Garmin Forerunner 405 Review from RUNNER+

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Garmin Forerunner 405 at Amazon.comChris at Runner+ gave us a fantastic review of the new Garmin Forerunner 405. It’s a GPS running watch that will track your runs (like Nike+, but more accurate).

Here is the killer for me:

First off, most important issue: there is Zero Mac support. The frustrating thing about this is that nowhere does it say this. Not on the box it came in, and not in the documentation that comes with the 405. Thankfully I have both Mac and Windows PCs, but I primarily use a Mac. Even the 305 has some moderate support for Mac. I called Garmin and they confirmed that Mac support is non-existent, and if you are a Mac-only runner, you’ll have to wait for “late Q3 or Q4 2008” to use this device. Merry Christmas!

On the bright side, I heard that REI is putting the older Forerunner 305 on clearance for less than $200 and it DOES work with the Mac. If you are a PC user, then the software problems are not an issue.

After a few runs, he also noted a few more things:

  • The battery life of the 405 with GPS enabled is only 8 hours (compared to the 305’s 10 hour life) which may prohibit some ultra marathon runners from upgrading to the 405 and sticking with the 305.

  • Charging the battery on the 405 couldn’t be easier. You can charge it with the included USB cable to any PC (including a Mac), or attach the adapter to charge via any household power outlet. The way it charges the 405 is via a clip (think of an aligator clip) that clips onto the side of the watch and makes contact with two metal contact points on the bottom of the watch. Pretty cool!

  • The default backlight timeout is 8 seconds, probably to conserve battery life from the get-go, but it’s far too short. Luckily it’s easy to change in the options menu to 15 or 30 seconds, 1 minute, or “stays on” mode which keeps the light on until you touch the bezel with two fingers. My preference is 15 seconds.

  • Odd GPS behavior: after my run it kept the GPS turned on. This drained my battery life after a few hours from 100% down to 91%. Would prefer that if I wasn’t in training mode that it would automatically turn the GPS off. So now it’s a bit of a pain to have to turn the GPS on and off, before and after each run. It should be automatic.

Chris had a lot more to say about the Forerunner 405, so click on over to the full review to see the rest:


3 Responses to “Garmin Forerunner 405 Review from RUNNER+”

  1. SLB Says:

    Nice review but I have to disagree with his comment about the 305 battery life, I have had mine go as long as 11.5 hours (see my run of 4/19 on Runner+, ID SLBPlus) and I know of one runner who has closer to 14, so for 50 miles to 100k it will just about last, going beyond that…well with the price of them falling like it is you can afford to buy another one! Otherwise with the USB cradle you can at least charge it on the fly.

  2. Jesse Mellon Says:

    Super-bummed about the lack of Mac support. Even rudimentary syncing would be nice — I guess the device itself is still handy on the run, but I want to see my data after the run in all its glory 🙁

  3. Ross Says:

    I have been using a 405 for about three years now and honestly don’t know what I would do without one! I have tried out a few of the other Garmin models but keep going back to the 405 for the advanced workouts and the virtual training partner. Best bit of running kit I own by far!

    My Garmin 405 Review

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