Garmin’s new Forerunner 920XT is a new triathlon watch with a deep menu of features, from GPS, ANT+, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity to altimeter data to VO2 Max estimates. The latest Forerunner also comes in a slimmer body than previous iterations, with a color screen.
In addition to providing a wealth of sport-specific data on a customizable screens, the Forerunner 920XT also can bring in notifications from your smartphone and push out information Garmin calls live tracking through the phone’s data connection so your friends and family can follow your activities online in real time.
If this isn’t enough measurement and reporting for you, the watch can be set to count your steps and calories through the day.
Although it’s no Apple Watch, the Forerunner 920XT does link to smart phones via Bluetooth if you want notifications on your wrist for incoming texts, emails, calls and calendar reminders. The daily activity tracking mode calculates steps, distance and calories burned, and can remind you to move after an hour of inactivity.
For users who have a Garmin Virb video camera, the Forerunner 920XT can be used as a remote, to start and stop recording, plus take still images.
Data upload can be done wirelessly to Garmin Connect through WiFi or via the Garmin Connect app on a Bluetooth-enabled smart phone.
Forerunner 920XT cycling features include many of the standard elements you’d expect from a modern cycling computer, including power (average, current, left/right, zone, etc.), heart rate (average, current, zone, etc.), speed and cadence. As with the newer Edge bike computers, it also has the dual GLONASS/GPS receptor, which means it can pick up a satellite signal quickly.
When used with Garmin’s HRM-Run heart rate monitor, the watch can deliver a range of metrics, including cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. In addition to the standard pace and heart rate features, the Forerunner 920XT has a metronome with vibration and audible alerts to guide cadence training, and a race time predictor, which is based on a VO2 Max calculation the watch does based on heart rate and your best times. For this latter feature, the more often you run — and the harder you run — the more accurate this becomes. After each session, the watch also suggests how long you should rest before another workout. In our experience with the Garmin Forerunner 220, this recovery feature provides a decent ballpark estimate. (For ultra runners, you can switch the watch to “UltraTrac” mode, which extends battery life to a claimed 40 in GPS mode.)
Besides recording swim distance and time, the watch can also detect stroke type and stroke count, Garmin claims. Vibration alerts can be set for distance or time.
The Forerunner 920XT comes in black/blue or red/white for US$449, or US$499 with the HRM-Run heart rate strap.