Is the new fitness watch from Garmin worth its high price? Battery, app, comparison bitcoin xt tracking verdict. A very powerful watch designed for those who are serious about their swimming, cycling and pavement pounding. The idea that we should just “know” our fitness abilities is outdated: the technology exists to rebuild us, though it isn’t necessarily cheap.
There are a plethora of lower-cost fitness-tracking bands and watches for the aspiring athlete, but the Garmin Forerunner 920XT is something altogether more serious: a powerhouse of a watch that’s like a coaching team that sits on your wrist. GPS, social connectivity to compare and contrast your activity levels with your fitness buddies and the world at large, plus the option of adding this chic ‘n’ stylish heart-rate monitor. It’s not unpalatable to wear – I’ve been happily using it as an actual watch for a couple of weeks – but is much larger than some fitness watches. Garmin’s Forerunner 620 is much slimmer for a start, although it’s shorn of the swim and cycling compatibility. The larger size has its advantages, though. Whereas the smaller 920 is touch-based, this has big, easy to hit buttons on the front and side, which are a cinch to find without looking when belting through a brisk 10K.
One of the key elements here is the ability to accurately track your runs, and the 920XT has proven to be one of the most in-depth watches I’ve ever tested. Having spent a long time with its predecessor, the 910XT, I’d already learned that almost every statistic is on offer here, if you’re willing to dig around in the menus. The key question many ask with a running watch is: how quickly does it get a GPS fix? However when there are a large number of buildings around, it can take an oddly long time to click in.
Overall, the average time taken wasn’t terrible by any means – and the smartphone link-up certainly helped with accuracy. When finally out running, the 920XT was rather strict in its measurement – erring slightly on the stingy side in terms of distance run, I at least always felt confident that I’d completed my distance if I listened to the drill sergeant on my wrist. Although I wasn’t able to test the swimming ability of the 920XT, if it builds on the excellent power of the 910XT you’ll easily be able to track your performance in the pool or in open water – although the latter can’t really make good use of the GPS tracking as all that pesky H2O gets in the way. The simple upgrade is as an activity tracker, being able to tell your steps and then autoplacing you into similar groups online so you can try and run around more than the next person, in order to ascend an ad hoc league table. The same functionality also tracks sleep, although you have to manually enter your period of slumber and, as always with sleep tracking, once you’ve got the data it’s hard to know what to do with it. The more advanced stuff is useful too: VO2 Max lets you know how much fitter you’re getting, and over time the watch becomes more adept at working out your abilities. It’s not perfect, and the predicted race times it generates are more a target than where you are right now in your training, but it’s a useful tool for those trying to regain some semblance of fitness as it’s automatic.
I’ve used this watch during a triathlon, but a lot of that prep was used for swimming. The watch is pretty good for tracking lengths or working in the open water, but for the latter it’s relatively useless at working out how far you’ve gone. The GPS is shorted out by the water, so it’s a VERY rough approximation of your pace and distance. It’s only any use for reminding yourself where you’ve been.