What do you want in your ideal sports watch?

Let me just state this up front: Everyone’s reading.image..so here’s your chance.

Everyone…your chance.

But…let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet.

This past summer I put together a post titled “How I would design the ideal sports watch”, which basically outlined exactly what I want in a sports watch.  To date, nobody has delivered on that yet.  To date, companies have put out products that ultimately fall short of the sports community’s expectations and requests.  And to date…I keep waiting.

Last week during the survey and subsequent FR410 review, I heard over and over how you’d love for me to be a bigger public advocate for some of the features and functionality you want in sports technology devices.  You all know (and noted) that I push behind the scenes for quite a bit of change – and generally succeed in getting it.  Though there are of course some areas I’m still chipping away it.

At the same time, when I go into meetings and conference calls with the big sports watch makers one of the most talked about items is what trends and feedback I’m seeing.  In addition, they often request that I forward repeated feature requests to them that are of note…which I do.

But…why not just put everything out on the table?  I visit forum after forum, and read e-mail after e-mail about what you guys want – and love the suggestions!  But the challenge is consolidating that feedback into an easily consumable and distributable package, that’s then deliverable to a variety of companies.  From the companies standpoint, it’s not easy to track down ideas across thousands of posts in dozens of forums or sites.

So, based on some of your suggestions in the survey – I want to change that.  Thus, this post.

Here’s your chance to let the sports watch makers know what you want in a device.  Most of these companies are in the final stretch of design for products releasing in the spring and summer.  They’re all sitting around the table every day making decisions about which features to cut, and which ones to save.  They’ll be making those decisions day after day until the products ultimately end up on store shelves.  And even after that – they’ll revisit those decisions in firmware updates week after week.

So – what do you want?

What’s important in a sports watch/device to you?

What are the things that keep you from buying product XYZ? If you would have bought product XYZ, but aren’t because it’s missing feature ABC – say that.

Be blunt, but be reasonable.  Focus on constructive things, and I suspect we’ll see constructive results.

As for everyone…yes, everyone is reading.  Yes, Garmin reads this daily (I’m told I’m a have a ‘cult following’ there).  Yes, Timex reads this daily.  Yes, Polar reads this daily.  Yes, Saris/CycleOps too.  And yes, every other sports technology company out there in the endurance sports world reads this.  They’ve asked for the feedback – and I think you have a ton of it you want to give.

So – what do you want?


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  1. 1- I know you can put courses onto the Garmin, and you can put workouts onto your Garmin and follow that. HOWEVER, wouldn’t it be cool to plan a course, and then be able to break it up as if it were a workout, but course-dependent.
    e.g. up this hill, hit this pace/speed avg, on this long stretch of straight road hit this HR zone, etc etc.
    2- Sleek sports watch, GPS-based, 4 fields, 4 pages, non-touch screen or touch bezel (just push buttons), water-resistant like the 310xt… Basically SLEEK+310xt
    3- Being able to “lap” manually while in multisport mode so that it doesn’t go into the next sport/transition but instead just laps when you want it to on the swim/bike/run. To go to the next sport in multisport mode would be as simple as pressing lap twice within a certain time frame (e.g. 5 or 10 seconds)
    4- A 310xt with the Garmin Edge type features, where you can upload a road-based course for running and cycling. Not just what the 310xt has now, which is “breadcrumb points”.
    5- Heart rate readings while swimming

    And… that’s all I can think of for now.

  2. Vijesh

    What Krystyna said…with an emphasis on #2.

  3. Lets dream a bit:
    Barometric Altimeter
    Swim Auto Lap Count
    Auto Transitions. May be interaction with the event metric systems at the places of split check?
    Solid Warranty, Support (Like Polar and Suunto present here in Switzerland on any major sport event)
    Open Communication Protocol (Third party Apps, Linux)
    Vendor-independent social logging/analyzing tool (like Training Peaks).

  4. 1. I want Garmin Connect to be like Sport Tracks. I’d rather have one package online that does it all and does it well. Training peaks is too 1990s clunky, slow and over priced.
    2. Data transfer should take less than a couple seconds. Anything over a minute is annoying (user would be better off with a usb cable).
    3. Solar as a backup/charge option
    4. Ability to send courses/workouts to others while training, like using an IR port.
    5. Wifi (automatically upload workouts without needing a usb device)
    6. Waterproof
    7. Should have a quick release that has foam floaty, and floats in case it seperates from your goggles/cap.
    8. Don’t release the watch until it’s thoroughly tested by all type of athletes. Especially those that are not technical.
    9. Setup should be all on-line, skip the paper manuals in the box which can become out of date. Same with CDs included in the box.
    10. Be able to backup the user’s setting all on-line, clear the watch if something goes wrong and reinstall.
    11. Multiple users, at least two

  5. one more. Garmin should have a bike trainer with power meter capability that automically reproduces a user’s ride/prior race course, etc.

  6. Brad

    1) A watch I can wear everyday that is the normal size of a watch.
    2) A watch I don’t have to charge every day/week/month. If I don’t use the sports side, I just want the battery to last. If I do use the sports features, I don’t mind charging every week.
    2) GPS + HR + FootPod support.
    3) Waterproof so I can swim/shower in it with no worries.
    4) Customizable screens with at least 3 items per screen and at least 2 “pages”.
    5) Heart-rate readings while swimming + lap count.
    6) Multi-sport functionality so I can wear it throughout a triathlon and have it just work.

  7. Ash

    The Edge 800 pretty much has it all covered in terms of features (and bugs!), the two things I really need are IF and TSS metrics.

    If the 800 adds these it’ll pretty much be perfect for my current usage.

    ‘Nice to haves’ would be the the HR graph feature extended to show ‘time in zone’ for HR/Power/Cadence.

    The prototype Pioneer computer, would, of couse be ideal.

  8. To keep it short, I’ll just give another vote to

    -Sleek 310XT

    The 310XT has been a great watch and I love it, but it does look a bit bulky on my wrist. Having said that, do not compromise on the battery duration! That’s more important than any sleek design. In fact, I’d love to see

    -30+ hours of battery duration

    The 310XT is already quite versatile, I use it for hiking as well, but one thing that I would like to see is

    -More accurate elevation readings

    Finally, I liked having the watch mode in the 405CX that I used previously, so an easy addition would be

    -A watch mode (on stand-by)


  9. Like previous comments

    – A 310xt with barometric altimeter.
    Little more smaller.
    – Without a Glass but plastic more resistant.
    – maybe a color digit to be able to read value during the night.
    – Be able to use HRM during swim
    – a Watch mode

  10. A watch that looks like a watch, but has the waterproofing of the 310xt. I want to be able to swim with it and not worry that someone will rip it off my wrist when they swim past me.

  11. mario

    FR 210 / 110 waterproof

  12. Anonymous

    Larger Font size for aging eyes.
    As we get older it becomes hard to read at the distence of arms lenght.

  13. Rob

    Here is a super-easy one – allow a customized field that could contain the result of a formula you input based on data fields already being calculated. For instance: training indoors on a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine I could use my Garmin 305 to display Power based on the Kurt Kinetic Power Curve for that unit. Power is calculated using the following:

    P = (5.244820) * Speed + (0.01968) * Speed^3

    Simple. So simple that I often wonder it can already be done and I have missed something).

  14. -Ability to choose the length of the sliding interval over which pace/power are averaged and displayed.

    -A GPS running watch with a “track mode” that has some intelligence that fudges GPS data points to lay successive laps on a standard 400m track top of each other, and autolaps in expected locations.

    – Waterproof/swimable

  15. I am a huge advocate of the FR60, however I have two small problems with it. One make it GPS, as well as Footpod capable. And two, (and this goes goes the entire Garmin line for that matter), make the Wrist bands replaceable, not molded. I’ve had to send in two for a warranty replacement. It seems to me it would be a hell of a lot cheaper for Garmin and far less aggravating for me if I could run to Wal-Mart and buy another, rather than wait four days for the mail.
    As for the Edge 500, add ANT+. I’ve read that Gramin says that most users remove the unit from their bike so there would be no reason for the upgrade. However, some of us live in a tiny apartment, and have our bike(s) sitting in the living room. So instead of plugging in the little bugger, I could mount it and forget it.

  16. I’m with everyone for a sleeker 310xt with better battery life. I think a better mapping would be nice too. Maybe Google maps. Definitely keep at least the same waterproofing if not better for peace of mind. In fact I think all the Garmin FR series should be waterproof to at least 50m. Heart rate while swimming would be nice, but that sounds like a challenge there.

  17. Travis

    I am a 310xt owner and would like to see:

    1. Slimmer/sleeker size

    2. Much tougher screen/glass (this is my second unit – the first one shattered on me). If its designed for active use, then make sure it can stand up to it!!!

    3. More analysis tools on Garmin Connect (Love sport tracks!!!! But online)

    4. HRM during swimming – I understand the issue re: transmission frequency and water, however some form of wired data capture attachable to the HRM (or built into the transmitter) which would allow post analysis of swims would be a big improvement.

    5. Improved swim functionality – lap count at least. Possible use in conjunction with Chirp placed at edge of pool lane to trigger auto lap.

    6. Temperature data capture – sensor on HRM which measures body temp?

    7. Auto weather capture on import to Garmin Connect – similar to Sport Tracks

    8. Customizable field per Robs comment

    9. Ability to create staged workouts per krystyna47

    10. Ability to manually punch in perceived effort level at either completion of work out or at pre-determined intervals – When I travel it can sometimes be some time between uploading data, being able to “rate” the effort at the actual time would be more useful that considering it retrospectively

    11. Online back up of settings and data to allow easy reset.

    12. Alarm / Calendar functionality – Syncs with online training plan (similar to Training peaks email alerts) and alarms / reminder when workout is due.

    13. Ability to share workouts between units using ANT+ (Makes it easier to synch up a training session between friends

    14. Real time tracking – ability to monitor the persons progress via Garmin Connect module (including on iPad/iPhone). Great for coaches / family / friends to check progress during races – have ability to track multiple units (friends) during race.

    15. I also include weight sessions in my training plan – It would be great if I could program in the exercises, weights, sets & reps, as well as rest intervals, as a work out – and then basically hit the lap button at the completion of each set to move through the work out; would make gym workouts a lot easier!


  18. David K

    The FR 210 is a great watch, the size is spot on and I spend a lot of time is thick tree canopy areas and the GPS just keeps tracking.

    What is annoying is not being able to easily change between pace and speed formats (average, current, etc) – try running and having to go through the menu system at the same time…not much fun. There may be an easy way to do this that I am not aware of, if there is then the issue becomes a documentation one.

    The FR 210 power/data clip is annoying, surely the Edge 500 micro USB type connector or similar is achievable?

    Agree on making the 310xt smaller and all watches water resistant to 10m….I can not even go kayaking for fear of falling out.

  19. This is probably a bit off-topic but I think that these companies should get the current available feature set to work properly before worrying about adding new ones. Garmin came out with the Edge 800 while users of the Edge 705 are still waiting for the bugs to be fixed in their units. There seems to be a lot of unit to unit variation, probably a QC problem or inconsistency in parts supplied. Let’s get these issues fixed before moving on, new units with new features are no use to anyone if they do not work.

  20. Another vote here for integration with an online tracking application that allows for deeper dives into the data. Would LOVE for them to use Sport Tracks or something offering similar capabilities. I hate having to transfer my data through multiple tools in order to just see the deets!

  21. I know this is pie-in-the-sky, but I would love real-time data uploads so that I can log on to Garmin.com (or whatever) to see my route and metrics as soon as I get home. This would also enable my wife to check my progress mid-workout.
    Find a way for my Garmin to send data via Satellite, or for it to pair with a smart-phone to transmit the data. I know you can do it. I believe in you.

  22. A tri specific device that recognizes based on motion (i.e. swimsense)and speed when you have transitioned from s – t1 – b – t2 – r.

  23. firstoff, I love my Garmin Forerunner 305.

    What that watch is missing, to me, is:
    1) powermeter capability (310X of course has that);
    2) ability to track a swim accurately (the new Swim Sense seems to have that); and
    3) elevation readings that I feel confident are accurate.

    I’m a bigger guy, Clydesdale, so sleek isnt that important to me. Its certainly not a disadvantage I suppose. You give me those three things though, I’ll pay $500.

  24. Don Goldstein

    1) Heart rate transmitted in water (like the Polar RS400/T31 Coded belt combination).
    2) Accurate altitude.
    3) Automatic sensor switching for triathlons.
    4) R-R (like the Suunto T6C).
    5) GPS built into the watch (like the Garmin 310XT).
    6) Easy data transmission from the watch to the PC (like the Garmin 310XT).
    7) ANT+

  25. Xena

    I want Fischer Price ease of use and Fischer Price durability.

    And it should be scalable. I don’t need all the bells and whistles now, but there may come a day when I want all the options.

    Seriously, the interface should be super simple. Like filling in a mad libs. Not require a degree in computer science.

    And it should be smaller than a brick. Some of these things remind me of early 80’s cell phones. My iPod is the size of a quarter, why is your watch the size of a laptop?

    And stop making women-specific stuff only as an afterthought. It’s insulting.

  26. Mindz

    1) I have a Garmin Forerunner 410 and would love it to be smaller. The 305 or 310XT is just too big that I would ever want it. But the 410 on the other hand isn’t the smallest watch either.

    2) Show 4 data fields. Why is there a “Garmin” logo on the screen of the Forerunner 410/405 that uses valuable screen estate?

    3) (Much) Longer lasting battery.

    4) Water resistant and Swim Auto Lap Count.

    5) Barometric Altimeter

    6) Temperature

    7) In the activity protocol, it would be nice to see GPS tracks, without any mapping at all, just the track on a plain background.

    8) More features on Garmin Connect (I’m on a Mac and i love Garmin Connect compared to the third party alternative Mac programs). Add support for the Withings scale!

    9) Real time tracking

    10) I would love a Garmin Connect iPhone App, where you have all your activities, calendar, reports etc and the option to add activities manually. If real time tracking was included, it would be nice to have it in the app too.

  27. More details in garmin connect:

    show lap markers in player map and graph

    add a “bests” tab like in training peaks that shows highest HR over 10, 30, 60 seconds; fastest 100, 400, 5000 meters in the workout, lowest of those values, and all of the available data fields.

    When a lap is selected, highlight it on the graph/map

    Track distance/time shoes, bikes, etc are used.

    Make it easier to switch between pace and speed on the graphs.

    For the FR 210:
    The charging/data clip is hard to get a data connection with.

    The “use indoors?” would be less confusing if it said “use GPS?”

  28. I’ve been giving this a LOT of thought as well as, in the past year, I’ve gone through two Polar HRMs, Nike+, iPhone with a DigiFit and without, and two Garmin GPS/HRMs (never tried a Suunto device but I’ve read, and read, and read about them). I’ve also used a lot of different software, including Polar Pro Trainer 5, Garmin Connect, Garmin Training Center, Sport Tracks 3, and Training Peaks. But it hasn’t just been the past year – I’ve been using HRMs and various software packages for about the last ten years – I just picked up the pace this past year :-)

    So I have some experience here I think (not as much as Ray though!) All of that experience, coupled with my experience in technology (I used to be a developer) leads me to the following current wishlist:

    1. A wrist-based unit very very similar in size and weight to the Polar RS800CX. I like to wear my HRMs all the time, and the RS800CX is a great combination of watch/HRM. The Polar FT80 is very sexy, but a little impractical I think – it’s too nice to work out with! I love the shape of the Suunto devices, but they are pretty big, as are the Garmin devices. The new Nike+ w/ TomTom looks like it might be nice, but I haven’t seen it in the flesh.

    2. Even though I like the form factor of the RS800CX, the display panel on the Garmin 310XT can’t be beat. When I only have 3 fields displayed I can read the top field without even twisting my wrist – it’s HUGE! Now, that screen won’t fit on something the size of the RS800CX, but I’m sure there is a compromise solution. So, marry the RS800CX size/shape with the Garmin 310XT screen.

    3. That includes all the display options of the 310XT. I like being able to see four fields at a time if I want, and the choices of what to display are fairly exhaustive. I’ve never thought I needed something that wasn’t on there already.

    4. The device should be able to support, in firmware, at least running, biking, and swimming. More sports are nice, but the basic tric sports are a must.

    5. On-board GPS. This is kind of a no-brainer, but Suunto and Polar still require GPS pods. Garmin is king here, but the devices are a bit large. Squeeze on-board GPS into the RS800CX and now you’re cooking with grease.

    6. ANT+. I’m convinced this is the future, and Polar needs to wake up and smell the coffee. I struggle in the closed Polar system. When I use my Garmin it’s like a whole new world – so many things connect to it.

    7. On-board WiFi/3G. This is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I’m sick of having to sync with a computer to get my info into the cloud, i.e. TrainingPeaks. Either develop software for iPhone/Android that will allow my watch to sync with the phone and then push from the phone to the cloud, or put the functionality straight into the watch. I don’t care which really, just please cut out the computer. There’s a TrainingPeaks mobile app (a bit limited, but a start) and there are ANT+ dongles for the iPhone. Why can’t I sync from watch to iPhone and then up to the cloud? This is more of a software thing, not a watch thing, but this needs to happen soon.


  29. (continued due to character limit :-))

    8. Advanced workouts in firmware. This is tricky, because it can take a lot of time to input this stuff on a tiny device, but I’d like the option of being able to craft a fairly complex workout on the fly, on the watch, without having to go to the computer and then sync it to the watch. This has UI headaches written all over it though, so proceed with caution.

    9. The HR data while swimming thing that everyone always says. Suunto has an interesting solution with a memory belt that records HR underwater, but it doesn’t sync to the watch (I don’t think it ever does actually, you can only see that data on the computer). Maybe the solution is a combo memory and real-time belt that will record under water and sync up to the watch as soon as you are out of the water? Dunno, but this needs to happen already.

    10. Effective tracking in water. This might be beyond the capabilities of GPS, but a cleaner solution for tracking in the water would be nice.

    11. Maybe some interoperability between bike-mounted and wrist-mounted units. What I’m thinking is you have your wrist unit on at all times, but you also have a bike unit. When you get to the bike, the wrist unit talks to the bike and moves all your race-to-date data to the larger screen of the bike computer. When you get off, it syncs back to the watch for the final run. This is probably only good for triathlons or duathlons, but it would allow you to have a larger screen with more complex routing info on the bike, but still have all your race-to-date data on the watch for when you get off and go.

    12. If I could get the Polar FT80 weight training features in the watch also, that’d be nice.

    13. Ditto for Suunto’s TE and EPOC on the device.

    I’m sure there are other things, but I’m equally sure they’ll be covered in other comments.

    That’s for hardware. Software is an entirely different issue, and I’m not sure this is the post to put all the software wishes in. However, to keep it brief, I’ll say that if you could marry the functionality of Sport Tracks 3 with Training Peaks, you’d start to have something. Basically, a fully featured software package that works on the desktop and in the cloud, with a portable app that allows full viewing, editing, and planning of workouts. There’s a TON of details to fill in to get to that point, but that’s a start. Right now I use PPT5, Sport Tracks 3, TrainingPeaks, and Garmin Connect. I use each one for a slightly different reason. I’d love to use only one, for all my devices. That means it would work regardless of the manufacturer or model of the HRM or GPS device I’m using.

    And that’s all for now ;-)


  30. brian d foy

    I’d really like my Garmin watch to figure out what the local time is without me doing anything.

  31. Well I love my 405 and have no complaints really. Ideally, here’s what I’d like:

    -Make it a little thinner, both the face and the band. I have a small thin wrist but I still wear it as a regular watch at times. I love the color combinations of it.

    -I wish the splits when I download it to Garmin Connect showed cumulative time after each mile so I could see my 5 mile split, 10 mile, 13.1, etc.

  32. One simple request – pace alerts on the 310xt. Ray, I know you have the workaround up on the in-depth review, but it would be AWESOME when I’m at the track running intervals to know that I’m in the pace I need to be. It’s really annoying to look down at my watch every 10 seconds to make sure I’m going to hit my interval target. That one thing would be awesome!

    I’m not bothered by the size or bulkiness. In fact, it’s nice to have a big screen so you don’t have to squint at your watch, especially during races.

    Thanks for throwing this open solicitation out there!

  33. Generally, get inspired by how Apple design their devices.

    1. I’d like a device about the size of the latest iPod nano or so, but with the capabilities of a Garmin Forerunner 310XT.
    2. With physical buttons, although a touch screen could be nice too.
    3. Use Gorilla glass or something equally strong.
    5. Barometric altitude. Because GPS altitude is useless.
    6. ANT+, including data upload, possibly with USB cable backup (and charger). Wi-Fi would rock, but I’d rather have a smaller device.

    A use case (Triathlon race):

    a. I mount the device in the special clip on my swim goggle strap and put my swim cap on over it.
    b. When the race starts I push an easy to feel button on the device and the timer starts.
    c. I push the same button for splits throughout.
    d. As I exit the water the watch and HR strap can again see each other, and as a reliable connection is opened the HR strap transmits the collected HR data to the device.
    e. I change to bike gear, place the device on the handlebars and get going.
    f. As I ride I can follow my TSS & IF if I have a compatible powermeter.
    g. I jump off my bike and change to running shoes.
    h. The device detects the bike standing still, perhaps recognizing the GPS position of T2, and starts beeping at me lest I forget it for the run.
    i. I take the device and place in the clip of the wrist band and start running.
    j. I cross the finish line and push the stop button.
    k. When I get near my iPhone/Android phone with ANT+ capability, or my computer with ANT+ stick, the data is automagically uploaded and backed up in the cloud in an open and documented form that I can download or access through a REST API or web interface and use as I see fit.

    Simple, no?

    In this use case it is extremely important that all the clipping the device into all kinds of receptacles work very well.

    For sprints I’d probably just race with the watch on my wrist, and it should be able to take that abuse too. But at least for halt and full ironman distance races I’d move it around.


  34. First let me state, I’m a newbie and I’m not an athlete, never plan to be an athlete. I just want to get fit. Right now my method of choice is with walking, then I’ll add some aerobics dance and swimming. Yet, I still want to have a great fitness watch. It just doesn’t need so much detail, but to get the features I want, right now I can only see I then need to pay for more features than I need. So, to the questions:

    1. What’s important in a sports watch/device to you?

    Ease of use. I do not want to need a degree in computer science, or to spend 20 hours on how to use a watch. I want it to be super simple and well spelled out.

    2. What are the things that keep you from buying product XYZ? If you would have bought product XYZ, but aren’t because it’s missing feature ABC – say that.

    It’s not so much price, but trying to figure out what I really need or want. What I want is a fitness watch that keeps track of my heart rate on land and water. Keeps track of my time. Let’s me know how much of my workout I was in ‘the zone’, and accurate altitude readings (can tell when I’m going up a hill or down a hill and factor that in) and can track precisely how far I’ve walked. I want an accurate calorie counter (as I’m using this for weight loss).

    But I don’t need a watch that breaks down into intervals and shows minute details. That’s too much for an average person trying to get fit. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.

    What I see now (and someone please email me if I’m seeing this wrong), but I can get a simple heart rate monitor, but without GPS or without altitude readings or without calories burned. To get all of the above, I only see I have to get way, way more (and therefore way, way more difficult to learn to use) than I need.

  35. Ray, you’ve really opened up a can of worms here. I might be posting to this thing all day!

    I had some time to think and I need to add a few things to my earlier posts.

    First, I read an article about gamers’ reaction to the Nintendo 3DS recently that I think is applicable here. Namely, the stuff we have today, the FR410s, the 310XTs, the various Polar, Suunto, and other devices, are marvels of engineering. Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. Twenty years ago you might have been locked up in the crazy house for suggesting some of the things we now have. So kudos and thank you to all the engineers out there.

    However, things can always get better, and constructive user input is one of the best ways to figure out how to improve things, so that’s why we’re here :-)

    Second, the success of the iPhone and Android devices as app platforms has really put companies like Garmin and Polar in a pickle. Much of what their devices do can be duplicated with an app and an iPhone/Droid (maybe with a dongle added). That means there are fewer and fewer reasons to actually buy a dedicated device for this stuff. In fact, if the new iPod Nano ran apps and had GPs, it might be the perfect device for athletes. So current developers have this to worry about, but it should also motivate them to design something truly unique and worthwhile for the dedicated folks. I hope it does.

    Finally, I think this is important to say – DO NOT USE TOUCHSCREENS UNLESS THEY WORK EXACTLY LIKE BUTTONS. I mean that. If you can think of a use case where your new touch-enabled device won’t work but a simple button would, choose a button. It is ridiculous to expect users to compromise their enjoyment and use of the device just so it can have some techy cache.

    I’m sure they’ll be more to come…


  36. Sam

    1: Ditto the comment about multiple users on the more function-laden watches. Having the ability to program multiple users would be very helpful.
    2: Watches should work the same on both wrists. I love the regular Nike wrist watches but can’t wear them on my right wrist because they are offset.
    3: Companies should be using the ANT+ compatible hardware. This other proprietary stuff is really annoying and prohibits me from buying any non-ANT+ equipment.
    4: Lastly, I know this may be a ways off from a technology standpoint, but it would be really nice to be able to use these watches in the water and get accurate heart rate readings.

  37. I have a 405, and the one thing I would really love is a vibration alert like the 310 has. Since the 405 and 410s are geared primarily towards runners, who often are listening to ipods, audible lap alerts are not terribly useful. A vibration alert would make intervals much easier when listening to an ipod.

  38. Everyone else has said it, a sleek 310XT. I love my 310XT but I was VERY close to not buying it due to its size. I didn’t buy the 305 due to its size.

    Also, an upgrade to Garmin Connect would be nice. Even just a new UI would mean something to a lot of people.

  39. A watch similar to the Forerunner 210 but having some of the advanced bike functions such as cadence and power. Also it would be great if it could be used in the water as well for swimming. That would be the most ideal solution.

    Something I would like to see is the Joule having GPS capability.

  40. For the 310xt, which I love:

    Same as previous posters:
    1) smaller, always smaller
    2) tough pins at wrist strap
    3) auto-lap for swim and able to read HRM
    4) ESPECIALLY: Hate that when I go into ‘multisport mode’ I’m not seeing the same data screens I get when I’m in each sport mode. I want to see my 4 data fields and only my cycling distance when I’m cycling…ditto for the run. I don’t mind hitting the lap button to transition between sports, but show me my individual sport screen; instead I end up not using multisport and manually transitioning between each during a triathlon.
    5) Able to transmit workout to social media (i.e. FB or twitter) directly from watch thru phone app.
    6) Ditto to wanting Garmin Connect to be more like SportTracks. I’d switch if it were good like that.
    7) battery Life of 30 hours would make it indispensable.

    For the second question re things missing that made you not buy something….I was looking at the Timex Global Trainer review, thinking ‘Hey, I like Timex’, but no footpod and only 15 hr battery (hey, my IM may run longer!) are deal killers.

    Thanks for taking comments!

  41. The ability to have it take a resting heart rate and store that off as a separate item.

  42. MSB

    First, I want to say thank you to Ray for opening this opportunity for us to post and to Timex and Garmin for making products I love to use. I’m an Edge 500 user and have several requests.
    1) More sophisiticated Garmin Connect online capabilities. (ability to overlap similar workouts and compare recorded metrics.
    2) Ability to download training workout goals/pacer/previous performance to device prior to exercise and be able to track performance during workout as well as compare online after.
    3) More comfortable Edge 500 compatable wrist band for wearing on run or hike.


  43. Nick

    Garmin FR60 size with GPS

  44. Completely customizable workouts and intervals. I would use this more on my bike than when running, but the idea is the same. The workouts or intervals that can be programmed into the devices I have (an Edge 305 and an FR60) are too basic.

    For example, I’ve got a handful of Spinervals DVDs which, quite frankly, I’m sick of watching. But I like the workouts. If I could program those workouts into my bike computer or watch I would be extremely happy.

  45. JP

    1. All the features of the 310xt


    2. underwater heart rate

    3. barometric altimeter

    4. MUST have quick release and bike mount

    5. Temperature recording (for comparison to heart rate and pacing data)

    6. Price at or below $300

  46. I own a Polar RS800CX, a Garmin 500, and have tested the Garmin 310XT (twice).

    I’d really like the Garmin 310XT, here’s my wish list for that watch:
    -Working HR during swimming (gauge effort level after the fact).
    -Some way to measure swim distance accurately without having to put the watch in a swim cap. (Secondary GPS receiver / data logger in swim cap?, accelerometers estimating distance using DPS and choppy GPS data?)
    -Durable band so that you don’t have to worry about the watch getting knocked off during the swim.
    -100% customizable workouts to be uploaded to the watch from computer.
    -Power meter functionality similar to the Garmin 500 with averaging.
    -Swimming pool lap counter
    -Training effect analysis and running efficiency analysis similar to Polar with foot pod.
    -ability for hardware to communicate with iPhone apps for customizable announcements (like RunKeeper).
    -Basic count down timer screen with phases to easily be able to set up timers/alarms for 10min run/1 min walk, etc. or swim interval alarms (showing how many reps have been done). Not requiring HR or other sensors, just the basic functionality.

    TOP 3 from above are:
    -HR during swim
    -An accurate way to calculate swim distance
    -Totally customizable workouts

    I really like my Polar RS800CX, but I’m afraid I’ll probably be switching more to Garmin in the future. Ant+ compatibility is looked over in favour of their own proprietary protocol which will probably lead to an increasingly diminished use of the brand unless that changes. My power meter is not compatible with Polar so that pretty much decides that. Other than that, more basic countdown functionality without sensors required would be a plus too. HR strap frequency that is accurate underwater again (NEEDED).

    In other words, I think we want it all.

    I think all the companies should crowd-source some of their design challenges and allow users (many of whom are engineers) to help solve the problems by brining about potential solutions.

  47. Modularity and interoperability.

    We want it all, but everyone’s needs are so different. Obviously we’re not all going to get ONE device that tracks swim distance, temperature, heart rate, averaged power, GPS, live location and data tracking, social networking, a display that’s 4″ on your bike but shrinks to 1″ during your run and be as sleek as an iPod nano, all while getting 30 hours on one charge.

    But if you allow better communication and sharing of data between all these devices, then everyone can choose their own adventure.

    Picture a triathlon as an example:
    Racer has a GPS module in her swim cap, which is communicating with her watch, which is recording stroke count, while a transponder-like device records kick rate (why not?). If they can’t communicate to each other IN the water (like in the case of a heart-rate monitor), all data is buffered and then distributed when she gets out.

    On the bike she’s got a big display on her iPhonedroid, which communicates with her other devices to get the full history of her swim and transition. That gets uploaded to a server as she rides, giving her family her whereabouts and her coach with heart rate data and pacing. On her map she’s got the position of her teammates and friends on the course, while her coach sends her a message to lay back on her heart rate, because she’s not producing enough power in this unexpected temperature range in the valley she’s in.

    When she comes into T2 she debates whether the live tracking and coaching is worth bringing her iPhonedroid with her. She goes with it, stuffed into a back pocket, out of sight. Her coach is still sending her messages, which get relayed from the phone to her sleek running-only watch.

    Three quarters through the run her phone battery dies unexpectedly. Fortunately her watch’s GPS takes over automatically and the rest of the data is collected and saved for when she hits an open WiFi hotspot after the race.

    The great thing about this is it doesn’t require any great leap in technology or fancy battery innovations. This is already happening to a certain extent with digifit and wahoo, and it’s freaking exciting. If the companies who are dealing with fitness tracking fully embrace this the possibilities are absolutely endless. Not to mention how many devices everyone will end up buying.

  48. Happyhappa

    A wrist pod/pods for swimming. I know it requires a communication protocol that can transfer through water, but if they get around to doing it for the HRM, then it should be possible to create a footpod-like accessory for swimming that could be coupled with multiple existing/new watches. Side benefit is the watch and pod could count arm entry independently and you could probably break down stroke inefficiencies a la spinscan.

  49. 1. SAFETY – Option to inteegrate ROAD ID type watch band for safety purpose.
    2.Combine swim sense and garmin 310xt functions.
    3.NFC chip similar to some smart phones for easy credit card purchases while on long rides or runs.
    4.Longer battery life and/or seperate battery for standard watch functions. Shorter charge time.
    5.Capture and display average external and body temperature during workout.
    6. Option for larger font size for older athletes.
    7. A “home” option to automatically find the quickest route back to the starting point of a workout for when I get lost following someones suggestion for a new bike or run route. I have also gotten lost when I am traveling on business and decide to do a long run in a new city.
    8. More accurate elevation readings.
    9. ACCURACY – All capabilities provided better be super accurate or I won’t use it.
    10. HR capture for swim workouts.
    11. Much better multisport option. This could be a training issue but my 310xt doesn;t event change the display fields when I change to different event (i.e bike to run). Maybe a warning signal or vibration if the watch thinks you might be in transition.
    12. Maybe some type of reminder that I have not reset the watch before starting a workout. I have had several multi-day workout accidents.

    SOFTWARE – need new thread to do it justice.

  50. So I have a 310XT as well. Some of the things I’d like to see:

    1. Auto power down when not in use. I forget to turn my off sometimes and then come back to a dead battery- very annoying

    2. some quick keys for common things I want to do more easily- like turn off the GPS when I’m inside. either that or something when you power up that asks you if you’re going to be indoors or outdoors. I have to be in a concrete bunker for the watch to ask me if I’m indoors now.

    3. Maybe it can do this and I haven’t figured it out, but I’d like to be able to use my HR zones better- have it indicate when I’m out of the zone I’m supposed to be in during a workout. Perfect world I could upload my workout from Training Peaks (as that’s what my coach uses) and have it give me some more interactive guidance. It’s really tough when you have a detailed workout planned and then you have to go back to your phone or a printout for the details. How great would it be if the watch did that for you?

  51. Ulrich

    Ultimate adventure/multi-sports watch:

    – Garmin 310XT + Suunto Core

    = All the training functions from the 310XT in a Suunto Core-ish design (sleek design, big screen), with barometer, and a turning bezel operation instead of the touch bezel of the 405. Plus, implemention of data connectivity in charger clip (like the 110/210), instead of having to use the ant stick (more parts, more trouble).

    Would have been great!

  52. tms

    1. Making a device easier to use is certainly an asset, but in the process of doing that don’t remove advanced functionality for users who want more control (eg the inability of newer Garmin devices to manually disable smart recording without a power meter). Burring them deep in the menu structure is fine, but make sure they’re still accessible.
    2. Ability to get useful information in swimming stages/workouts as that’s the biggest hole in this market. Garmin’s OWS mode is a good first step, but most training is likely done indoors so an accelerometer-based solution would be a huge addition. Similarly, a memory-belt-like HRM strap would be beneficial, especially if it could automatically synchronize with the watch when you got out of the pool.
    3. A real-time on-device plot of speed/cadence/heart rate/elevation/etc. that can be pulled up at will. During all-out intervals it’s rarely practical to be looking at your wrist, but when they’re done it’d be very handy to be able to pull up a simple plot to see how I did on the last repeat (averages help, but they don’t tell the whole story).
    4. The ability to have a larger number of pages of information that can be manually configured. Having 6+ pages with three fields each (like my Polar) is much more useful than having two or three pages with 8-10 fields (like my Garmins). Trying to parse all that information at one time while on the move is difficult, so sorting it into a larger number of role-based pages makes it easier to get what is needed quickly.
    5. Automatic context sensitive screen changes could potentially be useful as well. The information that I want when traveling on flat ground is very different than what I want when I’m climbing a steep grade. The watch can detect these different scenarios, so it would be awesome if it could be programmed to pull up a specific set of data when they are present. At the very least, allowing a pre-programmed workout to specify custom screen displays for each phase would do a lot of good (eg during each interval give me speed/HR/power, then during each recovery give me averages from the last phase).
    6. Mapping capacity designed specifically for running/cycling and not simply retrofitted automotive engines. 99% of my runs and rides start and end in the same place, so navigation to a specific address is of limited utility. Being able to tell the watch that I want a 20 mile route and have it figure something out, however, would be immensely useful. Bonus points if I can specify a desired cumulative ascent and it will find a route that gets as close as possible to it.
    7. Support for more types of data collection. For instance, an ANT+/WIND air speed sensor on the bike would be a huge asset. Similarly, measuring sweat levels (via galvanic skin response) and skin temperature on the HRM band could also be potentially useful. Gear position data would also be helpful on the bike.
    8. Putting the brains of the system into the HRM band rather than the wrist unit could help to make things more compact (and resolve the heart rate during swimming bit). Further, if a pair of GPS antennae were mounted on the sides of the strap (wrapping onto the back), it would potentially be able to maintain uninterrupted contact with the satellites when swimming
    9. A barometric altimeter with an optional second barometer (kept at a fixed location, at home or in the car) to allow software to eliminate changes in barometric pressure during a session.
    10. Provide the capacity to synchronize data with other devices of the same make. For instance, if I have a 310xt on my wrist and an 800 on my bars, allowing the latter to pick up and display the time/distance data measured by the 310 during the swim phase of a Triathlon.
    11. Improve the quality and depth of documentation provided with these products. These devices are sophisticated pieces of electronics and need detailed and well written reference guides to master.

  53. I’m an FR60 user (and I love it)

    It would be great if it could collect swim data and transition sports like the 310xt.

    GPS in the same size unit would also be amazing.

    oh and sort out your online software.

    thank you.

  54. 1) I love my 310XT but would really, really love it if it were smaller. It hurts my wrists when I swim (I can’t bring myself to do the swim cap thing).

    2) Some type of auto-lap for swimming.

    3) The ability to download temperature and integrate it into GC when uploading.

    4) Garmin Connect: Add the features of TP (training plans, equipment tracking, meals and ability to integrate with 3rd party apps such as WiiThings) without the God awful interface of TP. I actually like the interface of GC, I just want it to do more.


  55. What an excellent thread. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments – clearly there are a lot of different things that folks want.

    As a runner:

    I’d buy the 210 IF it had the virtual partner feature.

    The 210 is the biggest watch I want to wear. I currently have a 405 and wish it was smaller / lighter.

    Equipment tracking on Garmin connect – this really is way overdue.

  56. It has to be easy to use – I’m a busy persona and don’t have a million hours to slave over reading an instruction booklet.

    The one feature I MUST have is a countdown timer that can have 2 intervals (or more) and will automatically keep repeating (I.e. set the intervals for 4 minutes and 1 minutes and it will just keep beeping every 4 minutes then one minute then 4 minutes then 1 minute until I stop it).

  57. Ulrich

    (Forgot the sailing mode)

    Ultimate adventure/multi-sports watch:

    – Garmin 310XT + Suunto Core

    = All the training functions from the 310XT in a Suunto Core-ish design (sleek design, big screen), with barometer, compass, and a turning bezel operation instead of the touch bezel of the 405. Plus, implemention of data connectivity in charger clip (like the 110/210), instead of having to use the ant stick (more parts, more trouble).

    + sailing mode; that is a countdown function for starting in regattas.

  58. This thread is FASCINATING! Thanks, Ray, for setting the cat among the pigeons…

    Much of what I think has been said already: in particular, I do wish manufacturers would agree on a single standard (probably ANT+) – I am vexed that if I use my Garmin in spin class, the strap won’t communicate HR to either the Keiser bike or to the Suunto system the instructor has control over. (Polar strap would communicate with bike but not with overall Suunto system, I think, but my vagueness on this topic is a symptom of over-complexity of current arrangements!)

    I am resigned to the need for 2 watches, a minimal sports one that can in a pinch be used to time a run workout (i.e. start/stop/stopwatch function, lap button) plus a Garmin-type thing that’s more specific in use – I don’t see even a slim future Garmin really being my everyday watch in the way that a more elegantly designed little digital watch might be (I had an attractive orange Nike one once – aesthetics are somewhat important for everyday watch!).

    I really liked the Timex Ironman watch – if I wasn’t tracking HR, I could use it to time a run, and I regularly wore it in the pool. However sea swimming DESTROYED it, quickly enough that I did not think it worthwhile to replace with another one – so my plea is for not just water resistance but genuine dive-quality waterproofing to 50 meters, and resistance to salty sea water insofar as such a thing is possible!

    My first timing device, pre-triathlon but after I’d been running serious, was the Polar RS200 with foot pod. I liked it a lot, but after having gotten (relatively recently, when prices came down) a Garmin 305, I wouldn’t go back to a non-GPS device.

    That said – all future devices should have footpod AND GPS, without charging for extra options! They are complementary, it is a rip-off to charge separately for a footpod IMO…

    So – make all the HR devices talk to each other – and true waterproofing. I don’t think lap counting in pool is nearly as important as swim GPS functionality, preferably while still wearing watch on the wrist rather than putting it under the cap!

  59. p.s. I was using Buckeye Outdoors to log training even before I got the Garmin, but it is a HUGE plus for me that they have made it possible to transfer data from Garmin Connect. So compatibility with free/varied other online tracking is also an important feature, though not perhaps one that is directly the business of Garmin’s designers!

  60. 1. Formula Based Power when training indoors: (you could even make this only work then the GPS is off.)

    P = (5.244820) * Speed + (0.01968) * Speed^3

    Thinking about creating a script that will add the Power Data in the XML file based on each speed entry. Then just manually upload this file….

    2. User accounts on the watch so when my wife runs with my 405 she does not have to sync over to HER Heart Rate Strap… Yes, she refuses to use my nasty one. She would then also have her own HR zones, etc.

    3. Allow selecting bikes for each workout: I have an old bike dedicated on my trainer with it’s own cadence speed sensor. I have to re-sync this every time I change bikes. This is a real pain.

  61. Mine are a bit pedestrian..

    310XT with:

    – Longer strap. I’ve got big wrists and can hardly get most of these to fit over a LS t-shirt or light jacket. Hate the look of something from walmart.

    – Basic mapping, even B/W, on the background of the tracklog.

    – Swimsense style lap counting in the pool.

  62. Thinking outside the box…..what about some kind of ‘heads up display’ (HUD) incorporated into swim goggles and / or sunglasses to show the different data fields, ie.e hr, pace etc. it could be setup so that when you look straight ahead it seems you’re looking through normal glasses, but when you look up/down/left/right there is different data in each!

  63. Waterproof, GPS, bike wireless compatible. Size of the garmin forerunner 410. Basically a smaller form factor of the 310xt. $250?

  64. Anonymous

    1. Ability to make one of the fields on the display BIG for my aging eyes.

    2. Waterproof.

    3. Heart rate/auto lap count while swimming would be nice.

    4. Ability to record laps while in mutli-sport mode.

    5. Put on before swim, leave on thru bike and ride.

    6. Paired with a larger device on my bike’s handlebars so on the ride eye can see it easily and without turning my wrist and bending elbow. But data is shared between wrist and handlebar unit.

    7. GPS. Footpod is nice.

    8. Heart Rate

    9. User interface as good as on Apple products.

    10. Easy upload to pc/iPhone/cloud.

    11. Strap that can be replaced when it splits without replacing the whole $$$$ thing.

    12. Any GPS device should be able to figure out the local timezone.

  65. It would be great if Garmin captured RR interval data. Then it would work with Firstbeat Athelete that I use for training and as my virtual coach. Combine this with the metri gear power due soon!!!!!! and you have a killer product.

  66. AC

    Great comments from all.

    1. For Garmin, either get rid of bing maps, or allow users to choose the map used. Insist upon quality from your partners – connect is part of the product people buy, and switching to a lesser product (features are nice, but inaccurate maps are a deal killer) is weak bait and switch. Ignoring your users complaints is downright insulting.

    2. Durable wrist straps/quick releases. I like the quick release option on my 310XT, but HATE that I have to take the watch off the band to charge it. I doubly hate that I had to BUY the quick release kit to keep the watch band from falling off. And again, hate that garmin won’t even acknowledge this as a problem.

    3. Sleeker watches.

    4. Built in spot like tracker options.

    5. “apple” the user interface. I find my 310XT much better then the edge 305, but it still needs work.

    6. Group ride options to track each other on our devices – like the rapha iphone app, but built into the gps. Though I picture that as better on say, an edge 800 then a wrist device.

    7. Faster satellite pickup.

  67. I am a HUGE fan of garmin products. They just work, and I have been very pleased with the customer service, so no plans to switch…but here are some suggestions for improvements for the next device that would one day replace my 310.

    I agree with many of the comments…but one that is left out is weather (maybe temp to be displayed as a field, and afterward I could see wind/humidity/etc).

    A couple more things, a smaller unit would be nice, but more important would be the strap on the unit. I have a 310, and after using the 305 for a couple of years would pay good money for a velcro strap like you can get for that unit. The transition feature on the 310 is much better than the 305, but trying putting on that flimsy watch band while running through T2 – I can’t. I have to stop and put it on. Not such a big deal in long course, but is a big deal on short course.

    Also, how about changing the “advanced workout” setting so that I can have the auto-lap/start and stop feature. You can have me turn it on and off so that the watch does not confuse recovery after intervals, but when I set up long workouts in the advanced mode and come to a stoplight, it is rather annoying that I have to stop it manually when the watch has the capability to auto-start/stop.

    Thanks, and my vote is no for a touch screen. I happen to like the buttons on my 310. But if you change around the settings, please provide a more in-depth user manual. I should not have to read this blog to find out about all the features of the watch. You put them in the watch, take credit and create a user manual that has the info in it. Online is fine. No need to kill trees.

  68. I had a 405cx and have switched back to Suunto. I like the TE and EPOC features of the Suunto and the battery life as well as user-replaceable battery. However, I think Garmin has the GPS implementation nailed (I love my Oregon 450!). What I want to see.

    1. Sleek watch with long battery life (this may be very difficult if GPS is always on, duh) Let us use the footpod and only turn on the GPS when we want, allow longer sampling intervals, I know that this may degrade the accuracy of the GPS distance but would be nice to have the route and accuracy off the footpod.

    2. Barometric altimeter (one of my main reasons for sticking with Suunto).

    3. Waterproof (why is this so hard to do????) IPX7 just is not sufficient. (another reason I still use the Suunto)

    4. Autopause (I really like this feature, why leave it off the 210?)

    If you made a 210 with autopause, waterproof and that I could get 15h battery life by altering the GPS sample rate I would likely switch from Suunto back to Garmin. My 405cx would only last 5-6h and that is not long enough for long runs or bike rides.

  69. Luc

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. Ed

    1. Shockproof a GPS watch so I can switch from riding to yard work and not think about having to remove the watch due to possibility of damage.
    2. Design way to track heart rate right from the watch without a chest strap
    3. Temperature sensor, but which compensates for your body temp to give you accurate outside air temp – I know that does not sound like it makes sense to do if the sensor is on the watch next to your body, but just throwing it out there anyway.
    4. Long battery life augmented with solar cells on device.
    5. Reading all these comments – lots of great ones and hard to think that one company can do it all. Suggest Garmin make open architecture software on its watches/devices so that apps can be written by others – the iphone/ipad/android route.
    6. Bluetooth the wireless protocol to provide more universal device pairing…maybe current ant+ prtocol already is that, but just mentioning anyway.

  71. Luc

    Some thoughts i have on desired features:
    -able to wirelessly synch to a cloud application via a smart phone
    -external temperature
    -body temperature
    -body fluid % (to monitor and dehydration)

    Keep up the good work.


  72. Anonymous

    1) FR305 should support heart-rate based calorie calculation.
    2) Edge 500 should support the footpod. It is a speed and cadence sensor, so why doesn’t the E500 work with this for the many people who want to run with it?
    3) Allow multiple user profiles in both FR305 and E500.
    4) Allow the FR305 to be used as a mass storage device over usb.
    5) Allow the user to configure the time between audible alerts on FR305 and E500. The FR305 is too frequent.

  73. I have the Garmin 410 after having used various Polar, Nike, and Garmin units in the past. The Garmin is the best so far, but my comments (in order of importance to improve the 410) are:
    1. Volume of the Alerts – Garmin, look at most marathons, we’re in our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (save for DC Rainmaker and others). My hearing is not what it once was and I literally can’t hear the beeps your little watch puts out. I could on prior versions. Make one with a louder alert (for speed or intervals) or better yet give us a vibrate alert.
    2. When doing intervals (I use the Galloway running method for long runs) give us the ability to see not only pace for the interval, but also pace for the mile (this can be calculated in the software after the fact).
    3. Make it waterproof.
    4. I’m still not a big fan of the touch bezel. It works on the 410 but not when wearing gloves. At least it works when I sweat (unlike the 405).
    5. Give us a standard charge port (micro USB) unless this is impossible to do with making it waterproof. I travel and one less charger would be nice.
    6. For the footpod, give us a way to mount it on Vibram 5-fingers Bikilas.
    For the other brands –
    Timex – the Ironman GPS was horrible. I don’t want to stand around in sub freezing temps waiting for 5-10 minutes for it to get a fix and not support footpods. Also the screen quality is crap in today’s market for LCDs. Use a higher resolution screen. Buttons and size did not bother me. Look at Garmin’s ability to design speed workouts and download them to the watch. Your software is very basic in comparison.
    Polar — I have one word for you – MAC. Many of us like macs. I won’t even consider polar since you refuse to support the mac platform. Get with the program. Also ditch the armband GPS. Put it in the watch.

  74. User of Garmin Forerunner 310xt

    When executing a planned workout for e.g. say X laps @ speed Y on a threadmill, right now you can plan these out in the editor and sync with the watch. This can also be done for circuits etc.

    One thing which I found I like doing is taking a peek at what’s next, or seeing what is left for e.g.
    (1) In which activity am I now and how am I doing.
    (2) Would love to be able to switch view into what is coming next….how many laps remaining (e.g. you did X laps of Z)….

  75. Ray, thanks for this opportunity to air our wishes, it also helped me focus on what is really important for me in a watch. I’m a bit of a gadget freak so maybe my requests are more technical than some others:
    1. Start of with the FR405 (that’s my current watch),
    2. Make it only slightly sleeker – I enjoy the conversations with fellow runners prompted by seeing the watch (I use it as my day/work watch when traveling),
    3. Improve the bezel response (as you have reported about the 410),
    4. Improved battery life (anything over 15 hrs of use should be fine for me)
    5. Add customizable reminders i.e. “GEL” every X minutes, etc.
    6. Add vibration feature and maybe allow volume control of reminders,
    7. “current pace” field should allow customizable smoothing (i.e. average pace over 1/2/5/10 seconds)
    8. Improve waterproof level to allow swimming with the watch
    9. Customizable “sleep” screen (as a day watch I’d love to see the date & time as shown when the watch is taken out of sleep mode) as well as sleep delay
    10. Improve elevation reading via barometric altimeter or improved GPS algorithm
    11. Ambient temperature reading
    12. Skin temperature reading + heat stroke / dehydration warning
    13. “category” grouped display screens, i.e. when in training run display the x data screens selected, when in race display another set of screens, etc.
    14. Battery charge level reminder, maybe after resetting (saving run data), after taking out of sleep mode, or at another time when I still have a chance to avoid having it run out mid-run.
    15. Garmin Connect – revert to Google maps
    Please send the watch to my home address !

  76. First of I’m using a forerunner 405, wearing it on a daily basis. I love the design but the bezzel can be a pain from time to time. I don’t like the wristband as I had to have it replace 2 and eventualy it broke beond repair having to buy a new watch… this needs to be addressed and fixed. 30$ for a spare wristband is a rip off anyway.

    Things I would like to see in my next watch, as i’m makeing the transition to triathlon from running/biking.

    1. It needs to be waterproof
    2. It needs to be able to count laps in a swimming pool
    3. I would like to see it picking up hartrate while swimming
    4. Open protocol for accessories (Ant+ like)
    5. Accurat GPS
    6. When not using it in sport mode at least 30 day battery live so it can be used as an every day watch, so it need to look good as wel. The new Nike watch looks briliant…
    7. Bike cadence/speed, foodpod, hartrate should at least be supported.
    8. Realtime connection to PC/IPhone/Mac/Ipad/android so it could interact with 3rd party software for indoor training
    9. During laps to be able to program interval beeps every x secconds… verry useful during inteval training on a track, a beep every 23 sec so you’re not having to keep an eye on you’r watch for a 400m interval.
    10. At least 24h tracking during sport events
    11. When in multisport to be able to switch between sports with on touch of a button and also be able to reccord manual lap times.
    12. Sporttracks like software or at least to be able to import into sporttracks
    13. Online sharing/planning community
    14. and of corse all this for free ;-)

  77. Baruch made an amazing suggestion, and let me re-emphasize it.

    “5. Add customizable reminders i.e. “GEL” every X minutes, etc.”

    I’d never even thought of it, but had always wanted such an option in training and in racing. Updating the software shouldn’t be too difficult.

  78. – First of all a better material quality (my FR60 is coming to lose piece just after 6 months usage)
    – telemetry (the possibility to send all data online in real time)
    – a definitive fix for the HR monitor
    – a better GPS receiver (the one on FR310XT doesn’t work very well)
    – A better Garmin online tools like TrainingPeaks
    – A better communication on the Garmin website about support (tel number, email, online form)

  79. JoBa818

    Lots of interesting ideas that people have put on here.

    I’m a 310XT user.

    What I’d really like to see:

    1. Ability to record and display HR data in the water (I use a Polar RS200 for my swim workouts, just as a stopwatch, as I couldn’t get the HR to work in the water, for either my Garmin or my Polar).

    2. Better strap for the 310XT – I use the quick release kit, the version which still utilises the original watch strap – but the strap is uncomfortable and not long enough. I’ve started using a velcro strap made by Animal, but it isn’t ideal.

    3. The ideal watch would use buttons – I think the touch bezel used by the 405 / 410 is pointless innovation. Buttons work well; why change to something that doesn’t work as well? Also, the buttons on this ideal watch should be able to be pressed underwater without fear of damaging the device. When I use my Polar RS200 in the pool, it tells me that I have to press the buttons out of the water or risk damage. Crazy, given that it is a waterproof (50m) watch, that I have to take my hands out of the water to press the buttons.


  80. IkSi


    general comment: I have sunnto t6d, and The garmin and polar watches look like cheap kids toys compared to the suunto build quality.

    features requests:

    1) a watch in a size and look of a suunto.

    2) swim lap counter (like new finis)

    3) built in gps

    4) for night runners – option for backlit based on tilt – some casio watches have it – when your watch is in a certain position – the light turns on automatically
    link to casio-intl.com

    5) option for bigger fonts (not every body likes to run with their reading glasses)

    6) ONE standard for all industry for wireless communication (ANT+ ?) – so polar watches will work with Gramin belts, etc.

    7) ONE standard for downloadable data – invent some simple XML, which all watches will support for download, and all applications will use, so user can use the same data between applications, etc.

    8) user replaceable battery – like suunto

    9) supports firmware updates ?

    10) supports user development\apps ? (woooo… like TI-chronos…..)
    That would be awesome.

    11) No more BEZEL !!
    (Garmin, if Google put “Wave” to the garbage, you can put the “Bezel” too)

    12) Alerts for pace\time\etc,
    should be vibrating and not only audible.

  81. IkSi

    This my 2nd comment, in particular for a certain feature request in my previous list, which is:

    “10) supports user development\apps ? (woooo… like TI-chronos…..)
    That would be awesome.”

    TI has released a watch, called chronics, which can be used for HRM and several other things.
    and they release the SDK for it, so everybody can develop\program his own stuff.
    It’s quite amazing how it became a real community, and what people do with it.
    I hope one of the big vendors should do the same.
    Do need to give the whole source code (of course). but supply some SDK with API, so developers can write some addon/apps which can be uploaded to the watch via USB/else.
    Like a small “iPhone AppStore”.
    This is the future, and the 1st one who will make this will have a killer app.
    The only reason why TI chronos is not widely used, except by geeks\developers, is that they dont support ANT+, and they have some propriety wireless protocol.
    Otherwise, many people would start to buy and use it, because any body can develop\decide what the watch will do, and it has already been done bey several developer.

    just check this video:
    link to youtube.com

    imagine that if garmin\polar would provide SDK, all this threadless is useless, we just have to browse and find the app we want, and install it on the watch….

  82. Sorry if I’m repeating, but I ran out of time to read all the comments. I have a Garmin 405CX now that is a bit temperamental (battery drains unexpectedly, takes ages to find satellites and I really cannot run a sub 3min/mile like the watch claims).
    Wishful watch:
    Can be used for daily wear (aka slim) and be charged 1/week to 1/month
    Can be used for multiple sports incl. swim/bike/run
    GPS is off by default and only turned on when necessary (so the battery does not drain when the watch is in a drawer – so annoying to charge watch, put it away, take it out the next day and battery is flat)
    Can be used indoor or outdoor (so GPS/pod enabled)
    User can program settings for 5/10 most frequently used workouts (e.g. treadmill run = pod on and GPS off, spinning class = GPS off and cadence meter on, interval run outside = GPS and virtual partner ON) so as not to have to go through 25 menus to turn GPS on/off, pair devices, select sport etc… In other words, the watch could be customized by each user, including button functions. For example, for me, one of those programs could be triathlon race where the lap button could be used to transition from swim to t1 to bike to t2 to run.
    Another program could be long run, where the same button could just be laps, and virtual partner would be enabled…
    Summary: sleek multi-sport watch, completely customizable, with user programed favorite combos. That should be feasible right?

  83. FR60 is very close (I have Nike+, 410 and the FR60), just add an accessory GPS puck (aka Sunnto) and firmware to support data collection – you would have 1 year battery life, large screen, configurability of 410 in a watch you can wear and swim with. I’d pay garmin for an accessory GPS unit – especially if it were waterproof.

    The watches need to remember multiple paired devices, not just the last (a al nike+) I have foot pods on more than one shoe and a HR strap at home and in the gym.

    Nike+ have the motivation bit down, the rest of their software is crazy – the rest of the field could learn from Nike+ in the community area.

  84. Like many of the others that have commented, I am a 310xt user and I think this is the best option available so far. However, there are a few items that would greatly improve this device.

    1) Allow more than one goal during advanced workouts. In effect, I’d like to monitor items such as heart-rate, pace, and cadence simultaneously with alarms for each.

    2) Provide a way to upload via Bluetooth, ANT+ dongle, or some other technology to my iPhone or without any other device. There are times when I’m traveling etc.. when I cannot always get to my computer, but I still want to upload right away to view my stats. (An iPhone app would also be a nice addition.)

    3) (I know this is not about the watch specifically BUT), please offer more analysis capabilities on Garmin Connect. As a Mac user I rely heavily on Garmin Connect, but I would love features like Sports Track’s “Training Load” and other deeper analysis tools.

    4) I’d like the watch to “remember” if the GPS was turned off and remain in that setting. During the winter, it’s a pain to turn the GPS off for every workout that I do indoors.

    5) I’d like the auto-pause feature to work during advanced workouts.

    6) In an advanced workout, if a step is checked as a “Rest” Interval, do not count this in the “moving time/pace/speed”.

    To Garmin, thank you for great products and I look forward to the continued improvements to both the devices and Garmin Connect.

    To the other manufacturers. I have used other products and I will ultimately use the product that best matches my expectations. The 310xt is the best watch for me at this point and Garmin Connect is the most viable option for a Mac user like myself. If you can exceed these options I WILL purchase your product.

  85. As a triathlete, I currently use an FR60 and powertap LYC after having used the Polar RS20, Edge 305, FR305, and FR310. The 310 has been the closest to ideal, but its a little large. I don’t need that big of a screen, but the 405 touch bezel and some of its missing core features steered me away from ever trying it. Here’s what would be ideal for me:

    1) close to the size of the FR60, so I can wear it and not worry about misplacing or breaking it when taking it to upload my data.

    2)If using a footpod, allow pairing to two shoes, so I can have race flats & trainers. If i could put the footpod clip on two shoes, and just move the actual Footpod + change a setting it would be AWESOME. (a GPS pod option wouldn’t be bad, either)

    3) able to swim with it. the OWS swim function on the FR310 was great

    4) allow an interval timer (e.g. beep every 30″ or 1′ etc). the 405 doesn’t seem to have this

    5) pair with cadence sensor and ANT+ powermeter

    6) allow multi-sport with easy transitions (like the 310)

    7) Barometric Altimeter

    8) make the “auto-Lap ” font of a FR60 style screen slightly bigger (hard to read at night)

    9) make the HR strap more reliable (the newest softstrap might already do this). The polar has always worked better than my Garmin ones.

    10) allow advanced custom workouts (like on the 305/310). I miss this feature on the FR60.

  86. My ideal sportwatch ?
    Something a wee-bit smaller than the actual Timex global trainer i’m wearing right now; trouble is, making it smaller would make the screen smaller (therefore less info on the screen).
    The dream sportwatch would be a regular-size watch, or flater one which could allow the same screen size as the TGT/310.
    GPS could be an add-on device, thru a second wrist band, and people could buy what ever add-on device they’d like: gps, hr, speed-sensor, foot-pod, power-sensor, everything that ant+ technology could bring to a sportwatch.
    The two-band combo watch-gps would allow for sleeker watch, therefore, better (longer) battery management, waterproof, the watch could include a tiltmeter in order to give stroke-rate (I row)…

  87. I own a Garmin 310xt, and have an Edge 800 on the way… here’s what I’d like to see…

    -With the use of a chirp or similar I’d like the devices to recognize which bike I’m using, what shoes I’m wearing etc and track usage data and change profiles automatically.

    -I know this one isn’t easy… but an open water swim mode that allows me to wear the watch on my wrist and track as accurately as it does with it in my swim cap.

    -on the 310xt I use the map feature to find my way back on long out and back runs. But the history only goes so far back so on an extra long run the beginning of my route dissapears. Change that to allow it to track up to a 50 mile run and that should take care of most users. I get lost easily!

    -Easy and fast tagging of locations. (I travel a lot and would love to very very quickly tag something as “hotel” and be able to map to it. VERY quickly.

    -Have the 800 offer bike friendly mapping by using bike friendly roads or roads with less traffic as preffered over unsuitable bike routes.

    -Better lap swimming features on the 310xt. Perhaps a quick double press of the lap button signifies resting, and another press signifies I’ve started again so I can accurately track lap times and rest intervals. Or better yet put a motion sensor in it like the swimsense and give the 310 a lap swimming mode with more swimmer type features. (stroke per length, avg lap time, keep track of my sets etc)

    -realtime data uploads via smartphone. (both iphone and android)

    -better power options on the 310xt in terms of averaging etc.

    -A quick release watch band for the 310xt that I’m not afriad to wear in a sprint triathlon with tons of contact in the water. In other words its not gonna fall off unless I want it to.

    -metronome like beeping functionality on the 310 to act as a swim stroke timing device.

    -option to have BMR removed from calorie calculations… in other words ignore the calories my body burns by itself during that hour of excercise… how many calories in addition to that did I burn? Calorie counts seem too high to me so I’m assuming they include BMR.

    -watch mode with built in vibrate alarm clock so I can silently get out of bed without waking my girlfriend for early workouts.

    -programmable maintenance reminders for bikes. Combined with the 800 knowing which bike I’m on automatically it can track mileage for me and suggest I replace the chain or have the bike serviced by a mileage interval I determine.

    -make Garmin connect a one stop shop for my workout data. Better graphing and charts and info storage such as training peaks and sportstracks. Keep tabs on my gear, mileage, weight, etc..etc… And have me be able to do all of this OFFLINE with an application I can use while travelling and don’t have internet use. As well as giving me the ability to backup that data.

    Thats all I can think of today… keep up the good work! And hurry up and release a pedal based power meter would ya!

  88. This is my second comment.

    I forgot another important improvement that can be made that is probably overlooked by every manufacturer.

    Different sport specific training zones.

    My lactic threshold is over 15 beats different for running and biking so my training zones are completely different.

    It would be nice to be able to enter your LT by sport and have it calculate your zones, or at least manually set up sport specific training zones.

    Ex. That way you can select a zone 2 run for an hour, and depending on the sport the zone alarms adjust accordingly.

    A LT HR estimate test program could be nice as well. A workout with increasing intensity, press lap button when breathing starts to become laboured, etc.

    I like some of the previous comments as well, another vote for:
    -R-R data in Garmin products (MUST)
    -Altimeter for 310XT for accurate altitude.
    -I don’t mind the current size of the 310XT

    Oh, and I’ll say this one again…HR while swimming and some kind of distance tracking indoors or outdoors!

    Great post Ray, now we know the product managers have at least seen what people are asking for. We’ll see what comes of it in the 2013 releases of the products I guess.

  89. Wow are there a lot of different, very specific ideas on what a device needs to do.

    I wrote a blog post on this last year, but of course, the big manufacturers don’t read my stuff every day like they should!

    link to slowdad.com

    I think that Garmin and Polar still have a long way to go before they are creating devices that really exceed expectations. Particularly because, I think, they are hardware companies, not software companies, and it’s the software that really matters now.

  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. Thank you for providing this opportunity: here are my two cents worth.
    I have and have used the following:

    Polar CS600 – backlight stinks, pretty worthless actually
    Polar RS400 – I use this the least amount (my 305 is WAY more functional)
    Garmin 705 –overall love it! GPS & Map is invaluable to me
    Garmin 305 – overall love it! I can’t see myself going back to non-GPS

    I have essentially converted to Garmin for GPS and ANT+

    While “Garmin Connect” looks pretty, it’s basically useless for digging into and analyzing data, polar gets the award here. I still use my CS600 as backup and for data analyzing. I have recently been exploring Sports Tracks as an alternative, mainly because Garmin downloads directly to their program. I do like how I can track equipment, which is pretty cool. I like the ability to access data on-line, when I want to see something while not at home

    I love my polar CS600, and still use it, it’s small, does the job and has done flawlessly for over 5 years. However, I personally like GPS (705) and use the mapping capabilities with most every ride. It kind of sucks though that I have to purchase new maps with an upgrade. ie 705 to 800 so probably won’t make that leap anytime in the near future

    I wish my Garmins had outdoor temperature capabilities

    I wish the 305 was smaller, like polar’s RS400, and looked a little more like a watch, but love the easy readout of the 305. Once you get on the road you don’t notice the size, and the larger screen serves well on the bike. The 305 is not waterproof. I won’t invest in the 310xt until they resolve the glass screen. Adding insult to injury, Garmin has you pay for correcting their mistake, only to replace the problem with the same material. I understand the pins aren’t very good in the band either. The longer battery life of the 310 is a huge bonus, which makes it very appealing for that reason alone.

    I like the fabric watchband that you can get with the 305, currently not available for the 310. Ray, you highlighted a post on how to take a Road ID band to replace the other band, what an ingenious idea, a great solution.

    Polar can swim, Garmin cannot. I am interested in Swimsense, but don’t necessarily want to invest in yet another watch. One watch/computer should be able to do it all

    There must to be a way to wear the watch on the wrist and know that it will be there until I remove it. The swim cap trick works okay, but is a little hokey

    With all that these devices can do it shouldn’t be difficult to add in an “auto off” feature. If the unit doesn’t move in 15-20 minutes, it turns off

    It would sense when things are changing in a Triathlon. Swimming done, it beeps at me and asks if I am in transition I can confirm this by pushing the lap button. Oh, I’m moving again in a straight line at a much faster pace than putting on shoes, it beeps and asks if I am on the bike, I click the button. etc. etc etc some would like to have it sense this automatically, but what if I flat? I’m not in transition, so I don’t want it to think I am and move on to the next sport and then the run gets all messed up. It would be nice to have help remembering to push the little button. An option of a vibration alert in addition to an audible one would be a nice

    I’m not a huge fan of touch screens, I like buttons better. So if a physical button will do the job, use a button. all my current devices use buttons & work well, and I am very comfortable with that I don’t have to find that exact spot on a screen, especially one as small as a watch, while I’m running down the path. I have seen too many touch screens get “out of alignment” making it difficult to find that little spot you need

    Elevation/altitude data seems a little inconsistent. If I leave home at one elevation, shouldn’t I return to the same home at the same elevation?

    Fairly comical and complicated all in once sentence: 3 computers to get the job done in a triathlon. None of which talk to each other!

  92. I’m a owner of a 210 and I’m really happy but is too basic I really hope Garmin will upgrade firmware at least with VP, Auto Learn and some other 310 (if not all other) running functions.
    I want the possibility to predefine time or km of a run with related warning at certain interval to understand where I’m in my training as IPOD+Nike;
    Must be waterproof;
    I want to wear it while I’m travelling;
    Heart rate monitor + food pood in bundle;
    Additional battery capacity I don’t want to recharge so frequently;
    Possibility to prepare and transfer easily (monkey proof?) workout from pc to the watch.
    No touch screen
    Customizable screens;
    Hours should be a bit more large;
    Body must be flexible like this enabling to wear it and feel confortable;
    Doesn’t make too much sense to me that these watches (210 410) are un unique body should be like a normal watch this should help as well to wear it and feel immediately confortable

  93. I would love a watch that has the readability of my 305 but not as bulky. I don’t care if it’s wide, just make it thin.
    It would also be awesome if it were versatile enough record my run splits then record my watts on the bike with all the other normal parameters, this way I wouldn’t have to switch from an edge to my regular garmin watch. It would easily transfer from the bike to the run.

  94. Maybe something like the “upcoming”
    Pioneer bike computer.

    link to youtube.com

    Ok this is to big for your wrist but I like the idea for a Android based watch with Ant+

  95. I use and love the 310XT. My comments relate to that watch.

    1. Each of the swimsense features (ie accelerometer, distance, number of strokes).

    2. HRM that works in water.

    3. Enhanced Garmin Connect features, including the ability to add information to an uploaded workout (as opposed to a manually inputted workout) that will assist in providing a more complete picture. For example, if the watch hasn’t, for whatever reason, recorded distance, but has established that you swam 50 lengths, by inputting the length of the pool. Adding 50m will allow the site to calculate and log a 2.5 km workout. This information will then be capable of being displayed in reports.

    4. More sleek, whilst retaining the same screen size.

  96. Pete

    Thanks Ray, and here’s my two peneth.

    Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof.

    Size, no bigger than FR210. Able to link with footpod, bike cadence and power. Also HR able to transmit through water, and be compatible with gym machines.
    UI improvements – include a back option, so you don’t have to go back to the start and re-access the menu when you select an item or view a data file (Polar gets this right).
    More choice on viewable data fields when exercising – ie, able to see time/exercise duration as well as HR, at the same time as speed and cadence.
    Garmin Connect to show daily and weekly exercise duration as well as distnaces (currently I have to use another logging website to get the totals I need).
    The Timex Global trainer would be a possible if the GPS was more accurate and it supported footpods.

    Thanks again,

  97. AP

    Three quick things, since I’m generally pretty happy with my Garmin 405:

    1. Calorie information based on heart rate. For my device, if you don’t move, you don’t get the calorie burn information. If there is no distance information (GPS, footpad, bike sensor), the watch should default to another calculation based on HR.

    2. A setting that will allow you to drain the battery very quickly. I hate seeing “15% battery life” left an hour before my run, because I know it won’t make it through the whole thing, but I don’t want to recharge the battery without fully draining it.

    3. In Garmin connect, the manual activity window needs some work. After I hit “save,” there is no indication if the activity was actually saved, since it doesn’t tell me, nor doesn’t show up on the calendar without a refresh. Even seeing “your activity has been saved” would let me know that all the info I put in has been recorded.

    Ray, thanks for this opportunity, and good luck boiling this all down!

  98. Shane

    Real time and Average Normalized Graded Pace display.

  99. Gretchen

    More useful swim features–waterproof, autolap, pace, etc.

    Less wonky multisport features. It seems like if I even touch the Garmin it automatically moves to the next sport and most of the time screws everything up.

    Smaller form factor (though I’ll take the larger form factor if it means keeping features)


    Barometric Altimeter

    Better footpod accuracy at a variety of paces. (My Garmin is most accurate at the pace it was calibrated at, but once I start doing intervals and going faster or slower it gets off.)

  100. Tim

    This is my own thought:
    How about a low-cost option? I would love an inexpensive ($75) GPS watch that I could wear everyday that simply tracks distance/time and downloads to SW that allows you to see it on a google/bing map. I wouldn’t mind needing to charge it every week or two if I could use a common USB cable that we all have dozens of. (No cradle needed) It would show pace/speed and distance and time of day and not much else. Maybe it only stores 100 miles of data. It would be the size of a “normal” watch. It would adjust time zones as needed. It would be great for travel, tracking where you went in some exotic foreign land where you don’t care a whit about HR – just want to have a record of where you went.

    I bet it would bring in frugal customers or those that are just walkers, etc, and I bet most hard-core types would buy one in addition to the pricey options. (This small watch would have almost none of the next list of features.)

    This is repeating my favorite ideas from others (I’m not a hard core athlete, just trying to track activity and adventures):
    1. On a device with maps (705/800 type) or in software for things without maps (305/310/500 type) you can have it find an X mile loop that brings you back to start. If no maps on the device, it does it by bread crumbs, but turns are labeled with street name and direction. The route would use the most “bike friendly” options, but you can use local knowledge to force the use of and/or rule out certain roads to avoid high traffic, gravel, etc. If your best road is a 4-lane highway that wouldn’t seem to be bike friendly, you can make it pick that one.

    2. If a barometric altimeter is better, use that. (Temp would be cool, but your body heat will really mess with it.)

    3. Multiple user profiles in the watch. Software programs allow it, but the watch always says the profile in the watch doesn’t match the SW. It’s my wife’s 305 and there’s hell to pay when her profile gets messed up.

    4. Auto compare areas of routes. It always splits out a hill, or a flat spot for comparison over time to see if you can reach that little white mail box from the bottom of the hill faster now or hit a higher top speed at the bottom than 6 months ago.

    5. Buttons. Maybe a rotating bezel, but ditch the touch screen. When you’re tired, trying to make a precise touch is hard. Give me something I can grab onto and mash.

    6. Make it as water proof as a dive watch. In fact, add a depth sensor and make it a dive watch that can track depth/time decompression, etc. How cool to swim out on the surface (or boat/canoe) to the GPS spot you need, then go under and find that grotto/wreck/reef or whatever.

  101. Dekel

    I want a GPS watch with the following properties:
    1) Measures your running cadence using an internal accelerometer.
    2) Open protocol for data transfer.

  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

  103. Great Stuff! Here’s a little more of the same from a 310xt owner.

    1. Customized tones! I run in a running group and many people have the 305. All the beeps sound exactly the same! Let’s get a few options.
    2. Whoever had the idea of a swim lap counter by placing a chirp at the end of the lane is genius! Come on Garmin, how hard would that be? Firmware update + more hardware sales!

  104. functionality of the 310xt in a watch similar in style to the 410. I’m ok if the 410 grew a little in size, but waterproof, and actual buttons (no touch bezel) are a must. Thanks for asking the question.

  105. Bernard Maughan

    1. What’s important in a sports watch/device to you?

    Hygiene Factors:
    Time of Day (can be used as a watch). ANT+. HR. Speed. Cadence. Power. Water-proof to 50m. Laps & Intervals. Easy to read display. Easy to read in the dark while running. User (idiot) friendly operation – especially in race/ms mode. Buttons – not too sensitive, not too hard. Auto-lap, time or distance. On-screen post exercise/lap/split/interval review. Memory Belt (a la Suunto)

    2. What are the things that keep you from buying product XYZ? If you would have bought product XYZ, but aren’t because it’s missing feature ABC – say that.

    Quit using Polar 625x because it didn’t automatically go from one sport to another in a race situation.

    Quit using Suunto T6C because it didn’t have ANT+ compatibility for use with PowerTap.

    Bought the Timex Global Trainer GPS instead because it did. So completely frustrated with GPS and lack of footpod, and that the TGT dropped the speed/cadence sensor so often that I ditched it and went back to Suunto T6C.

    Added Garmin Edge 500 as my PowerTap head unit and primary visual on the bike, and love everything about it.

    Best of all worlds? Combine the Suunto T6c with the Garmin Edge 500. Edge’s screen for customisability, backlight and ease of reading. Suunto’s multisport capability, but with the Timex’s automatic T1 and T2 phase when between sports. Edge’s GPS and sensor acquisition/holding ability.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to give feedback Ray.

  106. First, my experience and thus comments are based on the Garmin 310XT. My focus is what I have found most compelling/lacking on the 310XT that I would like to have in my next device.

    1. vibrating alerts – this is the only watch I’ve found with that and was a driving factor in the purchase of the two our family uses. Allows for mental updates of progress without looking at watch.
    2. Interface with one system (not Garmin Connect and Training Center) in order to log AND build training events.
    3. An “Other” sport mode for core work (i.e., weights, yoga, rowing machine…). I’m a runner and find it funny that when I go to track my weight training HR and intervals, I only have the options to be running, biking, or skiing. Yes, I update this once I download to GConnect.
    4. Wireless transfer via wifi eliminating ANT+ dependent uploads of workouts.

    There are a LOT of other posts that I read many things that I could repeat, but these were the things I wanted to contribute.
    THANKS for an opportunity to share!

  107. Rob

    For the next generation 310XT:

    1. Thinner (1/2) but same footprint . . . 4 readable fields is really a necessity

    2. Better quick release wristband that floats . . . possibly padded silent velcro

    3. Improved pool swimming functionality – essentially duplicating the Swimsense

    4. Background mapping for the watch map

    5. Watch mode that extends the battery (3+ months of use between charges)

    6. If possible, put the Heart monitor on back of watch face or integrated into wristband (this should get around issues with the signal in water)

    Necessary Garmin Data Analysis Re-tooling:

    1. Enhance online Garmin Connect and native Training Center . . . to be like syncable SportTracks

    2. Add equipment and diet tracking

  108. 1. barametric altimeter
    2. garmin 310 battery life (or more) at 305 price.
    3. swim workout features, so you wouldn’t have to have yet another device to record swim workout lap data.
    4. record swimming HR (record and dump is fine).
    5. Ability to password limit access to GPS data, so the watch could be legally used during an adventure race.
    6. Charge without cradle (which I lose or have to buy multiples of).
    7. Multiple, simultaneous interval timers with differing alerts (run/walk timer, fuel timer, etc.)
    8. ROADID integrated _reflective_ wrist band. (I like the ankle version better than the wrist version)
    9. HRM without chest strap.

  109. Anonymous

    Ray, great idea to set this up.

    Some very good ideas for additional functionality, a great deal of which should be possible now with current technology. The style issue is more difficult as there are many contrary proposals especially for size verses readability. Many only wear for training and couldn’t care what they look like as long as they perform. Others want the device to serve as their every day watch and to look good while doing it. Everybody wants a large screen but many want a small form. I can see no suggested solutions to this problem.

    I can not think of any function that has not already been mentioned so I will only add to the style debate:

    Problem: Make a watch which looks good when worn to the office but has more visible display and functionality when training.

    Have a folding/opening screen which when closed looks like the new Nike+.

    The watch in closed mode (think clamshell phones) has basic watch functions (date, time, stopwatch and alarm) running of a separate battery. The swimming mode functions would need to be displayed on this front screen also.

    When securely open, the twin screens give 2 to 8 large font customisable displays that look a bit like two of the new iPod Nano, side-by-side.
    Add all of the functionality mentioned above and I’ll pay whatever you want for it.

  110. Limegren

    This is most likely a step backwards, but I think it would be amazing if Garmin would make a GPS pod that you could wear around your waist or arm for the FR60. That way you could have the smallness of the FR60 with the footpod giving speed and distance, but the GPS mapping your path for post run analysis. That way you could have a pretty map at the end. Personally I’d buy one, I’d kill to have a map after I run with the FR60, the only reason I wear my TGT anymore is to get a map at the end haha

  111. I like the 310XT a lot, but it’s frustrating havings only Run, Bike 1-3, and Other. I end up using Other for everything else – which is a lot! How about more than 4? Allowing them to be edited? I like to XC Ski, Downhill Ski, Canoe, etc. All of these things require different displayed metrics (speaking of, it’d be nice to have XC Skiing in metric units, while the others stay in the backward American units)

  112. Anonymous

    1) ability to set pace and distance units for each sport. K’s for skiing, miles for running and meters for swimming.
    2) agree with Dustin on editable “other” sports with corresponding metrics.

  113. I’m late to the party, but this is too fun to pass up. Here’s my opinion of what Garmin should release this year:

    – improved version of FR60
    – connects over ANT+ to GPS/Transponder pod or even Phone
    – high resolution screen
    – improved software to be more like 310XT (transitions, workouts, etc

    – includes everything in FR70
    – works with new swimming heart rate monitor
    – includes motion-sense accelerometer in watch to provide stroke cadence/length/speed, run cadence/pace, calories burned during everyday wear.

    – Improved 310XT that includes features of the FR70XT
    – Internal GPS
    – Can use quick release system

    GTU-15 XT
    – Improved version of new GTU-10
    – Recieves GPS and transmits to watch over ANT+
    – For additional money, uploads in real-time data from watch and GPS
    – Emergency alert button to get help if stranded or injured
    – Waterproof
    – Rechargable
    – Uses common quick release system
    – Works under swim cap with slim quick-release floatation/comfort pad.

    Edge (while were at it)
    – offer cheaper non-GPS version that uses ANT+ with GPS/Transponder or Phones
    – great for indoor workouts: transmits to ANT+ computer to give detailed visuals of new Vector PM data, progress on course/workout
    – also provide control of power applied by compatible trainer (e.g. PowerBeam)
    – offer a more expensive version with internal GPS/Transponder, mapping, color, and touch.

    BTW, color touchscreens are overrated.

  114. On the offchance anyone from Garmin is still keeping an eye on this:

    Make the autolap messages bigger. Very hard to read without bringing the screen close to your eyes if your vision is not 20:20. Many of your users are slightly less young than they used to be but have enough disposable income to buy your gadgets; think about this when you’re engineering for them.

    Let us back up the screen settings to Connect or GTC, so we can restore them if we need to do a hard reset. And then let us send our settings to other users. Loads of new users want help with layout, and it would be nice to be able to send them some well-tried settings to play with.

    You already know we’d like sleeker, better, tougher so no need to go into that.

  115. Anonymous

    some inspiration for how it could look. Check out the video at the bottom.
    link to gadgetsin.com

  116. Well, months later and…

    (1) I don’t care about size much and I’m far from a Clydesdale. I don’t really want to wear the watch except when I’m training, so it does not need to be of socially acceptable size (i.e. Garmin 305 is fine).

    (2) Ready for multisport. I am conflicted enough in transition and my Polar (S720i) makes me press buttons what seems like 50 times to do what I want to do. Have the bike on at the start? Well, you’ll pick up some rouge signal in the chute, the timing will automatically start and … then …stop, making you lose the 1st part of your swim/run (tri/du). Turn the bike off? Good idea…until T1, when, well, you know, lots of button presses to get the bike turned on. And then in T2… C’mon you know what to do – just do it!

    (3) Integrated GPS. No external solutions for me.

    (4) Vibrate and/or large display option (less data for the same screen size). Same as others – using reading glasses now.

    (5) Ant+. C’mon Polar. The proprietary party is over.

    (6) Better software focused on interpretation, not just presentation.

    Tired, off to sleep so I can train tomorrow…

  117. My wife has an ironman watch, from 10 years ago. She can set the time on it, maybe an alarm if she tries hard enough, and use the stopwatch with while doing lap splits. That’s about it.

    If I handed her my Garmin FR60 she would be lost. So ease of use (to me) seems like a very important piece of the puzzle for future sports watches.

    My suggestions mirror many above.
    1) ease of use
    2) looks like a watch and not cellphone on my wrist.
    3) VERY long battery life when not in GPS/HRM mode.
    4) Replaceable bands
    5) Record GPS and footpod data at the same time if both sensors are present.
    6) ALWAYS water proof enough for swimming
    7) Simplify multi-sport modes so I don’t have to do anything but hit LAP during the race…period. I can sort out what lap was what and what recorded data goes with what lap AFTER the race.
    8) Provide online video tutorials for each watch so those of us that never RTFM can still figure out how do use the new bit of technology we just purchased. Point customers to these videos via product packaging.

  118. I would like the ability to compare my current performance (mostly time) at specific points/locations along a route that just happens automatically by location with the GPS to my best prior performance for that exact route. Or, not as good, I could identify the locations by pushing a multiple timer or another button at specific locations.

    Basically i want to race myself to do better each time.

    On the device, this could look like the little trainer guy and you are either ahead or behind, but instead of racing an average pace, you are racing a predetermined, prior workout that you did the exact same way.

    An example might be that you take the same route with no uncontrollables (like stoplights) to work each day on your bike and you want to push yourself by racing your prior time at that exact same location through the whole workout. Or by having a lower heart rate at the same time and location, etc.

    Always striving to do better each time. This I think would be the best motivator.

  119. Ideally merging the RCX5 and Garmin 910. A tri watch that allows to monitor HR underwater and to count laps/strokes while swimming.

  120. jill

    What I want from my watch is, above all else, accuracy. I want to know what I’m seeing is as close to the truth as possible. I didn’t get this with the garmin vivoactive 3 I just took back to the shop. The next thing I most want, is great after sales service… Something I didn’t get when I contacted Garmin’s customer support for help. They were incredibly slow in answering my mail and it took weeks before they basically told me, to tell someone who cared about my problem. My problem was wildly inaccurate elevation readings. I live on a plain. That means pretty darn flat, but my watch was saying I was climbing 1500 metres every time I went out. Finally, after Garmin did NOTHING for me, I just took the watch back to the shop i bought it from and they acknowledged there was a problem and gave me my money back with a smile. Apart from those most important features, I like a wide range of activities, I like the gps tracking and hr tracking. I also like the sleep tracking. I don’t care about what it does with your phone, as I don’t have a phone. I like a watch that I can upload my data to my computer with. A large, clear, screen is also a must.