The Garmin Forerunner 305 isn't the smallest or most stylish GPS watch in Garmin's lineup, but experts say it is easily the best value. The GPS-enabled watch includes a host of advanced training features while costing much less than its counterparts. Users say the watch is reliable, easy to use and accurate. The Garmin Forerunner 305 is compatible with optional cadence or speed sensors for cycling, and it includes a Virtual Partner, auto-lap functionality, multi-sport mode, customized workouts and pace alerts. The watch takes a few minutes to acquire a satellite signal, but experts say accuracy is very good and dropped signals are rare. The biggest downside -- other than having to wait while the watch links up with a satellite -- is its bulk. However, many users say that is one downside that is easy to overlook. If you prefer a smaller, more watch-like GPS device, experts recommend the Garmin Forerunner 210 (*Est. $200; $250 with heart-rate monitor). It lacks some of the advanced training features, but it is slimmer and looks more like a regular sport watch.
Amazon.com is the best source for reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 305. More than 1,800 people have rated the watch, and some of the reviews are impressively detailed. DCRainmaker.com, a triathlon blog, has a detailed and illustrated review, and we found solid test-based reviews from The Associated Press, RunTheLine.com and About.com.
More than 1,800 owners review the Garmin Forerunner 305 at Amazon.com, where the GPS watch enjoys a 4.5-star rating (out of 5). Most users say the watch is great for the price. It's also easy to use, compared to other Garmin watches.
Review: Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver with Heart Rate Monitor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2011
DCRainmaker.com, a triathlon blog, gives the Garmin Forerunner 305 a positive review. "I can't recommend it enough," the editor says. He particularly likes the multisport mode, which allows you to switch sports while maintaining your existing workout data.
Review: Review of Garmin Forerunner 305, Editor of DCRainmaker.com, June 25, 2009
3. The Associated Press
Anick Jesdanun, a technology writer for The Associated Press, tests three GPS watches for this article (which appeared in USA Today). Jesdanun says the watch is easy to read, and he calls it a great value.
Review: Review: GPS running watches offer improvements, Anick Jesdanun, March 19, 2011
The reviewer at RunTheLine.com says the Garmin Forerunner 305 is the "best value" among GPS sport watches. Though the watch is large and bulky, it works accurately and has good battery life.
Review: Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Running and Cycling Watch Review, "Tri Again Scott", Aug. 28, 2010
Fred Zahradnik, the GPS guide at About.com, gives the Garmin Forerunner 305 a 3.5-star review (out of 5). Although he likes the numerous training features, customizable display and data upload, Zahradnik says it can take some time to learn how to use the watch. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Garmin Forerunner 305, Fred Zahradnik, Not Dated