January 2018: Cycling/Running/Triathlon ‘Watches’: New Models, Current Models and expected replacement dates. Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Epson, etc


Wahoo Tickr Fit Review

It’s behind you….

V1.78 – 25 January 2018 – This is an old version >> – latest version for current month HERE.<<


2017 was a great year. Post CES in 2018 then the future looks interesting. The Suunto 3 was the big surprise at CES. Let’s hope for (err expect) more.

2018 brings us hope for: a new Polar tri watch (rumours of slipping dates); a new Garmin 245 (cut down 645); a new Garmin 745XT (maybe); a new Garmin Edge 630 or Edge 530; a new Garmin Fenix 5 plus; plus new XPLOVA bike computers above and beyond the already announced X5 EVO. That should be a bright enough prospect, perhaps.

Shake up: Xiaomi is coming.

This is my opinion of current & future devices across the GPS running/cycling market. Updates to this will be issued as and when information emerges which may include rumors, although please note that any information provided to me under NDA by manufacturers will not appear here. So there will be a few more surprises 😉 Please let me know of errors or omissions. Thank you . Enjoy.

What have I missed? Are there others? Note information that has become available about accessories is NOT included below (too many of them). There are also too many Power Meter variants for me to keep track of. I have more than a passing interest in PMs for triathlon disciplines but I don’t keep an eye on the whole market. I’m generally going to exclude bands like the Vivokids v2.

Recent Trends/Future Trends?: higher res colour screens; music (on watch and thru eSIM); battery-duration innovation; <1m GPS accuracy Galileo – now confirmed in Garmin FORETREX; vendor apps/app store (eg Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, Apple Pay, Ali Pay); WORKOUT DATA standards, openness and integration; mapping/navigation (on watch and thru eSIM); support for novel accessories & sensor data – environmental (weather), physiological (hydration, blood glucose) & spatial (radar); optical HR; deep smartphone integration (AW2, Apple); common firmware across numerous watch variants; simultaneous dual-band workout recording (ZWIFT+your main recording device with BLE); on-watch SIM card/eSIM (for live services like CRASH and WEATHER and FRIEND LOCATIONS).

Future Challenges: Music on watches has still not been properly addressed with TomTom 3, Garmin VA3 and Androidwear 2 all including music but needing to figure out how to properly handle multiple streaming services. But just how exactly will streaming services be properly handled other than through on-watch SIM. And only the Apple Watch has an eSIM?

Product Cycles: Some companies try to copy the Apple model of a new version each year. That’s needs a LOT of R&D to make plausible improvements. The arrival of material improvements can stagnate, as phone handset manufacturers are now finding. Garmin often have more plausible 2-3 year cycles for a replacement. When a new base hardware model is announced (usually the higher spec one) there then follows various cut-down versions to make cheaper less able devices – they can have cheaper components &/or restricted firmware, whilst essentially otherwise being the same product.

Manufacturer Device Comments
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Pace / Pace Smart Current
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Pace 2 Lower end sports watch, 2018
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Sports Smart Watch 2S (STRATOS) Multisport 2018
adidas Smart Run Discontinued
Apple Watch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3 Current
Apple Watch Series 4 Sep-18
Bryton RIDER 100, 310, 330, 530 Current
Bryton RIDER numerous other models Effectively Discontinued
Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 Current, replacing WSD-F10. Will we see a WSD-F30 in 2018
CatEye STEALTH, STRADA, PADRONE 2016 models are current
COROS Pace Multisport 2018, aims to match Garmin 735XT on functionality (RB)
Epson ProSense Series Current, USA initially
Epson SF-series Replaced by ProSense, in USA
Fitbit Blaze Current, a replacement device relying on a smartphone for GPS unlikely.
Fitbit Blaze 2 2018, there WILL BE models beyond the Ionic in 2018
Fitbit Charge 2 Current
Fitbit Charge 3 2018 maybe?
Fitbit Charge HR Discontinued
Fitbit Ionic Current, September 2017
Fitbit Ionic adidas A 2018 sporty refresh planned
Fitbit Surge About to be superceded by Ionic
Garmin Edge 1000 Superseded
Garmin Edge 1030 Current, released along with podless Vector 3
Garmin Edge 20/25 Entry level cycling computer
Garmin Edge 200, 500, 510 Effectively Discontinued
Garmin Edge 520 Still a great cycling computer
Garmin Edge 530 Expected Q2.2018
Garmin Edge 800, 810 Effectively Discontinued
Garmin Edge 820 Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer
Garmin Edge 830 Expected Aug 2018 earliest
Garmin Epix Nice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variants Current, still great devices
Garmin Fenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUS Refreshed model for Q2.2018
Garmin Fenix 5, 5s, 5x Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018
Garmin Fenix 6 Expected 2019
Garmin Fenix Chronos Quality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.
Garmin Fenix 2 / Fenix 1 Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.
Garmin Forerunner 210, 220, 225 Effectively Discontinued
Garmin Forerunner 230 Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Replacement due 2018. Good
Garmin Forerunner 245 Expected Q2.2018
Garmin Forerunner 25 Why?
Garmin Forerunner 30 Entry level run/sports watch
Garmin Forerunner 35 Entry level run/sports watch
Garmin Forerunner 45 Unsure if the FR35 will be refreshed. If so possible Q1/Q2.2018
Garmin Forerunner 610, 620 Effectively Discontinued but good enough
Garmin Forerunner 630 Great device
Garmin Forerunner 645 and 645M Music and non-Music version announced. Q1.2018 aailability UK/USA
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)
Garmin Forerunner 745XT Possible Q3.2018
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Great tri watch in its day, still good enough
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Great tri watch…all you need really.
Garmin Forerunner 935 Top tri watch
Garmin Forerunner 945 2019
Garmin Vivoactive Effectively Discontinued
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Current – contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3
Garmin Vivoactive HR Great device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
Garmin Vivofit 4 December 2017 supercedes VivoFit 3
Garmin Vivomove Dress watch, superseded September 2017
Garmin Vivomove HR Current Sept 2017
Hammerhead Karoo Cycling Computer, due ‘uncertain’, beta units released
Huawei Fit Current
Lezyne Mini, Macro, Micro, Super, Watch variants Actively releasing and improving Year 10 (2017) models. No idea if plans for Year 11 exist..probably?
LG Watch Sport (Google collaboration) Current
MIO/Magellan Cyclo 505HC + others Nice but all is quiet on the Western front
Misfit Vapor Current, Ships 24 Nov 2017
Moto 360 – 2nd Gen/Sport Current
New Balance RunIQ Current
Polar ?V660? Possible V650 replacement 2018, no rumours whatsoever
Polar ?V810/V850/V900? V800 replacement Q2.2018, likely later
Polar A370 A360 replacement with linked-GPS
Polar M200 Entry level oHR running/sports watch 2016. replacement 2018/2019
Polar M400 Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
Polar M430 An optical M400, released
Polar M450 Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017
Polar M460 M450 with STRAVA LIVE
Polar M600 Best AndroidWear sports watch
Polar V650 Bike Nav Cycling device
Polar V800 Still a great multisport watch
Samsung Gear Sport Current (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format)
Stages Dash Cycling Computer
Suunto Ambit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…) Still great devices. In many ways superior.
Suunto Ambit 4 The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.
Suunto Ambit/Ambit 2 Effectively Discontinued
Suunto SPARTAN Sport Current, OK to buy now
Suunto SPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR) Released
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro Current with more variants possibly in 2018
Suunto SPARTAN Trainer New outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2018
Suunto SPARTAN Ultra Current, OK to buy now
Suunto Suunto 3 Announced Jan 2018, no GPS low-end model with interesting specs
TomTom Adventurer Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down
TomTom Runner 3, Spark 3 Still a great watch But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down
TomTom Runner, Runner 2 Effectively Discontinued
Wahoo fitness ELEMNT A great cycling computer
Wahoo fitness ELEMNT BOLT A great cycling computer
Wahoo fitness ELEMNT New ??? Speculation for 2018 CEO/Chip is on record saying Wahoo are looking beyond cycling.
Wahoo fitness ELEMNT MINI Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors
XPLOVA/Acer X3 2018
XPLOVA/Acer X5 Superseded by EVO
XPLOVA/Acer X5 EVO Current, refreshed model

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7 thoughts on “January 2018: Cycling/Running/Triathlon ‘Watches’: New Models, Current Models and expected replacement dates. Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Epson, etc

  1. About hopes for a WAHOO watch: I‘m not sure if I have hopes for it (=to buy/wear one). Yes, of course I have hopes for it, as I think it’s good for the sake of competition – if they‘ll come up with one, I‘m sure it will work work quite well; better than Grrmin does. But… will it be wearable without feeling ashame for that cheap greyish plastic look (=like the ELEMENTs have)? ?

    • Wahoo might be nice… If they integrate with other platforms.

      I’m still holding out hope for the v800 replacement. I like polar’s ecosystem, they just need to put out a few more devices a year (more than the 2-3 they might put out)

  2. “Current, great but limited CIQ and no barometer amongst other things.” is your comment on the FR735xt. However, it’s CIQ capabilities are roughly the same as those of the FR935 (CIQ 2.0 with more memory than the Fr920xt and the FR630)

    • the word ‘accurately’ could be the problem there 😉
      polar are pretty good with wrist ohr and suunto can be. advantage of polar is the cashing OH1 arm band.

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