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Garmin Forerunner 210: In-Depth Review

Updated on October 26, 2012

Garmin Forerunner 210

The Garmin Forerunner 210 is essentially a more advanced version of its predecessor, the Forerunner 110. But is it cost effective and do its additional features make up for the larger price tag?

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Once you've opened the box, inside you'll find: The watch (with a tag to remind you to charge it before use), a charging cable + data transfer cable, which is exclusive to the Forerunner 210 and 110. You will also find a wall charging block, with an adaptor for your local country. And depending on which bundle you bought, you may also find a foot pod for running indoors and on treadmills, and the 2010 Premium heart rate strap.

In size terms, the 210 is comparatively small in comparison to the other Forerunners. It is almost identical in size to the 110, but substantially smaller than the 305 and 310XT. Overall, it is about the size of your average stop watch.

Once the watch is charged and has been turned on, you will be presented with the set up screen, that includes your language, metric or imperial units, and your weight, height and fitness class which are used to allow the watch to perform more accurate calorie calculations. After this, all that remains is to show it the sky, and it will calculate both the time and your location.

Unlike the old 110, there are far more data fields that can be displayed on the 210. The whole list includes: Instant-pace, Lap average pace/speed, Overall average pace/speed, distance per lap, overall distance, Overall time, Lap time, Current HR and HR zone. While this is more limited than on other watches such as the 310XT, a lot of data is recorded but not displayed, but this can be viewed later on Garmin Connect.

Like the 110, the 210 has an almost identical auto-lap feature. You can use it to automatically press the lap button at a custom distance between 0.25 miles and 2 miles. It is possible to use both auto-lap and manual laps together if you want to.

Another feature that did not come on the 110 was the ability to create interval workouts. You have to set the following options, specified by either date or time: Warm-up length, interval length, rest length, number of intervals and cool down length. This is set up using a wizard on the watch. The watch will use beeps as well as a visual display to alert you to the end of each interval.

The Forerunner 210 is compatible with any of Garmin's ANT+ HR straps. You can see this data both instantly through the run, and afterwards on Garmin Connect. The 210 also allows you to create your own custom HR zones.

Depending on which bundle you bought, the 210 may come with a foot pod. These are very useful for running indoors or on a treadmill, where the GPS cannot detect your movement. You will need to calibrate it using a VERY accurately measured distance such as a running track. You can then use it either indoors to measure speed, distance etc, or you can use it outdoors to measure your cadence.

The 210 has 3 methods of calorie calculations. You can either go to a New Leaf VO2 Test facility where they will create a calorie profile for you based on a series of tests. You can use the Firstbeat algorithm which uses your HR strap as well as your height, weight, fitness class, etc. Or, it will use a basic Speed/distance algorithm if there is no HR strap.

The backlight is farely powerful on the 210. It will stay on for 10 seconds, though this is not adjustable. This watch is also compatable with ANT+ scales.

The 110 can also be used for cycling. It can either be worn on the wrist or can be mounted using a specific Garmin rubber bike mount. The only major difference between the devices bike mode and running mode is that the speed is displayed in MPH.

Like the 210, the waterproofing is pretty poor. Taking it in the swimming pool for 20 minutes will be enough to kill your device, and then you'll have to send it for a repair. It can however survive light amounts of water such as being in the rain or in a shower.

The battery life is pretty good on the 210. It can last for up to 3 weeks in power save mode, and up to 8 hours in training mode, though all this is affected by backlight use, foot pod use etc.

And finally, the forerunner 210 can be used for other outdoor sports ranging from basic ball games like soccer, to extreme sports like flying or dirt biking.

Overall this is a very useful piece of equipment. It is more advanced than the 210, but do take time to think whether you need the extra features before forking out extra money.

Would you buy one?

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