Pros: Innovative touch bezel; Good GPS capabilities; Vast array of features
Cons: Expensive; Bulky, uncomfortable design; Complex accompanying software
Verdict: Wirelessly record and track your work-outs from your watch.
At first glance, the Garmin Forerunner 405 looks like an average sports watch. Most sports watches, however, aren't GPS enabled, nor can they monitor your calories, distance, heart rate, pace, and time during a run. Using ANT+Sport wireless technology, the 405 automatically sends your workout data to your computer when it's in range, where it can be analyzed and shared. You can also wirelessly upload workouts from your computer, and even share data among other Forerunner 405 units.
While our initial impression of the 405 was that it is bulky and unattractive, we were willing to look past appearances to appreciate its unique capabilities. Only two buttons are on the watch (Start/Stop and Lap/Reset). The remaining controls rely on the 405's touch bezel, which operates like an iPod. Light touches and finger swipes scroll through menus and options; these gestures take some getting used to.
After creating a user profile and syncing the 405 with the optional heart-rate monitor chest strap, recording our run was easy. An auto-pause feature stops the watch if you fall below a certain pace, which was great for cruising the stoplight-laden streets of Manhattan.
The GPS functions, while useful, didn't work very well in the heart of New York City. The satellites were much more accurate when we ventured into less-metropolitan Queens. We appreciated that, after our run, the 405 automatically uploaded our running data to our computer via the ANT+Sport USB dongle.
The options on the Garmin Training Center software were a bit overwhelming, and deciphering our data took a while. However, it was interesting to see the correlation between this data and the Garmin maps; we could see how we did at any point of our run.