WAHOO’s ELEMNT MINI announced (finally).
No big surprises here as the ELEMNT MINI was leaked several months ago in March 2017!!.
First up THERE IS NO POWER SUPPORT OR GPS SUPPORT that I can see built in to the unit. So that firmly sets up where the ELEMNT MINI might lie in terms of target markets.
But, hey, that’s no problem LOTS of cyclists do not have power meters and have no intention of ever buying one.
Indeed we then turn to the mouth-watering price of £79.99. If you translate that to Euros or Swiss Francs then it’s as CHEAP AS CHIPS. Compare the WAHOO MINI to other, ahem, well-known cycling computer brands and some of the others have a rather EYE-watering approach to new product pricing.
It’s MINI in size and MINI in functionality (if further compared to it’s ELEMNT siblings awesome feature sets)
The MINI is still dual band (WAHOO-only BLE + ANT+ for speed and cadence and HR) and also has smartphone notifications and a LIVETRACKing feature for family and friends. A nice touch is the inclusion of the WAHOO speed sensor when bought form the WAHOO web site.
- Physical Dimensions: 41×58.4x17mm OR 1.6×2.3x.67″
- Display Size: 1.8″ (45.7mm)
- Weight: 1.1 oz or 31 grams
- Battery: Coin Cell
- Battery Life: ~1 Year
- Waterproof Rating: IPX7 (waterproof up to 5 ft)
- Shock Proof: Yes
- 5 Pages of configurable workout data
- Wahoo RPM Speed sensor included
It operates, essentially, in two modes ie WITH-A-PHONE mode and WITHOUT-A-PHONE mode. the Phone provides: the GPS tracking; the LIVETRACKING position sharing; and text/phone alerts.
My first concern here would be, “Why would you want to use a smartphone and a cycling computer?“. OK one answer would be size, convenience and risk of damage to your phone but why wouldn’t you use a smartphone app? OK maybe also it is a good failsafe device for if/when your phone runs out of battery juice? OK maybe it saves having a phone on your handlebars? OK maybe it’s good for kids who might smash their phone and who want to get into STRAVA.
With it’s year long CR2032 battery life those are plausible scenarios. Conceptually, it’s similar to WAHOO’s earlier RFLKT/RFLKT+ models I suppose?
The second concern is the requirement that external sensor MUST be Wahoo dual-band and only those (Source: dcrainmaker). Really Wahoo!? although for the target markets that probably matters not one jot.
So the MINI comes with a SPEED sensor bundled in. It needs to do that. And that will be fine for first time buyers of ANY computer device who would likely otherwise end up buying an incompatible sensor. IT seems also, once again like the RFLKT, to be targeting the smartphone+app users, giving them a way of making their smartphone battery last longer (no screen display). That’s a half-way house to buying a fully-fledged cycling computer. Why not?
This model in itself isn’t likely to have Garmin quaking in their boots. But it may well put the frighteners on many of the other players who are competing in the budget end of the market with no power support. Could this be a cunning move from WAHOO to spread their good name amongst the cycling community? They’ve done that already at the top-end of the market…now let’s start at the budget end? I’ve seen far worse strategies.
In terms of the general cycling computer market this is another mini nail in the coffin against Garmin’s dominance. We’ll see other players emerge later in the year and also into next year. eg the HAMMERHEAD KAROO and other Android-based models (XPLOVA being the first already released AFAIK). These will all be taking away some Garmin sales at different price points but I still think the market is growing overall.
In Garmin’s defence, these new players might just be coming in a little too late to gain traction with much-reduced feature sets to compare to Garmin. At least WAHOO has some existing feature-set muscle to support their new model(s) launch.
I have a nagging lingering doubt about the lack of non-WAHOO sensor compatability. Whilst the product has a degree of novelty, it’s attraction will be the price. Yet there are others, such as LEZYNE, that are perhaps less well-known but have more features, better compatibility and similar prices.
Good luck to WAHOO.
————– Press Release Below ———————–
Wahoo Fitness Introduces ELEMNT MINI
Powered by key updates to the Wahoo Fitness smartphone app, a new streamlined computer joins Wahoo’s critically-acclaimed ELEMNT Cycling Computer line
(London – 1st August, 2017) – Wahoo Fitness, the leader in workout apps and connected fitness devices, is introducing ELEMNT MINI, the latest in Wahoo’s growing collection of innovative, industry-leading bike computers.
Joining the flagship ELEMNT, and the aerodynamic ELEMNT BOLT GPS cycling computers, the all-new ELEMNT MINI is a standalone wireless bike computer that provides a compelling economical product for cyclists. When used with the ELEMNT Companion App, the ELEMNT MINI is able to capture a full suite of ride data like cadence, heart rate, call/text notifications, while also enabling friends or family members to follow ride progress with Wahoo’s newly enhanced Live Track capability.
In addition to the rich functionality, the ELEMNT MINI carries Wahoo’s signature user-friendliness and cutting-edge innovation due to seamless integration with the ELEMNT Companion App. Originally introduced in 2016, this game-changing companion app streamlines how consumers interact with their bike computer, dramatically simplifying setup, customisation and connectivity.
Sticking close to its namesake, the ELEMNT MINI is equipped with a streamlined, two-button interface and a 1.8” diagonal LCD screen, yielding a smaller size that tips the scales at a feathery light 31.2 grams. It is powered by Bluetooth and ANT+ technologies, making it compatible with all Wahoo sensors including the RPM Speed Sensor (included with the ELEMNT MINI), the RPM Cadence Sensor and the TICKR Heart Rate Monitor (sold separately) for cyclists looking to specifically tailor their data tracking needs.
At the heart of the wallet-friendly and feature-rich ELEMNT MINI, is Wahoo’s improved Live Track feature, which enables others to monitor the user’s current and travelled locations in real-time on a map, along with any data (speed, heart rate, cadence) being transmitted to their cycling computer.
“The new MINI is a key piece in the Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer portfolio,” said Jose Mendez, Director of Product Management for Cycling Products at Wahoo Fitness. “Thanks to the Wahoo ELEMNT Companion App we are bringing the powerful, yet simple Wahoo Fitness experience, to a whole new category of economy-minded cyclists while delivering much of the same data that our professional athletes demand.”
The Wahoo ELEMNT MINI is now available to buy at select retailers for £80/Eu90