Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Garmy is Dead, Sad Panda

Well, my long love/hate affair with my beloved/despised Garmin 410 is coming to an end.
The battery is just giving out, and unreliable, and can't hold a charge.  The last two times I went to use it, I charged it in the morning, and by the time I pulled it out of my bag at the gym, it was dead.  The GPS is off and it is just not holding the charge.  I noticed it about 6 months ago, but was very particular about keeping charged, etc.  Now, I can't deny it -- it is time to move on.  And I think I need a new ANT stick for my compute (my other one, the outer case is cracked and won't stay on the USB stick and it is just a matter of time before it is damaged).  And I think I need a new HR strap also.  My existing one is stretched, and just doesn't really work right anymore (maybe that is the 410 battery fault?).  But all in all, the set is over two years old, and shows its age.

That then leads me to...what's next?  I could send back to Garmin for a $90 repair.  But I also need a new USB stick, which is around $30, and a heart rate monitor is around $50.  A whole new 410 kit is around $140, so that doesn't make sense.

So, I can do one of several things.

Option One: re-up for the love/hate relationship with a new 410.  I just don't know if I can do this again.  Before the 410, I had a 405, so I have been dealing with the touch bezel for years.  And I just can't get excited about buying a new 410, as much as I try to rationalize it.  There are times in any relationship when it is time to just move on, and I think I am at that point with the whole touch bezel experience.

Option Two: a Garmin 210.  Buttons! Functionality!  Not too fancy.  But... the kit with a new HRM costs $250, even on eBay.  Note to Garmin: notice that the less functional, simpler, originally cheaper 210 is now more expensive than the 410?  Why do you think?  Hint: it rhymes with the much despised "Much Pezel".  Anyways, I am leaning this way, but I feel like I am paying top dollar for old technology that is bound to be replaced soon.

Option Three:  Some other Garmin device like 610 or 910.  In my opinion (and based on what I have heard and read) my fear is that the 610 is another example of making things too fancy by introducing a touch screen.  Again, why is Garmin so anti-button?  Did little buttons that always work and don't have a mind of their own do something to someone at Garmin?  I wish they would make a 410 with no touch bezel and just buttons.  I'd buy it.  And it's expensive too, like $350+.  I would have to really like it to spend that.

Option Four:  Something radically new.  There is a lot of interest in this space given the dearth of options. I am sort of a gadget nut, and so I saw this from former Nokia engineers in Denmark on Kickstarter, the Leikr.  A picture:
I originally saw it when one could be had for $149; now it is up to $299.  And I am a little leery of buying something that I really have no idea how well it will work.  It sure looks cool, though.  Maybe at $149, but at $300, am I really ready to spend that and trust it will work and actually be as cool as it looks?  I don't know. (Just found a DC Rainmaker preview.)  But it won't ship until June/July, so it is kind of out anyway -- I am not waiting six months for my data!

And here is another potential newbie, the Bia.  And a pic.  

But that watch has a separate GPS tracking device that is not on the watch itself -- it's like an iPod you have to also carry.  That just looks like it won't be a good thing for me -- I have issues carrying my iPod, why do I want to worry about a GPS unit too?  And it also won't ship until June.  But I really, really, hope they make it and it is a viable project.

Sighs.  So I really don't know.


  1. For what it's worth, I like my 210. I *don't* like the ups and downs of the heart rate monitor--I'm still working out the strap and how to keep it clean and functioning. I think I might need two straps, one to rotate in and out. But this I think would be a problem no matter which type of Garmin I had. Good luck with your decision!

  2. I wish I could offer some advice. I recently upgraded to the 910XT, but it's a hefty price to pay if you'll only be using it for running purposes. Hell, it's a hefty price in general!

  3. I have not any gps watches yet. Im still sporting a timex. lol. But have you considered a souleus? That's got some pretty good reviews. Other than that, I would just stick to whatever you know that works.

  4. I've got the 110 and really like it, no touch bezel, real buttons, and records everything needed, with a heart rate monitor! (Although I've never used it and would gladly send you it if you needed a new one. It's too big for me even adjusted all the way) My only qualm with it is that I can't see my splits until after I download the workout. It only shows total time/miles when you finish up a run.


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