PDA

View Full Version : Forerunner 310XT - First Impressions



RUNKKRUN
07-23-2009, 10:58 AM
OK, I know we said, "don't post links . . . " but this is a 3 pager:

Forerunner 310XT - First Impressions (http://forums.motionbased.com/smf/index.php?topic=12660)

As time permits I'll get it transferred properly, but I don't want y'all to be deprived ;).

kk

RUNKKRUN
07-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Photos (http://picasaweb.google.com/seilogramp/GarminForerunner310XT?feat=directlink#)

The unit's appearance is along the lines of the x05. However, it is more boxy looking since the wrap-around antenna has been removed. Certainly a form follows function device. The charging clip seems more stable than the cradle. The cradle has a tendency to not easily snap into place. The new design is possibly to keep the water out of the device. While charging the unit displays a percentage of full charge. Nice to know if you've got enough juice for your next activity.

The first thing I noted when turning on the device, after the initial shock of feeling it vibrate, was the splash screen message "Powered by SiRFInstantFixII." From http://www.sirf.com/products/location2_services.html


SiRFInstantFixII satellite prediction technology greatly improves personal navigation device start-up times without the need for network connectivity. With one observation of each satellite, SiRFInstantFixII accurately predicts satellite positions for up to three days removing the need to download satellite ephemeris data at subsequent start-ups?resulting in full navigation in as little as five seconds.

The initial setup is a little more extensive than previous models. It includes the normal language, time format, units, heart rate monitor, gender, age, and weight. But then it goes on from there with Activity Class. Activity Class is a number from 0 (no exercise) to class 10 (exercise 15 hours per week). The classes are based on An Energy Expenditure Estimation Method Based on Heart Rate Measurement (http://www.firstbeattechnologies.com/files/Energy_Expenditure_Estimation), from Lifebeat Fitness. It was encouraging to know that Garmin has implemented a more meaningful way of calculating caloric expenditure. Also, as stated in the manual, "For the most accurate calorie data, set your maximum heart rate and resting heart rate."

The general layout of the buttons is the same as the 205/305. One difference is that the lap and start buttons are smaller and farther apart. This could be just a design change for improved appearance, but it could minimize the chance of pressing the wrong button. The side buttons (power, mode, up, down, enter) are seamless to keep out water. They have a very nice feel, easy to press with just the right tactile feel. You can feel the click so you know you've activated the button. Not too hard to press and not too mushy. I've worn right through the rubber on the 305's buttons. That could be from the chemicals in my sweat. Since the unit is waterproof, it's nice to be able to rinse it off. Only time will tell if the same thing will happen with this model.

My first run with the device shows that some things have changed on the menus. I left the data fields as is just to see what Garmin expects me to be looking at. I'm not going to list them all here, as there are several minor changes. There are 4 different screens that are user configurable. The "Run 1" screen has to have at least one data field, but the others can be be configured with 0 (screen is off) to 4 data fields. I like being able to turn off a screen. Sometimes I don't want to see so much data, just what is important to me for that particular activity.


Tapping the power button allows you to scroll up or down to adjust the back light brightness as well as see which accessories are currently setup and/or detected.
HR Graph allows you to see at a glance were your heart rate has been and where it is trending
View charging status (percentage of full charge)
Change Virtual Partner pace
View GPS coordinates while on the map screen
View History/Totals screen separate from History/Activities screen, divided by Run, Bike, and other
View goals screen
Ability to turn on/off message vibration
Ability to show/hide waypoints
Ability to create goals in Garmin Connect and send them to your device


I've noticed this in the manual


Use Garmin connect to create courses and course points and transfer them to your Forerunner.

Hopefully this will be something that will be added in GC's next update, since it is not available yet.

There are a few issues that can hopefully be fixed with a firmware or software update:

When following a course the screen will show your position arrow moving, but the screen is slow to rotate after you make a turn. It is 3 to 5 seconds behind the 305 before it finally rotates the screen.

I am currently working with Garmin Support to troubleshoot an issue where there appears to be a track from Garmin in Olathe KS to my current position. Sometimes it will go away after a few seconds, sometimes it takes power-cycling the unit to finally remove it. When the errant track is visible on the screen the GPS will not lay new track points during my run. My position changes on the screen, but it is not tracking my movement. I've sent support a tcx file. They are looking into this now.

I'll leave it at that for now. I've been running with both the 305 and 310 to collect some comparison data. I will add any findings to this post. If anyone has any other thoughts on their new 310XT, feel free to add them here.

ALAALA
07-31-2009, 10:10 AM
The .tcx file created by the 310 seems to never (or very seldom) include a position tag for the start push and the stop push. This is bad. Please, Garmin, make it so that the first and last .tcx entry (start push and stop push) get a position tag. It might be off depending on accuracy and chance, but it will at least help post-processors show the correct activity length (and improve their distance calculations).

GIACOV
08-06-2009, 03:39 AM
I've been a user of the beloved 305 for three years.

After the battery decided it was time to say goodbye I've upgraded to the 310.
I post here my "first impressions" (just to remain OT).

1. The screen. It is much better than the 305. The backlight color is very attractive. You have four (4) different screens to consult data, but (this is the best improvement) you may switch off how many of them as you wish. So if you just need two screens you may have two screens so that data are easy to consult during a workout or a race.

2. Unfortunately some good features of the 305 are lost.
Garmin has selected not to include as possibility the data field named "Time - Last Lap". This was very useful (at least to me). In case you press lap (or you have an autolap marked) and you cannot look at your watch immediately because of the contingent situation, you miss the data. If you have the data field with the "last lap time" you may have such info available during the following lap and consult it at your convenience. Just in case Garmin could avoid one of the many (too many) data field on HR.
Garmin has not included the possibility (the 305 got with its last firmware) to switch off the GPS by pressing and holding "Mode". This was onother feature I loved in the 305.
Come on Garmin, revise the firmware and correct the mistakes!! Tank you in advance.

3. The new HR strap is "Great"!!! Just try it.

More after having used the 310 for a while.

Giacov

SEILOGRAMP
08-06-2009, 04:11 AM
you may switch off how many of them as you wish

I agree. Sometimes I don't want to be switching through several screens to get to what I want. I believe the 405 has this option too.


Garmin has selected not to include as possibility the data field named "Time - Last Lap".
The good news about this sort of issue is that it can be fixed with an update. If you contact Garmin support, they can at least know that it is in demand.

SEILOGRAMP
08-18-2009, 01:34 PM
I am currently working with Garmin Support to troubleshoot an issue where there appears to be a track from Garmin in Olathe KS to my current position. Sometimes it will go away after a few seconds, sometimes it takes power-cycling the unit to finally remove it. When the errant track is visible on the screen the GPS will not lay new track points during my run. My position changes on the screen, but it is not tracking my movement. I've sent support a tcx file. They are looking into this now.

https://forums.garmin.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=263&stc=1&d=1250620379



After 2 months I was still having issues with this. My previous communication with support resulted in "our engineers will look into this." I emailed support again today. They agreed to RMA the unit since I am the only one on this planet with this problem.:rolleyes: Guess I'll have to suffer with the F305 for a week.

DW152
08-19-2009, 02:39 PM
Well, after today's run, I'm not so sure you're the only one with this problem.

Remember this problem I had?

https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=260

I did a full reset a week or so ago. I hadn't had a chance to check out the back to start navigation until today's trail run. I was about three miles into my run when I tried it. It told me I was 951 miles from the start. I could see a thin line with the path I had taken, with a heavy line telling me to go west, which was nowhere near the direction of my starting point.

Well, it turns out that Olathe KS is 951 miles from where I was, and it is almost exactly W of where I was. In other words, instead of steering me to my true starting point, it was telling me to go to Olathe.

But I still can't figure out where it was telling me to go a couple of weeks ago when it was telling me to go 5,100 miles in a ENE direction. I looked up where that would be, but I couldn't see anything that was obviously meaningful. Odd.

ALAALA
08-19-2009, 02:47 PM
Well, after today's run, I'm not so sure you're the only one with this problem.

Remember this problem I had?

https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=260

I did a full reset a week or so ago. I hadn't had a chance to check out the back to start navigation until today's trail run. I was about three miles into my run when I tried it. It told me I was 951 miles from the start. I could see a thin line with the path I had taken, with a heavy line telling me to go west.

Well, it turns out that Olathe KS is 951 miles from where I was, and it is almost exactly W of where I was. In other words, instead of steering me to my true starting point, it was telling me to go to Olathe.

But I still can't figure out where it was telling me to go a couple of weeks ago when it was telling me to go 5,100 miles in a ENE direction. I looked up where that would be, but I couldn't see anything that was obviously meaningful. Odd.

Are you guys saying you get pointed to some stored location? One of the first things I did was to delete those that were in memory in my 310.

DW152
08-19-2009, 02:49 PM
Are you guys saying you get pointed to some stored location? One of the first things I did was to delete those that were in memory in my 310.

That's a good point. Two weeks ago when I was having this problem, I had deleted all my stored points. But when I did the reset last week, I forgot to delete the three stored points (Garmin USA, Europe, and Taiwan), so these were still in there when I tested it during today's run. Still, it shouldn't matter.

BBECKER39
08-19-2009, 03:17 PM
The issue that randomly causes a track line originating at Garmin International should be fixed in the next software version. I am not certain if this also includes the instance you saw that was 5100 miles away.

SEILOGRAMP
08-19-2009, 06:00 PM
The issue that randomly causes a track line originating at Garmin International should be fixed in the next software version.

Apparently the person at CS did not know this, since he stated I was the only one he's ever heard of having this problem. Told him I'd be happy to sit tight and wait it out if he knew that the next SW version would address this. Got an RMA yesterday from him and it went back today. :(

DW152
08-19-2009, 06:51 PM
Sorry to hear that you sent yours back for no reason. That's why I didn't send my 310 back to have the problem of not keeping time when it's off fixed. Since I'm not the only one having this problem, I really doubt that I have a defective unit, and it sounds like yours wasn't defective after all.

SEILOGRAMP
08-19-2009, 07:25 PM
Sorry to hear that you sent yours back for no reason. That's why I didn't send my 310 back to have the problem of not keeping time when it's off fixed. Since I'm not the only one having this problem, I really doubt that I have a defective unit, and it sounds like yours wasn't defective after all.

My issue was definitely a show-stopper. Especially when I'm out on the trail, an hour away from my car and the device gets the flakey track line. Very iritating to have to stop and fiddle with it. Nobody here has reported the same issue. The post from BBECKER39 was the first inkling in 2 months (got my 310 beginning of June) that I may not be alone. In the mean time, I've got no problem falling back on my rock solid F305. ;)

DW152
08-22-2009, 02:50 PM
Sorry for the cross-posting, but here's an update to the "back to start" navigation problem I've been having:

https://forums.garmin.com/showpost.php?p=5022&postcount=8

PUFFOLINO
08-27-2009, 06:19 PM
I've been a user of the beloved 305 for three years.

After the battery decided it was time to say goodbye I've upgraded to the 310.
I post here my "first impressions" (just to remain OT).

1. The screen. It is much better than the 305. The backlight color is very attractive. You have four (4) different screens to consult data, but (this is the best improvement) you may switch off how many of them as you wish. So if you just need two screens you may have two screens so that data are easy to consult during a workout or a race.

2. Unfortunately some good features of the 305 are lost.
Garmin has selected not to include as possibility the data field named "Time - Last Lap". This was very useful (at least to me). In case you press lap (or you have an autolap marked) and you cannot look at your watch immediately because of the contingent situation, you miss the data. If you have the data field with the "last lap time" you may have such info available during the following lap and consult it at your convenience. Just in case Garmin could avoid one of the many (too many) data field on HR.
Garmin has not included the possibility (the 305 got with its last firmware) to switch off the GPS by pressing and holding "Mode". This was onother feature I loved in the 305.
Come on Garmin, revise the firmware and correct the mistakes!! Tank you in advance.

3. The new HR strap is "Great"!!! Just try it.

More after having used the 310 for a while.

Giacov

Everything you wrote here is 100% correct;)
Everytime Garmin develops a new device, some cool ideas (and some new bugs) will be included but also some fine things will be removed:eek:

When I've changed to the FR305 I could run again in the woods (GPS was poor on the FR301) but the display contrast got worse etc.

Now I switched from the 305 to the 310 and again, some fine things (heart rate strap, improved display, smaller size etc. appeared) but I'm wondering why so much good things are gone...
routes are gone
only minimalistic waypoints handling is here (limited search functions, no exchange with Map Source)
lines reappered in the virtual partner graph (FR301), but no km value
data fields are missing or even gone: from "pace-last lap" (dramatic) to "temperature" (would be fine)
display map of a track in the history
etc.

Hopefully, Garmin will try to give all users the full functionality on the 310 - that's why a lot of people haven't bought the 4xx but the 310!

Michael

SEILOGRAMP
09-02-2009, 09:07 AM
https://forums.garmin.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=263&stc=1&d=1250620379



After 2 months I was still having issues with this. My previous communication with support resulted in "our engineers will look into this." I emailed support again today. They agreed to RMA the unit since I am the only one on this planet with this problem.:rolleyes: Guess I'll have to suffer with the F305 for a week.

Got my 310XT back from Garmin yesterday. Went for a run yesterday and did not see this problem. :D So it was either fixed with the 2.6 update or I had a bad unit, not sure which. Noted that my serial number went from 147 to a 7-digit number, so I guess my original device was one of the original batch.

BCWGARMIN
09-02-2009, 09:37 AM
My findings:

Software stinks. I have lost two major events. I am trying to upgrade to 2.6 right now, and I am in "loader loading...".

They do seem to nerf features in the latest versions. See above. One I miss is the functionality of auto stop. It works, as long as you are not in a workout. Am I not supposed to stop at red lights because I am doing a predefined activity.

This product is a do not buy at this time. Not unless you are willing to spend multiple hours trying to get it to "work". Frankly, I threw every PC in my house out after Vista because it created too much support work. I have done more with this silly computer since I bought it.

SEILOGRAMP
09-02-2009, 09:41 AM
BCWGARMIN, I suggest you call Garmin support. They should be able to work through your issues for you.

BCWGARMIN
09-02-2009, 09:59 AM
BCWGARMIN, I suggest you call Garmin support. They should be able to work through your issues for you.

Unfortunately, if you deal with computers all day for a living and you frequent these user forums, you find you know more about the issues than support does.

Although, the one gem they did give me was "hard reset and install the firmware". So I am back on the phone - on hold - with them. I have been working on this for two hours. I should have been out and back from my run. I should be enjoying my vacation. But I am on the phone with Garmin. The longer this goes on, the more sure I am that this is my third and last Garmin product. The voodoo involved in getting things to work is outrageous. Uninstall, reinstall, delete this file, delete that file. Downgrade your software to upgrade your firmware. Mac works, but only if you run parallels. I know you are trying to help. I know I am ranting. But this is just wrong. I work out to get in better shape and have fun in races. Not to add to my computer support time. This product just stinks.

KC1957
03-17-2010, 10:04 AM
Hi, apologies if this has been answered elsewhere but I am new to the forum. I have been using the 305 for a couple of years and find it excellent. One of the options I like is the ability to create a route on Memory Map and send it to my Garmin. This is ideal if I am travelling to a new location and want a preplanned route. I am currently going through the 310 manual but so far haven't found any mention and the comparison spec shows the 305 with routes and the 310 without. Can you tell me if the facility is still there. I am trying to access the 3 page document but it may be blocked by work firewalls so will try later.
Any other comments on how the 310 is better or worse than the 305 would be useful as I look to upgrade, courtesy of my wife and a birthday.

Thanks Kev.

MELZORRO
03-17-2010, 03:50 PM
Routing still works, I've used this feature several times.

305 is cheaper nowadays and almost equal except:
310XT has longer battery capacity, vibrating alarm, ANT wireless transfer, soft heart strap (with several issues)

and a lot of (in my opinion) minor differences

Just found a interesting website:
http://dcrainmaker.blogspot.com/2009/09/garmin-forerunner-310xt-in-depth-review.html