Garmin is about to release the Garmin Forerunner 305, one of it's third-generation GPS-enabled fitness computers. The 305 differs from the Garmin Forerunner 205 in that the 305 includes heart rate monitor functions.
I haven't recommended the Forerunner 300 series in the past because I thought the Forerunner 301 (the predecessor to the 305) was less functional than fitness computers like the Polar S625x which can be used as a running or cycling computer with the proper accessories. The Polar S625x doesn't have GPS capabilities, but it does have a footpod for running speed and distance, and can use speed, cadence, and power sensors attached to a bicycle.
The major new feature of the Forerunner 305 is, in my opinion, the ability to interface with the Garmin GSC 10 wireless cycling speed and cadence sensor. This brings the Forerunner 305 into the same league as many of the Polar S-Series Heart Rate Monitors. Now the Forerunner 305 is a viable alternative to these Polar computers, if you do not already own a heart rate monitor.
Improvements in the 305 in comparison to the Forerunner 301 are the same as those discussed in the Forerunner 205 preview article on Operation Gadget:
- More compact, watch-like design,
- More sensitive GPS receiver,
- USB interface,
- Customizable screens.
The big issue with the 305 in my opinion is the current price. Is it worth a list price of $376 (which is already discounted somewhat by Amazon.com and others)? I can't be sure until I use one. I want to use it the way I use my Polar S625x, and log my workouts into Garmin's Training Center Software. Until I see how it stacks up against my favorite fitness gadget, the jury is still out.
[ via Machine Culture ]