Average review score based on 412 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
An amazing piece of technology for a very affordable price. These can now be had for around $200, with rebates often putting it into the range of $150. I had heard from other reviews that picking up the GPS satellites on power up could take some time, but this has not been an issue for me at all. The first thing I did with my new unit was update the GPS software and firmware, and it does an amazing job of locking on the satellites, usually in about 15 seconds. It will get a signal even within my bedroom, so long as there is a window nearby. The only trick is to hold it still while it is locking on. I have never had it drop the signal while running, even near tall buildings or under tree canopy. The accuracy appears to be very good. On a recent 20 mile run, it clicked over to 20.0 miles exactly where the route plotted with Google Earth predicted.
One of the main reasons I got the unit was for the heart rate monitor. I find this data incredibly valuable for avoiding overtraining and tracking my progress. I was worried at first that the monitor, which straps to the chest, would be uncomfortable for distance runs. But that concern turned out to be unfounded. After a short adjustment period, it is actually quite comfortable, and I have worn it out to marathon distance with no discomfort or chafing. I forget that it is there. By the way, the main unit itself, while it looks a bit bulky, is actually quite light, and fits well on the wrist.
The training center software is also very good. There are a couple of areas that could be improved slightly. The maps shown in the training center are of quite low resolution. If this is a concern to you, pay $20 to subscribe to Google Earth plus - this allows you to upload your data to Google Earth, and see the satellite photos or map of exactly where you have run. I would also like the ability to highlight some subset of the laps from a run and have it display average statistics just for the highlighted laps. Currently it just shows you data for the whole run or for individual laps.
One other minor annoyance has to do with the alarms. The unit allows you to set audible alarms for various conditions - pace too slow, pace too fast, heart rate too high, etc. This is very useful, but sometimes its just a bit annoying - it will go off every 20 seconds or so. OK- I'm going up a hill, or I'm sprinting the last quarter mile. I KNOW my heart rate is high, stop bugging me. There should be a way to press just one button, and have the alarm be silenced for five minutes. The way it is now, it takes about 6 key presses to silence the alarm permanently, which is a pain. Oh - and the elevation data is not very accurate. This is not a problem so much with the unit, but is rather a fundamental limitation of GPS systems.... only super high end WAAS-enabled GPS systems provide accurate elevation information, and I know of no handheld unit that has this capability. But these are very minor annoyances on an otherwise fine unit.
I would highly recommend the Forerunner 305 to any runner.
The Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver and Heart Rate Monitor is a first rate piece of equipment for the serious runner or cyclist. Strap it on (it is a little chunky but not ridiculous for the capabilities), power it up (give it a couple minutes to find all the Global Positioning Satellites), clip on your Garmin Heart Rate Strap and you're ready to run or ride with intelligence at your fingertips.
GPS Satellite reception is usually very strong (occassionally bad weather might cramp your reception a bit). This little wonder tells you where you are, how fast you are going (in MPH, KPH, and Minutes Per Mile or Minutes Per Kilometer), what you Heart Rate is, your max speed/pace, your lap time, elapsed time, paused time (just in case you started too fast or nature called and you had to take a break), average speed, lap speed, distance travelled, and number of laps (either designated manually or automatically based on your preset requirements).
The 4-way screen (capable of showing 1 to four individual metrics - again user configurable) is clear and easy to read even in bright sunlight. The Forerunner 305 is water resistant so it can be worn without worry even if you decide to ride or run in the rain. If riding is your forte then you might want to purchase the optional cadence sensor to provide the additional metrics related to pedal cadence.
Download your workout stats to your computer via the included cable and free Garmin Training Center software or track your workouts online through Motionbased.com.
It is a great product with great features. It even tracks your course and lets you plan future runs based on previous courses.
I haven't found anything that I want that it doesn't do.
Oh, yeah - battery life is pretty good to (I find about 8 hours of running time).
I never really thought of spending the money for a heart monitor/GPS but it is actually one of the best purchases I've ever made for a health oriented piece of gear.
What makes it even better is getting it for about $50 less on Ebay compared to purchasing it in a retail store. I have used the 305 for about a week now and look forward to working out so I can put it through the paces.
No longer do I wonder how far I ran or walked, what my heart rate was during the workout, or how many calories I burned...it's all on this comfortable, easy to use watch. I don't race or train real hard so it is a great piece of gear for someone just wanting to stay fit all the way to the "professional" who is preparing for their next marathon/race. There are multiple "pages" that you can configure to see data as you work out (ie. time, heart rate, distance, calories). So you can actually configure different pages and cycle through them with a push of a button or set up a single page which has 4 blocks of workout data you feel is more important. Once again versatile and very user configurable to your needs and preference.
Two of my co-workers are avid triatheltes who both use the Garmin Forerunner (one uses the 305 and the other the 405). Both of them are the ones that sold me on getting the Forerunner 305.
The heart rate strap (included) is comfortable to wear. I hate to be restricted or encumbered when I run but this strap is unintrusive.
The included software is easy to load and easy to download your workouts so you can keep track of your performance.
To recharge the battery just place in the cradle, attach the USB cable to the detachable 110 volt plug and plug into the wall. You can also recharge the GPS watch by attaching the USB cable and pluging the other end to your USB on your computer. This will charge your Garmin plus download the data from your workout to the Garmin Trainer software. Kills two birds with one stone. Very versatile and easy to use.
This is an awesome tool for those interested in keeping track of their workout progress from the low impact walker to the ironman racer. I wholeheartedly recommend this product and am totaly satisfied thus far with the utility, quality, and performance.
Nothing that I dislike at this time.
Definitely worth the money spent. GPS is quite accurate, and has some excellent features. Best part is loading workouts into pc (with Garmin's software), MotionBased web site software also pretty useful as well. Things I don't like: a) takes 2-4 minutes from time you turn on the watch until it's picked up a satellite, so don't expect to turn on the watch and immediately be ready to go; b) while the total distance is accurate, the real-time current pace isn't very accurate ... probably would be on a track though; c) some additional displays including cumulative average pace would be useful; d) I share my watch with a few others in the family, and it would be nice to more easily change profiles. The only really annoying bit is the time to synchoronize with satellites. This device is loaded with features, but like anything else, it takes time to sit down and learn about many of them. Overall, very happy with it. For someone who does a lot of trail running or mountain biking, this would be really ideal.
This is a great tool... I find it motivates me to get out and continue to push myself. If you have ever tried following a workout routine and notice the minute you think no one is paying attention, it's ok to slow the treadmill down, or "take a break" you know that it is human nature to take it easy.
Since I got this "watch" I've been outside making neat patterns all over the area . I get the biggest kick out of plotting the tracks in Google earth and amazing myself and anyone else I can get in front of my computer with the amazing accuracy and immense amount of details this thing captures. The resolution is so high, I can tell what side of the road I was on.. or the blip in the course as I change my direction to avoid the living deer statues at my local park ( Deer are so unafraid You have to go around them).
Running or walking in the real world has it's benefits.. You will get to see things. Travel to the less known parts of your local parks. You can't cheat! if you take off on a trail and 20 or 30 minutes in, you decide you need to bail.. you are still 20 minutes from your car.. You might as well keep pushing. see if you can break your record of time, or distance.
I use it for all kinds of stuff. Mapping the local trails in the park at around the corner... the one that doesn't have any maps.. I used it to map our local paintball fields. Best part of all these activities is that you are moving , recording, position, speed, heart rate, climb... and you can quantify the increase in your own performance like never before..
This isn't just a GPS, it's Motivation.
during the past i own a Polar Watch with heart rate monitor.i had this watch for about 4 years and i was very happy with it as was my first Heart watch so i didnt search for more advance models..I running about 3-4 times a week 5km eatch time.i also make gym 3 times a week.I decide to buy a watch that will have both distance and heart rate monitor ..After some research on the internet and after check the reviews on amazon i saw the Garmin forerunner 305 as the price-best watch for my purposes.This watch is like a training manager for me.Running with this watch is trully great.Every time i run with this watch i try to make new record.i try to run more hour and i burn more gallories.The build quality is Great.is not cheap watch.The size of the watch is Affortable but you have to take in mind the big screen.The big screen is very importand for this kind of watches because during the running the screen splits in 3-4 more screens so you can see differend information during running.Timer.gallories burnings.distance etc.The battery was very good for me.after a run i connect it with the usb dock base so i can transfer the information to the pc.during the the connection the watch also is been charge.The heart rate belt coming with the watch is very good.is very confortable to wear and very very easy to take off.really i like it.The manual coming with the watch is very nice and easy to understand.the only think i dont like about the watch is the software coming with the watch.The training center.But You can download free fron internet the software Sportracks.Sportracks software is better than the garmin training center software.sportracks software shows more information about the running and also shows information about hear zones.is very importand for me.Also the software connect with google earch and displays the workoute on the google earth map.Also another think that i dont like the running lines that show me in google earth(is the lines i run in my workout)is not so accurate.but this is not importand for me...:) I will give to this watch 5 star.i was very happy with my buy..
I was a little nervous about purchasing a foreruuner 305, as I had read a lot of mixed reviews while i was doing my research on the product. However when it arrived and I finally got to try it out for myself, i could not have been more pleased and awestruck by this little gadget!
the simplicity of the menus makes it straight-foward to operate, and the manual is very clear and easy to read as well. The only think i would wish for is a troubleshooting guide, but all the can be found on Garmin online anyway.
the way that you can customise the screens and show exactly the info you need/want to your own personal tastes is great, and I have not had any problems at all with satelite signals. It will usually pick up a signal in less than 30 seconds, and once it has the signal, its there until i turn the device off. It even holds the signal when I am indoors!
I have been using the heart rate monitor feature as well, and the training centre software lets you easily see at a glance your heart rate, pace, speed, distance and elevation and how they all relate to each other :)I LOVE being able to check my speed and distance while out running- its way better than going and measuring your route in the car later...esp when running off road of course too- a very useful tool if you are training for a specific distance and have a time goal in mind :)
The virtual partner feature is fantastic for pushing yourself while running (i have not used it for cycling or any other sports yet) and I have made major gains in my training since I have been useing the forerunner!
I definitely recommend it to anyone who is contemplating getting one, you won't be disappointed!
This is a nice equipment to improve your will to train.
Very good heart rate monitoring.
Very good tracking by the GPS.
Easy to use, even though there are several "fancy features" that you
can use if you want to.
It is really fun to KNOW when you get home exactly how far and fast you have
been running or biking.
Transmitting the information to the computer is fast and easy (very fast compared to my old Polar Xtrainer Plus).
There are a number of different "diaries" you can choose between :
Training Center (comes with the GF305)
MotionBased - on the web, install agent on your computer and go. Free version
has limited report options and limits your history to ten workouts. Full version has a lot of options and unlimited history. Integration with GoogleEarth. Really nice!
SportTracks - freeware with rather nice functionality, but poor maps.
All in all : one of the best buys in years !
Buying this device was a gamble. This is my third Heart Rate Monitor and my first GPS device. It is amazing. It's so much more intuitive and easy-to-use than the previous Polar HR monitors that I have owned. It is worth every penny, in my humble opinion. The web based application provided by Motionbased.com is so thorough, and it literally takes one click to upload your data and less than 15 seconds. Imagine a graph that includes your HR, time, distance, and elevation coupled with a satellite view of your trek, and bunch of other stats to review if you desire. And the Web based application works seamlessly with a MAC. Best of all, HR monitor and clock on the Forerunner are so easy to start and stop. In addition, one can customize the data that is on the screen. So whatever you care to track as you trek, simply configure the device to show you that information. Really it's easy. This thing is the coolest and smoothest application of technology. It makes training fun and informative. The only thing lacking is a countdown timer. But hey, perfection is just around the corner. Thank you Garmin. This product exceeds my expectations.
It is VERY easy to use. The numbers are large which makes it easy to read while running. The reception is good I don't think I have ever lost a signal while outside; my last Forerunner lost its signal if I went under a small tree or ran between buildings. I can't think of anything that I dislike about the Forerunner itself I wish it came with a seperate charger my computer is located in an upstairs room and I like to keep the dock and USB cable with the computer.I have ordered an additional USB cable and dock from Garmin and it is taking forever to get them. I bought the watch after talking to others that had on. Using ebay was a no brainer.