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This device is far better than previous GPS running watches from Timex. But it largely plays catch-up with Garmin’s GPS devices.

The Global Trainer is water resistant and has programmable settings for biking and swimming, allowing you to easily switch among them during a triathlon. Garmin’s Forerunner 310XT, which I reviewed in 2009, had all this a year before the Global Trainer came out.

Previous Timex systems had two parts _ a GPS receiver worn around the arm near the shoulder, and a watch that took data from it wirelessly and spat out pace and distance information. The Global Trainer combines all that into one wrist-worn unit and gives you more options for displaying data.

For example, you can display up to four data points simultaneously, choosing from such attributes as time of day, pace, distance and time elapsed. You can also throw in your heart rate, altitude or estimate of calories burned.

Garmin allowed you to do that kind of customization and more ever since its first model came out in 2003, not long after Timex introduced the running community to GPS technology with its Bodylink System.

Of the three devices I tested, the Global Trainer seemed to have the most difficulty finding a GPS signal, whether in New York, New England or Germany. Timex says newer software that comes with the units on sale now should help, but the Global Trainer still lacks the 110’s ability to remember your last position.

Rather than function as a regular stopwatch until it found such a signal, the Timex device kept annoying me with prompts I had to continually respond to while on the run. The Garmin devices knew to leave me alone.

The Global Trainer also stopped working when the memory was full, rather than erase my older workouts. It ran into that problem trying to squeeze in three marathons in a week. My advice is to bring a laptop to transfer older data online _ or don’t run three marathons in a week.

Where the Global Trainer wins is in price. It’s $50 cheaper than Garmin’s 310XT, or $40 cheaper with the heart-rate monitor. It’s more expensive than the 110, but it does a lot more. It’s a good choice for multisport athletes who live in places with a clear view of the sky.

Garmin Forerunner 305 ($200 with heart-rate monitor).

This model is a few years old, but I include it because it’s a good watch now that its price has come down. Although it’s listed at $200, deals are widely available online. A few retailers were selling them Wednesday for less than $130. The 305 includes a heart-rate monitor, which usually costs $50 more.

You don’t get the 110’s assistance in locating GPS signals, but you do get the flexibility and customization now available with the Timex watch. And I’ve found data on the 305 to be far easier to read than on the Timex device, especially on the run.

I recommend the 305 if you want to balance functionality and value. You’re not getting the latest and the greatest, but you’re getting something that works well at a good price.