Epson is an electronics company who are one of the world's largest manufacturers of printers, but they're now branching out into the world of wearable technology. The watch reminds me of an early Garmin running watch with its monochrome display and primitive beeping noises like an old school Casio. The watch doesn’t scream 'premium' considering its £179.99 price tag.
Before trying to connect with any software and apps I thought I would give it a quick charge and take it for some runs. Finding satellites on my old Garmin 910XT was painful; I used to leave it in the garden searching for the GPS before leaving the house. Now with watches like the Garmin Fenix 3 the satellites are typically found within seconds, but on 6 occasions the Epson located the satellites before the Garmin Fenix 3.
Epson Runsense SF-810 on charging station
When you leave the watch off for any length of time the screen switches off completely which means after 1 week and 7 runs the battery is still at 50%. However, as the watch is not an activity tracker or step counter I found that there is not much point in wearing it throughout the entire day. It has a longer battery life than other watches on the market, but only because it is doing a lot less: no activity tracking, sleep tracking, or step counting.
With some wrist-based heart rate monitors, it can take 20+ seconds to start displaying your pulse. With the Runsense SF-810, it takes (for me) about 5 seconds on average before heart rate data is displayed.
The 4 buttons double up their usage and kicking off a run is very easy. You can skip the searching for GPS info if you just want to get started. And at the end of the run, a press and hold to save the run. All very straight forward.
At 51g this watch is 10 grams heavier than the Garmin Forerunner 235 which also has wrist-based heart rate capabilities and GPS tracking. The watch face seems quite a bit thicker than the Garmin although when side by side there is not much in it.
Epson Runsense (right) SF-810 side by side with Garmin Forerunner 235 (left)
Epson Runsense SF-810 profile photo with Garmin Forerunner 235
The App and Software
There is lots of data and information available once you sign up to the software and upload your activities online.
Heart Rate Data from Epson Runsense SF-810 App
Pitch (or cadence) from the Epson Runsense SF-810
Stride data from Epson Runsense SF-810
Speed Information from Epson Runsense SF-810
Heart Rate Data
The graph above shows an overlay of heart rate data from a tried and tested heart rate monitor and the Epson Runsense SF-810. To get them to match up completely is tricky as the scales are different, but overall they track against each other quite nicely. A few spikes here and there, but this was a run with some intervals chucked in.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Vs Epson Runsense SF-810
The Epson is typically cheaper online but there are a few comparable things to consider when buying a running watch.
The Forerunner is around 10g lighter
The Garmin Forerunner 235 tracks sleep and heart throughout the day. It also has cycle and workout modes whereas the Epson is just a run tracker.
The Garmin connects via Bluetooth and delivers text messages via a colour display. The Epson sadly does not offer any of this and has a very basic watch display.
The Epson wins hands down here but that's because it is not an all-day activity tracker. The Garmin counts your steps and tracks your heart rate all day long, whereas the Epson is only really good when you're actually running.