometimes to catch a gps signal and my husband has the better watch Garmin 310 he can turn his on in the car it catches signal. I have to turn mine on outside and I have to be very careful that its also in less than a couple of min from when I begin my activity or it resets itself when I turn it on and I think its running all the while it has not recorded not a moment of my run. I have been very disappointed with this watch overall. I didn’t need all the fancy technology so I spent 150.00 on what I thought was the basic essentials and honestly 150.00 is still a decent amount of $ it hasn’t even provided that so next time I will spend more and hopefully get what I paid for. This product has been a huge upset to me and I am usually a very positive person who does not complain much sadly.

  188. Kim

    With this watch I have experienced many problems the biggest annoyance being it loses GPS signal in the middle of a city. I did my 1st 1/2 marathon & don’t have record of it except for what the race website provided, I was so disappointed. I go to a local running spot in Scottsdale AZ called Reach 11, my watch reset itself as I turned it on it did not record my entire run.Very annoying. When I go to turn off my watch I hit shut down 9 x’s out of 10 it restarts itself so basically when I go to turn it off it doesn’t turn off properly & doesn’t always turn on when I turn it on & sometimes when its on it loses signal & turns off in the middle of a run. it also provides very skewed data to sites like strava etc and although its a little skewed for everyone compared to everyone I know w other garmin products mine always seems to be way more off then everyone else’s. If I had to do it over again I would not buy the garmin 110.

    • Hi Kim. Have you tried a full hard reset? The problems you describe on the FR110 sound like the unit might have some minor corruption, which is fixed by a full reset in most cases.

    • Kim

      Thank you I will try that. I really do enjoy your reviews, they are great, I found it because I was looking at the Forerunner 220 as a possible upgrade.

  189. Erick

    Hi, i was just reading some of the latest comments on the FR110 since i´m looking for a budget gps watch, and i read that if i want HR i should go with the FR110 and not the FR10, so my question is, now that the FR15 is out, and i don´t really care about the activity tracker features, what would be the main difference between the FR110 and the FR15?

    • The main features would be that the FR15 can work with a footpod indoors on a treadmill. It also has a bit more on the alerts area. Honestly, I’d go with the FR15 over the FR110 if your budget allows.

    • Erick

      Thank you for your quick response, i guess I’ll save a bit more for the FR15 =)

    • Tadej

      As an owner of FR110 who got it as a gift, you would benefit from FR15 being waterproof up to 30m and showing current pace instead of lap pace only. It’s fine when you start running, but after a while you wish it had more options.

      Also to note, mine started fogging up recently at cold runs, it got replaced without issues on Garmin with a refurbished unit. Think that the waterproofness would help with fogging as well.

      tl;dr pay extra money for the more futureproof unit

  190. lauren


    I too compare my garmin with strava and i find that strava typically says i run about .3 – .4 miles longer than the garmin does which also makes my speed look quite faster as well. Has anyone done comparissons between strava and the forerunner110 and found this?

    not sure which one is more accurate… i also would run myrunkeeper with strava and they would measure about the same distance

  191. khak

    Does the records from the watch is easy to link, show on google maps ?

  192. Mudhoo

    Hi i wanted to know about the durability of the watch strap! in case it worn our, is it possible to buy another strap to replace it?
    thank you

    • benjo

      My dog chewed my strap to the point of being unusable and after researching, I could not find anything on a replacement strap…definitely a major con for the watch!

  193. Jennifer

    First off, thank you so much for your in-depth analysis on the Garmin Forerunner 110. I actually just purchased a manufactory refurbished 110 after reading your post and I realized this was perfect for what I was looking for. I wanted a simple Garmin to track my heart rate, calories, pace, and distance and also using the heart rate strap count my calories while doing weights indoors.

    With that said, I set everything up this morning, the heart rate monitor showed it was connected (because it showed my heart rate on the watch) but then when I connected it to the computer to find out how much calories I burned after working out for an 1.5 it said I only burned 5 calories. I noticed while I was wearing the watch that it didn’t stay on the heart rate screen and sometimes it would stop showing. Can you help explain this to me. Like I said, I really wanted to be able to use this to track the calories I burn indoors. Thank you again I look forward to hearing your response.

    • If after uploading the activity to Garmin Connect, do you see heart rate data for the entire activity? Or does it drop out a bunch?

      Also, which heart rate strap specifically – the one in the box?

  194. Anau Mangisi

    Your review is so thorough, I love it !

  195. Sebastian

    I bought the FR110 6 months ago and i think its a great HRM with very accurate GPS, first i had the Sigma 10.11 who worked very well very accurate till i droped and stopped making the link with the chest.
    I want to tell you that i’ve been in races-cross country where i had to swim (not superior to 2mt) in rivers and lakes and i hadn’t problem with humidity inside the watch, it didnt make the conection with the chest-strap while i made the submersion, but when i got out of the water, worked just fine.
    I guess the product’s developer did their job correcting this issue, it wasn’t the best solution, but i guess it worth to name it.

  196. Jim George

    i have set up my forerunner and it is in miles…..cannot seem to change to kms. How do I do this?