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Garmin Forerunner 920XT GPS Watch Review

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So what do we think of the 920xt?

Well let’s start with some context, for me it’s predecessor was a Timex Ironman, this is the first go at any sort of GPS training watch, so fair to say we have jumped from the low end to the very high end of the market, waving politely at everything else in the middle as we went by. In terms of the review, it’s been a week and it’s been snowy and icy for most of that time, so can honestly say the watch sits very nicely on the arm as I watched tele.

Running

I did manage to get out 4 or 5 times on tracks rather than roads, couple of those with the heart rate monitor on. In short, works great, in particular the big face and display option means you can look at exactly what elements of your run performance you want as you go along. I started with the default view which allows you to track time, current speed and distance on the one screen, but later changed the setup to show heart rate on the same screen as well. there are a plethora of options that you can view/track including cadence, elevation, lap splits, average speed across the run, etc. etc. and you can choose exactly how many element you view on the screen at any one time. You can also spool through the screens with the press of a button so on the home screen perhaps you focus on speed and distance, while on screen two you have heart rate and elevation. Setting the screen options is also child’s play and the display is easily read while on the go.

Cycling

The weather did go against me for any meaningful riding however I did have a very brief trip out just to make sure it worked. It does, by the by I bought a BDM rubber bike mount kit for £6 (the Official Garmin mount if about £20 – which logo aside looks exactly the same). Concern was always going to be that it is not as good as having a cycle specific device, and to be fair against the very high end of the cycle specific market might just about have an argument, but the size of the display together with configuration made this great to use. I was actually thinking of getting a bike device later this year, but not now as this more than does the job for me at any rate. Again I sat with time, speed and distance as the default all of which were very easily read and much credit to the BDM mount, which not only looks pretty sleek but meant the watch was incredibly stable with no movement on the bars at all.

Swimming

You’ve got to be kidding, it’s a new watch, I don’t want to get it wet just yet.

The Techie Bit

GPS connects pretty much immediately when you start your run, aware reading reviews on some previous Garmin models this has not always been the case, but in each instance we are talking a couple of seconds to connect. On which note I took my phone out on one run as well as the watch to see what the accuracy was like – now unscientific though this may be, either it’s spot on or both my devices are equally stuffed as they came back the same. The watch connects really easily to WiFi for syncing to Strava etc. or through Bluetooth to your phone as soon as you get in the door. Was a doddle to setup, as a man I refuse to read user manuals and I have held close to that creed this time as well. If you can’t set this up you really should be wondering if you are OK to head out and about on your own.

PROs

Can’t really fault it, it does what it says on the tin and a hell of a lot more besides. Tracks activity as expected and really easy to use and view when on the go, and if you do decide to use it as a day watch there is a pedometer counter sitting constantly in the background which tells you how you are getting on a against a daily goal (for some reason the watch decided I need a little under 6000 steps a day to reach my target – it does become quite addictive and have found myself walking in circles in the kitchen to boost my score). Easy to setup and configure. Battery life is great, still sitting with a quarter charge left now a week in.

CONs

s you’d expect with multisport watches it is a little large, especially for my girly wrists. It is however quite a lot less bulky than its predecessor and other watches that do the same on the market. Also not sure it looks quite as good as the Fenix2 or some of the Suunto offerings, but that’s just down to personal taste. The Garmin connect app isn’t the equal of Strava and depending on how you go about your setup, will want to force you in the first instance to link the device to youre phone via this app rather than allowing a generic Bluetooth connection. Oh and it does tell you to move if you have been sitting down too long, but you can switch this function off!!!

Verdict

Pricey but a cracking bit of kit. Oh and buyers beware, two options one with and one without the heart rate monitor.

Once the weather improves we are going to take it through its paces a little further on both bike and swim as well as starting to get to grips with the multi event functions, setting specific activity types and targets – we will let you know how we get on.