Garmin – What next after the Fenix 5? Something interesting OR Forerunner 935 XT, 635, 240/245 or FR45

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new-balance-runiqI hope you are enjoying the spoon-fed news from CES as much as the rest of us, relishing in the joys of re-announcements of Garmin CIQ apps from a few months ago and hand-held emergency satellite thingies for when you are next in the Amazon.

The ‘best’ news was the ‘news’ that in 6 months there will be a new Misfit Vapor. 6 months time…that’s not news it’s speculation!! Even my speculation is sometimes only looking forwards 3 months. Sigh. Actually that one deserves a SIGH (caps). Anyway it’s pretty so it’s made it on to the featured image of this post. Infamy at last for Misfit! I’d be interested to know who they licence their oHR from.

Own Goal? (See image)

For me the confirmation of one Garmin product, like the Fenix 5, goes a little way to uncovering the next announcement. In the sense that one announcement eliminates one possibility for what the next one will be!

An announcement, such as the F5, also pretty much tells you what features are up for grabs in new models. That why I updated my thoughts on the upcoming Forerunner 935XT. I’d say that updated post is now about 85/90% correct on what the actual product will be in September.

So whilst I like being waited upon and spoon-fed. I’d rather talk about the whole meal.

Continuing with the food analogy. Here’s the whole Garmin meal: starter AND main course.

CIQ 1 devices WILL ALL be replaced

You can see that the inReach has part-replaced (maybe) the Oregon/Rino and the F5 has replaced F3 and probably will go on to replace the Epix/Bravo/Quatix/Tactix too (let me know if that’s correct please as I don’t know the details of all those models and I’m supposed to be working)

It’s quite a long wait until March for the Fenix 5 to go on sale. Would you release an all-singing, all-dancing new 930XT at the same time just to confuse people? No! I wouldn’t either; and neither will Garmin.

  • Would you go for a major announcement or a minor announcement the month after/before Garmin’s biggest money-spinner in two few years? That’s right, you’re getting there! Think SS FLAGSHIP LAUNCH = F5 (edit: we had a golf watch!)
  • APRIL 2017: So will we see a new range addition of high-selling, entry-ish level running watches (240/245) or an incey wincey incrementally updated Forerunner 630-cum-635? Yep, 635. Same old product, existing and ‘proven’ sensor.
  • Maybe something of limited market value – Swim 2 (if I keep saying it, eventually I’ll be right 🙂 )
  • MAY 2017: Maybe a 240/245 will come in May/June (220 was Sep 2013, 225 was May 2015, 230 was Oct 2015, 235 was Oct 2015). I’ll stick my neck out here and say than when it comes it will have onboard/untethered music. That’s the one mass market thing that Garmin are missing out on. Garmin REALLY DO NOT miss out on understanding the market trends – untethered music WILL come to Garmin Forerunners (maybe even swimming).
  • AUG 2017: Although , much more likely, an intro-level FR45 in August/September. Untethered music on this would be a very attractive proposition in that segment.
  • OCT 2017: So the headline/interesting news must therefore be KONA/Sep/Oct for the 935XT. Sigh. (or 2018 or, rumoured Q1.2017 just as the F5 is about to hit the streets)
  • (Feb 2016) Vivoactive HR 2  is due in 2018 but you never know, this could sneak a bit of music on it too in 2017. It sells well and so Garmin will be keen for a replacement (that sells well).

Then there are Forerunner 25/35s and vivokids/junior 2 and vivosmart HR+2 and vivotheotherone. They will complicate the mix and throw us out a little. I don’t really think too much about those but they certainly DO count for an announcement from Garmin’s point-of-view.

But let’s get interesting again. Garmin DO NOT release a new watch/tracker/bike-bit every month. There are new accessories and new CIQ developments, etc. Other kinds of stuff.

  1. There may well be an updated HRM with improvements to sensitivity, possible Bluetooth sensor bridging (very doubtful), or other tri-sports DYNAMICS (a reasonable bet, in some form)
  2. There could be an own-branded running power meter (a reasonable bet)
  3. There could be an improved and more accurate footpod (unlikely – buy  a STRYD Gen 2 for that)
  4. There could be a running gait ‘system’ of multiple foot/body pods, combining with the HRM4-RUN pod (unlikely, I suppose, as the market is too small)
  5. There could be other sensors (hydration or muscle oxygen – doubtful)
  6. But then we haven’t really thought about such other sensors being integrated with existing devices have we? oHR merely looks at bounced lightwaves. Choose a different frequency and voila, you sense something else (eg hydration). There are other types of things that can be done eg sending an electrical signal around the body. This kind of HARDWARE INNOVATION COULD be something that Garmin are looking at. Too far fetched…I think not (acquisition here by Garmin of PulsedLight in Jan 2016 – a new Varia shortly afterwards and more to come?). It’s taken 11 months to get a de Lorme product to market as the Garmin inReach.
  7. Drones are a possibility too to augment the camera stuff. (nah!)
  8. Other bike sensors….I’m just listing stuff now. I’ll stop.

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2 thoughts on “Garmin – What next after the Fenix 5? Something interesting OR Forerunner 935 XT, 635, 240/245 or FR45

  1. Personally what I’d like to see would be an update to the 230/235 that added Bluetooth music playback. That’s why I bought an Apple Watch (which I’ve found has it’s own issues so I’m using my 920XT again for running). It doesn’t need a tonne of storage, I’m plenty happy with my 2Gb iPod shuffle which has many hours of music on it. I would be interested to see how Garmin would screw up the user interface if they added music playback though, I wouldn’t bet on anything intuitive!

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