Customer Review

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The watch for the serious triathlete, 20 May 2012
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This review is from: Garmin Forerunner 910XT GPS Watch with Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Electronics)
This watch has everything the multisport/triathlete can wish for, and then some. The added swim features, identification of both lengths in indoor pool, stroke style and count in indoor and open water, and gps in open water swim, are simply amazing. And with the long battery life, this watch keep going longer than the ironman. If you're into multisports, then look no further, there is no competitor on the market that can match this watch in features and functionality.

It's hard to say something negative about this watch, even where it comes to short, it's far ahead of everyone else.

For example identifying swim style, counting strokes and pool lengths is based on accelerometers and prone to errors. I'm amazed of how well it performs, but don't expect to get spot on perfect results every time: I have found it can't identify style when I swim under water breast stroke at a low pace, and sometimes it gets it wrong. It some times misses a pool length, the length count in my tests is not incremented at push off, but some combination of push off and swimming. Often what happens is that it misses the last length. If you push the lap button it will assume you're at the wall it seems.

The watch doesn't lack features, but the manual is not much more than a quick start guide to get you out running. You have to explore the new features on your own and the menu structure is not exactly user friendly. Configuring any sport mode, you first have to select that sport mode (hold down the mode button), then you can configure the details and displays for the selected sport (press the mode button to enter the menu). From within the menu you can also change sport mode (select training -> change sport). I find the menu's very confusing.

You can configure multiple bikes, and that's great if you have more than one bike, but first you have to be in bike mode, and you can only modify the currently selected bike. Configuring each bike goes as far as configuring bike details and adding sensors mounted. When you select bike mode you'll be asked to choose which bike if you have more than one configured.

When you select swimming, you're asked to select open water or pool swim, selecting pool swim you're asked to select pool length. This could be better, either list different pool swims, say configure your pools just as you configure bikes, and each pool figures among the list of pool swims. And if you've just configured your local 25m pool, then that's the one that's selected by default.

Hold the enter button a few seconds and you can choose sport mode, run, bike, swim or other, but here you can't select multisport. Garmin has failed to understand that multisport is a sport mode as well, and the logical and fast way to enable multisport is to list it with the other sport modes. Instead, you select any sport mode (including other), then enter the menu -> training -> auto multisport (here you can change/add each leg, enable transit logging) -> start. And to stop multisport, menu -> training -> stop multisport (the auto multisport has been replaced by this item). I have no idea why they call it auto multisport.

You can configure only one multisport, so you can't predefine say acuathlon, duathlon and triathlon, or triathlon cross, as different multisports, in stead you have to configure your multisport each time. It's not lack of capacity, you can configure 4 different bikes, so why not 4 different multisports? Then, maybe this is not a big deal, after all the multisport mode is likely only used in competitions, but still.

In multisport mode, an extra display screen is added, but the only thing that really distinguish this from other screens you can configure is tiny letters "Multi time" and "Multi Distance" which I suppose is total elapsed time/distance. And then it shows the current sport mode. But this looks too similar to one other default screen showing time, distance and sport. So it's difficult to see if you accidentally enabled multisport while fooling around with the menus. Multisport is by far the least intuitive mode to use.

Some other missing features: Power save, leave it on, and it stays one regardless of whether you're actually timing any activity. No watch functionality, you can show time of day on one of the up to 4 displays, but there's no simple watch function. Neither of these are really big issues, and shouldn't keep anyone from making a buying decision.

All of these issues are things that Garmin could resolve with a firmware update, and I guess also issues that once you've figured it out you can work with it and enjoy your sport instead of wasting time messing around in the menus.
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