Garmin forerunner 305 vs 405

If you are considering buying a Garmin running watch but in doubt whether to buy the Garmin Forerunner 305 or the Garmin Forerunner 405 then read along. In the following I have gathered my experience with the two running watches in an overview. I already have the 305 but I ...

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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 ...

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Garmin Forerunner 305 vs Garmin Forerunner 405

Do you wonder what the difference is between the Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405? You can see the specs below. Besides the difference in design and size the main differences are that 405 has wireless data transfer and a touch bezel. The touch-sensitive bezel controls the most of ...

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Garmin Forerunner 305 vs Garmin Forerunner 405

Do you wonder what the difference is between the Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405? You can see the specs below. Besides the difference in design and size the main differences are that 405 has wireless data transfer and a touch bezel. The touch-sensitive bezel controls the most of the functions so it has no buttons on the front – it makes the 405 look more like an ordinary watch. The wireless built-in data transfer will transfer any new data automatically when you are within range of your PC’s USB ANT stick.

Garmin Foreunner 405 has improved satellite reception

Garmin claims that the Forerunner 405 design that gives the GPS antenna a better view of the sky so it gets a stronger signal and improved tracking near tall buildings and under trees. I have tested it out in practice comparing my 305 with my friend’s 405 and we found that the 405 was slightly faster in picking up the satellite signal. One of the Garmin 305’s main annoyances to me is its delay in receiving a satellite signal. With the 405’s high-sensitivity GPS receiver finding a signal is improved especially in built-up cities such as New York, Hong Kong or London, but you can still expect that it takes a couple of minutes to locate and hold reception.

Forerunner 405 shape and design

The remarkable difference between the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the 405 is the shape and design. The 305’s big squared display unit and navigation buttons have been replaced with a new circular touch bezel control and a host of new features. The 405 looks much better and sleeker than the 305. Besides it is lighter so it is more practical to wear as a watch compared to the 305. The look and feel is not the only thing that has improved in the 405, the 405 is also more user-friendly than the 305. The bezel replaces the buttons on the 305. Scrolling through the bezel moves through functions while tapping the bezel enters a particular screen. It is hard to determine e if the bezel is really an improvement. The new user-friendly bezel appears as an improvement if you are not exercising at the same time as you are scrolling through the menus, but I must say that while running at the same time I find the 305 slightly easier to use, but even with the 305’s big buttons I find it difficult to navigate the menus and at the same time keeping up my speed. If I run I run, and luckily with the both the 305 and 405 in most cases you will just need to set it up before you start, and then do not worry about the watch at all until you have finished and you can analyze your data.

Forerunner 405 features

The Forerunner 405 has most of all the features that made the 305 great. The running watch monitors your distance, time spent running, pace, calories, and heart rate. Your workouts are stored in the memory for later review and analysis. Because of the smaller screen the 405 will only allow you to display three fields as compared to four on the 305 and that there is no map page on the 405. However, I personally find it confusing to have more than 3 fields on a screen on my 305 because when I am running it seems I cannot concentrate about too many fields. I started up showing 4 fields on each screen on my Forerunner 305 because I was impressed with all the options and wanted to try them all but I quickly realized that fewer fields was better for me while running – for the other details, I can always check them out on my PC later.

It is pity that the map page is missing on the 405, but it is actually not a feature I use much on the 305, because it is better to see the maps in the software when I get home. After all the maps in the 305 are so simple that you cannot use them for much, but they could be useful if you run in a place where you have never been before and want to get an indication of how to get back to start.

If you do a lot of cardio training you will maybe like the 405’s heart-rate-specific training display which was not on the 305. For further details about the 405 see my review of the Garmin Foreunner 405.

Overall, I would say that if you already have the 305 there is no reason to upgrade to the 405. If you do not have any of them I would definitely recommend that you get one of them, as mentioned in my review of the Garmin 305 and my review of the Garmin 405 the running watch is a great motivator that I could not imagine being without. The 305 is slightly cheaper than the 405 (see prices here), but if design matters to you should probably go for the 405. Also if you consider wearing the running watch as a normal watch (I would never do that) the 405 is definitely a better choice than the 305. Maybe women would prefer the 405 over the 305 because it fits better on a smaller wrist and not least looks a lot better than the 305’s squared design. You can read more about the two Garmin sports watches in my comparison between Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 405.


Garmin Forunner 305 specs vs Garmin Forerunner 405 specs


Garmin Forerunner 305 specs

Garmin Forerunner 405 specs

Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 2.1″ x 2.7″ x 0.7″ (5.33 x 6.86 x 1.78 cm) 1.88″ x 2.78″ x 0.646″ (4.8 x 7.1 x 1.6 cm)
Display size, WxH: 1.3″ x 0.8″ (3.3 x 2.0 cm) 1.06″ (2.7 cm) diameter
Display resolution, WxH: 160 x 100 pixels 124 x 95 pixels
Touchscreen: no no
Weight: 2.72 oz (77 g) 2.11 oz (60 g)
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion rechargeable lithium-ion
Batterylife: 10 hours, typical 2 weeks in power save mode; 8 hours in training mode
GPS-enabled: yes yes
Water resistant: yes (IPX7) yes (IPX7)
High-sensitivity receiver: yes yes
Basemap: no no
Ability to add maps: no no
Accepts data cards: no no
Lap history: 1000 laps 1000 laps






Heart rate monitor: yes yes (some versions)
Bike speed/cadence sensor: yes (some versions) yes (optional)
Foot pod: yes (optional) yes (optional)
Courses (compete against previous activities): yes yes
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed): yes yes
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap): yes yes
Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout): yes yes
Multi-sport (changes sport mode with a press of a button): yes no
Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts): yes yes
Simple workouts (input time, distance and calorie goals): yes yes
Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace): yes yes (for advanced workouts only)
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal): yes yes (for advanced workouts only)
Vibration alert: (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert): no no
Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals): yes yes
Heart rate-based calorie computation: no no
Customizable screen(s): yes yes
Barometric altimeter: no no
Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units): no yes
Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+™-enabled power meters): no no
Temperature (displays and records temperature while you ride): no no
Sport watch: no yes
Training effect (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness): no no
Virtual racer™ (compete against other activities): no no
Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person): yes yes
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer): no yes
Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data): yes yes
Garmin Training Center® software compatible: yes yes
Additional: NA Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center are compatible with Windows® XP or newer and Intel-based Mac running OS 10.4.11 or later with Safari. Watch functions include dual time, date and alarm.


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