I would like a watch that would give me access to the raw data it records. Not some magic transfer to the cloud where graphs are built on the fly for me.

The data-points that I'm interested in are (minimally):

  • lap time (or if no laps are detected, consider every kilometer a lap)
  • real-time speed
  • track recording (through a GPS that can deal with trees and the like)
  • real-time altitude.

The screen should at least be able to display at the same time:

  • total time
  • current lap time

and it should also be light on demand for night runs.

It would be nice to also have pace and heart rate data available, but it's not a must.

And of course, the cheaper the better. Also I prefer the robust minimalist approach over the gazillion of features but fragile as hell approach.

I never owned such a specialized watch, so my expectations or my demands might be off. Feel free to set my feet back on the ground and explain what I should be looking for or what my needs should be.

  • 3
    Are you open to using an app on a smartphone ?
    – Amine
    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:02
  • @Amine, exactly, those what OP describes is the description of typical running app on smartphone, or GPS. while it is possible to implement it into watch, I don't see a reason why. Jul 10, 2013 at 4:58
  • 1
    I don't own a smartphone and I'm not planning to buy one any time soon. But even if I did, it would be a burden to carry while running. Do those smartphone apps give access to the data? The ones I've seen on my friend's phone don't. Jul 10, 2013 at 10:00
  • 2
    It actually sounds like the typical functionality for a runners watch. I wouldn't want it in a phone, but the watch form factor works for me.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:16
  • 1
    Yes, I ran with a watch quite often. But it's just a dump chronometer. Doesn't even do laps. I think it's time to upgrade :-) Jul 10, 2013 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


I just bought the 310xt, because it stores a lot of data (does everything you want, but doesn't have a barometric altimeter, just gps altitude). I am very happy with it. Because it is slightly older, the price is very reasonable. Many more expensive watches are a bit smaller, but they have a battery that lasts only 8h when new, the 310xt has ample reserve.

More details than you want to know can be found on this webpage http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2009/09/garmin-forerunner-310xt-in-depth-review.html

  • Impressive review! But it seems the data has to be fed to a social-website that aggregates and graphs your data for you. Jul 10, 2013 at 12:24
  • Most of the Garmins graph your data on the watch realtime as well as being able to get some useful analysis online. There are also various offline options.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 10, 2013 at 19:41
  • You can directly download the data to your computer without using the social website. It comes with the program ANT Agent that copies the data to your computer.
    – Dan
    Jul 13, 2013 at 18:17

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