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Garmin Forerunner 910XT In Depth Review


(Updated: May 1st, 2013)

The Garmin Forerunner 910XT represents the next generation triathlon/multisport watch from Garmin.  The watch builds on many areas that the FR305 and then FR310XT had – including a slimmer profile then either of those watches, and a new pool swimming mode to track your distance while swimming laps.  But are these changes and others enough to get you running to pickup the latest model? Well, stick around and I’ll explain.

Like all my reviews, they tend to be pretty in depth (perhaps overly so) – but that’s just my trademark DC Rainmaker way of doing things.  Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries.  I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more.  My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews – Garmin sent me a development unit to try out.  It’s almost identical to that of the final production unit that’ll be on store shelves in a bit (may have slight color differences).  Once units are available in retail shops I’ll send this back to Garmin and then go out and buy my own (to be able to support y’all in the comments section down the road).  Simple as that.  Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints.  If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there.  I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can.  But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.

Unboxing and Size Comparisons:

First, let’s start with some unboxing.  When you first (finally) get your FR910XT, it’ll look pretty much like this:

Garmin FR910XT BoxGarmin FR910XT Back of Box

A few short seconds later you’ll likely be tearing through the box, in which case, it’ll probably look something like the below (though, admittedly, a lot less pretty).  This is where you’ll find more plastic baggies than a Costco bulk container of them would contain.

Garmin FR910XT Unboxed

Once you remove all that plastic, you’ll have the below setup.  On the left side is all your power goodness (which I’ll detail in a second).  In the middle you’ve got the watch and manual.  And on the right side from top to bottom, you’ve got your USB charging clip, USB ANT+ stick, and heart rate strap (in two parts).  The little white piece of paper was bonus from having an early beta kit, as I had to add my own sticker – officially FR910XT #17!

Garmin FR910XT Unboxed and Unwrapped

Here’s the power plugs.  The unit comes with three different types: US, Euro, and UK.  Of course, some of those adapters are used in a slew of other countries.

Garmin FR910XT Power Adapters

Then we’ve got the heart rate strap.  This will include the strap and the transmitter pod.  Note that this is a different strap design than the previous premium strap.  Check out the heart rate accessory section later for the exact details of what’s changed (and it’s good news there!).

Garmin FR910XT HR StrapGarmin FR910XT HR Strap Transmitter PodGarmin FR910XT HR Strap Transmitter Pod and Strap

Next we’ve got the ever exciting manual.  You can also download it from Garmin’s site.  Just wander over here.  Though, there’s pretty much nothing in the manual that I haven’t detailed beyond normalcy here.

Garmin FR910XT Manual

Then we’ve got the USB charging clip.  This plugs into either your computer, or the provided AC power block.  It does NOT transfer data.

Garmin FR910XT Charging Clip

The below USB stick is what does the data transfer.  It does this via ANT+, which is a low-energy transmission method used to communicate with Garmin devices wirelessly.  More on this later.

Garmin FR910XT ANT+ USB Stick

And finally…the watch itself!  Here’s a few quick shots before I powered it on.  Of course, by the end of this post, you’ll likely be tired of seeing FR910XT shots.

Garmin FR910XT Side Profile ShotGarmin FR910XT Front Profile ShotGarmin FR910XT Wrist Band

And once we’ve got it all turned on, here’s the unit in shining glory!

Garmin FR910XT

For those familiar with the FR310XT/FR405/FR410 charging clips, the FR910XT uses the same two pronged system.

For comparisons sake – I went ahead and pulled out the trusty kitchen rolling pin and compared it to a number of other common triathlon focused watches.  Starting first, I went with just the Garmin lineup (left is FR305, middle FR310XT, right FR910XT):

Garmin FR305, 310XT and FR910XT Size ComparisonGarmin FR305, 310XT and FR910XT Size Comparison - sideGarmin FR305, 310XT and FR910XT Size Comparison - Face Height

Then I broke out both the Timex Global Trainer and the Polar RCX5 Triathlon watch.

Garmin FR305, FR310XT, FR910XT, Timex Global Trainer and Polar RCX5 size comparisonGarmin FR305, FR310XT, FR910XT, Timex Global Trainer and Polar RCX5 size comparison

When upside-down you can really see more clearly the thinner profile of the FR910XT compared to the FR310XT – given there’s a slight air-gap below it.

Garmin FR305, FR310XT, FR910XT, Timex Global Trainer and Polar RCX5 size comparison

As you can see, the FR910XT is the smallest multisport watch that Garmin has made to date, being both slimmer than the FR310XT and FR305.  Though while it’s still bigger than the Polar RCX5, keep in mind the RCX5 does not have GPS integrated into it, and instead requires a separate pod.

I figured I’d compare it to my other two favorite Garmin running watches – the FR210 (left) and the FR610 (center).

Garmin FR210, FR610 and FR910XT Size Comparison (Forerunner)Garmin FR210, FR610 and FR910XT Size Comparison (Forerunner)

And finally, two more comparing the size of the watch on a human wrist (mine), with the FR310XT.

Garmin FR310XT and FR910XT on wrist size comparisonGarmin FR310XT vs FR910XT size comparison

With the comparisons all set – let’s dig into the details!


Garmin FR910XT Changing Sport Mode

I’ve changed up the review format a bit this time, to give a brief overview in running and cycling separately and then dive deep into the features that are available across both sports. So after the Running/Cycling/Swimming overview, head down into the detailed feature by feature sections.

The FR910XT is like most other GPS watches in that it’ll record the details of where you went, how fast you were going, and how long it took to get there.  Once it’s done, it’ll save this information and then upload it to Garmin Connect, allowing you to slice and dice the data till your heart’s content.  I talk about much of this slicing and dicing later on in the Garmin Connect software section.

Garmin FR910XT and running around track on Garmin Connect

Of course, first we’ll want to start with what you see while you’re running.  This is completely customizable, but to give you a feel for things, here’s a sample data page that I often use when running:

Garmin FR910XT four data fields

In this instance, I can see my lap pace, my lap distance, my heart rate – and my footpod cadence.  But you can customize this any number of different ways however you see fit.  Later on I’ll talk about the data fields and customization.

One of the other features I dive into later on is the ability to create a Virtual Partner, which allows you to pace against a little computerized person for a set pace.

Garmin FR910XT three data fields

Of course, these are just two of many different running features that are shared across both run and bike.

Run/Walk Function (new):

A new feature specific to the FR910XT and running is the watches Run/Walk functionality.  This has become popular in recent years as a way to try and keep a consistent overall pace in an endurance event, such as a marathon or longer.  Essentially the idea being that if you manage the walking aspect of it, it’ll keep it from snowballing into just non-stop walking.

Typically this is setup based on a specific time, such as 10 minutes of running and then 1-2 minutes of walking.  The FR910XT now supports the ability to create these alerts, along with all the normal alerts you can still setup (time/distance/calorie).

Garmin FR910XT Run/Walk Alert Setup

I’ve actually found a more interesting use for the Run/Walk alert though – which I’ve mentally relabeled ‘Nutrition alert’.  See, a typical time based repeating alert (say every 10 minutes) is normally a good way to remind you to take in nutrition during training or a race.  But I’ve often found that I sometimes mentally find an excuse where I say “Oh, let me just get over this hill and then I’ll take some gel”, only to realize 10 or 20 minutes later I haven’t taken anything.

With setting up a 10 minute and 2 minute alert combo – I’m basically giving myself a 2 minute window to take in my nutrition, at the end of which it reminds me again.  It’s been working pretty well for me this season – and I’ve really reduced the amount of missed nutrition opportunities.  You can of course customize the run and walk alert portions for as short or long as you wish.


Garmin FR910XT Multiple Bike Setup

The FR910XT has made a number of small updates from the FR310XT that will definitely appeal to cyclists.  Starting off is the ability to now customize up to five different bikes.  Each bike can then store a slew of different saved parameters, such as ANT+ sensor details (power/speed/cadence) and wheel size/bike weight.

Speaking of which, the FR910XT supports the major cycling ANT+ sensor types including Power Meters, Speed-Only sensors, Cadence-Only sensors and combination Speed/Cadence sensors.  It also supports ANT+ heart rate monitors as well.  And in the event of a power meter that sends cadence information (pretty much all of them), it’ll happily pick that up too.

Garmin FR910XT Bike Speed Cadence Sensor Setup

The FR910XT is designed to be worn either on your wrist, or on the bike mount quick-release system.  Which is just like the cycling focused Edge 500/800 from a quarter turn mount standpoint.

Garmin FR910XT Multiple Bike Selection

Unfortunately, with my development unit I didn’t have a quick release kit available yet – so I instead used the old school rubber Garmin bike mount.

Garmin FR910XT Bike Mount (standard Forerunner rubber mount)

Not exactly aerodynamic – but for the purposes of this week’s posting, it’ll do.  On the bright side, it’s easily out of the way and also a bit easier to take photos of.  Once my quick release kit arrives I’ll update this section with new goodness.

Garmin FR910XT on Garmin Forerunner Rubber Bike Mount

While cycling the FR910XT can do essentially everything your normal bike computer can do – except now it’s powered with GPS and ANT+ sensor data.  If you’re familiar with the cycling only Edge 500, it does everything that unit does.  The only difference is the FR910XT displays 4 data fields at a time versus the Edge 500’s 8 data fields.  Obviously the FR910XT does tons more in other areas though (swim and run namely).

Garmin FR910XT on Garmin Forerunner Rubber Bike Mount in Aerobars

As noted previously the FR910XT shares almost all of the features between the run and cycle portions, which means that I’ve consolidated them down below for easier reference.

The only areas that are a bit unique to the bike are the data fields.  For example, 3s power (and all power meter metrics) are displayed while cycling, but not running.  I’ve made it easy for you though and consolidated all the data fields the watch contains within the Data Field section below.

Garmin FR910XT on bike aerobars with bike mount

So let’s talk about a few new and unique things that will appeal to cyclists.

Barometric Altimeter (new!):

For years cyclists have managed to get barometric altimeters within their bike computers, while runners have had to put up with GPS based altimeters.  Now in general, GPS based altimeters work just fine – but they aren’t as accurate for more complex elevation situations (mountains), or for determining things like grade – which requires a better understanding of the elevation changes.

That’s why I was excited to see that they’ve integrated a barometric altimeter into the FR910XT, over the GPS altimeter that was previously used with the FR310XT and FR305.

This means that when you look at altimeter data, it should map to reality better than GPS data.  But remember, even if it doesn’t, you can always use altitude data correction on Garmin Connect to turn on/off elevation correction.  This correction uses NASA imagery that’s accurate to about a meter, and can overwrite your existing elevation data.  Simply turn it on/off on the left hand side of each activity:

Garmin FR910XT Elevation Correction

Note that because the FR910XT uses a barometric altimeter, by default this will be off.  And in general, I find that the altimeter data produced by the FR910XT is pretty accurate (like that of the Edge series devices for cycling).  Much smoother and cleaner than GPS based elevation data.

Also note that the barometric altimeter is of course accessible while running too – so it’s not just a cyclist feature.  I know this is of special interest to ultra marathoners.

Power Meter Support (major changes):

As previously announced at Interbike, the Edge 500/800, FR310XT and now the FR910XT will all get the TrainingPeaks metrics of TSS (Training Stress Score), IF (Intensity Factor), and NP (Normalized Power). [Update note, it has since been announced that the FR310XT will NOT get the power update]

The FR910XT will also be getting Left/Right power to be able to support not only the Garmin Vector pedal based power meter, but also other pedal/cleat based power meters such as the Brim Brothers Zone and O-Sycne’s power meter.

These metrics will also start appearing shortly on Garmin Connect as they rollout new feature updates.  As of this initial post, the FR910XT I have doesn’t have the updated metrics in this beta firmware version, but I’m told it should very shortly.  One of the key partnerships with TrainingPeaks was to ensure that the metric seen on TrainingPeaks is the exact same metric displayed on the Edge/Forerunner units, which is also the exact same metric shown on Garmin Connect.

Back at Interbike it was noted that Garmin as a company recognizes that Garmin Connect isn’t for everyone and that the more advanced/elite athletes will naturally gravitate to TrainingPeaks as a platform and that they want to ensure there aren’t discrepancies across the two from a data standpoint.



The biggest change in the FR910XT is the ability to support lap-swimming and record distance, speed, strokes and more.  For years no Garmin product has supported the ability to gather lap data while inside a pool.  But now the FR910XT does exactly that.  Additionally, it also supports the same data while openwater swimming.  But first, let’s start with the pool, then move to openwater.

Lap Swimming:

As noted above, the biggest benefit of the FR910XT over the FR310XT is likely the ability to record pool distance and lap information.  The unit does this using an internal accelerometer, which measures change in direction and acceleration to determine what you’re doing.  This is important because when you’re doing your workout in the pool, you need to be cognizant of this with respect to extra movements.  But I’ll talk more about this in a minute.

To use it in the pool, you’ll switch into Swimming Mode, and then from there into pool mode.

Garmin FR910XT Pool Lap Settings

After you’ve changed modes and selected Swimming > Lap Swimming, you’ll then be confronted with this option on pool length:


As you can see, you can select the common 25M, 50M, and 25Y lengths, or simply customize your own…perfect for all those whacky hotel pool lengths.  Except, as of present, the only pools supported are those between 22m/y and 100y/m.  This is somewhat problematic for those that swim in shorter pools.  I’ve talked with Garmin about this (as recently as February 2012), and am hoping to see a change to allow shorter pool lengths.


With that set, it’s time to hop in the pool and get swimming.  Using it in the pool is much the same as you would use while running or biking.  The start/stop buttons control whether or not the timer is recording, and the lap button records laps (or sets/intervals).


While you’re swimming you’ve got realtime access to four data pages, each with up to four pieces of information on them.  For me, I’ve found that I’m really looking for three key metrics during a set: Time, Distance, and Pace.


I’ve then setup two data pages that I use frequently – one showing me that information for the current lap (i.e. Lap Distance, Lap Time, Lap Avg Pace, Lap Stroke Rate), and then the whole set again for ‘Last lap’.  This is useful in that when I finish a set and press lap, I can easily see what the last set was.


Today the watch does NOT support the ability to pre-create workouts on it for swimming mode, like you can for running or cycling.  I asked Garmin about this, and it’s on their radar, but no time commitment yet.  What you can do however is setup both time and distance alerts.  These alerts can be configured for preset times, such as every 500y.  Once it hits the alert, it’ll beep, buzz and display a warning.  You may not hear the beep, but you’ll feel the vibration, so it actually works pretty well.


Once you’re done, you can see the total information for each and every set via the history menu.  This shows total (workout), sets/laps/intervals, as well as even lengths.


In fact, that’s an important distinction between the FR910XT and something like the Pool-Mate Pro, which doesn’t show per-length data afterwards, just per-set data.  The Swimsense does however show per length data.

After our swim is complete, we’ll want to upload it all to Garmin Connect to check out the data.  While I talk about Garmin Connect a fair bit later, I’m going to tackle the swim portion of GC now.

Once you get the workout uploaded using the ANT Agent, it’ll be visible on Garmin Connect (speaking of which, if you already have a Garmin device, be sure that you do indeed update the ANT Agent to at least the Nov 28th, 2011 build – the reason is builds prior to that don’t know how to deal with the swim files, and will fail).  This is how a workout looks in the overview page.  We’ll walk through the key segments in a second.


First up is the Summary and Swim Graph, towards the top.  The Summary is simply your total distance, pool length setting used for that session, total time (including stoppage), and average pace for the workout (not inclusive of stoppage):


Meanwhile, the Swim Graph is an interactive guide that shows you each length as part of a set (interval), which is in turn part of the overall workout.  You can slide left/right to see other sets and the distances/times.


Above you can see the total Interval time, and the individual lengths, along with the total distance.

The next section includes a listing of all your intervals along the left side.  Also, you’ve got more timing information including Avg and Best paces per 100y.  On the right side you’ll see segments for timing (basically, pace), then strokes (per length per arm).


Finally, continuing down further, you’ll see the remainder of your intervals, and then on the right side you’ll see your SWOLF and efficiency scores.  These are essentially metrics that look at stroke length by taking stroke rate and the length of the pool.  It’s like a golf score.


In addition to the overview page, you can also crack open a separate detailed page to check out all of the above information on a per-interval basis…without the fancy graphs.  At the end of which, you can export to CSV.


The swimming mode supports a number of different metrics, starting with the following stroke types being recognized, along with the terms the watch uses to identify/display those swim strokes:

– Freestyle (FREE)
– Back Stroke (BACK)
– Breast Stroke (BREAST)
– Butterfly (FLY)
– Combination of strokes (MIXED)
– Unidentified Stoke (RAY mode…oh, wait…UNKNOWN)

Here you can see some of the stroke information being displayed:

Garmin FR910XT Swim Stroke Recongnition

Since I predominantly just swim freestyle, my experience is focused on that.  Even if I did swim backstroke, it’d likely be so horrendous that it would probably just simply display “FAIL, TRY AGAIN”.  So, I don’t try.

In addition, the watch also displays the SWOLF score, which is your efficiency score.  Lower is better.  All of these metrics can be displayed as data fields.  I talk about the swimming data fields later in that data field section – but here’s what’s available to choose from for swimming:

Garmin FR910XT Swim Data Fields

Note that the FR910XT is like the FR310XT and is waterproofed to 50 meters deep.  This is different from a watch like the FR305, which is only waterproofed to 1 meter deep at 30 minutes.  Also note however that no Garmin watches will record HR data while underwater, due to the ANT+ protocol being unable to transmit through water (has a transmission distance of about 1-2” underwater).  However, the HR strap is waterproof and most folks just leave it on under their triathlon suit/top.  Once you depart the water the FR910XT will automatically pick it up in a few seconds and start recording data.

Note: For a super-detailed look at the swimming metrics side of the FR910XT – check out the post I did on a detailed comparison between the Swimsense and FR910XT.

Troubleshooting Pool Swim Data

I wanted to briefly talk to this, since I’ve seen a number of folks ask about accuracy in the pool.  Some have had the distance issues where the unit reports longer than normal.  And a few people have issues where it reports shorter.  With that, I wanted to provide some tips based on my using it for the past 5+ months.  During which time, I’ve had it measure distance in a pool wrong only once – due to having to stop mid-way down the lane and converse with my lovely wife.  Yup, just once.  So I figured I’d share my tricks to accuracy.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the unit measures distance purely on accelerometer data.  That means that it’s measuring what your wrist is doing, and in particular, changes to direction and acceleration.  Thus, you have to keep in mind that any movement you make while the timer is running is being analyzed.  The watch is constantly thinking “Is this a stroke?”, “Was that just a new lap?”.  Keeping that in mind is critical to accurate data.

1) When you’re not actively swimming back and forth, pause the timer.  I know that there’s some guidance that says you can just keep it going, but honestly, that’s wrong.  If you’re standing at the wall waiting for your next set – just pause the timer.  That tells the watch to stop looking at whether or not you should be swimming.  And thus, it won’t increment the distance until you press start.

2) Separate out your laps/sets using the lap button.  If my workout calls for 1000y warm-up, then a 500y build, then a slew of 100’s, I’m going to press lap between each section.  Thus, at the 1000y marker I press lap to create that set.  At the 500y marker, I press lap.  And then after each 100y I press lap.  In the case of the 100’s, I’ve got a short rest at the wall, so I FIRST press stop, then I press lap.  If I pressed lap then stop, it would incorrectly start a new lap that I haven’t started swimming yet.

3) Be strong on your wall push-offs.  Because the 910XT is looking for changes in acceleration, you want to ensure that you push off the wall strongly.  Fast being the key.  It doesn’t matter if you do a flip turn or an open turn (I vary sometimes for fun), it just matters that you do it with conviction.  If you ever-so-slowly do a turn at the wall and make it more graceful than Ms. Daisy, the unit might never actually detect an acceleration change, and thus, no new lap.

4) Be aware that passing someone mid-line is an acceleration change: Folks have reported issues with sudden surges to pass another swimmer mid-way down a lane being counted as a new lap.  This is an area where Garmin could improve the logic a bit, but my advice here is to try and ‘soften’ the acceleration/deceleration just a touch to not trigger it.  I realize of course that when it comes time to pass someone mid-lane, the most important thing is doing it quickly – but just offering some options.  Or, do it at the end of the lane (again, not always possible).

5) Pause when in drills: Because the unit is looking for one of the recognized stroke types, it will only be accurate when you’re doing one of those stroke types.  So if you’re doing a bunch of drills with three pieces of swim equipment and look like a fish out of water, it’s best to pause the timer.

6) It won’t work if your arms aren’t moving: This goes hand in hand with the above, but if you’re doing kick-only drills, the unit simply won’t measure that distance.  For these, I just pause the unit.  The time is counted in total activity time, but it doesn’t try and incorrectly record laps (which it will, trust me).

7) Don’t leave the unit running when you go to the bathroom: I only mention this, because I got an upset e-mail from someone that indicated that the unit incorrectly added a lap when they went to the bathroom while leaving the timer running.  I really wanted to note that technically they probably did go 50y round-trip, but decided against it.  Again, remember, as your arm swings, it thinks your swimming.  So as you get out of the pool, walk to the bathroom door, open the door, go to the bathroom, and do it all again in reverse, it’s prime time for the unit to think you’re swimming.  Just pause, you’ll be happier later. 🙂

So, you did all that and you still got a bad nugget in there?  Well, unfortunately on Garmin Connect there isn’t a way to adjust lap/length distance (someday I hope).  But, there is one application that can: SportTracks.  If you use SportTracks and download the Swimming Plug-in, then you’re able to edit swims.  Note that SportTracks doesn’t cost money if you use less than two plug-ins, though the Swimming Plug-in costs $10.

Here’s what the main overview looks like (of the plug-in for a given swim session).  Essentially, you can see the sets are expandable, along with each length within it.  Along the top you have all your sets and lengths as well.


But let’s dive into the primary item of interest: Changing incorrect swim items.

First, is the ability to change the stroke type.  You simply click on either a length or set, and then choose the correct stroke:


Next, we have the ability to ‘split’ or ‘join’ lengths that are incorrect.  This is useful if the unit didn’t catch a turn at the wall and you need to make it show that you did 100y instead of 50y.


You can adjust the time for each length as well during this.  And finally, you can adjust the number of strokes for a given length, as well as just straight up delete the length.


Make sense?  Cool stuff.  Also of note is that if you happen to have a Swimsense watch, this plug-in works with that as well.

Now, there’s no doubt that all of us wish this were simply in Garmin Connect, but since it’s not, there’s at least an alternative.

Openwater Swimming:

In addition to lap swimming, the FR910 has an improved openwater swim mode that was introduced on the FR310XT a year after its release.  You may have seen my previous in depth openwater swim mode post with the Garmin product team on that and how it works.  In many ways, the FR910XT follows much the same trend.  The key difference though is that with the FR910XT you also now get stroke metrics.  Further, the accuracy is a bit improved – now pretty repeatedly within about 10-15% of actual distance.


For those not familiar, the goal of openwater swimming mode is to allow you to wear the watch on your wrist and get a rough distance measurement.  I say ‘rough’ because it’s not quite perfect.  See, the way GPS works every time your arm drops below the surface of the water GPS signal is lost.  That’s to a large degree just the nature of GPS signal strength.  So each time during your stroke recovery (the part above the water) it has to reacquire GPS signal and then plot a data point.  The challenge is that sometimes it doesn’t quite get an accurate GPS point during that split second recovery.  That’s where the ‘openwater swimming mode’ comes in.  It uses an algorithm to make a guess at where you actually swam, and determines a distance.


Looking at the FR910XT, you’ll see two improvements over the FR310XT in openwater swimming.  The first is a cleaner GPS map track.  In the past, the track would be all over creation – quite literally.  Now, smoothing has been introduced to make the map look a bit more accurate.  Take for example a swim I did on a recent vacation with the FR910XT.  You can see my swim around the island pretty clearly – no immediate or obvious problems with the route (this was on my wrist):


Of note is the very slight differences with the FR310XT (older) where you can see a bit more detail in the route, as it’s not smoothed as much:


Oh, and here’s my swimming with the unit on my wrist (going through the channel above):


For those that are curious, here’s the two distances as reported by the units:


Now, it wasn’t quite perfect on other days either, especially in shorter loops.  For example, I would daily do this about 400m loop around the resort.  In doing it daily for a week, it was interesting to see the slight variations each day, especially compared to where I actually swam.  Now, what may have impacted things slightly is that it was dumping out most of the days I did these short swims (something about swimming in openwater that has low visibility isn’t really my cup of tea).  It’s possible the rain storms were impacting satellite reception.


What I found was that one of the most important items was getting a good initial fix above-water before you started swimming.  Meaning, instead of pressing ‘start’ when you initiate your first stroke, just give it about 5-7 seconds to get one good satellite point dropped before you start.  That made all the difference between a good clean line and one missing chunks/distance.  For example, see below when I didn’t get the fix initially (I started/stopped in the same place):


So what about distance measurement?  Well, most days I swam with three GPS units.  A FR910XT on one wrist, a FR310XT in my swim cap, and the new FINIS Hydrotracker on my swim goggles.  And almost every day, they were within 10%-15% of each other.  It’s hard in these situations to say exactly which one is correct, since I didn’t have a specific measured course to work from.  But I think that the stroke information benefits of the FR910XT on your wrist outweigh the distance accuracy benefits of putting it under your swim cap.


I have found that historically the most accurate method for capturing distance is to place it on my head under my swim cap.  I talk about that in more depth here.  This way I still get an incredibly accurate GPS track – as well as a pretty picture.  The challenge with that method is it completely negates the benefits of the FR910XT when it comes to capturing stroke information.  Which, we’ll talk about now.


With the FR910XT you get stroke information due to the internal accelerometer.  This requires you to have the unit on your wrist (indoor and outdoor).  But assuming it’s there, you’ll get this information during the full duration of the swim.  As you can see below mid-way through my openwater swim, I’m getting this information (along with distance) in real-time:


And below you can see the total time (upper), total distance (lower right) and then 100/yd pace (lower left).  The pace fields are new to the FR910XT.


Once home and with the data uploaded to Garmin Connect you’ll get slightly different data than indoors.  Primarily, aside from distance, map and pace data, you’ll only be getting basic stroke data.


So while you don’t get some of the additional efficiency information like you do in a pool, you do gain the ‘Player’, which allows you to replay the whole swim – pace information and all.  Stroke is converted to ‘cadence’ here, which essentially means they saved development time by re-using the bike/run metrics.


Finally – there’s been some questions on wetsuit removal with the FR910XT on your wrist, primarily because trying to remove a wetsuit with the FR310XT on your wrist was a bit of a pain.  Well, the FR910XT was specifically designed to enable quick wetsuit removal.  And I thought there’d be no better way to do that than demonstrate exactly how quickly you can remove a wetsuit with the FR910XT on your wrist…thus, time to turn to the video:

As you can see, it pretty much slips right off!

And finally, again note that I have a fair bit more on swimming with the FR910XT in my detailed FR910XT vs Swimsense post.

Calorie Calculation and Heart Rate Display/Recording:

Like most fitness devices, the FR910XT does calorie estimation based on your activities.  The FR910XT does this in a few different ways, depending on exactly how much information you give it.  This section will be pretty high level, but if you’re looking for more detail on all the different calorie methods, check out my Garmin Calorie Measurement In Depth post I put together last year with the help of the Garmin engineers.

Option #1 – New Leaf Profile (most accurate): The FR910XT supports the ability to have a VO2MAX taken at a New Leaf testing facility, and then have that data used to generate calorie burn metrics across your heart rate ranges.  This is the most accurate consumer-grade method available today for calorie calculations.  The test takes about 10-15 minutes…and is rather painful since you’re pushed to your absolute max.  But once complete the computer will generate a small file that you can import via Garmin Training Center to your FR910XT which will then subsequently updated on any and all Garmin devices you own.  For a detailed look at how this all works, check out this post here on my experience getting New Leaf Testing.

VO2Max Test downloading data to New Leaf for GarminVO2Max Test Mask

After the Garmin ANT Agent has transferred the profile to the watch, you’ll see the below message:Metabolic Profile Downloaded for calorie consumption - Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Option #2: FirstBeat Algorithm (2nd generation): The Firstbeat algorithm is the most accurate Garmin device calorie measurement that can be done without external testing.  But it’s actually not developed natively by Garmin.  It’s developed by a Finnish company (Firstbeat Technologies) that has its roots in calculations around Olympic athletes, specifically Nordic skiing.  Their calculation uses  user inputted variables including gender, height, weight and fitness class.  It then combines this data with heart rate information from the ANT+ heart rate strap.  Specifically, it evaluates the time between heart beats (beat to beat) to determine estimated MET (Metabolic Equivalent), which in turn is used determine actual work expenditure.  This makes the system one of the more accurate non-invasive options (read: doesn’t require a laboratory), within about 10% accuracy.  Firstbeat has published a fascinating white paper detailing the technology and accuracy rates.  And just to be clear here – you have to wear the HR strap for this to work.

Heart Rate Data from Garmin FR910XT

Option #3: Speed/Distance/Weight Calculation (least accurate): This is the least accurate and most basic method of determining calories, as it is only used when a heart rate strap is not enabled/used (default). Given the lack of heart rate data, the unit will simply use speed/distance, as well as the weight you entered in the device setup.  The reason this is less accurate (65-80% accurate) is that it can’t differentiate how much effort you’re expending to travel a given distance – which while less important for running, is quite important for cycling.  For example, if you’re coasting down a 7 mile descent, you’ll burn virtually no calories compared to ascending the same mountain.  This speed/distance algorithm does not consider or evaluate the impact of elevation change.

Garmin Connect Summary Page

Outside of calorie calculations, it should be noted that the FR910XT can easily record heart rate (HR) data in either a given sport, as well as just sitting around.  For example, I often use my Garmin watch to record my resting HR by simply putting on the strap and then starting the unit (you don’t even have to record to display HR).

Within a gym environment, if using a heart rate strap you’ll get calorie burn metrics appropriate to your heart rate.  That may not be fully representative though of your actual calorie burn since most of the HR burn metrics used are primarily aimed at aerobic activities such as running and cycling.

Sport Features (across multiple sports):

In the past, I’ve placed all of the below features into either the bike or run sections to demonstrate them.  But since they are common to both sports (and in some cases, to swimming as well), I’ve decided this time to mix it up and make a ‘Sport Features’ section that shows off these major areas across all sport types, to help reduce confusion.

Auto Lap:

Out of all of the Forerunner features, Auto Lap is probably the most commonly used.  Auto Lap enables you to automatically create splits/laps based on predetermined distance intervals of your choosing.  For example, you can specify to automatically create a lap every 1 mile (default), or every 1 kilometer.  You can also configure Auto Lap for as little as every .01 miles/kilometers, a nice change from the past.

Garmin FR910XT Auto Lap TriggerGarmin FR910XT Auto Lap Customization

Many runners will use Auto Lap on longer runs so that later on they can easily see the mile by mile splits in applications like Garmin Connect.  For example, if you look at the below data from a long run I did Sunday, you can quickly and easily look at the mile by mile splits without having to splice the data manually:

Garmin FR910XT Auto Lap Display

On the bike, Auto Lap works exactly the same way.  However, because of the speeds being discussed in bike versus run, most folks tend to change Auto Lap here to a higher value – like 5 miles.

Auto Pause:

While Auto Lap (previous section) is heavily favored by runners, Auto Pause is heavily favored by cyclists.  See, Auto Pause enables the watch to automatically pause recording when you reach a certain speed threshold – which is configurable.  Take for example the scenario of a cross-town jaunt on a bike where may hit numerous stop signs or stoplights.  With Auto Pause you can remain hands free and the watch will automatically pause recording at each red light you hit.  And then resume it when the light hits green.

Garmin FR910XT Auto Pause Resume Settings

You can either use the default speed settings (configurable for both bike and run differently), or customize them yourself.

For me, I only use Auto Pause when I’m in a city environment, as I prefer to manually control it otherwise.  And in running, I tend to also just manually press pause/resume myself.  But I also completely understand those that use it.

Also note that for cycling with a power meter, it’s generally recommended not to use Auto Pause, as it’ll skew your Normalized Power metrics afterwards since it’ll make it appear as though you’ve had no rests (depending on the software used).

Alerts (Vibration/Audio):

The FR910XT contains a few different alerting mechanisms, but my favorite by far is the vibrating alerts.  These are most useful because if you’re running along in a loud environment (or just with a big fluffy winter hat), it can be hard to hear.  Or, if your gasping for breath on the track…the same thing.

You can enable either beeping alerts, vibrating alerts, or both within the settings page.  I prefer just to leave it on the default of both.

Garmin FR910XT Vibration Tone Alert Settings

You’ll configure the alerts separately for each sport (Swim/Bike/Run/Other), with the run page offering the most alerting options (since it includes the Run/Walk alert section I talked about earlier).

Garmin FR910XT Time, Distance, Calorie, Run/Walk Alerts

Garmin FR910XT Heart Rate (HR), Cadence, Power Alerts

Within a given alert type, you can then set more detailed configuration options – generally based on either a trigger (distance) a high/low watermark setup (HR/Power/Cadence).

Garmin FR910XT HR Alert Customization

The nice part is that unlike previous watches, this allows you to customize as high or low as you’d like.  No worries about having too small or two large of a number.

Garmin FR910XT Distance Alert CustomizationGarmin FR910XT Time Alert Customization

Note that you can’t configure whether or not it vibrates or beeps on a per alert basis – that’s a setting across all alerts (vibrating, beeping, or both).

Virtual Partner:

Virtual Partner allows you to pace against a set speed or pace. This is useful if you want to run a 5K at or better than a certain pace, such as 8:00/mile.  Or any other distance/pace.  I’ve used this in the past when trying to pace longer distance races – such as a marathon in an Ironman, and wanted to be able to keep just slightly ahead of my goal pace.

Garmin FR910XT Cycling Virtual Partner

It also allowed me to instantly see the impact of slowing down (or walking), as the ‘little man’ then gains on you.  The inverse is true if you speed up though.

Garmin FR910XT Running Virtual Partner

As is always the case though with any GPS based pacing in a race – be aware that more than likely you’ll be running longer than the actual race distance due to corners and crowds.  Thus, you’ll want to take that into account during your pacing strategy (read: set the pace slightly faster).  For more on that, check out this in depth post on how to pace with a GPS watch.

Virtual Racer:

Virtual Racers is new to the FR910XT, and allows you to race against existing courses and workouts.  Because it measures your race progress based on a given point in the course, this enables you to pace more appropriately to a course that may have difficult terrain (such as a large hill).  This is different than a Virtual Partner because in the VP scenario the little pacer would keep a constant speed over the hill, whereas in the Virtual Racer scenario it would adjust to a much slower speed for the hill.

Garmin FR910XT Virtual Racer

What’s cool here is that you can go onto Garmin Connect and download any workout you can find (yours or someone else’s).  For example, you can find a workout for the Boston Marathon at a given pace, and then race against it.  Or for cycling, you could go grab one of those Team Garmin-Cervelo files from the Tour de France and attempt to hold on. Or not.

Simply select to download the course from Garmin Connect, and it’ll end up on your Garmin FR910XT.


Interval mode enables you to setup a simple interval workout and then have the watch guide you (thus in effect yell at you) through the workout.  When you setup intervals you’ll be specifying how long the warm-up is, the number and distance/time of work intervals, the rest interval, and then the cool down.  Once you’ve got all that specified, you click start and hold on for dear life.

Garmin FR910XT Interval CreationGarmin FR910XT Interval Configuration

This mode is great if you’re new to intervals and don’t have a lot of complex pre or post-main set work and just want to focus on reaping the rewards of speed work.  The warm-up and cool down portions can also be specified using either time or distance.  And of course for either running or cycling (not swimming).

Garmin FR910XT Interval Workout

If however, you have a more complex workout regime, you’ll want to use Workout mode (below) instead of Interval mode.

Workout Mode:

Workouts differ from intervals in that they are infinitely customizable – for any sport.  In the past I’ve used workouts for actually creating a race plan to then execute on either during the bike or the run.  You can do an endless array of ‘if/then’ type statements, allowing you to dial-in your exact workout or race plan and then let the watch own you for that session.

You can configure these on either Garmin Training Center, or Garmin Connect (new).  Since the feature was just added to Garmin Connect, I’ll create an example there – using a workout from a few weeks ago.  This is a running workout, but I’ll also create a quick cycling one:

Garmin Connect Workout Creator - Running Workout

In my cycling example, you can see how I’ve gotten more complex with it, enabling me to specify any number of parameters for either training or racing.

Garmin Connect Workout Creator - Cycling Workout

To get it to your watch, you’ll simply click “Send to watch”, which brings up this screen:

Garmin Connect Workout transfer to FR910XT

Once on the watch, you’ll go into the menu system and select workouts:

Garmin FR910XT Workout Selection

From there, you’ll see the available workouts that you’ve synchronized to the watch.  To start a workout, merely select it…and then prepare to follow the directions, one step at a time during the workout:

Garmin FR910XT Workout Selection on watch

Note that you can actually create workouts manually on the watch itself (in a pinch).  But I find this to be fairly slow going, sorta like painting a room with a toothbrush.

Garmin FR910XT Workout Creator on Watch

Workouts can be configured for cycling or running.  I suspect we’ll eventually see a ‘Swim workout’ option arrive though.


Courses allow you to specify a route online, and then get a breadcrumb trail of the route while on the watch.  This is somewhat different than what you might be familiar with on a car GPS where you see road names (as well as on the Edge 800 cycling GPS).  In the case of the FR910XT (and all other Forerunners), you get a bit of a breadcrumb trail to follow.

First though, we’ll go onto Garmin Connect to create the route.  Note that you can also use MapMyRide/MapMyRun to create and download courses too.  And in general, those programs give you more options (and information).  The online course creator was actually just added to Garmin Connect back in mid-September, so I’m optimistic we’ll see more features over time (such as elevation graphs, ability to add water stops, etc…).  In the meantime, it works as a good basic option.

Below I roughly sketched out my Sunday long run.  Because the map doesn’t quite have all the trails I use, it’s not a perfect representation of the route.  You’ll note I can change the speed/pace in the lower box and it’ll give me an estimated time of arrival (AKA: When I find my couch and TV).

Garmin Connect Course Creator

Once you’ve created the course, you’ll go ahead and select to send it to your device:

Garmin Connect Course Creator transfer to FR910XT

After that’s done, it’ll be queued up for the next time you plug the USB stick in and synchronize.  Now we’ll go to the watch.

On the watch, you’ll go into the courses menu and find the course we want.  Once you select it you’ll see a breadcrumb trail of the whole route. This is just an overview of sorts.

Garmin FR910XT Course Display

After you press start, you’ll see it’ll start giving distance information until the next point, as well as all your regular data fields.  I find that despite not having the actual road names on them, they are still pretty valuable if you’re out for a long ride/run and need a rough map.  In this age of cell phone mapping though, I suspect most of us would just grab the phone in our back jersey pocket (if riding) if we needed more detailed information.

Data Fields:

Like it’s predecessors the Forerunner 910XT offers the ability for you to customize your data fields.  In fact, when you look at the major differences between Garmin’s lower end watches (FR110) and their higher end watches (like the FR910XT), the biggest differentiator is data field customization.  So I went ahead and created the following chart of all of the data fields currently offered on the FR910XT.  Note that like almost.every.single.other.Garmin.device in history, this tends to change over time – with new data fields usually added in firmware updates.  I’ll update this list from time to time as new fields are added.  Here’s the fields sorted by sport as of October 4th, 2011:

Swimming – Lap Swimming:

Garmin FR910XT Data Fields - Lap Swimming

Swimming – Openwater Swimming:

Garmin FR910XT Data Fields - Openwater Swimming


Garmin FR910XT Data Fields - Cycling


Garmin FR910XT Data Fields - Running

You can configure up to four data fields per data page, and you have up to four data pages to use per sport (Swim/Bike/Run/Other).  In other words, you have lots of customization options.

Garmin FR910XT Run Data Field Customization

Here’s a three view with four data fields, three data fields and one data field.  You can also do two data fields, which simply splits it upper half/lower half:

Garmin FR910XT Run Data Field Customization - Four fieldsGarmin FR910XT Run Data Field Customization - Three fieldsGarmin FR910XT Run Data Field Customization - One field

Note that you can select to either manually iterate through the data pages, or you can choose to automatically have it scroll through the data pages – at a setting of slow/medium/fast:

Garmin FR910XT Auto Scroll Settings

Note if you want to see data fields offered on other watches, as well as how I configure my data pages, check out this post here.

Finally, also of note is that the FR910XT supports both smart recording and 1-second recording rates.  Smart recording means it records data points based on changes to data, while 1-second recording just records at a simple 1-second interval.

Garmin FR910XT Smart Recording and 1 second recording

In general, I always recommend 1-second recording – especially for cyclists with power meters, or those users using the device without any ANT+ accessories.

Multisport Mode (Triathlon Mode):

Multisport mode within the Garmin family is unique to the three multisport mode watches: the FR305, the FR310XT and now the FR910XT.

Multisport mode enables you to setup a recording session that’ll take you from the start of the swim, to the end of the run – all while recording swim/bike/run and the transitions separately.  More importantly, it’ll automatically change the settings and data pages/configurations you’ve set for each sport, as you transition between them.

To setup multi-sport mode head into the Settings page and select Auto Multisport.  From there, you’ll be presented with this menu screen to select which sports you want to add.

Garmin FR910XT Multisport Mode

Once in that you’ll see you can add or enable the different legs that you plan to participate in.  You can include transitions if you want.  This is where if you’re doing a duathlon you can set that up as well.  Or, you can just add as many sports as you like.  You can’t edit the names however – it’s either Swim/Bike/Run/Other.  Adding a ‘Beer Garden’ step doesn’t appear to be an option.

Garmin FR910XT Multisport Mode - Edit LegsGarmin FR910XT Multisport Mode - Select Sport

During the event you’ll advance to the next sport by pressing the lap button, which will automatically transition you from sport to sport.  As you’re doing this, the FR910XT will let you know which sport you’re in (serving mostly as a reminder to get rid of the wetsuit prior to the bike):

Garmin FR910XT Multisport Mode - Begin SwimmingGarmin FR910XT Multisport Mode - Begin Running

Once you’re done with the event (training brick or race), you’ll have a small pile of files – one for each leg.  This is actually more useful than a single giant file because this way you can analyze the legs independently as you would expect: Swim, Bike, Run (and transitions).  Note that the watch will also record everything with one big time as well, so you can track total time and see that too.

Indoor Use:

I just wanted to briefly touch on this, simply as a means to answer any questions.  Since most of this section is alluded to in other sections, I’ll keep this short.

Treadmill Running:

When running inside with the FR910XT, your best bet is to pickup an ANT+ footpod.  Garmin makes one for less than $50, as does a number of other ANT+ companies.  The footpod attaches to your shoe and the wirelessly sends both speed as well as cadence to the FR910XT.  Here’s what one of the units looks like on a running shoe:

Garmin FR910XT ANT+ FootpodGarmin FR910XT ANT+ Footpod Detected

When indoors, it’ll send both speed and distance, as well as cadence. And when outdoors it’ll send cadence (turnover), to match up with the GPS signal.  Additionally, if you end up in an area with bad GPS signal (GPS speed = zero), the unit will switch to the footpod for speed/distance.  You can also set the watch to switch over to using footpod for speed, to help even out some of the speed jumpiness sometimes associated with GPS speed.  This is called changing the speed source:

Garmin FR910XT ANT+ Footpod Speed Source

I talk tons more about the ANT+ footpod here in this post on ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about the ANT+ Foot Pod’, as well as a bit at the end of the accessories section.

Indoor Trainer (Cycling):

While indoors on a trainer you can use the Garmin GSC-10 ANT+ speed/cadence sensor (or any other ANT+ speed or speed/cadence combo sensor), to record distance and speed.  Of course, keep in mind that speeds and distance indoors on a trainer are fairly meaningless because they can be easily changed by adjusting gearing and resistance without changing effort.  Meaning that I can change my indoor speed from 15MPH to 30MPH with no additional effort, merely by modifying gearing and resistance.

That said, there is some value in this data depending on the type of trainer (as well as just our human nature curiosity, enabling us to record it in our training logs).  So, if you pickup the $30 sensor (see accessories section), you’ll be able to do just that!

Garmin FR910XT with indoor cycling trainer

Of course, the sensor works indoors just as well as outdoors, so it’s always useful in the event you go through a long tunnel as well.  The sensor will automatically be used in any scenario where the GPS speed drops to zero MPH, but the sensor speed is providing more accurate data (i.e. 20MPH).

To learn more about the speed/cadence sensor, see my post on ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about the speed/cadence sensor’.  Or also see the brief mention later on in the accessories section.

Dryland swim trainer:

While I’m reasonably certain the folks in Olathe, KS had no intention that the FR910XT would be used on a swim trainer bench – it actually works just fine.  I got on the VASA Swim Trainer and got to work.  Well, actually, both The Girl and I used the trainer.

Garmin FR910XT Indoor Swim Trainer

The only obvious caveat being that since you don’t do flip/open turns on the bench (well, unless you fail in a big way), it won’t know when the end of the lap is.  I resolve this by simply knowing that roughly every 18-19 strokes I’m going to be at 25y, and thus I can simply pause for about 1 second, flick my wrist, and then it’ll record it as a flip turn.  Just like magic.  The LCD screen on the Vasa Swim trainer also tells me distance – so I can monitor that for when to ‘pretend flip’ as well.

Garmin FR910XT with indoor swimming trainer

See…it’s all about thinking outside the box…


Garmin FR910XT in Skiing Mode

In addition to being an avid triathlete, I’m also a longtime skier.  In fact, far before I ever did my first triathlon, I ski raced while growing up as a kid.  So any chance I get at skiing (a bit harder now in DC compared to Seattle where I grew up), I take out a Garmin and see just how much I’ve skied.

So on a recent trip to Seattle I grabbed the FR910XT and took it out for the day.  Because the unit has a barometric altimeter, it’s a bit better suited for the constant up and downs of skiing, over that of a GPS based altimeter.  Though, that does assume/require that it gets its initial GPS-assisted altimeter fix correct.

Once that’s complete, it’ll easily track your total distance, elevation gain, and descent information.  For skiers, it’s all about total vertical skied.

When using the unit skiing you’ve got two options for attachment.  The first is just using the normal strap, likely in between your coat and your gloves.  The normal strap isn’t quite large enough to go over your ski jacket.

Garmin FR910XT in Skiing Mode on wrist

The second option is to pickup the extender strap – which I talk about later in the accessories section.  This solves the problem by significantly increasing the length of the strap to be able to get over/around winter jackets.

When you’re skiing with the FR910XT (usually in the ‘Other’ mode), you can setup any data fields you’d like.  For me, that’s primarily just distance, max speed, and total descent.  But, you’ve got all the normal pages and data fields accessible to you.  Here for example, is my max speed that day:

Garmin FR910XT in Skiing Mode Max Speed

Afterwards, you’ll be able to pull up the full GPS track and total elevation ascent/descent from Garmin Connect – or any other site you upload the file to.

Garmin FR910XT Skiing Altitude AfterwardsGarmin FR910XT Skiing Map...a rainy day.

I’ve skied with Garmin units for years, and never had any issues.  Though, a couple things to keep in mind.  While I definitely trust the FR910XT’s new strap system (far more secure than the FR310XT or FR305), keep in mind that I’d still generally recommend you start the unit and leave it inside a secured pocket or backpack.  The reality is that if you’re flying down a run and crash, you could easily manage to have the unit go flying…and depending on conditions, you may never find it.  Just food for thought…


Many have asked as to whether or not the FR910XT is capable of recording stroke data while paddleboarding.  So on a recent vacation I gave it a shot.  Well, actually, The Girl and I both gave it a shot.  And since she looks better than I, we’ll go with the photo of her:


What we found was that while the unit easily recorded speed, distance and time – it did not accurately record stroke information.


As you can see above, it believed I was only stroking at 7 strokes per minute.  In my case, that was significantly under, as that would have been only one stroke per 9 seconds – a pretty slow stroke rate.

I suspect the issue comes from the fact that the FR910XT simply isn’t designed at this point from a software standpoint to understand the paddleboarder stroke.  Now, given that Garmin has added a professional paddleboarder to their sponsored athletes lineup for 2012, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see them add this sport profile in the future.  Since the accelerometer that’s in the FR910XT is 3D, it could recognize this stroke – it just comes down to the unit’s firmware being updated to do so.

Ultra-Long Use (56hrs+ on single charge):

Upon your request, I decided to find out exactly how long the battery would last if you turned OFF the GPS, and just let it use ANT+ for speed/distance (via footpod or bike sensors).  I ended up writing a pretty detailed post on how I did the test, and the full set of results.

In short though, the answer is on a single charge the device will last approximately 55 hours with multiple ANT+ streams (heart rate, power, speed/cadence) feeding data to it.  Data storage/retention was never an issue.


To see the full story behind the tests, and some of the other offerings that can go even longer, check out my post on it.


The FR910XT offers a backlight that clearly illuminates the entire screen.  By default, the backlight will stay turned on for 15 seconds before turning off.  But I prefer mine to stay on permanently – that way when I’m doing night runs or rides I don’t have to keep pressing the light button.  To change this, within the backlight settings, simply adjust the length of time to remain on:

Garmin FR910XT Backlight Timeout Settings

Once in a dark place, you can very easily see the display.  You can also adjust contrast as you see fit as well in the same menu as above.

Garmin FR910XT Backlight in dark room

Note that obviously, backlight length will affect battery.  The brighter and longer, the less battery.

Band and Screen Improvements

One of the biggest concerns in the past with the FR310XT has been the band not being strong enough to withstand the usually rough conditions of an openwater swim start – with people whacking away at your wrists.  Many a Forerunners have been lost to ocean and lake due to this and the quick release kit.

However, it’s clear some thought went into the FR910XT’s band design, because it appears as though this thing is built like a tank.  When I pull on it, the band doesn’t budge or bend.  You’ll notice the band is now more streamlined to the watch – which should reduce the number of places it can have forces pull on it:

Garmin FR910XT new strap pins

In addition to the default band that comes on the watch, they are also offering three additional replacement bands: A quick release kit, an extender band (useful for big winter parkas), and a soft fabric strap (more comfortable).

I’ve detailed these more later on in the accessories section down below, but here’s a quick peek:


(Above: Extender strap.  Below: Fabric strap)


(Above: Quick release kit)

The most significant thing you’ll note though with the band improvements is the use of a pretty substantial pin system – a monster of a pin really, which should reduce/eliminate some of the band breakage/loss issues that the FR310XT had.


Also of note is that the display on the FR910XT is slightly set into the watch – as opposed to being a single sheet of glass on top like the FR310XT.  This should hopefully reduce breakage issues.  Of course, if you run over the watch with your car, or smash a rock against it…it’s probably going to act like most electronic devices and break.


The FR910XT uses the Garmin ANT Agent software to download workouts from the watch to the desktop client.  It does this across the ANT+ protocol, which is a wireless protocol similar to Bluetooth…except low energy like Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).  With your computer, you’ll plug-in the ANT+ USB stick, which allows your computer to connect wirelessly to the watch.  The wireless distance it can cover can be pretty impressive – such as across a few rooms in a house.

Garmin FR910XT Sync to Computer

But you don’t have to worry about cross-talk with ANT+, each device is uniquely paired.  In fact, that’s one of the first things you’ll do with the ANT+ Agent:

Garmin FR910XT ANT+ PairingGarmin FR910XT ANT+ Pairing Confirmation

Once you’ve paired the watch to the computer (and you can pair it to multiple computers should you wish to do so), it’ll automatically download the workouts and place them locally on your computer (Mac or PC).  From there, it can also automatically upload them to Garmin Connect.  I always check the box to upload to Garmin Connect, even if I don’t use Garmin Connect for day to day workouts – because it ensures I have a backup copy of my workouts no matter what happens to my PC.

Garmin FR910XT ANT Agent Configuration

Once you’ve uploaded your workouts, they’ll show up online in Garmin Connect, which I’ll talk about below.

Garmin FR910XT ANT Agent Data Sync

If you’re using a 3rd party application, then the files are available to those applications on your local computer.  You can actually browse to them yourself, should you want to.  The locations vary depending on your operating system version and platform (details on all OS’s here).  But on a Windows 7 PC, they’ll be at the below location:

Garmin FR910XT Data File location

Now that you’ve got the files uploaded or entered into an application, let’s go through some of the more common ones.

Garmin Connect (included, free):

Garmin Connect is Garmin’s online fitness site that allows you to store, manage, and analyze your workouts.  Think of it as a giant training log, but one that allows you to also share your files with others.  In September Garmin Connect got a pretty significant number of new features added to it, and this seems like a great time to talk about those features as well as some of the more common ones.

When you upload workouts, you’ll be able to see them in either calendar view or activity list view, such as the below:

Garmin Connect Uploaded Workouts

Once you’ve selected a given workout, you can go ahead and dive into more detail on that specific workout, like the below map.  You’ll see everything from workout totals, to small charts depicting the different recorded ANT+ metrics (i.e. heart rate, speed, cadence, power, etc…).

Garmin Connect Sunday Long Run

Garmin Connect Charts and detail with FR910XT

In addition, you can select to replay activities matched to charts and maps.  It’s a bit gimmicky, but it can be fun to replay longer runs/rides/events and watch the numbers change as the map and/or terrain shifts.

Garmin Connect Charts and detail with FR910XT

Some of the newer features are the most interesting.  For example, probably the feature that excites me the most is the workout creator.  In the past, you had to use the downloadable Garmin Training Center application (which btw, works just fine with the FR910XT) to create workouts.  While this software was functional, it is/was also lookin’ pretty old.  So the online version is much appreciated.

It’s online here that you can create complex workouts like the below.  This is my mile-repeat workout I have later this week, but by creating it here I can also add the slightly more complex warm-up & cool-down pieces I have – whereas the standard interval function couldn’t quite do these:

Garmin Connect Workout Creator

Outside of creating workouts, you can also do searches across Garmin Connect for a given location and find workouts to download.  This is sorta like MapMyRun/MapMyRide – and is great for finding valid courses/routes.  This is one area where Garmin Connect has a slight advantage over those other services in that it’s automatically placing all run/ride/activity data up on Garmin Connect, so if someone’s done something somewhere – you’ll likely see it.  I used this during a trip to Jordan (country) to try and find a route in the middle of nowhere…and it assisted perfectly in my initial route planning.

In addition to route finding, you can also keep some basic health information up there as well.  For example, if you have a weight scale such as one of the wireless ANT+ scales, you can keep track of weight-related metrics.  I cover that down below in the Weight Scales section. And finally, you can do quite a bit of reporting on the site as well,  such as total activities and analysis by type and goal setting too.

Let’s move onto a few other non-Garmin options.

TrainingPeaks (3rd party):

TrainingPeaks is one of the largest 3rd party software options.  They have two versions, one is free and one is subscription based.  Regardless of whether you pay, the entirety of TrainingPeaks is a website (except the device agent software you can install to upload files).  I use TrainingPeaks as my primary method of tracking my training efforts.  The major reason for TP over Garmin Connect is the advanced analytics.  Additionally, it provides a completely seamless conduit between myself and my coach – something that my other software favorite (SportTracks) can’t do.

While at the time of this writing TrainingPeaks doesn’t officially support the FR910XT yet, it still works just fine.  I was able to simply select the watch from the right-side dropdown and it automatically grabbed the .TCX file to upload to Training Peaks (the Garmin ANT Agent software creates both a .TCX and .FIT files from the FR910XT, for backwards compatibility with older applications).

Garmin FR910XT with Training Peaks

From there I was able to log-in and see my run without any issues at all.  If you’re looking for very advanced analytics in a web based form, there’s really no other option out there today that has as many features as TP and is completely web based.

SportTracks (3rd Party):

Another non-Garmin option is SportTracks.  SportTracks is a Windows only client application that allows you incredibly in depth analysis of your workouts.  Perhaps one of the biggest strengths though of SportTracks is the ability to allow community developers to extend the application with plug-ins.  As a result, there’s a ton of totally cool functionality that’s been added over the years (some for a fee).  SportTracks as an application has a free-mode with some limitations, and a paid mode for $35.

Because the ANT Agent software exports out both .TCX and .FIT files (the Garmin FR910XT initially records it in .FIT file, and then the ANT Agent makes another copy of the file in .TCX), SportTracks has no problem consuming these files today:

Garmin FR910XT with SportTracks

Once imported, the files act just like any other activity within SportTracks – allowing you to slice and dice the data as you see fit.

If you’ve got a Windows based PC, I definitely encourage you to check it out (free or otherwise).


The FR910XT has a number of accessories that are compatible with it.  The vast majority of these are built on ANT+, which means that if you have an existing ANT+ accessory from an older device (or a different companies device), it’ll work just fine.  For example, if you have a Heart Rate (HR) strap from a FR305, that’ll happily work with the FR910XT.  Note however that no Polar straps or equipment is compatible with the Garmin units.

Heart Rate Strap(s):

Depending on which version you pickup, the unit will either come with the Premium ANT+ Heart Rate Soft Strap, or it’ll require you to pick one up.  You can utilize any existing ANT+ strap (such as one from an older Garmin unit), but it does have to be ANT+.  Meaning, a strap from a Polar or similar unit won’t work.

Garmin today itself offers two straps – one is the classic strap, and the other is the newer ‘Premium Soft Strap’.  However, an even newer premium strap was tossed into the mix last summer.  This new one solves almost all the issues of drops/spikes of previous soft and classic straps.

Garmin Heart Rate Strap Options

Note that the FR910XT bundle includes the newer premium soft strap HR monitor, which is different than the older soft strap one.  This new strap resolves virtually all of the issues of the existing soft strap, based on my day to day use of it over the past year.  Of course, if you’ve got an older strap and have some HR related issues, start here.

Speed/Cadence Sensors:

This sensor allows you to use the FR910XT indoors on a trainer, as well as record cadence information outdoors.  Additionally, you can sometimes increase your speed accuracy a hair if you use the speed sensor outdoors (automatically occurs actually).

Garmin Bike Sensor Scan on FR910XT

Power Meters:

The FR910XT supports ANT+ enabled power meters, such as those made by CycleOps (the PowerTap), SRAM/Quarq (the Cinqo), SRM, Power2Max and more.  I own a Quarq Cinqo and the unit is easily paired to the power meter by going into the bike profile page and pairing the power meter.

Garmin FR910XT Power Meter Detection

As noted earlier, there have been significant changes in power meter data files – most notably the addition of the TrainingPeaks metrics of TSS (Training Stress Score), NP (Normalized Power), and IF (Intensity Factor).  Also, the FR910XT supports Left/Right power for the upcoming Garmin Vector pedal based power meter, and the Brim Brothers Zone cleat based power meter (as well as the O-Sycne pedal power meter down the road).

Garmin FR910XT Power Meter Configuration

It should be noted that the FR910XT is NOT compatible with any of the Polar power meters, including the new Look/Keo Power System pedal based power meter.  This is because that system is reliant on Polar’s W.I.N.D. protocol, and not ANT+.

ANT+ capable power meters start at $700 from CycleOps (PowerTap), go through $1,500 (Quarq Cinqo and Garmin Vector) and top out at over $2,000 (SRM).

Running Footpod

The footpod allows you to gather pace, distance and cadence data while both indoors or outdoors.  For example, if you’re running on a treadmill this would be required as GPS won’t show you moving.  Outdoors it’s useful if your route takes you through a tunnel where you’d lose GPS reception.

Garmin ANT+ Footpod

The foot pod easily snaps right onto your shoelaces in a matter of a few seconds.  After which you’ll want to calibrate it on a track to ensure the highest level of accuracy.  I’ve found that after correctly calibrating the footpod, I can actually get both GPS and footpod data to align exactly.  Pretty impressive.

You can pickup the footpod for about $50.  If you’re interested in learning more about the footpod, check out my ‘More than you ever wanted to know about the footpod post’.

Quick Release Kit:


There is a new quick release kit available for the FR910XT.  The new kit aims to reduce some of the issues that the previous FR310XT quick release kit had around pins breaking – usually during a rough swim start – and causing the watch to be lost to the fish.  Overall however, the goal of the quick release kit is to allow you to quickly remove the watch when you exit the swim and then lock it onto your bike, then remove it again for the run.  Thus it comes with both a wrist strap, and a pile of bike mounts.


The FR910XT quick release kit uses a two-piece screw design that pulls the two screws tight into each other.


This requires you to actually use two screwdrivers at once – which can be a bit of a challenge.  But you only have to install it once.


Once installed, the back of the unit is more flush than previous versions – again aiming to reduce the ability for the unit to catch its edge on something.


When you look at the bike portion, it uses the industrial strength rubber bands to allow you to quickly move it wherever you’d like (the mounts).  And since an extra box of a few mounts only costs about $9, it’s easy to get more mounts for more bikes in the future.


Here’s a quick video showing me clipping in the watch into the quick release strap – just to give you an idea of how the quarter turn mount system works:

The kit includes the usual wrist strap, two bike mounts, a slew of rubber bands and two screwdrivers.  And it costs $22.

Fabric Strap:


The fabric strap is a nice throwback to the Garmin FR305 quick release days when there used to be a fabric strap instead of the rubber one.  I always preferred this and found it more comfortable.  This time though it isn’t a quick release strap – but is nice and comfortable.

Like the quick release strap, there’s some dualing screwdrivers required because the pin system is still just as strong.  But once you get past that, you’ll be good to go:


Note that the strap offers a bit less ‘extension’ than the regular strap – so be mindful that if your wrists are a bit larger, or if you’re trying to put it around a heavier coat – it may not reach.


The strap costs $25.

Expander Strap:


This is a new entrant to the Garmin fitness accessory lineup – but is much welcomed.  This allows you to finally use your Garmin Forerunner on a big winter parka – perfect for skiing!

Unlike the previous two straps – this one requires no tools, and only takes a split second to install.  You just simply attach it in the same manner you would normally secure your strap band.


Once it’s done, you’ll have significantly increased the band length.  Here’s a before and after:


The expandomatic costs $10 on Garmin’s site.

Weight Scales (ANT+ Wireless):

The FR910XT is wirelessly compatible with any of the ANT+ enabled scales on the market.  As of today, that’s essentially just three scales, though Tanita is aiming to bring ANT+ to nearly a dozen more scales here shortly.

ANT+ scales work by sending your weight data (and in the case of the Tanita BC-1000 also your body fat and hydration data) to the watch wirelessly.  This is then uploaded to Garmin Connect via your watch.  Thus every time you synchronize your watch (such as when you upload your workouts), it’ll also upload any weight scale data points as well.

In the case of the FR910XT, the scale is typically triggered by the watch (only the Lifesource scale is the other way around).  You press the light button on the FR910XT, which triggers the ANT+ Weight Scale search protocol. Once that’s done, your scale will start blinking and beeping.  This is your queue to step on the scale (unless you think the scale is a ticking bomb, in which case it’s your cue to run like heck).

Garmin FR910XT with Tanita BC-100

After the scale has completed it’s weigh-in, the number will display on the FR910XT:

Garmin FR910XT with Tanita BC-100 Weight Scale

Which is then automagically transmitted to Garmin Connect and visible there:

Garmin Connect Tanita Weight Scale detail via FR910XT

As of today, there are three scales that offer ANT+ compatibility.  They are as follows:

Tanita BC-1000 – Weight/Body Fat/Hydration– $280 (My review here)
Tanita HD-351– Weight – $150 (A little snippet of thought here)
Lifesource UC-324 – Weight – $110 (A little snippet of thought here)

To make this slightly easier to understand, here’s a picture of them all with the key things you need to know:

Tanita BC-1000, Lifesource Scale, Tanita HD-351 ANT+ Scales with FR910XT

Good? Good. Onwards!

Battery and battery extension options:

The FR910XT is designed to last about 20 hours – or essentially enough for a 17hr Ironman finisher (the time limit for the Ironman event).

However, it’s quite understandable that you may want to go for an activity longer than that.  In fact, two years ago I did just that with a FR310XT, where I had it recording for over a day, during a long journey on a boat to a remote island where Great White Sharks were (trip report here).  At the time, I used a simple AC adapter with the FR310XT, which worked well.  As long as you started the activity, it would keep it recording in the background.

Well, the same is true of the FR910XT.  Except now I’ve anteed up the stakes and used Garmin’s solar power charger and extra battery (single bundle).  Technically, Garmin actually uses a system from PowerMonkey, and rebrands it.  Either way, it works well.  Now, in order for it to work with the FR910XT (or FR310XT), you need one minor sub-$5 item – a USB mini to regular adapter.  This is the one you want.

Once you’ve got that and the external battery/solar power system, here’s what you’ll have:

Garmin FR910XT Power Extender Battery Solar Pack

(Above: FR910XT, Solar Panel, Battery Pack, FR910XT Charger, USB adapter)

Now that you have it all out, you’ll connect the pieces.  They really only fit one way, so it’s pretty self-explanatory:

Garmin FR910XT getting charged via battery pack

Note that the solar panel charges the external battery pack.  The external battery pack in turn provides power to the FR910XT.  You can either charge the battery pack, or charge something from it.  You can’t do two at the same time.  Though, since the FR910XT’s battery lasts 20 hours, that’s plenty of time to refill your solar charger.

Garmin FR910XT getting charged via solar pack

With that, you’ll be set to go for just about…forever.  Once you clip the charging clip on the unit will show the normal charging screen.  But if you simply press the mode button you’ll be back to the regular display fields.  It’s not super easy to manipulate the unit since the buttons are covered, but you can attach/detach the charger as often as need be.

Garmin FR910XT Charging Clip

Also note that again, you don’t need the solar piece there.  That’s like the cherry on top.  You can simply have the battery pack hanging out in your bag (or elsewhere), charging the FR910XT.  I don’t see this as particularly useful for runners, but I’ve long since learned that people use the Forerunner devices for numerous other activities – hence why this will definitely appeal to someone.

Downloading FR910XT to iPhone/iPod/iPad without computer:

Finally, last but not least I’ll show off how to use the Wahoo Fitness iPhone dongle to download your FR910XT workouts directly from your watch to any number of online services (or just e-mail the results to yourself).

First you’ll need the Wahoo Fitness dongle, which works with just about all the iDevices.  That’s the little white thing hanging off the bottom of my phone.  It simply plugs into the dock connector like a power cord.

Garmin FR910XT Downloading via Wahoo Fitness iPhone Dongle

Then you’ll go into the pairing menu (seen above) to get the watch paired.  This only takes a second and doesn’t affect your computer’s pre-established paired relationship with your FR910XT.

Once that’s done, it’ll list out the available workouts for you to download from the watch.  You need only tap to select which workout(s) you want and then click download.

Garmin FR910XT Downloading Workouts via Wahoo Fitness iPhone Dongle

It’ll download the workout to the phone, by grabbing the .FIT files.  Once it’s done that, it’ll allow you to upload to pretty much all of the major services from Garmin Connect to Training Peaks to Nike+ to MapMyFitness and more.

Garmin FR910XT Downloading Workouts via Wahoo Fitness iPhone Dongle

Or you can just e-mail the files to yourself (including CSV versions).  Pretty cool.

Today you can do this on a handful of Garmin watches, including the FR60, FR310XT and FR610.  You can read more about this in my past post on it here.

Summary & Overview:

The FR910XT represents an update to the previous generation triathlon focused FR305 and FR310XT.  The goal of all of the multisport watches that Garmin makes has been to offer a watch that ‘does it all’ – and in the case of the FR910XT – it really does seem to deliver here, covering the major asks/gaps of past watches.

Without question, the biggest changes in the FR910XT boil down to the addition of an indoor swim mode – effectively making the watch a complete swim/bike/run watch as opposed to just a bike/run watch.  For the cyclists and ultra runners, they’ve added in a barometric altimeter.  And for the runners, they’ve added in walk/run mode – becoming more and more common for longer distance endurance pacing.

Of course, the FR910XT isn’t necessarily for everyone, as I believe it’s important to identify your rough category of watch needs and find a product that fits.  So looking at watch recommendations, you’ve got a few different basic categories:

1) The Triathlete: No question, if you’re a triathlete – this is the watch if you want a single device that does it all.  There’s simply no other product on the market today that can do recording in all three sports with respect to distance and recorded data, especially in the pool.  The only advantage the Polar RCX5 has is that it can record heart rate in the pool (the FR910XT can’t).  But the RCX5 can’t do distance in the pool, nor does it have an integrated GPS, ANT+, or power meter support.

2) The Casual Runner: The casual runner should probably look at the cheaper FR210.  In general the FR210 is probably a better entry level watch in that it’s simplified enough where you can just go out and run.  By the same token, I still believe that for 95% of runners, the FR210 is a perfect fit.  As for the FR910XT and casual runners, bringing the FR910XT to the table for a casual runner is like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

3) The Advanced Runner: The FR610 is really aimed at this market.  But if you want the additional barometric altimeter (such as an ultra running in the mountains) – then clearly the FR910XT is your best (and only) bet.

4) The Pure Cyclist: You probably want the Edge series of devices, so check out the Edge 500 – it’s the best bet here.  If you need mapping, then check out the Edge 800.  Of course, if you dabble between running and cycling, then that’s where the FR910XT really shines.  The only thing you really lose coming from the Edge 500 to the FR910XT is 8 concurrent data fields down to 4 concurrent fields.

The FR910XT will be available later this year for $399US without a heart rate strap, and $449US with a heart rate strap.

Comparison Chart:

Over time this comparison chart has slowly grown.  You’re best to simply click it and view it in all its full screen glory.  The goal here being to compare the most popular GPS based multisport watches that I’ve reviewed thus far.  You can click on it to expand it and make it readable.

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated May 7th, 2019 @ 1:52 pmNew Window
Product Announcement DateOCT 4, 2011Apr 30th, 2019Apr 30th, 2019Sept 13th, 2018June 17th, 2018
Actual Availability/Shipping DateJAN-APR 2012Early May 2019Early May 2019Late October 2018June 17th, 2018
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes (with Galileo too)YesYes (with Galileo too)
Data TransferANT+ WirelessUSB, Bluetooth SmartUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFiUSB, BLUETOOTH SMARTUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi
WaterproofingYes - 50m50 metersYes - 50mYes - 30mYes - 100m
Battery Life (GPS)20 Hours13 Hours36hrs GPS, 60hrs UltraTracUp to 40 hoursUp to 32hrs in GPS-on, up to 85hrs in UltraTrac GPS (varies by model)
Recording Interval1s or SmartSMART RECORDING (VARIABLE)1S or Smart1s1S or Smart
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerNoYesYesYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoWatchfaces onlyYEsNoYEs
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
MusicGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Can control phone musicYesYesNoYes
Has music storage and playbackNoYesNoYes
Streaming ServicesNoiHeartRadio, Spotify, DeezerNoiHeartRadio, Spotify, Deezer
PaymentsGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoYesNoYes
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYesFeb 2019Yes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoYesYesNoYes
Group trackingNoYesNoYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoYes (via phone)Yes (via phone)NoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesNoYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesN/AYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesN/AYesNoYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceNoYesTBD Future UpdateYes
Crash detectionYesYesNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Designed for runningYesYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYES (ALSO HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)YesYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoWITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (NOT VIA OPTICAL HR)NoWITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (NOT VIA OPTICAL HR)
Running PowerNoWith extra sensoryes (built-in)With extra sensor
VO2Max EstimationNoYesYEsYesYEs
Race PredictorNoNoYesNoYes
Recovery AdvisorNonoYesYesYes
Run/Walk ModeYesYesYesNoYes
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Designed for swimmingYesNO (PROTECTED THOUGH JUST FINE)YesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeYesN/AYEsYesYEs
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingYesN/AYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterNoN/AWITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM (Not with optical HR)YesWITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM (Not with optical HR)
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesN/AYesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesN/AYEsYesYEs
Indoor Drill ModeNoN/AYesNoYes
Indoor auto-pause featureNoN/ANo (it'll show rest time afterwards though)YesNo (it'll show rest time afterwards though)
Change pool sizeYesN/AYEsYesYEs
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths20m/22y to 100y/mN/A17M/18Y TO 150Y/M20M/Y to 250 m/y17M/18Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fieldsYesN/AYesYesYes
Can change yards to metersYesN/AYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsYesN/AYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsYesN/AYesN/AYes
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Designed for triathlonYesNoYesYesYes
Multisport modeYesNoYesYesYes
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYEsNoYEs
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesVirtual PacerYEsNo (but can give out of zone alerts)YEs
Virtual Racer FeatureYesNoYesNoYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoYesYesNoYes
Day to day watch abilityNoYesYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoYesNoYes
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoYesNoYes
GeocachingNoNoVia GPS coordinatesNoVia GPS coordinates
Weather Display (live data)NoYesYesNoYes
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesNoYesNoYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoYesNoYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoYesNoYes
Back to startYesNoYesFeb 2019Yes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoYesNoYes
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoYesNoYes
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Altimeter TypeBarometricNoBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeGPSNoneMagneticN/AMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYesYesYes
Pulse Oximetry (aka Pulse Ox)NoYesNoFenix 5X Plus only
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesNoYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYesNoYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableYesYesYesNoYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesNoYesNoYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableYesNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)YesNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoYesNoYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoYesNoYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNo (can control VIRB though)NoNo (can control VIRB though)
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoYesNoYes
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoYesNoYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoYEsYesYEs
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoYesNoYes
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsYesNoYesN/AYes
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
PC ApplicationGTC/ANT AgentGarmin Express (PC/Mac)Garmin ExpressPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectPolar FlowGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows Phone
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkN/ALink
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Forerunner 45/45SGarmin Forerunner 945Polar Vantage VGarmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X)
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Pro’s and Con’s:

Finally, no review would be complete without the infamous pro’s and con’s section.  The reality here is that the previous generation FR310XT was and is fairly well liked, and the FR910XT simply built on that and tried to rectify the most common requests.  Thus, there are very few big ticket ‘Cons’ left for the FR910XT without getting to personal preference items:


– Added indoor lap swimming mode, recording distance/speed/strokes
– Added barometric altimeter
– Added Run/Walk reminder feature (which can be used for all sorts of other things, like nutrition)
– Added Virtual Racer feature, ability to race past performances/others
– Now supports TrainingPeaks Metrics (TSS/IF/NP), also pedal based power meters
– Accurately tracks distance, heart rate, pace and a ton of other metrics
– Connects to ANT+ foot pods, power meters, speed/cadence sensors
– Connects to ANT+ weight scales and gym equipment
– Wirelessly downloads workouts via ANT+ to computer


– Doesn’t record/display heart rate while underwater
– Doesn’t really work as a normal day to day non-sports watch (battery only 20hrs)
– Openwater mode is good, but still not fully solving openwater distance to high degree of accuracy
– Only supports one person at a time on watch, can’t split between husband/wife
– [Update]: Current bug in firmware version 2.70 makes multisport mode less useful – recommend staying off that firmware version

As always, thanks for reading, I appreciate it.  If you have any questions – feel free to post them below, I try to answer as often as possible.  Thanks!

Found this review useful?  Or just want a sweet deal?

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pickup the FR910XT through Clever Training using the link below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Garmin FR910XT base unit (unit only)
Garmin FR910XT unit with heart rate strap (select dropdown)
Garmin FR910XT triathlon bundle (unit + HR strap + speed/cadence sensor + quick release kit) (select dropdown)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit or accessories (though, no discount).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

AccessoryStreet PriceAmazon LinkClever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated January 27th, 2018 @ 4:29 am
2013 - DCR - Gear I Use: Swim
2013 - The Girl - Gear I Use: Run
2013 Recommendations: Triathlon Watches
2014 Summer Recommendations: Triathlon Watches
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount$25LinkN/A
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount$37LinkN/A
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)$790 (hub only)LinkLink
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)$899LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1$37.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2$69.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3$50LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)$28.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)$45LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)$35.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Transfer USB Stick (large sized)$38.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ USB Transfer Stick (mini sized)$49TBALink
Garmin Bike Mount Kit (for mounting any watch onto handlebars)$10.00LinkLink
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)$10.00LinkLink
Garmin FR405/405CX/410/310XT/910XT Charging Cable$14.00LinkLink
Garmin FR910XT Quick Release Kit$18.00LinkLink
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)$38.00LinkLink
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)$45.00N/ALink
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)$109.00LinkN/A
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!$55.00LinkN/A
Power2Max ANT+ Power Meter$970 (no cranks)N/AN/A
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power Meter$99LinkLink
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power MeterDiscontinuedLinkN/A
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power Meter$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)LinkLink
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power Meter$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)LinkLink
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power Meter$699N/ALink
Suunto ANT+ USB Transfer Stick (mini sized)$37LinkLink
Suunto ANT/ANT+ Running Footpod (good for both ANT types)$70.00LinkN/A
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale$215.00LinkN/A
Wahoo Fitness ANT+ iPhone Adapter (for uploading workouts wirelessly)$40.00LinkLink

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  Further, you can always e-mail me at the address on the sidebar.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. Great review as usual Ray. couple of important points (that I might have missed as the review was lengthy): availability and price?

    • Marc Tanguay

      I’m a Triathlete and the 910xt is my single most important piece of training technology, period.

      Garmin product team sent a survey to customers about usability and features. Here were my top four feature requests and comments:

      1) Smaller USB charging adapter. Current alligator clip style is large to travel with. I do realize that electrical patches are necessary on the wrist unit for waterproofing, so this makes the charger design challenging.

      2) Quick release that doesn’t fail while swimming

      3) BTLE (for both head connection and data transfer to non PC devices like iPad) – On head connection, 910XT really isn’t a great head unit for cycling. I’ll plan on using a Wahoo RFLCT based on Ray’s first look. For data transfer, the time has come for Garmin to integrate with i-devices. While Garmin Connect was massively innovate with ANT+ transfer, and it just plain works great today…I don’t like having to plug in my Wahoo ANT+ key while traveling with just an iPhone/iPad.

      4) Low-power watch mode. I would like to be able to wear my 910xt ALL THE TIME, but I need it to tell time. Please! Couldn’t you run a watch in standby or main power off mode? Seems technically possible.

  2. Oh, I know what I want for Christmas!

  3. Great review as always Ray. The watch looks awesome. I’ll add it to my wish list! Any ideas on the pricing?

  4. mylli

    Superb review, thank you!

    How does the indoor swimmode work and the detection of stroketype work? Is there something like a Wiimote inside the device? 😉

  5. awesome… I’m about to buy my first GPS watch and I was leaning towards the 310xt. With this I now have to decide if I want the 910xt or a 310xt (hopefully a much lower priced version).


  6. Interesting review. Thanks Ray!

  7. Great review as always…the Garmin website says Q4 but did they give you anymore details.

    One request is based on the tech specs it shows the height of the 910 being bigger than the 310 but your rolling pin test doesn’t really show that. Would you mind posting it by a tape measure for height so we can see how much of the band is involved in the “height”?


  8. Thx 4 the review! Great work!
    One thing: What you call “new premium HR-Strap” is already shipped since last Nov/Dec with the Edge 800, but not working very well. Have to clip the Garmin sender to my Polar strap to get dscent results. Looking forward so see how the

  9. Anonymous

    The 910xt allows up to 5 bike settings, but is the swim and run one setting each or are they also multiple settings and if so how many?

  10. one more question. Do you think Garmin will continue supporting the 310xt’s firmware? I would hate to end up buying the 310xt and find out after the fact the Garmin will no longer update the f/w for the unit. I know they have been keeping up with the 305, but it’s kind of a bread-and-butter device, I don’t know if Garmin feels the same way about the 310xt.

    Thanks again.

  11. Garmin site shows a price of $399/$449 w/ HR Strap.

    I have a 310xt, not sure if the new features warrant an upgrade. But it is a new…shiny….toy…!

    Great review Ray!

  12. Daniel

    Is there a possibility to split the “breadcrumb navigation” to see one or two additional datafield at the same screen, so that you can follow a breadcrumb, but still see Speed/heartrate or something else without switching back and forth ?

  13. Since they have increased the number of bike, what about running? I’d really like to have two running profiles: one for training and one for racing. All the data fields are different and most of the auto settings too. One time I forgot to disable autopause, that makes it very difficult to pace correctly :-O

  14. Anonymous

    Hi Ray,

    thanks for the great review.

    It’s a bit off-topic now, but I couldn’t find a way to contact you directly: Can you provide Amazon Affiliate links zu Amazon.de as well? I can see that you provide them for US, CA and UK – but not for other countries.

    If it’s not a big deal for you please let me know. I’d be happy to buy all my stuff through your links.

    If you don’t want to mess up your layout with various countries you can also send the link to my email on “manu.us at eml dot cc”.


  15. G

    Bye Bye Iphone 5 upgrade!
    This looks amazing. Was just about to pull the trigger on a FR610 as i was fed up of waiting – now this comes along. Can’t wait to hear when they are available and will hold my breath for the price.

  16. Anonymous

    Thanks again Ray!

  17. Did you notice any improvement in battery life over ther 310XT? Thanks for the review.

  18. Any comment if it includes a temp sensor like the edge series? It can be fun to have recorded and plotted for long activities…

    I agree with many, I was hoping for a good reason to upgrade from the 310xt — perhaps a nice everyday watch option and form factor. This is on the edge for me.

    I like swim distance tracking quite a bit, but have adapted to using a smaller and cheaper FR60 for indoor swimming.

  19. How does it compute calories burned? Do they have a new algorithm or are they sticking with the 2nd Gen Firstbeat?

  20. Pafilon

    thanks for the review.

    Nice to see swim mode in multisport watch. I use my Swimovate Pool-Mate and it’s has one disadvantage. It doesn’t record time for each lap.
    How it is done in Garmin? Is it possible to get time for each lap and analyze each of them in garmin sofware?

  21. Great review as always Ray.
    Thank you so much! Any idea when is going to hit stores?

  22. Jack

    Arrgg! I got a swimsense in July to track swim training as the 310XT didn’t capture it, now the 910XT will. So now one watch can cover it all (except swimming HR data). Guess I better be really good between now and Christmas.

  23. Great review. I have had the 305 for 4 years now and have loved it.

    I primarily do 70.3 / 140.6 races strictly using the 305. Is the 910XT worth the money to switch from my 305?

  24. Jeff

    Great review. A couple of question, for the workouts, do they support auto lap? They didn’t previously. Second, is there a way to set up proper pace alerts without creating a workout?

  25. Jake C

    Awesome work! Now with all this ANT+ why don’t computers just come built with ANT+ recognition built into them? Then you don’t have to carry around or worry of losing the USB plug-in…

  26. Awesome, thank you!

    I’am gonna pick this one up as soon as It is available.

  27. Another question — you note “Great” for satellite acquisition on the 310xt and 610.

    I’ve seen the 610 and Edge 800 consistently acquire faster than my 310xt. I assume they are using a newer SIRF chipset than the 310xt and also assume the 910 would be more on their level than the 310. Is this the case? All four 310xt’s I have used have been only a little better than my 305’s are.

  28. I was looking at the 310xt, but I think my Christmas wish list has just been updated!!

  29. so-how long until this is available on Amazon?

  30. Andy

    Great review! I’m interested to know if the custom pool size will take a 60m pool? My current Swimsense won’t and I’m looking for something to replace it with.

  31. Hi Ray

    Thanks for another excellent review.

    You mentioned that the Virtual Racer feature was new to the FR910XT, yet the FR610 has a Virtual Racer feature too – are there some differences that caused you to write that?

    Also a question to anyone with any Garmin ANT+ watches. Is your syn always reliable? I often hear/read folks saying the distance it works at is incredible etc…yet I have only have good results when the watch is close to my PC.

    What I’ve observed is:

    – Better results with dongle plugged into front of PC
    – The sync generally seems a little flaky (eg had to send a workout around 15 times and despite the agent and the watch reporting transfer success, it still didnt show up on the watch, so ended up just doing a normal session. Then post workout I tried the transfer again and it worked first time
    – Sometimes the agent will see the watch with new workouts in a few seconds, other times in minutes, and on a few occasions its taken hours of the watch sitting there before a transfer is initiated.

    Does anyone have any tips on more reliable sync with the ANT+ agent?

    I’m wondering if factors like wireless interference might be at play (my PC is very close to wireless router)?

    Any help/thoughts greatly appreciated

  32. great review ray! you have made a dedicated polar fan consider garmin for christmas present!!!!

  33. mylli

    @ Nelson398

    How about battery life in 140.6? Are fast enough or do you carry some additional battery with you (like rainmaker when he is flying around half of earth)?

  34. OK- looks like Garmin threw everything we asked for and more into this one. What do we have to complain about now? for now, I’ll still use my Swimovate Poolmate for swimming, my Edge 500 for cycling and my 405 for running. But nice to know that one product can now do it all.

  35. Any info on the training effect, does it record r-r intervals?

  36. Thanks for the great post! I’m curious whether it picks up run cadence without a foot pod. It seems it could use the swim stroke counter to easily detect arm swings.

  37. Turbeau

    that’s a solid long run you had bro!

  38. TriStu

    Is the 310XT QUICK RELEASE Kit for the bike THE SAME for 910xt?
    IS the band the same? Do I have to get all NEW STUFF….essentially?

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Hi Ray,

    Great review!

    Does the 910XT allow for the “repeat until” functionality from GTC? e.g. repeat until 500 calories burned, or 5 miles covered etc?

    If not, why is this?


  41. Thanks for this in-depth review. I’ve been thinking about putting a Garmin on my Christmas wish list. This will probably be on it!

  42. Great review Ray. I’ve been thinking about upgrading my 305 to 310xt but now I’m excited about the 910xt. I’m looking forward to you revisiting the swimming portion of the review in a few weeks. Again, thanks for all your hard work it makes my life a little easier and I appreciate it.

  43. Thanks Ray! Now just to stash away some cash for when my 310 kicks the bucket!
    I like the metal back. This units looks to be even a little more durable than the 310, which is great.

  44. Thanks for the in-depth review. Part of me says “me wants”, the other part says there’s too little difference with the 310xt to justify the investment 😛

  45. Thanks as always for the amazingly thorough review! I have a Garmin 310XT now and love it. Add TSS, VI, and IF to it and I’m gonna be a happy camper, but the new 910 lap function would truely give me just one tool for everything- the holy grail!

    Two quick questions for you that perhaps you can expand on in future posts when you get all the accessories.
    1- I’ve never been able to figure out how people are loosing the Garmin 310XT in the open water swims. Is the strap itself coming undone, or is the quick release popping off? You seem to think the new 910 band has resolved the problem, but since I can’t figure out how it’s happening in the first place I’m not sure I understand this point.

    2- I have freakishly small wrists. Almost every running watch I ever bought had to have the band replaced so it would fit. I was pleasently surprised however to find the Garmin 310XT fit without any adjustments. Would you mind testing out the fit of the 910 with the new band on someone with tiny wrists?

    Thanks as alwasy!

  46. Anonymous

    How much?

  47. @ Anonymous
    $400 w/o HRM, $450 w/ HRM

    link to buy.garmin.com

  48. Great review! Glad to hear they’ve added the run/walk option for those of us who use that. Do you know if the 910xt can be set up to do run/walk intervals during multisport? With my 310xt I can only do multisport OR intervals, and it would be really nice to be able to do intervals within multisport. Thanks!

  49. Anonymous

    Wow! Great review. Thanks a lot for that. Do you know how much the 910RX will cost?

  50. Alex

    Ahh just 4 days late bought the RCX5 last weekend.
    Looking also forward to see the review on the garmin power meter. And if you allow me one special “request” as you are the ANT+ Pro,
    if you test the garmin power meter could also look in the fact how it will work together with the Joule 2.0 because I think from a power meter head unit it is the best device.

    Thanks a lot
    Greetings from Germany

  51. Wow! Thanks for the review, always counting on you dude!

  52. Tom

    Hi Ray. One of the cons you mention is that the 910XT doesn’t really work as a normal day to day non-sports watch due to the 20hr battery life. Most GPS watches enable you to switch off the GPS in order to not drain the battery so quickly – are you saying that this is not able to be done with the 910XT? Thanks!

  53. Thanks for the review. I own a 305 and was interested in buying the garmin soft HR strap. How can I tell which is the current ANT+ soft strap and which is the newer soft strap which seems to solve the issues with the ‘current’ one. Is it being sold as an accessory already? Could you please provide the amazon links? Thanks.

  54. 399$ / 449$ with HRM?

  55. Hi All!

    Thanks for all the comments and questions. I’ve updated the review with a number of new sections, including:

    – Alerts
    – Calorie Burn information
    – Solar Charging and Battery Pack
    – Clearer information on HR straps
    – Downloading FR910XT workouts using iPhone
    – Added more comparison shots to begining
    – Added Openwater Swim Data Field Charts
    – Other tiny clarifications

    With that, I’m going to go through and answer any unresolved questions and bunch them together – since some are similiar. Thanks again!


    The unit is $399 w/o a HR strap, and $449 with a strap. You can pre-order one via the link above (via Garmin’s site).

    Rumor is that Nov 16th is the date being given to distributors.

    For those asking on Amazon, typically it takes a few days to show up in the system. For the individual asking for Amazon.de, I’ll get a link tonight and add it to the sidebar. I really appreciate you supporting the site!

    Swimming Mode:

    1) The unit uses an accellerometer to determine strokes, etc…

    2) Displaying of swim data in Garmin Connect. Since I’m on the production GC instance, I can’t see the dev work there quite yet. I’m told shortly.

    3) Pool Size: The max I can specify is 50m. That does seem like a valid request though.

    Bike Related:

    1) Garmin Vector compatiability with Joule 2.0 – Albeit unrelated to the FR910XT, it will be compatible with any ANT+ power meter, including the Joule. It transmits both a regular ANT+ Power Meter Device profile data stream, as well as Left/Right power information (technically it just transmits right power information in percentage format and then the head unit does the math).

    Run Related:

    1) No, there is not an option to have multiple running profiles, just one.

    2) No current way to setup a pace alert without creating workout.

    3) Virtual Racer: It was introducd with FR610, I was implying it was new to the triathlon watch series (over FR310XT with didn’t have it)

    4) Using swim accellerometer to record run distance/arm swings: It doesn’t today, it requires either GPS or the seperate footpod. There are other companies that do use that technology in that way though.

    (Part 1 End)

  56. (Part II Start)
    Triathlon/Band Specific

    1) The quick release kit is different

    2) It is the same as the Edge quarter turn mounts though

    3) The major difference between FR310XT strap and FR910XT strap is the use of actual screws to lock in strap, versus little ‘pins’ in the past. You have to unscrew both sides. Maybe a video is in order…

    4) For those asking why it was previously a problem, it was primarily on the wrist and then pins were popped when another competitor whacked the FR310XT hard, causing the unit to fall to the ocean/lake floor.

    5) Wrist pictures. My wife is small, I’ve got a few I’ll upload with it on her wrist.

    6) Run/Walk Intervals within multisport: I’ll double-check on this and try it and let ya know.

    Navigation Related:

    1) Whether or not breadcrumb page could be split – it cannot, all or nothing

    Training Related:

    1) Repeat until function: Yes, it supports this. Just tried it out via GTC

    Heart Rate Related:

    1) I added some better and more clear pictures so you can identify which strap you have. All Garmin units sold since last December with a “premium strap” use the newest version. All individual straps sold on Garmin.com are also the new version. 95% of new straps sold on Amazon are the new version.

    2) Training Effect: I’ll look to add that section later this week. It does not record R-R intervals (no Garmin units do)

    Stuff that doesn’t fit elsehwere

    1) Whether or not Garmin plans to continue supporting FR310XT firmware. Yes, I suspect so – that’s been the case based on discussions I’ve had with them. Just like past devices, they tend to still release new firmware for years afterwards.

    2) Battery life feels roughly the same. I’ve kept it on literally from morning till late at night, and it keeps on ticking. Rated 20 hrs.

    3) Temp sensor: It does not include one. Would have been nice though!

    4) Calorie Burn type: 2nd Generation FirstBeat (added new section).

    5) Satellite: This uses the IV with SiRFInstantFixII.

    6) 20hr Battery: You cannot turn off just the GPS functions like other GPS watches (well, you can, but it doesn’t save much battery). It’s all or nothing from a display standpoint.

    Thanks everyone!

  57. I really wish Garmin would add the run/walk mode to the firmware for the FR305. I know it’s an old device but it still gives the best bang for the buck for someone new to running, perhaps using Galloway or C25K to get started, and not ready to drop 300-400 dollars on a device. This 910XT looks pretty awesome but clearly for the more advanced/serious athlete!

  58. Anonymous

    hello, ray
    i love the bike path. do you many were you live? i live in south florida and id love to se that type of path. btw what state is it in?

  59. Anonymous

    Minor question. Will the watch band extender work with other garmin models (fr210 specifically)? It is not listed with other models on the garmin website, but I would love to use it with my current watch.

  60. Congrats on another stellar review. I can’t believe that they didn’t include temperature data. It’s almost like Garmin always splits the feature list between certain devices so you “want / have” them all?! (e.g. like the Edge 500 not being footpod capable)

    Took a while to read, but I loved reading it! Is HR big for triathletes under water?

  61. Anonymous

    Temperature data on a watch would essentially measure skin temperature.

  62. Ray, What Sirf Chip is this using for GPS and how does it compare to the Sirf III that I believe was in the Garmin 310XT. In particular I would be interested in satellite acquisitions times while stopped and moving.

  63. Ray, fantastic review! I love your site, great work.

  64. Great review,thank you!
    I like to ask your opinion about the glass,we must afraid of breaking the glass like with 310?
    thank you

  65. Tim

    Thanks for the review. I would like to see Garmin support “calculated power” when riding on an indoor trainer and using the speed/cadence add-on. Several popular indoor bike trainers have a standard power curve available to allow a simple speed-to-power calculation. Could you add this to your list of suggestions for Garmin’s Engineering Team? I need every angle possible to stay motivated on the indoor trainer.

  66. Alex

    Thanks for the answer. great job!


  67. Hi Ray,was over at another site called surfski.info and they have been discussing a gps out of south africa called mobii,apparently its fully waterproof,unlike my 2x 305’s that garmin said they would replace with a second hand unit if i slipped them $100!As i have been burnt by garmin before can you contact them for a review…Your the best Ray!

  68. Thank you for this great in-depth review. I have a question regarding the barometer, cumulated elevation and calibration. I am an ultratrailer using a foretrex 401 (after a fr 305). I bought it because of the barometer (and the battery) but in the end it totally sucks. The autocalibration sucks and cumulated elevation sucks really (a shame !), at least in mountains. Have you an idea how well the barometer in the 910xt is of any interest? Thank you for your answer !

  69. Another beautiful job, Ray! Takes pride of place in the new FB group.

  70. Great job as always. I wonder if I get one for my wife for xMas, I can alternate with my 405CX.

  71. Fuji Racer

    Looking for the best Garmin day to day (swim capable) GPS watch. Doesn’t sound like this one is the best day to dayer. Does Garmin have a suitable watch for day to day wear but may also be worn to the beach for ocean swims, etc….?

  72. Fantastic review as usual, and it GREW overnight. Seriously, your reviews set the standard. Thank you very much. And thank you Garmin for delivering. Now it just needs to work!!!

  73. Marcus

    I’m so excited for this watch. Now I just have to find the cash for it or hope that Santa is good to me.

    One question I have though is if Garmin has ever considered a ANT+ display for the bike similar to the edge 500 instead of having to deal with the quick release during transition. My thoughts are that the watch would still record all of the data but on the bike the information would be displayed both on the watch and on the display unit mounted in a more convenient location than your wrist. The display may have configurable data screens similar to the edge 500 but other than that all the information would be received from the watch. I don’t necessarily understand how ANT+ works so I don’t know if this is possible but think it would be pretty cool and efficient.

  74. Marcus – asuming you have a GSC-10 on your bike you can do something like that with a simple ANT+ head unit like the Bontrager Node 1 (you can use an Edge 500 and FR910xt in tandem as well, it’s just a good deal more expensive). ANT+ sensors can be paired to multiple computers, so your HR, cadence, and power sensors will work with as many head units as you’d like.

    With that said, the one caveat is that the timers wouldn’t be synchronized (ie the bike computer would have to be manually started and it’s elapsed time would begin when you did that). It would be awesome to see Garmin offer some functionality that explicitly allows devices to work in sync (ie when in range, synchronize the clocks and mirror any commands like pressing the lap button). It’d take some work, but if it could convince people to buy two devices rather than one it’d likely pay for itself pretty quickly 😉

    Naturally, even better would be a dumb head unit for the bike (ie no data recording, have the wrist unit relay GPS data via ANT+ and skip the on-board module, etc.). That’d make it pretty inexpensive and should allow for significantly longer battery life.

  75. Anonymous

    I’m curious about the comparison of the 910XT swimming functions in a pool vs. the Finish watches? I use the Garmin 305 for running and was considering getting the Finis swim watch for pool laps. If this works as well as the Finis it would make sense to just dump my 305 and get an all in one. DC Rainmaker- can you provide a comparison?

  76. Hannes

    @ Marcus and tms:

    good idea! I hope rainmaker talks to the garmin people about this topic.

    I would like to have a Xperia active, Edge 500 and 910xt in one device, but the display is the problem… And you have the solution!

  77. Marcus


    A dumb head unit is exactly what I’m trying to refer to. My thoughts were, as you mentioned, for it to simply be a mirror of the data on the wrist unit and possible have a couple of buttons that would allow you to scroll through the preformatted data screens, start & stop, and lap. I think the size and case design of the Edge 500 would be perfect, but as far as electronics it wouldn’t need much more than an ANT+ chip, a battery (rechargable or not), and a display screen. Maybe it could be called the Edge 510D, for display.

    Anyway just thought it might be a cool idea and one that I think triathletes would be more willing to purchase than having to deal with the hassle and bulkiness of the quick mount system, especially given the horror stories I’ve heard about lossing units in open water.

  78. Great Review! What is run pace smoothing? It seems thats the only thing the 610 has over the 910XT in your spreadsheet. Just wondering as an avid runner how to choose between the 610 and 910XT. Is there something else compelling about the 610 over the 910XT for this type of user? Thanks!

  79. Thanks for yet another outstanding review Ray! I’ve really enjoyed my FR305, but I’ve had my eye on the 310XT for the extended battery life that I will need for a 50 mile trail run in February. I’m glad I can update my Christmas wish list to a 910XT! It looks great. I look forward to when Garmin can make the entire thing touch screen though!

  80. Ray, thanks for this very in-depth review. We really appreciate your work.

    About the watch. Wow Garmin, you made it! This is what I always dreamed of. I’m so glad that I can abandon the idea of buying the Finis Swimsense. Now, it’d be great if we could have a comparison between the two in the pool (hint hint!).


  81. Anonymous

    Grandissimo Ray,

    Thank you again for the fantastic review.
    Greatings from Italy

  82. Hi Ray.Thank you so much for posting such a great review.I knew you’d have the best information when Garmin came out with their next 305/310 upgrade.
    Do you think the 910xt has what it takes to get prime position in your sport tech arsenal?


  83. Ray – Amazing review – this is the watch I’ve been waiting for! Is it possible to use the Virtual Racer functionality in conjunction with multi-sport mode? For example, could you download someone’s ride of the IM Canada bike course, then “race” against that person after you come out of the water (same question applies for the run)?

    Also, I’m assuming that if you use the “Garmin in swim cap” method for better open-water GPS tracking, the stroke count info will be sort of nonsensical. However, I’d be interested to see if the accelerometer will track your head turns for breathing as “strokes”, thus allowing you to track approximate swim cadence if you breath regularly (i.e., every other stroke or every third stroke).

    Again, great review. If only they could figure out the underwater HR signal. Can someone PLEASE make an accessory that attaches to ANT+ HR straps and watches and converts the signal to something appropriate for underwater transmission already?

  84. Steve

    Superb review. And BIG THANKS for giving me the heads up that this was coming as I almost got impatient and bought both the Edge and Forerunner 610. Finally the all in one device I have been searching for is here!

  85. Outstanding review! I was about to get another 310XT, mine 2 year old 310XT has been behaving strangely. Thank you so much for helping me to save money on a older model! Can’t wait for it to be launched.


  86. Hi All-

    Thanks for the comments to date. Here’s the roundup of new Q&A’s:


    1) Run Smoothing: I need to double-check that again, it was cleaner tonight on my run. Last time I talked, they did some work in the FR610 around cleaning up GPS data to make it appear smoother, I’ve gotta see if that made it over to the FR910XT code base.


    1) Calculated power: Interesting idea, agree that it’s becoming more common. Will definitely mention it. I think also something like what CycleOps is doing would be cool too – with their HR strap power (fairly accurate in my testing)


    1) Is HR big for triathlets? It depends. HR underwater is hard to get on a number of levels. Polar has it, but the strap can be very difficult to get to stay put in a lap pool due to flip turns (especially on guys, girls it’s easier). Openwater under a wetsuit it’s easy. The real question is the usefulness of it. I’ve been using the AquaPulse underwater for HR, it’s fascinating from a ‘how hard can I push standpoint’ though.

    2) FR910XT vs Swimsense: Fear not, that’s the first thing you’ll be getting as a ‘Showcase Showdown’ of sorts – hopefully in the next few weeks. I’m super familiar with the Swimsense (use it every swim), so am more than able to do a comparison once Garmin has the final swim stroke software (it’s constantly changing) and online software ready.

    3) Underwater strap that can rebroadcast ANT+: There’s a few folks working around this idea, but nothing that we’ll see in the immediate future. I’ve been trying to convince Suunto to go back and re-release their Duostrap as Polar/ANT+ instead of Polar/closed-ANT


    1) Will I use it day to day? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m lucky in that I have everything at my disposal. So in my case, I really do like the FR610 since it’s small and a great runners watch. On my bike I like the extra data fields the Edge 500/800 has. The swim is still up in the air (today I use swimsense). That said, if I wasn’t so lucky to have so many devices, there’s no question I’d just buy this one to cover them all.

    2) Race against a competitor with multisport mode: I don’t believe so at this time, since you have to load up each sport individually. Let me check with the Garmin guys on that and see what’s possible there.


    1) Extender on other watches: Unclear at the moment, should have some detail in a few days on that. Curious myself actually. The band is slightly different than past bands, so it might work – but might not be a perfect fit.

    2) Temperature: Depending on where the sensor is, it would either be affected by body heat, or not as much. Below the band, certainly. But on surface of watch probably far enough away to get a ‘rough idea’.

    3) GPS Chip: The FCC filing hasn’t been made public quite yet (probably a few more days), which details that.

    4) Glass Breakage: Much less prone thatn FR310XT. The FR310XT had the entire top being glass, without a lip. The FR910XT has a very slight lip and more protection. If it lands on a stray rock, you’re probably still toast, but flat pavement you should be good.

    5) Barometer: For me it’s been fairly accurate here in the DC area. Headed up to Canada tomorrow, will definitely be curious to see how it handles on the hillier terrain.


    1) Bike Paths: Yup, tons of them – live in the DC area.

    2) Best day to day watch with swim: Unfortunately, Garmin has none except for the FR60 – which isn’t GPS enabled. Really wish there were more options in this area. Really wish they’d just properly waterproof the FR210.

    Thanks all – appreciate it!

  87. Thank you very much for an excellent, very in-depth review! I think Santa knows what a lot of us wants for Christmas!
    – Dennis

  88. Geoffrey

    Thanks a lot for this in-depth review! As usual this is of great help!

  89. Pizdetz, I’ve just changed my 305 to 310 XT (though it’s nice but 910XT is better). Great design, features, etc… Have to change in the future
    I noticed that they changed the font on the screen. It is more readable now. Cool!
    And now the greatest problem for Garmin to find the way to read HR in water. Then it’ll be perfect.

  90. Anonymous

    Excellent review! I’m very interested but if I purchase the 910xt and already have a Garmin connect account, will I have to open a new account to upload activity data? Or can two devices use the same account allowing me to alternate between devices so I can use both new and historic data.

    Thanks a lot!!

  91. Anonymous

    Just a small thing in the comparision – Polar RCX5 can change recording rate – 1, 2, 5, 15 or 60 seconds.

  92. In several sports it would be interesting to log accelerometer data along with the GPS-data in order to improve technique training. One case is orienteering (map reading frequency and characteristics), but there are also several other sports where this would be very interesting (skiing, skating etc.) – especially now with the barometer also included. It looks like Garmin now has all the hardware required (if the accelerometer for swim-stroke can handle 10 Hz frequency). Do you think they will be interested in putting something like this in firmware in the future? Would be very interesting…

  93. Anonymous

    What are the crucial differencies between 610 and 910 for an advanced runner?

  94. Ray, only five bikes? What an annoyingly low number. The 800 only supports three, so it’s actually an improvement there, but PLEASE yell at Garmin to let us have more bikes. I think ten is a more reasonable number, but then again, I have a small bike problem. But I am not alone!

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. I see from the website that Garmin is offering a fabric strap. But the quick change kit includes a plastic strap. I was wondering if you knew if there was a fabric/velcro quick change kit in the works? I really abhor the plastic straps because I can never get them adjusted “just right”.

  97. I’m sure the answer is no, but is there any chance Garmin brings the lap swim features of the 910 to the 310xt?

  98. Matt, I have a strong suspicion that the swim lap features on the 910XT are because it has built in magnetometers in order to be able to detect the subtle shifts in arm movement and identify strokes. I doubt that hardware exists in the 310xt.

  99. Looks like an amazing GPS/HR watch, and will most definitely go on the wishlist. The only thing I’m bummed about is that it can be split between two people – I thought that was a clever “con.” As always, thanks for the uber thorough review of Garmin’s new watch!

  100. Jay

    Great Review!

    How do you think the swim will affect later barometric altitude readings? I would assume there’s an exposed pressure port somewhere. A) will water get in it, and B) how fast will it clear?

  101. Being interested in triathlons and mountaineering, the barometric altimeter makes this a potentially useful watch on short mountain climbs. I have a few questions related to that:

    (a) How good is the battery life in cold weather (think well below freezing, -10 or worse)? Can you do a test where you turn it on and leave it in the freezer or put iceblocks around it and see how quickly it dies? Or perhaps garmin has some research on this already?

    (b) can you turn GPS off and still use the barometric altimeter, and hence extend battery life?


  102. Thanks for the review. Why buy a 610 if you can get the 910xt? I was just going to jump from a Polar RS300 watch to the 610 for running and get a Edge 800 for biking, but it looks like going with the 910xt is superior — even if I also end up getting an Edge 800 (or similar) later for the additional data fields and mapping features.

    So why get a 610 at all? Is the size difference seems minor.

  103. Anonymous

    Will the pool sensor sense non flip turns?

  104. You stated specifically that no Garmins record R-R data but I am confused as the folks at Firstbeat have told me otherwise. The 610 and it appears the 910XT provide Training Effect numbers, which require R-R data. Firstbeat are developing an update that will include compatibility with the 610 (link to firstbeat.fi) and I assume the 910XT is similar since it records training effect as well. I have an email stating that Firstbeat software will be compatible from Firstbeat. Their software only interprets R-R data. Can you clarify this?

  105. anto1980

    Which iPhone App needs to download via ANT+ the activities on the phone?

  106. Just wondering … If the 910XT really have accelerometers built-in for the swimming activity, it could also be used as a podometer and replace the foot pod ? I mean technicaly at least … I know Garmin is so bad at software developing but why not hope ?!

  107. Question regarding TSS/IF/NP parameters. Those didn’t appear in the chart for cycling parameters available for display on the device. Does this mean that those metrics are not available “real time” but only after finishing the workout and downloading the file?

  108. Ditto to all the praises on your great reviews. I almost went out and got the 310XT, and I’m a bit happy that I was a bit slow.

    I’ve been using my Timex Ironman with 2 interval timers as my main watch, and paired with my bike comp (Bontranger Node 2) has been very useful.

    Now with the 910XT I think I’ll be happy that there’s something to track my swimming as well. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

    I like that Garmin watches use GPS because I’d like to pace myself and measure exactly how far I’m running on an open road or trail.

  109. Ray, this is incredible. You do a fantastic job at reviewing this stuff. Garmin should offer you a job.

  110. I posted earlier regarding R-R data recording. Below is the question and responseni obtained from Firstbeat the the reason for my confusion and asking for clarification.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Brad
    Sent: 16. kesäkuuta 2011 23:40
    To: support
    Subject: Garmin 610 Compatibility

    I saw recently in a forum post at Garmin that Firstbeat Althete would be compatible with the Garmin 610 sometime this summer.  Is this true?  It was my understanding that Garmin devices did not record R-R data.  I currently use a Suunto T6c and FBA (I am a registered user).  I would like to have route information and am very interested in the Garmin 610.  Can you please tell me if there is a planned update to FBA for Garmin 610 compatibility?

    Yes, support for Garmin Forerunner 610 will be added to the next Athlete update, released this summer.

    Forerunner 610 is a first Garmin heart rate device capable of recording the R-R interval data.

    Tuomas Romppainen

    Firstbeat Technologies Ltd.

    Thanks Ray for clarifying this.

  111. Ray, thanks for these awesome reviews!
    You say the release date will probably be on Nov 16th; if I pre-order it form amazon (once they have it on the system) do you think I’ll have enough time to get comfortable using it by Dec 4th for my first marathon?

  112. Thanks! This is the better review I´ve ever seen about Garmin!!

  113. Prinser

    Dear Ray,

    Thanks for the great review. Very nice piece of equipment.

    I am in doubt which watch would suit me best the 910xt or 210.

    I do rpm once or twice a week indoors, once a week running outside. And irregularly windsurfing at sea (around 5-10 times a year), one week skiing, two or three weekends of mountain biking and one week of hiking in the mountains (all per year).

    The main reason for buying a gps watch is to keep track of my training progress (specifically in running en rpm) and to record speed and tracks (skiing, mountain biking and hiking).

    The functionalities of the 210 suit me in most situations, but I don’t like the fact you can’t swim with it (so no windsurfing too I guess?), it lacks the bread crumb track wich might come handy (in misty conditions) in the mountains, and it doesn’t have real cycling or triatlon potential (if I want to do that in the future).

    Do the extra functionalities of the 910 in my case warrant the extra money?

    The bigger size of the 910 is no problem for me (I’m 6 foot 6 and 90 kg). Niether will I use the watch as a normal daily watch.

    Maybe you can help me with some advise on which watch to buy?

    Best regards,


  114. Great review…. I want one.

    Just a quick question about software compatible with the new swim features. Is Garmin connect able to display your swm metrics such as laps, stroke count, SWOLF score etc?

    It would be silly to upgrade from my 305 and then find I can’t keep a record of these things.


  115. Hi,

    could you compare 910XT indoor swimming mode to finis swimsense? is 910XT full replacement?

  116. Hi All-

    Thanks for the comments, appreciate it!

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Creating new account if already have Garmin Connect

    No, I use all my devices under a single account, no issues there.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: RCX5 Recording rate

    Good catch, I’ll correct that.

    Hi Jan-
    RE: Accellerometer

    I suspect that Garmin will look at ways to creatively use the accellerometer in the future, but I don’t think we’ll see anything in the short term.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Diff between 610 and 910XT for advanced runner

    Essentially nothing. From a running standpoint, the FR910 and 610 share everything. The only diff is the barometric altimeter and the longer battery of the 910XT. Additionally, if while running you follow courses, the 910XT has that whereas the 610 doesn’t.

    Hi Donnie
    RE: Five bikes and want ten

    I do indeed suspect the problem there may be closer to home. 😉 I’ll mention it though next time I chat.

    Hi Bryan
    RE: Fabric instead of plastic quick release

    I’ll ask, but I suspect it’ll be fabric regular strap, or plastic as the final decisions. I did indeed love the old FR305 fabric quick release strap though…very nice.

    Hi Matt-
    RE: Swim features to 310XT

    No, since it’s based on new hardware inside the watch and is not just software (firmware).

    Hi Jay-
    RE: Water affecting barometric altimeter

    From my experiance with the Edge series devices, it’s bad. The water will shake out almost immediately. The hole is located on the side near the lower left edge of the watch – should easily shake out in a couple minutes at worst.

    Hi Bilal-
    RE: Battery life in cold weather

    Sure, I’ll add it to my list. I did this with the Edge series.

    RE: Turn off GPS and use altimeter

    You could turn off GPS and juse use altimeter, but I don’t suspect you’ll see it extend battery life much. My suggestion if if going more than 20 hours, consider the batter extender as a way to give it an extra day (or forever with solar).

    Hi Stefan-
    RE: Why 610 over 910XT

    Essentially if you’re a running, or if you already have an Edge unit, then the 910XT is somewhat duplicate. Further, if you’re just running than the FR610 does basically everything you’d want in smaller form factor. As odd is it may sound, I’ll likely still use my FR610 more than the 910XT simply because I prefer running with the smaller FR610. Though, the barometric altimeter on recent runs has been winning me over… Also, the FR610 is wearable as a day to day watch for weeks at a time, the 910XT not at all.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Swim, flip or open

    It’ll detect both.

    Hi Brad-
    RE: R-R data

    The data is recorded for firstbeat, but isn’t consumable by you as a consumer. As you noted below, today, that’s not possible for any units. Perhaps in the future they’ll also update the .FIT files to make that consumable.

    Hi Anto-
    RE: iPhone app

    You just need the default Wahoo Fitness app with the Wahoo Fitness dongle.

    Hi Baz-
    RE: Accell to replace footpod

    It’s certainly a consideration, some are doing it today. Though the accuracy isn’t anywhere near footpod for most users (I’ve tried a few of them).

    Hi Tony-

    They’ll be available in realtime. As noted, they just aren’t yet in this firmware version, I suspect I’ll see it in my next beta firmware next week.

    Thanks all for the comments – hope everyone’s had a great weekend!

  117. Sorry, missed three last comments:

    Hi Prinser-
    RE: Windsurfing

    Yes, the FR910XT is the watch you want. In fact, during many of my discussions with Garmin I actually use Windsurfing as an example of why they should have waterproofed the FR210. I also used Windsurfing as a great example of why 1s recording was important (as without other ANT+ sensors, in the past you got lower update intervals, making it tough for Windsurfers). I think on the FR210 you’ll unfortunately kill it pretty quickly. The FR910XT is definitely the watch you want.

    Hi Justal-
    RE: Garmin Connect swim metrics

    It will, it just doesn’t as of this second (10/9/2011). It’s going to be released shortly, and I’ll be updating the swim section once it does.

    Hi Andrej-
    RE: Comparing Swimsense to FR910XT

    I plan to do a full shootout between the two – as soon as the aforementioned Connect details are there. I’ve got an updated watch coming this week to do swim testing with – so I shoudl be able to start collecting data. However, the site still needs to be updated.

    I suspect what you’ll see however (based on what I know thus far), is that the Swimsense is indeed purpose built for swimming, and thus handles the data better than the FR910XT. But the FR910XT is the ‘do it all handyman’, so it depends a bit on what you want. For example, Swimsense has spent a lot of time in the data area, and the ability to both record and analyze your data exactly how you’d expect it to be (i.e., showing breaks, splits, etc…) – whereas I see at the moment the FR910XT focusing on getting you the laps/splits/strokes, but probably not quite to the level of detail as Swimsense.

    Again, once I can start seeing the data on Garmin Connect, I’ll be able to make a better determination.

    Thanks again!

  118. Anonymous

    DC Rainmaker your are amazing. Thank you. I have thr 310XT, but I am not crazy about it, and it is brand new. So if any of you want to buy it. I will sell it for $300.00 box, charger, heart rate strap and of course the watch. Please feel free to email me: kellitrudel@hotmail.com. I am going to get the new one!!

  119. Ran078

    Hi Ray.

    First of all thanks for the review.

    I am in doubt which watch would suit me best the 910xt or 610. I do mountain biking twice a week and running once a week. I’m looking for a heart rate-gps watch to analyze my training days and to record my tracks and see then in my computer. I am not a professional and I have a Dakota 20 unit but I want to use only a gps watch for everything.

    Thank you very much.

  120. thanks for the review. I have been waiting for this one to come out since the new polar was released and was disappointed it did not have integrated GPS.

    in your talk you mentioned there are a lot of good watches out there that just need better (target level) 50-100 meter water proofing. I really like the 610 but it’s lack of water proofing that I would not have to worry about the occasional jump in the pool or lake has made me to continue to wait. I currently have the RS800CX and have been happy with it but looking for more advanced features and online data sharing (have not made the leap to training peaks yet)


  121. How many hours of data can keep in 1-second recording mode in a single activity? Thanks.

  122. Could you also add a link to Amazon.co.uk and/or Amazon.fr? They’re usually cheaper than Amazon.de. Thanks

  123. Hi Roy-
    RE: Mountain Biking, FR610 or 910XT

    If you’re cycling, I recommend the 910XT over the 610XT for a cyclist because the numbers are easier to view and the display is better suited to control from a cycling standpoint over the much smaller touch screen.

    Hi Texas-
    RE: Waterproofing

    Agree completely. The FR610 especially, but also the FR210 and FR110 – as well as the older FR405 and the newish FR410.

    Hi Zeephyyr-
    RE: Hours of data nonstop

    Many. Let me see if I can find out the exact number from someone.

    Hi All-
    RE: Links to other sites:

    Sure, here’s the list of ones for outside the US:

    UK: link to amazon.co.uk

    FR: link to amazon.fr

    DE: link to amazon.de

    ES: link to amazon.es

    CA: link to amazon.ca

    These will all take you to general Amazon pages where you can then search for whichever item you’re looking for. As of this exact moment, the FR910XT isn’t quite there yet for most stores – but should be shortly. Also, I’ve placed these in the upper right hand corner of the site if you want to use them anytime you buy on Amazon. Simply click the link and then search/shop like normal.

    Enjoy and thanks for supporting the site!

  124. Hi Rey,

    One thing I like about the FR610 is that you can have 4 fields on the screen AND see HH:MM:SS on the time display. On the FR310XT if I need to know seconds (Say if going for a PR in a Half Marathon or Marathon) I have to only display 3 fields so there is more room for the clock. Is this also the case with the FR910XT?


  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

  126. Hi
    Great review as usual. A question about Virtual Racer. Is it any different than running against Virtual Partner using a course with FR305? (Don’t know if it is possible on 310XT). Thanks

  127. Kareem

    hi there, if you could , even if in a post, can you send more pictures of the 910 with the 610
    my watch is slowly dieing (suunto x3hr) and im looking into my options
    and size is a big factor for me i want something, not huge (for example the suunto x9 is huge)

  128. Anonymous

    Great review as usual. Is the metal back on the 910 similar to the 610, in terms of a plated cast metal part?

    I experienced corrosion with the 610’s metal back due to poor quality plating that left the base metal exposed to corrosive elements (ie: sweat). Seems this is not isolated given related 610 posts on the Garmin forums.

    If the 910 uses a similar back to the 610, it’s a deal breaker. Hoping you can provide some insight.

  129. Ray,

    I was wondering, when you get your updated model can you advise how the firmware is acting? I know when the 610 came out initially there were some f/w issue that made logging runs difficult and some satellite issues. Now, once the latest f/w was released it appears that all of those issues were corrected, but I was wanting to know if you experienced any of these “type” of issues with the new 910xt. “If” I pony up the cash for a 910xt when it comes out I was hoping I wouldn’t have to wait a month or two for a new f/w to be released to actually use it.


  130. Anonymous


    The corrosion you have experienced on your unit is a defect and you should contact Garmin Product Support about it.

  131. Anonymous

    Great review like usal.
    Thank you for all.


  132. BarryBrown

    Thanks Ray! I am looking forward to seeing how the 910XT does in the water compared to the Finis Swimsense. I realize the Finis provides more swim-specific data, but if the 910xt is as accurate at counting strokes & pool laps then I may just forego the purchase of the SwimSense and save a little more for the 910xt!

    Thanks for your excellent reviews!

  133. Hi Ben-
    RE: HH:MM:SS

    No. In a four-field config once you hit 59:59, it’ll go to HH:MM. However, in a three-field config it’ll stay in full HH:MM:SS (and actually show splits down to the 1/100ths of a second).

    Hi Vlado-
    RE: Virtual Racer vs Virtual Partner

    Yes, Virtual Partner simply does a total time divided by distance calculation (including on the FR305) – which means that it doesn’t take into account hills or other faster/slower sections. This is what Virtual Racer does.

    Hi Kareem-
    RE: FR610 pics

    Sure, I’ll add a few more tomorrow.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Back of watch

    Actually, despite how it looks, the back of the FR910XT is plastic and not metallic like the FR610.

    Hi JoeyI-
    RE: Firmware stability

    The firmware itself is very stable. Since it’s in beta stil for another month, there are bugs of course – but from a stablity standpoint it’s quite good (and satellite pickup is crazy fast). The bugs today that I run into are primarily around data fields not fully implemented or completed – all mostly known items that are being knocked out by the development team.

    Hi Barry-
    RE: Swimsense Comparison

    Thanks – as soon as I have the full swim suite from the Garmin side, I’ll be able to do the comparison. Starting tomorrow (Thurs) I’ll be able to start swimming with the unit and collecting data. Just can’t display it yet (meaning, the Garmin Connect I have access to doesn’t support swim data quite yet…almost!).

    Thanks all!

  134. wow, is there a better watch? I like the pretty polar RCX5 but this 910XT has everything I wish the polar had: Built in GPS, Heart rate accross the whole activity and not just the zones, lap swimming.
    However I just got my Polar RS300x, and budget does not included a watch upgrade, so I can only think about this watch in a years time. Perhaps Garmin will have another great option (maybe less bulky)

  135. Best review I’ve ever read in my life! That’s definitely a goodbye to RCX5 and even the RS800CX from Polar.
    Going to get myself 910xt 🙂
    PS. I’m into triathlon.

  136. Great review, sounds like a really cool watch.
    From what I read I guess the next thing for Garmin to work on would be the implementation of some sort of ECO-Mode, that basically turns off anything except for everyday-watch features and gives you an everyday-watch kind of battery life.

  137. Re: Virtual Partner
    I konw this is 910xt review… but I’m pretty sure that on a 305 you can use Virtual partner as what is now called Virtual Racer. I’ve used it in the past, and re-checked it today in case they did change it with the new firmware.

    If you want to race against your previous run, select training-courses, create a course from a previous run, and select “do the course” (it can be done in the watch]. VP then runs exactly as you did last time.
    You can easily verify – on a track, run 300m fast, walk for 100m – so you cover the 400m in say 100s. Then reset the watch, create new course and run the lap at an even pace in 100s. The little man will be gaining for the first 300m, than you’ll catch him at the end.

    Anyway, thanks for the review, hope you’ll be able to uodate the swim section soon.

  138. Limegren

    Hey Ray,

    First off, GREAT REVIEW! I know what I’m buying now haha

    But I do have a question for you, would you recommend pre-ordering it, or waiting and buying it like the day it comes out instead? I’m at a standstill on what I should do..


  139. Hey,
    Great blog you’ve got here, discovered it just a few weeks ago.

    I was just wondering about the barometric altimeter, to what extent would it be affected by weather change?

    Tom F.

  140. Paul

    No fields for TSS , IF, or Normalized Power? I thought those were now supported.

  141. Dan

    I have asked Garmin this question and they wouldnt give me an answer. They told me to try at my own risk but it would void the warrenty. My question is about the charging apparatus for the Garmin Watches has USB port. Can I plug the male USB dong into an iPhone Car Charger to charge my watch from the Car without damaging the 910xt or any Garmin as a matter of fact? Cars use DC power and Houses use AC Power so im curious. I would hate to try this on my own 910xt watch once I get it. And since you have a loaner =)

  142. Anonymous

    The 310xt has become quite popular with kayak and ski paddlers. With the accellerometer the 910xt has potential for paddlers. What are the data fields available for “other” sports? Does the “other” sport mode allow display of speed and stroke rate? Is the accellerometer sensitive enough to detect the stroke rate when attached to the kayak or would it need to be on the wrist.

  143. Great detailed review. First time I’ve ever read any of your reviews; was actually referenced to you by the Garmin Store in Chicago about reviews on the 910XT as there are a lack of them b/c the unit is not available yet. I might have missed it in your responses to other comments/questions, so I apologize for the duplicate question if it has been raised.

    I have a Garmin 405CX for running and biking, but the battery life really sucks for long brick w/o’s. How do you like the battery life on the 910XT? Would it be useful for long distance triathlons i.e. ironman’s? Has it lasted the entire day/the true 20hrs?

    Greatly appreciate you taking the time to do the reviews and answer all our questions. As your review has been extremely beneficial and would definitely be back to read others to help out with future purchases.


  144. Paul

    Is it possible to get Metabolic Test data that was done in some other facility (not New Leaf) into the Garmin to be used for accurate calorie calculations? Or, is getting a New Leaf version of a metabolic test the only way? I have done these tests and dont really want to have to dop them again but would like to get my test info in there to be used in the calculations.

  145. Anonymous

    I’m spanish rower.
    910xt could:
    In order for the internal tilt-switch to register a stroke, the watch must rotate 90°, like Cadence T1 of Nielsen-Kellerman

  146. Fuji Racer

    You’ll probably answer this in the swimming write up but ….. given the choice, would you now wear the 910XT in the cap or on your arm. Obviously to get stroke data you’ll need to wear it on the arm but will this compromise distance or the plot? Currently I use the 310XT in my cap and it works flawlessly. If the answer is 910XT on the arm, I wonder how sturdy the quick release for the 910XT is? If my arm is mixing it up with other swimmers and I have a quick release on, not sure I’m going to want to “test” that. What do ya think?

  147. Martin

    Nice – but still the oldschool-map.
    …would really be cool to simply upload an OSM-file as on the 705 :-/

  148. Hannes

    Maybe someone should tell that girl about the swim cap method: link to garmin.blogs.com

    But on the other hand, looking to data while swimming ist interesting. So how precise ist the distance measurement during the workout? So without the postprocessing of the 310xt swimalgorithm?

  149. Dear Ray,
    I can only repeat what everyone has been writting great review.
    Question on the open-water swim:
    is it possible to combine stroke count and open water swim? As we swim the same route 3 times per week in the summer, it would be nice to variate the intensity and stroke rate.
    On the bike:
    Has garmin resolved the bug with “loosing ascent or descent information (only on the display) when loosing the signal for a short period (like when driving through a tunnel. In June when crossing the alps I was quite annoyed to loose that information.

  150. Anonymous

    Great review. I just wonder if the 910XT could also be used for indoor cycling on a spinning bike with the running foot pod sensor to calculate cadence.

  151. just letting you know: it’s already on pre-order in amazon

  152. Thanks for the great review. I have one question its a huge pet peave of mine on the 310XT that I never had on the earlier models. When I use auto lap I would like to see my current lap as well as elapsed time when reviewing the workout later. With the 310xt it will show for example… Mile 10 total time 8:35.22 and average pace 8:35.22 verses I would like time elapsed to that point as well for example… Lap time 8:35.22 total time 1:28.22. I called Garmin and asked about this they said they would tell software to put that on in a future update. Sure sucks I would like to know if I have a negative split or not with trying to add each individual laps.

  153. Aussie’s can pre-order from link to highlytunedathletes.com.au

    Don’t work for them, just did a search and it came up (as it can be hard to get some stuff from Amazon to Australia). And this is where I am getting mine from. Can’t wait.

  154. Happy Runner

    QUESTION # 1: Does this combo work: Vibration alert for distance during open water swim?

    Application example: feedback every half kilometer during open water swim race.

    QUESTION # 2: Can the virtual partner be set for a time deadline and known distance?

    Application example: you set it for midnight and 26.2 miles, hitting start out of T2 at an Ironman race. This then tells you your cushion to cutoff.


    Can the

  155. Patrik

    I have a question regarding the TE measurement (training effect), will this work with the old soft strap or just the new one?

  156. TriTriAgain NOLA

    DC, superb as always. I noted that the Training Effect was mentioned in some detail. Polar has used the beat to beat HR in their 800 series watches for a long time and in fact, downloads the R-R or beat to beat HR curve simultaneously when that option is selected. What about the Garmin? In any case, I don’t know that Training Peaks and certainly not Garmin Connect have any functionality for using this data or displaying it. What about WKO+?

  157. Thanks for a superb review – as usual!

    #One question:
    I have had my VO2MAX tested at a testing lab… Is it possible to use that test and manually type it into my profile in the device, or can I only get the calorie calculation right by using the new leaf thing?

    Thanks again for your outstanding reviews…

  158. Anonymous

    Great review as always! Can you tell me if the 910xt has an option to automatically start the timer? eg.leave it on your bike in transition and get it to start timing when your in the water?

  159. Anonymous

    Fantastic review! Thanks very much!!!!

  160. Anonymous

    Hi Ray, great review, thanks a lot for your time!
    Won’t salty water damage the watch if used while kitesurfing?
    Does it download on the iPad as on a regular computer to check Garmin Connect?

  161. Awesome review as always, Ray. Yours is the best site BY FAR for GPS watch and related athletic technology reviews.

    Any chance of convincing Garmin to add a simple “regular watch mode” like on the 610?

    The 910XT finally has me itching to replace my 305 if it weren’t for this one omission.

    I mean, honestly, how hard is it to get this $449 technological marvel to replicate the basic features of a $10 generic timepiece from Walmart? It’s ridiculous to have to take this thing off to put on my cheap Casio to look at the time without charging it nightly.

    Any chance of getting Garmin to include this basic feature, if not at launch then maybe in a firmware update? I’m not going to buy the 610 just for this. What’s wrong with producing a perfect GPS watch that has everything?

  162. Anonymous

    Hi Ray, thanks for another great review. Very timely as I’ve just lost my FR305. How easy to read is the screen on the 910xt, especially when cycling? I also have an Edge 500 and find that screen pretty hard to read with sun glasses on, in fact with 8 data fields and a bumpy road it is almost impossible to read and I have good eyesight. The FR305 had a clearer screen.

  163. Hi Ray,

    Have you received the updated firmware for this that includes TSS/IF/NP in realtime? If so, can you provide some screen shots?

    Thanks for the great review!

  164. Ray – thanks for the great review – do you foresee an issue with getting a wetsuit off while wearing the watch? One could always take off the watch and put it on the bike prior to taking off the wetsuit, but it seems like it would make a faster transition if you could get out of the sleeves on the run to the bike.



  165. Hello All-

    Here’s another group of questions answered for ya:

    RE: Pre-ordering & Order dates
    In general, the dates for the initial pre-orders from Garmin.com stand at roughly the end of November, whereas new orders are well into December. Orders from 3rd party companies at this point would have been after the initial announcement date, and thus further down the list based on order date – from Garmin.com orders.

    RE: Barometric altimeter
    You can see some shifts in barometric altimeter data based on weather, I saw that a bit a week or so ago with a run as a storm came in. Though, you can also re-baseline your data afterwards in Garmin Connect super easily (one checkbox).

    As noted, that’s still coming. It’s not quite in the watch in the most current firmware I have, but will absolutely be there by time the watch ends up in your hands later this month.

    RE: Charging from different charger
    Anything that has a USB port will – I’ve charged this and every other Garmin watch I own with non-branded Garmin items. Pretty much if it fits, I plug it into it.

    RE: Kayak Stroke Rate using accellerometer
    In short, it doesn’t work. However, see this post for more details:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    RE: Battery life
    The FR910XT has a 20 hour battery life.

    RE: Metabolic testing at other facilities
    Unfortunately, it requires the facility generate a file in a specific format that today only Newleaf can do. Though, since it’s actually a simple text file – there would be nothing stopping an innovate individual from parsing other data into it.

    RE: Openwater Stroke Data
    When in openwater with it on your wrist, you’ll get stroke data. When in cap – no stroke data. But, with cap you get more accurate distance data in openwater. In a pool, the distance data has been spot on for me, with good stroke data too.

    RE: Quick release kit
    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a quick release kit yet.

    RE: Indoor use on spinning bike
    In my experiance (with a running footpod on a standard Spin bike), it only captures about half of the cadence data.

    RE: Vibration Alerts in Openwater
    No problems, it calculates distance in realtime. Alerts while swimming can be time or distance based.

    RE: Virtual Partner Deadline time (i.e. set by midnight)
    Unfortunately not.

    RE: Training Effect
    It’ll work with all ANT+ straps

    RE: RR Data
    To my knowledge, none of them have the capability to display that data today.

    RE: Auto start time when not around

    RE: Kitesurfing
    Yes, this is the best Gamrin to use (aside from the FR310XT as well) – since salt water is no problem here.

    RE: Downloading to iPad
    You can use the Wahoo Fitness iPod/iPad/iPhone dongle to download from the FR910XT, per the above section. It works the same with the iPad.

    RE: Regular watch mode
    I don’t think we’ll see it since powering the display is much more draining on the FR910XT than on the FR610. Sure you can make it a watch for about 20 hours, but after that it’ll need recharging.

    RE: Reading FR910XT Screen – easy?
    Yes, no problems at all for me. The screen is absolutely the clearest one I’ve seen yet – much better than Edge 500.

    RE: Wetsuit removal
    I’ve updated the review to include a video I took of wetsuit removal with the FR910XT on. 🙂

    Thanks all!

  166. Ray:
    Fee Nam O’ Nell


    I have used a FR305 for the last several years. Time for a change!!

    I was considering the 610 for running and the 500 for cycling and Swimsense for the swim. Here is my dilemma: My eyes are losing their fire power (i.e. OLD), how do the relative size of the data fields and the clarity of display compare on the E500 vs 910?

    Also, can you import the data from swimsense to GC? I like the idea of ALL data in one spot!!!

    If the display is comparable… Santa just made a pit stop at Amazon!!!

    Again, many thanks


  167. THanks for your reviews! im looking for a xmas present for my husband and i’m looking into the timex run trainer vs the garmin 910xt. he’s a hard core runner (ie lots of 100 miles), so i was wondering which watch you would recommend. both seem to have pretty good battery life, fairly customizable, big difference in price…. what do you think? thanks!

  168. Great in-depth review. I am standing by for a run down on the swim features of the watch.

  169. I have a 405CX and to be quite frank, I was so unhappy with the touch bezel that I never wanted to think about owning a Garmin again. I also am not impressed with the readability of the 405CX when using 3 fields. However, a couple of years later, I am now looking for a replacement because the battery capacity is only good for about 4 hours of data collection. Also, it only lasts a couple of days in battery saver mode.

    My questions is which would be a better buy, the 610 or the 910. My primary use is running. I do not wear a watch when not exercising. Battery life is very important to me. I do not want to have to recharge every day. I do not mind turning the watch off if it has the capability (does the 910 have this capability)?

    What would you recommend?

    BTW, I may want to use the watch for route navigation while running, but I am not sure about the mapping capability for either watch.


  170. Were you able to find out if the run/walk mode can be used during the multisport mode? A previous poster asked this and I’m wondering the same thing.

  171. I understand how the Training Effect works, but how does Energy Expenditure work? I assume it gives you feed back during your actual training, as opposed to after you are done. In general, I would like to hear how the FirstBeat works with the 910XT and Garmin Connect. Thanks.

  172. Ray, thanks very much for the great review. I’m new into triathlons (ran my first marathon last year and first Sprint tri two months ago), and have been looking for a HRM to help take the training more seriously. I found your website a little while back and it has been a ideal source of info – but I couldn’t quite chose which watch to go for (functionality including swim plus a decent look). And then comes the 910XT. Bang – I want it!!!

    Your site has been great and I’m more than happy to purchase through you. But you’re US focus (and it seems Garmin will release out there first).

    If you can give weblinks, release date and price for UK and Spain I will be happy to click through. Cant wait to have this watch on my wrist.


  173. Thanks for the review Ray. I saw the watch at the Garmin booth at the NYC marathon expo yesterday. I do plan on getting it. I have 2 questions.

    1. What’s new on the scale front for the holidays? The BC-1000 seems like its due for an upgrade.

    2. Have you ever tried out Raceday Apollo for tracking your workouts? Like TP it is sharable with coaches. I know you are really tied in with TP, but Raceday does swimming.

  174. Anonymous

    Great info on this watch and other,
    In addition to Triathlons, I’m hoping to use this watch for Sailboat Racing. I’m looking to see if any of these watches have “Coarse Over Ground”, “Velocity Made Good” VMG or “Barring” to a waypoint. “Coarse Over Ground” is the one I’m most interested in.

  175. Anonymous

    Great review, thanks.

    Can you tell me if the FR910XT has the customizable countdown feature like the FR310XT?

  176. Great review, thank you so much for all of the information!

    I had 2 random questions:

    Any idea when Garmin will upload swim workouts? I feel like that’s way more useful than bike/run- I have a much harder time remembering my entire swim set then say, 6x800s at the track.

    Also, do you know if it would ever be possible to get your Trainingpeaks account to sync back TO your Garmin, so that you could upload a weeks worth of planned workouts onto the device? It might be a little too complex, but I thought it would be really neat to just turn on your Garmin and know what workout you are supposed to do that day, and have it automatically ready to go!

  177. Anonymous

    Looks pretty incredible and yet when looking at the Moto-actv, I’m drawn to it like a mouth to the flame. Here’s to hoping you do some direct comparisons in your review of the moto-actv.

  178. Do you have any idea if Garmin plans on releasing a FR60-ish type with this swim functionality? That would be *perfect* for me.

  179. Anonymous

    Thank you for your great review. Are you already allowed to reveal the new data format for the new pool swimming activities? The schema of the new data is essential for developers of 3rd party software like SportTracks. You might have a look at link to zonefivesoftware.com.

  180. Hi Ray.
    Thanks so much for your thorough work reviewing all of this good gear. I do some rope jumping in my training and I wonder if the Garmin 910xt with foot pod will count and time my jumps ? BTW were you the pilot on the review where you clocked 534 mph on a flight ? What type was
    that ??


  181. Hi Ray. Thank you for all your thorough work reviewing all this good gear. Will the 910xt with foot pod count and time my jumps while rope jumping. BTW what aircraft type was that where you clocked 534mph on a flight ? Were you the pilot ?

  182. olee

    Great review, lots of work, really appreciated!

    Is there a normal alarm clock functionality?
    Can the alarm clock be set to vibrating alert, too?
    Like I want a 15 min alert with vibration during a presentation.

  183. While at the pool this morning, I started to think about the 910xt review. You mentioned that in the indoor swim mode the watch detects your turn and counts the lap. I am one who doesn’t flip turn, but rather touches and spins around. Is this going to affect the function of the lap counter?

  184. Anonymous

    Great review. My question is on the wrist band. I have large wrist. My FR305 I used the larger wrist strap that came with the FR305, and I have 5 openings left towards the end. I bought the FR310XT, but the straps was too small I was on the last knotch. How larger is wrist strap on the FR910XT and the optional velcro strap and quick release? Thank you.

  185. Hi Ray,

    I’m not using “miles pr hour”, but “km/t”. Is this possible to change this on the 910xt?

  186. Robert Brooks

    For swimming an HRM with memory, similar to the Suunto memory strap, one that you can sync up when a signal is available would be a real godsend. They seem to have gone half way to solving swimmers problems. What would be the best way of putting this idea to Garmin?

  187. Great review. But i want to ask you how can I upload the swimming pool workouts to the garmin connect, because when i do that, only those are not uploading.
    Thank and congrats for you spectacular website

  188. great review. Question: any chance you could put iphone on the comparison chart? clearly iphone can’t handle the swimming (without a waterproof baggie), but i wonder how the iphone apps stack up against the garmin 910XT. If i already have an iphone, can i get most of the functionality of the 910XT from inexpensive iphone apps?

  189. Anonymous

    Just received the following from an online store where I pre-ordered 910XT:
    Due to production issues, the arrival date for the Garmin Forerunner 910XT is now uncertain. According to the most recent information from Garmin, it is unlikely the 910XT will arrive to our warehouse before the end of the year. We now expect the 910XT to arrive some time January 2012. We apologize for the inconvenience and will email you again once Garmin provides us an updated arrival date.

  190. This comment has been removed by the author.

  191. This comment has been removed by the author.

  192. Anonymous

    Did Garmin made the swim algorithm on their own or did they buy Swimsense technology? I would appreciate if they took the Swimsense technology because it works fine.

  193. axel_vuylsteke

    Hi DCR,

    I was wondering do you have already a open water graph on connect.garmin.com from the 910XT?

  194. Ken

    Thanks for the indepth review.

    I picked up the Timex Global Trainer a few weeks ago because I lost my 310XT and figured it was time to try something new. Haven’t been happy with the Timex watch and then heard about the 910XT being released. I finally found time to read your review and am glad I did. Already went to your Amazon link and pre-ordered the unit. The Timex will be a good backup but I really look forward to the using a Garmin product again even with their buggy software at times. 😛

  195. Jakob Svendsen

    Hi – great review. Can you give a heads-up regarding:
    1. Signal acquisition
    2. Transfer to computer (speeds, liability)

    Ad.1. I have en Forerunner 305 and think that it have a slow signal acquisition time (as you also note in your comparison chart by giving it an OK instead of Great). How will you evaluate the 910?
    Ad.2. I’m having problems with the connectivity on the 305 dock, where the pins of the dock gets pressured and eventually only charge the unit and too unstable to load data …


  196. Anonymous

    Did the release date get pushed back? Was under the belief it was going to be available in November, now I’m reading it will be in January.

  197. Anonymous

    Um…make that late Feb. 2012.


  198. Martin Jolly

    So much more expensive in the UK compared with the States.But all i can say is ‘Gimmme Gimme’

  199. Great Review Sir!

    I just wish the 910XT was available now here in the UK. Although, I really want to use it as a watch too and the battery life may cause me issues.

    Your help has allowed me to go with the RCX5


  200. Anonymous

    Hi Ray,

    I have a question regarding multisport mode: In a race, I like to use the lap button for splits within one sport (e.g., each loop on the bike for a multi-loop course, the official mile markers on the run course). From your race reports, I read that you do this, too.
    Is this still somehow possible with the 910xt, since the lap button is used for changing from one sport to another?


  201. Hi,
    i just saw a full page ad for the 910XT in a German tri-mag (conducted in the form of an interview with the German product manager and triathlete Thomas Lenz). There is a sidebar with a list of “highlight”-features including the following item:

    “Up to 20 hrs running time with GPS, up to 4 weeks as a watch”

    This seems to differ from what I’ve read here so far. Has there been an update to achieve this or is it wrong information?

  202. Anonymous

    Thanks so much for the indepth analysis. I use my 305 like crazy but have had it for a number of years. I was on the fence with purchasing the 910xt–I now will take the plunge. Herman

  203. Hi All-

    Here’s some more answers.

    Regarding which watch, recommendations, see this post:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Just from this past week! Covers most all scenarios.

    Regarding ‘production delay notices’. I’ve been in near daily contact with the Garmin team on this, including over the past few days. There remains no widespread delays in shipment, despite what companies are saying. Orders will be fulfilled across all companies (big and small) – and are planned to start here in the next few days as we near the end of the month. However, as previously noted, there’s significant demand. So if you just placed your order now (or, if more importantly – you’re distributor just placed their order – regardless of when you placed it) – it will be delayed.

    Understand, I’m merely the messenger here – though Garmin’s messenging for ‘end of November’ has been pretty constant. And technically, it’s always been ‘Q4 2011’.

    RE: Importing data from Swimsense to GC

    No, not at this time – though, there’s nothing stopping the Swimsense folks from leveraging the GC API to do so (unlikely of course).

    RE: TRT vs 910XT

    Fairly different products, for a runner-only, you can save $200 and go TRT though. Backlight on FR910XT is cleaner though.

    RE: Firstbeat and FR910XT

    I’ll look to add some of that in here as soon as the final RTM code is out.

    RE: Spain and UK links

    Yup, no problem, on the sidebar right below the large Amazon logo. Thanks!

    RE: ANT+ Scales

    I prefer the Lifesource scale now as far as ANT+ scales go – given the cheaper price. See the first watch link above for exact details.

    RE: Raceday Apollo

    I’m familiar with it, but haven’t spent any time with it. I did just send them over some FR910XT files to work with on swimming. Note that TP does swimming as well (Swimsense today, FR910XT shortly).

    RE: Sailboat racing

    Unfortunately, none of the Garmin watches have those metrics.

    RE: Garmin Swim Workout Creation

    I asked about this actually last week. It’s on the radar, but no exact timeframe yet. Team is very aware of the demand for it, and understand the need for it in order to remain competitive.

    RE: Training Peaks to Garmin device sync

    I talked with the TP guys on this, and they’ve got some stuff in the works.

  204. RE: FR60 in a swimming watch

    Nothing on the table right now…wish there was! But I suspect we’ll see the swim functionality in other form factors down the road.

    RE: Data format

    Yup, I posted some examples to that thread there:

    link to zonefivesoftware.com

    RE: Flight

    Just a 737-800 from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada to Newark, NJ. Not the pilot. 🙂

    RE: Using footpod to rope jump.

    From a steps standpoint, yes.

    RE: Vibrating alarms

    Yes, you could set a repeating 15m vibrating alarm. I have it set for 10m currently, repeating.

    RE: Flip vs Open turns and swimming

    There are no issues in doing either type, or mixing and matching. I did a test set where I changed up open/flip each length to see what happened – no issues, spot on tracking.

    RE: The FR910XT and FR305 wrist straps

    They’re fairly similiar. I don’t have the optional straps yet though to try out.

    RE: Metric instead of Statue

    No problems here using all the common types. Kilometers per hour, or minutes per kilometer.

    RE: Suunto Memory strap for HR underwater

    I’ve discussed this with the Garmin team, and all they can say is they understand the demand for HR underwater.

    RE: Salvas with uploading pool workouts to GC

    As of today, the pool upload functionality to Garmin Connect isn’t quite implemented yet. It will be in the coming days.

    RE: iPhone apps vs FR910XT

    I may in the future, but for cycling and running – most iPhone apps will do everything the FR910XT does. Battery life is the biggie.

    RE: Swim algorithm

    No, Garmin did NOT buy/leverage the Swimsense platform in any way (confirmed that with both parties).

    RE: Openwater graph from Garmin Connect

    Not at this time, still waiting on update to GC.

    RE: Signal Aquisition

    The FR910XT is faster than all previous Garmin units (though not quite as fast as the new Timex Run Trainer).

    RE: Transfer to computer

    This is about the same as the FR910XT, but better than the FR305.

    RE: Lap button in multisport mode

    Like the FR305 and FR310XT, the lap button will change from sport to sport – and will not demark a lap. To set a lap, you’ll need to use autolap.

    RE: Magazine battery life claim of ‘4 weeks as watch’

    This is incorrect, and a typo in the magazine. The unit is 20hours with GPS enabled, and I got 56 hours with GPS disabled (but ANT+ sensors on and recording a ANT+ power meter, heart rate strap and spd/cadence sensor at 1-second recording).

    Thanks all!

  205. were you able to do a feature comparison between the 910xt and swimsense yet? Also how accurate is the GPS in the open water when wearing it on your wrist?
    You mentioned that Garmin is aware of the need for HR underwater. Correct me if I’m wrong but ANT+ is impossible to work underwater because the frequency is to low. Unless Garmin comes out with something proprietary like Polar has (or if ANT can reverse engineer the spec for compatibility with the current ANT+ specs) then reading HR underwater is unlikely?

  206. Hi Steve-

    I’ll be doing the Swimsense comparison as soon as Garmin Connect is updated to show swim information. Today, it’s not quite there yet – and thus I can’t make a full comparison.

    From a device standpoint, they both work great though in lap swimming, both giving accurate inforation in my testing.

    In openwater I find it ‘fairly accurate’ – seeing about within 10%, not perfect, but better than the FR310XT.

    As for underwater HR, they could do something like the Suunto belt – where it records data and then transmits it later. Except, using openstandards as opposed to Suunto’s closed version.


  207. Hello Ray,

    Thanks for your work.

    What about asking garmin to put a real “at work not doing sport”, just regular watch mode, with all sensors disconected, and a good battery life ?

    I can’t understand why they have these feature on 210 and 610 and not on this model, wich for the first time isn’t too bulky or flashy.

    I think the hardware should support this without much trouble, given the big battery, and 1 week on would be enough, because it would be used for a little sport in the week end 🙂

    I want to be able to track my commuting and to wear the same watch after that at work.

    But a 210 or 610 doesn’t cut it for my long mountain rides and occasionnal triathlon.

    COMMON garmin, give us a real “simple watch” mode !

  208. Yup, lots of rumors going around that it’s been delayed until January or February, although no official announcement anywhere.. I’ll be quite disappointed if this is really the case

  209. Anonymous

    I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it’s earlier than Jan/Feb–but that’s what I’m hearing as well.

  210. Anonymous

    Yoooma people :D:D is it worth??

    link to sklepgarmin.pl

    Ty for info !

  211. Fantastic detailed review.

    Slightly different question: any experience of long distance (90+km) breadcrumb navigation rides – I’ve heard bad things about edge 500’s crashing on longer rides/bigger files. Does it give off-course beeps as the edge does?


  212. C_Nordby

    I talked to the Garmin rep at the DC Hot Chocolate 15k today, he said they just got word yesterday that the 910xt got bumped back to March. Apparently there’s still some bugs they’re trying to work out.

  213. Ben Nevis

    It’s really helpful to be able to read such a detailed review. So much better that the “this is a wonderful product – buy it” info that commercial websites publish.
    I currently use a Forerunner 301 when running in the hills here in the UK and although the GoTo function isn’t as good as a GPS that is designed for navigation it gives a bearing which when transferred to a compass helps me locate waypoints etc. when the visibility is poor.
    I’ve almost made up my mind to buy a 910XT but I’d like to know a little more about its navigational capability before I take the plunge.
    Your thoughts on this would be very welcome.

  214. Hi Ray. Do you have an update from the Garmin team on release ??? I spoked to amazon today and seems they have them on the warehouse but cant release till garmin doesn’t do it formally. I imagen for the comments, they are still working on updating the firmware. Would this take 1-2 more weeks ??

  215. The final firmware is complete and done (was earlier this week). At this juncture it’s just some final details to get things out the door for the first shipments (including Garmin Connect).

  216. Anonymous

    Thanks for the great review…
    Does it show gradient when in use? quite useful on bike!

  217. Yes, shows gradient in percentage (i.e. 3%).

  218. This comment has been removed by the author.

  219. Congrats Ray, great review.
    I hope i can use it the next weekend in my next marathon.

  220. Michael

    Fantastic work. Well done on pulling such an informative review together.

    I have a query about some of the specs for this watch that I couldn’t find anywhere – probably because it is not commonly needed.

    I am interested to know what sort of memory capacity this device has.

    Aside from the obvious fitness monitoring uses, one of my secondary intended uses is using this watch for hiking and recording GPS tracks for trails that are currently don’t have any available (including altitude, which is why I am interested in this watch).
    Battery is not a concern, as charging can be done easily enough with a solar setup, but without a decent memory capacity – it sounds like I would need to buy and lug along a netbook or ipod device to unload the logs onto.

    So I am trying to find out how many hours worth of logs this thing can store?
    Just 20 hours (to match the battery)? Or perhaps a fortnights worth of 16 hour logs?

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers =)

  221. Hi Michael-

    RE: Memory Capacity

    It’s got plenty. I haven’t run out yet in two months (and I’ve set it to save everything in 1s recording).

    RE: Battery with memory notes

    I’ve done some recent tests with GPS off, and max out at about 55ish hours. This would have barometric altimeter off, so that might help you. No problems transferring afterwards.

  222. Michael

    Brilliant. Thanks for the info, Ray.

    I now have one of these on order and have found myself browsing through some of your other posts too and finding some gems in the detail you cover.

    Thanks again – you have been a great help =)

  223. Anonymous

    Hi Ray,

    Awesome review! Regarding calorie count on the swim does the 910XT has the capability to count your calories just with Speed/Distance/Weight Calculation??

  224. Tim B

    Bad news! Just heard my originally scheduled delivery date of 12/14 from Trisports.com was pushed back to “hopefully mid January” Their e-mail stated that Garmin had delayed the launch of the 910XT due to technical issues.

  225. Hi Ray,

    Great review as always! I have a very basic question: Can the 910XT display the date and day like a normal watch?

    I wrote to Garmin about this very simple problem of the 310XT and I ve never get an answer… I think that this should not be an issue in a software update!

    Greetings from Germany!


  226. TimB

    Ray, You mentioned the different swim stroke types that you can set up. What if you are simply kicking on your back or using a kick board. Can it keep track of this stroke as laps as well even though your arms aren’t moving? Secondly, would it be possible to use a Edge 500 on your bike and the 910 at the same time without “cross talk” with your PowerMeter, GSC-10, HR strap? Why I would want to is another story but just curious.

  227. Anonymous

    Wow, the 910XT is not considerably smaller than its predecesors, I get that’s technologically possible at the moment. I’m pretty disappointed, I expected a much slimmer version:(

  228. just pre ordered at amazon.com !
    Regards from Brazil
    Raphael Pazos

  229. Great review!!! Great watch, but do you think that one day it will be use normal day to day non-sports watch with a new firmware.
    I found it will be great!!


  230. I’m cancelling my 610 order pronto! I definitely want this watch for my BQ journey next year. I like the idea of a 20-hour battery vs. 8-hour of 610.

  231. Ray – regarding P#219. Do you have the latest firmware from Garmin or do you have to wait for the retail to ship before you get it?

    If you have it, does it finally have the TSS/IF/NP parameters for display? If so, can you show any screen caps of such?

  232. Anonymous

    Hello, I’ve just taken my Vo2max test; can I manually input my data on 910xt to get proper power and calories calculation or does it need a report file from the testing machine?

  233. miki

    Hello! In your post#208 you wrote that in multisport mode the lap button won’t demark laps.Does that mean that in a regular mode you can demark marks manually? Thanks for your professional reviews.

  234. Anonymous

    Great review. I used your link to Amazon to pre-order the FR 910XT. I have a question, does this have the ability to show two pace times? One for average and one for currently at? I run using the run/walk/run and I thought this would be helpful to percent me from going to fact durning my runs and burning out to soon.

  235. Hi Ray, you said in your review “But remember, even if it doesn’t, you can always use altitude data correction on Garmin Connect to turn on/off elevation correction. This correction uses NASA imagery that’s accurate to about a meter, and can overwrite your existing elevation data”

    So does that mean that there really is no need to for Barometric Altimeter? For example if you owened a 610 and went onto Garmin Connect and use altitude data correction wouldn’t that give you that same figure as the 910 with its Barometric Altimeter? Have i got it all wrong?
    I am tossing up between the 610 and 910 and cant really decide which one to get. I do a lot of mountain running and am trying to work out if this Barometric Altimeter is really helpful. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  236. Anything to suggest that Garmin has worked out the kinks on its soft strap regarding erroneous HR (spikes or low readings)? I had 2 replaced under warranty and finally had to revert back to the hard strap due to this issue. Rumor was this was an issue caused by static build up in running “tech” shirts?

  237. Simply put. You are the man!! Thank you so much for your reviews. You have convinced me to buy the 910XT even though I can’t afford it. I will definitly buy it through the link on your site.

  238. Anonymous

    its been delay again and again in Asia….sad.

  239. For the advanced workouts, do you have to use the software? I would hope you can use the watch (same as the older models) to create an advanced interval workout… Lots of times I go to the track and don’t have a workout pre programmed into the watch.

  240. Will the 910XT have any navigation capabilities, similiar to the 310XT? From my research it looks like the unit doesn’t cater for it at all.

  241. My wife just gave me a 910 XT for Christmas! She picked this model based on your review, which she found via Google search. I owe you! Thanks for such in-depth reviews and great SEO. MarkC.

  242. Anonymous

    My wife suprised me for Xmas and bought me the 910XT. I knew nothing about this watch since it was new. I remember telling my wife about the 310xt a while ago and how cool it was. But I just could not spend that type of money on something like that. So when she told me she bougth it for me and it was the new tri watch from garmin i had to look it up to see what it’s all about. after reading your review, I know that she did a great job getting me the best gift. Thanks for the review. I’ll alos be looking at other reviews you do too.

  243. Anonymous

    Just got an update from my online retailer, they say they are expecting delivery to their warehouse in early February. So there goes another month with no 910XT, a little sad, but at least my 310XT is still chugging along. Although with the 4.20 update it seems to randomly reboot more often than it used to.

  244. The price difference between the one with a heartbeat monitor and the one without is really high. I mean, does it cost that much to get that installed?

    I guess they know that you can’t mean serious business if you don’t get the full package.

  245. Anonymous

    Garmin store in Chicago this week just indicated Feb 2012 availability.

  246. Geoffrey

    As always, thanks for the great review!

    Do we have any reason why Garmin delays this model? Is the product not mature yet? Are they facing production issues?

  247. RE: Swim calories

    Yes, it’s a fairly basic algorithm, nothing complex there.

    RE: Date/Day

    It won’t display the day of week.

    RE: RE: Stroke types, drills

    No, it won’t track strokes which don’t involve the arms moving. Though, it would catch a flip/open turn, so it wouldn’t be a complete loss.

    RE: Cross talk

    No, there’s no cross talk issues with ANT+. Each device has a ‘device ID’, which you pair with it ahead of time. Once paried, it remembered that ID number. Every accessory has a seperate device ID.

    RE: Slimmer version

    There’s a lot of feedback I see from folks (and hear from Garmin) that getting much smaller than this size becomes hard to read on a bike. Less of an issue running (hence the FR610), but harder on bike. Fwiw.

    RE: Battery life and day to day watch

    If you shut off GPS, you’ll get about 55hrs of battery life in simple watch mode, see these tests I did:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    RE: Independent VO2Max test

    It unfortunately needs the special New Leaf Test file. Wish there was another way.

    RE: Manual laps

    Yes, you can always demark laps manually when not in multi-sport mode. You’ll just press the lap button. 🙂

    RE: Altitude correction on Garmin.com

    No, because Garmin.com’s (as well as TrainingPeaks or Sport Tracks) is done using satellite radar imaging of the earth, as opposed to barometric altimeter data. Thus, the two can (and usually are) a bit different.

    By default, the FR910XT has the elevation correction turned off on GC for new activities.

    RE: Soft Strap issues

    The FR910XT comes with a new soft strap that does fix about 90% or so of the HR issues of the previous soft strap. Worth a look.

    RE: Advanced workout creation

    You can still just do it on the watch…it just takes forever.

    RE: Navigation capabilities similiar to FR310XT

    It has all the same capabilities as there, such as course following (which is what the FR310XT has).

    RE: Price differential between bundle with/without HR monitor. No, it’s only about $30-$35 if you buy the HR strap seperately. Definitely an option.

    RE: Delays/production timeline

    I go into detail on what’s going on with watch availability here in this post. In short, a single part within the unit is having supplier issues, thus the hold up on all of them.

    link to dcrainmaker.com

  248. You sed:”Doesn’t really work as a normal day to day non-sports watch (battery only 20hrs) “

    But isnt it possible to just turn off GPS and use it as a watch?

    I know users who use Timex Global Trainer as evetyday watch

  249. Anonymous

    On the cons list when you say that it only supports one person at a time does that mean the same watch or can both my wife and myself own a watch and use them while performing the same activity? For example, can we both use a watch for heart rate while running? Thanks for a great review.

  250. i run 60-70 miles a week and bike to and from work every day (only 5 miles)

    I also hike, sometime son multiple day trips.

    Would you recommend the 910 xt or the 610 forerunner for someone who is primarily looking for running data over biking and swimming?

    Your reviews are amazing. Very well done and thank you.

  251. I have a waterproof polar axn300. I am a kayakist. except from rare very short capsize, the watch is on the surface. I never use the buttons while underwater. but still had water tightnes problem. I suggest to test the 910 while buttons are pressed 0.5 – 1m under the water.

  252. Grant

    Great review, in depth and precise. The FR310XT however does have virtual racer (called virtual partner against a course not just pace per km). People didn’t understand how it works and hence they have now come out with virtual racer.

  253. hello Ray
    i am having a tough time deciding either to get the TIMEX GLOBAL GPS IRONMAN or the Garmin 910XT.

    I am already on the waiting list since it was announced and now i see that it is to be released on March (not 100% confirmed).
    i was wondering if you could give me your opinion if I should get the Timex or rather wait for the much expected Garmin. (I used to have the 310XT, also triathlete…).


  254. Just got word from Amazon that my order for the 910xt, which was placed on Nov 28th, is scheduled to ship on Jan 28th.

  255. great review! ordered mine…can’t wait till march (backordered!)

  256. great review! just purchased one, backordered till march 9th!

  257. Ray, I bought a Suunto X10 predominantly for alpine/heliskiing and running. It is pretty rubbish and cannot upload data to the “MovesCount”> is the 910XT able to handle skiing where i can see vertical feet and see my track on a map afterwards so I know where I have been? thanks

  258. Hi All!

    Hi El Diablo-
    RE: Day to day watch

    Yup, indeed. About 55 hours with GPS off. See this post for tons more detail:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    H Anon-
    RE: One person at a time

    It means that it doesn’t support multiple people profiles. But if you both have watches, you’re totally fine. ANT+ (which is what the accessories such as the HR strap use), has a pairing concept, which means that you have a unique ID paired to a given watch.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Runner

    I’d go with FR610 if you’re primarily a runner (smaller). But if you don’t care about that, then the FR910XT will get you about 12hrs of battery life over the FR610. In the case of hiking, you’ll want to checkout the solar charger I noted above.

    Hi Avner-
    RE: Pressing buttons underwater

    Absolutely no problem while pressing buttons underwater. I do it constantly while swimming – with the buttons pressed while underwater. No issues thus far in four months of use.

    Hi Grant-

    Hi Henry-
    RE: TGT or 910XT

    I’d wait for the FR910XT, see note below.

    Hi Milox-
    RE: Ski Altitude

    Yup, in fact, I did just that. Check out the below post. Since the FR910XT includes a barometric altimeter, the data is even better. In the below post, you’ll see a picture towards the bottom of it with altitude, though I could have just added descent instead. Both show up on watch, as well as in Garmin Connect.

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    ….and finally….

    An update on shipping.

    The FR910XT will start shipping next week, to various distribution and retail channels. I’ve seen a number of folks note that Amazon will be shipping out in the 3rd week of January, with dates following that. Other channels will vary between January and March (at the latest).

    Thanks all!

  259. jeannie

    Great review! I have the 310XT that I use for triathlons. I was wondering if you can set up the data fields in the individual sports when using the Auto multi sport function. For the 310xt you can’t. In the Garmin forums their “work around” is to configure each of the sport modes additional data screens with the number of fields you want to see during your event and scroll to these manually or set the 310 to autoscroll.

  260. Anonymous

    Question, does the 910XT have the ability to communicate with a Garmin EDGE. I am basically looking to see if there is way to not take the watch off (once I receive it) during a Tri, and just have the EDGE for reference/guidance.

  261. Hi:

    Finally a watch that will do swimming workouts too! Since this is a new feature, it would be great if you could do a more deep review of this .. I understand that some features are still coming to the watch and the garmin connect.

    Some questions that you may answer at this point:

    1. how readable is the display with fogged goggles?

    Think of this: you get in to your sub 10sec pause with fogged goggles and need to check the time remaining reading a wet watch reflecting the indoor lights. (and by the way, print may be small because you need info on both style, distance, number of laps and time.

    2. how sensitive are the buttons to accidental presses?

    In particular, say you use the multisport feature, to change to the next sport you must push the lap button, but getting your wetsuit off in T1 I can imagine that happen a few times.

    And some questions, I believe you may be able to answer in near future:

    3. When will we see swim workouts? Are they working on adding custom swim workouts?

    I really need more than just the next lap info, but rather the current set info, say 8×100 free @ 1.30. And how many repeats I’ve done/left.

    4. How sensitive is it to sensing strokes and laps?

    I normally include an 8×25 underwater breast stroke set which is really slow to optimize efficiency. And sometimes 50m which then include a slow turn underwater to avoid pressing air out of the lungs.

    5. Does swim mode allow some sort of calorie estimation? Since it can’t use the HRM does it give some estimated based on style, distance, time, weight, etc?

    Thanks in advance! always great to read your in depth reviews!

    BR, Erik

  262. Amazing review, thank you very much. My 310xt will be replaced by 910xt in a near future!

  263. I received my 910xt today. I took it out on a brief run and the active pace display is acting strange. It’s acting REALLY jumpy with -+10ft satellite coverage, every second the pace jumps from say 8:15 to 11:46 to 14:03 to 10:53, every. second. Anyone else ever experience this? I have a 305 and 310xt that work just fine.

  264. After some more research, it looks like the 910xt doesn’t have a pace smoothing option? (I guess that’s what I was used to on my 305), although, it appears the 310xt doesn’t either and my wife says she’s never had this ‘jumpy’ problem. I’ve reset the satellite cache a few times on the 910 thinking it was that. If anyone has any insight. Garmins support website says ‘oh just turn on lap pace instead of pace’ …why would they break something that worked great on the 305!

  265. Hi Jeannie-
    RE: Multisport data fields

    Yes, the sport data fields pull from the sport selection (i.e. swim from swim settings).

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Communication with Edge series

    No, it cannot. However, you can pair a given HR strap to multiple devices, which is what many folks do.

    Hi Erik
    RE: Swimming questions

    1) Fogged goggles

    It really depends on how badly fogged to be honest, a little bit, and you’re fine.

    2) Accidental presses

    Not sensative at all. In fact, my original test unit was much harder to depress than the current production units.

    3) Swim workout creation

    I talked to this about this last night. It’s on the radar, but nothing immediate planned.

    4) Sensitive to strokes/laps

    I haven’t had too many issues, with varying speeds – but again, it probably will differ person to person.

    5) Calorie estimation

    Nothing complex here.

    Btw, for more detail on the swimming side, see this:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Rob-
    RE: Smoothing

    Strange, I haven’t seen that (also just saw your post over on the forums). Neither the FR305, nor the FR310XT actually have pace smoothing (a common gripe for many).

    It’s strange that you’re seeing such big fluctations. In my case, I see minor ones – i.e. 7:35…7:25…7:40…7:30, etc… – but nothing on the order of minutes. And your assumption to reset the satellite cache is spot on. I wish I had a better answer for you. Sorry!

    Thanks for reading all!

  266. my FR305 has the option for pace smoothing. It’s set to ‘more’ on my unit. (with the options of most, more, less, least).

    It works great on my 305 (and my wifes 310 out of the box). such a bummer. BTW – lap paces, distance, etc. all add up fine compared to the other two devices as well.

  267. btw – The device is using software version 2.20 (the communicator web updater says it’s at the newest).

    GPS: 200.51 (not sure what that number is)

  268. Helge F.

    Does the watch record R-R-Ddat and store them in the fit-file? Can I use the watch with firstbeat athlete?

  269. This comment has been removed by the author.

  270. Hey Ray, any chance of a rolling pin photo of the 305/310XT/910XT each on their respectice quick release kit watch bands? Thanks!

  271. Krystal

    Hey. Great review!

    I have just got my Garmin 910XT after a long long wait for it!

    I took it in the pool, but it seems the data was completely inaccurate and I am curious to know if it is a problem or if it is the way I am turning in the pool length after length. I have to admit, I am not the greatest swimmer and I havent perfected tumble turns yet, so just touch the edge of the pool and then swim the other way. My garmin says I am doing backstroke, but it is also adding additional lengths that I havent even swam!
    How does the Garmin measure your stroke count? As It is counting less than I am doing for sure.

    Am I doing something wrong here?

    Thanks, Krystal

  272. Dear Ray,
    thank you again (and again) for your reviews which are probably the most complete and relevant ones available on earth!

    The only area where you maybe don’t go into depth enough (and i don’t blame you for this, just mention it if you still want to improve your already very good reviews)is about elevation data and barometers… This is understandable as it is not a data very useful for triathletes but this is however of a major importance for mountain ultramarathon racer (and especially in Europe where we have a lot of elevation in our competitions). This is also of a major importance in your objective review because this may probably one reason why the 910XT is not necessarily to be advised to anybody (even if a very good watch on average).

    As you know, Garmin has never really been good at using barometer in its products and this is understandable as their core competency really is in the GPS technology. However they advertise the fact that FR910XT has a barometer and that is an argument to buy this watch and pay such a price for the update. Given Garmin background (and my own experience with the foretrex 401 which has a barometer), there are a lot of uncertainties regarding the accuracy of data provided by Garmin implementation of the barometer. I read only one test in the press (a French magazine) that dealt with FR910XT elevation and although their test was not complete enough (in my opinion) they tend to say the barometer did not make the difference with FR310XT. The key point here for a mountain ultramarathon runner is the instant cumulated ascent (and descent)data. This would be the main argument in favor of the 910XT versus the 310XT. If Garmin doesn’t know how to calibrate a barometer with GPS data and compute cumulated ascent (which other barometric watch know how to do), it is a shame that they advertise something that their product is unable to do and that should probably be highlighted in your otherwise really really good review (again ;-). I don’t say it is not the case, just that we have reasons to believe that barometer implementation in the 910XT is probably not an argument.

    Given hardly no reviews address this uncertainty and that the watch is less than fully available (sic …)i wondered if you could possibly make some tests to see how accurate barometer calibration and cumulated ascent data are. If you go skying for instance and if you have topographic maps maybe could you compare figures given by the 910XT and real figures (meaning manually calculating ascent data)?

    Again, i’m not requesting, just proposing such test. You are the master!!

    Thank you anyway,
    Best regards

  273. Bas,

    I made a post on the garmin forums of my experiences so far with the barometric altimeter. So far they are not good…not good at all.

  274. Thank you so much Rob!

    This is exactly what i feared ! So apparently nothing has changed and it is a shame that i think should really be highlighted !

    Definitely i think I have better buy a 200 EUR FR310XT on eBay than wait for Garmin to be able to fix this issue …

    … So disappointed

    P.S : for those looking for Rob post, its here link to forums.garmin.com

  275. Jeremy

    Just ordered one over the phone from the Garmin store in Chicago 5:00pm EST. Shipping tonight or tomorrow. Woo hoo.

  276. Sean

    Krystal January 17, 2012 6:20 AM

    I have the same issue. Apx 2/3 of my lengths in a 2km pool swim are recorded correctly, the balance are either 1 or 2 lengths extra.

    Ray, can you (or Garmin) give us an idea as to how the turns are recognised by the 910XT and how best to execute an open turn? I tried placing my hand on the pool wall for half a second and that seemed to help.

    On a whole the 910XT is an awesome training tool!

  277. Hi Helge-

    RE: R-R recording

    In theory, it should support it. I’ve been trying to get it working with a trial copy of the Firstbeat software, but the software is being somewhat problematic…still trying though.

    Hi Chris-

    RE: Quick release kits

    Sure, I’ll knock it out in the next couple days.

    Hi Krystal & Sean:

    RE: Open Turns

    In my case, I can only speak to the ‘style’ of option turns that I’ve done in my tests. I’ve done sets both in open and flip, and both were equal for me (worked spot on). My open turn is fairly quick, and I push off the wall fairly hard and fairly quick as well. Keep in mind that the FR910XT is primarily measuring change in accelleration to determine the turn at the end of a lane. I briefly tap the edge of the pool (water line) with my hand, spin, and then push off. There’s generally no pause. I can usually execute a open turn in the same speed as a flip turn (which, I suppose, may say something about my flip turns).

    Hi Baz-

    RE: Barometric altimeter

    I wish I had a better way of testing it here in DC. My mountain options are fairly limited – at least with very accurate equipment. Anytime you delve into testing, especially barometric altimeter testing, you’ve gotta have a ‘known good’ at a scientific level. For example, it’s easy for me to do GPS distance/accuracy testing, since I can go out with a roller and get down to the inch on a route – but barometric makes it really tough given all the variables. That said, I’ll talk to some folks in the industry and see if I can arrange some test options.

    Hi Jeremy-

    RE: Chicago Store

    Glad to see you found out about that little nugget. 😉

    Thanks again all!

  278. Hi and thanks for a great review. I am thinking of going over from using my smartphone to a watch to track my running and other sport activities.
    However I am using the app Endomondo to keep journal of my activities and I don’t want to lose that way of tracking. Is there a way to transfer my activities done bu the phone up to Endomondo? is there another watch that is better suited to make that transition?

    Thanks in advance

  279. arf …
    have a look at this one …

    link to ultra168.com

    Probably do not have all the training functions the 910XT or 310 XT has but main monitoring features are probably there …

    Probably not a watch for triathlete neither as compared to 910XT … but may be worth it for mountain addicted people …

    Can’t wait to read reviews !

    P.S: the price is not the same though … 549 (US ??)Dollar without heartrate monitor

  280. dECEIT70

    Hi Ray,

    thanks for your reviews (and this one in particular!)since I just bought the 910XT yesterday and it’s a nice piece of hardware =)
    But, as I took the watch for a quick swim (2 x 500 m, half freestyle and returning lanes swimming breast stroke) this morning, to test the many functions in a 50 m pool, and with an alarm set at 500m, I was quite surprised to feel the watch vibrate at 225 m (instead of 500) in my first lap, and at 375 m in my second.
    The watch calcutated me a total distance of 2000 m / 40 lanes instead of the real 1000 m / 20, and got my swimming data all mixed-up confusing Free, Back and Breast strokes.
    Nothing seemed to make any sense once downloaded in Garmin Connect, and even if I was able to manually change the 2k swim into a 1k swim, the laps weren’t open for any kind of edition.
    Do I have to calibrate the watch to make it work better? Is it a known problem with Garmin techs? Do I really have to push harder on the pool wall (not an easy option since I’m a slow swimmer atm!) or hit lap every time I change direction (argh!).
    Everything else seemed fairly accurate, though, but I can’t be 100 % sure about that, now…

  281. Hi Ray,

    Is there any chance of you getting your hands on the new Suunto Ambit and maybe doing a full review of it? It would be good to see how it compares to the Garmin 910/610

  282. Georg

    Great review. I saw some comments regarding kajak rowing. Is there experience regarding rowing in a rowing boat? Is it possible to measure the cadence/strokes? That would definitely be a reason to buy….

  283. Anonymous

    This barometric issue does bother me: in fact barometric altimeter and gradient were the main reason to buy this device to use on bike, swim and run. If baro altimeter does not work properly why not saving 50% and buying TGT?

  284. Anonymous

    I’m making the transition to ultrarunning so the 910XT is appealing for 2 reasons: battery life and barometric altimeter. I currently use the 610 and love it but the battery life isn’t sufficient for ultras. It’s not worth the upgrade if the altimeter doesn’t work. Especially since I REALLY like the functionality of the 610. The 310XT is too huge and old school for me to be considered that watch. Hopefully the altimeter turns out to be accurate after all.

  285. Sadely I have the same experience with the barometric altimeter. It seems that it takes the gps measurment and makes some small adjustment with the barometer but its far frpm accurate. I hace tried without gps but it doesn´t show the garde at all an later in garmin connect you can’t see the altitude curve at all. I have tried it 3 times so far with bad results. Not sure they can fix this with an update and if that is the case I sure going to send it back and claim my money back. First I thougt it was ju my watch but it seems a lot of people have the same issue. I am really pissed of since this was the only reason for me to upgrade from the 310xt

  286. Mike Marsland

    Hi Ray

    Just bought the 910. how do you make it just a watch that show the time. just for when I’m not training.


  287. Hi, nice review. Just want to remind you about differences between ‘finish’ and ‘Finnish’. Here’s an old cartoon from winter war era for example: link to sodatkuvina.cjb.net

    And sorry for my english. I’m a Finnish 😀

  288. Anonymous

    does the 910xt have “Map Mode” like the 310XT does where you can see your bread crumb trail?

  289. Anonymous

    Really appreciate the review, very thorough. Had a question relating to the 20 hr battery life. I gathered from your review that there really is no power saver or “indoor mode” where you can turn off the sat tracking to slow battery drain. Can you speak to this specifically and confirm that is the case?

  290. Hi,

    I was wondering what you thought of the garmin 910xt for an avalanche guide during ski touring? I am doing my avalanche guide course and need a watch that has an altimeter.
    1) Is it possible to view altitude at all times on the watch?
    2) Do you think a Suunto watch would be better for ski touring?

  291. Anonymous

    @Fox I’ve been reading that quite a few people are having issues with the altimeter on the 910XT. Not sure how fast you need one, but Suunto is releasing a new product called Ambit the first of March. Suunto has been in the altimeter world awhile and has it down. The Ambit as GPS as well as the barametric altimeter and a battery life of 50 hrs with the GPS. I was waiting on the 910xt myself, but then just days ago Suunto released that it would introduce the Ambit March 1. They also have other altimeter watches (Core) if the Ambit isn’t to your liking. Kip

  292. Hi all!! I just received my FR 910XT and most likely I’m one of the first in Austria!! First try in the pool! It seems it didn’t measure the strokes correctly. 4-7 strokes in a 25m pool is not what I actually being able to perform (however I wish I can). The watch recognize back, butterfly, freestyle, breast nearly always, but number of strokes seems to be wrong. Any experience. SW Version 2.20. Thx

  293. Chris

    @ Gerhard. Where did you bought your 910xt? Greetings from Tulln an der Donau.

  294. Just got mine today and did my first run this morning. I noticed that PACE was jumping around erratically (it would change like 2-3 minute miles in a matter of seconds), though my splits were on target (running with another person). Have you seen PACE jumping around?

  295. DD – yes, garmin is working on a firmware fix for that. (according to the support ticket that I put in) It wouldn’t hurt to put in another support ticket so they have it on record. They said the firmware update would show up here when it’s published.

    “Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I would be happy to provide an update on this issue. We have received verification that this pace issue will be addressed in a future software update, although we don’t have an exact date for that release. Please check for the update occasionally on this webpage: link to www8.garmin.com The 910xt will be listed when the update is available. “

  296. Hans

    Great reviews!!!! I have been looking high and low on the web for GPS devices and your reviews are like the 910XT is compared to other watches, way higher than the competition.

    Hope you have a good deal with Amazon cause just bought one from your link. You deserve it!! With the time and effort you put in to these reviews.

  297. Thanks Rob! That’s a bug that’s a bit frustrating… 1. it’s not like this is “new” technology for them and 2. seems it would be pretty easy to catch in testing. Also, with the production delays they had, you think they would have had time to fix before general availability. I’m a big fan of Garmin, so I don’t want to be too harsh, but a bit disappointing.

  298. Bob

    Fantastic review and I purchased based on it. It is a great watch but I am having some trouble at Equinox on the bikes getting speed and distance. I can get power via the Ant+ and I was assuming the speed/distance would also come from an Ant+. I do scan for it on my settings but nothing comes up. Any thoughts?

    Dallas, TX

  299. Hi Chris, I bought it at Intersport in Klagenfurt (ordered early December). It seems they was one of the first in Austria!! 😉 Lucky me. By the way, I’m born in Tulln, now I’m living in Klagenfurt since 20 years!! Funny!!

  300. Have folks found that the Garmin 910xt does NOT upload SWIM workouts local to the device or to TrainingPeaks directly or is it just me? I had to go to Garmin Connect, export the file to my local drive and then upload to TrainingPeaks.

  301. Chris

    Hi Gerhard.
    And i was born in Villach. Now i´m living in Tulln since 5 Years. Very funny. I think Intersport do not have another one in stock. So i will keep on searching the web. Greetings

  302. Anonymous

    Anybody played with the altimeter yet??
    Made 2 long runs and compared to the graph i get in connect.garmin.com with elevation correction ON (using map data) the altimeter graph is way off!!!.
    Compared to other garmin products, the 910xt dosnt tell if the watch is using GPS or barometic hight. Both RUNS i did, drifted away over time so that end to start hight is more than 200m off. Even absolute hight is 50-100m off although at start when it seems to calibrate to gps hight. Seems during a running track, its never recalibrating …

    NO, weather = pressure didnt change that much and YES, have very good GPS signal.
    The barometric altimeter was my top option to buy the 910xt but I either dont understand it, its broken or Garmin didnt intergrate it right. Was hoping to get better hight graphs now but its way worse!!
    Any Idea?

    regards, Martin (also from VIllach 😉

  303. I was just running downhill (about 100ft per mile!) and saw my altitude go…UP

  304. Baldylox

    Ray, a great review as always. If i may, a quick question – With the use of FIRSTBEAT Technologies does (or will) the 910xt show ‘training effect’ (as with the Suunto T series watches) on the watch itself, or is it something that you would have to go into Training Peaks or other 3rd party software packages to ascertain? Does the 910xt (via FIRSTBEAT) measure the same ‘physiological parameters’ as the Suunto T series watches?
    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

  305. Anonymous

    Great review!

    However, does the watch have a power button? To turn it on or off?

  306. I’ve just been lurking, but I want to give a BIG thank you for writing such great reviews!

    I got my 910 two days ago and so far it has worked great with my ANT+ HR, cadence/speed sensors. I’m already used to the buttons & menus.

  307. Sean

    Word of caution for those new to the Ant+ USB stick – i left mine in my laptop for convenience sake, accidentally knocked it lightly and its now broken and not working. $60 lesson learned!

    P.S. Ray, thanks for the comments re Open Turns in the pool with the 910XT. I am still having trouble with distnace accuracy in the pool, as it seems other people are. Hopefully there is a trick or update Garmin can help us with sometime.


  308. Hi Ray,

    Quick question – Can you confirm that you were able to create and transfer scheduled workouts to the 910 via Training Center? I use the custom step label in Training Center to create my workouts and when I transfer to the 910xt the “SCHEDULED” shows up, but once I click on it, it disappears 🙁 Any thoughts?? I don’t like Garmin Connect b/c you can’t custom label steps (i.e. 200 swim, 50 sprint/50 easy, or specify cadence 95-150 while the actual “step” is measuring power)… Let me know if you have any input or experience with that issue. I see that Garmin says it only works with Garmin Connect??

  309. Hi Ray, same as the comment above, I cna’t find the .tcx file for swim activities. Therefore I’m not able to upload to trainingpeaks nor Garmin Training Center. It seems only garmin connect is able to analyse swim activities? True? cheers Gerhard

  310. Hi Ray
    I just got the new 910XT and I have a query regarding the barometric altimeter.
    After the 910XT track the satellites, I go to the altitude display, and I see that the meters are totally wrong.

    It is necessary to adjust manually (like the old Polar) before beginning an activity? Why this big difference?

    Also after when I check the data in the garmin.connect, I can see that the GPS Altitude is not so accuracy!

    Thank you and regards – Talín

  311. Anonymous

    Hey there,

    You’re very in depth review sold me on the 910 immediately. I love it, but I’m a bit disappointed in the altimeter accuracy. I’m not the only one: link to forums.garmin.com

    You said that you found the altimeter to be accurate; how did you verify this? I am almost certain that Garmin needs to fix this in their next firmware update. Since you are such an advocate for this product, do you think you can get an answer from Garmin about whether they are aware of the problems and when it might be fixed?


  312. Thank you for being the best resource for a Garmin. For my 910 when I am swimming in the pool, it adds meters to my workout that I didn’t do. About half of them show up in blue on the length counter and those laps are in about 10-14 seconds and my average is 30ish. Last night it added 325m on a 2500m swim. Any suggestions on how to make it more precise? That is more than a 10% difference and I would love to forget counting my laps, but with that big of difference I can’t afford not to count. Thanks

  313. hayden

    Got my 910xt today and went for my first run. The instant pace was virtually unusable and fluctuated wildly changing by more than 2min/km at times while running steadily.

    Came home and after researching the web, it appears as though this is a common issue. Going to have to return the watch tomorrow as its useless like that. Never had this issue with my 310xt.

    Garmin have said they will fix the issue in a firmware upgrade but not sure when, poor if you ask me!!

  314. Hi guys. Can anyone please read my comment below and maybe tell me what is going on?

    I just bought FR 910XT and used it first time yesterday. This is the first Garmin product I own.

    Did a 15 mile run and then uploaded the data to Garmin Connect. All data uploaded fine, except for HR. My Garmin device shows avg HR is 84% and max HR is 93%. On Garmin Connect avg HR is 78% and max HR is 86%. Has anyone else experienced this? That is a noticeable difference.

    Also is it possible to re-send the activity? I tried the Transfer All feature on FR 910XT but it didn’t work.

    Anyone knows what is going on and how to fix it? I’d like to know that I can upload my data correctly for future analysis. If I can’t do that, then what is the point of using the device? I never had any problems with my old Polar monitor.

  315. John,
    You have to check the way your Garmin is set up for the HR. It defaults to metric, and maybe your HR is defaulted to percentage. I believe it is under settings.

  316. Anonymous


    great review! One question left (for me 🙂 ).
    I´m usig the FR305 also as a routing device. Downloading a track to the Garmin i have to limit the number of waypoints down to 125. Sometimes this is a litte insufficent, especilly for a long bike ride.

    Also the 305 is only capable to store one Tracks a time.

    What are the skills of the 910 about this?

    Regards, Wolfgang

  317. Anonymous

    @John – the % heart rate calculations are based on a notion of your possible maximum heart rate normally calculated from your age and gender. You set this when you first use the watch and you can also set it in the settings within garmin connect. I’d imagine that the watch isn’t setting the garmin connect settings when you sync (although the software implies it syncs the other way – eg. device is updated from connect) so although the actual heart rate data is the same the calculated percentages are different. First you can check the setting in garmin connect and ensure they’re accurate but secondly forgetting the % figures for a minute check the absolute heart rate average and max (in BPM) on the watch and connect and I’m sure you’ll find they’re the same. Just a theory and I’m sure there’s greater expertise here on the specifics but I’d definitely check the settings before you panic that there’s an issue with the device.

  318. Hey DC!

    Just wanted to say thanks for such an awesome review…which I’ve shared on Google+ a number of times. I received my 910XT yesterday… I’ve been following this post for the past few months and you answered almost all my questions in your review… I’m coming from using a Polar RS800…

    Thanks again!

  319. @Anonymous – Comment #321

    You were right. By changing the heart rate values in Garmin Connect to match the ones I entered in my garmin forerunner, the issue is now solved.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  320. Ricci

    Hello DCR

    I’ve just picked up a 910XT and love it. There’s just one thing I’m perplexed about is that I can’t find where it shows the data for stride length. I’ve searched the manual and there’s no reference to it. However on various sales spiel on the net it talks about stride length as one of the multitude of data it records.

    Other web searches for an anser including Garmin’s support have come up blank.

    Hope you can advise on whether this feature does actually exist on the 910.

    Keep up the great work!

  321. This comment has been removed by the author.

  322. Anonymous

    Curious about the vasa. I have a vasa and was really looking how to incorporate my dryland training into my Garmin connect logs without manually adding them (because I hate taking the 11 seconds to do that when it’s a problem I can solve with money) Thanks for adding that little tidbit.

  323. Here’s a workaround to the well-documented pace smoothing issues:
    * Turn on auto lap to 1 mile (or 1 km)
    * Set one of the watch’s display windows to pace per lap.

    It obviously won’t give you the real-time pace, but at least it gives you your average pace for the current mile (or km).

    Admittedly, this isn’t a great solution, but should hold until Garmin finally updates the firmware to fix the pacing problem.

  324. Greetings and thank you for the in-depth reviews.

    In regards to cycling, are there any critical advantages over FR310XT apart from the more accurate altimeter? I am mostly interested in data collection and course planning.

    Thank you.

  325. hey! It’s include hungarian language? thanks!

  326. I wonder if the swim stroke count function would work as a rowing stroke counter?

    As per other rating watches – Strap the watch to the oar shaft so that it moves back and forth.

    Any thoughts? Did Garmin think of that as an extra capability?

  327. I appreciate the in-depth review you provided. I had a question about both the 310XT and the 910XT. How accurate is teh GPS in tracking runs, especially trail runs (switchbacks, etc.). I read a review that criticized Garmin for trading extended battery life for accuracy when compared to the FR305. I’ve worn a 305 for years now and am very happy with it, but I noticed Garmin is listing it as “discontinued” on their site. I know that eventually I’ll need to get something else, but I wanted to know if the 910XT is inaccurate in logging runs (overly smoothing courses by pinging less) to add life to the battery like the 310XT reportedly does. Any ideas?

  328. Elle

    Wow, Thank You so much for your in-depth reviews. I have two 910XT questions I’m hoping someone can answer for a old lady who is technically challenged. I have studied the full manual, and went through all the 910XT FAQs on Garmin’s site and can’t find the answers.

    1.) After using the Mode button to go to different pages/settings/, etc… Is there an easy way to navigate back to my first data screen (currently I have mine showing HR% and time) besides pressing the Mode button a zillion times? Do one or a combination of the buttons act as sort of “Home Page” button that would take me back to that original screen?

    2.) Is there a way to change the sequence order of the Run/Walk Alert? I walk more than I run right now, and start off my workout with a fast walk (after a slower warm-up walk) and if I program say Walk 5 minutes, Run 2 minutes, my workout, on the watch, will start off with the 2 minute run before I have done the walk part. I want the walk part to come first. For the time being I just pretend the run is the walk and walk is the run. It’s confusing for an old lady.

    Since others are using the Run/Walk Alert for other purposes (such as nutrition/hydration alerting) it makes more sense if Garmin would do a software fix so the user can customize that particular dual alert.

    I thank everyone for such good help.

  329. A comprehensive and informative review – really outstanding!!

    I’d be obliged if you could answer the possibly naïve question below.

    In addition to cycling, I paddle a surf ski. Can the 910XT sense & display the paddling tempo in the same manner that it does the swim stroke tempo?

    Thanks & Regards

    Kees Bylsma

  330. Hi!
    Thank you for your very good reviews and the funny and interisting stories around as well! I love to read it!
    Could you please post a pic of you wearing the 910XT with quick release? Must be way thicker than before…

  331. Ok, I have been having a consistent problem with the 910 counting my laps in an indoor pool. My stroke count is generally between 10-13 per lap, but about every 5th lap or so the 910 throws in a lap with a stroke count of 3, along with the shorter time. These are not laps. Any idea what I can do to get this to stop?

  332. more of an FYI.. your spread sheet upon comparing the different tri watches still shows that the timex global does not do the footpod.

    Thanks for all your reviews. very helpful.

  333. Anonymous

    Hi ray
    When using multisport mode does each sport have an individual file or is it one big file, just wondering also if WKO will be able to separate each sport. Also do you think garmin will come up with a way to program swim interval programs liek they have for cycling and running?

  334. gasteropod

    You say, “I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more. ” but there is no mention of the mapping and ability to download tracks. This is of critical importance to me and why I have a 310XT coming from a 205 and not one of the other devices which do not allow tracks to be downloaded. I assume the 910XT will be identical to the 310XT in this area but such a shame there is no mention of this at all.

  335. Ray,

    Have you looked into the added depth on the quick release kit when on your wrist? I just got mine and seems to be quite a bit more than expected. I’m just curious if you think this will impact the “easy to use with wetsuit” feature of the 910xt.

  336. Anonymous

    Hi, I am a software developer in South Africa looking to facilitate the formatting of a New Leaf file with values manually entered into a user interface. Can anyone please direct me to an internet site with a New Leaf file as an example please? Or even email me a few of their own files to kerrytrentham at yahoo dot co dot uk (kerrytrentham@yahoo.co.uk). When I am done, I shall provide this software to the community at no cost. Thank you – DoubleAxion.

  337. I have an 910xt for a month now. Last 4 time i used them, the heart rate displayed goes very very high, with no reason! This appended to you before? How can i solved this?
    you can see an example of what i am saying here: link to connect.garmin.com
    Thank you

  338. This comment has been removed by the author.

  339. @gasteropod,

    hi Gasteropod,
    i don’t understand why you tell it is impossible to download tracks on the 310XT… are you referring to the ability to charge a track on the 310XT and follow it like on the 305 and 205 or do you reffer to something else?
    … cause if not, i can tell you it is possible to do it on this watch and i don’t see how this could not be possible on the 910XT either. I have a 310XT since 2 days now, i found it at the begining difficult to transfer route because i was new to how ant agent worked but in the end it works (thanks god !!!)

  340. Ben Turner

    Hi there
    I have been useing the 310xt for kitesurfing/sailing (race and distance) but have had it stolen.. need to replace it Does the 910xt have the speed in knots like the 310 and what about the heading is this a number in degress or still the N NW etc. A course in degress would be a great improvement!! I was never able to figer out how to use the countdown on the 310 (was that just me) does the 910 have a countdown timer for starts??
    Many thanks Great reveiw!

  341. Just got the 910 Love it… Garmin Connect gives way more info for free than on the free version of training peaks! Training peaks allows me to download their format… any advice for importing this into garmin connect?

  342. Ray thank you for your in depth review. I too just got my 910XT it seems pretty good compared to my FR305. however it seems that all the swim data is completely off. It says I did breast and backstrokes when I only did freestyle, it calculates distances inaccurately and it says that I did more laps than I actually did. Is there a way to get it to be more accurate? perhaps with a firmware upgrade.



  343. Any suggestions on how to view 910XT swim data in trainingpeaks and sport track, support for the 910 in both of these seems extremely minimal. Is right now my only choice Garmin Connect?

  344. Hi All-

    Thanks for all the comments! I’ve been adding in pieces into the review over the past few weeks as I have time, new chunks like the quick release kit, and just about to port a bunch of the swimming stuff from the main 910XT swimming post into this one. Along with a few other items.

    That said, I’ll go through and consolidate your questions into the below. Thanks!

    RE: Swimming Lap Function and Accuracy:

    Just some general thoughts here since I see a lot of comments about it. I continue to have really good success with the accuracy of the watch in the pool. In all of my swims, I’ve only had one swim be off – one where I stopped midway through. Tonight, again, no problems with my almost-3,000 yard workout. But what’s the trick?

    Well, first, it comes with remembering that anytime the watch is running, it’s monitoring what your doing. So if you’re not actively swimming between the two walls in the pool, then you should press stop (to pause it). Otherwise, it’ll assume that whatever your trying to do is swimming. Be it grabbing a sip of water or doing the YMCA song.

    Next, remember that it won’t record drills accurately if your arms aren’t involved in a normal swimming stroke. In my case, I go ahead and just pause it for drills. No sense in having bad data there.

    After which, remember that the watch is primarily tracking your arrival and departure at each end of the wall of the pool (accelleration and change in direction). If you very lazily make that change, it’s possible it’ll think you’re still going. In my case, push off the wall sharply (plus, that’s faster).

    Finally, remember that surges and passes around others that you share a lane with can indeed be confused as a new lap. So, when making a surge, try to make it as gradual as possible – difficult I know, but worth a thought. Also, in that same vein, definitely don’t stop-midlane and stand up. Not going to help.

    Oh – and as for an editor for swim workouts, nothing to my knowledge being planned for Garmin Connect (I know, everyone wants it, me too!), but there is something in the works for Sport Tracks here shortly….

    RE: Bug/issue with fluctuating pace

    Up until this weekend I hadn’t seen this issue on my unit. This weekend though it finally showed up. Interestingly, I was on a bike riding next to my wife, who was working on technique and going slower than I normally would (about 9-10/min/mile, vs my usual 7ish). At that speed, the pace fluctuations were very noticable for instant pace.

    In either case, the firmware fix for that should be out within the next 7 days. My little magic 8-ball would note that Garmin almost always releases Forerunner firmware updates on Friday’s….

    RE: Shutoff issue

    Same with the previous issue, also in the list to be fixed within next week.

    RE: Having problems uploading swim workouts

    Be sure that you have the latest Garmin ANT Agent software from at least the last week of November. Meaning, if you have an older Garmin unit, you may have older ANT Agent software on your computer. This older software doesn’t know how to deal with the Swim workouts.

    RE: Suunto Ambit

    Yes, I do plan to review it, should have a unit in my hands in a few weeks.

  345. RE: Kayaking/Rowing

    I thought I covered that up above, but in short, it doesn’t work very well. In my testing I only got about 1/4th the strokes to register (I have three kayaks). Sorry!

    That said – there’s definitely some folks within Garmin thinking about how this same technology could be leveraged for other sports. 🙂

    RE: To show just time

    Go ahead and great a single training page with a single field and then add the Time of Day field. Then remember to turn off the GPS – you’ll get about 55hrs of time. Details here:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    RE: Skiing with FR910XT

    Yes, easily possible to see altitude at all times, I’ve used it a few times skiing. Hard to say on the Suunto Ambit being a better watch, as I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. Sorry!

    RE: Firstbeat software (R-R recording)

    I haven’t had a chance to dig into this yet, but it’s on my list.

    RE: Breaking your ANT+ USB stick

    Try this tiny little one instead – so much better!
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    RE: Transferring scheduled workouts to FR910XT via GTC

    Yes, no problems, just created and sent one.

    RE: Stroke length

    I think those sites are in error, they may be misunderstanding the “Avg Strokes – Length” field, which is attempting to tell you the average strokes per length.

    RE: Vasa

    It does actually work fairly well in the Vasa config, though you do have to make a funny wrist movement every 50m or so, so that it understands that a flip turn has occured. Sorta like real life.

    RE: FR305 discontinued

    Correct, it was discontinued back this fall. The FR305 only had 8-10hrs of battery life, and the FR310XT has 20, like FR910XT. I’m not sure what they are referring to. Sorry!

    RE: Changing screens (Elle)

    Yup, just use the up/down bottons on the right side. 🙂

    RE: Changing walk/run alert

    I’m not aware of any way off hand. But, in theory, you could just pretend one is the other. 🙂 The unit doesn’t much care whether your actually running or walking.

    RE: Paddleboarding (assuming that’s paddling a surf ski)

    Not really. I tried it back in January, and honestly it didn’t capture much, only a handful of strokes per minute. Sorry!

    RE: Quick Release

    Yup, I added a bunch of information there. I’ll get the photo on my wrist up. I’ve been using it with the quick release confir the past week or so – definitely very stable.

    RE: Download tracks (gasteropod)

    I did include that up there. Garmin refers to that as ‘Courses’, which is shown in the review.

    RE: High heart rate spikes/dropouts

    Yup, if you experiance high heart rate spikes/drops (especially in cooler weather), start with these posts:

    Troubleshooting your HR strap issues Part I:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Troubleshooting your HR strap issues Part II:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    An interium solution using the Polar strap with the Garmin transmitter:
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    RE: Swimming in Training Peaks

    You can upload your workout files there, though, as noted, the data view is somewhat minimal. It does show intervals (set), along with yardage though. On Sport Tracks the data view is more detailed. There just aren’t a lot of places that have spent the time yet to update their sites. I made files available back in November for any folks looking to use that data for adding functionality – so it mostly comes down to return of investment for those companies at this time.

    Thanks all!

  346. Anonymous

    DC, can you please address the altimeter issue? What is Garmin doing about it? Thanks.

  347. Hi Anon-

    I haven’t heard either way on the altimeter piece. Sorry!

  348. Anonymous

    Thanks for the response. Not what I wanted to hear but I appreciate the response nonetheless. Hopefully the firmware update will fix this issue. I’ll keep tabs on it through Garmin forums. I appreciate your work!

  349. Thomas H

    Hi Ray. How do I set the watch up to simply show day and/or date? There is a data field for each sport for “time of day”, but I can’t find one for day/date. Thanks, Tom

  350. Hi Thomas-

    No day/date unfortunately, just time. It is a commonly requested feature, though, I have a funny feeling it won’t be added for some strange reason. 🙁

    Hope this helps!

  351. I enjoyed your review, but it appears that your 910XT has the same problem as mine (based on your photos). It cannot show the time of day. It always shows 0:00 in the time data field. I’ve not found a way to change that. Have you? According to the manual, it should automatically show time of day after synching with the satellite. There’s nothing in the user manual on how to fix this.

  352. dECEIT70

    Hi Ray,
    funny you had to answer now to those numerous questions, because I had my first error free swim this morning.
    How to manage it when you’re as poor a swimmer as me? =)

    1 – I lap every 100m (50m pool) or every 50m (25m pool) ;
    2 – very important : press lap when you’re diving arms extended in front of you AFTER a hard push against the pool wall (I used to press lap just before touching the wall, and the watch was often confused…)

    Hope this helped, because I was a bit annoyed with the 910XT, since you couldn’t edit freely your work outs. No SWOLF scores, no average mvts when the distance is wrong!

  353. Anonymous

    Hi Ray!
    First of all thanks so much for putting all this info together. I just got my 910xt and I was excited to see there is a grade% data field possible. However when I upload my runs on GarminConnect I don’t see any mention of it. I run trails in coulees (ravines) and some are pretty d*mn steep and I would love to know what the different grades are. As with pace, the grades fluctuate immensely on my garmin during the run (crawl/climb) so looking at it while I am climbing doesn’t really do any good. Thanks!

  354. Mike

    OK so my 910XT is stuck on a “transferring data” screen. Software says transfer failed. None of the buttons on the watch are responsive. I tried the 310XT soft reset combination of mode+lap, but no results.

    PLEASE tell me you have a way for me to manually reset this thing.

  355. Mike

    Hi Ray! Disregard! power+enter hold engaged the soft reset.

  356. Anonymous

    Great Review! Have you tried your Tanita BC-1000 with the Garmin 910xt? Currently, it’s not listed as compatible on the Tanita website. Thanks!

  357. Anonymous

    Firmware 2.40 is out as of 2-23-12. It supposedly fixed the instant pace issue among other things.

  358. Sunny

    I recently purchased the 910XT for marathon training but I did end up using it on a Snow Ski trip in Utah and here are my comments regarding the “other mode” setup for ski.
    PROS: Map keeps all runs – great to share with friends. Calorie consumption is great too (with HR belt) and training effect. Being able to see total descent for the day helps compare with others on level of effort.

    CONS: Comparing this with Suunto ski watches I have, the Garmin does not show total descent in its history pages. This is a fundamental feature for skiing they missed. Also, there is no option to auto lap based on ascent over 150 ft (which Suunto does). Also, it would be nice to have auto pause when ascending over 150 ft and descending lower than 100 ft (or with a customizable range).

  359. Anonymous


    Are you gonna review the Suunto Ambit?

  360. Ray,

    thank you for your review, I am frequently having issues where my lap type as well as lap data are incorrect. It usually adds extra laps of a different type (either breast or back)and often splits it incorrectly. I upgraded to the new firmware release but it doesn’t seem to help much. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve lap accuracy? Thanks again

  361. thomash

    Hi Ray.

    Even after my HRM and Speed/Cad unit have been confirmed as detected, the icons still do not show up on the screen. Is that normal? – I didn’t see any screenshots of the 910 in your review with either the HR monitor or Bike sensor icon showing. Thanks again, Tom

  362. I just got the 910XT. 4th ride and the watch shut off twice by itself during the ride. I’m not the only one and I think Garmin is scratching their heads. Not very nice. Take a look at this:
    link to forums.garmin.com

  363. Just got my FR910XT the other day. The wrist strap is great, I have large wrist and it fits good. I was concern with this as when i tried on FR310XT last year it was to small. I really haven’t taken it out yet. I played with the foot pod, it did not seem to be to accurate. It is an old pod that I had that a bought 6 years ago for my FR305. I didn’t like it then either. Any tips on the pod, or should I get a new one? I will take the FR910XT out for swimming this Sunday.

  364. AdeptJR, please let us know how accurate you find the 910XT to be in the water. Although with every swim accuracy seems to be improving, I am still having issues getting accurate readings when in the pools. Thanks

  365. Hello Ray
    soyy for asking, i haven’t seen all postings, buti am having trouble with my 910XT and the ANT+ antenna. it seems it can’t sync. it tstarts and get disconnected around a 7-8%. I’ve reinstalled everything but no luck. do yo uknow anything on this matter?

    PS i changed my 910Xt name to a nickname, could that be the issue?

  366. Anonymous

    Hi hope I get a nice response on this
    I got my garmin 910 xt last night al exited stared to put in info and red the manual before I got the watch.
    This morning got on the bike and road for about 50 km nice ride the watch responded fine distance, time, heart rate all in order, went home got in to my swimming trunks and head out to the pool just to do a few laps and see how the watch work in the water, jump in the pool and notice that the watch face got foggy then I realize that it had water in it, the only thing I can think of is that it has a factory defect, hope to get the warranty and have it replaced, got it true Amazon and ship to Florida but was brought to me in south America do not want to have it check here afraid to lose the warranty.
    Not sure if anyone in has experience the same problem??


  367. Anonymous

    I just got my 910XT today – thanks for your comprehensive review!!

    I have a suggested update for your review: it would be good to mention that the watch has a power switch that allows you to power down everything. It does seem that watch is still tracking time when powered down because I get local time when I power back up inside my house (I am pretty sure it is out of satellite range). I know this may seem obvious to you, but for those who have not had the 305/310 series, this is a big deal. I do not wear a watch during normal times and I want something that will be ready to go whenever I want to work out. I want to charge it weekly. This translates to a 15-20 hours of exercise time. The 910XT fits the bill!

    Even when my 405CX was brand new, it was a loser. In standby mode it wouldn’t last a week. Now that the battery is toast, it doesn’t even last 2 days.

  368. luckydutchie

    hi, thanks for the great review. Could you expand on your comment that the device cannot be shared between husband/wife please? Is this truly unworkable or could one record the data and then plod them to each person’s own Garmin connect or training peaks account?

  369. surly joe

    I received my 910xt last Friday and used it for a trail half marathon on Saturday, the device is fantastic and I can’t wait to use all of its functions over the course of the next several weeks. I am still bummed that it doesn’t function as a everyday wristwatch. I hope Garmin gets the word that this is a function that users would like and makes some kind of firmware update to allow this functionality. Thanks DC Rainmaker for all your diligent coverage of these products so that we ( the consumer) can make informed decisions about our purchases. Rock on!!!!

  370. Dred


    Hi, great review and I got my 910XT just over a week ago and have been pretty happy so far – have been using it for running (outdoors and on treadmill with a footpod) and lap swimming in a pool. Have run about 70 miles with it and have swum around 5 miles split over 3 sessions in the last week.

    The only thing that concerns me is that on a run this morning it was fairly cold (not more so than other runs over the last week though – I’m in London, UK so maybe 9C/48F) and the inside of the watch face got condensation on it from the start making it hard to read the display with the sun shining on the fogging. It cleared up after about 20 minutes and I did see a couple of other people on various sites mention similar but very few. Is this something I need to worry about?


  371. Anonymous

    Superb review of the 910XT, Ray !

    You mention ‘The foot pod easily snaps right onto your shoelaces in a matter of a few seconds. After which you’ll want to calibrate it on a track to ensure the highest level of accuracy’. Why would one want to calibrate it on a track if it can be calibrated on the GPS ? Isn’t the GPS more accurate, or did I miss something ? Thanks ! Pat

  372. Jeff B

    Great review but wanted to share some issues and see if you have a solution. When uploaded from TC or Connect to WKO+, the average pace and nGP are off 90+ sec/mi whether I paused watch during run or not. Also, I run on trails and bought it thinking I’d get more accurate readings. One 1 second recording, I’m consistently getting shorted on my mileage as compared to my prior 305, 405 and 310 on same routes in woods. Anyone else?

  373. Geo S.

    @Ray, seems I am having the exact same issue as Jeff B. I import my .tcx file into WKO and my average pace is 30-90 seconds per mile slower than Garmin Connect or the watch itself. Normalized Graded Pace is even worse and more screwy. TrainingPeaks people say its not their fault and its a Garmin issue.

    Anybody having issues?

  374. Edouard

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for this great review. Could you comment a bit on this comment you made : “I find that the altimeter data produced by the FR910XT is pretty accurate (like that of the Edge series devices for cycling). Much smoother and cleaner than GPS based elevation data.”
    Because from the garmin forum, I have the impression that the barometric altitude data are so inaccurate that they are totally useless….

  375. Hi Doug-
    RE: Time field

    In this case, that’s because the time hasn’t been started yet. Thus, zero. 🙂

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Grade Field Display

    Unfortunately, it’s not shown in Garmin Connect. TrainingPeaks and Sport Tracks both have it, but there isn’t anything today in GC.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: BC-1000 and FR910XT

    Yup, no issues at all, works fine.

    Hi Sunny-
    RE: Total Descent

    Hmm, I’ve got descent, total in mine. It’s under “Total Descent”, and is at the very very very bottom of the list.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Suunto Ambit Review

    Yup, still on the plan. Just waiting on a unit from Suunto to test with.

    Hi Thomash-
    RE: Icons don’t appear on screen for SPD/CAD sensor

    Correct, the FR910XT doesn’t display them during normal operation anymore, like the FR305 did.

    Hi jonoogle:
    RE: Shutoffs

    Did you update to the latest firmware?

    Hi AdeptJR:
    RE: Footpod

    It does work with the larger FR305-era footpod, though, there are some significant accuracy improvements in the latest generation footpods.

    Hi Stevew-
    RE: Openwater swimming

    Ask and you shall receive!

    Hi EOQ:
    RE: Sync issue

    Changing it shouldn’t be an issue. You can try a soft reset, though, when I have issues with Garmin devices syncing, I honestly just leave it next to my computer and go away for a while. I find that eventually it’ll get it connected and transfer. Once it clears out its buffer, it’s usually good after that.

    Hi Anon/Dred-
    RE: Water in glass

    Definitely not normal, and you’ll want to get it swapped via support, since it likely won’t work much longer. Though, I definitely understand that’s a wee bit trickier now that you’re thousands of miles away. 🙁

    Hi Lucky-
    RE: Husband/wife sharing

    In short, there’s no ability to say that the watch is being used by Jane instead of John. It assumes everyone is the same, and uses the same weight/age/activity level settings for calories. Excluding calorie calculations though, it won’t matter too much. What most folks do is creat two Garmin Connect accounts and then each individually upload the activities from Garmin Connect.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Footpod calibration

    Since GPS has an accuracy level of about 97-98% in most cases (of course, sometimes very close to 100%), and a track has an accuracy level of 100%, it’s best to eliminate as much error as possible. Of course, if a track isn’t easily available, then in most cases a GPS is definitely better than no calibration.

    Hi Jeff-
    RE: nGP:

    Remember that nGP is dependent on grade (Normalized Graded Pace), which basically tweaks your pace a bit to produce a different metric. I’ve actually got a post coming on it shortly… In the meantime:

    link to home.trainingpeaks.com

    Hi Edouard:
    RE: Altitude issues

    I’ve beening to try and get out somewhere with some elevation to do some better tests of it on a repeatable hill. In the case of skiing, it’s been pretty interesting to see how ‘predictable’ each run was. One of the challenges though is ensuring that your initial GPS-assisted elevation drop is correct. If that’s off, things tend to go downhill after that. I think I’ll put together some post/guidance on it. Good idea!

    Thanks all!

  376. Jeff B

    Thx Ray. Regarding the nGP issue I wasn’t clear. I’m getting an Average Pace and nGP that are 90+ sec/mi slower than actual not just nGP. Any ideas since my two buddies locally are having exact same issue in WKO+ and the guys at WKO+ aren’t much help at all!

  377. Ray, I just saw the Pool Swimming plugin in your review update. Have you tried this much? I’m using the Timex Run Trainer at the moment, and I’m wondering if this plugin would let me add distances to lap times I record on the Timex, and then export that file to Training Peaks. Any guess?


  378. Thanks – great additions.
    – If you use sporttracks to edit a swim file, can you output a corrected file that Garmin likes? I.e. can I export my swim from Garmin, delete it on the site, edit it in ST, reimport it into GC and have my corrected info for perpetuity?
    – One tip on skiing… be sure to properly reclassify your ski runs if you upload them to strava.. else you will smoke those poor mountain bikers using your trust chairlift!

  379. Anonymous

    Anybody having the same experience/problem with FirstBeat calculated calorie and/or Training Effect being way off? I have had the watch now for about a month, and nearly every exercise registers as a “5” on the TE scale–even if it’s a recovery run. The manual says the watch needs to “learn” about you, and that the initial readings may be high. I have about 15-18 workouts with a heart rate strap on, and am still waiting for the watch to “learn” about me. None of the workouts I would have classified as a level “5”.

    The calorie consumption on the watch when you use a heart rate strap is significantly different (less than half) of what the watch will estimate when the strap is off (and hence, FirstBeat technologies is not used). My calorie production as calculated by my Power Meter (which is a reasonably accurate way, even though an estimation of sorts, of measuring the work/calorie consumption you are doing) is much higher than what FB calculates it to be. I have read from others on line with similar issues with the 610.

  380. Anonymous

    Does anyone know if the 910XT data/watch is compatible with FirstBeat technologies own software as it is for the 610?

  381. Anonymous

    Hi – Thanks for another great review!
    Can you tell me if this watch feels much bulkier with the optional bike mount kit when you are wearing it?
    Does it raise the height noticably?

  382. Hello ray,
    As usal excelent
    A question concerning pool swimming..

    You can only reduce pool size to 21 meters which is still quit big most hotel pools are not beigger than 15 m is there a rstriction from some side to go lower than that , might we expect an updade on this to improve the use of smaller pools?

  383. A little confusion on troubleshooting tip #2. I interpreted the note on swimming 100s as advice to hit stop on conclusion of each interval, then lap at some point during the rest, then start again as i began the next interval… The results weren’t too good. Pretty bizarre actually. My total intervals look good – distance, time, etc. However the lengths are weird – a 1000, for example, has 40 lengths, a rest period, and mysterious length 41 all associated under it in that order. I was so overjoyed at your strong kickoff tip totally eliminating missing lengths that i assumed the stop/lap combo was helpful too, but on reflection I think I should just stick to the book method of hitting Lap between intervals (as you suggested for your longer lengths), and only using start/stop at the very beginning and conclusion of the entire workout.
    I note this because someone in the garmin support forums is reporting the same thing. He says he was using the “wirebrooks” method 🙂 So in summary, jump in the water… hit start, swim a bunch, hit lap at the beginning and end of any rest (or bathroom breaks – who cares if there is one 50m backstroke interval in there) and stop right before you get out of the pool and dry off. Yeah?

  384. Love the watch… hated the Timex. Now I want to switch my data from Training Peaks and import to Garmin Connect… this looks like a huge job.. can anyone help… I would be willing to pay? zanbilowicz@gmail.com

  385. oh 910xt, why do you foresake me?! Finally got it out of the box, fully undated all the software and went for a couple of runs. B/c I don’t trust the watch, I have been wearing both the 310 and the 910. Anyway, while the pacing doesn’t jump around after the update, now it’s just freaking wrong. It will say 9:10, while the 310 will say 8:10. Consistantly off. And yet, when I hit a mile, the both beep and nearly identical times! I did a quick (by my standards) 7 today after a ride and they were totally off with pacing, but the final distance between the two was only off by .01 miles. What gives? Are Garmin under the impression that they have “fixed” all the issues? HELP!

  386. Another outstanding review. When you are talking to those clever people at Garmin about extending the range of swimming pool lengths maybe you would suggest they allow one decimal place in the input. It strikes me as an easy way to improve accuracy even if by less than 2%. I spend much of my life in a 26.3m pool (built over 100 years ago) and find myself adjusting it on Garmin Connect after every swim.

  387. Anonymous

    Follow up on 910XT and FirstBeat (FB).

    You can use FB Athlete (FBA) software with the watch. You need to enable R-R recording in the watch to do so, which is done through the FBA application. Once you do that, the .fit files uploaded to your computer after workouts (with heart rate data) can be uploaded into FBA. You can not upload (at the present time) directly from the watch. FBA will upload other .fit files with HR data without R-R recording enabled, but they will have 100% data corruption and are not useable.

    The reports are quite detailed. Not sure yet how I might integrate the use of FBA with my workouts, if at all, but it’s an interesting tool to assess the intensity of your workouts.

    The TrainingEffect (TE) and calorie estimations within FBA are significantly different than what I am seeing from the watch. I have contacted Garmin support and supplied the data I’ve seen. I have been seeing what others (not all) with the 610 saw–extraordinarily high TE numbers and super low calorie estimations. I hit the highest TE number (5) within 10 minutes of a warm up before I actually hit the ‘meat’ of my workout. The calorie estimation is half or less what I see without the heart rate strap on (and hence, the watch uses a different approach to calculating calories), and the FBA estimations are 30 to nearly 50% higher than the watch.

  388. Anonymous

    One more update on FirstBeat technologies within the 910XT. Read the FBA manual a bit more, and you can send your profile within FBA to your watch. I am doing that right now, and will then see if the estimations for TE and calories are closer to what I’m seeing in the FBA software.

  389. Ben

    I LOVE this watch, but have some issues with data collection and Training Peaks (and not Garmin Connect). After I run, I push the stop button. But when I download to TP, it grabs not only the full data from start to stop, but then also adds the data from the time until the unit is TURNED OFF! So, a recent race I did showed a graph for 2 hours, when I finished muck quicker than that. HR, pace etc all stopped when the watch was stopped, and the graph reflects that. But the graph continued, showing just time (as if I was just sitting there with no movement or HR) until the time the watch was turned off, so the actual race was compressed on the graph to make room for the “nothing” until watch was shut down. Anyone else had this problem?