Garmin Forerunner 920XT review

Is the new fitness watch from Garmin worth its high price?

Garmin Forerunner 920XT
You'll feel fitter as soon as you buy it – and your wallet will lose weight too

Battery life and Garmin Connect app

The upgraded battery life over the 910XT and the interactivity with my phone were the two things I really adored about this new watch. I'm happy using it as a watch because, even with a daily hour's run and the all-day activity tracking, it still lasts 4-5 days before needing a charge.

The Connect app is also excellent, bar some annoying and mysterious "server connection" issues that prevented the watch from syncing up on occasion. Once the data is in, you can interact with it in all manner of ways - even setting up "Segments" to let you race other people who have trodden the same course.

This is still better on something like Strava (which you can happily auto connect to this watch) but there's just so much you can use to work out what's going on with you here, without the need to regularly connect the thing to your computer. I think it's a really, really good upgrade.

Comparison

The Garmin ForeRunner 920XT is an excellent watch, but it's expensive, so the competition is pretty minimal at this high level.

Garmin ForeRunner 910XT

Given this inexplicably still costs over £300 to buy, it's not that far off in price from this model, which is a far superior option.

It does have a simpler interface, but at the same time it doesn't do as much - the loss of activity tracking alone makes it hardly worth checking out, although the battery life is arguably greater.

Garmin ForeRunner 620

The 'runner's only' version of the watch packs nearly all the same functionality for a lower cost - although with some of the buttons being on the screen and capacitive, it can be harder to manipulate. However, if you don't need the cycling or swimming elements, or are on more of a budget, it's worth looking at.

Adidas SmartRun

A decent looking watch, but one that doesn't even play in the same league as the Garmin when it comes to battery life or tracking multi sports. It does have a nice tie in with MixRadio, allowing you to download playlists to stream wirelessly on your run, and the web interface is arguably more powerful, but it doesn't pack the punch of the 920XT.

Verdict

The 920XT is one of the best watches Garmin has ever produced, and shoves in a fantastic amount of technology considering it's got such a strong battery life.

We liked

The sheer variety of options mean that you can't really fault this device for anything once you've bitten the bullet and shelled out for it.

Even if it's something a little more left field that you want to track, the 920XT lets you customise so much that you'll easily find a way to monitor it.

And if you just like running with it, the easy to view interface and generally fast GPS lock make it a must have, if you've got the budget.

We disliked

Ah, the issue of cost. It's not cheap, so you'll really need to want it, or have very generous loved ones, when your birthday rolls around.


There are little other niggles too, the main one being a lack of support for Bluetooth chest straps, but largely there's a way around most things you could take umbrage with.

Verdict

If you can afford it, buy it. The Garmin 920XT delivers on nearly all fronts, and while it's larger in the size stakes than some rivals, you're getting a lot of technology in there.

It's not for everyone, and runners who are more casual or more money-conscious should check out the 620 or the Polar M400 as lower-priced options with similar functionality. However, as a do-it-all fitness watch, the 920XT is right at the front of the pack.