Premium Aesthetic Forms For Garmin? – Err No.

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Suunto Ambit3 Customise

In an opinion piece on an imagined Garmin Forerunner 930XT I suggested that Garmin should focus on ‘premium aesthetic forms’. To date Garmin have only released a grey/black 920XT that is only available as part of a relatively expensive Tri-Bundle that also includes accessories.

New Colour 920XT Jul 2015

Suunto are doing, above, more like what I had in mind. Even simple customising of straps/bevel/case can make a big difference, especially if quality metals or metal-effects can be used. There are always going to be some people with a bit extra cash who want something ‘unique’. Maybe not enough to tempt Garmin to offer options for the Fenix3?.

Several months back I was involved with Polar in their quest for new colours of straps for the V800.

Thinking about aesthetics though. All 3 of them need to produce better screens. I think the battery life is ‘there’ now for most people. The extra power requirements of a higher definition screen could be coped with by today’s battery capability I imagine.

Whilst the Polar V800 looks good, it’s screen is not actually as good as you might think and it looks better than it should with the screen resolution. But the Garmin and Suunto A3 could both be improved or even NEED to be improved; I’m especially thinking of the Fenix3 and 920XT where pretty much all of the IQ faces look terrible IMO, not because of the developers but because of the hardware limitations.

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Agreed. I’ve never understood why Garmin released an arguably much better looking black and gray 920XT but only in an expensive bundle, all the while users are complaining on their forums about how ugly the blue model is. Or why they release a top of the line, and priced accordingly, running watch (630) in all-plastic, even though many people are wearing these watches 24/7 and would appreciate higher quality build materials.

The problem is that premium materials add weight. The 920XT isn’t top of the range, it’s the workhorse of the range designed to be primarily a good triathlon watch. This means lightweight and small. The colours they chose may not be very clever – Garmin are obsessed with having separate girl/boy colours for some reason, but realistically black and white would have been just fine. Sadly they then added a stripe to each which stands out when adding a coloured strap. I use the green strap on my 920 and it would look perfect if the watch didn’t have red stripes!