Here are my first impressions of the GH-505
My first impression of the GH-505 is that has a square or box design very different from the more rounded design of the GH-625. The size doesn’t differ much from the GH-625 when looking at the watch, it has almost the same height and thickness but is about a centimeter less in width. The width though makes a lot of difference when wearing the GH-505, on my arm it feels a lot less bulky. I have rather thin wrists and the GH-505 fits me better than the GH-625 because its narrower and has a more symmetrical design underneath. The strap is very long and I use the second hole from the inside to get a good fit but the excess strap is not in the way. The GH-505 is not the most stylish watch I have ever seen but its apperance grows on me and I think it looks a bit retro, like the first digital watches in the 70s ant 80s in a larger format.
Unpacking and charging the GH-505
The GH-505 came in a very nicely designed box (pictures in another thread). Inside the box there was the watch, HRM chestbelt, USB charging clip, cycle mount, quick start guide and a CD with the software, all neatly packaged. My initial charge from emty battery to full lasted 2 hours 20 minutes.
There are 6 buttons on the GH-505, 2 on each side and 2 on the front. The buttons are large but you have to press them in the centre. If you press to far out to the edge nothing will happen. I think this might be a problenm especially when running and creating a lap or stopping the watch it is important that the buttons respond correctly. Maybe I just have to get used to the buttons, I might not see this as a problem after a while. There is also a slight delay in the buttons or in the software, when you press it takes half a second before the display changes. I don’t like this, I want the change to be instant like in the GH-625. I hope this can be changed by software!
The display is small, especially compared to the overall size of the GH-505. I would have liked the display to be a little bit larger, filling out more of the front surface of the watch.
The contrast and resolution are very good and this makes up for the smaller size. I have no problems reading the display when running even when it is separated into 4 fields, but I think people with a little impaired eysight will have problems with the small font and will be forced to use only two fields to be able to read it. The lap page has a very small font and is very hard to read while running. This needs to be changed, the lap page could fill the entire screen and have digits twice as big!
The user of the GH-615 and GH-625 will be familiar with the functions of the GH-505, not much is changed and the menus look almost the same but with a better graphic. New functions are the virtual trainer and the multisports which are found under the Gym menu. I will test these functions later. Here I miss the interval workout features, I hope they will be implemented soon!
The chestbelt has a good fit and the heartrate readings are smooth without any dropouts or spikes and it reacts fast to changes in heartrate.
After charging the battrey I took my old Gh-625 and the new GH-505 on a test run, wearing both wathces on the same arm. I had set the autolaps to 1km on both watches and customized the pages of the GH-505 to keep track of HR and pace which together with the autolap functuion were my main test objectives for this first run.
I ran my 10km (correctly measured) route starting in a 4 min/km pace. During the run I increased the pace several times in a kind of fartlek to test how the pace function was reacting. In the steady pace at the start both watches showed almost the same pace but when increasing the pace the GH-625 responded faster than the GH-505. I think the GH-505 has a longer distance for averaging the pace. This Is not necessarily good or bad, but it produced different pace values in the watches. I use the pace for keeping a steady pace in tempo runs and to pace myself running long intervals. In the steady pace tempo runs there will be no difference in the GH-505 from the GH-625. On the intervals I might prefer a faster response to increased pace, I will have to test this!
The autolap function in the GH-505 is working great, there is no cumulation of error like in the GH-625. Each lap of 1000m was alerted on the right place, I studied the distance as the laps were aproaching and they were never more the 10 meters off, very good! The laps recorded in the GH-505 was: 1009, 995, 1005, 996, 994, 1007, 998, 996, 1000, 1000. the laps recorded in the GH-625 was: 1019, 1002, 1018, 998, 1002, 1007, 996, 1015, 994, 989 (Stopped watch before last lap alert). The GH-505 laps add upp to exactly 10.000m (!!!) while the gh-625 laps add up to 10.040m even though the last lap was not finished.
Measured distance was exactly the same in both watches. They measured my 10.000m run to 10.050m. A 0,5% difference which is good. In my previous runs on this route my GH-625 usually show a distance that is 0,3 – 0,5% off real distance.
The HR-monitor worked perfectly througout my run, no dropouts or spikes, just a smooth curve that responded quickly when I increased or decreased my pace.
That’s it for now! I will post more in the other threads later!