Epson Runsense SF-810 Review

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The rather retro Epson SF-810

I don't recommend the Epson SF-810 for most runners. If you really want Optical Heart Rate Monitoring in spite of its problems and you need the battery life to last for ultramarathons of up to 20 hours, then maybe it's worth considering. However, there are better watches for pretty much every other runner. If you look at the four basic questions I use to evaluate the foundational capabilities of a running watch, you start to see the problems.

  • How far did I run? This is the most basic question, and Epson make a big deal about their "highly accurate GPS tracking." Epson created their own chipset to ensure accuracy, but my testing indicates that the SF-810 is one of the least accurate devices I've tested. This is a major disappointment given how far behind the state-of-the-art Epson are in other areas. (I have a support ticket open with Epson concerning GPS Accuracy.)
  • How fast am I running? Knowing how fast you're running can be a nice to know, or it can be vital for your training or race performance. Because GPS never really provides the level of accuracy you need for good pace information, the best watches support the display of current Pace From A Footpod while getting all other data from GPS. Sadly, the Epson does not have this feature, and doesn't even support the use of a Footpod at all.
  • Where am I? The SF-810 has no navigation capabilities; if you're lost, the best you can do with the SF-810 is to use it to reflect the sun and maybe attract your rescuers attention.
  • What's my cadence? Cadence is one of the most critical and often overlooked aspects of running. If you get your Cadence right, many other things naturally fall into place. The SF-810 has an internal accelerometer and will display cadence, but there is no option for a Footpod. Typically an internal accelerometer doesn't do a great job, and the SF-810 seems superficially rather poor. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get the Cadence data out in a format that can be analyzed for accuracy, so I can't be sure how bad this is.

The only bright spot in an otherwise dismal device is the SF-810s battery life. With the Optical heart rate monitor turned off I was able to get 26 hours out of the SF-810, which makes it one of the best options for longer ultramarathons. However, the cheaper Epson SF-510 has a 30 hour battery life, which makes it an even better candidate. See Watches for Ultrarunning for more details.
Epson SF-810

1 Epson SF-810 Pros

  • The biggest advantage of the SF-810 is its long battery life with the Optical Heart Rate Monitoring turned off. However, the SF-510 is a lot cheaper, and lasts for 30 hours.
  • The SF-810 is fairly small and looks like a normal watch. Admittedly, that's a normal watch from the 1980s, but that's better than looking like a wrist mounted dive computer. I found the strap to be comfortable and easy to use, something I wish was true for more running watches.
  • The Optical Heart Rate Monitoring is perhaps a slightly less grim than the competition, but it's still relatively useless. Even in warmer temperatures, it accuracy is not good enough for real world usage. To compound matters the SF-810 does not support a chest strap based heart rate monitor.

2 Epson SF-810 Cons

  • The GPS Accuracy is terrible; I'll add more details soon, but for now I'll just say that it's at the bottom of my GPS accuracy table.
  • There's no support for any external sensors, so if you find the Optical Heart Rate Monitoring is no good, you can't add a chest strap later. There's also no option for a Footpod to give a more accurate Cadence. Of course, that also means no support for displaying your current Pace From A Footpod.
  • The display is old-school LCD, which is a mixed blessing. It's rather low resolution, and not as nice as a new color display, but it's easier to read without needing a backlight.
  • The charging dock for the SF-810 is enormous and would make challenging the watch on the run impractical even if it was supported. However, even if you are prepared to shove the watch, charging dock, and USB battery in your backpack it wouldn't work. Plugging the watch into its docking station terminates any activity.
  • The smart phone to feels rather like something from a small startup rather than a major corporation. There is no ongoing communication, so you have to explicitly go through the watch menus to put the watch into Bluetooth listening mode.
  • It's theoretically possible to load a satellite pre-cache into the SF-810 for faster satellite acquisition. Unfortunately, this is rather impractical as you have to mess around connecting the watch to your smartphone via Bluetooth, updating the satellite pre-cache, which is then only valid for a few hours. You can't upload the pre-cache via the computer link either.
  • The SF-810 can upload your workouts via a Bluetooth link to your smart phone, but yet again this proves rather impractical. The Bluetooth link takes so long to upload your workouts that this is unworkable for regular use. The upload via a PC is less painful, but still feels rather crude and unfinished.
  • Epson will upload your workouts to their website, which is rather rudimentary. There are various options for syncing your data with other sites, but if you want to have your lap splits included then things get tricky. I had to sync my Epson data with Strava, download CSV data from Epson, download TCX data from a Strava, and then write code to combine the two. You can consider me thoroughly unimpressed.

3 GPS Accuracy

The SF-810 did surprisingly badly, especially given Epson's claim of "outstanding accuracy". The statistical analysis at GPS Accuracy gives quantitative details on the problems the SF-810 has, but for some folks a qualitative picture is more useful. The image below is from a small section of the trail I use for testing as I've found it highlights the strengths and weakness of the different devices nicely. The most obvious problem is how widely scattered the lap markers are, with some of the markers near the bridge actually ending up on the wrong side. The section in the middle with the rounded curves shows how badly the SF-810 does, with few good (green) tracks and mostly bad tracks. This reflects what I saw on the watch itself when gathering the data, as it struggled badly in this section. The section under the bridge is better, and counterintuitively this is a section where most watches do well. You can see the SF-810 gets a little confused a few times, but overall it deals with the interruption well. The right angle turn on the right of the image is poor, but not as bad as the curved section.

A diagram of the Epson SF-810's tracks, color coded with green indicating good accuracy through to red indicating poor accuracy, and the lap markers as blue dots.
For comparison, here's the tracks from the Suunto Ambit2, which does remarkably well. This is how the data should look.

(I've contacted Epson support and they are aware of the problem.)

4 What's Missing

While I don't consider these missing features as 'cons', it's worth understanding the features that are missing compared with other watches. You'll notice that the SF-810 has a rather long list of missing features.

  • Altimeter. GPS is far less accurate vertically than horizontally, so a barometric altimeter can provide a much better idea of your ascent and descent. It can also be useful for navigation if you're ascending or descending a mountain. In some races I've been far more interested in how much ascent is left rather than the distance to the top.
  • Extended battery life. Some watches can extend the battery life by turning the GPS reception off for short periods. This can dramatically reduce GPS accuracy, but it's a useful trade-off for some ultramarathons.
  • WiFi Uploads. While the automatic upload of workouts via WiFi is nice, the upload will typically only go to the manufacturer's web site.
  • Running Dynamics. Some of the newer Garmin watches support Running Dynamics that can show and record Vertical Oscillation (VO) and Ground Contact Time (GCT).
  • Apps. I come to really appreciate the extensibility of the newer Garmin watches, and their ability to run custom applications. Suunto has a much simpler version of this capability, which is still better than nothing.
  • Activity tracker. While I'm not convinced by the accuracy of most activity tracker's, they are a nice feature and can give additional motivation to keep moving.
  • Smartphone Notifications. Having alerts like incoming calls or text messages on your watch is a rather nice, though far from a core feature of a running watch.
  • Alerts. Some watches will alert you when a metric is out of range. The alert for Cadence is really useful and one of my favorite features on other watches. Of course, you need a decent measurement of cadence for this to be relevant.

5 Support This Site

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Buy Epson SF-810 at Amazon.com

6 Visual Comparison

Epson SF-810 top
Epson SF-810 side
Garmin 235 top
Garmin 235 side
Garmin 225 top
Garmin 225 side
TomTom Cardio Runner top
TomTom Cardio Runner side
Garmin 620 top
Garmin 620 side
Suunto Ambit3 top
Suunto Ambit3 side
Suunto Ambit2 top
Suunto Ambit2 side
Polar V800 top
Polar V800 side
Garmin Epix top
Garmin Epix side
Leikr 1 top
Leikr 1 side
Polar M400 top
Polar M400 side

7 Comparison Table

I evaluate running watches in three distinct ways. Firstly, you can use a watch on its own, without any kind of Footpod. This is probably the most common way runners use their watch, but you miss out on a lot. The second rating is with a standard Footpod that is available quite cheaply. These Footpod's can be reasonably accurate once the calibrated, but calibration is a little tedious. The final evaluation is with the Stryd Footpod, which is vastly more accurate than any other type of Footpod, or and more accurate than GPS. The table below looks at the score, and the value for money of each watch for each of the three conditions.

Review With Stryd Score With Stryd Value for money With Footpod Score With Footpod Value for money Without Footpod Score Without Footpod Value for money Price at Amazon.com
Garmin Epix Review 47 4.5 31 3.9 23 3.4 Garmin Epix $365.66 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $189.95)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 47 2.9 31 2.3 23 1.8 Garmin Fenix 5X Review
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 45 3.8 28 3.1 24 3 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $299.95)
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 40 4.9 21 3.8 17 3.8 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Garmin 920XT Review 39 4.4 30 4.7 24 4.5 Garmin 920XT without HRM $259.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $289.00)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 34 5.1 14 3.4 10 3.3 Garmin Vivoactive $159.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.00)
Suunto Ambit2 Review 32 3.9 25 4.3 21 4.5 Suunto Ambit2 $289.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 32 3.4 29 4.1 25 4.2 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $339.20 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 30 4 27 5.5 23 5.9 Suunto Ambit3 Run $. (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 30 3.5 23 3.8 19 3.8 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 28 2.9 20 2.8 12 2 Garmin 235 $327.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $349.98)
Garmin 620 Review 27 3.8 24 5.1 20 5.6 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 3.9 26 6.1 21 6.7 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 26 2.4 22 2.7 18 2.5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 26 1.8 28 2.4 24 2.2 Suunto Spartan Ultra $525.56 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 25 4.6 24 8.3 18 10 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 225 Review 25 3.8 13 3.1 9 2.9 Garmin 225 $119.32 USD (used) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 25 3.3 14 2.8 10 2.5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar V800 Review 25 2.1 26 2.8 22 2.7 Polar V800 without HRM $449.95 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Polar M400 Review 24 4.1 14 4.2 10 4.4 Polar M400 without HRM $126.59 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.99)
Garmin 610 Review 24 3.3 20 4.3 14 3.9 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 10 1 20 2.5 14 2 Leikr ($380)
Epson SF-510 Review 4 0.7 4 1.3 4 2 Epson SF-510 $88.95 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 4 0.6 6 1.6 6 2.3 Epson SF-810 $119.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.3 2 0.6 2 0.9 Garmin 10 $89.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $45.33)

The score is the sum of how well each watch can answer the four basic questions (how far, how fast, where are you, what's your cadence), plus some bonus points.

  1. The "How far you've run" will be based on GPS only for "without Footpod" and "with Standard Footpod", but based on Stryd if supported in the "with Stryd Footpod" table..
  2. How fast you're running assumes you're using a Footpod if it's supported, otherwise the rating is 0-2 based on GPS accuracy.
  3. The "Where are you?" is based on various navigation features such as back to start, breadcrumbs, and preloaded maps. For some watches, you have to turn GPS off to get the benefit of Stryd, so those watches have worse "where are you scores" with Stryd than without.
  4. The cadence score uses 1 point for an internal cadence sensor, 2 points for footpod support, 1 point for support from chest strap cadence, and 1 point for cadence alerts.
  5. I give 1-2 bonus points for application support, 1-2 bonus points for data upload, 1-2 bonus points for Optical Heart Rate Monitoring, and 0-1 bonus points for battery life.
  6. Value for money is the score divided by the price (at the time I last updated the table.) Your needs may be different, so you might weight the different aspects of the watches differently, or be basing your decision on different criteria totally. Hopefully this table will give you a good starting point for your decision.

8 Score Breakdown without a Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5

Price at Amazon.com

Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 25 4.2 8 3 6 2 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $339.20 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 920XT Review 24 4.5 1 2 7 6 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $259.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $289.00)
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 24 3 2 1 7 6 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $299.95)
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 24 2.2 8 2 7 2 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $525.56 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 23 5.9 8 3 5 2 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $. (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin Epix Review 23 3.4 0 0 9 6 8 Garmin Epix $365.66 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $189.95)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 23 1.8 0 0 9 6 8 Garmin Fenix 5X Review
Polar V800 Review 22 2.7 9 4 3 2 4 Polar V800 without HRM $449.95 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 21 6.7 5 3 6 2 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 21 4.5 4 3 6 2 6 Suunto Ambit2 $289.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin 620 Review 20 5.6 3 2 2 6 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 19 3.8 4 3 5 2 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 18 10 7 2 4 0 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 18 2.5 1 0 6 6 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 17 3.8 0 0 2 6 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Garmin 610 Review 14 3.9 3 2 3 2 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 14 2 5 2 4 0 3 Leikr ($380)
Garmin 235 Review 12 2 0 0 2 2 8 Garmin 235 $327.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $349.98)
Polar M400 Review 10 4.4 3 1 1 2 3 Polar M400 without HRM $126.59 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.99)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 10 3.3 0 0 0 6 4 Garmin Vivoactive $159.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.00)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 10 2.5 2 1 0 2 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 225 Review 9 2.9 1 1 0 2 5 Garmin 225 $119.32 USD (used) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Epson SF-810 Review 6 2.3 1 0 0 2 3 Epson SF-810 $119.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-510 Review 4 2 0 0 0 0 4 Epson SF-510 $88.95 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.9 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $89.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $45.33)

9 Score Breakdown with a Standard Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5

Price at Amazon.com

Garmin Epix Review 31 3.9 0 4 9 10 8 Garmin Epix $365.66 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $189.95)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 31 2.3 0 4 9 10 8 Garmin Fenix 5X Review
Garmin 920XT Review 30 4.7 1 4 7 10 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $259.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $289.00)
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 29 4.1 8 3 6 6 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $339.20 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 28 3.1 2 1 7 10 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $299.95)
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 28 2.4 8 2 7 6 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $525.56 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 27 5.5 8 3 5 6 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $. (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 6.1 5 4 6 6 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar V800 Review 26 2.8 9 4 3 6 4 Polar V800 without HRM $449.95 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 25 4.3 4 3 6 6 6 Suunto Ambit2 $289.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 24 8.3 7 4 4 4 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 620 Review 24 5.1 3 2 2 10 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 23 3.8 4 3 5 6 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 22 2.7 1 0 6 10 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 21 3.8 0 0 2 10 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Garmin 610 Review 20 4.3 3 4 3 6 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 20 2.8 0 4 2 6 8 Garmin 235 $327.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $349.98)
Leikr Review 20 2.5 5 4 4 4 3 Leikr ($380)
Polar M400 Review 14 4.2 3 1 1 6 3 Polar M400 without HRM $126.59 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.99)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 14 3.4 0 0 0 10 4 Garmin Vivoactive $159.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.00)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 14 2.8 2 1 0 6 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 225 Review 13 3.1 1 1 0 6 5 Garmin 225 $119.32 USD (used) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Epson SF-810 Review 6 1.6 1 0 0 2 3 Epson SF-810 $119.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-510 Review 4 1.3 0 0 0 0 4 Epson SF-510 $88.95 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.6 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $89.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $45.33)

10 Score Breakdown with a Stryd Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5

Price at Amazon.com

Garmin Epix Review 47 4.5 10 10 9 10 8 Garmin Epix $365.66 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $189.95)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 47 2.9 10 10 9 10 8 Garmin Fenix 5X Review
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 45 3.8 10 10 7 10 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $299.95)
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 40 4.9 10 10 1 10 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
Garmin 920XT Review 39 4.4 10 10 1 10 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $259.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $289.00)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 34 5.1 10 10 0 10 4 Garmin Vivoactive $159.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.00)
Suunto Ambit2 Review 32 3.9 10 10 6 0 6 Suunto Ambit2 $289.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 32 3.4 10 10 6 0 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $339.20 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 30 4 10 10 5 0 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $. (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 30 3.5 10 10 5 0 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 28 2.9 10 10 0 0 8 Garmin 235 $327.99 USD (new) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $349.98)
Garmin 620 Review 27 3.8 10 10 0 0 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 3.9 10 10 1 0 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 26 2.4 10 10 1 0 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 26 1.8 10 10 1 0 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $525.56 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 25 4.6 10 10 0 0 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 225 Review 25 3.8 10 10 0 0 5 Garmin 225 $119.32 USD (used) at Amazon.com
(Referbished $144.95)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 25 3.3 10 10 0 0 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar V800 Review 25 2.1 10 10 1 0 4 Polar V800 without HRM $449.95 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Polar M400 Review 24 4.1 10 10 1 0 3 Polar M400 without HRM $126.59 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $99.99)
Garmin 610 Review 24 3.3 10 10 0 0 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 10 1 5 2 0 0 3 Leikr ($380)
Epson SF-510 Review 4 0.7 0 0 0 0 4 Epson SF-510 $88.95 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 4 0.6 1 0 0 0 3 Epson SF-810 $119.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.3 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $89.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $45.33)

11 Basic Features

Review

Released GPS
Accuracy
Weight (oz) Size (CM3) Display (mm) Resolution (Pixels) Waterproofing Pace from
FootPod with GPS Enabled
Heart Rate
Monitor
Cadence Data Upload
Garmin Epix Review 2015 6.2 3.0 48 29 x 21 (609mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 910XT Review 2011 7.5 2.5 49 33 x 20 (660mm2) 160 x 100 (16K total) Good (50m) Yes Yes Footpod/Alert Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 2014 7.9 2.5 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (50m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin 920XT Review 2014 6.6 2.2 35 29 x 21 (609mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 2014 7.9 2.9 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (100m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Leikr Review 2013 7.3 2.4 25 41 x 31 (1271mm2) 206 x 148 (76.8K total) Fair (IPX6) Yes Yes Footpod Limited
Garmin 310XT Review 2009 7.5 2.5 63 33 x 20 (660mm2) 160 x 100 (16K total) Good (50m) Yes Yes Footpod Yes
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 2015 6.2 2.9 33 30 (round) (726mm2) 218 diameter (37.3K total) Good (100m) Yes Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 2017   3.5 36 30.5 (round) (731mm2) 240 diameter (45.2K total) Good (100m) Yes Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 610 Review 2011 7.3 2.5 41 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Fair (IPX7) Yes Yes Footpod/Alert Yes
Suunto Ambit2 Review 2013 7.6 3.1 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (100m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 2013 7.6 2.5 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (50m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Polar V800 Review 2014 8.0 2.8 31 23 x 23 (529mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (30m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Limited
Garmin 235 Review 2015 4.9 1.5 19 31 (round) (755mm2) 215 x 180 (38.7K total) Good (50m) Yes Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin Vivoactive Review 2015 5.4 1.3 13 29 x 21 (592mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) No Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 2016 7.1 2.7 38 32 (round) (804mm2) 56 x 32 (96K total) Good (100m) No Yes Internal (Limited Footpod) Yes
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 2016 4.9 1.7 19 21 x 29 (609mm2) 148 x 205 (30.3K total) Good (50m) No Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 225 Review 2015 6.2 1.5 24 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 180 diameter (25.4K total) Good (50m) No Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 2014 5.7 3.2 32 31 (round) (755mm2) 70 diameter (3.8K total) Good (50m) No Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 620 Review 2013 7.1 1.5 20 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 180 diameter (25.4K total) Good (50m) No Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 2015 6.0 2.2 30 22 x 25 (550mm2) 144 x 168 (24.2K total) Good (50m) No Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Polar M400 Review 2014 4.4 2.0 24 23 x 23 (529mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (30m) No Yes Internal/Footpod Limited
Epson SF-810 Review 2015 5.5 1.8 28 28 (round) (616mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (50m) No OHRM Only) Limited Internal Limited
Epson SF-510 Review 2015 4.4 1.7 24 28 x 22 (616mm2) 128 x 96 (12.3K total) Good (50m) No Yes Limited Internal Limited
Garmin 10 Review 2012 3.8 1.3 33 25 x 24 (600mm2) 55 x 32 (1.8K total) Good (50m) No No No Yes



Review

Battery
Life (hr)
Tested Battery
Life (hr)
Extended
Battery
Life (hr)
Charge on the run? Training
Effect
HRV GPS cache Sensors
Garmin Epix Review 24 17.6 50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes Record Yes Ant+
Garmin 910XT Review 20   20 Yes, but no display Yes Record No Ant+
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 10 10.5 100 Yes Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Garmin 920XT Review 24 19 40 No (terminates) Yes Record Yes Ant+
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 20   100 Yes Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Leikr Review 5 6.5 5 Yes, but can't be worn No No Yes (few hours) Ant+
Garmin 310XT Review 20   20 Yes, but no display No No No Ant+
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 20 22 50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes No Yes Ant+
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 20 23 35 Yes, but can't be worn Yes   Yes Bluetooth/Ant+
Garmin 610 Review 8   8 Yes, but no display Yes Record No Ant+
Suunto Ambit2 Review 15   50 Yes Yes Record Yes Ant+
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 8 7.3 25 Yes Yes Record Yes Ant+
Polar V800 Review 13 24 50 No (terminates) Yes Display Predictive Bluetooth
Garmin 235 Review 11   11 Yes, but no optical HR Yes No Yes Ant+
Garmin Vivoactive Review 10 10 10 Yes (with USB=Garmin) No No Yes Ant+
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 18 17 26 Yes, but can't be worn Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 13   13 Yes (with USB=Garmin) No No Yes Ant+
Garmin 225 Review 10 11 10 No (resets) No No Yes Ant+
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 15   50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes No Yes Ant+
Garmin 620 Review 10   10 No (resets) Yes Record Yes Ant+
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 8 6.3 8 No (resets) No No Yes Bluetooth HR
Polar M400 Review 8   8 Yes, but can't be worn No No No Bluetooth
Epson SF-810 Review 20 26 20 No No No Yes (few hours) None
Epson SF-510 Review 30 30 30 No No No Yes (few hours) Bluetooth HR
Garmin 10 Review 5   5 No No No No None

12 Navigation Features

Review

Color Maps Breadcrumbs Courses To Waypoint Compass Reverse course Beeline to start Connect IQ Altimeter
Garmin Epix Review Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Garmin 910XT Review No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Garmin 920XT Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Leikr Review Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Garmin 310XT Review No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Garmin Fenix 3 Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Garmin Fenix 5X Review Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Garmin 610 Review No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Suunto Ambit2 Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Suunto Ambit2 R Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Polar V800 Review No No Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Garmin 235 Review No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Garmin Vivoactive Review No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review No No No No No No No Yes Yes
Garmin 225 Review No No No No No No No No No
Garmin Fenix 2 Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Garmin 620 Review No No No No No No No No No
TomTom Cardio Runner Review No No No No No No No No No
Polar M400 Review No No No No No No Yes No No
Epson SF-810 Review No No No No No No No No No
Epson SF-510 Review No No No No No No No No No
Garmin 10 Review No No No No No No No No No

For "navigation":

  • Color Maps gives you full color maps, rather like a smart phone, with roads and paths marked out.
  • Track Outline is a display of where you've run, rather like a breadcrumb trail. If there are maps, the outline is superimposed otherwise this is just the outline on its own without any context.
  • Course Outline is an outline of a route that can be downloaded. I've found this useful during ultras or in unfamiliar cities where I've needed to know where to go.
  • Back To Start is a simple arrow point to your starting point, so it won't help you backtrack.
  • Back To Waypoint returns you to a previously marked location using a simple arrow to point.
  • Compass. A magnetic compass can help you orient yourself or the map. Without a magnetic compass you have to be moving for the GPS to give you a sense of direction.


(Older Reviews: Polar RC3 GPS, Soleus 1.0, Motorola Motoactv.)