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View Full Version : FR 305 vs. 310XT



MPLSMIKEY
07-28-2009, 08:30 AM
For anyone who has used both the 305 and the 310XT, what are your general impressions? Is the 310 worth the price difference (currently about $160 for the 305 and $399 (w/ HRM) for the 310)?

A little bit about me in case it will matter for your responses:
I have been a runner for several years, but only really serious since this spring. I'm training for a half marathon right now (to be run in October), and plan on stepping up to a full marathon next year (hopefully Chicago), so I'm getting a GPS trainer to help me get a handle on my training. I only plan on using the device for running, and maybe casual biking. Swimming is not a factor, so the extra waterproof-i-ness (yeah, I made up a word, so what) of the 310 isn't a factor for me. I'm sure the 305 would do everything I need, but some of the extra tweaks of the 310 seem really nice to me (in particular, the better screen/backlight, the faster locking onto satellites (once the kinks are worked out), and the vibration alerts... extra battery life is also a nice plus).

Money is definitely a factor for me too. I was laid off from my job in March, and have just started working again, and the job I'm in now, while a good one, is still a kind of temporary/part time job that doesn't pay super well (hopefully it will turn into a full time position, but that's not really an issue for this message board). I got several Amazon gift certificates and some money for my birthday recently, and I have enough from those to cover the cost of either, but it would be nice to have a little extra to buy something else from Amazon should I need it. Which brings me to...

I lost my iPod recently, which I listened to while I ran. I have been able to do without for the past week and a half, but eventually, I would really like to replace it (I know, I know, "serious" runners don't listen to music while they're running... but screw that, my thoughts just aren't that interesting during an 8 mile long run, and I don't know how I would cope on a 20 miler). If I get the 305, then I will have enough left over from my birthday gift certs to get a replacement iPod (or some other mp3 player).

So, what advice do you have for me? Should I just get the 305 and save my money, or should I shell out the extra $230 for all the shiny bells and whistles of the 310XT?

SEILOGRAMP
07-28-2009, 08:54 AM
Have you seen this thread (https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=105)?

NDURANCERIDER
07-28-2009, 09:00 AM
Personally, I would get the 305 and an iPod. I love my tunes (or Cardio Coach) while running. :D

I like the 310, but unless the money is no object, honestly, the 305 is a great unit. If the price difference was less, I might be more inclined to recommend the 310, but as it stands, I would go with the 305 in your situation.

The 305 should be able to do everything you want it to do.

The battery life should be acceptable, even for long runs. I find I don't charge the "automatic upload" units as much and end up with dead batteries more often than the 305. Since I have to plug the 305 in to download the runs, the unit charges on a regular basis.

The satellite reception capabilities of the 305 are very good. I've used mine in pretty deep woods and get a very good signal most of the time. Not as familiar with urban canyons.

Vibration alerts are a great upgrade in the 310. Also the calorie calculation based on HR.

I have to always have the latest Forerunner, so of course the 310 will be in my collection, but I'm not in the same financial situation you are at the moment. And my iPod is still working great. ;)

Good luck with your decision.

April

ALAALA
07-28-2009, 09:32 AM
One thing to weigh in is that as the Forerunner grows old its battery loses its max holding capacity. My oldest 305 (from april 06) holds less than 5h nowadays. Maybe you'll switch anyway to the NKOTB after 2-3 years, but if not, the 20h (well... ~19h...) (theoretically) will be at 9h-10h after 3 years. Still plenty left, that is.

The vibrator is really REALLY practical.
There's no way you'll miss any alerts you have set up.

But, the 305 is a great value, if you don't need the extras the 310 has.

NDURANCERIDER
07-28-2009, 09:36 AM
My 305 doesn't have that low of a battery life. Lots of use over the last 3 years and still gives 8 - 10 hours on a full charge. Maybe not as good as when it was new, but a far cry from 5.

April

MPLSMIKEY
07-28-2009, 09:50 AM
Personally, I would get the 305 and an iPod. I love my tunes (or Cardio Coach) while running. :D

I like the 310, but unless the money is no object, honestly, the 305 is a great unit. If the price difference was less, I might be more inclined to recommend the 310, but as it stands, I would go with the 305 in your situation.

The 305 should be able to do everything you want it to do.


Thanks April... I think that's where I am leaning too, but it's nice to get some confirmation from someone else.


Have you seen this thread (https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=105)?

I think I had seen the thread before, but before I had lost my iPod so I was leaning toward the higher price of the 310XT. I'll take a look at it more.


One thing to weigh in is that as the Forerunner grows old its battery loses its max holding capacity. My oldest 305 (from april 06) holds less than 5h nowadays. Maybe you'll switch anyway to the NKOTB after 2-3 years, but if not, the 20h (well... ~19h...) (theoretically) will be at 9h-10h after 3 years. Still plenty left, that is.

I don't think this is a huge issue for me. It will be a long time before I am able to run even 5 hours, and by that time I probably will talk myself into upgrading to the 310 (or whatever new product Garmin has come out with by then).



The vibrator is really REALLY practical.
There's no way you'll miss any alerts you have set up.

But, the 305 is a great value, if you don't need the extras the 310 has.

The vibe alert is honestly the one thing that I think would be really useful for intervals and heartrate training, but I certainly don't *need* it (just really want it), and I don't think I can justify an over 200% premium just for vibration alert (I know the 310 has lots of other features, but most of the ones that are "must haves" are already on the 305).

MPLSMIKEY
07-29-2009, 10:40 AM
Thanks to all who responded and gave their advice. I decided to be financially smart and "only" get the 305. I just ordered it from Amazon, and it should be here next week.

I just couldn't get over the $200+ dollar difference between the two. I figure if I really love the 305, then in a year or two I can upgrade, but $200 is a new iPod Touch (which I am currently leaning toward buying as well).

NDURANCERIDER
07-29-2009, 10:42 AM
Congrats. I'm sure you'll enjoy the 305. :)

April