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Comparison between Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405

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Comparison between Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405

I am the lucky owner of a Garmin Forerunner 305. The 305 is a great motivator that I could not imagine being without, and therefore I had high expectations when Garmin came out with the Garmin Foreunner 405. It is clear from my review of the Forerunner 305 that I really like this running watch so it is obviously very difficult to compete with. My friend with whom I run together twice a week has a Gamin Forerunner 405 and he has been so kind to lend it to me so I could figure out if it was worth upgrading to the newer and more stylish 405. The following review is based on both his experiences with the 405 as well as my impressions after having run with it more than ten times.

New design and wireless data transfer

Garmin Forerunner 405

Garmin Forerunner 405

The 405 is without doubt more stylish, but I rather like the big squared display on the Forerunner 305 because it is much easier to read quickly when on the run.

That being said both the 305 and 405 do everything you want. Besides the design the major difference between the Forerunner 305 and 405 is that the 405 has wireless transfer of your workout data to your computer. Once you get close to your computer the workouts which have not yet been transferred are automatically transferred. Is this an advantage? I think the wireless transfer feature of the 405 is a bit of a pain – maybe it is because I am old-fashioned, but I do not really think it makes it any easier, you still have to have the computer on and be close to it. You also need charging anyway so you cannot get completely rid of the cables, secondly, you’ll still need to plug the wireless receiver into the computer, since it doesn’t use anything you’re likely to have built in to communicate, such as infrared or bluetooth. I know you can leave the wireless receiver plugged in but if you use a laptop it may not be practical.

A new navigation system

Another difference is the navigation system, whereas the 305 has buttons the 405 has bezel-based navigation. It’s great when you are playing with the watch on the sofa, but when you’re running I’d rather want some big buttons. It seems a bit if the 405 was designed by a bunch of engineers who have never actually gone for a run.

Regarding the bezel some people have complained that the bezel become unresponsive due to moisture, but it has never happened to my friend or me, and I sweat a lot and often run in rainy weather. What people in general complain about is that when then the bezel gets wet you cannot change the screen or use the start and stop buttons, or that you get stuck in a menu.

If you live in a place with cold winters and often run with gloves on it is also more difficult to use the bezel on the 405 as compared to hitting a button on the 305.

Garmin Forerunner 305

Garmin Forerunner 305

 

Because of the smaller screen the 405 limits you to three fields per screen but it is not really an issue for me, if I add 4 fields to my 405 the fields get too small, so I am fine with three fields because I can always see the detailed data in my computer when I get home, I do not have much time to look at my watch when I am running anyway.

Garmin GPS 305 and 405 GPS Accuracy Comparison

For running or cycling the accuracy obviously matters a lot. The 305 appears to give a better instantaneous pace reading, but the average pace and recorded distances are extremely close to being the same When my friend and I run together, he with his 405 and I with my 305 we often compare the distance we have run and we are always within 1% difference between the devices. It seems the 405 picks up satellites slightly faster than the 305, but with the 405 you still have to wait a bit,  but not as long as with the 305.

I am sure you would love the Garmin 405

I am sure you would love the 405, my friend has it and he loves it, and I also had good experiences with it. I guess in the end whether you prefer the 305 or 405 depends on what you got used to first. I would recommend the 305 if price is an issue but if you care about the design and like the idea of wireless data transfer then maybe you should go for the 405. If you have a very small wrist you may also prefer the 405 as it would fit better. The 405 would probably also appeal more to women’s taste. If you already have a 305 and consider upgrading to the 405 I would not do it, if you want something more professional than the 305 then maybe I would for a sunnto xxxxx, or maybe just buy an accessory to the 305.

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