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Garmin Forerunner 610 Review

  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4 stars
£149 to £259
  • 80%

  • Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2nd June 2018
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 85%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 99%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 95%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 65%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 75%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 80%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 85%

Thank you for visiting our review of the Garmin Forerunner 610 – product tested by Tristan Haskins

Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS HRM review

Release Date (UK) > April 2011

Product it replaced > None. This was their first touchscreen GPS run watch

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > £299

Update 2018 > Please consider the Garmin Forerunner 645 as the current alternative


NOTE > the Forerunner 610 was REPLACED by Forerunner 620 in Sept 2013 and then again by the Forerunner 630 in Oct 2015. The Forerunner 630 features Bluetooth connection to smartphones running the Garmin Connect app (iOs or Android). It also features a 24/7 activity tracker and an all colour display. For the elite athlete the 630 also boasts detailed Running Dynamics feedback, everything from ground contact to stride length.

Who’s it for?

It’s for the RUNNER who wants to know how hard they are training, lap by lap performance monitoring and the ability to run / race towards a preset goal (i.e 10K in 40 mins). The Garmin Forerunner 610 just tipped off a whole new race.  With a touch, tap or swipe, the Garmin Forerunner 610 lets you get on with your run while it tracks all the details. the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch allows the user to see precisely what they need to see while training, and post session via upload to Garmin Connect.

Confused by the Forerunner watch range? You’re not the only one with over a dozen models released in the last 10 years. To help you make the correct choice I’ve produced this guide to the Forerunner watches to help you get the latest and most appropriate model for your needs and budget.

Sleek and Low Profile GPS Sports Watch

One of the smartest, sleekest GPS heart rate monitor training watches on the market. The Garmin Forerunner 610 is a super powerful but easy to use GPS training computer. The touchscreen enabled  Garmin Forerunner 610 has all the features of past watches, plus packing in new functionality like the Virtual Racer and Walk/Run alerts.  The Garmin Forerunner 610’s Virtual Racer allows you to race previous bests on a given course (including ones downloaded from Garmin Connect), while the Walk/Run alert system helps those using the popular Galloway method which focuses on finishing with a alternating walk/run technique.

The touchscreen of the Garmin Forerunenner 610 works well in both rain and with gloves, so there’s no concern about being unable to use the watch in adverse conditions.   The Garmin Forerunner 610 packs an 8 hour battery life while in use, but can be used as a regular day to day watch for weeks at a time without charging.

Monitor Training Load and get your recovery right

For us at HEARTRATEMONITOR.co.uk – the most dramatic new feature for this Garmin Forerunner 610 is TRAINING EFFECT.  Louise Barby (BHIP Director) is using the Garmin Forerunner 610 for her Great North Run Training – and loves it.  Those who’ve visited us before will know how keen we are on FIRSTBEAT Technologies Training Effect – previously only found on the Suunto range.  Not anymore.  The new Garmin Forerunner 610 has full TRAINING EFFECT analysis, showing you clearly when you are OVER or UNDER training.

Next model UP

The next model up is the model that replaced the 610, the Forerunner 620 with colour display. The 620 also features a built-in accelerometer that tracks distance and pace when you’re running on an indoor track or treadmill. It also features a Bluetooth connection allowing you connect with your Smartphone (and Garmin APP) and stay connected with automatic uploads to Garmin Connect for live tracking, social media sharing. However, if you want the next LEVEL up from the 610/620 then you would be looking at the Forerunner 920XT with MULTISPORT functionality and SWIM METRICS

Forerunner 620 for advanced / elite runners

Forerunner 630 model that replaced the 620 ….

Forerunner 920xt for triathlon / multisport athletes

Next model DOWN

The model below this is the Forerunner 220. The 220 does NOT have the training load indication, neither does it feature the touchscreen of the 620. The main difference is the loss of recovery and training effect metrics.

Forerunner 220

A Touch Faster

The Garmin Forerunner 610 gives you several ways to get in touch with your training data.  The Garmin Forerunner 610’s swipe and scroll action makes it easy to adjust settings, review your run history and more.  A quick tap of the screen is all it takes to advance to the next training page so you can see more data.

The Garmin Forerunner 610’s sleek touchscreen is as rugged as it is functional, proving it’s more than just a pretty face.  The 610 can stand up to rain, sweat and splashes, yet it’s sensitive enough that you can operate it with running gloves.  Leader of the Pack.

Behind that smooth glass surface is a watch that’s ready to work as hard as you are.  The Garmin Forerunner 610 provides accurate distance, pace, GPS position, heart rate, calories and more.  The Garmin Forerunner 610 can even guide you back to the starting point of your run, giving you the freedom to explore new routes and always find your way back.

Advanced Features

The Garmin Forerunner 610 is packed with training tools like the new Virtual Racer™ can turn any workout into a virtual matchup.  This feature of the Garmin Forerunner 610 lets you race your previous bests or challenge any activities uploaded to our Garmin Connect™ site.  Virtual Racer accounts for varying speeds and real-time conditions, so it’s truly you vs. your opponent.  Or, use the Virtual Partner® function and see how you measure up to a static pace you set.  The Forerunner 610 also offers vibration alerts, which you can customize for time, distance, calories, heart rate or cadence.  So, when you reach your targets, you’ll feel a gentle vibration.

Training Effect

The Garmin Forerunner 610 is Garmin’s first sport watch with the Training Effect capability from Firstbeat.  Training Effect measures the impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness, essentially helping you train more efficiently.  Training Effect is calculated based on the user profile, your heart rate and the difficulty of the activity.  The Garmin Forerunner 610 also offers customizable heart rate zones, alerts and heart-rate based calorie computations.

Store, Analyze and Share

When your workout’s done, The Garmin Forerunner 610 keeps working.  The Garmin Forerunner 610 wirelessly uploads your run data to our Garmin Connect™ site when in range of your computer. You can go back and review your run on your own time.  The Garmin Forerunner 610 works via ANT+™ wireless technology and the USB stick that comes with your watch.  There are no wires, no manual uploads, no sweat.  At Garmin Connect you can see your activity on a map, view lap splits and explore activities from other users.  Garmin Connect is Mac® and PC compatible.

What’s In The Garmin Forerunner 610 Box?

  • Garmin Forerunner 610
  • Garmin Premium Chest Transmitter
  • AC charger
  • Charging cradle
  • USB ANT Stick
  • Garmin Forerunner 610 Manuals

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