Garmin 225 vs. Garmin 910xt GPS Watch Review

You guys – this morning’s sunrise was insane. I was kind of bummed I saw it from the track instead of down on the trail along the water (much better views), but glad I was up and enjoying it at all!

This morning’s track workout was straightforward: a 24 minute tempo run building in speed. I ran the whole thing with one of my track buddies so we could chat – makes the laps go by so much more quickly! We started around an 8 minute mile pace and then slowly built to around a 7:30 pace. I had a nice rest day yesterday so I felt great out there today!

(Photo reenactment – I don’t normally run the opposite direction but no one else was coming.)

We finished up the workout with some 150m sprints. I did 6 of them. Whew! Good one today. It’s amazing what a difference doing my track group workouts the day after a rest day makes – so much more energized!

So, ironically I forgot to put on my watch this morning because now I want to talk GPS running watches! I’ve been getting a ton of questions lately (I think you guys are starting to think about your Christmas lists!) about the two different Garmin watches I have and which one I like better, so I thought I’d put together a little informal review.

Let’s start with which watches you’ve been seeing in all the running pictures here on the blog! I have two watches, the Garmin 910xt and the Garmin 225.

Below is the Garmin 910xt (I bought myself a Garmin fabric wrist strap to go with it that’s better than the original band for small wrists. It doesn’t have great reviews online but I’ve loved it – it’s lasted for ages and I’ve had no problems with it). I received the Garmin 910xt for Christmas a couple years ago to replace my Garmin 305, which died after I’d had it for like 5 years (and is now discontinued since it’s so old).

I’ve been using and loving the Garmin 910xt watch for quite awhile now. Then, this summer, I was gifted the new Garmin 225 as part of my partnership with ClassPass to train for and run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. I know, I’m really spoiled to have two fancy watches. This is the Garmin 225 – the round watch that you’ve seen in photos a lot recently:

A bunch of you have been seeing me switch back and forth between the two and wonder which one I like better. Honestly, they are about tied right now. Bottom line is that both watches are amazing and will likely suit your needs: awesome GPS tracking, workouts programmed in, you can upload all the data to your computer and analyze it all day long, easy to set lap splits so your pace pops up every mile (or whatever lap distance you set), etc.

That said, here are some pros and cons (beyond what I’ve just listed as pros) to help you decide if you’re looking to put one of these on your Christmas list!

Garmin 910xt


  • Best for triathletes/those who like tracking activities outside of just running, like biking.
  • You can swim with it since it’s fully waterproof.
  • Ability to have up to 4 data screens visible at once.


  • It has heart rate functionality, but that requires wearing a heart rate strap, so I never use that function. (I find heart rate straps really uncomfortable/annoying.)

Garmin 225


  • Best for runners or fitness class attendees (due to the heart rate functionality).
  • Built in heart-rate tracker that does not involve wearing a heart rate strap. This is the coolest thing about this watch – LOVE this feature.
  • You can use it as an all-day tracker – it even prompts you “MOVE!” every once in awhile if you are sitting too long.


  • As far as I can tell, you can only have 3 pieces of data visible on one screen, so for me to see all the stats I like to check (mileage, total time, average overall pace, and current actual pace), I have to scroll through screens – kind of annoying.
  • When you pause the watch, it defaults to a special clock screen, so you have to scroll back to see the stats from the run so far – when you pause the 910 I really like that it stays on the data screen. 

So, basically both watches are amazing but depending on your needs there are some slight pros/cons to consider. As a disclaimer, I’m not 100% an expert on either of these watches so I’m sure there’s some awesome functionality (or lack thereof) that I’m not mentioning here. If you’d like super in-depth (like REALLY in depth) reviews of GPS watches, check out the DC Rainmaker blog – his Garmin reviews are insanely detailed. Also, there are Amazon affiliate links in this post, just FYI, so if you buy a watch via one of my links I’ll receive a small kickback for the referral. Thank you! 🙂 

I hope you guys found this interesting/helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions about the 910xt vs. the 225 and I can try to answer them, but no promises since clearly I’m not exactly a tech expert over here. 😉

Happy running and watch shopping, my friends!

Do you have a GPS watch? If so, which one and what do you like/not like about it?

Related posts about running you might also like:

  • How to Eat for Running: Top 5 Nutrition Mistakes Made by Runners
  • First Marathon Training Reflections
  • Want to become a runner? This post is for you.
  • How to set mile splits on a Garmin watch
  • How to use a foam roller (with video!)
    • How I overcame a knee injury (1st half marathon training reflections)
    • Deciphering speed workout lingo

Of interest:

  • Fitness that gives back: upcoming charity runs/walks in the DC area
  • An Exercise in Self Compassion — “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” Love this post.
  • Something to make this week: Pesto Baked Salmon with veggies. Fast and easy!
  • ICYMI: Why You Should Care What’s in Your Feminine Care Products
  • When Blogging Gets Hard <—great read for my fellow bloggers. So true!

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