Loaded with features for the serious runner, the Garmin Forerunner 405CX is a premium GPS watch aimed at the enthusiast end of the market.
Charging fully in three hours, the Forerunner 405CX is simple to set up - on-screen instructions explain how to set your user profile, configure the watch and use the touch-sensitive bezel control.
The touch control is designed to simplify navigation - you tap or hold the outer edge of the watch's face to find your way through the 405CX's menus. Pressing the two buttons on the right-hand side of the watch locks the bezel control to prevent accidental taps when exercising. However, it takes a bit of getting used to, and is far from intuitive for first-time users. In fact, you'll probably need to refer to the manual to avoid getting lost in a maze of on-screen options.
But once you've got the hang of the bezel control, the Forerunner 405CX is a breeze to use. We found that it located the satellites quickly, on the whole. On some occasions we were ready to go within ten seconds, although it was noticeably slower to connect in central London. The only time we lost satellite connection was during a rather extreme stress-test travelling at 60mph on a commuter train; at a rather more leisurely 7mph in leafy suburbia we had no such problems.
Various workouts are available to the serious athlete - but we opted for the tried-and-tested run-as-far-as-you-can-without-collapsing approach, i.e. we set the timer running and started running. The 405CX is fairly lightweight and stayed safely secured on the wrist by the strong strap closure.
Those who like to track their routes and measure their progress using a PC are well catered for by Garmin's Connect service. Once you sign up online, you can keep a log of distance travelled and speed, and see your route on Google Maps. It also estimates how many calories you've burned.
The Forerunner 405CX also comes with wireless heart rate monitor to help you get the most out of your training. The heart rate monitor continuously tracks heart beats per minute and uses your heart rate for advanced calorie computation, so you know how many calories you're burning. The idea is that you train in a certain heart rate zone to improve your fitness level or compare your pace and heart rate to past performance on the same run.
To upload the data from the Forerunner 405CX to web, you must first download Garmin's ANT Agent, and then pair the watch with your computer via Bluetooth using the ANT stick provided in the box. This took a couple of minutes, after which details of every run we took was automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect each time the Forerunner was within reach of our PC to connect.