Garmin FR910XT vs 310XT vs 610

Without a doubt these are three of the best running watches, all GPS enabled, on the market today. We hope this article, which compares their features will help you decide if any of these Forerunner models  - the 310XT or 610 or 91XT is the right one to meet your training needs.

Device Features: What’s The Same, What’s Different

Feature    FR310XT Garmin Forerunner 310XT w/Heart Rate Monitor FR610Garmin FR610 GPS Sports Watch with HRM FR910XTGarmin  910XT GPS Sports Watch with Premium Heart Rate Monitor
Unit Dimensions
W X Hx D
5.4 x 5.6 x 1.9cm 4.57 x 6.35 x 1.42cm 5.4 x 6.1 x 1.5
Display Size & Resolution W x H 3.3 x 2.0cm
160 x 100 pixels
2.54cm diameter
128 x 128 pixels
3.3 x 2.0cm
160 x 100 pixels
Shock Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Touch screen Yes(NOT the same
as the touch bezel interface on the FR410)
Weight 72g 72g 72g
Battery Type   Rechargeable lithium-ion Rechargeable
lithium-ion
Rechargeable
lithium-ion
Battery Life (estimate) Up to 20 hours 8 hours in training mode; 4 weeks in
power save mode
Up to 20 hours
GPS enabled Yes Yes Yes
High Sensitivity
Receiver
Yes Yes Yes
Waterproof Yesto 50m water resistant to
IPX7 standard
Yesto 50m
History 1,000 laps 1,000 laps 1,000 laps
Ability to add waypoints/favourites/locations 100 100 100
Heart Rate Monitor Included in some bundles; otherwise available as optional extra.
Will not record heart rate data when swimming
new Premium version (reduces spikes/
dropout problems) included in some bundles; otherwise available as optional extra.
Will not record heart rate data when swimming
new Premium version(reduces spikes/dropout problems) included in some bundles; otherwise available as optional extra.
Will not record heart rate data when swimming
Foot Pod available as
optional extra
available as
optional extra
available as
optional extra
Bike Speed/Cadence Sensor available as
optional extra
available as
optional extra
available as
optional extra
Automatically transfers training data to your computer (Automatic Sync) Yes Yes Yes
Compatible with Garmin Connect for analysing training data Yes Yes Yes
Virtual Partner:
allowing you to train against digital “stick
man”
Yes Yes Yes
Virtual Racer: allowing you to compete against other activities Yes Yes
Courses: allowing you
to compete against previous activities
Yes Yes
Auto Pause: device automatically pauses
and resumes based on speed (ideal for
crossing busy roads)
Yes Yes Yes
Auto Scroll: cycling through data pages during training Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Sport allowing you to press a button to change sport mode Yes Yes
FR310XTGarmin Forerunner 310XT w/Heart Rate Monitor FR610FR 610 GPS Sports Watch FR910XTGarmin Forerunner 910XT GPS Watch with Premium Hear tRate Monitor
Ability to create custom, goal focused workouts (also referred to as Advanced Workouts) Yes Yes Yes
Able to create custom screen displays e.g. you could have 4 data fields displayed or just 1 (having just 1 data field displayed allows font to be larger – a real plus
if eyesight’s not that great!)
Yes Yes Yes
Interval Training: ability to set exercise and rest intervals Yes Yes Yes
Pace Alert: Triggers alarm if you vary from predetermined pace Yesbut only in Advanced Workouts Yesbut only in Advanced Workouts Yesbut only in Advanced Workouts
Time or Distance Alert: alarm triggers when
you reach predetermined
goal
Yes Yes Yes
Alerts: Ability to choose tone and/or vibrationVibration Alert is particularly useful if you’re in a noisy location or wearing headphones) Yes Yes Yes
Heart rate based calorie calculation Yes(if wearing heart
rate monitor
during activity)
Yes(if wearing heart
rate monitor
during activity)
Yes(if wearing heart
rate monitor
during activity)
Training Effect: ability
to measure impact of
the activity on your aerobic fitness based
on user profile, heart
rate and difficulty of activity being performed
Yes Yes
Barometric Altimeter: senses changes in air pressure to calculate ascents and descents
for more accurate readings
Yes
Swim Metrics: tracks
pool lengths, stroke type(free, breast, back
or fly) and stroke count (of the arm wearing the wrist watch)
Yes
Power Meter compatible (3rd party ANT+ enabled power meters such as Power Tap, SRM and Quarq Cinqo). These meters measure how many watts a cyclist  is outputting taking into account wind and terrain which have an impact on speed Yes(every second) Yes(every second)
Compatible with Garmin Connect allowing you to analyse your exercise data on your computer Yes Yes Yes
Garmin 310XT Garmin 610 Garmin 910XT

It’s very important when looking at sports watches to decide what features are an ‘absolute must’, what are ‘good to have’  and what are superfluous to your needs. The more functionality, the higher the price.

FR 910XT vs 310XT vs 610: What’s Best?

There is no doubt that all three models have a very high spec. They definitely make it into the best running watches category. And the 310XT and the 910XT are our top recommendations for a best multi-sports watch.

Think of the 610 as a GPS watch for runners that also has a cycling mode.  Although it has lots of features it is still easy to use. Check out our Forerunner 610 with HRM Review

If you think you don’t need as much functionality then consider Garmin’s FR210 GPS Sports Watch with HRM.

Both XT models are more focused on the triathlon market with the 910 having the higher spec.

Does size matter to you? The 310XT is bulkier than the other two. The FR610 could easily be used as an everyday watch.

Is battery life crucial? Then the two XT models come out tops.

If one of your “must haves” is the ability to get heart rate data whilst swimming (none of the watches here can) then the Polar RCX5 is worth a look – check out our in depth multi sports watch review.

Remember, there is no one answer to “what’s best”. You just have to compare the features and decide which is the closest match to your functionality requirements.

Whichever sports watch you choose I’m sure it will have a hugely positive impact on your training and running enjoyment.