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

V1.985 – last  updated 25 April 2018 – latest version for current month HERE.

Best running watch with music

Polar M600, Mobvoi Ticwatch S, Garmin 645M, TomTom Runner 3 Music

The Suunto 3 Fitness now has more information available (see link). Retail availability is towards the end of this month. The Garmin Edge 130 is announced and available and we have just had an announcement on the Edge 520 plus.

Fitbit’s Versa is now available to buy. I’m currently TRYING to use it.

Rumours are even starting about Spotify-support for the Apple Watch 4 (September ish). And the Watch 4 may well also come in an even larger screen version (good idea, IMO)…though that will then be kinda like the Fitbit Versa (but better!)

I almost sent my Garmin 645 Music (review) back due to several teething problems that might be specific to me but generally I like it more than the Vivoactive 3…even though it’s pretty much the same (with buttons).

As far as new sports products goes, there are a few ‘elephants in the room’ and hopefully more news on at least one of those will become public this month.

Here are some of my plans for April reviews and I also have something ‘original’ to post that is linked to Suunto.

And yes I refrained from adding in on 1st April (v1.89) that the Polar V900 is released, that looks like Fall/Autumn 2018 now (it won’t be called the V900).

 


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 live-streamed thru eSIM/nano SIM); 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 Forerunner 645M and WearOS 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 LG and Samsung)

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 2 ?? Lower end sports watch, 2018. This may be same as the STRATOS
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Sports Smart Watch 2S (STRATOS)Current, Multisport 2018 watch, limited regional availability
adidasSmart RunDiscontinued
AppleWatch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3Current
AppleWatch Series 4Sep-18
BrytonRIDER 100, 310, 330, 530E, 530TCurrent
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
FitbitVersaCurrent SE version has Fit Pay payments
FitbitCharge HRDiscontinued
FitbitIonicCurrent, September 2017
FitbitIonic adidasAnnounced Feb 2018, has an adidas app
FitbitSurgeAbout to be superceded by Ionic
FossilPuma-brandedWearOS watches from 2019 to 2028
GiantNeosTrackCycling Computer
GarminEdge 1000Superseded
GarminEdge 1030Current, released along with podless Vector 3
GarminEdge 20/25Entry level cycling computer
GarminEdge 130Entry level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018 announcement/release
GarminEdge 200, 500, 510Effectively Discontinued
GarminEdge 520Still a great cycling computer
GarminEdge 520 PLUSupdated hardware capability (CIQ3) and software Q2.2018 (imminent release)
GarminEdge 530The 520plus is released instead. 530 expected 2019
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 235LApr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market
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 Q2/3.2018
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.
HuaweiFitWearOS and a good spec. Current (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 variantsThere will be a new model announced in April 2018 with formal launch at Sea Otter. Year 11 (link) for 2018.
LGWatch SportCurrent, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best.
MIO/MagellanCyclo 505HC + othersNice but all is quiet on the Western front
MisfitVaporWearOS. Current.
Moto360 – 2nd Gen/SportCurrent
New BalanceRunIQWearOS. Current
PolarV650 V660 NV650 refresh Q2-Q3 2018
Polar?V810/V850/V900?V800 replacement said now to be later than the initial spring 2018 that was leaked. Don’t expect the obvious from Polar this year, including any of those names ie it WILL be called something else 😉
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, V650N appears just to be a firmware update
PolarV800Still a great multisport watch
SamsungGear SportCurrent (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format)
SamsungGear S4SM-R800 for Q3.2018. Probably alongside a revamped Gear Sport, perhaps called Gear Sport 4 for consistency of naming?
SoWatchSoWatchIndieGogo – Sports and other stuff
SonySmartwatch 3 SWR50WearOS. Current
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)Current
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 WearOS 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, also a CHEAP MUSIC version. 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…still waiting
XPLOVA/AcerX5Superseded by EVO
XPLOVA/AcerX5 EVOCurrent, refreshed model
XSXS 4 SmartwatchIndiegogo – Watch, phone, everything.

There are many other low-priced brands, several of which are visual rip-offs of the main brands’ models.

Some low-priced brands include: PARNERME, UWEAR, GoLife, GooPhone, Reabeam

 

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