Firstly, Epson….. Running watch. Really? Well yes. I have one here to review. The Runsense SF-810. But don’t Epson make printers? You need to get past that…. So the watch, it reminds me of an early Garmin running watch. Monochrome display and beeping noises like an old school Casio. The watch doesn’t screen premium but I am not sure how much the watch costs (at this time).
Epson Runsense SF-810 on charging station
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 info before leaving the house. Especially if it was cold outside. Now with watches like the Garmin Fenix 3 the satellites are typically found within seconds. On about 6 runs the Epson located the satellites first once (racing against the Garmin Fenix 3). About the same amount of time once. And up to a minute after on a few occasions. I have no idea what makes a watch dial in on its location quicker but overall it seems OK.
Epson Runsense SF-810 on charging station
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. So not worth worrying about there.
When you leave the watch off for any length of time the screen switches off completely. That means after 1 week and 7 runs the battery is still at 50%. As the watch is not an activity tracker or step counter for me there is not much point in wearing it thought the day (unless you need a new watch of course).
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 51 grams (on our office postal scales) in weight it is 10 grams heavier than the Garmin Forerunner 235 (both built in heart rate monitors and GPS watches). The profile it seems quite a bit thicker although when side by side there is not too much in it.
51 grams in weight
Epson Runsense (black strap) SF-810 Side by side with Garmin Forerunner 235
Epson Runsense SF-810 profile photo with Garmin Forerunner 235
The app and software
The sign-up process required completing an account form. For the email you had to re-enter your email on the form. Click the confirmation email (making sure the password has numbers and letters). Then signing in again via the link emailed to you and then having to enter the login and password into the software on the mac. Seemed a bit overkill but I am sure they have their reasons. But after I was in and popped the watch on the doc, click on upload activities. Immediate success uploading the data and then it fires up the webpage in your default browser.
Watch Firmware updates you need (after playing around) to download some separate software. It would be great to combine the software and firmware updates into one place.
It has a longer battery life than other watches on the market, but it is doing a lot less. No activity tracking, sleep tracking or step counting.
Once you are logged into the website there is buckets of data.
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.
Results from several runs
If anyone has used a heart rate monitor from any device (that I have tested at least) then you know there are dropouts in data for unknown reasons. Maybe the device just slipped down your arm, or chest. Maybe you jumped too hard, or bounced off the floor with too much impact. But the results from 5 runs show interesting data.
As you can see from the charts above there are some fairly large areas of missing heart rate data. I have had the watch up fairly tight, worn on the left wrist each run and kept things as consistent as I can. For my next batch of runs I will wear it even tighter to see if it helps.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Vs Epson Runsense SF-810
The Epson is typically cheaper online but here are a few comparable things to consider when buying a running watch.
Looks… Well that is personal so I will let you choose.
Weight. The Forerunner is more or less 10 grams lighter
Activity tracking. The Garmin Forerunner tracks sleep, heart throughout the day. Has cycle / workout modes. The Epson is just a run tracker.
Smart notifications. The Garmin connects via Bluetooth and delivers text messages via a colour display. The Epson sadly does not offer any of this (that I know of at least!)
Customisation. Both watches you can change the running screens. But Garmin has an app store where you can download new watch face designs and take personalisation to an entirely new level. For actually run screens they are pretty similar.
The Garmin has a colour screen verses the black and white screen of the Epson.
Price. The Epson is around £229 RRP and the Garmin is around £269
Battery. The Epson wins hands down here. The Garmin I found needed charging every few days. It is tracking your heart 24 * 7, but that's the price you pay.
The Runsense part 1 verdict. This watch is ideal if you want to chuck it on as you are about to go out for a run and you are not too fussed about uploading the data all the time. You will get several weeks of occasional runs before you have to think about charging. The data is solid. The GPS is accurate. Heart rate tracking seems spot on.
What Espon Say
Runsense GPS sport monitors combine highly accurate GPS tracking with a built-in Smart Stride Sensor to learn your technique, measuring distance and pace whatever the conditions. You can view real time data at a glance on four customisable screens. With an amazing 30 hours of GPS tracking you can dare yourself to run another mile.
Our video reviews and demos of the Runsense SF-810
SMART STRIDE SENSOR
Learns your individual technique, calibrating your stride length accurately while you run with full GPS signal coverage. If GPS signal is lost due to overhead cover or interference, such as running through woodland or near tall buildings, Runsense will continue to track distance and pace data.
LONG BATTERY LIFE
Thanks to the Epson developed GPS chip and product architecture, you can run for longer without recharging. Features a battery life of up to 30 hours of GPS tracking, which is up to three times longer than comparable competitor products.
ACCURATE EPSON GPS SENSOR
Epson has been developing GPS components for smartphones and other industrial devices for many years. Runsense is built around a new highly accurate and energy-efficient GPS chip.
ANALYSE AND EVALUATE RUNS WITH THE EPSON RUNSENSE VIEW PORTAL
Analyse your exercise in detail, share your achievements with others and set achievable targets designed to improve your performance. Dare to push yourself further with the Epson Runsense View Portal and Run Connect app.
Water resistant to 5 bar means you don’t need to worry about running in the wet. In fact, you can even swim wearing Runsense without an issue.
COMPACT LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN
Its compact, lightweight design is comfortable to wear and does not sacrifice screen size so it’s easy to read while on the run.
The Testing Continues and we will update.