V2.013 – 23 May 2018
Heads-Up People: May 2018 could be a mini-watershed month. I’m expecting 3 (three) new Garmin models this month. It looks like there is an imminent Vivoactive 3 MUSIC. We could finally see the Forerunner 245, maybe a Forerunner 245 Music and, maybe, a Forerunner 745XT – however instead of those Forerunners it looks like we will be getting a Forerunner 45 and 45Music. There will also be a revamped Fenix 5 plus. I somewhat doubted that there would be a ‘plus’ branded anything from Garmin yet we’ve just had the release of the Edge 520plus so maybe the other rumours WERE true. We shall soon find out.
So the new Garmin ‘thread’ could be: MUSIC plus PAYMENTS plus HARDWARE FIXES in PLUS versions and maybe GALILEO – and that could all start to be rolled out over vivoactive, forerunner, edge and Fenix devices in total or in part. eg we could get a Fenix 5 plus that supports GALILEO, MUSIC and whose sensors connect properly – tho, perhaps more likely, there would eventually be a Fenix 5M (Music) and a Fenix 5plus (sans music)…5MusicPlus?!?
Not enough for you? An Edge 830 and Edge 530 (possibly) also look likely for 2018
The word Galileo might start to be used by me more often in the same sentence as ‘Garmin’ and, of course, I will then have to use the word Garmin-tastic; which has now finally made the Oxford English Dictionary. At least I will use the word garmintastic if the new and exciting tech features work. (Galileo is in the interesting Edge 130 and Foretrex models already, BTW.)
I may have already posted my Fitbit Versa review by the time you read this. Fitbit have been experiencing platform issues and they materially impacted on what I was doing #PITA. Couple that with their Android connectivity issues and I’ve had a bit of a nightmare time.
The Fitbit Versa delays I experienced whilst writing the review have impacted on my Amazfit STRATOS review aka I’ve not started it (Edit: it’s live). I do have all the usage and all the data I would ever need for that so hopefully I can turn the review round quickly. In a nutshell it will be: “Awesome tri-toy not awesome tri-tool”. I guess you won’t have to read it now but I promise here and now to use the word AWESOME in there somewhere.
Polar have refreshed the V650 with firmware, so putting back any new V660-like model to next year or beyond. I have a sneaking suspicion that Polar might come out with a running watch this month. Maybe a refreshed M600 on WearOS? Could it be round? OR maybe just an out-and-out running watch that is a hardware prelude to a later tri watch? Remember that whilst people like you and me get excited by new high-tech (tri) watches the volume market lies at lower price points. AFAIK there are no imminent plans in the immediate months to replace the V800. #Autumn/Fall. We would then have to introduce the new phrase ‘Polarliscious’.
Think also how difficult it would be for Polar to produce a run watch with mapping or a run watch with music from scratch. There is a LOT of stuff to develop there. WearOS already has that functionality kindly developed by Mr Google. To improve the biggest drawback of WearOS – power consumption – ‘all’ someone needs to do is invent an interchangable-rechargeable battery…simple huh!! Just like a pop-out SD-card?? #WaterProofing ;-). Garmin managed it with the ingenious Edge 1030 battery pack, yet there is a bit more spare space on your handlebars than on your wrist.
LG look to be planning a refresh of the LG-WATCH SPORT, which somewhat might scupper my plans to review the OLD model this month ie is it worth my time?
TomTom are still releasing firmware updates as of 8May 2018
May is the proper start to most of our tri seasons, so any new tri-watch entrants had better get their tri products out now. I don’t think we will see ANY new tri watch in May – except potentially from Garmin with the 745XT. There are rumours of new tri-toys for the summer but I personally don’t think there will be any releases then – so we should expect to see newer tri products announced either NOWish or September.
There should have been a new Lezyne last week at Sea Otter. EIther I missed it or it was delayed.
We might start to see the next generation of WearOS watches emerging with better sports capability but, realistically, that will be September 2018 or even 2019.
I’m waiting for the new Xplova cycling computers. But I’m not holding my breath.
I’m still waiting for the Epson Prosense to support anything more than interchangeable watch straps (eg a footpod) and I’m also waiting for them to be properly available in the UK. I’m not quite sure why they have not arrived in the UK.
Suunto keep teasing us with an incremental little something disguised as a new product. But then they sneak out a totally new product like the 3 Fitness. So; Suunto should regularly give us something to talk about throughout the year – although I have no specific knowledge of anything new from them to come later. My guess would have been that they will be working on rationalizing: the sports-tracker platform, the movescount platform, the movescount app and the Suunto app. As well as the 3 or so flavours of Suunto-link that move the data around and provide firmware updates. Confused? I am. I will be even more confused about trying to squeeze in and defining the word ‘Suuntomungous’.
I’ve also just found out about MIO’s ‘new’ 605HC bike nav computer which looks to be the same as the older 505HC plus wifi, STRAVA and 3 more hours of battery life HOPEFULLY it has a new processor too as it neeeded one. The 505HC was a nice product. So it’s great to know they are still developing things.
As you can see, I have changed the format of the table below to have two sections: ‘Garmin’ and ‘the rest’. As well as indicating what category I think each product is classed as. Please let me know if there are any errorettes that have slipped through or peripheral brands that I have not included (eg like Sigma Sport … also, confusingly, the name of my LBS)
Plans: I will release a new version of this post each month, more specifically the table below. Each month’s content is edited frequently, usually as soon as I get any info, so please do check back for an update. A new version number is then included for my regular reader…and “No“, I’m not going to document the changes in each version.
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. At the end of the table is a brief discussion about current issues and potential future features. Thank you . Enjoy.
|Garmin||Category||Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon||Comments|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 1030||Current, released along with podless Vector 3|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 20, Edge 25||Entry level cycling computer|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 130||Entry level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018 announcement/release|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 200, Edge 500, Edge 510||Effectively Discontinued|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 520||Still a great cycling computer|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 520 PLUS||updated hardware capability (CIQ3) and software Q2.2018 (imminent release)|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 530||530 expected 2018, possibly very soon.|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 800, 810||Effectively Discontinued|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 820||Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer|
|Garmin||Bike||Edge 830||Expected 2018, possibly very soon|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Epix||Nice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variants||Current, still great devices|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUS||Refreshed model for May 2018, maybe just the F5plus first with NFC|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5x||Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018. A plus version *IS* imminent.|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Tactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Descent MK1, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie||‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants of Fenix 5|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix 6, Tactix Delta, D2 Delta, Descent MK2||Expected 2019, (Delta 2020)|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix Chronos||Quality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.|
|Garmin||Outdoors||Fenix 2 / Fenix 1||Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225||Effectively Discontinued|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 230||Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 235||Replacement due 2018. Good|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 235L||Apr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 245||Expected Q3.2018|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 25||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 30||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 35||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 45 and 45M||May 2018|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 610, Forerunner 620||Effectively Discontinued but good enough|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 630||Great device|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 645 and 645M||Music and non-Music version announced. Q1.2018 aailability UK/USA|
|Garmin||Run/Tri||Forerunner 735XT||Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)|
|Garmin||Run/Tri||Forerunner 745XT||Possible Q3.2018|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 910XT||Great tri watch in its day, still good enough|
|Garmin||Run||Forerunner 920XT||Great tri watch…all you need really.|
|Garmin||Run/Tri||Forerunner 935||Top tri watch|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivoactive 3||Current – contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3M||VA3 with music, expected very soon|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivoactive HR||Great device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4||December 2017 supercedes VivoFit 3|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivomove||Dress watch, superseded September 2017|
|Garmin||Fitness||Vivomove HR||Current Sept 2017|
|Manufacturer||Category||Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon||Comments|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run||Bip / Pace||Current|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run||Pace 2||This is the STRATOS|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run/Tri||Sports Smart Watch 2S (STRATOS)||Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Option for a hard glass screen|
|Apple||Fitness||Watch Series 1 (Sport), Watch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3 GPS+Cellular||Current|
|Apple||Fitness||Watch Series 4||Sep-18, could be round.|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER 100, 310, 330, 530E, Rider 530 T||Current|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER numerous other models||Effectively Discontinued|
|Casio||Outdoors||Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20||Current, replacing WSD-F10. Will we see a WSD-F30 in 2018|
|CatEye||Bike||STEALTH 50, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+||2016 models are current|
|Coros||Run/Tri||Pace Multisport||Q2.2018, Garmin 735XT wannabe|
|Epson||Run/Tri||ProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347||Current, USA initially|
|Epson||Run/Tri||SF-series||Replaced by ProSense, in USA|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Blaze||Replaced by Versa|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Versa||Current SE version has Fit Pay payments|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic||Current, September 2017|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic adidas||Announced Feb 2018, has an adidas app|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Surge||Superceded by Ionic|
|Fossil||Fitness WearOS||Puma-branded||From 2019 to 2028|
|Geekery||Outdoors||IronCloud T1||IndieGoGo Campaign Q2/Q3.2018 look but don’t touch. Cheaper Fenix 5 wannabe.|
|Hammerhead||Bike||Karoo||Cycling Computer, first units released in Feb 2018.|
|Huawei||Fitness WearOS||Fit, Watch 2 Sport||WearOS and a good spec. Current (Watch 2 was 2017, Watch 3 maybe 2019) The Fit was effectively the “Watch 1 Sport”. A watch 2 2018 version is also expected as an incremental update.|
|Lezyne||Bike||Mini, Macro, Micro, Micro Watch, Super, Watch variants||There will be a new model announced in April 2018 with formal launch at Sea Otter. Year 11 (link) for 2018.|
|LG||Fitness WearOS||Watch Sport||Current, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best.|
|LG||Fitness WearOS||LM-W315 , LM-305, LM-W325||LM-W315 could be called ICONIC. With one of the other model being the ICONIC SPORT. Possibly Imminent May/June 2018|
|Fitness WearOS||Pixel Smartwatch||To be released in 2018 alongside new Pixel smartphone. Unclear if a FIT version will be released as well.|
|MIO/Magellan||Bike||Cyclo 505HC + others||Nice devices. The 505HC appears to now be discontinued and replaced with a slightly superior 605 HC (2017). Also 210, 205 HC, 200, 400, 405, 315 HC, 315.|
Unsure of situation in USA with sister company MAGELLAN’s dated ECHO/SWITCH run/bike products
|Misfit||Fitness WearOS||Vapor||WearOS. Current.|
|MiVia||Fitness||Run 350||2017 Firstbeat goodness, Versa look-alike|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch S||2017 WearOS 2.0 budget sport watch. Ticwatch E is cheaper and non-sport version. Ticwatch 2, Active and Classic are different|
|Moto||Fitness WearOS||360 Sport – 2nd Gen/Sport||Current|
|New Balance||Fitness WearOS||RunIQ||WearOS. Current|
|Polar||Bike||?V660?||V650 refresh 2019/2020|
|Polar||Run/Tri||?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 😉|
|Polar||Fitness||A370||A360 replacement with linked-GPS|
|Polar||Run||M200||Entry level oHR running/sports watch 2016. replacement 2018/2019|
|Polar||Run||M400||Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017|
|Polar||Run||M430||An optical M400, released|
|Polar||Bike||M450||Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017|
|Polar||Bike||M460||M450 with STRAVA LIVE|
|Polar||Run WearOS||M600||Best AndroidWear sports watch|
|Polar||Bike||V650||Bike Nav Cycling device, summer 2018 firmware refresh|
|Polar||Run/Tri||V800||Still a great multisport watch|
|Samsung||Fitness||Gear Sport||Current (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format and the Samsung Gear Fit Plus could be the 2018 version of that)|
|Samsung||Fitness||Gear S4||SM-R800 for Q3.2018. Probably alongside a revamped Gear Sport, perhaps called Gear Sport 4 for consistency of naming? or could be Galaxy Fit.|
|Sigma Sport||Bike||Rox GPS 7.0, ROX GPS 10.0, Rox GPS 11.0||Good feature set, current|
|Sony||Fitness WearOS||Smartwatch 3 SWR50||WearOS. Current|
|SoWatch||Fitness||SoWatch||IndieGogo – Sports and other stuff|
|Pioneer||Bike||GPS Cycle Computer||Cycling Computer|
|SRM||Bike||PowerControl 7 (PC7)||Cycling Computer|
|SRM||Bike||PowerControl 8 (PC8)||Cycling Computer|
|Suunto||Various||Ambit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)||Still great devices. In many ways superior.|
|Suunto||Various||Ambit 4||The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.|
|Suunto||Various||Ambit/Ambit 2||Effectively Discontinued|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||SPARTAN Sport||Current, OK to buy now|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||SPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)||Current|
|Suunto||Outdoors||Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro||Current with more variants possibly in 2018|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||SPARTAN Trainer||New outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2018|
|Suunto||Outdoors||SPARTAN Ultra||Current, OK to buy now|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 3 Fitness||Current. GPS low-end model with interesting specs|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 3 Fitness GPS||Basically a guess as to what Suunto will release next. Supported by a 3rd hand rumour.|
More likely it will be a SPARTAN ULTRA 2.
|TomTom||Outdoors||Adventurer||Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down|
|TomTom||Run||Runner 3, Spark 3||Still a great watch, also a CHEAP MUSIC version. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down. Still firmware updatesd as of 8May2018|
|TomTom||Run||Spark, Runner, Runner 2||Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2|
|Wahoo fitness||Bike||ELEMNT||A great cycling computer|
|Wahoo fitness||Bike||ELEMNT BOLT||A great cycling computer|
|Wahoo fitness||Bike + ?||ELEMNT New||??? Speculation for 2018/19. CEO/Chip is on record saying Wahoo are looking beyond cycling.|
|Wahoo fitness||Bike||ELEMNT MINI||Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||X5||Superseded by EVO|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||X5 EVO||Current, refreshed model|
|XS||Fitness||XS 4 Smartwatch||Indiegogo – 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, igSPORT
What have I missed? Are there others?
Note: information that has become available about accessories is NOT included (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 – the document I keep up-to-date on PM is my guide to the best power meter. I’m generally going to exclude bands, above, like the Vivokids v2 although some bands have sneaked in there already.
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 and Edge 130; 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. You might cite TomTom 3, Apple Watch, Garmin Forerunner 645M/VA3M and WearOS as all including running with music capability but eventually someone needs to figure out how to properly support multiple streaming services. But just how exactly will streaming services be properly handled other than through on-watch SIM. And very few sports+music watches have an eSIM eg Apple, 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. Furthermore, the arrival of material improvements in functionality can stagnate, as phone handset manufacturers are now finding. Garmin often have more plausible 2-3 year cycles for a replacement model. 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.
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