Garmin Forerunner 10 Review

April 29, 2014
Garmin Forerunner 10
GPS Accuracy
Battery Life
Satellite Acquisition Speed

The Good

  • Accurate GPS

The Bad

  • No average lap pace

The Garmin Forerunner 10 is an excellent entry-level GPS watch that can be compared to the Timex Marathon GPS. It is a simple to use watch targeting the beginning runner or those who do not need the myriad metrics that often accompany GPS units. It’s best for runners who need basic fitness and pacing metrics, but who do not require heart rate functions. Its compact size and lightness are notable.


The Garmin Forerunner 10 is a nice introductory GPS watch ideal for weekend warriors who simply want to know how far and how fast they run. The Forerunner 10 competes well against other entry-level watches, though it is at the upper end of the price range at $130. While not incredibly expensive it does put the consumer in a difficult buying predicament. For just a bit more money, in the $150 range,  you could get a watch with many more options. If this watch were closer to $100 it would be the best choice in the category, but it gets serious competition from the Timex Marathon GPS.

The Garmin Forerunner 10 comes in two sizes, one being a smaller unit designed for women. The men’s comes in either a black or orange color, while the women’s comes in either green or pink. Both units are identical in their features and functions.

The Forerunner 10 comes with only a USB charging cable but no wall charger. The attachment/charging clips are sized specifically for the two different watch sizes so if you have both sizes in your household, sharing the cables is not an option.

The size of the men’s version is comparable to that of the Timex Marathon GPS watch. The watch is very small and light. In fact, this was one of the lightest GPS watches I have tested.

The Garmin Forerunner 10 can be configured with two pages and two data fields per page. For example, I could track time and distance, time and pace, time and calories, pace and distance, pace and calories or distance and calories. The unit also contains a virtual pacer, auto lap function, auto pause/resume, and a walk/run function.

I found a full battery charge lasted about 4.5 hours of actual use (Garmin advertises 5 hours) while a charge lasted many weeks when the GPS was left in standby mode so the Forerunner 10 could be used as a day-to-day watch.

Running and Satellite Acquisition
Starting a run is quite simple–get outside and let the watch acquire satellites. During my tests, the first time out, the Forerunner 10 took about 90 seconds to acquire signals, but subsequent runs were much quicker–in the 20-second range, which is quite fast but is becoming the norm for GPS watches.

I did find this unit to be quite accurate when showing instant pace. The accelerometer must be a lot better than other Garmin units I’ve tested, because it seemed to hold steady for my runs when I was observing current pace, whereas other units tend to jump around a lot which can hinder one’s sense of pace judgment.

Data logging
After completing a run, I was able to view my run data on the watch via the history menu or by way of download to my computer via Garmin Connect. Using this software, I could take advantage of Garmin’s various training tools and analyze my complete workout data.

The Forerunner 10 was extremely accurate. I completed my standard 5000 meter track test and the unit was approximately 15 meters off (over), which is quite good. I could have been running on the outside of lane one enough of the time to warrant the distance discrepancy.


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