Garmin Forerunner 610 – Unboxing

Garmin Forerunner 610

Which do you want first?  The good news or the bad news?

Bad News:  My beloved Garmin Forerunner 405 has passed away.  Rest in peace little buddy.

Good News:  I upgraded to Garmin’s latest and greatest, the Forerunner 610:-)

The 405 was suffering from “charging issues”.  Basically, it would charge to 100% and then die 30 seconds into a run.  If this happens within a year of purchasing the watch, Garmin will actually replace it for free.  However, my watch is almost two years old, so they would have charged around $80 to repair it.  I’d rather put that money towards a shiny new toy!

I do have the Nike+ SportWatch GPS as a backup, and its a kick ass watch.  But I am totally addicted to Garmin Connect, so I broke down and bought the Forerunner 610.

I’ve been using the watch for about two weeks now and my experience so far has been awesome.  “What makes this watch so amazing?” you might ask.  Well, let me tell you.

Body Design

The 610 looks similar to the 405, but Garmin did a really nice job on the body design.  The watch is all black with blue accents and the back is all metal (see pictures below).

The metal back looks cool and gives the watch a very solid feel, but it is also functional.  The changing station is magnetic so it locks right up with the back of the watch.  Very cool!

Bottom line:  it’s an extremely good looking watch and fits perfectly on my wrist.

Touchscreen / No More Bezel

The one complaint I had about the 405 is the touch bezel.   It’s a cool concept and is great when it works, but when it gets wet (sweat, rain, etc…) it can be very temperamental.

Garmin did away with the touch bezel and went with a full blown touch screen.  This makes the watch much easier to navigate.  It also makes the watch much thinner than the 405.  Check out the comparison photos below.

The screen is very responsive and even works when I have gloves on!  Also, the back-light on the screen is nice and bright.  That will come in handy during those dark winter runs.

This one’s not that big of a deal but… on my Forerunner 205/305 you could display four data fields per screen.  On the 405 you were limited to only three fields, which kinda sucked.  But Garmin learned their lesson and designed the 610 to allow four data fields per screen.

Vibration Alerts

This is surprisingly my favorite feature on the new watch.  Instead of just beeping (like the 205/305/405) at every mile, the watch will actually vibrate.  It’s meant for people listening to music who can’t hear the beep.

I don’t run with music often so I didn’t think I’d even use this feature, but I definitely do.  I frequently miss the beep (and mile split) due to a traffic noise or simply just zoning out.  This ensures I don’t miss my mile splits!

Faster GPS Locking

With each new watch Garmin puts out the GPS locking has continually gotten better.  The 205 took for-e-ver to locate satelites.  So far, the 610 has been lightening fast (5-10 seconds) with locating GPS signals.


The Forerunner 610 is pretty awesome.  I loved my 405 and the Nike+ SportWatch is cool, but the 610 is quickly becoming my favorite.  If you’re in the market for a new watch, definitely check it out!

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7 Responses to Garmin Forerunner 610 – Unboxing

  1. Nice review! My FR 305 is still hanging in there, but occasionally blacks out.. .eventually I’ll need to buy a new one. Didn’t know about the vibration alert in the 610 – I like it!

  2. Lorn Pearson says:

    Hi I have a 610 too, and replaced my 405 with it. I loved both!

    I came across your blog when searching for Nike + black level, which I’m just about to reach. I thought you might be interested in a way to convert your Garmin data / runs onto your nike plus account so that you don’t need to run with a nike + chip or sportsband!!

    You might know it already, but if not, it’s simple, clever and I use it all the time.



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