Garmin 920XT first impressions

This morning was chilly. I braved the chill for a short and quick 45-minute run by the canal with Erin before heading to the airport to pick up Amit. The Garmin 920XT was waiting for me at my front doorstep when we got home.

The box itself is compact and tightly packed. On the side, you can see the triathlon sports logos indicating the triple-sports device, and on the face of the watch is a sticker that is easily peeled off. Everything in the box is packed efficiently:

  • The watch itself is slimmer than the 910XT and adds LCD color. The buttons are larger and easier to access with the start button  positioned to reduce accidental start/stop (this has happened to me a few times on the 910XT).
  • The heart-belt feels exactly like the one that comes with the 910XT, but this one has more functions (more on that in a bit).
  • The charger is USB-powered with 4 contact points (instead of 2 for the 910XT); plus it is more solid-state. Instead of the wireless ANT+ USB-stick, now you can sync through this cable or via Wi-Fi.
  • The instruction booklet is thin and sparse. The watch is feature-packed and very intuitive.
Of course, the 920XT offers everything that the 910XT offers plus a few more features. Here is a list of features NOT available on the 910XT:
  • The 920XT heart-belt has some sort of vertical oscillation measurement feature along with ground contact time. Apparently, this will make me  more efficient and therefore a faster runner. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT is Wi-Fi compatible. It took me about a minute to connect the watch to my WiFi router and all sync happens automatically. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT is also bluetooth compatible. It took me about a minute to connect the watch to my iPhone; now I get email, messaging and other notifications on my watch as long as I am in bluetooth range. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT goes into “sleep” mode and becomes a regular watch. On the watch, it shows time, date and number of steps (as long as you turn on Activities). It also asks you to “Move!” if you are sedentary for too long. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT batter life in “sleep” mode is long (I read somewhere that it is 4 months but I can’t be sure of that). I have yet to charge it, so we shall see. In active GPS-enabled mode, its batter life is 20+ hours as compared to 17+ for the 910XT. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT is lighter and more compact than the 910XT. It has better and faster GPS access through GLONASS technology. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT comes with VIRB control which lets you control other Garmin devices. I will not be using this feature, but am happy that it comes built-in. Pretty cool!
  • The 920XT also has other recovery and VO2 Max features with predicted finish times. I’m not sure how useful this will be but again, pretty cool!
Tomorrow, I will take the 920XT for a quick test. I will report back on it.

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