The Epson Runsense SF-810V: a watch for serious runners

A GPS-equipped training watch from a surprising source

For most people, Epson means one thing only – printers – and it has done since 1968. But Seiko’s daughter company produces other stuff too. Indeed, one of the first modern gadgets I wrote about was an Epson scanning translator that came out nearly 30 years ago. To a reasonable degree of accuracy (at least so far as I could tell), it would read Japanese and translate it to English and vice versa.

So here’s another Epson product you wouldn’t perhaps expect – a utilitarian training watch for serious runners. A hundred smartwatches will quantify your running habit, along with dozens of other features, but this chunky machine concentrates on one field only.  


Chunky it may be, but it’s light (52g) and hardly noticeable on the wrist. The GPS-equipped device is suitable for running, walking (more my style) and cycling and it’s packed with useful features. There’s a Smart Stride Sensor that gives stride length and pitch readings in real time; there’s an optical heart-rate sensor providing monitoring without the need for a chest strap; and it’s water resistant to 50m (I’ve no idea why). The reason the Runsense is relatively expensive becomes clear the moment you turn it on – it gets a satellite fix within seconds, something plenty of car satnavs can’t achieve.

For more exercise-related watches, see the Withings Activité and TomTom Golfer. To find out about the Apple Watch Sport and its designer, read our interview with Jony Ive


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