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Garmin Forerunner 920XT In-Depth Review


Last month just ahead of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, Garmin announced their latest triathlon watch – the FR920XT.  At the time I wrote a relatively long first look at the watch, but now I’ve had a solid month under my belt using the final watch and firmware.  In doing so I’ve been able to beat the crap out of it and see where it shines…and where it might need some more polish.

The FR920XT brings together in one unit a slew of new features found on many recent Garmin devices across the health and fitness landscape.  For example, it adds in Live Tracking that started on the Edge series, more swim functionality found in the Garmin Swim and Fenix2, Running Dynamics that started in the FR620, and finally activity and sleep tracking from the Vivo lineup of activity monitors.  But, these are really just small tidbits of what is without question the most full featured multisport watch on the market (if not most full featured watch of any type out there today).

To be clear, I’ve been using a FR920XT provided by Garmin to test with (final production unit).  Like always, I’ll be shipping that back to them in Kansas in the next little bit and going out and getting my own via regular retail channels.  That’s just the way I roll.

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.


The FR920XT comes in two box flavors and two unit colors.  You can purchase the unit with the HRM-RUN heart rate strap, or without it.  And then both of those are offered in either Blue/Black, and Red/White.  I’ll discuss the HRM-RUN later on.

To start, here’s the box of the HRM-RUN bundle:



After cracking it open you’ve got these five basic piles: The USB charging clip, the watch itself, the HRM-RUN strap, some paper stuffs, and the HRM-RUN transmitter model that snaps into the strap:


And again, without the plastic bags:


Starting with the charging cable, it allows you to plug into any USB port on the planet to charge the FR920XT.  The other end snaps into the FR920XT.  It’s incredibly secure and requires pressing of a side button to remove.  Thus, it’s somewhat ironic that given this high level of snap security that it doesn’t permit you to charge the device in the middle of an activity (such as an ultra run or super-long ride).  When you add USB power to the FR920XT mid-activity, it’ll instantly end the activity and begin full charging.  This is a bit of a disappointment.


Next is the HRM-RUN strap.  This includes both the strap and the transmitter module.  I’ve had good luck with the HRM-RUN strap and lack of drops/spikes.  The strap is no different than the HRM-RUN straps found with the FR620 or the Fenix2.  The presence of the little runner icon means it’s the HRM-RUN strap, versus just a regular strap.  The regular straps are unable to transmit Vertical Oscillation or Ground Contact Time, as they don’t have the accelerometer inside that the HRM-RUN has.



Next is some paper quick start guides and manuals.  You won’t really need them after reading this post:


And finally, we’ve got the watch itself.  Again, but the end of this post you’ll be sick of photos of the FR920XT:




Let’s move onto how it compares in physical dimensions to other units.

Size & Weight Comparisons:

When it comes to size, the FR920XT is notably slimmer than past models.  It’s roughly the same thickness as the Garmin FR620 running watch.


At the same time, the display colors are also increased over the FR620.  While the FR620 included colors according to Garmin marketing, in reality it was pretty washed out.  The FR920XT on the other hand is much crisper and brighter:



Speaking of wrists, here’s a look at how it compares on The Girl’s wrist, who is quite petite at 5’2″ tall:

IMG_0606 IMG_0609

Here’s a comparison to the FR910XT – the previous generation:


And finally, when looking at the Fenix2 (and Fenix2 Special Edition) – here’s how those compare:


Next, to compare it to other watches in the same markets (or just past Garmin watches), here’s a full lineup.

From left to right: FR920XT, FR910XT, Fenix2, Ambit3, Ambit2, Ambit2S, Polar V800, Polar M400, Polar RC3, Garmin FR620.


And here’s the thickness shown.  In this case the roller was kept level, so the depth between the surface and the watches shows you height:


Zooming in on just the higher end multisport watches (Left to right: Garmin FR920XT, Garmin FR910XT, Garmin Fenix2, Suunto Ambit3, Polar V800):


Finally, looking at weight of the watch – it’s quite light.  The FR920XT comes in at 61.6g, which is even lighter than the older running only FR610:


The Polar V800 comes in at 80.8g:


The Suunto Ambit3 at 86.0g:


And finally, the Fenix2 at 85.6g:


Now with everything all compared, let’s get onto using it.

Initial Setup & Configuration:

To start the software side, you’ll open up Garmin Express and get it added to your account:


From there you can choose to create a Garmin Connect account, or link it to an existing one.  You’ll use this Garmin Connect account to upload workouts to the service, which can then be sent to other services including Strava, Training Peaks, and Sport Tracks – all automatically.  But I’ll talk more about the Auto Sync piece later on in the Garmin Connect section.


Next, in the event you already have a Vivo product like the Vivosmart or Vivofit, you’ll need to choose which device to use for your daily steps.


Next, you’ll be asked to setup WiFi networks.  You can attach to up to 7 WiFi networks, as long as they don’t have some sort of ‘I agree’ type page, like Starbucks or some airport WiFi hotspots.  Home and office ones almost never do, so you’re setting up both easily there.


You can also specify a preferred network.  Additionally, it’ll show you the MAC address in the event you do MAC filtering on your routers/WiFi hotspots.


Finally, you’ll want to ensure the software checks for updates and grabs them, this is especially true earlier on in the product cycle where things might iterate quickly with bug fixes.

You can see below there are two updates available, so I’ll just go ahead and click ‘Install All’ to get things underway.


Next, you’ll go ahead and unplug your device, which will allow the install to finish:


The whole process only takes a moment to complete.  With everything set, it’s time to head on outside.


Now that we’ve got it all configured, we’ll start with running and go through the run-specific items.  Note of course that there are many features that are applicable to all sports that I’ve covered elsewhere in the review.  For this section I’m just focused on the run-specific items.

To begin, like all sports you’ll go ahead and power change from standby mode to sport mode.  In doing so you’ll then choose the sport, in our case an Outdoor Run:


This will enable the GPS.  The FR920XT uses satellite caching to speed up satellite acquisition time.  In general, it’s going to take about 3-7 seconds for it to find satellites, often less.  This satellite cache is valid for 7 days, and is refreshed each time you connect your FR920XT to your phone, computer, or WiFi.

With that ready, you can begin your run by pressing the start/enter button.  This will begin the timer and start recording.

At this point the unit will start showing you pace and distance from GPS.  To get a feel for how quickly the unit will respond to changes in pace, I’ve put together the following video that shows me running along at a steady pace, then stopping within the width of a crosswalk, and then resuming running again.

It’s pretty quick to respond.  You’ll notice that the pace is rounded to the nearest :05 seconds, which is common on most of Garmin’s newer running watches.  This is to make the pace a bit smoother.  In reality, all GPS watches do smoothing, so while it may seem annoying to some – one way or another the pace is going to get smoothed.  Either with or without you knowing about it.  For me, I don’t find this too big an issue.  When I’m doing intervals timed to sets that are less than 5-seconds in definition, such as 6:22/mile, I simply use the ‘Lap Pace’ option instead.  Problem solved!

The FR920XT adds the Running Dynamics found on the FR620 & Fenix2 watches.  Running Dynamics include three components: Vertical Oscillation, Ground Contact Time, and Cadence.  In this case, the first two – VO & GCT – are only available using the HRM-RUN strap.  Whereas while cadence can some from the HRM-RUN strap, it’ll also come from the watch itself.

These metrics are shown on a specific Running Dynamics page.  After uploading a run, this data is available to plot on Garmin Connect (you can see a sample run here).  You’ll notice the most definition when doing something like an interval run that has clear pace changes in it.


While this data is interesting, in using it over the past year, I haven’t actually found much training value out of it.  I suspect that most users stop looking at the numbers after the first week or two.

In addition to Running Dynamics, you’ll get Running VO2Max.  This is updated following the completion of each run:


It’ll take a number of runs for this number to even out, so don’t judge too harshly after just the first few runs.  The VO2Max number is then used to calculate race predictions.  These race predictions are simply done by looking up your VO2Max combined with gender and age, to known ‘best case’ results.  This means this is somewhat of a best case scenario, and doesn’t mean you have actually done the training to complete – for example – a marathon at that pace/time.


Still, I find that once my VO2Max number stabilizes, the race predictor numbers are very close to my PR’s.  It won’t be perfect for everyone, but it’s certainly interesting.

Next we have two recovery related metrics.  The first metric will show up about 10 minutes into your run, and let you know how well recovered you are from your previous run.  This will give you a ‘Good’, ‘Fair’, etc… type metric that you could use to potentially change your workout.

The second metric is the actual recovery time following completion of the workout.  For this metric it’ll give you hours until your next hard workout.  For triathletes of course, these numbers can be a bit tricky because you might do a hard run one day, and then a hard bike the next.


I tend to take these numbers with a solid boulder sized grain of salt.  Also, note that while none of the recovery/VO2Max pieces require the HRM-RUN strap, they don’t work as well with optical HR straps from 3rd party vendors.  See my section on that later on to get more clarity there.

When it comes to mid-run related functionality, there’s a ton of features found on the FR920XT.  In general, everything you’ll have used in past Garmin watches is present here, for example:

Auto Pause: This will automatically pause the watch when you stop running.  It’s ideal for city running, but I personally keep it off.  If you do enable it, you may want to tweak the configuration a bit to get better results.

Auto Scroll: This will change your data pages automatically every few seconds.  I prefer though to just control them myself.

Auto Lap: This will automatically create laps at a preset distance, such as 1-mile.  I use this mostly on long runs where I don’t have any other structure in my run.  But for shorter runs, I’ll turn this off so I can manually break up the structure of my run.  You can always manually lap at any time by pressing the lap button.

Alerts: These can be used to notify you when you go above/below certain thresholds like distance, time, heart rate, cadence, etc…

Run/Walk Mode: This mode will allow you to create a Run/Walk routine that’s often used in beginner marathon attempts to have you run for a certain time/distance and then walk for a certain time/distance – repeating over and over until 26.2 miles of misery is complete.

All of these options are available in other sport modes, except Run/Walk.

For one last FR920XT specific new feature we have the Metronome.  The Metronome enables you to have the unit automatically beep or buzz to a specific running cadence.  Running at certain higher cadences has long been used as a way to increase turnover and generally improve efficiency.  The fastest of elite/pro runners will have extremely high running turnover.  A running cadence of 180rpm is generally considered a good baseline (90rpm per leg).

Within the FR920XT you can specify the exact running cadence (with both legs combined, as beats per minute which is equated to rpm) and then the unit can be configured to beep/buzz every other beat, or in increments up to every sixth beat.  Note however that this will impact battery life a fair bit in my experience.


For me, I went with every fourth beat, which is basically one leg every two steps.  I find it a nice balance.


Now, I also find that it’s a bit tough to hear the beeps in the city at rush hour, so the vibration makes it super easy to just match the buzz to the foot hitting the ground.


Finally, the FR920T gains the ability to show PR’s on the unit.  PR’s are ‘Personal Records’ for a variety of items from longest run to fastest one-mile time.  Upon the completion of each run it’ll let you know if you’ve triggered any PR’s during that run:


These PR’s will also show up on Garmin Connect as well, so you can validate them there too.



The FR920XT supports a cycling mode that allows you to track bike-specific metrics. In the cycling mode you’ll see speed instead of pace, thus it’ll show up at MPH or KPH.  Further, you can access power meter metrics from ANT+ power meters, and speed/cadence/combo sensors from ANT+ devices there as well.


The FR920XT is able to clip into the standard Garmin Edge series quarter-turn bike mounts that are so popular these days.  Both Garmin and many 3rd party companies make these mounts, and some bikes even have mounts built into them.  However, that does require the FR920XT quick release kit.  The quick release kit is a add-on that slides into the backplate of the FR920XT to allow it to mount directly to quarter turn mounts.

It also contains a separate plate that you then attach your watch straps to, so that you can quickly turn it from watch to bike computer.  Below, are a slew of pictures of the kit.

When it comes to power meter metrics the FR920XT has all the same metrics as the Edge 1000 does – so it includes advanced power sensor metrics around everything from left/right balance to pedal smoothness.  It also has one metric the Edge 1000 doesn’t have – which is Cycling VO2Max.

For this metric it computes your VO2Max value using cycling specific algorithms, in conjunction with a power meter (which is required).  These algorithms will update your cycling VO2Max after each ride:


I noticed it’s a bit low for me, but each time I ride it appears to increase slightly.  I asked Garmin about that and they said it’ll take a number of rides to stabilize, as it ‘learns’ you.  I’ve seen this on the running side as well, where it’s just now finally getting close to the VO2Max numbers that I get on my FR620 (as well as the ones that I’ve been tested against).

When it comes to sensors, the FR920XT supports two major cycling types of sensors.  The first is power meters.  Within this it supports ANT+ power meters, from any vendor including Garmin but also Quarq, PowerTap, SRM, Stages and so on.  It does not support Bluetooth Smart power meters though.


Next, it also supports ANT+ Speed sensors, ANT+ Cadence sensors, and ANT+ Speed/Cadence combo sensors.  Garmin themselves had units in each of those categories – but there are many other companies making ANT+ speed/cadence sensors, including some like Trek & Giant that insert directly into the bike frame itself.


Note that like power meters, the FR920XT does not support Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence sensors, only ANT+.  Many of the speed/cadence sensors though coming onto the market are dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, so it’ll support those just fine.

Beyond these bike-specific items noted in this section – the rest of the features I’ve covered in other sections.  So routing for example is applicable whether in bike or run mode, just as Live Tracking or structured workouts are as well.

Swimming (Openwater):


The FR920XT contains two different swim-specific modes: Openwater and pool.  For this first section, I’ll cover openwater.  The next will be for pool swimming.

Openwater swimming is simply the swimming in any body of water that doesn’t have lane lines.  Be it a river, ocean, lake, or pond (or, I suppose this crazy big pool in Chile).  In these settings the watch uses a special openwater mode that allows it to determine your pace, distance and location.

It’s important to understand though that this is a tricky affair.  Each time the watch goes underwater during your swim stroke it loses GPS signal.  For the 1 second or so that it’s above the water it regains it, but usually with low accuracy.  It might be off by 5 meters or 100 meters.  This process repeats every stroke.  The openwater swim mode software however takes all these potentially inaccurate data points and starts to create a picture of where you’re going.  That picture tends to be a bit smoothed in order to normalize the craziness of GPS data captured during swimming.


As such, I find that for most openwater swim sessions, you won’t often have exact accuracy.  Within 10% or so is the name of the game.  If you want exact accuracy then the swim cap method is the way to go.  But for most people putting it on the wrist is just fine.  I’ve included my openwater swim GPS accuracy numbers in the GPS accuracy section a bit lower.

While in openwater swim mode the unit will show your distance in yards/meters and then miles/kilometers.  It’ll also show you stroke information as well as pace.


Now, the FR920XT does actually allow you to complete Live Tracking in openwater swim mode.  In my earlier testing there was a bug that produced incorrect data tracks (it looked like I was swimming drunk).  My understanding from Garmin is that bug has been addressed in yesterday’s firmware update.  Still, the concept is pretty cool.  I just set my phone inside my swim buoy and then it’ll actually keep the connection alive and transmit my location via cellular services:


I won’t re-write my entire post on it, but you can read about it here.  Alternatively, you can watch a video I put together on it below:

Overall, like past openwater swim devices the accuracy is generally acceptable for most purposes – albeit not perfect.  For those looking for perfection the best bet is to sacrifice stroke information/metrics and place the unit in your swimcap.

One final note is that the pins on the FR920XT are greatly improved over previous watches.  It uses a similar pin system to that of the Fenix2 and FR620/FR220, which uses dual sets of screws that tighten into each other on both band portions.  This means that unlike some older multisport units, it’s highly unlikely the band pins will break on the unit.  Note however that I haven’t yet had a chance to try out the quick release kit.  That is still pending release from Garmin.

Swimming (Pool):


The next swimming related mode is for pools.  It doesn’t matter if the pool is inside or outside, it’s the same mode.  In the pool mode the unit doesn’t use GPS, but rather uses an internal accelerometer to detect each time you reach the end of the length of the pool.  It uses the same accelerometers to detect strokes and stroke types.

To begin, you’ll select the ‘Pool Swim’ mode from the available activity profiles:


Because the unit simply tracks each time you complete a length, it needs to know how big your pool is.  To set that you’ll press: Settings > Activity Settings > Pool Size, and then specify a pool size.  You can choose from a number of common pool sizes, or just select your own.


By default it’ll save your last pool size, so it’s not something you need to change unless you go to a different sized pool.

At this point you can begin swimming after hitting start.  It’ll automatically count your laps, lengths and pace for you.


The FR920XT also introduces a new swim rest timer as well.  This allows you to better time intervals by showing you your resting time and interval time on one handy screen:


You’ll use the ‘Lap’ button to toggle between swimming and resting.  You’d usually do this at the end of the lane.

While swimming it’s easiest to just twist your wrist slightly when you push off the wall to see your current pace.  You can specify all the usual data fields such as pace, time and distance.  You can also create alerts for set distances, such as 500y/500m, or time alerts.

Note that while there is a metronome mode for running, it’s not available in the swimming mode.  I asked Garmin about it, and they said that in their testing it resulted in a poor user experience.  Likely simply because of the downside of dealing with it being on your wrist versus some of the swim metronomes being in your swim cap.

As for the heart rate strap, it won’t transmit more than an inch or two underwater, so you won’t get heart rate while swimming.  The FR920XT does not permit pairing to any HR strap within the pool mode.  It does however permit connectivity to a heart rate strap in openwater swim mode.  In this case, you’d have to use a HR device that’s within an inch or two of your wrist – such as the Mio Link.  I tested this with mixed success, you can read more about that here.

The FR920XT contains the swim drill mode, which allows you to complete drills and then specify a total yardage/distance at the end of the drill section.  This is useful when you do something like a kickboard drill, which wouldn’t accurately be captured by the watch due to lack of stroking.


All of this data is then available afterwards on Garmin Connect.  It’ll show your sets as well as your individual swim lengths:



In the event you have miscounted lengths, Garmin Connect doesn’t offer a way to fix it.  However, 3rd party sites like Sport Tracks do allow you to fix lengths on your swim.  As does this site here, which will fix the file and then allow you to re-upload it to Garmin Connect.

In my experience I’ve found no issues with swimming accuracy and the FR920XT.  Though, that’s also generally the case for almost every swimming watch I test.  It was par for the course with other units I wore at the same time.  This is likely because I understand fairly well how these devices work and know how to get the best results from them.

So if you haven’t swam with a watch that measures distance it might take a bit of tweaking to your normal routine to get accurate results.  Here’s a few things to consider that should help you dramatically improve swim accuracy:

– The unit is measuring movement, and thus extra and unexpected movement will cause inaccurate results
– If you randomly stop in the middle of the lane, the unit will assume you’ve reached the wall and complete the length
– If you don’t pause the unit and run to the bathroom, the unit will likely assume you’re still swimming
– If you don’t pause the unit at the wall and then have an animated conversation with your lane mate, the unit will not understand the YMCA song movements and assume you’re doing something like swimming
– Swimming in crowded pools can be a challenge.  But I assure you it’s not worse than mine, which I’ve counted up to 19 people in my lane at once.  The key here is that if you accelerate to pass people, try and make it slightly smooth – versus outright stopping after a pass.  Obviously, I recognize that initial acceleration to pass is required, but try and smooth the deceleration after the takeover.
– Stroke recognition can be tricky. I only swim freestyle, so I can’t really comment on other strokes.
– For the most accurate results, give a firm push off at the start of each length.  It doesn’t matter whether you do a flip (tumble) turn, or an open (no flip) turn.  Just do it with conviction.

All of this is likely common sense, and also completely expected by those using such devices for the past 3-4 years, but nonetheless I find it worth noting to those who might be new to swim watches.  The most important thing to remember is that extra and unexpected motion is your enemy.  The second most important thing is do push off the wall like you mean it.  No wimpy pushes.  Remember those two and you can usually get perfect results.

Indoor Training – Bike Trainers/Running Treadmills/Gyms:


The FR920XT allows you to track workouts indoors.  By default it includes both an indoor cycling and indoor running mode.  In the case of the indoor cycling it will allow you to track speed and distance on a trainer in conjunction with an ANT+ Speed or Speed/Cadence sensor (or a trainer that transmits those metrics).

Many trainers now such as the Wahoo KICKR, PowerBeam Pro, and Tacx Smart trainers can output ANT+ directly, which the FR920XT can pick up and record:


But for those without electronic trainers, then you’ll just need the $35-$50 ANT+ sensors (see sensor section here).

For running indoors on a treadmill, the FR920XT will actually utilize wrist based detection (called WDR) to determine your pace and distance.  This is calibrated automatically during your outdoor runs with GPS.  Historically when I’ve tested the accuracy of this it varies wildly by device and sometimes just week to week in terms of recent runs and calibration efforts.

Take this run I did last night on a treadmill.  In this case my workout was a 10 minute warm-up, then a 5 minute build in pace before 90 seconds of recovery and then starting a simple 4x800m interval set.  The pace was set and controlled by the treadmill.


Now obviously I can’t say with 100% certainty that the treadmill was precisely accurate.  But I can however state that the paces shown by the FR920XT were not accurate.  I’ve run enough to know the difference between a 7:30/mile pace and a 6:00/mile pace.  In my case, the FR920XT was showing my paces as significantly too slow.  Though, the paces were quite smooth, whereas sometimes I see significant variations in these modes – so that’s  a nice improvement.

You’ll also note that because it’s wrist based, that it’s fully impacted by non-running wrist movements.  For example at the ~15 minute marker I used the same wrist/hand as my watch to change the treadmill pace.  This resulted in that dropout you see.  Whereas for the rest of the run I used my other hand.

Here’s a simple chart showing the paces for each section by what the treadmill reported, and what the Garmin reported:

Garmin FR920XT Treadmill Data

Description:Time Slot:Treadmill KPH:Treadmill MPHTreadmill Min/Mile:Garmin Pace MPH
Starting treadmill00:00 - 02:00VariableVariableVariableVariable
Warm-up02:00 - 10:0013 KPH8.1 MPH7:43/mile8:29/mile
Build10:00 - 15:0014 KPH8.7 MPH7:11/mile7:32/mile
Recovery15:00 - 17:005 KPH3.1 MPH19:20/mile17:12/mile
Interval #1 Work~16:30 - ~19:4015 KPH9.3 MPH6:27/mile7:06/mile
Interval #1 Rest~19:40 - ~21:205 KPH3.1 MPH19:20/mile15:37/mile
Interval #2 Work~21:20 - ~24:3015 KPH9.3 MPH6:27/mile7:08/mile
Interval #2 Rest~24:30 - ~26:005 KPH3.1 MPH19:20/mile16:00/mile
Interval #3 Work~26:00 - ~29:1015 KPH9.3 MPH6:27/mile7:13/mile
Interval #3 Rest~29:10 - ~30:405 KPH3.1 MPH19:20/mile16:40/mile
Interval #4 Work~30:40 - ~33:5015 KPH9.3 MPH6:27/mile7:04/mile
Interval #4 Rest~33:50 - ~37:005 KPH to 0 KPH3.1 MPH to 0 MPHVariableVariable

In some cases the pace was off significantly, and in others it was just off by less.  I wouldn’t worry too much about the walking sections, since that’s more heavily impacted by how long the ramp is.  I tried to ensure that the times for the work effort sections were only started once up to speed.

Now this level of accuracy shouldn’t really come as any surprise to most readers.  It’s largely the same on many devices (Garmin or otherwise).  Some devices are slightly more accurate, and some are slightly worse.  For some people it works better, and others not so much.

You can improve the accuracy of pace indoors by picking up a footpod.  Pairing to an ANT+ footpod traditionally produces near perfect results with Garmin devices in my experience – and is the best way to get accurate pace/distance data indoors recorded on your Garmin.

Finally, when it comes to regular gym cardio workouts (non-bike/run), the FR920XT can track the calories burned and heart rate metrics.  The best way to do this is to simply create a new activity profile within the watch that uses the ‘Strength’ default activity profile.


This will then use heart rate to determine calorie burn.  It won’t track specific movements like pull ups or weight lifting, but it will track the calorie burn during those activities.


Above you can see a core workout of sorts that I did using this profile.  It’s nice as no distance is reported by the watch (at least, it wasn’t during this workout).

Multisport and Custom Modes:


Perhaps core to the FR920XT is the fact that it’s a multisport watch.  Specifically this means that you can change sport types as part of a single cohesive activity.  As a result if you’re doing a triathlon you can go from swim to bike to run, without having to end the activity and start a new one.  This is different than a simple watch that can do both run and bike, but not as a single activity (for example, the Garmin FR620).

The FR920XT supports two ways of doing multisport events.  The first is via fixed multisport modes where the order and sports involved are known ahead of time.  For example, in a triathlon it’s swim-bike-run.  Within that you can enable transition times as well (aka T1/T2).

The second method is a free-form multisport mode where you simply change from sport to sport on demand, using the mode button.  This is best for training brick sessions where you may repeat sports numerous times, or in unpredictable order.

For most though, you’ll just use the generic triathlon mode:


In this mode it’ll iterate through Swim/T1/Bike/T2/Run, recording each segment as you go along.  Afterwards, on Garmin Connect there is a new multisport view, which will show your entire activity, as well as the individual segments that make it up:


You can also create your own multisport mode with set sport profiles.  Within this you can choose any other individual sport profiles on the watch (standard or custom) to string them together as a multisport profile.  The most obvious example would be a Duathlon:


But, you could just as easily make up your own sports such as Windsurfing, Weight Room and Wallyball into a multisport profile of your own.

Live Tracking:

Garmin introduced the Live Tracking service nearly two years ago as part of the Edge 510 and Edge 810 units.  This service was extended to the FR220 and FR620, as well as the Fenix2 watches.  The platform enables you to connect to your cell phone and transmit your location to a website that allows friends and family to follow you.  The primary reason to use this method over a generic phone app is that the GPS component is offloaded to the FR920XT, saving significant battery on your phone.  The second reason to use it is that the vast majority of phone apps won’t transmit sensor data such as heart rate/cadence/power, whereas the Garmin Live Tracking service does.  The service is free, so there’s no added cost.

Of course, you will need to bring your phone with you.  So this typically isn’t an issue on the bike, but some folks don’t enjoy having a phone on the run.  And, for those curious – it does actually work while swimming, provided your phone is above water.

To begin a Live Tracking session you’ll need to have first paired your phone to the FR920XT.  Next, on the FR920XT you’ll go into the LiveTrack option on the app.  From there you can give the activity a title, as well as select the recipients.  You can choose to send out the link onto Twitter or Facebook (as well as via e-mail).


The ‘Extend Sharing’ option is rather useful, as it ensures the session stays visible for 24 hours after you’ve ended the activity.  Otherwise the recipient may not know you’ve finished and instead just get some nebulous information that might imply you got hit by a car or something.

From a friend standpoint, here’s what they’ll see (on the desktop, there is also a mobile phone view).  They’ll see your current position as a blue dot, and then when finished as a red ‘Stop’ icon.  Along the bottom they’ll see your ANT+ metrics, as well as pace/speed and elevation.  These metrics include heart rate, cadence (run/bike), and power meters (bike).


Up in the corner they can toggle between average pace and average speed, as well as showing time, distance and elevation gain.


Meanwhile, at the bottom they can change the map from Bing to Goggle (or Baidu), as well as the language and whether the distances and paces are shown in Statute/Statute UK, or Metric.  Up top in the left side they can swap between map and satellite view.


Finally, they can click on a mile marker to look at splits.  For running these are shown every 1MI (or 1KM if in metric mode), and for cycling these are shown every 5MI/5KM.


Note that these splits do NOT align to any button pressing you do.  That doesn’t show up here.  It’s just autolap for the online folks.  Don’t worry though, it doesn’t impact the splits/laps/intervals you set on your watch for yourself.

Overall, I’m finding quite good success with the Live Tracking and have used it a number of times without any issues.  You will note in the images that there is some slight GPS track smoothing that is applied that isn’t on the native files you’ll upload yourself after the activity.  Don’t worry too much about that, it’s simply to minimize how much data is used on your data plan.

For those curious about swimming and Live Tracking with the FR920XT –  I wrote an entire post about it here.  Note that while I did see a bug with Live Tracking and swimming tracks, my understanding is that the bug has since been fixed in the 2.50 firmware update.  I haven’t been able to retest that since the release was only yesterday.


The FR920XT includes some limited navigation and routing capabilities.  These capabilities include the ability to follow a ‘Course’ that is effectively a breadcrumb style trail.  This course does not include features like roads, lakes or rivers, but rather just a line to follow.  In this case, a purple line.

In order to utilize this you’ll need to create the course ahead of time on Garmin Connect.  It’s here you can simply press the mouse on various points in the map to create a course:


Once that’s done, you’ll send it over to the watch to execute.  Upon pulling it up on the watch you’ll get the estimated time to completion, as well as distance to completion.


The unit will show you a map of your planned route, and as you run it will also show you where you are:


Unlike previous units, the map redraw is incredibly quick.  Further, it’ll also display your on-unit saved waypoints on any and all routes you do.  Saving these waypoints is quick and easy, and you can give them customized names:


(Post-Review Update: This next section regarding zooming has now been addressed via firmware update – the unit now has a zoom option.)

Now, this sounds great, but there’s a number of limitations.  First is that you can’t change the zoom level.  While running (at speed) the unit will automatically zoom in to .3-Mile zoom.  Well, at least that’s the scale noted on the screen.  In reality, it’s actually higher up than that.  In any event, this isn’t quite zoomed in enough to figure out complex intersections or trails.

Second, making matters worse is that when you stop running it zooms out to show the entire route.  Since there is no roads/rivers/etc on the map, this gives you even less context in the zoomed out view.  In my opinion the behavior should be the opposite – zoom in when stopped – since you’re likely trying to figure out where to go.


Again, there is no method to manually zoom in (Update: There is now).  It would seem to me this could easily be accomplished via a long-hold on the up/down buttons, just like the Fenix series supports long holds for various secondary functions.  In fact, so does the FR920XT.  When using the VIRB for example, you long-hold the mode button to access a special menu.

But the limitations don’t end there.  For example, you can’t drop older .TCX or .GPX course files onto the FR920XT and have it automatically use them (such as those from RideWithGPS, or from older Garmin units).  That’s because Garmin wasn’t able to include a parser for those on the unit itself.  This means for those you’ll have to first convert them in Garmin Training Center and then send them to the FR920XT from that software.  It’s not the end of the world, but it doesn’t make it convenient.  Note however that the FR920XT does not support waypoints sent from software, only those created on the device itself.

Ultimately, the way it stands right now I wouldn’t recommend the FR920XT if you’re looking to use it for complex course following/routing, or if that’s going to be the primary purpose of the watch.  For that there are much more suitable options on the market such as the Fenix2 or Ambit series watches.  In discussing it a bit more with Garmin this morning, they do note that options are still on the table for how to improve the experience.

Workout Creation, Intervals, Training Calendar:

The FR920XT supports a number of ways that you can pre-create structured workouts, as well as create impromptu intervals.  Finally, it supports the ability to assign specific workouts to certain days and have those available on the watch.

To begin, we’ll create a structured workout for an upcoming interval run.  The easiest way to do that is on Garmin Connect, within the workout creator.


Once in that you’ll go ahead and drag and drop to create all your steps, such as the below workout:


With that set, you have two options. The first is to pull it from your phone (though that’s coming in an upcoming Garmin Connect Mobile app update), and the second is to push it via USB.  To do that, select ‘Send to Device’ and then select your FR920XT:


It’ll take a second and then it’ll be all set.

Alternatively you can add it to your Training Calendar for a specific day.  When you do this, it’ll then show up on the watch within the Training Calendar option.  You’ll need to send a range of workouts to the device however, so don’t forget to do that.


Note that the training calendar can also be populated by a slew of training schedules that Garmin has put together for a ton of events:


With that all set, on the device itself you’ll go into Training and then into Workouts.  Alternatively, if you use the Training Calendar you can just select the workout by choosing the appropriate day:


With the workout selected you can review the steps:


Once you’ve started the workout it’ll begin each step by giving you a full-screen description of the next step and the targets associated with it.


During the execution of each step it’ll show you a special screen that tells you the specific target as well a your pace/HR/cadence/etc against that target.  This is a new data screen that shows up:


In the event you stray from the target goal (high or low), it’ll give you a notification as such on the screen as well as audio/visual alerts.

Structured workouts such as these are ideal when you have a complex workout that’s more than just a basic interval.  However, it can be overkill for simply executing a basic repeating interval.

An interval workout within the confines of most devices is a workout that has four core components: A warm-up, a work effort, a recovery effort (and some number of repeats), and a cool-down.  Those components then must have the ability to set a target (such as pace).  The FR920XT allows you to create simple intervals that have all of those components along with targets for each segment, including durations.

You can create an interval workout in the same Training area:


Just like the structured workouts it’ll walk you through each step until completion.

Now, if both of these workouts sound complex, you can also simply define targets/alerts.  These targets could be just a simple pace target or heart rate zone.  If you stray from these it’ll alert you to get back on plan:


Lastly, there is Virtual Partner.  This isn’t actually a training component per se, but rather just a screen you can enable on any run/ride.  It allows you to specify a desired pace and it’ll show you how far ahead or behind you are of that desired pace.

This is best used in races where you are trying to pace very smoothly over the course of the run.  If you slow down it’ll tell you how far (in distance, such as feet/miles), as well as how far behind in time.

Activity & Sleep Tracker Functionality:

In line with virtually all new watches and bands coming onto the market these days, the FR920XT carries with it activity tracker functionality.  This means it’ll count your steps and sleep over the course of the day.  This information is then periodically synchronized with your phone for upload to Garmin Connect as well as integration with some 3rd party apps, such as MyFitnessPal.

Steps are shown in a few places, the first is the main ‘home’ screen that is displayed on your watch 24×7 in standby mode.  You’ll see the current steps in the lower left corner:


Next, if you press the down button once, you’ll get a activity monitoring specific screen that shows you total steps for the day, progress towards your goal steps, calories burned, and miles (or kilometers) walked:


By default the goal is dynamic, automatically shifting slowly to edge you on to walk a bit more.  It’s designed so that a single ultra-high step day doesn’t dramatically sway the goal the next day.  Alternatively, you can just set a specific step goal if you’d like.

Below that (and on the home screen) you’ll see your ‘Move Alert’, which is a red bar that lets you know when you need to move.  The different chunks indicate how long you’ve been inactive.  After approximately one hour it’ll give you a vibration/beep (if enabled) telling you that you’ve been lazy too long.

Next you’ve got the ability to track sleep with the FR920XT.  Like other Garmin sleep tracking capable devices, it requires that you manually enable the sleep mode when you’re ready, as well as turn it off when you awake.  You’ll do this by just pressing down once to the activity tracker page, and then pressing enter. Once within that mode, it’ll show you a little icon that lets you know you’re in sleep mode. Upon waking up you’ll want to remember to exit sleep mode by doing the same steps again.  Note that you cannot pair a HR strap during sleep mode, only during workout activities.  Similarly, you can’t pair a HR strap in regular step activity tracking mode (day watch mode).

All of this information (steps and sleep) is then fed up to Garmin Connect via your mobile app (or desktop upload).  From both the mobile app as well as the desktop you can view both sleep and activity details.  The main ‘Steps’ page shows you daily summaries of how active you were by the hour:


You’ll also get detailed information on total calories burned, steps, your current average daily steps, as well as your goal for that specific day.

You can select the ‘Breakdown’ tab to get a bit of a charted version of your activity that day:


If you tracked sleep, you’ll see that displayed on the sleep tab:


As you can see, it’s just a case of showing how active in movement you were, and doesn’t show anything like the type/phase of sleep.  So in general, I don’t find this very valuable compared to some other devices like the Basis watches.  Thus, I tend not to wear it sleeping (I also find it a bit bulky sleeping).

Both daily activity and sleep tracking produce longer term graphs as well, for example here’s my step activity over the past 30 days:


With the Garmin devices (like the Fitbit), you will need to choose a single ‘Activity Monitor’ device to use.  Meaning that if you own both a FR920XT and a Vivofit/Vivosmart, only a single device can contribute step data at once.  You can select that within Garmin Connect in your dashboard however.

Note that in the event you’re travelling and changing time zones, you’ll get a little icon displayed on the day in question, which indicates a time zone change occurred.  Your steps will increase even across time zones (you won’t lose steps if going ‘back in time’), however the graph will overwrite any hours that were ‘re-done’.  So if you flew back 5 hours in time zone shifts, and then you re-lived 1PM to 5PM, it’ll overwrite the graphical displays of those hours, but it won’t overwrite the total steps for the day.


Finally, Garmin has established a partnership with MyFitnessPal, which enables you to sync calories and step data between the services.  This means you can track food within MyFitnessPal, and then it’ll show the total calories consumed within Garmin Connect.  Inversely, on MyFitnessPal, it’ll show calories burned via Garmin devices, including the Garmin FR920XT.  This can be setup from the same ‘Steps’ page by just clicking the ‘Calories In/Out’ tab seen in some of the screenshots above.

Smart Watch Functionality:


The FR920XT includes the ability to display smart watch notifications on your device from your mobile phone.  At present that includes Android and iOS.  You can find a full list of compatible phones here from Garmin’s site.

These alerts are configured on your mobile device ahead of time, and involve using the systems native notification center ties.  For example, on iOS devices the notifications would be configured using the Notification Center component of your phone.  This is where you can enable apps such as Twitter, E-Mail, and even Words with Friends to display notifications on your Garmin device.

Next, these notifications are displayed in real-time on your FR920XT – both in standby mode and in sport mode.  Actually, often times I’ll surprisingly find the watch buzzes just ahead of the phone itself for incoming text messages.  It’ll show you the application/function responsible for the notification as the top line, and then show you the first line of the notification.

However, you can then select the notification to get the full details displayed:


You cannot however respond to the notification, such as composing a text message reply or answering a call.  Look at it as simply being read-only.  You an also access the missed notifications menu while in standby by just pressing the down button twice:


Here you can dive into specific notifications just like above.

Note that you can select whether you want notifications displayed on your device in either workout mode, standby mode, or both:


You can also configure whether or not it beeps or vibrates (or both).  I personally just set it to vibrate only.

Now when the notification piece works, it works quite well and is rather handy.  But I’ve found that like the Vivosmart, that after a few days the watch and phone seem to forget about each other.  This invariably requires me to either reboot the FR920XT, the Garmin Connect Mobile app, or flip the phone to airplane mode and back.

I don’t have a clear enough understanding of whether or not this is a Garmin issue (either their app or their device), or an Apple issue (hardware or software).  Though, it seems to have occurred on both my iPhone 5s and iPhone 6.  On the flip side, the random loss of Bluetooth Smart pairings is something I’ve seen with other activity trackers from other companies as well.

Use as a day watch:


When it comes to using the watch as a day to day timepiece, the FR920XT works fairly well.  I’ve been wearing it daily for the past month – both in the office in my day job, as well as during workouts and airports alike.  Now to begin there’s no getting around the size of the watch.  Nor the colors Garmin has selected. It is what it is.

But, if you don’t mind wearing it around the clock then it works great as a watch – including all the smart watch and activity tracker functions noted in those sections.  Beyond that it also has base time functions, functions which will expand as Connect IQ (next section) allows 3rd parties to build new watch faces.


In the meantime though, the watch will show you the time day of (using either 12/24h formats), the day of the week, and the date.  Further it’ll show you connectivity to your phone via the Bluetooth icon, and battery status.  Finally by default it’ll also show you many steps you’ve taken and the inactivity bar below all that.


You can set a single daily alarm.  Unlike some watches, the alarm cannot be configured though for certain days of the week, nor is there multiple alarms.


The alarm will follow the same settings that you have configured for alerts, which means you can select either vibrate only or audible alerts + vibrate.


Garmin states that the watch should get about 30 days of battery life in this standby watch mode with notifications enabled.  My experience says you’re going to get about 3-5 days at best in this mode.  I don’t see myself as having a significant amount of Bluetooth notifications either.  Perhaps once per hour on average it’ll buzz about something.  Despite the battery life claims, it doesn’t bother me a huge amount – but it is something to be aware of.

Finally, note that the unit does have a bright and crisp backlight.  This backlight can be set to automatically turn off after a few seconds of being left alone, or, can be set to “Stay on”.


In general, I set mine to stay on when doing activities at night.

Garmin Connect IQ (Apps):


Roughly a week prior to the Garmin FR920XT announcement, Garmin announced Connect IQ.  This platforms allows 3rd party developers to develop apps for supported Garmin devices.  The Garmin FR920XT will be the first device to take advantage of the platform however, upon launch early next year.  While my other post describes in more detail the concept, the key item to know is that the unit will support all four modes of apps within Connect IQ.  These modes are:

Apps: Full blown multi-level/interactive apps
Custom Data Fields: The ability to create custom data fields that you can add to any data page
Widgets: The ability to create basic screens that pull data from other sources
Watch Faces: The ability to create customized watch faces, from a picture of your bike to something more data oriented.

The real power for the FR920XT will be the ability to support sensor types that aren’t traditionally supported by Garmin.  For example, I’d expect that someone like BSX to look at adding in support for their sensor via a simple app.  The same could be true of anything from hydration sensors to aerohelmet position sensors.  It might also be able to bridge the gap on features that didn’t make the cut for the FR920XT such as weight scale support and the fitness equipment (gym machines) profile.

I won’t re-hash all the Connect IQ functionality/components here, for that simply read my Connect IQ post for all the details.  Note that the Connect IQ app store doesn’t launch until January, so you won’t see that functionality quite yet on the FR920XT.  However, developers can already download the SDK and utilize the emulator to get started.  Once it releases on the FR920XT I’ll come back and update this section with how it works and some examples of cool 3rd party apps.

Garmin Connect (online/web/mobile):


The FR920XT allows you to sync directly to your mobile phone using Bluetooth Smart.  This allows you to upload workouts from wherever you are, without the need for a PC.  That combined with Garmin’s Auto Sync options, means that your workout will automatically be uploaded to sites like Strava and Training Peaks mere seconds after you save the workout on the device.

This can be accomplished not only via Bluetooth Smart to your phone, but also via WiFi networks that are pre-saved onto the device.  And of course, via USB to your computer.

In addition to uploading completed workouts, the device will use the phone to transfer step data (activity monitoring) and sleep data to Garmin Connect.  Once on Garmin Connect, you can view the workout data.  You can also view activity and sleep data, though I cover those within those sections.

The workout data can be sync’d as noted automatically to a variety of sites, including Training Peaks, Strava, Sport Tracks, MapMyFitness, and Endomondo (all via Auto Sync).  But, for those sites that don’t support that yet, you can also just upload the native .FIT files that are sitting on the device itself.  These are accessible by just plugging the device in via USB and opening up the ‘Activities’ folder.  The FR920XT has ~10.3MB of free usable memory, which means that using the average 100KB an hour (at most), you can store about 103 hours of activity data.

Virtually every site on the planet that does sport data will support .FIT files.  In the highly unlikely case it doesn’t support .FIT files, you can use one of the tools listed here to convert them.

Ultimately, Garmin Connect is a great site for those just getting in online training logs.  In fact, it’s probably the best of the manufacturer provided sites out there.  But no doubt more advanced athletes will use other, typically paid, options for their training logs.

Battery Life & UltraTrac:

The FR920XT extends the battery life over the FR910XT in two ways.  First, is simply just straight up by having longer battery life in the same scenarios as the FR910XT.  For this you get a slight increase to 24 hours (from 20 hours).  But it also can dramatically extend the GPS battery life through a mode called ‘UltraTrac’, which gets some 40 hours of GPS-on battery life.

GPS-on at 1-second rate: 24 hours
GPS-on at variable UltraTrac rate: Up to 40 hours.
GLONASS enabled: About a 20% reduction in battery life

The 920XT UltraTrac mode is both similar and different to how it works on other Garmin devices.  It’s similar in that it reduces the GPS polling interval.  However it’s different in that unlike other devices it’s not a set one point per 60-seconds.  Rather, it’s a slightly variable rate that effectively works out to be 15-20 seconds of GPS on time, and about 45 seconds of GPS off time.

This means that it wouldn’t be ideal for very fast moving sports where you are constantly changing directions.  It’s much better for either slowly moving activities (like hiking), or activities where the route doesn’t shift much (such as cycling on really long/straight roads).

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the highest levels of GPS accuracy, UltraTrac isn’t it.  But if you’re trying to eek out more than 24 hours of GPS-on performance, it’s your best bet.

Note that I prefer to use GLONASS to get what appears to be more accurate tracks.  But it will take a hit of about 20% on GPS-on battery life.  Personally, that’s fine since I’m not doing any activities anywhere near 24-40 hours.

Note that because of the fact that I’ve been using the device almost 24×7, I haven’t been able to do any pure GPS-on till it dies testing.  That’ll come actually after I publish and then I’ll go back and add it in here.  I had hoped to have an additional device to test that with by now – but that hasn’t happened.

Next, beyond GPS-on battery life you also have standby battery life.  Officially these are spec’d as follows:

Watch-only mode with activity tracking & activity alerts enabled: 30 days
Watch-only mode with activity tracking enabled: 33 days
Watch-only mod with neither of the above enabled: 4 months

Now, in my experience – I don’t get anywhere near these numbers.  In general, I’m seeing about 3-5 days of normal 24×7 activity tracking with it paired to my phone for Bluetooth Smart alerts (about 1 alert per hour).  But, I just don’t see how I’d be able to get anywhere near 30 days when I can’t make it more than a few days.  Perhaps others will have other experiences.

Satellite Accuracy:


The FR920XT contains new GLONASS satellite capabilities, which are typically used in conjunction with existing satellite systems to improve GPS reception.  In my testing, the FR920XT consistently performs as the most accurate Garmin GPS device I’ve seen, and certainly on par and usually better than other brands with recent models.


Now, when it comes to GPS accuracy I tend to take a fairly practical viewpoint.  I’m generally looking at how well a unit tracks compared to where I went, as well as the total distances seen between different units.  Generally speaking I’m running/riding with 2-5 other GPS devices at the same time.  I feel this is pretty important – comparing two different runs, even on the same route, will result in differences due to environmental factors and simple things like body placement.  Which, is also important to consider.  You can get different results between the left and right wrists, depending on how your body impacts GPS reception.  In most cases, it’s negligible, but in edge cases it could be more overt.

When looking at GPS accuracy and tracks on a map – you must be sure to be in satellite mode and not map mode.  Maps don’t always align with reality, while satellites are much closer.  A map might have you running in the water whereas the satellite will show you on a river path.

Finally, do recognize the limitations of consumer grade GPS, which is generally specified as +/-3M.  By default the FR920XT does NOT have GLONASS turned on, so you’ll want to enable that via: Settings button > Settings menu item > System > GLONASS = ON.  Note it will have a slight impact on battery, but not significant.

All that said, I’ve seen consistently impressive results when it comes to GPS accuracy with GLONASS enabled.  Here’s a data sheet of distances recorded by two or more devices.  Obviously, with only two devices in some cases, it’s hard to know who was right – but as you can see, in almost all those cases the two devices were nearly identical.  For cases where I had a third device, I included that.

Garmin FR920XT GPS Accuracy Data

Activity NameFR920XT Distance (Mi)Ambit3 Distance (Mi)Other
River Run7.437.44-
Ferry Loop Bike Ride26.1026.1526.04 (Edge 1000)
Rainforest Mountain Run8.128.108.03 (Bia Watch)
Auckland Sunset Ride13.5613.5813.55 (Edge 1000
Final Malta OW Swim0.950.85.91 (Swimcap)
Blue Lagoon OW Swim0.540.51.48 (Swimcap)
Partial Bay OW SwimFroze0.82.83 (Swimcap)
Point to Point OW Swim1.251.21(Missed button)
Quick Lunch OW Swim0.440.40.39 (Swimcap)
Evening OW Swim1.281.151.16 (Swimcap)
Evening Ride20.3920.42-
Canal Run6.536.54-
Louvre Mile Repeats7.737.74-
Part Peripherique Run9.549.64-
Parisian Tri - Swim0.510.51-
Parisian Tri - Bike8.298.29-
Parisian Tri - Run3.103.13-

(Note: Indoor trainer sessions are not included, or cases where I only had a single device on me.  The single swim where the device distance counting portion froze, Garmin believes they have that fixed in 2.50 firmware.)

For those that are curious, here’s a package of all my swim/bike/runs over the past few weeks (Note: Coming within the next 24 hours…).  Most of secondary files from the Suunto Ambit3, Garmin Edge, or Bia Watch along with it to compare against.

Altimeter Accuracy (Elevation):


The FR920XT contains a barometric altimeter, which in theory means that it would be able to track your elevation gains and losses more accurately, as well as your exact elevation more accurately.  This is different than many running watches that just use GPS based altimeters, which while having improved significantly in recent years – still aren’t quite as precise.

But Garmin has made some changes in how the latest multisport device establishes initial elevation.  Previously, with every other Garmin sport/fitness device ever made the unit would get a reading of the elevation from GPS first, allowing it to establish the initial GPS elevation to a rough degree.  From there, the barometric altimeter would kick in and more precisely hone in on the exact elevation.

Unfortunately, the first step is skipped in the case of the FR920XT.  This means that it attempts to determine the elevation using only the barometric altimeter.  The problem is this takes forever – and even when it does decide where you are, it’s inaccurate.  In case you’re looking for a more clear definition of ‘forever’, it’s at least an hour after you’ve turned the device on and are ready to run/ride/etc…

For example, take a look at this pancake flat run I did.  What you see is that the elevation slowly decreases, where the altimeter is attempting to adjust over the course of the hour run:


And, it still doesn’t get the elevation right either.

Next, this run I did from virtually sea level (perhaps at a starting elevation of 10-15ft), up a mountain and back down again.  Note that despite starting and ending in the exact same place, it shows two different locations.  Not only that, it shows me 17 meters below sea level:


If you compare to to the Suunto Ambit3 on the same route, the Ambit3 nailed the starting position straight up, and then only exhibited minimal drift that would be expected due to shifting weather, also ending in the same spot.  Meanwhile, you can see the FR920XT started and ended in the wrong spots (data compared using this tool):


Now compounding this problem is that there isn’t actually any way to calibrate the altimeter or manually override it.  I asked Garmin why they’re doing it this way versus the previous method, and they noted the following:

How long it takes for the elevation in real-time to “correct” itself is mostly a function of how far off the initial elevation is, which is a function of the local barometric pressure.  If the local pressure due to current weather conditions is far off from “base pressure” average, then the initial elevation estimate will be a ways off and it takes the watch a while to correct this error.  We have been discussing ways to improve the initial elevation estimate based on the pressure and speed up the correction, but nothing is planned in the short term.”

Which, may be true.  But at the same time from a user perspective the current method is the worst I’ve seen in a barometric altimeter device.  So I’m not exactly sure the grass is greener on this side.  I checked in again this morning, and they noted that “all options are still on the table” as far as changes they might make to how it works.

Now some folks have seemed to find a tricky little workout to setting the elevation, which is to go ahead and save a waypoint at the current location with the correct altitude.  Obviously, that requires you know the correct attitude, which is no doubt potentially a big ask.

Sensors & Accessories:


The FR920XT is compatible with numerous sensors, both Garmin branded and 3rd party.  For sensor connectivity, the FR920XT utilizes ANT+, which is a low power wireless protocol.  It’s similar to Bluetooth Smart, though more widely used within the cycling community than Bluetooth Smart.  Like previous Garmin products, the FR920XT supports ANT+ sensors only, be it from Garmin or 3rd parties.

It does not support Bluetooth Smart sensors (or Bluetooth Legacy), nor Polar W.I.N.D. sensors, analog sensors, or Nike sensors.

Below is a quick compatibility table of products and sensors that I’ve tested and/or have ANT+ certification for compatibility with the FR920XT:

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
2014 Winter Recommendations: Triathlon Watches
2015 Giveaway Extravaganza
2016 Recommendations: Triathlon
2016 Winter Recommendations: Swimming
2017 Recommendations: Swimming
2018 Recommendations: Swimming
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
4iiii Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth Smart HR Strap & Bridge
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (with Running Dynamics) - HRM-Run
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin Bike Mount Kit (for mounting any watch onto handlebars)
Garmin Cadence-Only ANT+ Sensor (magnet-less)
Garmin Solar Charging Kit
Garmin Speed & Cadence ANT+ Sensor bundle (magnet-less)
Garmin Speed-Only ANT+ Sensor (magnet-less)
Garmin Vector
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)
Timex ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap)
Timex ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)
Timex ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor

It should be noted that the FR920XT also doesn’t support two sensor types previously supported on past Garmin multisport devices.  That would be the weight scale as well as fitness equipment profile (gym equipment).  The weight scale previously allowed you to connect to what was a handful of ANT+ wireless weight scales for uploading weight data.  Meanwhile, the fitness equipment profile enabled some gym equipment like treadmills and spin bikes to transmit data directly to the watch.

Garmin has previously said that the number of users using these functions was just too small to justify future development.  And, that’s probably very true.  With WiFi being the primary and most relevant way to get weight scale data to the internet, it just makes more sense than routing it through your watch, then through your phone, just to get to the same place.

That said, while Garmin isn’t providing such connectivity, I suspect we’ll see it provided by 3rd parties using Garmin Connect IQ coming up early next year.  That’s already true in the case of Moxy, a 3rd party sensor using the Muscle Oxygen sensor.  Virtually all of the Connect IQ demo’s that Garmin has used utilize this protocol.  This is an example of where Garmin isn’t natively supporting the Muscle Oxygen sensor type, but is allowing 3rd parties to do so.

Said differently: I suspect that if the software API’s allow for it, we’ll see a weight scale and fitness equipment app pretty quickly after Connect IQ release.

Heart Rate Straps & Optical HR Sensors:


I just wanted to very briefly touch on this but in its own section – since I see lots of questions about it.  First, the FR920XT is compatible with optical HR sensors from companies like Scosche and Mio.  It will pair to those sensors just fine.

However, there are some limitations there.  First is that optical sensors on the market today largely ‘guesstimate’ heart rate variability (HRV/RR).  Heart rate variability has nothing to do with your actual heart rate.  Rather, it’s measuring a different metric.  Sometimes that guess is spot-on, and sometimes it’s way off.  It’s simply a limitation of the technology today.  Will it improve down the road?  Absolutely.  But it’s not there today.

The result of that limitation on heart rate variability is that’s how advanced watches like the Garmin FR920XT, as well as Polar and Suunto determine recovery information.  They utilize algorithms (in Garmin’s case, from a company called FirstBeat) to understand the variability information, and from that they can tell you if you’re recovered or not.  For conventional chest straps, this is easy.  But again, in optical, not so much.

As a result, if you use an optical HR sensor, here’s the impact of it on the FR920XT:

– Recovery Advisor: May have non-accurate values
– Recovery Time: May have non-accurate numbers
– VO2Max: May have non-accurate numbers
– Vertical Oscillation & Ground Contact Time: Not shown at all, requires HRM-RUN
– Calories: May be impacted, usually pretty accurate, but still can be impacted

There is no impact however on straight up heart rate recording (your beats per minute – i.e. 140bpm).  The FR920XT simply displays and records the values from your heart rate sensor for those pieces.

Finally, what about not using the HRM-RUN strap and using another company’s strap – like the Wahoo TICKR or 4iiii’s Viiiiva (or even the older Garmin HR straps)?  Well, in that case all ANT+ straps do transmit heart rate variability (HRV/RR), so instead you’re only looking at a few features that will be impacted.  Here’s how those work out:

– Recovery Advisor: Works normally!
– Recovery Time: Works normally!
– VO2Max: Works normally!
– Vertical Oscillation & Ground Contact Time: Not shown, requires HRM-RUN
– Calories: Works normally!

As you can see, the only thing impacted here is VO & GCT.  Note that you’ll still get running cadence, because the FR920XT can provide that from three places: The Wrist, the HRM-RUN, and a Footpod.  As long as you have one of those three, you’re good.  And since obviously you’ll still have the watch on your wrist while running you’ll still get cadence.

Further, note that some have asked about the Wahoo TICKR X & TICKR RUN.  Neither of those straps transmit Running Dynamic metrics to the FR920XT – or any other watch.  They only transmit similar running efficiency information to the Wahoo Fitness app.  Additionally, that strap won’t work in terms of saving swims with the FR920XT either, unless you manually merge the data with 3rd party (non-Garmin) tools afterwards.

Finally, you can use the product comparison calculator to determine which heart rate strap makes the most sense for you.  For me personally, after I finish this review process, I’ll go back to using the Scosche RHYTM+ optical band, simply because I don’t value GCT & VO all that much, but do prefer the optical non-chest HR strap.

Garmin VIRB Action Camera integration:


The Garmin FR920XT adds in VIRB action camera support.  This means that the Garmin, via ANT+, can control the VIRB action camera.  This control includes both taking a photo as well as video.

You’ll start by pairing your VIRB action camera through the sensors menu:


Once you’ve done so it’ll add a new VIRB-specific screen to your workout pages.  This screen will show you the recording time of the VIRB, and whether or not it’s recording:


By default the unit will automatically start and stop recording based on when you start and stop your activity using the buttons on the watch.  When you start the watch, it starts the recording.  And the same for stopping.


However, you can also long-hold the lower left button down to manually control the VIRB – such as to take a photo.


The system works fairly similar to that of how the Fenix and other devices control the VIRB, so this isn’t new territory for Garmin.

Data Fields & Pages:

The FR920XT can be customized a number of ways with different data fields and screens.  Each activity profile can have its own set of saved data pages (data screens), with each data page having up to four data fields (1, 2, 3, or 4 fields per page).  The size of the fonts increase with less data fields, and decreases with more data fields per page.

The fields available are generally consistent across activity profiles, though some are obviously sport specific – such as power meters for bikes are only available in the cycling fields.

You can have four fully customized data pages/screens per activity profile.  You can then additionally have the following data pages enabled or disabled: Clock, Map, Virtual Partner, Running Dynamics (Run Only), Drill Log (Pool Only).  Additionally there are context-enabled pages for Courses (following) and Workouts (when in a structured workout, such as an interval workout).  Finally, there’s the Metronome page and VIRB pages, available when those features are enabled.

Here are the data fields available to you:

Garmin FR920XT Data Fields - Part 1

Power Meter Fields (Bike Only)Power Meter Fields (Bike Only)Swimming OnlySwimmingHeart Rate FieldsRunning Dynamics (Running Only)
PowerBalanceAverage Stroke RateLast Length SWOLFHeart RateVertical Oscillation
Work3s Avg. BalanceInterval Stroke RateRest TimerAverage HRAvg. Vertical Oscillation
Power to Weight10s Avg. BalanceLast Length Stroke RateRepeat OnHR ZoneLap Vertical Oscillation
3s Avg. Power30s Avg. BalanceInterval Stroke TypeAverage PaceTraining EffectGround Contact Time
10s Avg. PowerAverage BalanceLast Length Stroke TypeInterval PaceHR %Max.Avg. Ground Contact Time
Average PowerLap BalanceLast Length StrokesInterval Distance%HRRLap Ground Contact Time
Lap PowerIntesnsity FactorAverage Strokes/LengthLast Length PaceAverage HR %Max.Cadence
Last Lap PowerTraining Stress ScoreInterval Strokes/LengthAverage %HRRAverage Cadence
Max. PowerNormalized PowerLengthsLap HRLap Cadence
Max. Lap PowerLap Normalized PowerInterval LengthsLap %HRR
Power ZoneLast Lap Normalized PowerAverage SWOLFLap HR %Max
Time in Zone%FTPInterval SWOLFTime in Zone
Pedal Smoothness
Torque Effectiveness

Garmin FR920XT Data Fields - Part 2

Timer FieldsDistance FieldsPace FieldsSpeed FieldsCadence FieldsElevation FieldsOther FieldsCourses
TimerDistancePaceSpeedCadenceElevationCaloriesDistance Remaining
Lap TimeLap DistanceAverage PaceAverage SpeedAverage CadenceTotal AscentHeadingEstimted Finish Time
Last Lap TimeLast Lap DistanceLap PaceLap SpeedLap CadenceTotal DescentLapsTime Ahead/Behind
Average Lap TimeLast Lap PaceLast Lap SpeedLast Lap CadenceGradeSunrise
Elapsed TimeMaximum SpeedSunset
30s Avg Vertical SpeedTime of day
Vertical Speed

Finally, you can create numerous activity profiles, both as individual sports (for example, your own Wind Surfing profile), or tie them together to make multisport profiles.  In total you can have up to 10 individual sport activity profiles, and up to 5 multisport activity profiles.

Comparison Charts:

Before we wrap things up I’ve put together the comparison charts of all the features of the FR920XT and FR910XT, compared to the Garmin Fenix2, with the Suunto Ambit 3 and Polar V800 (closest competitors).  You can of course create your own comparison tables using this link with any of the products I’ve previously reviewed/looked at, such as adding in other watches:

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 29th, 2021 @ 5:01 am New Window
Product Announcement DateOct 1st, 2014OCT 4, 2011Feb 20, 2014Jan 6th, 2014July 10th, 2014
Actual Availability/Shipping DateEarly Oct 2014JAN-APR 2012March 2014May 2014Sept 2014
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFiANT+ WirelessUSB/Bluetooth SmartUSB, BLUETOOTH SMARTUSB & Bluetooth Smart
WaterproofingYes - 50mYes - 50mYes - 50mYes - 30mYes - 100m
Battery Life (GPS)UP TO 40HRS IN GPS20 Hours50 HoursUp to 50 hoursUp to 200 Hours
Recording Interval1s or Smart1s or Smart1S to Variable1sVariable
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesNoNoNoYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesNoNoYesMinimal
MusicGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Can control phone musicNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNo
PaymentsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNo
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingYesVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesNoYesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesNoYesNoNo
Group trackingNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYesNPNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceNoYesNo
Crash detectionNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Designed for runningYesYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYesYesYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)With HRM-TRI or HRM-RUNNoYesNoNo
Running PowerWith extra sensor
VO2Max EstimationYesNoYesYesYes
Race PredictorYesNoYesYes, via Race PaceNo
Recovery AdvisorYesNoYesYesYes
Run/Walk ModeYesYesYes (Added June 13th, 2014)Yes, via timersNo
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Designed for swimmingYesYesYesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeYesYesYesYesYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingYesYesYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterWith HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIMNoNoWith Certain Polar StrapsYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYesYesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYesYesYesYes
Indoor Drill ModeYesNoYesNoYes
Indoor auto-pause featureNoNoNoYesNo
Change pool sizeYesYesYesYesYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths17M/18Y TO 150Y/M20m/22y to 100y/m18m/20y to 150y/m20M/Y to 250 m/y15m/y to 1,200m/y
Ability to customize data fieldsYesYesYesYesYes
Can change yards to metersYesYesYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsYesYesYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsYesYesYesN/ANo
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Designed for triathlonYesYesYesYesYes
Multisport modeYesYesYesYesYes
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesNo
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYesBarely
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesYes (Added June 13th, 2014)YesNo
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYesYesNo
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesNoNoNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesNoNoNoNo
Day to day watch abilityYesNoYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoYesNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoYesNoNo
Weather Display (live data)YesNoNoNoNo
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesNoYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoNoNo
Back to startYesYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesNoYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeMagneticGPSMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoNoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableYesYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoYesNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNo (can control VIRB though)NoNo (can control VIRB though)no (but can control GoPro)No
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoYesYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoYesNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGTC/ANT AgentGarmin ExpressPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacMoveslink Agent
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectPolar FlowSuunto Movescount
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Forerunner 910XTGarmin Fenix2/Fenix2 SEPolar V800Suunto Ambit3 Peak
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

The tables are updated dynamically and thus if/when things change that’s represented automatically in this section.  And again, remember you can create your own charts easily here with any product you’d like.

Bugs and other imperfect notables:

As I’ve been doing on all reviews over the past year or two, I’ve been including a section on bugs and/or issues that I’ve seen within my timeframe using the unit.  Do remember that  a ‘bug’ is different than ‘by design’.  For example, the lack of a feature is something I highlight within a given section is considered ‘by design’, whereas something not really working right is considered a bug.  For example, not having weight scale support isn’t a bug.  It’s a design decision Garmin has made.  Whereas Bluetooth connectivity failing to work consistently is more of a bug.

Here’s what I’ve found as my main issues:

– Elevation Accuracy: As noted within the elevation section, the device is simply taking too long to acclimate to the baseline elevation. Response to elevation changes during an activity is immediate, but the calibration is what’s taking an unacceptable amount of time, thus skewing the elevation profiles. (Update: For me, I see this issue as now resolved through a firmware update earlier this year (2015))

– Loss of connectivity to phone: While this hardly seems specific to the FR920XT from my testing (seeing it both on Garmin and non-Garmin devices), it is nonetheless annoying.  Not a showstopper, but just annoying that every few days I have to reset the connection to the phone.

– Courses: While not a specific bug per se, as is designed today, I don’t believe courses are usable for the majority of non-obvious road routes.  In cases where there are clear intersections with minimal choices you can use it with success.  However, in complex dense forest situations or even more complex urban situations – the lack of of zoom option makes it impossible to get the directions right. (Update: The ability to zoom was added in a firmware update, which now resolves this issue for me)

Now, for most triathletes these aren’t likely complete showstopper issues.  The vast majority of users don’t actually use courses.  And while having to reset the phone connection is annoying, I find that it’s kinda par for the course for many devices out there.  Elevation accuracy is really the big ticket one though.  No doubt most online apps re-write the elevation data anyway, but it’s still problematic that it just doesn’t give me accurate elevation data to begin each activity.

Obviously you’ll have to decide whether these bugs (or ‘by design’ in some cases) are an issue to you personally.  Everyone is different.  I do think there’s hope to fix both elevation and courses.  The phone connectivity piece may be more challenging though as I suspect there’s some dependencies there on the phone OS platforms that make this less reliable than fitness device manufactures want.

Again, this doesn’t mean this is all the bugs out there.  These are just the ones I saw during my use.  As a single person I can’t possible test every possible feature in every possible combination to reproduce every possible scenario.  Sure, I’d love to – but companies have entire teams of testers and they still miss things.  So I do the best I can to note what I’ve seen above.  If you have bugs, please post them to the Garmin Forums, or report them to Garmin.  That’s the correct channel to get them fixed.



Overall, the FR920XT is the best multisport watch in the market with the most features.  It’s also the watch that has the most potential for really cool 3rd party apps with upcoming Connect IQ enablement.  What’s core to understand is that by itself the FR920XT doesn’t contain any shockingly new major functionality.  Rather, Garmin has just plucked out all of the new features from numerous devices since the FR910XT was released three years ago.  They grabbed the Running Dynamics from the FR620 series, the additional pool options from the Garmin Swim, the Live Tracking from the Edge 510 & 810, and the activity tracking from the Vivo series.  The FR920XT just unites everything under one device roof.

Well, almost everything.  There are a few areas that are lacking in the FR920XT found in past Forerunner multisport devices, such as weight scale & fitness equipment support.  Also missing from the Edge 510/810/1000 is Di2 support and Garmin Segments. As well as better elevation calibration options and better course support.  Hopefully though future updates can address those.

While the FR920XT isn’t perfect, it is the most capable device out there for the multisport athlete.  It may not however be the most capable device for the hiking or outdoors enthusiast.  For that I’d look at other devices that have better support for courses, routing and altimeter data – such as the Garmin Fenix2 series or the Suunto Ambit 2/3 series.

As for whether it’ll stay on my wrist, that’ll depend.  I tend to be more of a single-device person except for racing.  I prefer smaller watches for running (like the FR620), as well as the Garmin Edge for cycling, and my favored little Garmin Swim for swimming.  Which isn’t to take away from the FR920XT, as it has nothing to do with the device but just my personal preference is more sport specific.  If I were to choose a single triathlon watch for a race (which I often do), there’s no doubt that it’d be the FR920XT at this point.  Between the consolidation of new features from other devices, plus the minor adds of additional completely new features like the Metronome – it’s hard to beat.

With that, thanks for reading!

Found this review useful? Or just want a good deal? Here’s how:

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.  By joining the Clever Training VIP Program, you will earn 10% points on this item and 10% off (instantly) on thousands of other fitness products and accessories.  Points can be used on your very next purchase at Clever Training for anything site-wide.  You can read more about the details here.  By joining, 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 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.

Garmin FR920XT without HR strap (Blue or red)
Garmin FR920XT bundle with HRM-RUN heart rate strap (simply select from dropdown)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the FR920XT 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.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
2014 Winter Recommendations: Triathlon Watches
2015 Giveaway Extravaganza
2016 Recommendations: Triathlon
2016 Winter Recommendations: Swimming
2017 Recommendations: Swimming
2018 Recommendations: Swimming
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
4iiii Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth Smart HR Strap & Bridge
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (with Running Dynamics) - HRM-Run
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin Bike Mount Kit (for mounting any watch onto handlebars)
Garmin Cadence-Only ANT+ Sensor (magnet-less)
Garmin Solar Charging Kit
Garmin Speed & Cadence ANT+ Sensor bundle (magnet-less)
Garmin Speed-Only ANT+ Sensor (magnet-less)
Garmin Vector
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)
Timex ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap)
Timex ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)
Timex ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor

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.

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  1. Candice

    Is there a way to loan this watch to a friend for a race but not have those results be counted as my own?

  2. I tried out the Course navigation feature today for the first time on a bike ride. It’s actually quite handy when you’re riding in a new place, for biking the zoom level is perfect. But I can imagine it’s not ideal for running that requires more detailed navigation to go on a specific path in park for instance. But again, I’ve only tried it on one bike ride. My only problem was that the route I made up on garmin connect featured roads that were not yet finished 🙂

    What I would like though is to have customizability of the navigation screen to show one or two data fields, preferably curr speed and 3s power.

  3. Oisin

    Hi Ray and other savy readers,

    Would it be possible to allow hr recording in pool swim mode using a connect IQ app? Assuming such an app were available. As far as I know hr recording is only available in open water swim mode.

    Thank you

  4. Steve

    I used my new Garmin 920XT for the first time yesterday,, In run mode the watch kept asking me to Resume my run, I never stopped moving , is there any setting I can change to stop it prompting me to Resume a workout .. I only want to stop it when I’m finished the run.thanks

    • George

      Not sure exactly what you’re saying you saw… Was it the Resume/Save/Discard screen that shows when you’ve paused the activity with the Enter button? Or was it a walk/run alert prompt you were seeing?

    • Steve

      Yes thats the one, I see the Resume screen except I haven’t paused it., it appears while I’m running, happened multiple times on a 10Km run

  5. Lawrence

    Have you got Run Dynamics turned on? Easy way to figure this out is to scroll through your data screens during your activity. If you can’t see your running cadence screen with ground contact time and vertical oscillation

    • Steve

      No Run Dynamics isn’t enabled, I had Auto Laps enabled , so I’ve disabled that feature and will see if that makes a difference, maybe I need to do a factory reset

  6. Steve

    I deliver for Fedex Ground and I’m moving lot of packages and banging around. Is the screen in this good to uphold that or should I not wear it if I were to purchase it? What a fantastic review. Thanks so much

  7. Lee

    Thanks for the fantastic review!

    One question I have is around tracking calories for other sports – for example, I have a game of squash. What would be the correct mode, if such function would allow?


  8. Rodrigo Valle Teixeira

    Hi Ray,
    Any review updates regarding open water swim tracking, with the latest SW updates (both regular sw and gps chipset)?
    How does it compare to 910XT and 310XT?


    • I haven’t taken out the FR920XT (given the winter weather here) for on-wrist testing. Most of my on-wrist testing lately has been F3 focused, with the 920XT hanging out on the buoy.

      That said, I really haven’t heard any complaints otherwise.

  9. Steve

    Just wondering how this watch would hold up with my job. Looks like a great watch to wear every day, but wondering would I scratch the glass or anything else on the watch. I deliver for Fedex Ground and I’m moving and delivering all day long. Just want your thoughts. Thanks

  10. Meena

    Thanks for a detailed and great review. I have Garmin 910 which I was using regularly for running and cycling for almost 2 years without any issues. 6months back I started swimming and started using 910 for my swim workouts. However, I had lot of problems getting the correct lap numbers (that I now understand why), observed fog on the watch and eventually within 3 months it conked off…

    Now I am considering to buy Garmin 920. I swim 3-4 days a week. Please advice should I buy a separate swim watch or is Garmin 920 ok to use regularly for swim and what precautions need to be taken during swim.


  11. Sabine

    Does this watch has that cool feature you mentioned that Magellan Switch up had?…..Where you can set the distance of your run and the time you want to hit it in….

    Is it possible you can tell me all the watches that has those features please?

  12. Bachoo

    Got my 920XT and still working it out. I did find a couple of things that I really don’t care for. I notice the choices for measuring units are “Miles” or “Kilometers” I wonder why Garmin got rid of the Statute or Metric choices. I much prefer the unit starting off in Meters especially when doing shorter intervals.

    Also I find the vibration unit to be rather weak. I had the TomTom runner and that vibration was much stronger and it had something the 920xt didn’t have on the alarm. It had a snooze button. In the week that I’ve had it, I’ve slept through the alarm twice and I never did with the Tom Tom.

    • Marios

      Just as an FYI, the Suunto Ambit allows you to have Miles, Km and Meters all next to each-other simultaneously on screen. That is super cool for complex intervals but that said the interval programmability of the Ambit sucks!

  13. Jake

    I’ve had the 920xt for a little over a week. I’ve swum, biked and run with it. I love it, it’s great. However, it so vastly overstates steps in general (and even counts them while driving or in spin class – not just a couple steps here and there but hundreds of steps on a 5 mile car drive) that the activity tracking function is essentially useless.

    I hope this is something that can be fixed through firmware. I’m currently running 2.70. If not, so be it. But what a waste of a feature.

  14. Hello, friends

    I’m looking for reviews of 920XT to buy it, but I’d like to know two simple things:

    1 – Does 920XT have predicted finish time for a race?
    Attention: This is not about to take the VO2máx data and estimate my times in 5k, 10k, 21k, 42k.
    I mean something like: I’m at km 25 in a Marathon and I’m seeing the time I’m going to complete it if I stay running at that pace.

    2 – Does 920XT have the way to set bigger laps, like:
    I’m running in a Marathon, and GPS is registering lap times for each km.
    I’d like if it also register how much time I spent in 10 km, Half Marathon, 30 km, for example.
    Is it possible?

    Best regards!!


    • 1) No predicted times. Though I’m pretty sure I just saw a Connect IQ app for that.

      2) Only single lap sets, that’s it.

    • Marios

      Hi Bruno,

      Both things you are asking are already available as Apps for the Suunto Ambit 3.

      About 1) I BQed with my Ambit3 and there was nothing more motivating than seeing my real-time ETA dropping to BQ territory at around mile 20. In the app I modified, I ended up using the average pace of the last 30s to estimate my finishing time, which responds faster than using the overall average or lap average pace. I found this ETA to be more motivational as you are trying to play around with your pace to see if you can make your BQ.

      About 2) I haven’t seen that on their existing Apps but I know that it’s super easy to program, just a bunch of if-else kinda of thing.

      Lastly keep in mind that the Ambit3 keeps all distances internally in meters so you can actually have simultaneous Km and Miles both for distance and pace on the screen. So yes, you can see your 5k, 10k, 13.1mi you name it all at once.

      That said, I have zero experience programming the 920xt but all I know is that programming the Ambit3 is no harder than using a calculator (no compilers etc).

    • Olu

      @Bruno. There is a very cool IQ Data field called smart predictor.
      It will start by calculating your 5k time, when you run past 5k it will calculate your 10k time, after that it will calculate your 1/2 marathon time and then marathon time.

      There are also IQ data fields that do just your marathon time.

      As for #2, no easy way to do this on the fly. To look back at the race there’s plenty of online sites that can look at your splits (Sports Track Mobi, Training Peaks), but there’s only 1 kind of lap on the Garmin device. Once a lap is completed then all lap related data is reset.

    • David

      If you use Training->Set a Target->Distance and Time, in addition to showing you if you are ahead or behind your target, it will show your current predicted finish time. (If you pick Distance instead of Distance and Time, it just shows distance to target, average pace, and predicted finish time).

      I only briefly played with this, as I found that with it enabled, it disable auto-scroll for my “race” screens. So that was kind of a bummer. But I will probably use it in my next “A” race.

    • Hey, thanks for the response!!

      1) I didn’t even know what was Connect IQ, because I’m wearing actually a FR 210. I’m searching right know. Is it easy to install in 920XT? I’ve found an app called “Smart Predictor” that does the job. All I have to do is install it and create a screen to show app info?

      2) I’ve read somewhere that I could create personalized alerts. So if I create a half marathon alert, I’ll see time only during the run, right? I think this should work to me.

  15. Paulus

    Hi there Ray,

    great review as always, and I ended up buying these solely because of this review.
    I have a question about averaging issues in cycling. How can we set to not include Zero in cadence averaging?


  16. Michael

    I don’t think it’s been mentioned here yet, but Garmin have added the ability to zoom in on courses. Once the course has been started, hold down the select button for about a second. From the Options menu select Zoom, zoom in/out to your heart’s content, and then press Enter. This was a huge personal selling point, and pushed me from a grumpy Garmin customer to a happy 920 owner.

  17. Ted

    Just finished 100km ultra trail in Hong Kong on Sunday. The battery died at 18hours or so. This 18hours is average hours the battery last after I asked around my friends who used 920XT as well. 18 hours in UltraTrac mode, off-activity tracker, off-Glonass. Now I wonder how could the battery last “up to 40hours” in GPS mode as marketed?

  18. T Andrew

    Hi Ray,

    Excellent review. Want to order and was trying to give your site credit by order through the Clever Training link. Two coupon codes are noted DCR10JKW and DCR10WHP (in the banner graphic). Have tried both and their site will accept neither. Is is possible that the code needs to be updated? Would love to get the discount and give you the referral. Will wait to see if you can get us hooked up.

    Greatly appreciated the amount of effort you put into this site. Really commendable!!

    • Hi T-

      With the FR920XT, it’s part of a handful of products that Garmin requires the CT/DCR VIP program for. It only takes a second to sign-up here (link to dcrainmaker.com) and you’ll get your personal 10% coupon code instead (which is good for the FR920XT.

      Thanks for the support!

    • T Andrew

      Many thanks Ray. Suspected that perhaps the discount didn’t apply to the HOT FR920XT. So glad to hear that it does, albeit through a different means.

      Merci beaucoup,
      T Andrew

  19. Pattie Keller

    When you hit the stop button during a run, the screen shows “resume” highlighted. This is fine. Question: Is there a way to get out of that view to see how far you have run without hitting “resume” or “save”? I found that I might have stopped for water or something, or hit stop for some reason (not auto pause) and then I want to see the mileage.

    Thanks so much!

    • David

      I have not experimented with “getting out” of that screen. But if you are just looking for distance (or time) they are both shown in very small font at the top of the screen while in that save/resume/discard screen.

    • Bachoo

      Yes. Once you are on the pause screen if you hit the 3 dots button three times, you can scroll through the data screens. You have to be kinda quick as sometimes it wants to take you back to the pause screen. You can also change with some of the settings. But not all.

    • Pattie Keller

      Thanks all. My eyes can’t read the small font :), so I will do the 3 dot button push. 🙂

    • Patrick

      The best / quickest way is to push the “back” button, it switches back to the normal running display for about 30 seconds, then shows the “resume” screen again. Just keep pushing “back” as often as you need. You can restart by pressing “enter” whichever screen is displayed.

  20. i use the the edge510 and also the 920xt for my srm-system. but the edge 510 show me more watts then the 920xt. the difference is about 50 watt. has anybody a relusion?

  21. Hi Ray. The last FR920 sold in March are comming with a diferent Heart Rate Strap. Could it be that Garmin is improving the strap?? because I have to change straps every 5 or 6 months. Do you have any info on this??

  22. Josh

    Ray, I returned my F3 yesterday and bought a 920 (just like the one I had before but got rid of once the F3 was announced). It performed solid. My pace, the distance, everything about it outperformed the F3. The tracks were great too, GLONASS ON with smart recording. I’ve seen a few others commenting as well on returning to function over beauty. I’m just glad to have a solid device on my side again. Any plans to come out with a different color scheme on the 920, perhaps black and white or black only?

  23. Josh

    Also, if anyone knows how to get the sunrise and sunset times and moon phase to display on the 920 if it is available like on the F3 I would love help finding it, as well as weather forecast data. I did check the connect iq store but couldn’t find anything.

    • It’s planned as a widget for the Fenix3, but it’s unclear if it’ll also be available for the FR920XT.

      That said, I saw a widget just last night in the App Store by someone else that did Sunset/Sunrise times within it.

    • Joshua

      To clarify, on my F3 I was able to have direct from the factory the moon phase and sunrise sunset times display without any connect iq stuff. Was hoping that would be available on the 920.

    • No, that’s not included within the FR920XT base (like it is on the clock display of the Fenix3).

  24. KO

    The only thing giving me pause about buying this is the elevation/altimeter issue. I’m an ultrarunner and accurate elevation data is important to me. Has that issue been fixed in firmware updates? Or is it still a problem?

    • jose

      I’m in the last beta and the problem is still there. Some please say that it is corrected but is not true.today in a bike ride in miami I crossed two time for the same bridge back and forwar, so (4) times in total and my 920 record all the elevation differente each other. So im waiting a litter more to see if garmin can fix this if not im selling my soon.is a big disappointment.

    • Luke

      I’m not sure whether it has been “fixed” or not, but I’ve found a good work around.
      When I would open the GPS and instantly start my run I found that the elevation change would be correct, but sometimes the starting elevation would be wrong (generally too high).
      If I turn on the watch and give it a couple of minutes before starting the actual recording the starting elevation is more accurate and the elevation change is still on point (was never a problem, problem was always starting point).

  25. tommays56

    This has really become the worst watch I have ever owned

    My late November watch which was delayed while they fixed the water killing the buttons issue JUST had the BACK AND ENTER buttons FAIL and now the only way to use the watch is with button LOCK and enable auto scroll and look at a screen locked message popup randomly 🙁

    While Garmin will nicely replace it a refurbished unit it only lasted for 39 days of use and has never been used in water and as I use autolap the bottom buttons get very little use

    I had to give up on betas as they went backwards from 3.4 to 3.7 in the rush to get IQ apps running by adding a bunch of navigation support for turning points that have no way of being turned OFF

    And now you have no idea what’s causing the crash

    There is no screening of the apps and a watch face could work or force you into doing hard reset of the unit

  26. John

    Can I sync activities to my phone without an internet connection using Bluetooth? My phone may go a few days/week without cellular/Wi-Fi connectivity but I’d like to see that data on my phone without access to the internet.

  27. simonB

    Hi Ray,
    Is there any way of configuring what data comes up on the lap screen?
    As default, mine comes up with the lap no., time for the lap, and total time. I’d like to change these, if possible.

  28. Stewart

    Hey Ray,

    Brilliant site. i just have one question for you. I am desperate to improve my PR’s this year and I’m really having to pay attention to staying on pace during my runs, between the TomTom Multi Sport Cardio and the Garmin 920XT which has the best virtual pacer for running. Thats the feature i care most about.

    • Pacing-wise I find both pretty steady. Where you see a bit more flexibility though is with the FR920XT and being able to download virtual courses as well as more flexibility in mixed-pace type scenarios.

      Good luck!

  29. Peter Sampatakos

    Many thanks for another great review!
    I am a happy owner of a 920xt and I was wondering about the magnetic compass that it has (if I understood correctly). Is there any possibility that we can have it displayed? Additionally, when I use the “go to” function to navigate to a saved location does the arrow that is displayed represents an actual magnetic compass that shows the direction of the destination or works only when moving ?

  30. tommays56

    There is a compass data field that gives N/NW and so on or and IQ field that was written in degrees

  31. Josh

    Ray, currently traveling in aruba. I went on a 4 mile run this morning, pace, distance, everything perfectly stable as expected as were my tracks. I’m currently using smart recording and GLONASS on. Tomorrow I’d like to experiment by leaving GLONASS on but going to one second recording. What should I expect in the way of displayed instant pace, distance and tracks at the end of the run so that I know which method is better for me?

    • I’d focus on running the exact same track, and then comparing the track files (tool here: link to dcrainmaker.com)

      That said, it’s tough comparing different days, even if run exactly the same. Conditions do vary. Also, it’s tricky to know if on a given route GLONASS will help or hurt. For me, I just leave it on and it usually works.

  32. Carl

    Great review! Thanks a lot!

    I would like to use the 920XT for cycling only. My 500 died and not sure if I want to get a dedicated cycling computer. The watch has most of the features the edge 810 or 1000 has except for the screen. I can use the Quick release kit for the bike. it’s practical, waterproof, light and can wear it to count my steps and walks.
    I do not do triathlon as I can’t run.
    GPS turn-by-turn is useless for me because the Navigator Canada don’t have the bike paths and it takes me through highways (tested with an 810).
    Is anyone using it for cycling only? Your thoughts?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Boilerbrad

      Seems a bit over-kill for cycling only use. If you are not going to run, swim, ski, or hike with it then whats the point of getting an expensive device and only using a fraction of its capabilities?

  33. Sibylle

    Hi Ray

    Since I updated my watch to the newest version (2.7), I do have some issues with the watch. It happens that while training the display looses the heart rate. Even worse while doing intervals on the 400m track: I do have autopause activated, run e.g. 400m then have a break. After that I press the lap button in oder to start the next lap with 0. Nevertheless it does happen that all values on the display stay on 0 – not only the time, pace but also the heart rate. I then have to push the start stop button twice (once for stop and once for start/continue). After that, all data ist coming back and the timer starts to count as well. It’s annoying and I am unhappy with this, as my laps are then only 700m instead of 800m, means not the whole lap ist counted due to this problems.

    Do you know of this? Is there any fix available or do I have a faulty version of the watch?

    Thanks a lot!
    Kind Regards,

    • David

      I can’t speak to your exact problem. But I have a sort of similar problem. When I run at the track with my phone on the sideline, the repeated “connect-disconnect” cycle with the phone as I pass by eventually crashes the communication stack, so both BTLE and ANT+ stop working with the watch. The only way to get them back is to reboot the watch (for me). I do track intervals purely on pace, so I often don’t notice this has happened until I hit my cooldown laps and check on my HR. I have a trouble ticket filed with Garmin for this.

    • Sibylle

      Hi David

      Thanks a lot – so let’s see what Garmin will reply.

      Kind Regards,

  34. Gary Fox


    I’m torn between the Garmin 920XT and the TomTom Multisport Cardio. The heart rate monitoring on the TomTom seems great! The question I need to know is does the 920XT have a basic stopwatch function? The tomtom does and this is surely a feature all of these watches should have! But I’ve heard that the 920XT doesn’t? Has anyone else had the dilemma between these two?

    Many thanks,


  35. ChrisK

    Can I setup the 920 cadence rate to show rpm per leg (i.e. 90rpm instead of 180rpm)? This is how the 910 was setup and I’m used to it. Thanks.

  36. J

    after installing an APP, I can’t find the APP in the watch. Where can I find the APP in the watch? thank you!

    • Boilerbrad

      If the app is a “Widget” it is located on the main screen rotation. just keep hitting the down or up arrow until you find it.

  37. Walid Neaz

    Recently upgraded to the 920XT and was generally happy with it, went for a long ride yesterday. There are occasional markers on the trail I was at and I know I went at least 37.6 miles, but my 920XT just would not show the same distances as I was riding and sometimes I’d know if I went 2 miles and the unit would only move up by barely 0.2 miles. The final figure was 22.13 miles. I noticed it kept blanking out on my speed at times (could be my speed/cadence sensor is running low on battery – but still, distance should be based on GPS coordinates).

    Weirdest thing was, after loading to GC which automatically pushes my file to Strava, Strava reflected the actual distance – 37.7 miles. I have GLONASS enabled – what’s going on here? Does anyone have any potential clue?

  38. Pete R.

    I had a similar issue with my Fenix 3 that I have figured out yet. My next ride I plan to remove my speed sensor since, as you say, the watch should use GPS for speed and distance while outside. I only have the speed sensor on for calibration so it will give me distance on the trainer. Ray suggested the wheel size being incorrect could cause this, but mine was set to calibrate by GPS and was correct. Still a mystery.

  39. Nick

    Just read about not pushing buttons while underwater….is this right because it is a nuisance to have to lift an arm up at the end of each lap for example. Woul pushing a button really let water into the watch?

  40. tommays56

    I just received my second 920 due to button failure which i guess is from leaking as it was the back and enter button

    And the servers are down again so i am back to manual uploads again 🙁

    • Nick

      How many button failures are there out there? Surely this is something that should have been sorted by now…..if not how appalling on a high end watch, and then it’s not much use for swimming is it??????

    • Honestly, this is the fist time I recall hearing of a button failure with a FR920XT (excluding whatever waterproofing issues were in the early recalled batch). Given there’s likely in the low-hundred-thousand(s) units out there, I’d put it in perspective.

  41. tommays56

    If you want and honest look at the watches problems just spend some time on the forums i had very high hopes base on the review but real life is a bit harsh due to Garmins hardware and software failures

    I got the watch in November it is now March and many of the promised features can still only be used on buggy beta software and for all the slap down on Suunto having limited sensor availability its not like the 920 actually stays connected to them

    link to forums.garmin.com

    I am just sticking with it because i have no way to get my money (600 US with footpod and tax) back as i would be glad dump this unit in a second after having to lay out 500 for and advanced replacement to be able to use the watch i trained with 5 months in this weekends 70K race

    • As a casual reminder, looking a troubleshooting forums as a source for whether a unit is troublesome is like looking at the hospital for whether the whole world is sick. The only people that post in troubleshooting forums is…people with issues. No different than looking at the Apple iPhone forums or the Whirlpool Dishwasher ones.

      If you look here and the the near-1800 comments, the vast overwhelming majority of people are pretty happy.

  42. When using interval training for runs (programmed via Connect and sync-ed with the watch), can you see the splits by interval post-workout on Connect, or do they record only laps / auto-laps?

    If so, can you share how sun a run looks like?

    Also, do you know if proper intervals for swim is planned soon?


    • It’ll show it by interval chunks (automatic).

      Not sure if there’s anything planned for swim workout support.

    • Cool – thanks! Do you have a run like this on Garmin Connect that I could look at? I’m using a v800 now and seems it can only split by auto-laps (km) or manual ones, but not by interval.

  43. Filip Vanden Bulcke

    First of all, thanks a lot for this super useful blog. I started using the device a month ago and this has been a great help figuring it out.
    I have a rather basic question. For some reason, my heart rate and therefore VO2 max only get measured during running, not biking. I’ve been playing around with the settings but can’t seem to figure out why the HRM – RUN doesn’t connect for cycling. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  44. tommays56

    I realize i am the bad guy for pointing out that the watch does still NOT work correctly as promised more than 5 months after release and it has become my problem to diagnose released software

    1765 (Forerunner 920XT) SW ver: 270
    Build Type: RELEASE
    ESN: 3899710312
    Battery Voltage: 4.145000V
    03/29/15 05:31:05
    errnum: 0x00F
    r0: 0x1FFF8A00
    r1: 0x00081D07
    r2: 0x00000158
    r3: 0x000000E3
    Return Address (LR): 0x000F18B9:Call Stack – PSP at 0x1FFF8658:
    HWM_usb_connected = 0x00. HWM_usb_mode = 0x01.
    SMB config: cfg_start[0]=0x00, cfg_start[1]=0x02, cfg_start[2]=0x06.
    page addr = 0x000769FD
    Uptime: 40676578

    1765 (Forerunner 920XT) SW ver: 270
    Build Type: RELEASE
    ESN: 3899710312
    Battery Voltage: 4.136000V
    03/29/15 06:57:16
    errnum: 0x00F
    r0: 0x2000BE80
    r1: 0x000F4DE7
    r2: 0x00001878
    r3: 0x00000105
    Return Address (LR): 0x000F18B9:Call Stack – PSP at 0x2000BC30:
    HWM_usb_connected = 0x00. HWM_usb_mode = 0x01.
    SMB config: cfg_start[0]=0x00, cfg_start[1]=0x02, cfg_start[2]=0x06.
    page addr = 0x00065EF5
    Uptime: 5165311

    1765 (Forerunner 920XT) SW ver: 270
    Build Type: RELEASE
    ESN: 3899710312
    Battery Voltage: 3.788000V
    03/29/15 15:35:31
    errnum: 0x00F
    r0: 0x1FFF8A00
    r1: 0x000E2D01
    r2: 0x00001470
    r3: 0x000000FE
    Return Address (LR): 0x000F18B9:Call Stack – PSP at 0x1FFF86D0:
    HWM_usb_connected = 0x00. HWM_usb_mode = 0x01.
    SMB config: cfg_start[0]=0x00, cfg_start[1]=0x02, cfg_start[2]=0x06.
    page addr = 0x000769FD
    Uptime: 31088858

    BUT the official word on 2.7 from Brian.ConnectIQ

    The crash logs you posted above all indicate your device ran out of heap. We have identified and fixed a large number of memory leaks in the ConnectIQ Virtual Machine since 2.70 was released, so I suspect your watch face may be triggering one or more of those issues.

    With nothing released after 2.7 but beats with more issues it is were the watch stands for better or worse

  45. tommays56

    Big Time WAS stable until they started to allow builds based on 3.04 and 3.07 rather than insist on stable working faces for 2.7 as you automatically get pushed and update ever time a face is tweaked as i would willing accept crashes if i chose to run beta

    Arctic Blue was another nice face that crashed

    One of the bigger issues is in trying to get IQ stable they are making changes to BIG navigation in the betas with support for turning points

    3.4 seemed to support manually placed turning point IF YOU WANTED THEM and i was fairly happy as i did NOT have a daily crash log

    3.7 went automatic with no ability to turn OFF turning points and they were all coming out after turns and other buggy stuff in addition the watch crashes one time after every recharge when using a route after which it would work until charged and repeat the cycle

    If you look at 6:57 crash it was three minutes before the start of a race with everything connected and ready to press start so no i am not satisfied with how Garmin is doing this

    • It’s a chicken and the egg scenario though, if you don’t allow developers to test on the latest beta builds, then they won’t be there to support regular users.

      I do think Garmin needs to put higher quality control gates in place for Connect IQ apps that cause crashes. Though, I suspect their issue right now is in getting quality development work incoming. It’s really not much different than the early app days of any platform actually.

    • Hans

      You wrote: “3.4 seemed to support manually placed turning point”.

      Can you send me a link on how I can use this feature? I have never heard of it and there is nothing in the Garmin 920XT manual.

      I would love to have some kind of navigation aid on my watch other then beeping at me AFTER I missed a turn. (“off route”).

  46. Tommay56

    I am sorry I just cant except that everyone using the watch is now getting pushed beta IQ items with no quality control in place

    And given the betas lack of stability I had to give up using them and downgrade to 2.7 so I don’t see a stable watch in the foreseeable future with there current game plan as if you use IQ its at your own risk and when you call support the first thing they want is IQ fields removed

  47. Grant

    I’m sorry to hear you are having these issues, I too would be gutted. If it’s any help I’m using actiface blue on mine and I’m yet to see any issues.

  48. tommays56

    3.2 official just came out we will see if this brings stability to the watch as i would be quite happy if i can run a basic watch face without crashes

  49. tommays56

    3.2 installed without drama runs watch faces and routes without crashing and the altimeter behaves completely different starting at 500′ and settling in at 144′ which is within 10′

    I used it on a short local loop around the house and it even did the assent and descent correctly

    If this continues it will be a very solid watch

  50. Hey DC,

    Is it normal to have a condesation(water inside) – it’s like a transparent map-like formation that isn’t wipeable.
    It’s a growing concern for me as it’s getting many.


    • No, get it swapped out asap. Basically there was likely a hairline crack in there somewhere. Garmin support may try and tell you it’s normal, explain to them it’s not and to have it swapped out. Otherwise, it’ll sooner rather than later die.

  51. Lucy

    Hello, thanks for the detail of your posts, really helpful! I’m a cross country skier and do a lot of cross-training for my sport and was wondering which out of the 620 and 920 you recommend? I was leaning towards the 920 because although I don’t swim, the ability to create different sport profiles was highly appealing. However, reading through various online threads, it seems that once you transfer the data online, you lose all the sport profiles and each session just shows up as a default activity, is this correct? Because if so then there seems to be no advantage to using it over the 620 and just choosing ‘ride’ mode as i’ll have to go back through and change the sport modes anyway.
    Thank you once again, and give my best to The Girl, when I’m next over in Paris i’ll have to stop by and try one of her declicious-looking cupcakes.

  52. Broward Maryan

    Just installed 3.2 and….and…won’t turn on. Tried a long press, short press, reattached to the charger (was already at 100%) but nothing. Can’t find any suggestions regarding this. Very frustrated.

    • Broward Maryan

      And, when I reattach it to the charger and sync, my Garmin Express says I am running 2.7 and that no updates exist.

    • I’d use Garmin WebUpdater instead (you download it and attach 920XT via USB). It’s the trusty stead that always works for me when various other update systems/apps crap the bed.

  53. Hans


    Your Navigation section needs some major updates. With the current 3.20 version of the firmware you now get the following enhancements in Navigation:

    – Zoom. When displaying the map page in the profile, just push and hold the … button and a menu will appear. From menu select Zoom by pushing Enter |> button. Then you can use the up and down buttons to in- or decrease the zoom from 50ft (a little too close for my taste if you consider the GPS accuracy being only 20ft or so) to 300 miles (Might be useful for century rides?). After you have the right zoom level (I always use 100ft for trail running) you hit enter |> to select. This zoom level will not change anymore during your activity.

    – Turn by turn directions! Easiest is to use ridewithgps.com to create a route (their routing algorithms are great). Then save the route as a TCX, after checking the Notify before turn box and setting warning distance to 30 meters (default). Next you import this TCX file to into the Garmin Training Center app on your PC/MAC. Connect your watch to your PC/MAC and then select send to device in this app. Voila you have a new course on your watch. Disconnect watch from the PC/MAC and on the watch go to Navigation, select the route you just created and select Do Course.

    After you start your activity the watch will beep 30 meters/100 ft before the way points in the ridewithgps cue sheet and display the way point information (like the name of the trail), the distance to the way point and an arrow pointing left, right or straight telling you which way to turn. Once you get to the actual turn the watch beeps again and displays the same information.

    The displayed information is limited to a few characters so make sure that the info in the ridewithgps cue sheet is as short as possible.

    I also add “Dummy” cues like “1 mile climb” which will make the watch beep 100 ft before I have to start a one mile climb.

    All that is missing (which I assume we will get with the Epix) is maps so we can see where we are going. But for that I just use the ridewithgps app which has offline maps on the iPhone or I use maps.me app which also has offline maps for iPhone. Maps.me is free, the ridewithgps app requires a subscription to display offline maps.

    For pictures of how this looks on the watch look at:
    link to tinyurl.com
    link to tinyurl.com

    • Thanks. Indeed, it’s been on my short list and currently slated for later this weekend to update both the navigation and elevation sections with current data.

      I definitely appreciate the quick overview above to ensure I don’t miss anything in that. Thanks!

    • Patrick

      This is great info – thank you.

    • Sibylle

      Hi Hans

      I was wondering if you know if the signal to turn left or right is also given out of maps converted with gypsies.com? Or it this only possible having converted the map with ridewithgps.com?

      Thanks a lot!


  54. John 2

    Anyone with the watch – please test this concern of mine.

    If you turn the wi-fi off as well as cellular data of your phone/tablet, can you still sync activities to your phone/tablet (via Bluetooth)??? I understand this will cause the activity to not sync with Garmin Connect; probably until the phone/tablet reconnects to the Internet. I’m only concerned with it syncing to the mobile device when i may go months without an Internet connection

    This is all I need to know in order to justify the purchase. Thank you for your help.


    • Chris

      Correct, the watch reports “Transfer Failed” if the mobile device has no Internet connection. As suggested, backup via the cable is the best option in this case.

  55. tommays56


    But if you have a laptop you can save the FIT files each day for later manual upload

  56. HC

    Just bought the 920xt last Friday which worked fine for a couple of runs. Today, however, when tried with my bike ride, I paused it (which then went to power save) half way. After I resumed it, the “distance field” was not moving, and at the end it only recorded the distance till the “pause”. I suspect that the GPS didn’t work after I resumed it from the pause. Even if I started riding before it caught the GPS signal when resuming, shouldn’t the GPS resume by itself as I was riding?
    Anybody have similar issue?

    • Patrick Felstead

      Yes it happened to me last weekend. I tested it in running mode and does the same thing. I’ve reported it to Garmin via their formal bug reporting form as I thought it was a beta s/w problem (I was using 3.07 beta at the time)

    • HC

      I am using version 3.2. The bug is still there!

    • HC

      Problem can be by-passed by switching on auto-pause.

      Still looking forward to see the bug fixed though.

    • Sergio

      Same problem here. In my optinion autopause may be a workaround if you not interested into full workout = no way.

  57. Josh

    Not getting email notifications on my 920, help?

    • Josh

      Also, can accuweather be displayed like on the F3 by scrolling down??

    • On notifications, you need to ensure that the notifications for e-mail are enabled on your phone. If they pop-up on the phone, then they should on the FR920XT.

      As for Accuweather on the 920XT, I haven’t tried it out there.

    • Josh

      Thanks it is working now. Still looking for accuweather widget like the F3 had…

  58. Joshua

    A follow up question regarding email notifications please for any technology folks out there. On my iPhone 6 I have allow notifications highlighted. I have a business and a personal email address, both push email to my phone every 15 minutes. When I send a test msg to myself it immediately pops up on the watch. But, overnight or during the day when I am not actively looking at my phone (which remains power on), the emails only push to the phone and NOT to my 920. One of the biggest assets about this watch for me is to be able to get text msgs and see who is calling while I’m running so I know if I have to stop and answer or can simply ignore it until my activity is done. While running I have been getting texts and am able to see incoming calls, but no email. I’d love any help you all can suggest in fixing this email issue.

  59. ranger

    Sorry for such a noob question, but I just picked up the 920xt to compliment my FR410 but I can’t get the ant stick to recognize the FR920xt…. the watch is straight out of the box with full factory settings and I’ve removed the FR410 from Garmin Connect so as to not interfere with registering a new device (although there should not be any interference anyway).

    Please advise! I’m ready to get this awesome piece of kit online!

    • ranger

      I should mention that I am failing to pair the 920xt with my iphone 4s via bluetooth.
      Thank you.

    • The ANT+ stick won’t talk with the FR920XT. It only talks via:

      1) USB directly (wired)
      2) Bluetooth Smart (phone)
      3) WiFi (well…WiFi)

      To pair via Bluetooth Smart, on your iPhone you need to download the Garmin Connect Mobile app, teh pairing occurs from that.

      On the PC, you’ll need to ensure you have the Garmin Express app.

  60. Torbjørn Høstmark Borge

    I have probably used too much time on comparing different devices, and should have gone out training instead… I currently own a Polar V800, Forerunner 920XT and a Fenix 3. From what I can read in the comments here, and from the comments in the FR920XT review, it is all about Garmin F3 or FR920XT. So I have just one question to you Ray. Why don`t you like Polar V800?

    I kind of want to get rid of my V800 because I also use the Edge 1000, and I love that device, but I find it impossible to throw the V800 of my hand. I actually bought the 920XT when it first came out, used it for two weeks, and then old it again. Now I am giving it a new chance. The Fenix 3 is cool, and it is absolutely great, but in the end the most important thing is the training itself, and then the V800 has everything I need. It is small, light and well build. I never misses a heart beat and the GPS is really good. I also find the Flow-webpage quite good although I know it has it`s limitations. And, during the spring/summer it will get a lot of new features like remote music control, smart notifications, customized training sessions (intervalls etc..).

    So, Polar is working slow, but they are working good 🙂

    • “So I have just one question to you Ray. Why don`t you like Polar V800?”

      For the reasons you read here: It doesn’t do probably even 1/3rd of what the Garmin devices do.

    • Torbjørn Høstmark Borge

      When it comes to estimate recovery time and energy expenditure, I find the V800 to be more correct. But I guess that is you ask 1000 people, you will have 1000 different answers. Have you seen any difference?

    • I find them fairly similar on calories. Realistically, the same people developing those calorie algorithms have moved within the small community of Finland based companies that do the Polar, Suunto, and Firstbeat (Garmin) calculations.

      When I’ve looked at recovery time it tends to be in the ballpark, but at the same time, I also don’t tend to trust that number much.

    • Torbjørn Høstmark Borge

      Maybe if I give the Garmin device some more time. Whatever, i think the most difficult thing is to let go of something you have used for such a long time. Maybe the best advice is:”Never commit yourself to anything physical. Rather choose the best option you have for the hand “.

    • Kristaps

      Can I ask what functions exactly you use on Garmin 920XT, which V800 doesn`t have? Or is it that You just like if there is a lot of functions?

    • You’ll probably want to use the comparison table to dive into that. There’s really too many to just list here.

    • Kristaps

      I used before i bought mine V800, at least Suunto, Garmin and Polar top products seemed very similiar in that table, so I am suprised of your opinion about 1/3 of options.
      I am an orienteer myself and my trainings are mostly in a forest or trail running. Most valuable functions, which suggested, that I buy Polar, was barometric altimeter, interval option, and activity tracking, I`m not sure yet if activity/sleep tracking will be usable as valuable information.
      Also I don`t think that these smartwatch functions are of any use, like receiving notifications from phone or viewing Accuweather data in that small display, you can do it, but there are just easier ways to get that information.

  61. Lars

    I’m in the process of buying a new watch, currently I have the Polar RS800CX but I’m thinking of switching to Garmin due to the ANT+ functionality that Polar doesn’t support. My question is if anyone has heard anything of a successor to the 920XT? I know it’s quite a new model but it seems that they keep on releasing new models every year/second year…


    • The FR920XT just started shipping in Oct/Nov – about 6 months ago. Thus, a typical 2-year cycle puts it at/around Fall 2016 at the earliest. And then, they released the Fenix3 watch over the past few months (also a tri watch).

      I wouldn’t expect a new multisport watch for quite some time.

  62. Josh Glazer

    Ray, fantastic review, thanks. I just sent Garmin the following request to update 920 firmware to enable recharging on the go. link to www8.garmin.com Perhaps others will pitch in on the campaign too. Any gentle nudges for Garmin to tackle the recharging feature would be greatly appreciated (and yes I know that other watches are just fine for ultras):

    920xt charge on the go. I’m an ultrarunner and devoted Garmin user for 20 years. The 920xt is a great step up from the 910xt. But PLEASE PLEASE implement charging on the go. Having a secure USB connection for charging makes this the perfect watch for long ultras and ultra triathlons, two sports that only the 920xt is suited for. Folks won’t buy a Fenix over an 920 just for that feature, but they may buy an 920 over an Ambit or other non-Garmin product. thanks! Josh

  63. Josh

    Just a heads up for anyone having same issue, i am using an iphone 6 and a 920. email notifications are not populating on the watch when the phone is locked or off (power still on though). i spent roughly 1 hour on the phone with garmin and their software folks who were able to replicate the problem and they are submitting a case to get this issue fixed. i also asked them to please figure out how to get multiple email addresses that populate into the apple email icon to push to the watch.

    • Josh

      Per the follow up from Garmin support today, they believe it is an issue caused by iOS 8.2 on the iphone and are hoping to have it rectified with a firmware update on the Garmin app soon.

  64. Petros Sampatakos

    There seems to be an issue with random restarts when the phone is disconnected. I usually have 2-3 per day (more often during the night where the phone is away from my watch). I contacted Garmin about the issue and expecting their reply.
    I also experienced an issue with my older HR belt which still works with my 910xt and my edge 800 but not with my 920xt. After the firmware update the 920xt can find the HR belt but cannot connect all my other devices can connect without problem. I bought a new premium garmin HR belt which is working fine with 920xt. Strange…

    • 99.999% of the time when you’re seeing random reboots on a Garmin device, it’s due to file corruption on the unit. The first step is to remove all activity/course files off the unit and do a hard reset.

  65. Daniel Holm Hansen

    According to fellrnr.com, who also tests watches, the FR920XT GPS is fairly inaccurate link to fellrnr.com. Also, his claim is that in GLONOSS mode it’s even worse. What’s your conclusion – other than in OW test?

    He finds, too, that newer Garmin runners watches in general GPS/GLONOSS tends to be bad. If you find time to test this in future watches and put those specs into your brilliant compare-calculator, that would be awesome. 🙂

    • Joshua

      Yet if you look at his comparison chart the 920 is ranked highest. Personal experience with the 920 is it completely blows past any other device I’ve used in terms of satellite acquisition, accuracy, pacing, HR, cadence, including the 305, 10,15,620, and especially the fenix 3 which I found to be inaccurate at this point (hopefully will be better over time). Keep in mind those older watches such as the 610 and 910 give you the ability to use footpod for pace and distance and that of course bumps up accuracy quite a bit.
      Rays in depth reviews are just that, in great depth.

    • He tests them on a single route, subdivided over and over again. While I appreciate the focus, I just don’t think you can judge any GPS watch by its performance on a single trail run route.

    • Hi,

      based on that great review I decided that my new watch should be this Garmin, upgrading from a Foretrex 410 (originally purchased for Geocaching but used heavily for biking and later running over the past 4 years).

      However, I found that my new Garmin is extremely inaccurate (sometimes with GLONASS turned on, some without).
      Three examples:
      1) Biking on Mallorca. Measured with Garmin on the bike and parallel with iPhone (MotionGPS) where I have the navigation/map. Forerunner 920XT: 60km // MotionGPS: 66km. I realized that in the middle of the tour, Garmin sometimes lost GPS signal. When uploading the original Garmin track to gpsies.com, the resulting distance was shown as 66km, too(?)
      2) Running with my wife in Berlin. Measured with Forerunner 920XT (me) and Forerunner 305 (wife). Started to measure correctly, but after a pause, starting a new activity, it recorded a mere 540m for a track which was actually 1.6km. Again, uploading the original Garmin GPS file to gpsies.com showed correctly 1.6km
      3) Running in Berlin (different area, running on a 800m track in a park on bright sunny day). Measured with Forerunner. For the first approx 5km it showed me 0.5km(!!!). Out of a sudden it started to record accurately for the last approx 600m. Again, saw a couple of times that it looked like it had lost GPS signal (showing no pace for a few seconds). Again, uploading the original Garmin GPS file to gpsies.com showed that a) several data points were not really accurate (very good to see on that 800m track), but even though the total distance was shown with 5.5km on gpsies.com

      GPS recording is set to default (“intelligent”).

      Any ideas, suggestions, experiences? Or do I just have a bad device?

      Any hint appreciated, thanks

  66. Ross

    Awesome review .. I’ve had the 920 now for about 3 months and Love it but have had some bugs and issues. I have a software issue on pool swims where at the end of a swim the average pace is incorrectly displayed by a huge amount – like showing 14;30per 100m when my 100m pace sits around 1:30per100. Anyone else with this issue ? I tried contacting garmin and they ended up swapping units but still have the same problem. They don’t seem to listen that it’s a software issue. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen every swim, although I think it is on larger ones over 4k

    • steven

      Garmin have admitted finally there is a bug in the firmware …. However still waiting for a fix for the pool swims. At this stage the indoor pool option is a waste of time on this watch.

  67. Bastian


    using the 920 since Dec now and was really happy with it. since 3.2 beta (and with 3.2final the same) i have the following problem:

    Using: FR920 3.2 with Garmin vector 2.71 (up to date)

    When riding more than 03:30hours i cannot load or upload the protocol of the ride. When i stop riding everything is just as it should be, the ride is saved and everything. But if i want to analyze my data on the watch (protocol) or in garmin connect the watch fails loading the data. “loading screen” occurs and after about 30 seconds it disappears again. All activities, before and after the long bike rides, are uploaded correctly and can be seen.

    When i change back to firmware 2.7 all activities are lost.

    Having that problem since weeks now and it is really frustrating as i want to analyze my power data.

    Everything is fine when i do shot rides.

    Any idea? Thanks in adavance

  68. Bastian


    using the 920 since Dec now and was really happy with it. since 3.2 beta (and with 3.2final the same) i have the following problem:

    Using: FR920 3.2 with Garmin vector 2.71 (up to date)

    When riding more than 03:30hours i cannot load or upload the protocol of the ride. When i stop riding everything is just as it should be, the ride is saved and everything. But if i want to analyze my data on the watch (protocol) or in garmin connect the watch fails loading the data. “loading screen” occurs and after about 30 seconds it disappears again. All activities, before and after the long bike rides, are uploaded correctly and can be seen.

    When i change back to firmware 2.7 all activities are lost.

    Having that problem since weeks now and it is really frustrating as i want to analyze my power data.

    Everything is fine when i do shot rides.

    Any idea? Thanks in advance.

  69. Joshua

    This question is addressed to anyone who uses their 920 with a foot pod on an indoor treadmill. I paired the two this morning for the first time and did a quick 3 mile run. For the first .32 miles both were reporting about even, at a roughly 08:34/mi warm up pace. By the end of 3.10 miles (3.10 as displayed on the watch), the footpod/watch pace was roughly 20 seconds faster than the TM and the total distance was roughly .16 miles further than the TM. Note that when I tested the 920 at the track on the inside loop it measured 1.00 miles so I left the calibration factor for the footpod at 1.00. Not sure if there is someone different I’m supposed to do to calibrate things? Could my treadmill actually be that different than the footpod?

    • Hard to know if the calibration is perfect or not. However, ignoring the Garmin, you’d be amazed at how often treadmills are wrong.

      I keep meaning to do a ‘Treadmills: Uncovered’ type series with a rolling wheel on my trips at various hotels/gyms to show how off they can be. It’s mind-boggling.

    • Olu

      This sounds about right for me. I usually run progressive miles on the treadmill. I set the calibration to be spot on around my average pace of 7:30min/mi. When the treadmill is slower then 7:40min/mi the watch recorded a slower pace. When I set the treadmill at 7:20min/mi pace the watch displayed a faster pace. The further I got from the ‘sweet spot’ the worse the offset.

      This is what I found (with my stride) for the 910xt as well. I had 3 calibration factors depending on what type of workout I was doing and what pace I wanted to be accurately displayed on the watch.

    • Joshua

      Ray and Olu thank you both for the feedback. Ray would love an ongoing post about various treadmills during your travels. As far as how I’ve calibrated the footpod, I’m just hoping I’m not missing something in the way I’ve simply left the factor to 1.00. I’ll trust my 920 any day over the treadmill even though I have a pretty high end and reputable brand in the industry. Speaking of which, it’s almost time to upgrade to a new unit, something with not only incline but also decline and perhaps one of those fancy hookups that’ll allow me to display a running course on an iPad or TV in front of me. Recommendations bring em on.

  70. S

    Hi do you know anyone using 920XT for horse riding? I had to set it up as new activity but it seems counting my movement on horse as steps, resulting in double counting, and not so accurate calorie count.

    Also, step count page shows craze amount of calories burned, like 1608 steps 814 calories. Do you know why this is?


  71. Grant

    probably a simple answer but I cant seem to find it. Occasionally my 920xt will not sych to Garmin Connect via BT to Samsung S5, it says “synch failed-Try Again”. But how do you force the synch? the refresh icon (circle arrow thing) just refreshed from the Gamin site via the internet (I think). Any suggestions? I have tried the Airplane mode. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for it, often its 100% fine but then occasionally there are days it just wont do it.

  72. Diego

    Hi Ray,

    Great blog, for me this is the best website for watch reviews excellent work!

    I am about to buy mi first sportswatch, my first option was the garmin swim because for everything else i do i use my iphone with apps for running, biking and gym. Currently have the polar H7 strap that is use with polar beat for running an biking that was bought for me as a gift.

    But then i saw the garmin VivoActive watch which i liked that it had the three activities i do which are run,bike and swim and the price difference between the garmin swim was little so i was thinking of getting the vivoactive. I have seen the garmin 920XT which has the workout mode which i liked, does the garmin vivoactive have that?

    I am overwhelmed with so many options for buying a smart watch that i don’t know where to start. I have seen these watches: Tom-tom Cardio Sport, Adidas Smart Run GPS, Basis Peak, Polar V800, Polar M400, Mio Alpha.

    What i really liked about the Tom-tom is the optical hear rate incorporated in the watch, but from the reviews i saw it is better to buy a garmin with a socshe rythym+ instead of the Mio Link right?. I also liked that some watches have activity and sleep tracking.

    I wanted your advice to help me decide which watch to buy: I am a beginner at swimming i probably swim once or twice a week, run three times a week (4-5Km), gym 2 times a week and bike 2 times a month. I am in no way an athlete or trying to compete in a triathlon so maybe buying a garmin 920XT is too much for me? I’m not sure if i am going to use all the functions. Do you recommend i buy an optical hear rate sensor or continue using the strap? What does the heart rate metric help me in tracking my fitness?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!

  73. EZ Rider

    Just had an odd experience with my 920XT + HRM-Run belt and wanted to see if anybody out there has had the same issue.

    During a marathon this Sunday the HRM belt initially worked fine, but stopped sending any signals (both heart rate and running dynamics) from km 6 onwards. Tried to wet it with water during the run (and of course I was sweating quite a bit, too…), but nothing worked. After the marathon I started a new activity and HR data came in just fine, during a run yesterday it also worked perfectly…almost look like the belt did it on purpose!

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a battery issue – the strap is only 4 months old – and as said it should have been wet enough. Anybody got any idea what could have happened?

    As you can imagine running basically a full marathon without HR guidance kind of s..ks, but I have to say that this is the first time I’ve had any issue with the 920XT / the strap

    • Sibylle

      Experiencing the same issue! I have it mostly while doing interval runs ond the round track. I do have autopause activated and press the lap button before starting the next interval. Initially, the new lap gets started but after maybe 2 seconds the watch stops and so does the heart rate transmitter etc. What helps is pressing the stop button twice (once for stop, once for start), then it does come back.

      Glad that somebody else does have the same issue.

      It cannot be the strap / wetness. If the strap ist not wet enough, the watch usually shows me a too a high heart rate. As soon as I do swet engough, the heart rate falls immediately.

  74. Tim

    Hi Ray,

    First I have to agree with Diego (and of course most of the other comments): you have a great and excellent website. It helped me a lot in my decision to buy the 920xt to combine my edge 810. Thank you!

    Nonetheless I have a question concerning the quick release kit: I bought it to use only one mount at my bike, because I don’t like all the “stuff” at my handlebar and for most of my training sessions I use the 920xt, but sometimes (rides with friends or touring) I also use the edge to navigate.

    Is it right, that if you use only one mount either the 920xt is alighned with the stem or the edge, but not both? And otherwise if the edge is 920xt isn’t? Do I always have to turn the mount, if I want to use the edge? Is this right or have I done something wrong?

    I know the mount is small and should it be necessary I turn install a second mount, but I just want to be sure.

    Thank you for your help!


  75. Ville

    Can you clarify how is the recovery training working? Does it work with every training mode? I am mostly doing endurance training with agility ladder + ankle weights, maximum speed training with agility ladder and then gym. Does the recovery take into account every different sports?

    Also is there any option to collect heart rate data with accessory, that would have built in memory for some hours? I am unable to wear watch in some sports I do since they have equipment and/or contact and I can’t have the watch around. Small optical wrist strap might be fine, but it needs to fit under the wrist guards. Also a chest strap can be ok.

  76. Jayesh Balgi

    I have a heart rate monitor from Garmin 410 and my 920 XT is not able to detect/connect to it. Is there any setting I need to change?

    • Hi Jayesh,

      some suggest to reset the Heart Rate Monitor by either removing the battery for at least 30 – 60 seconds and/or short-circuiting it (link to koelnerwasser.de).

      However, it did not help me. The Forerunner 920XT recognizes the Garmin HRM (Classic standard version, HRM1) immediately but fails to connect. My Foretrex 401 recognizes AND connects smoothly, also after the reset.

      But maybe it works for you?


  77. Hi,

    coming back to my previous comment I did some comparison rides to check on GPS accuracy. I did a full factory reset, turned of GLONASS, too.

    I had both, my good old reliable Foretrex 401 and the brandnew Forerunner 920XT side-by-side on a couple of rides.

    Here is what the Forerunner recorded on my daily commute: link to connect.garmin.com

    Look at the distance. It shows 10.05km for a track of 11.4km. This is the file from my Foretrex 401 link to connect.garmin.com and I have more than 100 of these recordings as I ride this tour every workday – it’s really 11.4km.

    Most disturbing thing: if I export the file, either as “original” file (which is a .fit) or as gpx-track, and upload it to any other site, like gpsies.com, the distance is shown correctly with 11.4km.

    Second case happened today – the Garmin “stopped” measuring the distance at 7.34km. First I did not realize it since it still showed the speed, close enough to the speed measured by the Foretrex. When I hit “pause” / “continue” (ENTER), it continued to measure the distance.

    Here is the Forerunner file: link to connect.garmin.com => if you move over the 7.34km mark in the speed graph you will see the corresponding dot in the map jump a huge distance. 🙁

    Here the Foretrex file: link to connect.garmin.com for the same trip.

    Any ideas what happens here? Why both, the watch as well as Garmin Connect, show the wrong distance while it seems the recording itself is correct?

    Or is the watch simply, well, defect?

    Does anyone else have this experience?


    • Adam R

      Do you have a speed sensor on the bike. Sounds like the speed sensor is giving the wrong distance measurement, and the watch will prefer the distance based on wheel rotations to the gps track. That would explain why the watch is wrong, but the gps track is right.

      Leaving aside the obviously wrong 7.34km measurement, have other measurements been out by a consistent margin?

    • Pete R.

      I had a similar result with speed sensor installed: correct track recorded but distance short by about 15%. I disconnected the speed sensor from my f3 and the distances on subsequent rides was correct. Wheel size was detected automatically so I have yet to understand the problem or solution. It could be the sensor or the watch.

  78. Ben Smukler

    Accelerometer question. I have been using the 920xt for about a month (previously owned the 310XT and the 910XT), both as an activity tracker and to track hiking, running, and indoor workouts. I noticed this morning that the steps shown for my morning walk were about 90% low. I did hit the start and stop button as usual. Does this sound like an accelerometer failure?

  79. I would like a multisport triathlon watch that only requires you to press the stop and start button at the start of the race and at the finishline; i.e. it will automatically register transition times like T1 by noticing no swim and start of bike cadence and T2 by stop of cadence/speed and start of running speed. Does the 920 do this since I am hopeless at doing this myself.

  80. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Can somebody who owns a 920XT please share with me how much the minimum distance in pool swim ALERT is?

    • David

      The watch allows setting the alert anywhere from 1-100 lengths. I cannot comment on how well it works at lower alert levels. The lowest I have actually used is 20.

  81. carlos nóbrega

    it is possible to program a brick bike + run as 10x (5 ‘ bike + 2km run)?

  82. Patrick Sigrist

    Dear DC Rainmaker,

    congrats on your post. it’s a really good review and one of the best i’ve ever read.

    one thing that i rate about the reports is that they cannot be edited to REMOVE BAD DATA or change the graph SCALE. almost every run i made or activity contains some BAD DATA that really mess up with the graph scale and the ability to get some good info out of them.

    do you know why Garmin doesn’t allow us to REMOVE data outliers?

    example: yesterday i was running and got some GPS signal lost that gave me some very fast speed for a couple positions. with that I really cannot look at the PACE report and see how I did perform.

    is there a way to remove these wrong data points and get a much more precise graph? or at least have a way to set the Y axis scale??? that should be easy and a good improvement.


    • Unfortunately no method to edit data on the Garmin site directly. But other 3rd party sites like Sport Tracks, Training Peaks and others do support editing bad data points.

      (Fwiw, neither Suunto or Polar support editing bad data points either).

  83. Martha Jones

    Thanks for the great reviews, and all the comments. I purchased the 920XT and like it so far, but I am new to all this. Primarily use for cycling and will add swimming and running.

    Is the altimeter issue fixed ? I could not tell if software updates had helped this.

    Does Garmin plan to address the inaccuracy of the step counter ? Like when driving or riding a bike ?

    I have used the Mio Link which sends data to the 920xt and Cyclemeter at the same time. Finding a HUGE difference in calories burned on each device. I assume the Garmin would be more accurate.

    Is the Garmin calories burned pretty accurate ? I have read it best to use a Garmin Strap which I have ordered.

    Thanks for the help with these questions. I really like the watch a lot.


    • For me, and my runs, the altimeter issues have been addressed (relative to what I was concerned about). I think for most people they’ve been addressed but there do appear to have a few folks that are still seeing some oddity there. Unsure if it’s related to a specific scenario that they have, versus a device issue or what. In either scenario, I do mean to update my review.

      As for steps calculating while driving – that definitely appears to be semi-random as to who it impacts. For example, I don’t see it on me, but some do. Unsure if that’s car-driven or what. On cycling, yeah, I wish it would turn off there.

      Finally, for calories I believe it’s as good as any other device – assuming you’re using the HR strap.

    • Malcolm

      Scanning this page for Barometer problem issues. Sending my 920XT back for a reissue as I get know elevation data for rides or runs for the last week or so. Same problem with the 910XT too. 920XT software version 5.20.

  84. Bryony Cameron-Smith

    As to a previous comment, and mainly due to the review here (it is great! Thank you!) I have now purchased this watch! From my very limited use so far it is great and so light weight that despite being pretty big on my wrist you don’t really notice it (unlike the 310xt!).

    My only problem with it so far is that I do not seem to be able to have different unit settings for the different disciplines. On the 310 I was able to having my run setting on miles and my cycle on km and they would change automatically when the setting was selected. I can’t seem to do that on this watch.

    Is it possible on this watch as that will bug me a little, and I don’t want to change the way I have always trained just because of the new watch! 😉

    Thank you ever so much again.


  85. Tony Weeks

    When following s course (map), Is there any way that the distance to segment/finish flag data can be removed. It takes up 1/4 of the screen.

    Alternatively is there s way to customise this date, (e.g. Speed or elapsed time)?

    Sorry if this has been answered previously…

  86. Susan

    Can any owners of the 920XT help me… I purchased the 920XT specifically because it is a multi-sport watch (I already have a 220, 610, and vivofit), but because I have started doing triathlons, I wanted to be able to use the watch to help me train. I have used several of the training plans Garmin provides and love that I can send them to my watch and my watch tells me what to do. I cannot begin to explain my disappointment and confusion when I discovered that I cannot send the swim workout that is part of my GARMIN training plan to my GARMIN 920XT nor can I even VIEW the swim workout on my GARMIN calendar in GARMIN connect. If this is truly a multisport watch, why am I unable to do this? I called the tech support and they confirmed that I was unable to do this. I hope they plan to soon add this feature? I was hoping maybe I was just doing something incorrectly or I misunderstood what a “multisport/triathlon watch” really means. I tried to take the swim workout and turn it into a “custom workout” but that became quite a hassle, as I cannot even make notes about the type of stroke. I guess I have to write the workout down on a piece of paper and take to the pool with me, or else memorize it? This watch was quite an investment for me, and I was truly in tears when I learned that I may have spent that much money on something that is unable to do what I truly expected that it would do. I suppose it is my fault for not properly researching first, but I was already using the training plans and sending them to other devices, so viewing swim workouts on the multi-sport 920XT seemed to be common sense, so I doubt I would have thought it would do anything less.

  87. Lauren Eccles

    Hi! Love this review. The other day I saw a link for the watch for $419 from Amazon. Today I couldn’t find it. Do you still have that link? Thanks!

  88. Marlies

    My husband uses the garmin 910xt. I use the 920xt. We both are triathletes. We train together. With the swimming part we use both options: “open water” and “pool”. After each swim we both compare our training results on both watches. My watch (920 xt) seems to NEVER give the actual and right swim results: Interval time is NOT correct, Distance sucks. I am SO dissapointed. It took me hours to figure out what I am doing wrong: we both use the same settings. I put in the right Pool Distance. I do the automatic datat update etc etc.. I checked everything. Nothing works well as soon as I jump in the ocean or pool.
    Please tell me what to do to solve this watch 920xt problem. Thank you in advance.

    • It sounds like you’ve done most of the troubleshooting. I’m not sure why you’d see issues with GPS swims though, as that’s a bit odd.

      At this point, I’d really just recommend contacting Garmin support, it sounds like you might have a defective unit – as it’s certainly not the norm.

    • steven

      I have a mail from Garmin where they finally admit a bug I the 920XT I a pool swim. I have been sending in the FIT files from 3 users showing them how bad the 920XT is in reading distance in a 20m pool. It’s taken them weeks to admit a bug exits. It’s a disgrace that such an expensive watch has this bug

    • So I just went through and skimmed the Garmin FR920XT to see if there’s anything systematic for pool swim issues. I see only one semi-recent thread, of which only a few people seem to have issues.

      The challenge with swimming is that sometimes for some tiny slice of the population it just doesn’t work. I know you had a FR910XT before, so it’s definitely odd it would not work unless you had a defective unit.

      I’d also be hesitant on anyone from Garmin support saying there’s a true bug in the FR920XT swim code at this point (mostly because said code hasn’t changed in a long long time). The only chance would be if something was introduced in a recent update relating to swim, but that was almost a month ago now and I haven’t seen anyone note any issues. Sometimes support folks will say there’s a bug simply to appease people.

      Wish I had a better answer, but from your multiple posts I’d say it might be an issue with the local support team…

    • Steven

      From Garmin:
      From: Product.Support@garmin.com [mailto:Product.Support@garmin.com]
      Sent: 07 May 2015 12:59 AM
      Subject: RE: FR920xt swim <>

      Dear Steven,

      Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I am happy to help.

      Thank you for the files offer, but they are not needed as we are aware of the issue and are currently working on a fix. I apologize for any inconvenience this is causing and we hope to have the problem resolved very soon.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      With Best Regards,


      Customer Care – Fitness Team

      Garmin International

    • Adam

      Hi Steven, I have previously posted on this forum with regards to my swim issues. for 3 months I swam in a 25m pool with my 920xt with absolutely no laps being dropped. I switched over to a 20m pool and hundreds of metres started dropping. I contacted the local Garmin office here and they have switched it out for a new unit. disappointingly, the problems are still persisting (600m dropped in my 3km swim yesterday)

    • David

      Interestingly enough, I am having 3 different pool swim problems (unrelated to dropping laps). And one of the messages I got from Garmin Support (on May 8) was:

      Dear David,

      Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I am happy to help.

      Have you noticed any problems with pool lengths getting missed or added during your swims? There is currently a bug present in the watch that is causing that and it could be affecting the stroke detection.

      Please let us know and if you have any further questions.

      With Best Regards,


      Customer Care – Fitness Team

      Garmin International



      913-440-8280 (fax) Att: Steven 8996341


      Additional solutions may be found at link to garmin.com

  89. Pattie

    I have a sequence question for the 920xt. In my upcoming ironman, I will leave the watch off, but on the bike, during swim. I will turn on the garmin the instant I reach my bike. Question: Do I let the watch detect the speed/cadence sensor BEFORE hitting the start button? Or can I start it and will the watch keep searching?

    Thank you!

  90. Nick Shay

    Hi Ray, great review! Would rather get one of these over an Apple watch 🙂

    During a triathlon, if leave my iphone attached to my bike whilst I do my swim, will the 920xt connect with it automatically when I get to my bike in T1? Just thinking it would be nice to have live tracking enabled for the bike and run!

    Can you create custom workouts on your iPhone and upload them to the 920xt? It is a real pain with my current 910t to manually set up workouts for track nights.

    Thanks and bring on the Lanzarote Volcano Tri tomorrow!

    • No, generally it won’t reconnect properly in my testing (after such a prolonged period).

      Additionally, you can’t send swim workouts to any Garmin devices. Sorry!

      Hope the tri went well this weekend!

  91. Catherine van Staden

    how do I test my heart rate with the 920 when I wake up in the morning? and not neccessarily during an activity

  92. rabbit

    There is a widget in the iq store: heart rate chart..

  93. Dirk


    actually i´m testing the battery life of my 920XT with ULTRATRAC enabled. I use the follwing setup:

    – Bike activity profile
    – Bluetooth off
    – Activity tracker off
    – Ligth set to 5 seconds
    – Alarms and Vibration of

    BUT i wear the HRM-Run. I started the acitivy last night and the watch runs around 16 hours 25 min. I use no battery datafield but it looks like the battery have 10-15% rest.

    Also i think the bike activity is not the proper way for this test because the watch displayed a blinking speed-Cadence sensor icon (i use the GSC-10)

    So is there anyone who gets more then 20 hours of continuing recording. GARMIN offers a battery life of up to 40 hours with ULTRATRAC. Are there special settings to get this?

    • Where was the GPS device? Inside or outside with unobstructed view?

      There’s negligible impact on battery life by usage of ANT+ sensors (like, 1% type negligible).

    • Dirk

      Mostly inside but near the window with mostly full amplitude on GPS indication.

      The watch switched of after 19 hours 40 minutes. After checking Garmin Connect i recognized that the speed/ cadence was not logged – so the watch didn´t catch up the sensor signal. Maybe i had to stop the activity wait for the sensor and then restart again. For me 20 hours are definitly ok….

    • That’s likely why. In my discussions with Garmin in the past, it takes considerably more power on the GPS front when there’s reduced GPS signal (they increase to compensate).

  94. Greg

    in triathlon mode, can you distinguish between indoor pool and open water swim? I’m doing a triathlon that that has the pool leg inside before going outside for the bike and run. Does anyone know if it would know I was indoors?

  95. Fernando Torres

    Hi DC, excellent review, I always use your reviews before I make a decision, so thank you very much!

    So… A few weeks ago I purchased the FR 920XT and it’s great, only with one big issue I wanted to ask if you have encountered and possibly help me with:

    I have two sensors connected for indoor running, the HRM Run and a Footpod, but in several activities I see the sensors dropping briefly but repeatedly, and it’s quite annoying to have an alert / vibration every 15-30 seconds telling me that the “HR is connected” or “Footpod is connected”. Sometimes the gap between this drops are longer (5-10 minutes) but it’s random. I have done everything, change batteries, disconnect and connect again the sensors, updated to the 3.30 version and I still see the same drops. I used the same footpod with an old 910 and it never happened this… The HRM Run is new but I still have the same issue. Any suggestions or recommendation? I have contacted Garmin Support but with no luck in what they have recommended me…

    Thank you again for all the help!!

  96. Tatiana

    Thanks a lot for review…
    I have the question re. max battery time in Ultratrac mode:
    how much power are the alerts taking (i.e. eat sound/vibrate alert/auto lap)?
    I have ultra planned soon and fine both “eat” reminder and laps useful… but of course I also want the watch to last at least the length of the event…
    the GPS signal is usually not perfect in Alps…

    Thank you!

  97. Drew W

    I had a random reboot at the start of a simple run workout yesterday. I had just gotten started & the watch just froze & rebooted itself. It was pretty quick to restart & it asked me if I wanted to resume the workout. It had not gotten a GPS signal yet, and I was literally 30 seconds into the workout. I stopped, turned it off & back on, and restarted the workout. Everything went fine, but now I am wondering if random reboots are a known issue. I’m running the latest version of the software.

  98. steven

    Garmin 920XT is the most disappointing triathlon/training watch I have ever used. Changing from 920XT was the worst idea. It has a bug in pool swims (finally confirmed by garmin) and is problematic on indoor treadmill. Beeps ever 15-30 seconds with HR connected and Foot pod connected. Other issues experienced are inaccurate start of road runs even when GPS says ready….its not…. Garmin swopped the device but new one does the same and there are 3 of us who all bought these devices and all train together and have the same issues. Garmin need to sort the issues out but responses from them are slow to little response. My advice stay away from the 920XT…AND I am not new to Garmin devices….had a 910XT for 3 years and 810 bike device that all worked well.

    • Honestly it sounds like you’ve got a defective unit. Given you’re in SA, I’d be hesitant on whether or not Garmin actually swapped you for a new device. I’ve occasionally seen local countries support basically give you another bad watch. Very rarely, but something to be aware of.

      Also, I’d really look into calling instead of e-mailing. It routes differently and usually gets much better support.

    • Steven

      Many thanks for the reply. What I failed to mention is there are 3 of us who train together and all bought the same watches. 2 of us have swopped them out care of Garmin yet all 3 have the same issue.
      Swimming in a 20m pool cause inaccuracies:

      From: Product.Support@garmin.com [mailto:Product.Support@garmin.com]
      Sent: 07 May 2015 12:59 AM
      Subject: RE: FR920xt swim <>

      Dear Steven,

      Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I am happy to help.

      Thank you for the files offer, but they are not needed as we are aware of the issue and are currently working on a fix. I apologize for any inconvenience this is causing and we hope to have the problem resolved very soon.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      With Best Regards,

      Customer Care – Fitness Team
      Garmin International

  99. Arthur Kirby

    Hi, I bought this watch today based on the first paragraph stating that it was the their “most comprehensive watch to date” (sorry if I got that incorrectly). I was at the Brooklyn Half bib pick-up for this weekend and the watch was on sale. Having only owned a Soleus as my watch for the last few years and unhappy , I thought it was time. I’ve run 5 marathons to date and all distances in between and I’d like to amp up my sportive to include the swimming and riding.
    Firstly, I would have only paid $381.05 (w/tax) for just the watch, if I purchase the HRM-Run separately I would pay $479.03 (w/tax).
    If I were to by it as a package I would pay $489.93…not a big difference.
    My first real question is – is the HRM included in the package the same as the HRM-Run (minus the white running man)?
    I don’t have a real comprehension for gadgets, and theres a panoply to learn….you wrote at great length in your review and I may have missed the answer to all this…but should I get the package, and what would I really be missing without it? I’d like to know my heart rate during runs and to see how they vary, but then again I’m practically a toddler on all this. Please advise – my apologies if its redundant to you. Love your knowledge – Arthur

    • The official FR920XT HR Strap bundle includes the HRM-RUN. There is no other bundle available (if you see a bundle without the HRM-RUN, then beware, as they likely aren’t an authorized retailer and you might be stumbling into something odd). Outside the US, retailers have a bit more flexibility, but in the US the rules/SKU’s are pretty clear.

      As for what you’d be missing, here’s my post on the HRM-RUN: link to dcrainmaker.com

  100. Hi Ray,

    My 920xt currently still has issues with the altimeter. Even though I am from The Netherlands, my town is around 0.5 meters above sea level. However, the watch records all my activities from -10 to -17 meters below sea level. It doesn’t correct it self along the way for several hour bike rides.

    Have you heard anything about a way to resolve this? Besides this the watch is great :), not a single complaint.

    • Have you tried doing a manual calibration of the altitude?

      Also, have you tried dunking it in warm soapy water for about 15-20 mins. In past Garmin devices (and some non-Garmin devices), if the barometer holes got blocked by salt build-up/mud/etc, but just swishing the unit around in warm soapy water for 15-20mins, it would solve it. May be worth a try before ringing up Garmin for a defective issue.

    • The altimeter never really worked/adjusted, but will definitely give the soapy water a shot.
      Where do I find the manual calibration? I will try to store my location when I get back home, as I read that could help as well.

      Hope that either solution works. Thanks for the quick response btw!

    • George

      Ray, please can you explain how to do a manual calibration of the 920 XT altimeter?
      I am used to the 910 XT where I could save a location (e.g. home) and manually edit the elevation… at the start of every activity it says “Elevation Point Found” and corrects the starting elevation. On the 920 there is no such function. Many thanks.

  101. Bernd

    Hi, I have several spikes on my heart rate (showing e. g. by the heart rate monitor app) and once the HRM did disconnected completely. The watch is 1 week old. Amazon offered me either a 60 Euro price reduction or a swap. You mentioned the spikes and drops in the review. If I swap the device, how likely is it to get a better unit?

    • It’s probably 100% likely that a replaced unit (either the strap or the watch) will fix whatever is going on. Or, it could be as simply as a bum battery in the strap (happens more often than you think).

  102. Janyne Kizer

    My questions is probably more Garmin Connect related that 920XT related, but I never had the issue come up before.

    I use my running watch for “workouts” that I create through Garmin Connect. I wanted to create bike workouts on Connect as well. When I do bike workouts, though, autopause doesn’t work. This is not a problem when running but it *is* a problem with riding. I typically do a “warm up” to an area that does not require stopping for traffic/signal lights, do my intervals and then do “cool down” home.

    Apparently, it works as designed. On the one hand, I understand what they are trying to do but on the other hand, I really want autopause to work.

    Link here

    What do people who use workouts do for intervals on the bike?

    • I would just press the stop button manually. Not ideal though, I’d agree (I don’t tend to use autopause personally).

      The other option is to have the warm-up just be ‘open’ as ‘Until lap is pressed’, which means that it’ll just keep on chugging and once you get there press lap to start the workout.

  103. Janyne Kizer

    I see that my link to the autopause not working article didn’t work. Let’s try that again.

    How do I use the Auto Lap/Auto Pause function during a workout?

  104. Andi

    Maybe anyone here can help me.
    I wanted to know if i can do manual laps in the troiathlon mode.
    I cant actually because when i press lap, the watch change the sport…
    But it would be nice because at the trias there are often many laps on the bike/ run.

    Thank you for any ideas!

  105. Bernd

    Hi, in Garmin connect I can configure Spotify as my favorite music app. Is it possible to control the app via the watch? Didn’t found it out and garmin wrote that it is not possible. Is this true? Why can I configure it if it is not possible. BTW Ray, your support is amazing. Thanks also for the great review. I read it several times and there is again and again something new to discover.

  106. jaap

    bougtht the 920 with hrm bundle and quick release kit, works wonderful, i come from a tom tom multisport and i must say the watch is really complicated to understand. The battery also seems to drain fast in my experience way faster then 24 hours which it indicated on the site. It’s probably dead in teh water after 8-10 hours of training.

  107. Amy

    I’m looking to buy this watch for my son who has a heart arrhythmia disorder. He needs to keep his heart rate below a certain threshold. Can you set the watch to let you know you’ve reached a set heart rate? Thanks!

  108. Simon Beedell

    I would like to use the live tracking feature for my long runs so that I can be tracked in case I am out for longer than expected. Do you know of a small phone that has bluetooth smart? I made a mistake of buying a tiny Android phone but it turned out that it wasn’t bluetooth smart…
    A recommendation for a something that my solve this issue would be great

    • Mark

      The original Moto X is a relatively small Android that has BT LE (and you can probably get for pretty cheap now. Since Garmin software release 3.2 (I believe) the BT connection has been great! (It was pretty awful before then…not complaining just saying how good they work together now)

  109. tommays56

    I use it all the time so the wife knows I am safe and it is one of the most stable things they have done as all of my 50Ks have been in areas were I am sure the single was marginal at times and it still kept the information in tact

    There is a big battery hit on the phone and watch but the watch will make 12 hours the Phone needs a juice pack if your out that long

    At this point one of the cheep phones might be the iPhone 5C

  110. Tomas

    Hello, I got a question. If the speed/cadence sensor is installed, I assume that speed is taken from sensor and distance, path is taken from GPS?

  111. Josh

    Ray there are two things I am missing now that I am back to the 620 (due to price drop and rebate and reliability now via version 3.30), having just come from the F3 and previously the 920 (returned as I thought the F3 would be a suitable replacement). I miss the metronome, and the notifications so while I’m running I can see who is calling and if it’s important. Do you envision those two items being added onto the 620 successor before I decide if I need to add the 920 back to my collection?

    • I’d be surprised if Garmin didn’t have smart notifications in any FR620 successor, it would seem a very odd gap. On the metronome, probably the same there as well.

    • Josh

      and now the hard part, the anticipation and waiting for the imminent release. many thanks for your reply.

  112. Bernd

    Hi Ray,

    If I plan a training via Garmin Connect, transfer it to the watch and start it from there I get a further page. Is it possilble to configure that page somehow? It has 3 fields but the page isn’t configurable via the normal acitivity settings.

  113. Janyne Kizer

    @Bernd, I think that the screen that you are talking about with three fields is the “workouts” page that you get when you start at workout, is that correct? If so you can use the up/down on the right of the watch to change it to your configured pages.

  114. Bernd

    Hi Janyne,

    I think so, that this is the workouts page. And yes, I can step through the pages via the up/down buttons. Nevertheless, it would be nice to configure that workout page to my needs. Isn’t this possible or is it fixed from Garmin. Unfortunately I cannot try anything out at the moment since my watch was sent to Garmin for repair 🙁 I hope it won’t last too long since I love this watch.

  115. MartinR

    Is it safe to remove language files from the internal memory? I use only English and the text folder has almost 2MB + I have already backed it up.

  116. Gotiniens

    Does the activity tracker track bike rides? Like a short ride to the supermarket or my daily commute? They are a big part of my daily activity, but they are not workouts, just easy rides to get from A to B.

  117. Dan

    Hi DC,

    I’d like to inform you, that the great swim cap method will not work with the 920xt during outdoor swim mode. I guess within this mode the firmware uses averaging and stores only at every ~ 50m one data point.

    After I changed the activity to e.g. running, the swim cap method works excellent. Hint: I’ve used the auto lap feature, which gives a vibration signal to my head every 100m. 🙂

    • Actually…you don’t want to use running either. 😉

      You want to use cycling or create your own mode. Why you ask? Because using the running profile has the potential to screw up your pace buckets for indoor/no-GPS running. 😉

    • Dan

      Thanks for your response and the good hint!

      I’ve to adjust my above given statement regarding the auto lap: Unfortunately the firmware allows only in swimming mode setting up the auto lap in meters. In other activities it’s in km with the smallest unit of 0.25 km. 🙁

      By the way: Even the change of the GPS settings from “SMART” to “1s” intervals didn’t effect the swim activity as expected. It’s still coarse. I’ll get in touch with Garmin…

  118. Bernd


    I have a question to the GPS: In a workout I did hiking. I have a certain profile for hiking with ultratrac enabled. Nevertheless, Glonass is also always enabled to get better positioning quality. At the beginning of this workout the positioning quality was good to very good. But after 20 min or so the quality is really poor: have a look to this track, especially you can see it during my return: link to connect.garmin.com

    The forward path is very smooth on track of the real hiking trail, the backward path shows poor positionings. Has this something to do with battery level? This result is very disappointing.

    • Yeah, that’s fairly rough. But, why use UltraTrac at all in just a 2hr hike? The one and only time you’d ever want to use UltraTrac is if you were going beyond the regular battery consumption times (i.e. in the 18-20hr range).

    • Bernd

      Hm, that’s a good point, Ray. My intention was to save battery since I am walking very slow and do not need a lot of waypoints. Your suggestion presumes that the battery is full at starting the hiking. Nevertheless, I use it as a day watch and probably I will not take care of a full battery. But I will consider about that suggestion.

      That said, I want to ask again two questions:
      1. Is it quite normal that ultratac leads to poor positioning quality?
      2. May it be that a lower battery leads to poor postioning quality in common (as I remember the battery level was below 20 %).

      The third theory is that my unit has a defect. I will never find that out since I have also the problem with the heart rate (again and again spikes) and sent it back to garmin. Probabliy I will get a new unit.

      Furthermore I want to discuss the ultratrac in common: You said in your review: “The 920XT UltraTrac mode is both similar and different to how it works on other Garmin devices. It’s similar in that it reduces the GPS polling interval. However it’s different in that unlike other devices it’s not a set one point per 60-seconds. Rather, it’s a slightly variable rate that effectively works out to be 15-20 seconds of GPS on time, and about 45 seconds of GPS off time.”

      IMO, GPS tracking can be split in two phases: 1. Tracking the satellite signals and providing the coordinates at an interface (which are done by a certain piece of hardware), 2. post processing which calculate speed, writes the coordinates to a file, etc.

      At this point it is the question, which phase consumes more power. As I understand your statement right, Garmin only writes each 20 seconds or so to the text file in ultratrac mode. IMO this time is too short to stop phase 1 and do a reconnect to the satellite signals. So in my opinion the unit just saves power in phase 2 – just with writing less coordinates and do less post processing. So we are talking about just some CPU savings. Isn’t it?

  119. tommays56

    In theory UltraTrac turns on the GPS and makes a track point every X and you would get a map with a lot of straight lines connecting the points

    I have not seen it work that well in real use

    I get the best battery life with the Footpod and GPS off and its the only way I have seen the watch be able to reach the claimed 24 hour battery life

    My tracks were pretty good over the winter on trails BUT as tree cover has become VERY dense they have gone way down in quality.

    Your not going to get lost BUT you can no longer trust the watch’s ability as a pacing aid in those conditions with GPS

  120. tommays56

    I should also note I have taken out my best handheld which does a 3D fix and WAAS to check reception and in the dense areas the error is > 50′ compared to open sky were it is < 10'

  121. Stepan

    Guys, can I have your opinion, please?

    I have 920xt since December and it seems to me, that it is very slow in updating pace during runnig.
    It ususally takes about a minute to settle.
    This is pretty annoying when I try to mainain certain pace. When I speed up a bit, I learn if my pace is right after a minute.
    I shot a short comparing 920xt on GPS with 310xt on footpod.

    Is this behavior normal, or is my unit faulty?


  122. Ivan

    Does it work with the old Cadence/Speed sensor (I had the one form 910xt – Garmin GSC 10)…

    I was reading that many users are having connectivity issues (link to forums.garmin.com) any comment about? is that a real “defect” or “something fixable”?

    Anyone has tried out the “quick release” option?

    What are the main differences between this and the Fenix 3?

    What would be a good matching power meter?

    Sorry for the many questions and thanks for any info/help


    • 1) I think the connectivity issues are pretty rare, with either them being WiFi interference (possible), or just a defective unit.

      2) I believe I added info on the Quick Release Kit to the review.

      3) Check out my Fenix3 review for exact differences in the ‘differences’ table about 3/4ths the way through the review.

      4) Either unit is perfectly capable.

    • Ivan

      Thanks DC!

      I missed the quick release section (my bad 🙁 )… I guess there are no problems for recharging right? (it will not require a “special” recharger… right?)

      for the power meter, I do not have any… was wondering if there is any compatibility factor I should consider while looking for one…

      Thanks again!!!


    • No issues recharging, it has a little cutout.

      As for the power meters, with recent and in-progress firmware updates, the Fenix3/FR920XT/Edge series should be on the same playing field there from a collection standpoint.

  123. Patrick

    First off great review, thank you!

    Is Garmin showing any signs of integrating the optical HR into the next gen 920xt? This may have been discussed and I missed it.


  124. Bernd


    I got a new substition unit from Garmin. Nevertheless, the spikes in the hart rate are not gone. Let me ask some questions:
    1. Has anyone out there a rock solid curve without hickups with the app ‘heart rate chart’ __and__ the HRM?
    2. How tight do you wear the HRM? Maybe I do something wrong in wearing the HRM? Do you tempering the HRM before you wear it?
    3. In which distance does the Forerunner receive a rock solid signal from the HRM (maybe it is a problem if the arm wrist is too far away from the HRM?)

    Just for my records: I am not 100 percent sure but I thought my last unit did go along with a HRM which was all black. Now I have an HRM which contains some brown elements in the tape. Am I wrong or are there two HRM versions out there?

    • Olu

      I wet the entire strap before I put it on. I wear it tight enough so that it doesn’t fall down. I find the strap very comfortable and will sometimes realize I’ve eaten a meal after a workout and it’s still on.

      My HR curves are perfect, it’s rare for me to see spikes are absurd readings. Also the range is at least 20 feet.

    • Porto

      Always fully wet the whole band before training. All of it.
      The wet sensor part is really important to have a good HR signal. The wet elastic band at the back helps keep it in place when I’m not sweating yet.

  125. Eric

    Great review. I’m worried about using the 920XT Garmin Quick Release with this watch and losing it (mostly on an open water swim in a tri). Several people on Amazon mentioned they lost there’s on the swim in a tri. I currently use the Forerunner 305 with the Garmin Quick Release and have had it fall out two or three times when crashing on my cross country skis. I was able to find it though. Does anyone have any feedback on this?

  126. Eric

    Great review DC. I’m worried about using the 920XT Garmin quick release with this watch and losing it during a swim. Several people on Amazon mention they lost their watch during the swim in a tri using the quick release. Does anyone have any feedback on this? I do a lot of triathlons so the feature is great ,but I don’t want to lose a $450 watch. Another option would be using a Garmin Edge on my bike and buying another watch to use on the run. I would keep the run watch with my run gear and put it on in T2. Does anyone do this?

    • Steve

      The 920xt was my first GPS watch and I, too, was concerned about losing it. Since I got the QRK in December I’ve swam 1200+ laps in the pool with it and it never came loose.

      Just be careful when you click in the watch face- if you don’t seat it flat & level it won’t properly latch on and it could flop off. A quick tug on the watch face will ensure it’s secured.

    • Ivan

      Hi Eric,

      I do have experience with the 910 xt, no issues at all… I guess it will be similar with 920 xt, but I do not know…

    • Mike

      My solution is to have my old 310XT mounted on the bike (I’d use an Edge if I had one) and keep the 920XT on my wrist. That way I can have a lighter weight, slimmer watch for running and swimming and I don’t have to worry about it falling off in open water. And on the bike I can use the 920XT on my wrist as an extra data screen for stats like elevation that I occasionally want to check.

      For races I’ll start the 310XT before the swim and leave it in auto-pause so that I only have to hit the buttons on the 920XT on my wrist in transition.

    • Ivan

      Maybe a silly question, but when you upload everything on Garmin Connect (and or Strava or whatever you use), do you have “duplication of activities”? no? what do you do with that?

      As triathlete you might want the time “start to Finish”…

      this is just my “loud thinking”


    • David

      I use an Edge 500 on my bike for watching during the race and my 910XT (now 920XT) for my official record keeping. I keep both .FIT files on my computer, and upload them both to GC. But I do not “copy them” (or go back and delete auto copies) to other sites. It’s actually one of the pains with the new “everything automatically syncs to Garmin Connect”. It’s a great feature 97% of the time.

      Note, I have not done a triathlon since auto-sync was set up. But I still ride with both devices and in that case Strava usually discards the second one uploaded. It depends on how closely you start the activities to each other (I think). TP seems to be much more random as to whether or not it duplicates the files.

      I’ve often wondered how Ray keeps his “official training log” straight with all of the devices he “randomly” utilizes.

  127. Hi DC,

    I would very much like to hear if you know how to create a brick session with 6 activities (Bike, run, bike, run, bike, run)? If I edit the brick session on the watch 5 activities is the maximum. Is it possible via Garmin Connect to make a brick session with 6 activities? How?

  128. Mark


    Looking to use the LiveTrack option. You said, “To begin a Live Tracking session you’ll need to have first paired your phone to the FR920XT. Next, on the FR920XT you’ll go into the LiveTrack option on the app.” You mean to say, “….Next, on the PHONE you’ll go into the LiveTrack optio on the app.” Right?

    Thanks for the great review and details on how to use.

  129. Mike

    Two questions I need help with
    1) during a swim or run I just want to record an active set, start a rest set, and then an active set. Basically I’m having to hit start, lap for the rest period but instead of it starting at 0 it just keeps running. For example I want to run 400s at 1:30 on the track with a 30 second rest. How do I get it to record my run, hit the lap button for it to reset to start at zero, and then when I get to the thirty second mark it will start me back at 0 for my run?
    2) during the run and swim I don’t want the watch to search for a power meter and speed sensor. Only on the bike do I want this active. I feel that it will run the battery down when I do an ironman.

    Thanks for the help.

  130. giorgitd

    So, I’m considering one of the newish Garmin devices that support Connect IQ. The idea sounds great. But I’ve been monitoring comments in this post (great review of the 920XT, BTW, Ray) and looking at the Connect IQ store. I’m very underwhelmed by what’s available in terms of new ‘features’ and apparent quality. I know that development can be slow for new platforms, but we’re about 5 months in from the IQ store opening. ANd I’m not sure what will change over the near future. I don’t think that there is sufficient attractiveness in developing Garmin apps to attract developers. Ray’s blog (and others) have provided *lots* of interesting ideas – but few of those have appeared. Perhaps such ideas are not practical, given the access allowed to the device. Still, if you’re planning to lay down some coin, in part, expecting cool Connect IQ apps, perhaps it’s better to wait and see how this approach develops. BTW, there appears to be a pseudo-tri app. I don’t have a Connect IQ capable device, but if an app can be developed that allows seamless, sequential selection among sports, and including transitiions, I might be more interested in the Vivoactive…

    Anyway, what’s the general opinion of Connect IQ apps among those with compatible devices…? Exceeding, at or below expectation so far?

  131. Janyne Kizer

    Giorgitd, I agree. ConnectIQ is a sad little store. I’m very disappointed that there is no Garmin Tempe app. Oh well.

  132. Chris

    Does anybody know how to delete an activity profile?
    I created a new activity profile but I no longer need it. I tried to delete it using the instructions from the manual:
    Deleting an Activity Profile
    1 Select > Settings > Activity Profiles.
    2 Select a profile.
    You cannot delete the active profile, and you cannot
    delete a single sport profile that is contained within the active
    multisport profile.
    3 Select Remove Profile > Yes

    When I select the “Remove Profile > yes” – I get a message telling me “Cannot remove Active Profile”.
    I see the “Note” in the instructions but, I don’t know how to make this profile inactive.
    Does anybody know how to delete an activity profile?

  133. Marcus

    Garmin 920XT and Rotor LT Power Meter [Triathlon Activity Mode]

    During a triathlon race I use my 920XT as my only data tracking device. I wear this on a quick release wrist strap during the swim phase, and then switch it to a barfly bike mount, for the bike stage, and then back to the wrist mount for the run phase.

    The problem I’m having is that the Rotor LT Power Meter will not connect to the 920XT during the bike phase. Note that the Rotor LT Power Meter does connect, and work fine when using just the [Bike Mode].
    This has happened in my last two races, causing me to race without power for the entire race. Each time I spend the first mile on the bike attempting to connect manually in the setting menu, but it just says ‘searching’. As you can imagine I’m finding this very frustrating.

    The next thing that I’m going to try, although this is the solution I really want, is to have the 920XT already paired, and mounted on the bike, therefore NOT using it for my swim data, but having it ready to go on the bike, might sort the issue.

    Have you experienced anything like this, or do you have any idea what it might be? Could it be the Ant+ sensor inside the 920XT?

    Any help would be gratefully received!

    Many Thanks,

    • Geraldine von Fintel

      Marcus I also have a problem with the 920xt when it comes to my power meter. I have a stages power meter, and find when I wear my watch on mywrist it does not pick up the power meter. Or rather it keeps dropping the power meter. So I have a very inaccurate reading. However if I place it on the table it and keep it still it is 100% accurate
      Let me just add I have not taken it out on a ride yet, these readings are done from my trainer (Tacx).

    • Geraldine von Fintel

      I just want to add it pairs very quickly with my power meter
      So I suppose my question would be has this “dropping” regarding connectivity got to do with me moving my arm around to much, which is what will happen when I am outdoors

    • I have exactly the same problem with my 920XT and Rotor Power powermeter. When I wear the watch on my right wrist the signal drops from time to time but when I place it on the stem using the quick release kit there is no drop at all.

    • Monteiro

      In my experience the Rotor Power Meter ANT signal is very weak, I also have to mount the 920XT on the handlebars otherwise it does not receive the power info at all. But all other sensors can be reached by the 920XT from a fair distance.

      When I update firmware on my Rotor 3D I have to place the ANT dongle few centimeters from the Crank otherwise it does not connect. I almost returned the crank thinking this was a faulty unit but they told me this is a characteristic of the Rotor ANT transmitter…. they tuned the signal strength down to save battery, at least this is their excuse.

    • Marcus

      My issue is different. The Rotor connects and works completly fine when in ‘bike’ mode, however when using in ‘triathlon’ mode when I leave transition with my bike, and then start riding the powermeter doesn’t connect. It’s almost like switching from ‘Swim’, to ‘bike’ doesn’t allow the time required to ‘sync’ with the power meter, and once riding it just doesn’t want to connect. Even when going into the menu, and forcing a connection, it just says ‘searching’.

      I have a triathlon this weekend, so I’m going to leave it on my bike, ready for when I finish the swim, and hope that because it’s already paired, and in ‘bike’ mode that it works.

  134. Fabio Mussi

    i’ve read almost all the comments of this great review but there ‘s a thing i really don’understand: i’ve always used the 910xt for my swim sessions and what i do is to hit the stop button when i finish and then the lap button to reset the lap field. Now there the rest field that seem a great add but i can’t understand how can i use the lap button as i use it in the running in my long swim session. when i do a 3K in the swim pool i what to have 3 laps (every 1000meters) but if i m not wrong if i push the lap button the 920 start to count rest time…the only way is to double click the lap button or maybe i can disable the rest function?

    is there a way to set an autolap every tot meters?


    • Hans

      Hi Fabio – it’s correct that you have to hit the lap-button twice in order to go directly from one lap to the next lap. If you hit the lap-button while swimming it thinks you start resting (and ends the lap). Hitting the lab-button again starts the new lap. This is actually a cool feature while swimming in the pool. One problem however (its the same in other sports) is that if you hit the stop-button after a lap you will get presented by a droplist with “Continue”, “Save” and “Delete”. In this list they (still 22/6 2015) miss the “Save lap”-option. You have to start the activity again AND then hit the lap-button AND then hit the Start/Stop-button. This is a bad option because you end up with a lot of small segments doing nothing inside the lap. I have asked Garmin to implement this function (like on the 910) so the SAVE LAP is also in the droplist. I strongly suggest that others do the same – just go to the Garmin Website under support and paste this into the comment field: “Please put the “SAVE LAP” into the dropdown-list that shows up when hitting the Start/Stop-button on FR 920xt”. If we are enough begging for this feature-request it might get implemented!

  135. Alex

    Hi Ray!
    Have you made roof battery life test after replacement your watch?

  136. Christy Druzynski

    DC Rainmaker! First off….your reviews over the years have helped me make the right nerdy triathlete expensive technology purchase…consistently every time! So…thank-you! There is something that I have been struggling with on the 920XT. When I am running, I can see ‘Pace’, and ‘Average Pace’. ‘Pace’ of course is ‘What am I running right now at this very second’. ‘Average Pace’ is ‘What is my average pace thus far for this entire run’. What I WANT to see though, is my average lap/mile pace. So for example, if my coach gives me a workout that says ‘Mile 1-2 8:15, Mile 3-4 8:05, Mile 5-6 7:55’, I am having trouble using the ‘Pace’ and ‘Average Pace’ metrics available to me to stay on top of those numbers. I use mostly ‘Pace’, but as you well know depending on the course, you may be running a 9:00 for part of Mile 1 going uphill, and then 7:30 going downhill. I am constantly doing math in my head to predict my Mile 1 time based on my ‘current’ pace…(‘I think I ran a 9:00 for 1 minute then a 7:30 for two minutes, will I come in at 8:15 still?) and it hasn’t been working out to well…I know you have run into this before (no pun intended), so any advice you have would be awesome! :):):)

    • Stu

      Can’t you set auto lap to 1 mile then average pace field will be average pace over just the mile you are currently running.

    • Robert Hesketh

      Lap Pace is what you want. This will predict you pace for your “lap” based on what you have run and what you are currently running. By the end of the lap, this will be your average pace for the lap. So you can have a screen that shoes lap pace, lap distance, and last lap pace.

  137. Kuincey Whitfield


    Have you heard of any issues with the 920XT being “off” on distance while running on the track. My 920XT (this is my second one due to the same issue) that is consistently over when doing mile repeats on a track. My garmin logs each mile distance as 1.07 instead of closer to 1 mile. I run the innermost lane each time. I do wear my watch on my right wrist and so does a guy who runs in our group but his logs in around .99 to 1.01 for each mile repeat. It appears that the garmin is calculating my distance by stride link over the course of the track laps and not by gps. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hmm, that’s a tiny bit high. Most folks see 1.01-1.05 per lap on a track. The tricky part is tracks are well…really tough. But 1.07 is definitely a little bit higher.

      The FR920XT doesn’t use stride data unless GPS is lost. It may be worthwhile doing a GPS reset (soft reset of the unit) to see if that helps. Also, if you have GLONASS enabled, try disabling – or, vice versa.

  138. Mark

    Hi, has anyone had any problems connecting a HR to the 920xt? I’ve just go mine and have a Garmin HM the 920xt finds the HM but then can’t connect to it.

    Just thinking out loud the HM has been connected to a Vivosmart recently, how do I disconnect that from the Vivosmart or is that not the issue?



  139. Josh

    Ray or others,
    Is there any hope of Garmin adding or a developer adding a data field allowing for pace from footpod while running outdoors?
    Secondly, while I find the data field “instant pace” relatively stable, it still fluctuates at times depending on strength of signal. When autolap beeps and vibrates at each mile, is the lap pace being calculated based on the average of instant pace readings or is it based on the actual time it took to run one mile according to GPS?
    Thirdly, is the average pace field a display of the averaged instant pace readings, or again does it simply revert back to the time elapsed and actual distance as calculated by GPS?
    If this is discussed elsewhere and someone has a link, I would greatly appreciate the help. Thank you!

    • I don’t know if Garmin provides secondary access to that, without the developer just creating an ANT+ connection to the footpod (which they could definitely do).

      When autolap beeps the pace is being calculated by the GPS pace. Today, on all recent Garmin watches, none of them are using footpod pace when the GPS is enabled and has signal. Only indoors or in a tunnel.

  140. Joe

    Has anyone used the PowerCal (either CycleOps or PowerTap branded) with the 920xt? I had no problem with the initial pairing of both the power and HR, but then both the power & HR drop out and re-pair at apparently random intervals, where it will not be connected for 10s to a minute, and then stay connected for 30s to a couple minutes. First this happened at a spin class, so I thought maybe there could be interference with any of the 20+ other people there, and then I put on my Garmin HRM, while keeping the PowerCal on for power only, so both were sending. I got a solid HR signal from the Garmin, as usual, with spotty Power readings from the PowerCal.

    When I got home, I tried again, this time w/o any other people or devices nearby, but ended up with the same spotty connection problem. I haven’t connected PowerTap’s customer service yet (it’s the weekend), so I was just wondering if you’ve seen or heard of anything like this yet. I didn’t see anything when I Googled for a problem like this. I ended up buying two different PowerCal units, one branded as CycleOps and the other as PowerTap, and both acted exactly the same way. I’ve since returned the CycleOps unit, but I’m holding on the the PowerTap for the time being, hoping that this can somehow be resolved.

    I also replaced the battery with a brand new one for both, as part of the trouble-shooting, but that didn’t solve the problem either.

    Thus far, my FR920xt has not had any issues with the HRM, cadence, and speed sensors (all Garmin) that I use.

    • Joe

      So some quirky follow-up on this: The Powercal seems to work with the 920xt but only if the GPS is also on. Outdoor bike rides work fine with both HR & power w/o any drops or spikes. I used it once on an outdoor run too, and it worked great as a HR-only monitor. But any time I want to use it for indoor training or spin class, both HR & power go on/off as described above. However, when i turn GPS on (and auto-pause off) for indoor bike, then the PowerCal works continuously and correctly. I just get a funny map after and it looks like I biked 0 miles in an hour while keeping a high cadence, heart rate, and power.

  141. Randy Thompson


    I’m trying to set my HR zone for running using the custom set up based on BPM. BPM is not an option in the running selection (it is for cycling). What am I missing?

    These are the instructions that I am following:

    Setting Your Heart Rate Zones

    The device uses your user profile information from the initial setup to determine your default heart rate zones. The device has separate heart rate zones for running and cycling. For the most accurate calorie data during your activity, set your maximum heart rate. You can also set each heart rate zone and enter your resting heart rate manually. You can manually adjust your zones on the device or using your Garmin Connect™ account.

    Select > My Stats > User Profile > Heart Rate Zones.
    Select Default to view the default values (optional).
    The default values can be applied to running and cycling.

    Select Running or Cycling.
    Select Preference > Set Custom > Based On.
    Select an option:
    Select BPM to view and edit the zones in beats per minute.

    Select %Max. HR to view and edit the zones as a percentage of your maximum heart rate.

    Select %HRR to view and edit the zones as a percentage of your heart rate reserve (maximum heart rate minus resting heart rate).

    Select Max. HR, and enter your maximum heart rate.
    Select a zone, and enter a value for each zone.
    Select Resting HR, and enter your resting heart rate.



  142. jun

    I really want to be a triathlete, but money is an issue for me. But i really do train hard. Sir dc, will you still recommend 910xt for someone who still dont have a gps watch or is 920xt worth buying?considering i have a lil bit problem on money. Thank you so much.

    • Drew W

      Jun…A Garmin doesn’t make you a triathlete any more than a tri bike or a top of the line wetsuit. The desire to go out & train and compete makes you a triathlete. A GPS watch can help you understand your numbers & potentially get better, but don;t think that it’s in any way required. Some of the fastest triathletes I know still use basic Timex watches.

      That said, the 910xt is still a great watch for a newcomer. Heck, even the 310xt will be fine for what you need. And both would fit a beginner’s budget.

  143. Adam

    Hi Ray (or anyone),

    I really like rectangular athletic watches. They just handle 4 data fields much better, and I am 4 data fileds guy (hr, pace, time, dist). But on my old 310xt, these 4 fields are just not nice! The problem is the time fileds on 1h+ runs. If I use 4 data fields, after 1h the time is displayed H:MM with no seconds any more :-/ So I end up using 3 fields set up with time on top taking all screen’s width and then displaying H:MM:SS. I leave distance out and use autolap so I actually know how much I ran every kilometer.

    Anyway, I could find some shots of 920xt with 4 data fields setup and time being one of them, and I think I can see that it actually can display H:MM:ss (seconds in smaller font indexed up). Is it correct? That would be a nice improvement for my taste and I could use it with 4 data fields setup nicely…

    • Total time is displayed as mm:ss but if it is higher than one hour it is displayed as h:mm:ss with hours in smaller font indexed up. It is much more useful than displaying h:mm as it was made in previous devices.

  144. Martha

    I use the Garmin 920XT and Cyclemeter at the same time for my bike rides. I have been using the MioLink and it sends HR to both. I notice a huge difference in calories burned on each one. Cyclemeter said 1376 and Garmin said 798. The ride was 27.51 miles. Which is the most correct ? And, is the Garmin calories somewhat accurate ?

    • It depends, it’s a bit tricky to know without knowing how long it took you, your weight, etc. My guess is that it probably sits slightly above the 798, but less than the 1376.

    • Martha

      ride was 27.51 miles time was 2:38:33 ave speed 10.41 mph
      weight is 174

      both used Miolink and heart rate calculations were the same on both Garmin and Cyclemeter only the total carolies vastly different

    • Hmm, I’d say it was probably closer to the 1,300 figure then.

    • Martha

      Thanks ! I tested the 920xt against Polar/Cyclemeter and just Cyclemeter. The Polar count was within 100 calories of Cyclemeter. I have seen a thread started on Garmin support of others complaining about the same thing. For the amount of money I spent on this watch I am very disappointed.

  145. Ricardo Diaz

    Hi Ray,

    I wonder if you got any news from Garmin about the ability to create a course from a GPX track file. I know you can import gpx files with timestamps as a GC activity and then save as course but if your account is synced with strava you have to import first than save as course and then delete from two places.

    Thanks for your time!

  146. Patrick

    Hi Ray
    Is there any possibility of the next forerunner having the optical heart rate sensor?

  147. Jared

    I mainly do indoor pool based triathlons as I’m new to the sport, the triathlon option seems to only want to record outdoor swims, can you change this anywhere so it shows my distance in the swim as well as the time?
    Thanks, Jared

  148. Mike

    Tested out the open water swim gps and it was way off! Basically for every 50 yards it only records 25yards. Actually 23. Is this a known issue or am I doing something wrong? Tested it out in the community outdoor pool.

    • Are you using the GPS in the pool outdoors? It should be in ‘Pool Swim’ mode, note outdoor GPS.

    • Mike

      I did have the gps on in an outdoor pool to test it. Once I swam to the opposit wall and back. The other time walked to the other wall and back and both times came up with 23 yards instead of 50. Isn’t gps still gps regardless if in an outdoor pool?

    • Yeah, that’s your issue. For pool swims, be it indoors or outdoors – you should use the ‘Pool mode’, not GPS. It’ll then ask you to set/configure you’re pool length. In pool mode it doesn’t use GPS, but rather internal accelerometers instead.

      That distance is just too small for GPS to deal with.

    • Mike

      In the pool I have NO issue with it keeping track of distance.

      Since I have your hear I need help with two things. I have a speed sensor and a power meter set up for the bike. However, how do I get the watch to NOT search for these during a run without having to disable them. Figured this will drain the battery during an ironman.

  149. J

    after upgrading the firmware to version 4.2; if it is ok to install map with basecamp ?

  150. Eoin

    Hi Ray, quick question regarding Connect / Strava integration. When recording a multisport activity, say a triathlon, how will these three activities and two transitions be published to Strava? Three seperate activities? 5? Just one strange looking one? Thanks in advance.

  151. Robert

    Hi Ray, I love your review of this watch. In fact, it was a major decision maker in purchasing it. One feature that I haven’t figured out (if it exists) is how to include a course as part of a multisport activity. For instance, when I do my first full IM this year, I would love to have the bike portion be done as a course, giving me a map and my pace (ahead/behind). Do you know if it’s possible, or if it will be in future updates?

  152. rudy acosta

    I’m currently in Japan, so the only available models are the 920XT-J is it possible to set the watch to English ?

  153. Charle

    I update the ver4.2 last night on my new 920xt. I tried to download a face watch but it did not work.

    I did not try to download face watch before i updated to ver4.2.

    Anyone facing the same problem?

  154. Vicente

    Hi Ray,
    I can’t find any option to show the number of intervals you have just done while swimming so you know that if you have planned to swim for instance 8×200 you can keep track of how many you have completed. This was an option I had in my Garmin swim, and something I miss in a much more complete and expensive device.
    Thanks for the answer and the great reviews from Spain!

  155. Eric Prilipp

    I don’t wear my 920 on the swim and keep it on my bike. Does anyone know how I can make my 920 stay on in transition? There’s a “Power Save Timeout” mode but it still turns off after 25 minutes. I need my Garmin to stay on for several hours (such as an ironman) so when I hop on my bike all I have to do is hit the enter button. I never had this problem with my 305.

    • No, it’s only the 25min option.

      That said, simply turn it on (get GPS) while in transition. Once it finds GPS in that spot, you’ll be good. That way when you arrive at T1 back to the back, just tap it on. At most it’ll take you 2-3 seconds if you practice it (really, you can do it in under 2 seconds).

      The GPS acquisition itself then should only take 5-8 seconds, so by time you exit T1 it’ll be on.

  156. Jono H

    This is new- in version 4.20 (iirc)… Under Training|My Workouts|Running I get
    R-Int(Miles) [I am using Metric, in case you were wondering]

    • Jono H

      Forget that previous comment

      They are example workouts that infected my device from Garmin Training Centre. (I was trying to get some courses working)

  157. Thibaut