Built for multisport. Waterproof. Hi specs. Great customer service and support.Cons
Technical hiccups with mounting on a bike and recording altitude accurately.Verdict
If you need data on your performance, this watch will record it!
REVIEW: Garmin Forerunner 910XT GPS Watch
And there's no doubt that Garmin are one of the foremost manufacturers in sports watch technology, well known for their GPS enabled devices which are able to track just about everything you might want to know about: time, distance, pace, speed, elevation and heart rate.
The Forerunner is the latest high-tech gadget, specifically targeted the growing number of athletes involved in triathlons and multisport activities.
For $449.99 this is not a device for the cash-strapped or half-hearted, but for this price you get detailed information such as swim distance, stroke identification and even SWOLF score (a measure of a swimmer's efficiency). The 910X is water resistant to 50 meters (unlike earlier models) and of course useable on dry land.
'We've just perfected your new training partner,' say Garmin.
A good looking beast; the Forerunner 910X is robust, with easy operation, a sleek profile, comfy wristband, and easy-to-read display.
GPS-enabled, this watch will even capture the path(s), lakes and byways you've travelled so you can view your track later on a map (using the Garmin free online community, should you wish).
And crucially, you can transition seamlessly between sports with just one press of a button, because, as Garmin say, 'every second counts.'
The watch also offers the features of Garmin's advanced cycling computers to capture time, distance, pace, altitude (for elevation data - ascent, descent and grade); and you can configure customized training pages to record information on each of your sports.
'With these high-level features and up to 20 hours of battery life, the 910XT is ideal for athletes training for ultras or iron distance tris,' say Garmin.
Compatible with cadence sensors and power meters, this watch is also perfect for advanced, data-driven training.
And this hi-tech world has a set of very demanding, driven customers, so lets see what they have to say about the latest Garmin.
'In my opinion, the 910xt is far superior to previous Garmins,' said one reviewer. 'The watch itself is spectacular... I have not come up with any type of software problem. That is not to say that there are not any in the system somewhere, but I have not had the opportunity to use every single feature of the watch (as there are ENDLESS features) and thus have not found one yet. I don't want to jinx it already but thus far it seems like Garmin did an outstanding job of getting this watch out there without any major flaws.'
In a long and detailed review, this customer's 'only gripe was... that some of the buttons on the sides of the watch (not the start or lap buttons) can be a little difficult to press at times. However, it is still possible to press the side buttons during a run without having to sacrifice any type of energy during the run.'
Wow! Button pressing is 'sacrificing energy'... these ARE demanding customers.
'A must for a Triathlete,' said another buyer (much more succinctly!).
Now anyone who has used these type of devices before will know that they are technical, and require setting up properly, including managing software downloads and updates. So customer support is a crucial area.
'Customer service was fantastic and quick,' said one buyer. 'Being a guy, I didn't want to read the manual. Once I couldn't figure out how to download the information I called them and they were able to help right away.'
But be aware that you need to put in (effort) to get (information) out!
'To get this synced up with your bike, is no small task,' said one cyclist. 'But it is all worth it. Amazing accuracy and incredibly functionality for the size and weight. Very easy to transition between sports - literally 2 clicks!'
And swimmers like it just as well.
'For swimmers, this is a must,' said one. 'It will keep track of distance without having to touch the "lap" button on your turns. The watch kept track of my freestyle stroke and when I switched to breast stroke, I didn't have to do anything; it just automatically adjusted.'
'If I could marry it, I would,' said one enthusiast. (Well I guess a Garmin 910X is better than another woman...)
There were a few reports of issues with the watch - particularly that the watch powers off when mounted to a bike and also that the altimeter is inaccurate.
'I did a hike where I knew the ascent was approx 4300ft,' said one user. 'The device recorded nearly 6000ft ascending and continued added feet even when purely descending.'
And there are also complaints that there is no 'smoothing option' in the pace field (running mode). Other users report, however that there is a software update to fix this.
So it is worth calling Garmin with your specific requirements before purchasing. One buyer did just this.
'Excellent decision,' he said. 'After asking Garmin customer service, I decided to buy. By far the best sports watch I ever had.'
It may be worth waiting until all the hiccups of his multi-purpose product have been ironed out by demanding and data-hungry users. But over all this is a great looking and functioning GPS watch.
To think you have have all this functionality sitting on your wrist! An 'amazing piece of equipment.' indeed.
Here's the best place to shop for Garmin Forerunner 910X sports watch
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