March 2018: Cycling/Running/Triathlon/Sports ‘Watches’: New Models, Current Models, Replacement dates. Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit…more

 

Fitbit-ionic-adidas-edition

Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition

Newer Version exists: – latest version for current month HERE.

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This is updated monthly

old version V1.87 – 22 March 2018

It’s been a quiet month on the new gadgets front (February). Although the Suunto 3 Fitness is doing the rounds in the hands of reviewers it is likely quite a long way away from release; we are looking at early April for more announcements there.

The only other ‘excitement’, and I use that word lightly, is the Fitbit Ionic adidas edition. Basically it’s the same as the Ionic with a new app. That’s just been announced for selling in March.

Along a similar vein the Forerunner 645 Music (review) from Garmin is also still being delayed as a few last minute teething issues are sorted out.

Hammerhead’s KAROO is starting to ship which is reassuring.

I’ll have to mention the new firmware-upgradeable STRYD LIVE here. I normally exclude footpods but it’s a slow news month 😉

As a result of the lack of ‘news’, I’ve been casting my eyes slightly further afield than normal by looking at some of the challenger brands for the future. But I’ve stayed clear of investing £100 in an Amazfit Bip or something of a similar nature. I am saving my creative review-writing juices for later this month and into April. Hopefully those juices will be thoroughly depleted by the end of April even though things might seem quiet out there in gadget-land right now.

Eeesh; there are not even any FCC filings to ponder over.

In desperation I turned to Indiegogo and got a pleasant surprise with the Valencell-powered IronCloud Fenix-wannabee  and less of a pleasant suprise with the SoWatch … So What?

In further desperation I resorted to highlighting in bold, below, the expected new models for 2018! #sigh

As March progresses, I’ll probably also add several new budget sports watches.

Don’t worry. It’s cold outside…but spring is very near. Spring = New Products

 


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? (Other watches also have that too eg Huawei but…)

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.

ManufacturerDeviceComments
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Pace / Pace SmartCurrent
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Pace 2Lower end sports watch, 2018
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Sports Smart Watch 2S (STRATOS)Multisport 2018
adidasSmart RunDiscontinued
AppleWatch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3Current
AppleWatch Series 4Sep-18
BrytonRIDER 100, 310, 330, 530Current
BrytonRIDER numerous other modelsEffectively Discontinued
CasioPro Trek Smart WSD-F20Current, replacing WSD-F10. Will we see a WSD-F30 in 2018
CatEyeSTEALTH, STRADA, PADRONE2016 models are current
CorosPace MultisportQ2.2018, aims to match Garmin 735XT on functionality (RB)
EpsonProSense SeriesCurrent, USA initially
EpsonSF-seriesReplaced by ProSense, in USA
FitbitBlazeCurrent, a replacement device relying solely on a smartphone for GPS unlikely.
FitbitBlaze 2Q2/Q3 2018, there WILL BE models beyond the Ionic in 2018. These will be more mass market.
FitbitCharge 2Current
FitbitVersaAnnounced Q1.2018
FitbitCharge HRDiscontinued
FitbitIonicCurrent, September 2017
FitbitIonic adidasAnnounced Feb 2018
FitbitSurgeAbout to be superceded by Ionic
GarminEdge 1000Superseded
GarminEdge 1030Current, released along with podless Vector 3
GarminEdge 20/25Entry level cycling computer
GarminEdge 130Entry level cycling computer. May 2018 announcement/release
GarminEdge 200, 500, 510Effectively Discontinued
GarminEdge 520Still a great cycling computer
GarminEdge 530Expected Q2.2018
GarminEdge 800, 810Effectively Discontinued
GarminEdge 820Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer
GarminEdge 830Expected Aug 2018 earliest
GarminEpixNice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X
GarminFenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variantsCurrent, still great devices
GarminFenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUSRefreshed model for Q2.2018 (improved hardware might be silently introduced into existing F5)
GarminFenix 5, 5s, 5x 

Tactix Charlie, Descent, D2 Charlie

Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018 (‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants)
GarminFenix 6, Tactix Delta, D2 DeltaExpected 2019, (Delta 2020)
GarminFenix ChronosQuality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.
GarminFenix 2 / Fenix 1Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.
GarminForerunner 210, 220, 225Effectively Discontinued
GarminForerunner 230Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.
GarminForerunner 235Replacement due 2018. Good
GarminForerunner 245Expected Q2/3.2018
GarminForerunner 25Why?
GarminForerunner 30Entry level run/sports watch
GarminForerunner 35Entry level run/sports watch
GarminForerunner 45Unsure if the FR35 will be refreshed. If so possible Q1/Q2.2018
GarminForerunner 610, 620Effectively Discontinued but good enough
GarminForerunner 630Great device
GarminForerunner 645 and 645MMusic and non-Music version announced. Q1.2018 aailability UK/USA
GarminForerunner 735XTCurrent, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)
GarminForerunner 745XTPossible Q3.2018
GarminForerunner 910XTGreat tri watch in its day, still good enough
GarminForerunner 920XTGreat tri watch…all you need really.
GarminForerunner 935Top tri watch
GarminForerunner 9452019
GarminVivoactiveEffectively Discontinued
GarminVivoactive 3Current – contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3
GarminVivoactive HRGreat device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
GarminVivofit 4December 2017 supercedes VivoFit 3
GarminVivomoveDress watch, superseded September 2017
GarminVivomove HRCurrent Sept 2017
HammerheadKarooCycling Computer, first units released in Feb 2018.
HuaweiFitCurrent (Watch 2 was 2017, Watch 3 maybe 2019)
GeekeryIronCloud T1IndieGoGo Campaign Q2/Q3.2018 look but don’t touch. Cheaper Fenix 5 wannabe.
LezyneMini, Macro, Micro, Super, Watch variantsActively releasing and improving Year 10 (2017) models. There was a Year 9 set of models for 2016, why not Year 11 for 2018?
LGWatch Sport (Google collaboration)Current
MIO/MagellanCyclo 505HC + othersNice but all is quiet on the Western front
MisfitVaporCurrent, Ships 24 Nov 2017
Moto360 – 2nd Gen/SportCurrent
New BalanceRunIQCurrent
Polar?V660?Possible V650 replacement 2018, no rumours whatsoever
Polar?V810/V850/V900?V800 replacement Q2.2018, likely later. Don’t expect the obvious from Polar this year.
PolarA370A360 replacement with linked-GPS
PolarM200Entry level oHR running/sports watch 2016. replacement 2018/2019
PolarM400Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
PolarM430An optical M400, released
PolarM450Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017
PolarM460M450 with STRAVA LIVE
PolarM600Best AndroidWear sports watch
PolarV650Bike Nav Cycling device
PolarV800Still a great multisport watch
SamsungGear SportCurrent (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format)
SoWatchSoWatchIndieGogo – Sports and other stuff
StagesDashCycling Computer
SuuntoAmbit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)Still great devices. In many ways superior.
SuuntoAmbit 4The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.
SuuntoAmbit/Ambit 2Effectively Discontinued
SuuntoSPARTAN SportCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoSPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)Released
SuuntoSpartan Sport Wrist HR BaroCurrent with more variants possibly in 2018
SuuntoSPARTAN TrainerNew outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2018
SuuntoSPARTAN UltraCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoSuunto Fitness 3Announced Jan 2018, for 25th April release no GPS low-end model with interesting specs
MobvoiTicwatch S2017 AndroidWear 2.0 budget sport watch. Ticwatch E is cheaper and non-sport version. Ticwatch 2, Active  and Classic are different
TomTomAdventurerStill a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down
TomTomRunner 3, Spark 3Still a great watch But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down
TomTomRunner, Runner 2Effectively Discontinued
Wahoo fitnessELEMNTA great cycling computer
Wahoo fitnessELEMNT BOLTA great cycling computer
Wahoo fitnessELEMNT New??? Speculation for 2018/19. CEO/Chip is on record saying Wahoo are looking beyond cycling.
Wahoo fitnessELEMNT MINICut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors
XPLOVA/AcerX32018
XPLOVA/AcerX5Superseded by EVO
XPLOVA/AcerX5 EVOCurrent, refreshed model
XSXS 4 SmartwatchIndiegogo – Watch, phone, everything.

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Webvan
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Webvan

Are you getting a Stratos test sample, that looks like the most interesting non Garmin GPS watch out there with a price that can’t be beat 😉

Marcin
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Marcin

why you write ” ELEMNT New”? You already know it’s Wahoo ELEMNT Rival (multisport gps heart rate watch) according to FCC: https://fccid.io/PADWF119

Justin
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Justin

“WE” collectively know a name due to the FCC filing. NDA (Non disclosure agreements) are the reason he or anyone else can specifically state the name. You can talk around a NDA at best, but not about the subject at hand (or product) until the embargo is up.

I know, I currently am dealing with one myself, though I can say that it has nothing to do with any product in the realm of sports apparel/tech/goods.