Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review
If you're looking for a running watch, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. Even if the price of the Vivoactive 3 drops significantly, I think it would still be a poor option. This is a real shame, as I've got quite a soft spot for the original Garmin Vivoactive, which I'd much rather use than the Vivoactive 3. The Vivoactive 3 is pretty, and I love the large display in the small form factor, but there are so many issues, and there are so many better options available.
1 Support This Site
2 The Big Questions
For a simple evaluation of a GPS watch, I look at how well it can answer some basic questions. There are many things a runner might look for in a running watch, but I feel these four questions are critical.
- How far did I run? This is the most basic question, and the Vivoactive 3 has grim GPS Accuracy, and lousy support for the Stryd footpod. I've repeatedly had the Vivoactive 3 come up more than a mile short on a long run.
- 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. The poor GPS accuracy and lack of Stryd support means the Vivoactive 3 is pretty useless most of the time. I frequently see it displaying a pace that's out by 2 minutes/mile.
- Where am I? The Vivoactive 3 only as a "back to start" arrow, which is better than nothing, but not great. If you can get the Stryd footpod to work, you'll lose even that as you have to turn off GPS to get the accurate pace/distance that Stryd supports.
- 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 Vivoactive 3 has an internal accelerometer, and it supports alerts for Cadence, which is really nice.
For ultramarathon running the battery life of the Vivoactive 3 makes it a poor choice and the cable makes it harder to Charge On The Run than earlier versions. See Watches for Ultrarunning for more details.
3 Pros and Cons
I find that focusing on the positive and the negative aspects of a running watch provides greater insight than a "user manual" style of review. If you want to know how to use the menu system, I recommend the online manual, or check out other reviews that focus more on that area.
Sadly, this is a really short list.
- The Vivoactive 3 has a really small bezel, which means it has the same sized display as the watches that are much bigger. It makes all the other watches I have seem dated and bulky by comparison. It's also reasonably thin and light, creating a watch that looks good, and feels unobtrusive to wear. I'm hopeful this is a sign that future Garmin watches will continue this approach. The display is lovely quality, and is brighter, with more saturated colors than earlier watches. As far as I can tell, it's the same display that the Garmin Fenix 5X has.
- This is the first Garmin watch that allows NFC payment, which will most often be a convenient novelty. However, I have been caught short on a long run that turned warmer than I expected, and NFC payment on my phone allowed me to buy some refreshment even though I hadn't taken my wallet with me. (I have wondered if the NFC antenna might be causing problems with the sensors, though I don't have any evidence to support that idea.)
- The alerts feature of the Vivoactive 3 is nice, and you can have an alert for Cadence. The built in Cadence meter worked reasonably well, which is good given the issues the Vivoactive 3 has with a Footpod.
- The Vivoactive 3 works as a smartwatch, with similar functionality to most of the recent Garmin running watches (see below for details.)
Even things that should be an advantage for the Vivoactive 3 become cons due to the flaws when compared with other Garmin devices. Obviously, this is not a high-end watch like the Garmin Fenix 5X, but the Vivoactive 3 compares poorly to watches that are older and/or cheaper. I'd rather have the original Garmin Vivoactive that's now much cheaper, or the Suunto Spartan Trainer that's a similar price.
- I'm concerned that the Vivoactive 3 might have the same hardware flaw that is causing so many issues for the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5S (but not the Garmin Fenix 5X)). This is a problem with connecting to sensors, and if it's a hardware issue, it's unlikely to get fixed.
- I've had some problems with Footpods on the Vivoactive 3. I've found that the MilestonePod and the Adidas Speed Cell (both Bluetooth) work fine, but I've can't get the Garmin Ant+ footpod to pair, nor can I get Stryd to pair over Bluetooth.
- I can get the Stryd Footpod to pair over Ant+, but to link the Stryd at run time, the watch and the Footpod have to be within a few inches of each other.
- Strangely the Stryd Connect IQ app works fine (it doesn't require pairing.)
- I can't get the RunScribe V3 footpods to connect to their Connect IQ application, though currently RunScribe is still in what I'd consider Alpha test, so it might not be an issue with the Vivoactive 3. However, I get the data field to work with the original Vivoactive, the Fenix 3, and the Fenix 5X.
- I've not had any issues with heart rate monitors such as the Garmin HRM, Suunto, or Polar H7. However, the location of a heart rate monitor positions it much closer to the watch, so distance might be an issue.
- I find the way that Garmin have intentionally crippled the Vivoactive 3 to be rather mean spirited. They've gone beyond the typical limitations of not supporting all sensors and restricting the data that can be displayed while running. The first Vivoactive (and the Vivoactive HR) had some of this, with only a few screens of up to three fields, but this could be overcome by Connect IQ apps like "Single Field Run" that display lots of data by taking up the whole screen as a single field display (hence the name.) Garmin have made it far harder to use this type of data field by forcing all screens to have the same number of data fields. I think that's just nasty and petty.
- I'm not a big fan of touchscreens as they're tricky to use while running and even harder with gloves. Unlike the original Vivoactive which had four buttons and a touchscreen, the Vivoactive 3 only has the single button. This makes the user interface far more challenging and complex. The touchscreen is generally nicely responsive, though it frequently does its own thing. It's like it detects taps or swipes when there are none. I also find it misinterpreting my gestures, and swiping when I'm trying to tap for instance. The Vivoactive 3 is one of the few watches I've genuinely disliked due to the frustrations in the UI.
- You record laps on the Vivoactive 3 by double tapping the display, something that's cumbersome and easy to get wrong. I find this massively annoying, and it makes it virtually impossible to record laps for things like High Intensity Interval Training.
- The Stryd support is quite limited. You can get the Stryd estimate of running power through the Connect IQ app, which also records power for output to other analysis software like Golden Cheetah. However, even if the sensor issues discussed above could be resolved you have to be in treadmill mode (no GPS) to get pace/distance from a Footpod. This seems unlikely to be changed, as it's one of the ways that Garmin differentiate them more expensive running watches.
- The battery life is worse than claimed. I got only 10 hours under optimal conditions, rather than 13 hours claimed. This is a little better than the previous firmware where I got only 8 hours, and it's unusual to see a company claiming longer than actually provided these days.
- The GPS Accuracy, is similar to the previous Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Vivoactive HR, which is pretty poor.
- I've not gathered enough data to understand the accuracy of the Optical Heart Rate Monitoring, but superficially it seems no better than other devices, which is terrible.
- The Vivoactive 3 has a gesture backlight, so you raise the watch to look at it and the backlight comes on, which is awesome and I really like it. Sadly, I've found that the Vivoactive 3 will sometimes turn the backlight on when it's taken off, and the backlight will stay on, draining the battery.
(I'm testing with Firmware 2.60, and future updates may resolve some of the issues.)
4 GPS Accuracy
The GPS Accuracy of the Vivoactive 3 is quite poor, coming near the bottom of my accuracy testing. The results are not statistically different to the Garmin Vivoactive (p=0.23) or Garmin Vivoactive HR (p=0.54). However, you can see from the tracks below the Vivoactive 3 does occasionally "get lost" and wanders quit a way off the path. The blue lap markers are not quite as closely clustered as its predecessor's are, and you can see its accuracy is especially poor through the S-bend, which causes problems for many watches.
Here's the tracks from the predecessor to the Vivoactive 3 the Vivoactive HR, showing similar issues.
To show how a more accurate watch performs, check out the Polar V800 shown below. And here's the tracks from the predecessor to the predecessor, the Vivoactive. The better accuracy here is not statistically significant, though you can see the section under the bridge is quite a bit better than the later watches.
To show how a more accurate watch performs, check out the Polar V800 shown below. You can see that even through the S-bend the V800 does really well. The only obvious flaw is the spread of the lap markers, though this does not degrade the accuracy of the distance recorded..
And here's the tracks from the extremely accurate Suunto Ambit3. It doesn't do as well as the V800 under the bridge, but it has more closely clustered lap markers.
5 Activity Tracking
The Vivoactive 3 has great activity tracking capabilities. Here's a breakdown of the aspects of your daily activity that the Vivoactive 3 will track:
- Workouts. Obviously, it will track your runs, and will integrate that information into an overall picture of your daily activity levels.
- Steps. The step counting is comparable to other devices. When you're walking or running its pretty accurate, but there are other situations where it's a genuinely ambiguous as to whether you are taking steps or not, such as preparing food in the kitchen. I found that the recorded a very similar number of daily steps as other Garmin devices I wore on the other wrist, which gives me some confidence in their consistency at least.
- Floors Climbed. The Vivoactive 3, along with a number of other recent Garmin watches, use the barometric altimeter to determine when you're going up or down steps. This is a rather nice idea, but the accuracy seems to be rather poor. I find it will report a different number of steps ascended to descended, even though I've never used an elevator on those days. There's also a significant discrepancy between Garmin watches worn concurrently.
- Intensity minutes. It's not clear how Garmin calculates "intensity minutes", but it seems to use heart rate to determine intensity, with high levels of intensity counting as a multiplier on the actual number of minutes. I've seen some strange discrepancy in intensity minutes when using the optical heart rate monitor, which is not surprising given the accuracy issues. I suspect that changes in the heart rate zone also impact intensity minutes, but the lack of transparency in this calculation makes it hard to evaluate.
- Sleep. The estimation of sleep can be a little flaky on occasions, but overall it seems to do a reasonable job. It's hard to verify the estimation of sleep, other than checking if the bedtime and rising time seem reasonable. I'm not convinced by the Garmin estimate of how much deep and light sleep you are getting, and I tend to ignore that information as suspect. I have noticed that changing time zone can really mess up the sleep calculation, but hopefully Garmin will resolve this at some point.
- Resting Heart Rate. It seems that Garmin looks for the lowest heart rate it sees while you're awake, using its sleep detection to ignore heart rate during that time. That closely matches the medical definition of resting heart rate. I'd love to use this to keep an eye on my resting heart rate, as this is a potential red flag for Overtraining or other health problems, but the accuracy is too limited for me to put any trust in it.
- Move IQ. Garmin will estimate when you're performing an activity even if you've not explicitly recorded it. So, if I walk the dog, which I don't add to my training log, Garmin will automatically detect this as an activity.
- Feedback. The area where Garmin really shines as an activity tracker is the feedback and inspiration that they provide. The Connect IQ watch faces can provide an overview of your weekly activity and how today is comparing with other days, which I find is a good way of motivating myself to get moving. Watch faces also provide a progress bar for how close you are to your daily step goal, though I wish that they'd implement some way of seeing your continued progress after you've hit the goal. Some days I can reach several times in my minimum goal, and it would be nice to see this visually. There are also a number of firework displays the watch gives when you hit your goal. These little firework displays could be considered cheesy or annoying, but I found over time that I really appreciate the little bit of positive feedback. You can also get more information on your activity by scrolling through the widgets on the watch, as well as a vast array of information and visualization on both the Garmin Connect smart phone app and their website.
6 Smartwatch features
These features are quite common on smart watches, allowing you to get some basic information from your Bluetooth attached phone. Remember that these features are only available when your smart phone is in a Bluetooth range.
- The find my phone option is useful to those of us that are absentminded and can never remember where we left it.
- Like other smartwatches, you can get your text messages displayed on the Vivoactive 3 when it's connected to your phone via Bluetooth.
- You can get weather details on the Vivoactive 3, but it needs a Bluetooth connection to the Garmin Connect app to function, so it just saves you the effort of unlocking your phone.
- You can control you phone's music playback. I prefer a dedicated music player, but I know many runners use their phone.
- You can access your smartphone's calendar, which some people might find useful. (I don't.)
7 Internal Photos
The FCC web site has pictures of the Vivoactive 3 internals, including the antennas and chips used. .
8 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. (I’ve also tested the Apple Watch 3, but I’ve not included it in these tables as it’s not really a running watch.)
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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
8.1 Score Breakdown without a Footpod
8.2 Score Breakdown with a Standard Footpod
8.3 Score Breakdown with a Stryd Footpod
8.4 Basic Features
|Weight (oz)||Size (CM3)||Display (mm)||Resolution (Pixels)||Waterproofing||Heart Rate
|Garmin Epix Review||2015||6.2||3.0||48||29 x 21 (609mm2)||205 x 148 (30.3K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 5X Review||2017||5.6||3.5||36||30.5 (round) (731mm2)||240 diameter (45.2K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 3 Review||2015||6.2||2.9||33||30 (round) (726mm2)||218 diameter (37.3K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin 935 Review||2017||5.6||1.7||24||30.5 (round) (731mm2)||240 diameter (45.2K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin Vivoactive HR Review||2016||4.9||1.7||19||21 x 29 (609mm2)||148 x 205 (30.3K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin 920XT Review||2014||6.6||2.2||35||29 x 21 (609mm2)||205 x 148 (30.3K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review||2017||1.5||17||30.5 (round) (731mm2)||240 diameter (45.2K total)||Good (50m)||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)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Suunto Spartan Trainer Review||2017||7.8||2.0||25||24 x 23 (529mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit2 Review||2013||7.6||3.1||30||29 (round) (661mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review||2014||7.9||2.9||30||29 (round) (661mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Suunto Spartan Ultra Review||2016||7.1||2.7||38||32 (round) (804mm2)||320 diameter (80.4K total)||Good (100m)||Yes||Internal (Limited Footpod)||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 2 Review||2014||5.7||3.2||32||31 (round) (755mm2)||70 diameter (3.8K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit3 Run Review||2014||7.9||2.5||30||29 (round) (661mm2)||128 x 128 (16.4K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit2 R Review||2013||7.6||2.5||30||29 (round) (661mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Garmin 235 Review||2015||4.9||1.5||19||31 (round) (755mm2)||215 diameter (36.3K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Garmin 620 Review||2013||7.1||1.5||20||25.4 (round) (507mm2)||180 diameter (25.4K total)||Good (50m)||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||Footpod/Alert||Yes|
|Garmin 310XT Review||2009||7.5||2.5||63||33 x 20 (660mm2)||160 x 100 (16K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Footpod||Yes|
|Garmin 225 Review||2015||6.2||1.5||24||25.4 (round) (507mm2)||180 diameter (25.4K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|TomTom Cardio Runner Review||2015||6.0||2.2||30||22 x 25 (550mm2)||144 x 168 (24.2K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Polar V800 Review||2014||8.0||2.8||31||23 x 23 (529mm2)||128 x 128 (16.4K total)||Good (30m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Polar M430 Review||2017||7.2||2.0||24||23 x 23 (529mm2)||128 x 128 (16.4K total)||Good (50m)||Yes (+OHRM)||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Polar M400 Review||2014||6.6||2.0||24||23 x 23 (529mm2)||128 x 128 (16.4K total)||Good (30m)||Yes||Internal/Footpod||Yes|
|Garmin 610 Review||2011||7.3||2.5||41||25.4 (round) (507mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Fair (IPX7)||Yes||Footpod/Alert||Yes|
|Leikr Review||2013||7.3||2.4||25||41 x 31 (1271mm2)||206 x 148 (76.8K total)||Fair (IPX6)||Yes||Footpod||Limited|
|Epson SF-510 Review||2015||4.4||1.7||24||28 x 22 (616mm2)||128 x 96 (12.3K total)||Good (50m)||Yes||Limited Internal||Limited|
|Epson SF-810 Review||2015||5.5||1.8||28||28 (round) (616mm2)||128 diameter (12.9K total)||Good (50m)||OHRM Only)||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||Yes|
|Charge On The Run?||Training
|Garmin Epix Review||24||17.6||50||Yes (with USB=Garmin)||Yes||Record||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin Fenix 5X Review||20||23||35||Yes, but can't be worn||Yes||Record||Yes||Bluetooth/Ant+|
|Garmin Fenix 3 Review||20||22||50||Yes (with USB=Garmin)||Yes||No||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin 935 Review||24||24.5||60||Yes, but can't be worn||Yes||Record||Yes||Bluetooth/Ant+|
|Garmin Vivoactive HR Review||13||13||Yes (with USB=Garmin)||No||No||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin 920XT Review||24||19||40||No (terminates)||Yes||Record||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review||13||13||No||Yes||Bluetooth/Ant+|
|Garmin Vivoactive Review||10||10||10||Yes (with USB=Garmin)||No||No||Yes||Ant+|
|Suunto Spartan Trainer Review||10||11||30||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Bluetooth|
|Suunto Ambit2 Review||15||50||Yes||Yes||Record||Yes||Ant+|
|Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review||20||100||Yes||Yes||Record||Yes||Bluetooth|
|Suunto Spartan Ultra Review||18||17||26||Yes, but can't be worn||Yes||Record||Yes||Bluetooth|
|Garmin Fenix 2 Review||15||50||Yes (with USB=Garmin)||Yes||No||Yes||Ant+|
|Suunto Ambit3 Run Review||10||10.5||100||Yes||Yes||Record||Yes||Bluetooth|
|Suunto Ambit2 R Review||8||7.3||25||Yes||Yes||Record||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin 235 Review||11||11||Yes, but no optical HR||Yes||No||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin 620 Review||10||10||No (resets)||Yes||Record||Yes||Ant+|
|Garmin 910XT Review||20||20||Yes, but no display||Yes||Record||No||Ant+|
|Garmin 310XT Review||20||20||Yes, but no display||No||No||No||Ant+|
|Garmin 225 Review||10||11||10||No (resets)||No||No||Yes||Ant+|
|TomTom Cardio Runner Review||8||6.3||8||No (resets)||No||No||Yes||Bluetooth HR|
|Polar V800 Review||13||24||50||No (terminates)||Yes||Display||Predictive||Bluetooth|
|Polar M430 Review||8||8||8||No||No||No||Yes||Bluetooth|
|Polar M400 Review||8||8||Yes, but can't be worn||No||No||No||Bluetooth|
|Garmin 610 Review||8||8||Yes, but no display||Yes||Record||No||Ant+|
|Leikr Review||5||6.5||5||Yes, but can't be worn||No||No||Yes (few hours)||Ant+|
|Epson SF-510 Review||30||30||30||No||No||No||Yes (few hours)||Bluetooth HR|
|Epson SF-810 Review||20||26||20||No||No||No||Yes (few hours)||None|
|Garmin 10 Review||5||5||No||No||No||No||None|
|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 Fenix 5X Review||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 3 Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin 935 Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Garmin Vivoactive HR Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin 920XT Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Garmin Vivoactive Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Suunto Spartan Trainer Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Suunto Ambit2 Review||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Suunto Spartan Ultra Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 2 Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Suunto Ambit3 Run Review||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Suunto Ambit2 R Review||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Garmin 235 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Garmin 620 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Garmin 910XT Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Garmin 310XT Review||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Garmin 225 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|TomTom Cardio Runner Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Polar V800 Review||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Polar M430 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Polar M400 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Garmin 610 Review||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Epson SF-510 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Epson SF-810 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Garmin 10 Review||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
- 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.