Long-view review: Garmin Forerunner 620 GPS watch

OWNED FOR: 18 months.
CONCLUSION: Wouldn’t buy again due to serious reliability issues relating to charging.

Charging Problems
The image above is one of my attempts to force my Garmin 620 to charge properly. Here I’m balancing it delicately on a sellotape holder so as that the strap weighs down the main body onto the contacts of the charging cradle. This is something I have to do every few days, and when I do it I can’t even be sure that the watch will charge, even though it always appears to be charging. This is a known and widespread problem whereby the watch appears to charge to 100% but actually fails to charge at all and then acts very bizarrely until being hard reset. Even with the latest firmware, this problem persists. The fact that Garmin released this product despite this serious problem and then failed entirely to rectify it means that I will never buy a Garmin product again. There are plenty of decent alternatives out there, so why take the chance and reward such poor service?

It’s Raining Replacement Chargers
Notice also that the cradle is the wrong colour. This is because I had to replace the original one (£16) after it stopped working and could not be repaired (I tried the usual tricks recommended by other unfortunates). Since there is no alternative charger, this is likely to happen again at some point, as it seems to relate to the stiffness of the contacts between the watch body and the cradle. So, you are locked in to periodically buying dodgy chargers from Garmin even though the problem originates in their poor design.

The Rest
The 620 itself is fine. Strong points are its speed in picking up GPS, the touchscreen, the virtual partner for pacing, and automatic wifi data transfer. But given the above, I would not buy this product again (or any other Garmin, as mentioned).

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