2017 Sports Gadget Excitement – What is left in store for us?

suunto-spartan-trainerWe are half way through the year and quite a few interesting devices have already reared their generally pretty heads over the parapet. With notable reservations the best so far is the 935.

But what else is to come?

A bit more detail on this topic is (here) but I’ll cover the main hopes left for us for the rest of 2017. In reality the announcements will most likely come between August and late October; generally with the bike ones first and then, as Christmas beckons, some new running/triathlon ones might surface.

First up, for me, is a new black strap for my Garmin 235. I’m going to then pretend that it is really the Garmin Forerunner 635 (645) that has not yet, and might never, materialise. That’s coming this week. Ta Da!

REVIEW Garmin 235

REVIEW Garmin 935

I like the new Polar M430 and plan to keep using it. But will Garmin sneak out a music-laden 245? That’s a gap in the market which really only the TomTom Runner 3 (Music) and the Polar M600 (via AW2) currently fill. Garmin should compete there, Polar might HAVEN’T competed there, Suunto won’t compete there. AndroidWear 2 in general will compete there.

At the higher end of the running watches there might possibly only be the Garmin 645 to come.

Alternatively to a 245, this is where the real 645 might come in instead. With Garmin shooting for a top-end fully fledged running watch (probably remarkably similar to the 935) with music. Music might then trickle-down later this year or next year to a 245.

REVIEW Polar M600

REVIEW Polar M430

REVIEW TomTom Runner 3

 

Polar M430 Detailed Review optical lineupSuunto have had their SPARTAN TRAINER sitting idly on Amazon.com for months. We’re not quite sure what it is yet though. If it turns out to be a cheaper tri watch than the other SPARTANs then they might well have found a market that other companies (Garmin) have left alone to their old watches (920XT). People still buy lots of 920XTs as they are FUNCTIONAL and highly fit-for-purpose, people who consider themselves wannabe triathletes, or better, may well buy one for serious training. But is there a market for beginner triathletes? Perhaps even people who want to do a triathlon ‘later that year’ and that’s it? Maybe. Maybe there is. Participation in the UK is still growing and people love to spend money.

REVIEW Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Or maybe the SPARTAN TRAINER is ‘just’ a running watch – albeit a lower priced and probably accurate one in an AMBIT 4 shell?

TomTom could well bring us the Runner/Spark 4 but there really needs to be either a new product form or a notable upgrade to call it a v4. Note: They are currently looking for beta testers, so something is afoot.

Cycling is still a growing market too. I hope we will see a refreshed Polar V650 soon. but will it be sufficiently refreshing to attract a lot of interest?

But then we are also likely to see new entrants. We’ve seen the start of Android-based cycling devices from Xplova and we hear good things about the impending Hammerhead Karoo and the non-Android WAHOO ELEMNT MINI. But will Garmin’s imminent Edge 1030 and Vector 3 steal the thunder? Or will the 1030 just be a larger 820 (also with buttons)?

Lezyne are still flying fast under everyone’s radar. They are seriously good devices on the whole. The Colour Watch and the ENHANCED Super GPS are serious contenders and great value for money. The Super GPS is my go-to backup device for long rides because, err, it works through to the end.

REVIEW XPLOVA X5

REVIEW Garmin Edge 820

REVIEW Lezyne Super GPS

REVIEW Lezyne Enhanced Micro C Watch

I can’t see Garmin’s Vector 3s taking the market by storm. They will be good … but expensive. Ok maybe they will ditch the pods, but the new Assioma (BePro v2) at a fraction of the price must be the better bet for larger volume sales of a pedal-based PM – the Assioma will likely emerge as the best all-round power meter pedal despite the P1…just sayin’. The informed PM-buying market may well call Garmin’s high priced PM bluff. (Don’t forget WatTeam’s PowerBeat device too: dual band, dual side, low price). Then again the sensible people that go for single-vendor solutions will buy the Vector 3.

REVIEW WatTeam PowerBeat

REVIEW Favero BePro

WatTeam PowerBeat Power Meter Review Comparison Garmin Vector 2

I have a vague idea what STRYD might bring us but I’ll keep quiet on that for now.

Don’t forget too there is BSX’s LVL hydration sensor. I wanted one before this Ironman weekend…grrr. They should be in alpha now.

I think we shall also see swimming power meter paddles based on the Suunto POD this year or early next year.

Well, there should be enough thoughts and links there to keep you busy if your boss is not around. Enjoy.

If not, HERE are some more Garmin-centric opinions on the same subject.

4 thoughts on “2017 Sports Gadget Excitement – What is left in store for us?

  1. “Suunto won’t compete there”

    Are you sure? In June I completed a Suunto-survey that was asking me so many questions about a sports-watch having music that they at least seem to consider it. At the same time they stressed the “would you like Android-wear” question. Well I answered both with “I don’t care but what ever you do do NOT harm any sports-functionality”. 😉

    • I think they’ve struggled enough with the SPARTAN. OK they have pretty much nailed it now but it took time
      androidwear and music (well the first should give the latter + nav) will take lots of time. If that’s on the TRAINER I would be super surprised.
      so maybe I should have said “Suunto won’t compete there in the next year”

      their question and your response are interesting. They should NOT take their eye off the ball in search of bigger new markets, as your response clearly shows (and I would agree with it)

  2. I’m interested in the LVL hydration thing & even have a buddy living in the US lined up to buy me one *once* I’ve read some reviews of it. Their website says shipping in Aug if you preorder now but the comments on the kickstarter page don’t exactly fill one with confidence!

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