Garmin might not quite be as well known a wearable developer as the likes of Jawbone or Samsung, but it’s up there. It produces wearable devices like fitness bands and smartwatches, with a wide range of looks and styles to them, designed specifically to cater to the wide and somewhat hard-to-pin-down wearable market. Today we’re taking a look at one of its chunkier devices, the retro inspired Forerunner 920XT.
The Forerunner is certainly larger than your average fitness watch, but while it might be quite broad, it’s not particularly deep, measuring in at just over a CM in height. That means it has quire a lot of real estate for buttons and grips, making it a little more versatile in terms of input methods than your average fitness band. It is however smaller and lighter by around 15 per cent than its predecessor, which will please those that have stuck with Garmin through its products’ releases.
Function wise, the 920XT can keep track of all the basic metrics like distance, heart rate and positioning, but it goes way beyond that. For starters, all of those functions work as well in a pool or lake as they do on land, so swimming can be tracked in detail. Not only can it measure how far you’ve swum however, but also what stroke you performed while doing it.
General exertion is measured through maximal oxygen consumption or VO2 tracking. This can be monitored over time to see if your aerobic fitness is improving. Keeping a strict eye on your heart rate and pace, can allow you to customise your workouts to maximise certain aspects, whilst staying within a particular intensity zone.
It can even pair up with other devices to give you information on power output during certain exercises and recommend how long you should rest for between sets.
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT will set you back between £320 and £380 depending on where you shop, making it one of the more expensive fitness solutions out there, especially when some smarwatches with fancier hardware can do more functionally.
The cost is a bit of an issue with this device, even if it does offer a lot of interesting metrics in a rugged, waterproof package. However I wonder if people with that much to spend wouldn’t just buy a smartwatch instead? It’s also quite bulky compared to some other wearables and there have been reports of phones not staying connected particularly well.