2016: New Sports Watches by Garmin, Suunto, Polar, Wahoo ?

It all started here

It all started here

– This is an old version >> – latest version for current month HERE.<<

I have no inside information. My speculations about new watches for next year would include those below. Have I missed any?

You can sort of work it out from the recent price discounting of existing models and the time since the last new model. Of course ‘sort of’ working it out can prove to be totally wrong 🙂

Garmin could go the way of new versions of existing models as I suggest, below, AND/OR another route would be for them to upgrade the running/triathlon watches with OPTICAL HR. The former would make more money IMO. Whichever way you look at it we should expect AT LEAST A COUPLE OF significant product announcements in 2016.

The other manufacturers have fewer options than Garmin as they have a much narrower product range. So they can incrementally update one or all of their models or, slightly contradictorily, being smaller they have the freedom and limited resources to come up with a ‘new thing’ – as we have seen perfectly with the WAHOO ELEMNT.

Here goes, there’s more detail in the links if you are really bored and need something, anything!, to read:

  • Garmin Swim 2
    • Why? It’s been a while.
    • Why? Functionality would be a precursor to that in the 930XT
    • Likelihood? 20% Early 2016. Too small a market?
  • Garmin 925XT (920 with optical)
    • Why? £££
    • Likelihood? 30% 2016 ‘sometime’
  • Garmin 930XT
    • Why? £££
    • Likelihood? 90% 2016 ‘sometime’, otherwise 2017
  • Garmin 935XT
    • Why? £££
    • Likelihood? 10% 2016 ‘sometime’. Increased likelihood in subsequent years.
  • Garmin Edge 820
    • Why? £££ and it’s been a while since the 810.
    • Why? 2015 Discounting of Edge 520 and Edge 810. Responding to the WAHOO ELEMNT
    • Likelihood? 60% Early 2016, otherwise 2017
  • Garmin Fenix 4
    • Why? £££
    • Why? Will track 930XT release even though a different development team.
    • Likelihood? 10% Early 2016 (90% 2017)
  • Garmin 635 (optical 630)
    • Why? £££
    • Likelihood? 50% not sure about 2016 tho.
  • Polar V8** (update to V800)
    • Why? 2015 Discounting
    • Likelihood? 40% sometimes 2016, 80% 2017
  • Polar V6** (update to V650)
    • Why? 2015 Discounting
    • Likelihood? 40% sometimes 2016
  • Polar optical
    • Polar could build on the opticals from the A360 and opticalify existing watches. I don’t think that will happen. I think it will be new optical watches for them.
  • Suunto Ambit 4
    • Likelihood? 75%
    • Why? Because I want one 🙂
  • Wahoo ELEMNT
    • Why? Already announced!
    • Likelihood 100% Mar 2016.
  • TomTom
    • I suspect some more announcements will follow in 2016 after the successful Runner 2/SPARK launch. (Golfer 2 happened).

The SAD THING with many of these watches is that: a. they won’t make us any better; b. they won’t really give us much new training metrics/data; and c. they will just really be better, slicker and prettier bits of hardware. Indeed how can they make us better? surely it would only be by more insight into our training eg muscle oxygen, lactate, HRV, biomechanics – and those metrics might be too niche for most of us.

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Robert Black
Robert Black

The v800 was announced at ces14, so hopefully it’s successor will be announced at ces16

Robert Black
Robert Black

Re the sad thing, your bang on right I didn’t need my v800 but it does have a longer battery life than my m400. Yet I never run further than 13.1 miles. It had me covered but did require charging every other day. I personally think the most important aspect to improving running is a high cadence. So what would I recommend to a non geek? Probably a forerunner 15 and a cheap Seiko metronome. Moving up a step I’d go with a M400 or FR230 and matching foot pod. That way you’ll be able to follow advanced workouts, and get a bit more data like live cadence during the run. Will I follow my own advice? Probaly not, in the last two years I’ve had a Magellan switch, fr10, fr610 TomTom runner and suunto ambit 2, then in march I got my m400 and found happiness with Polar’s products. Yes I’ll buy it but not on launch day, maybe 4 or 5 firmware updates down the road.