It is always tough to craft a successor to the gold standard – to create a product that is actually better than the original product an entire industry is judged upon. So to say that Garmin has had a challenge on their hands in creating a 910xt replacement is a bit of an understatement. Not only would this successor have to better than the king, it would have to be better than all of the competing products combined.
After sampling Garmin’s fēnix2, which was geared for the outdoor adventurer, we had a few ideas in mind where Garmin could start. First, we want a watch, not a computer. One of our favorite abilities of the fēnix 2 is that it can double as your everyday watch. Next is the Bluetooth sync. As much as we were fans of the 910xt’s Ant+ sync, the Bluetooth sync of the fēnix 2 is clearly superior. We also like the fēnix 2’s integrated run cadence, which was another huge feature introduced since the 910xt’s launch. Although we didn’t just want a fēnix 2 clone.
The Garmin Forerunner 920xt
Enter the Forerunner 920xt, an all-new product that takes the best from the 910xt and fēnix 2 and adds a whole slew of new features. When you first see the 920xt, you can’t help but notice its new design and high-resolution color display. The 920xt is also 15% lighter and 18% thinner than the 910xt, and features flexible, hinged watch bands for a more comfortable fit. Speaking with members of the Garmin team, they were raving about how comfortable the new band is for those with either very thin or very thick wrists.
We’re happy to report that the 920xt does in fact feature a watch mode—check that item off our wish list! The 920xt also features daily activity tracking features, including steps, distance, calories, countdown to a personalized daily goal, an audible move alert after one hour of inactivity, and sleep tracking. No need to wear both a Fitbit (or Garmin’s own Vivofit) and your multisport watch. This is one watch to rule them all!
Like the fēnix 2, the 920xt links to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can take advantage of both automatic data syncing and smart notifications. Being that this is going to be your new everyday watch, both are very welcome features.
As we would expect, Garmin has updated the swim abilities of the 920xt as well. Its drill logging allows athletes to easily log swim drills and kick sets at the pool, along with recording swim distance, pace, stroke type, stroke count, and SWOLF score. The 920xt includes two rest timers to keep swimmers pushing off the wall on time. It also features distance alerts to let users know a set is over, or time alerts to help them hold their pace. This is a feature we are very excited to try.
As we had hoped – Garmin added the ability to track running dynamics, including cadence (total steps per minute), vertical oscillation (amount of “bounce” in a runner’s step), and ground contact time (how much time a runner’s foot spends on the ground during each step). The 920xt also features a metronome with vibration and audible alerts to guide cadence training (something our coach has been recommending), a race predictor based on VO2 max for running, and a recovery advisor indicating how long a runner should rest before attempting another hard effort.
As one would expect from Garmin, you get Ant+ support for power meters, heart rate meters, speed, cadence, etc. Garmin has also added GLONASS reception to the 920xt for improved accuracy.
For ultra-runners, the 920xt now includes an UltraTrac mode that will extend the battery life from 24 hours to 40 hours. The 920xt will be available in black/blue or red/white for a suggested retail price of $449.99 and $499.99 for the premium heart rate monitor bundle.
Our thoughts can be summed up with the five words we asked Garmin when they told us about the 920xt – When Can We Get It?! Stay tuned for our review.