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Rated4out of5byBoomer0369fromGarmin FR70Fits the bill for an entry level heart rate monitor that's not to expensive. Form and fit are very good, function and user interface is easy and quick. Don't have long term usage yet but will update when I have a better feel on reliability and long term usage.
Date published: 2014-03-04
Rated1out of5byHutchfromWORST documentation and support EVER!!!So far I have been almost completely unable to use this product at all. The instructions included with the heart rate monitor were practically non-existent. The instructions on Garmin's webpage were incomplete and, in places, actually contradictory. When I emailed Garmin asking for assistance, I received their (automatic) acknowledgement of my email, saying that they would respond within three days. However, after twelve days now, I have had no contact at all.
This is probably the worst experience I have ever had with any product of any kind.
Date published: 2013-09-25
Rated5out of5byJeffreyGfromGarmin FR70 HRMI use it to keep track of my heart rate as I exercise and to correlate my level of exertion to my level of calories burnt or work completed.
Date published: 2013-08-16
Rated3out of5byBiker Megfromno good for spin classI bought this unit after my old Garmin HRM, a different model, failed after 10 years. I wanted something that would display heart rate, calories, and, if used with an extra transmitter (in Garmin's case, the GSC10), cadence on my spin bike. Unfortunately, this isn't possible with the FR70. If the GSC10 is only transmitting cadence (because of its design, it can't transmit speed on a spin bike), the FR70 will pick up/display the cadence, and pick up/display the input from the heart rate strap, but it will NOT calculate calories. A Garmin rep had assured me twice that this was possible, but I guess he'd never actually tried it, because it doesn't work.
Many years ago, with my original HRM, I talked to several Garmin reps trying to solve this no-calorie-calculation-with-cadence problem. Finally talked to a woman who said that unless the GSC10 was *transmitting* both speed and cadence, the watch would not calculate calories. Yes, that's even though the calorie calculation algorithm is based on heart rate. Bizarre.
Since this was a long-term problem, I'd already gotten a fix, which was to buy a wireless bike speed/cadence meter & hook that puppy up every time I worked out. It's a cludge of a solution, but it works.
The FR70 itself is ok. It does a good job of picking up heart rate from the strap; you need to get a little sweat in between the strap & your skin, but that happens fast. Someone else commented that the buttons are hard to push. That's true; if I were a runner, I wouldn't be expecting to push buttons while running. Those suckers are tough. Programming the watch/receiver is a total pain in the neck. With only 5 buttons and a lot of functions, I guess that's not surprising. But geez, it's not obvious at all. Be aware that you'll need to download the manual yourself. They enclose only a "quick start" manual that's useless. The unit is also useless as a watch....well, maybe that's not true, but I like to see seconds & it'll only show them after you press a button & then only for a minute. I don't know what's up with that; there's room on the face for it. But if you don't care about seeing the seconds, then it'd work ok as a basic watch.
After re-reading this review, I'm wondering why I kept this thing! I guess the bottom line is that once you suffer through getting it set up, it's a reliable unit. It'll show 3 things on a screen (I like HR, calories & elapsed time) & many of the other brands don't do that at this price point. And it's easy to change the batteries.
Date published: 2013-06-16
Rated3out of5bywanderedinnfromGood all around device, but...I find this watch easy to set up and configure. I've been looking for a decent heart rate monitor to use in the pool, unfortunately, this one does not work in the water. I find that disappointing for a device that lists 'swimming' as one of it's uses. For a cyclist or runner, the heart rate monitor function works great. Problem is, I'm a cyclist and a swimmer and I have a heart rate monitor for my cycle computer. Tri-atheletes, steer clear. Runners or cyclists, great device.
Date published: 2013-03-30
Rated1out of5byPuyallup BobfromShort Relationship Ended with ExchangeI never could get a reliable heart rate to display on the device. Displayed heart rate was usually 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 of actual. It was usually 20 min or so into my workout before anything was displayed. Tried moistening the electrodes, using electrode gel, wiping skin with alcohol, etc. No joy.
Called Garmen to trouble shoot and they did send a replacement sending unit that worked a little better, but still was not reliable. Sometimes after about 40 minutes the correct heart rate would display.
I found the UI to be clumsy and non-intuitive. This was made worse by the lack of a manual. Garmin said it saved them money to just post a pdf of the manual on line.
Activating the rubber armored buttons was a little too fussy for my taste on a device that is designed to be used during a workout. It takes a fairly precise press at the right angle with a thumb nail to activate the buttons.
After a few weeks of trying to get it to work and hoping things would get better, I exchanged the Garmen for a Timex Ironman Road Trainer which worked great right out of the box. As always, the good folks at REI Tacoma made the exchange easy and were a help in picking a replacement.
Date published: 2013-02-14
Rated4out of5byJFGfromGood watch / good priceI've had this watch for just over a month and love it. I like to run on trails whenever I can and this watch allows me to do that and still know how far and how fast I've gone. I really like being able to download my runs to Garmin Connect so I can keep track of my progress. Works good for biking, too. Sometimes a little slow acquiring a satellite, but I use that time to warm-up before I start my runs. A great watch if you don't want a lot of bells and whistles.
Date published: 2013-02-07
Rated5out of5bykayakrfromA good heart rate monitorThis is a good heart rate monitor. With the ANT connection you can easily upload to connect.garmin.com to track your workouts along with your GPS devices. The cloud service is a big value add. I use this for rowing machine, hiking, biking, etc. I also have a 305 GPS device I use for biking, but many times I just use this instead because it's simple. I like the calorie counter because it seems to "give credit" for working out hard. A mild walk may be 300 cal/hr but you can burn up 600 on the rowing machine in 40 minutes.
A few comments on some of the issues noted in other reviews:
1) Heart rate accuracy and pickup. One needs to dampen the contacts on the band, and then it will be super reliable. I have had heart rates start to skip around with Garmins and changing the battery in the band corrected this. You might have left the band wet which will wear out the strap battery faster since it will stay on.
2) lap button. I've noticed that you have to press the lap button with a certain "speed" or it may not function. This seems to be due to the programming internal to the unit and is not a problem once you realize what's going on. Cross any device with a computer, and what you get is, a computer :-(
This is a nice complement to a GPS style unit for those times when you just care about HR and still want to use connect.garmin.com. This service helps to justify some extra $$$ which this watch costs for me.
Date published: 2012-10-09
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