Garmin confuses with Forerunner 110

Garmin Forerunner 110 is now available, but is the entry-level runners GPS-watch a good buy?

Some 4 weeks ago Garmin announced a new model in its lineup of heart rate, speed and distance measurement devices – the Garmin Forerunner 110. The 110 is a runners watch with no cycling support whatsoever. Sure, you can use it on the bike, but there are no options for adding cadence.

That pretty much seems to be the story for the Garmin Forerunner 110. It impresses with simplicity: the display holds less information than for instance the 405/405cx which has previously been written about here, there’s less of a setup hazzle and in simple terms you could this a back to basics design.

Comparing the 110 to the Garmin Forerunner 405 is fairly interesting. The 110 has a lot less features than the 405 and as far as I can judge only heart rate based calory usage is the only feature of the 110 holds that is missing on the 405.

Many have so far mentioned that they see the Garmin Forerunner 110 as an entry-level watch, but the price of around €229 for the version with heart rate is HIGH for entry-level! I have found the Garmin Forerunner 405 for just €259 with heart rate monitor. For just €30 price difference you’ll get a whole lot more with the 405, and so the conclusion must be that the Garmin Forerunner 110 will flop despite the nice marketing.

It’s a basic entry-level heart rate monitor with speed and distance and interesting features for the runners, but comes at far too high a price. Leave it and instead read a later review on entry level GPS, heart-rate monitors on this blog.

Denmark Online Groups: Weekly round-up, week 17

The most recent update to the online groups featuring content about Denmark, Danes or Danish has been posted. See this post for highlights and link to the stats.

The most recent update to the online groups featuring content about Denmark, Danes or Danish has been posted at http://bit.ly/dkgroups.

Notable developments include:

  • Danmark Unlimited (Xing-based): is still #1 and outgrew the closest competitor DABGO by 30 new members.
  • The looser of the week was the Facebook group “Denmark”, which lost 9 members.
  • The fastest growing country for the Danes Abroad Business Group Online (DABGO) was Great Britain, which gained 7 members.
  • Most growth was achieved by the “Danmark Unlimited” group on Xing with an impressive 48 new members.
  • Highest percentage growth was achieved by the “Danmark” sub-group “Expats in Denmark” which increased by 16,13%.

Head over to http://bit.ly/dkgroups for more details.

Garmin Forerunner 405/405cx vs Polar RS800cx G3

For the gadget-happy athletes, the comparison of Garmin Forerunner 405CX and Polar RS800CX.

A while back I read a Garmin Forerunner 405/405cx review which was pro- the device. This text was intended as a comment on that review, but grew a bit out of hand for a comment. Here first a few words on the Garmin – just for context. Garmin, the word is yours:

“The Forerunner 405/405CX is the evolution of GPS-enabled training. This sleek sport watch tracks your distance, pace and heart rate, then wirelessly sends the data to your PC for later analysis. The 405CX features heart rate-based calorie computation and comes with a second wrist band option suitable for smaller wrists”.
For a comparison on the Garmin Forerunner 405 and the 405CX I suggest you go here:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=141&compareProduct=31859&compareProduct=11039

Now, while all that Garmin marketing and the products themselves certainly do make you think about how you can use one of them in your training, there are a few things that should make you think twice. For instance the battery life of Garmin 405/405CX is not impressive and will require frequent charging. If you go somewhere far away for training or competition, do you really want to have to worry about charging your heart rate monitor too?

If you compare the Garmin 405 to the Polar RS800CX with G3 (GPS) sensor – the premium product from Finnish company Polar you’ll find both pros and cons for both. Let’s start with some of the Polar’s weak points:

  • too many devices: heart rate band, wrist unit, GPS-unit;
  • since recently: the Polar is a very closed platform with no current options of exporting Polar data to other platforms – although I haven’t tested it, the Garmin does offer export to Endomondo and other tools that allow for mapping and sharing of training routes and data through various social networks.

The advantages of Polar vs Garmin are:

  • The disadvantage for the Polar can also be turned against the Garmin: More devices in the Polar solution also ensures that if for instance the GPS runs out of battery during training you will still get heart rate data for the remaining session. Not so with the Garmin where it’s all lights out if the wrist unit dies. Furthermore the Polar’s battery will take you MUCH further than the Garmin battery – probably because the battery doesn’t need to support the same amount of functions.
  • Final comment on the battery: Battery change with the Polar doesn’t happen often, is easy, and relatively cheap.
  • Soft heart rate strap on the Polar. With the Garmin the heart rate strap is hard and a soft is only available for an additional $70.

I’m missing more information on social network integration. The Polar is completely unfit for any type of social network interaction. The Garmin has an own network with a few shortfalls, but more importantly allows exporting training files to services external to Garmin.

Conclusion: For me Polar wins this battle. The shortcomings in the Garmin package are a source of irritation if experienced while training. I have a feeling that I might find myself without battery really often.

Still, one has to often if Polar is fighting the right battles. Presumably the consumer market is where they get most of their money and they might want to watch it more closely and avoid what has happened to the Navigation device manufacturers: Mobile devices with minor additions grabbing market share with free software.

It’s happening in the training device market already: mobile devices from Apple, Nokia, HTC and more now include GPS for positioning and speed data, software for the tracking and uploading, and finally all they need is a 3rd party bluetooth heart rate monitor and off you go. I’m not aware of any heart rate straps that will do the trick, but as soon as they come out, Polar should get worried.

More about that in a future post.

Denmark Groups status and growth, week 16 update

The most recent update to the online groups featuring content about Denmark, Danes or Danish has been posted. See this post for highlights and link to the stats.

The most recent update to the online groups featuring content about Denmark, Danes or Danish has been posted at http://bit.ly/dkgroups.

Notable developments include:

  • Danmark Unlimited (Xing-based): is still #1 and outgrew the closest competitor DABGO by 3 new members and 0,04%.
  • The looser of the week was one of the Facebook-based Denmark groups.
  • The fastest growing country for the Danes Abroad Business Group Online (DABGO) was…. Denmark!?
  • Most growth was achieved by the “Danmark” and “Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland” groups on LinkedIn with 28 each.
  • Highest percentage growth was achieved by the DABGO group “DABGO Belgium”.

Head over to http://bit.ly/dkgroups for more details.

Nokia E71, E66 get Free Navigation (aka “OK, I take that back blogpost”)

This blogger suggested Nokia wouldn’t make navigation free for E71. Now they did a good job in doing just that! Download it now for E71 and E66.

A while back I wrote about reasons that Nokia wouldn’t come with a free version of their Ovi Maps navigation software for older models. Now, as it turns out, Nokia has proven me at least 95% wrong by coming out with Ovi Maps navigation for the E71 and E66.

Of older devices the N86 and now the E71 and E66 will have free Ovi Maps navigation. All other feature pack 1 or older devices will not have Ovi Maps with free navigation. In addition the E71 and E66 will not have the Lonely Planet and Michelin guide premium content. While some may whine at this, I consider it to be of little significance that the premium content only goes with newer phones and if the navigation software works with E71 and E66 it increases the life of those devices – good job Nokia.

Find the download for your E66 or E71 by clicking here!

Denmark Online Groups Rankings

New list of rankings of Denmark-related groups online has been updated. Seeking new groups too!

I recently started tracking the development and size of Denmark related forums and groups online. At this point the largest groups are “Danmark Unlimited” on Xing and “Dabgo” based on LinkedIn and Ning with about 6-6.500 members each.

My own group “Danmark“, while by far outnumbered by the two groups mentioned above, grows consistently. With good activity and services for group members “Danmark” should be able to make the gap to “Danmark Unlimited” and “Dabgo” even smaller.

To make this list as complete as possible, do suggest groups that you know of, which are related to Denmark. Place your suggestion as a comment to this post.

Also remember to come back to http://bit.ly/dkgroups for an update on groups focusing on Denmark, Danes or Danish.