What Run Oregon is Wearing: Epson Runsense SF-810 GPS Sports Watch

Company: Epson Product: Runsense SF-810 GPS Sports Watch - $299 (Amazon Link - $199!) Specs: 

  • Heart rate monitor — comfortably and accurately measured and displayed at the wrist
  • GPS tracking — track your route and distance run via a highly-accurate sensor that quickly locates the nearest signal
  • Track pace, distance and altitude — Smart Stride sensor ensures accurate data, even where a GPS signal may not be available; get both current and cumulative results
  • Programmable lap timer — keep track of your time, for any given distance or lap
  • Performance you can count on — 20-hour battery life with GPS and heart rate monitoring on
  • Track your stride — evaluate the length of your stride as well as strides per minute
  • Supports popular running apps — easily transfer your data to MapMyRun, Strava™ and others
  • Vibration alerts and assignable tap functions — use the tap feature to easily perform assigned functions (i.e., turn on the backlight, go to the next screen, start lap timing, etc.)
  • Customizable LCD display — view real-time data with a two-line or three-line screen
  • Count calories — add extra motivation by identifying how many calories you've burned

Impressions: I love you, Epson SF-810! Whew! I’ve been dying to say that! Having had the honor of taking the Epson SF-810 out on a number of spins, there isn’t anything but gushy, lovey-dovey, wonderful things I can say to runners, walkers and cyclists alike about this GPS watch. There are multiple Runsense GPS Sport Watches available from Epson, ranging in price from $139.99 to $299.99.

I’ve historically been an “Garmin girl”. Whenever someone asks me, “Hey Jessica, what GPS device do you use (or do you like/recommend)?” I always, unequivocally, respond with, “Duh … get a Garmin!”.

Shhhhhh … Guess what? I can’t do this anymore! And I’m not even sad about it – because the SF-810 just shines!

Ok, enough love-fest. Let me introduce you to the features of the SF-810 that made me change my mind so defiantly.

First off – the battery life. Holy smokes! When I ran in my 50K last year, my Garmin ran out of battery in about 4.5 hours. That left me at approximately mile 25-ish going, “ummm … now how far do I have to go?!”. That really put a damper on my final leg of my first ultra. As I recall, when I got back to the car, I took off my Garmin and tossed it in the backseat, with a few select words of “thanks” to it. The SF-810 has a 20 hour battery life, which includes using the GPS and heart rate monitoring feature! Outstanding!

Then, the heart heart monitor … comes standard on the SF-810. And, there is no need for straps or anything around your chest, either. Just put on the watch, and bam! Your heart is in capable hands (if I do say so myself). The device has a sensor on the underside that captures this detail from your wrist, and provides continuous monitoring. I have found it to be exceptionally accurate.

Water resistant! Yes, the SF-810 is water resistant up to 50 meters. With the combination of the 20 hour battery life, and the water resistance to 50 meters, this GPS watch is meant to be with you all day long, on the super long hikes, runs, walks, and even quick dips in the lake or river to cool off. I love that I can wear it all day long, in any setting.

Are you a data geek like me? My job requires me to be so (which is a good thing), so it translates to my running. The Runsense SF-810 has four customizable screens that you can load with 3 data points per screen There are a total of 35 different measurements that are tracked – it is difficult to choose which 12 I want at any given time (I know, twelve! That is AWESOME!). Let me show you some of the data that is captured on the watch, then uploaded into your profile after a run for further analysis. The opportunity to analyze the heck out of your data is available at the tip of your fingers on the Epson Run Connect platform (which is included with your watch, and available online, via iPhone and/or Android devices).

Here is a screen capture of my heart rate on a recent 5K race. Notice how it shows different coloring – the device captures the percentage of the time that your heart rate is in the five zones. As you can see here, 85% of the time on this particular 5K, my heart rate was 131-160 beats per minute. This was a nice, casual, non-challenging race for me. If my percentage was higher in the red zone (161 – 190 beats per minute), I would have been pushing it decently hard.

This chart shows my heart rate in beats per minute, along with the distance traveled. In reviewing the chart below, I held my heart rate pretty consistent between the .5 mile and 2.5 mile mark, which just a touch of variation within the middle-zone. At the end, I pushed it little harder and it went up.

Now for an example of a chart that makes my heart flutter – lots of data here! You’ll see the device captures, and reports out on my average pace, speed, altitude, average heart rate, pitch and stride. Holy smokes! Over the course of the 5K, I can see all six data points and compare them against each other for detailed analytics. This is simply incredible!

And then – a classic dashboard style output is available. This allows for us to get a quick glimpse at what we did, and jot it down in our run log if desired. The data points shown below are elapsed time, mileage, average pace, calories burned, steps-per-minute, stride in inches, and average heart rate.

The SF-810 features an indoor mode, as well. Go for it – hit the gym, strap on your Runsense SF-810, and capture data about your gym workout like nobody’s business. The possibilities for capturing data, and enjoying being out and exercising, is endless.

Once you get home, pop the device on the charger, and it will connect to your PC via USB, and/or sync to your smart device via Bluetooth 4.0.

The Epson SF-810 proves to be a serious watch for serious athletes … but also casual athletes! I encourage everyone to check out the Runsense SF-810, give it a spin, and find out for yourself why I fell in love with it!

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