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May 24, 2016 Comments (53) Featured, Gear Reviews

Epson 810 GPS Watch Review

The Epson 810 GPS watch and heart rate monitor is the new big player in run-specialty GPS. With all the features of some of the top brands & models, Epson introduces a watch that can perform at the highest levels for nearly half the cost ($299). From their site:

“With a highly-accurate GPS tracking system and heart rate conveniently measured at the wrist, it tracks distance, pace, altitude, calories and more, and even features programmable laps. A built-in Smart Stride sensor captures stride length and cadence, for accurate data even where GPS is unavailable. Get real-time data on the customizable LCD.”

Key Features

  • 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

Our reviewers tested the watch over several weeks, putting hours and distance on the product. Here are the results from that testing.

Overall Rating – 4.5

GPS Accuracy – 5

Over the course of a hilly/mountainous run GPS accuracy can vary between brands and models but up to half a mile, most frequently by around .15 – .2. This is influenced by the number of satellites the watch is linked to, how frequently it pings those satellites (every second or up to once a minute), and how sensitive the antenna is that is built inside the watch. Our test results showed accuracy to the highest level. Comparatively we would put it on the same level as the Garmin Phoenix 3 and Suunto Ambit 3 Peak, two watches built for mountains.

“I’ve run the Zion Traverse 8 times. I know the distance of that route down to a tenth of a mile and have tracked it on three different devices. I can say with certainty that the Epson 810 is the most accurate watch I have used on that route and that accuracy remains consistent on any route I run or race on.”

Easy of Use – 4

The more complex a watch, the harder it can sometimes be to manage all of the bells and whistles. The easiest way to set up and manage screens on the 810 is through the Epson App. The process of making those changes and the ability to do so really isn’t that tough and the end result is a fully customizable screen (you can view up to 4 screens in GPS mode) that gives you exactly what you want. Running the GPS functions is super simple and makes for an easy experience.

“I had to actually look up how to customize the screens on the internet as it wasn’t included in the user manual in the box. Once I did that though, making the changes and setting up my watch exactly like I wanted it was very simple.”

“The watch was so easy to operate, I would occasionally start my workouts without intending to.”

Heart Rate Monitor – 4

Wristband heart rate monitoring has been accepted as not nearly as accurate as a chest strap. While the accuracy can be close, there is a distinctive lag of up to 15 seconds from wrist monitoring to display. The reason for this is because of the delay in heart rate change pumping blood from heart to wrist, then calculating that change to the watch display. This delay is not specific to Epson, but actually an industry standard. So keep that in mind when choosing a watch. Additionally, with any wristband heart rate monitor, the watch band has to fit snuggly against the wrist. If any light gets in between the watch and wrist the sensor won’t be able to pick up the heart rate. Once calculated, however, the Epson displays a quite accurate result.

“It was a little new to get used to as it was a change from the chest strap I previously used. I also had to wear my watch tighter than normal, which took some getting used to. But once I made the transition I found it to be very useful and it has become a part of my regular training.”

Value – 5

While the Epson 810 doesn’t offer social media updates directly to the watch (something we’ve generally considered worthless), it does provide most of the essential features of the other top brands. No, it doesn’t have real-time map of your route or track back. But for $300 who really cares. How many of you have actually used that feature? For the 1% who have, it would be a good idea to stick with those other brands, but for the rest of us 99%, there is no better watch on the market. And with a 20 hour battery life on GPS mode, the Epson 810 is hands down the best value on the market.

“I was assigned to test his watch a couple of months ago. Once I settled in I grew to love it. I haven’t put on my other watch (one I’ve trained with for years) on since and don’t plan to. The Epson 810 is my new go-to watch.”

“The watch is simple in appearance, but impressive in function. Don’t let the large and bulky charger dissuade you. This watch rocks.”

  • Epson 810
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  • Treadmill
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53 Responses to Epson 810 GPS Watch Review

  1. Anne says:

    This looks like a great watch. I currently own the Garmin 205 but I know the battery life will be insufficient if I move up to the 50 mile distance.

  2. Andrea says:

    Good input for the HR monitor delay. I need an updated watch too

  3. Debi says:

    Great a cheaper alternative, with more ease of use, what more could a girl ask for?

  4. Tim Nelson says:

    I would love to test this against my Garmin 920xt. On a measured 20km trail loop, the 920 reads 19km. Would love to see if the accuracy of this is better

  5. Bryan Odeen says:

    Thanks for this review! It looks like a great investment and value!

  6. Tony Brown says:

    Looks like this could be my new sports watch vs the Garmin.

  7. Andrew Jensen says:

    I would love to try this out. My Garmin only has an 8 hr battery life so I have to charge on the go during my ultras. Often thrbchargebdoesbt work so I don’t get an accurate picture of my run.

  8. Jerry Jensen says:

    Does the battery last 20 hours in GPS mode?

  9. Ryan Byers says:

    Looks like an awesome watch and will give Garmin a run for its money!

  10. Juan Jourde says:

    Color me curious (ive got two ambits one for tris one for ultras)

  11. Kristyan Williams says:

    Like like a good one. Might have to try it out!

  12. Willa Balfour says:

    Thanks for the great article! I currently use a Fenix 2 and find the battery life is ok, but it is really complicated and “tech-y” for me to use to its full potential. I would love to try a more straightforward option!

    Also love the sleek design!

  13. Annie says:

    Great article!! I’d LOVE, LOVE, LOVE one of these!!! I don’t have any kind of running/GPS watch and the HR monitor I have is worthless. This would be fantastic and what a great value!

  14. Todd S says:

    Definitely have to take a hard look at this watch. And for hundreds less, may be the tipping point.
    Do you get more than 20 hours if you go GPS with NO HR ?

  15. Christy Cosgrove says:

    This looks like it is just what I need for my trail runs!! I am not getting any younger so having the heart monitor would be super helpful. I also like the fact that it is small enough for a woman to wear.

  16. Matt says:

    My current watch only tells me the time. This would be an incredible upgrade! I love all the features and this would be amazing in training for my first 100 miler in October. Sick of mapping routes on mapmyrun!😉

  17. Steven says:

    I been disenchanted with my Garmin 910xt for some time now, but haven’t bit the bullet yet and replaced it. This is most interesting!

  18. James Underwood says:

    This watch looks amazing. Definitely looking in to getting one.

  19. Chris ward says:

    Great looking watch w a good review too. I’m actually lookin for one. I’ll give this a try

  20. Karen says:

    Being “newer” to running this sounds like the ideal watch for me.

  21. Jon young says:

    Would love to try this out for myself

  22. Jesse says:

    Sounds like what I’ve been lookin for in a watch. I have an older garmin and the software is to confusing, so I never end up using it. I’d love to have this for future training!

  23. Tom Eisele says:

    I like the price point and accuracy is always an issue hoping for the best here. My Fenix 1 was a bit off.

  24. Jim Rigby says:

    This looks like a brilliant watch. I feel it would give my suunto a run for its money. I work on the mountains so will be able to put it through its paces

  25. Ed Werner says:

    Looks amazing. Gonna give competition a run for its $.

  26. Jeremy Haddock says:

    I guess I am one of the few people who have used the map feature on my Garmin. It has saved me from being lost on multiple occasions. With that said, everything else about this watch is screaming for me to buy it.

    • Curt Bentley says:

      I’ve used the navigation on my Suunto many times as well. Works great when running new routes. I’d miss it.

  27. Joshua Howard says:

    Love my Garmin, but always interested in new hardware.

  28. Derrick says:

    Sounds great would love to try it out.

  29. Michael Potter says:

    This sounds like a possible replacement for My Garmin.

  30. Scott says:

    Great info and looks like an awesome watch! I hope to get one of these watches one day.

  31. Bryan Barton says:

    Very interesting review! Recently started going over reviews and different manufacturers for a no nonsense gps with solid battery life. This is on my radar for sure. Looks like an everyday watch thats also going to work in the running world for me.

  32. Suzanne says:

    I would love to try this watch, give Garmin a break …lol

  33. John says:

    Looks like a good affordable in a market where decent activity watches are way too expensive with features such as these listed.

  34. Jacob Ping says:

    What’s the battery life?

  35. Anthony longano says:

    Looks interesting

  36. Melanie says:

    This review is making me think about getting an up-to-date GPS watch. Mine is woefully old and takes forever to hook up to satellites.

  37. Susan A says:

    Always good to see this before making the investment.

  38. Drew Miller says:

    This looks like an awesome device at an affordable price finally. Great review!

  39. Tzvetka says:

    My Garmin is getting old. I really need a new heart rate monitor.

  40. Faith Raymond says:

    I was just researching this watch!!!! Looks like a great watch that married my want for longer battery life and optical HRM!!

  41. Aaron Place says:

    I’m not one for gadgets, but I might try this one! Sounds like a great piece of gear.

  42. Chris says:

    20h battery life. This is a winner!

  43. Donna Nail says:

    Sounds amazing! Don’t need social media posting for me….I run for myself…Would look great on my arm as I run the Pikes Peak Marathon!

  44. Debbie morris says:

    Looks like a great value Watch with a long battery life. Could be the replacement I’m looking for for my garmin 220.

  45. I have this watch. I can say from experience….it’s terrible. It’s not easy to configure and why should we have to use an app to configure it? Very poor customer support. Terrible firmware. Very expensive for the features it offers. Get a Garmin 235 and you will be much happier. GPS IS accurate and HR seems fine, but there are plenty of other watches which do the same and are cheaper and easier to use, with more features.

  46. Jonathan Burchmore says:

    Does it have the ability to do workouts? For example, a simple interval timer.

  47. Colleen says:

    Looks great! I’ve been trying to do heart rate monitoring with a phone app and arm HRM (no display). I’m looking at GPS watches now because I want to know my heart rate at a given time. I can live with a 15 sec delay.

  48. Ambyr H. says:

    This looks like a great deal! My biggest hardship when considering an upgrade is battery life. I need something that lasts 24 hrs or so without breaking the bank and swallowing my wrists with a humongous watch face. Can this be recharged while running though?

  49. Patrick Voo says:

    With a Garmin Forerunner 305 that is reluctantly being resuscitated from time to time I would love to check out Epson’s offering (especially since Meb is a fan of it too)!

  50. Tim Bird says:

    At a 20 hour batt life in GPS mode, this makes it a major possibility for me. My big question is can it be charged on the go whilst tracking?

  51. John L'Heureux says:

    It may be time to upgrade

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