Watch Review: Garmin F10
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
After going through several running (and running-ish) watches over the last few years, I have become very opinionated. So, I have decided to put my opinions out there. I am starting with the watch I used the most during 2013 because everything before that was crap (looking at you Garmin 405 and 610). Quick recap: the Garmin 405 was pretty good, but had major issues in rain and even more issues if there was lightning anywhere near. The Garmin 610 was a horrible fit and I had chaffing scars on my wrists. I was reduced to putting K-tape on my wrists before runs and trying to make to make the tape last for two runs in one day. The 610 also had major software issues to the point that it now lives in my desk drawer (as if it's ever going to fix itself). That's all I'm going to say about those two early versions of Garmin. I wore the Garmin F10 mostly when I was pregnant and not doing many workouts. I chose it because it was a great fit and a tolerable price point (currently $159 on Garmin.com).
The F10 was simple to use right out of the box. There aren't many options, so there is very little set-up. The downside is that it's so simple that you can't make modifications that I wanted post-pregnancy, so I had to move on. You can use it for taking splits, but it won't actually show you your current lap time, only overall time. Once you do hit lap (or auto-lap if you set it to do that), it will show you what you ran for that split before defaulting back to total time. So, for example, if you're running 400s, you can't look down and see your time at 200m unless you restart your watch after every interval.
The other downside, and this is a big deal breaker for me, is that if you're planning on using GPS, you can't start your run until you have a signal. The more advanced Garmins allow you to start a run without a signal, and they will continue to attempt while you run. If you live in a city or are frequently running late to meet someone, or you just don't like standing in the middle of the street with your hand in the air, then this watch will drive you batty. Like all Garmins, the best way to review your run is to upload it to Garmin Connect. The accuracy is spot-on, the stats are informative and you can share the data with your coach, training partners, dad, priest, etc. Pros:
Small, good fit
Good color choices
Out of the box simple
Doesn't allow you to start running without GPS
Cannot handle interval workouts
This watch is for you if:
You like simplicity and a lower price point
All you need is to know is how far and how fast you ran, including splits
You start your runs in a place away from tall buildings or you have a lot of patience to wait for GPS to kick in