Garmin FR 910XT Review

featured image August 13, 2012

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT – you’ve heard about it. Let’s take a look.

NOTE: This review only examines the running functionality. However, some information is mentioned regarding other multisport activities.

 

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

First, I love the color – black, it’s not a funky color scheme.  The 910XT appears to be a result of a combination of the 305 and 310XT.  However, it has a slimmer profile [WxHxD: 2.1″ x 2.4″ x 0.6″ (5.4 x 6.1 x 1.5 cm)].

See pictures  below.

The one great feature that most may overlook is the barometric altimeters in the 910XT. In general, GPS-based altimeter watches work fine for most individuals, but they are not as accurate in mountainous terrain (like trail running) or for calculating grade.

NOTE: Although not reviewed in this post, the 910XT is loaded with swim metrics such as swim distance, stroke identification, stroke count, and pool length. The true multisport athlete will love this addition to the 910XT.

 

TRAIL TESTING

The 910XT acquired satellite reception within 10 seconds (after initial satellite acquisition). Scrolling through the data/function is intuitive. It has a large display to see customized workout fields (e.g., time, pace, heart rate, etc.).  If you have a 310XT, it has a similar feel.   If you are training or racing in a multisport environment, the 910XT has an auto multisport feature that lets you switch sport modes with only a one button press.

The 910XT worked flawlessly on all my runs.  After customizing my data fields, it was easy switching back and forth between fields. I love the timing feature (vibration) to alert me to consistently take in nutrition. I did not notice any loss in satellite reception even when running in canyons.  The battery life is good,  but I’m still wishing for a 30 hour  battery life (someday), or as some of my friends say, “Just run faster.” The only issue I had was not with the watch, but with the heart rate monitor strap.  I have noticed (as with other manufacturers) that the elastic part of the strap contains a tag that always rubs against my tech-wear and leaves a noticeable wear on the apparel.   Therefore, I cut the tag off.

Overall, if you are looking to upgrade, the 910XT is a great GPS watch with more than running features for your training needs.  I just wish it could be used as an everyday watch (maybe in the next version).

 

TECH SPECS

Product Features

Weight Breakdown

Software Comment

I did not review the software. My assumption is that most are familiar with Garmin Connect.  You can use myDashboard to keep the 910XT software up to date.

 

CONCLUSION

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT is loaded with multisport features. It’s a solid performer on the trail and for other sports training needs. I love the addition of the barometric altimeter for better accuracy especially on mountainous terrain – great for trail runners.  The improvements I would recommend to the 910XT are:

  • Longer Battery Life (around the 30 hour limit)
  • Tag removal on the heart rate monitor strap (which can be done by yourself with a pair of scissors)