Readers of the blog know that I am a big of Garmin and the watches they put out. They are simple to use yet full of metrics to help us try to find areas where we can work to improve our athletic skills. I have had no fewer than 7 Garmin watches over the years as I always want to try out the latest editions to see what they change and how they improve.
My Garmin Use
My current watch is the Garmin Forerunner 620 (which I love), but I really hated leaving my Garmin Forerunner 910XT. To me, that was almost the perfect watch in that it combined a very durable watch with great tracking, a big screen, and, most importantly, awesome batter life. However, the 620 brought new features on board like live tracking (through Bluetooth connection to your smartphone), a touchscreen that actually worked, and additional metrics (VO2max, cadence without a foot pod, stride length metering, vertical oscillation and ground contact time metrics), as well as wireless connection for upload of workouts and downloads of software updates.
The New Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Minus the touchscreen, the newly announced Garmin 920XT brings all of the greatness from both watches together with some new features. The new features are perfect for the athlete that likes to stay in contact throughout an activity or throughout the day (because the 920XT offers a watch mode, something the 910XT did not but the 620 does). That is smart notifications from your phone. This includes things like phone calls, text messages, and alerts from apps on your phone. This is one thing I have really wanted as I go for longer runs but sometimes have to constantly check my phone because of important messages I am waiting for. Being able to get that all on my wrist will be a huge help!
The Garmin 920XT was just announced today and should be available for shipment next month. It is available for preorder now through some retailers. If the release goes like last year, do not trust that timetable exactly. My 620 order (ordered on launch day) kept being pushed back several weeks from the initial estimate so that it was over a month late. Hopefully, Garmin properly gauges the interest in this version and they have the factories on overtime to turn them out! The watch will not come cheap, however. Without the HR strap, it will retail for $449 while buying it with the strap will push it to the $500 mark (or $499, to be exact). That is the highest a Garmin watch has ever sold for. But, this is really marketed as a multi-sport watch in that it is greatly desired by triathletes. Since equipment for triathletes can come at some pretty high prices already, it may be an acceptable expense. In my case, I actually got a huge discount on my 620 and already have a decent resell price, so I will be able to get the 920XT with minimal cash outlay.
In the meantime, if you are interested in preordering, currently Clever Training is offering it. The other retailers should have it up today or tomorrow. I am waiting to get it from Road Runner Sports because of the 6x UR points I receive for shopping there and the fact that I (normally) get 10% off for being in their VIP program (only costs $2 the first year). I don’t know yet if it will work on this new preorder, but it did last year.
Before you do any buying, check out DC Rainmaker’s overview of it. This guy does incredible reviews and even his “pre-reviews” are intense. You should be able to get a good idea of what this watch does do and what it doesn’t do just by reading his writeup. I did leave the link blank for Clever Training above, because he actually has a link on his post that helps him continue to do these awesome reviews. You will get the same deal (and, in fact, get 10% off most things there – not this – by using his discount). So, if you order from them, kindly consider doing it through his link.