May 2018: Sports Watch Update: ‘All’ new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models. Replacement dates. Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit…more

V2.013 – 23 May 2018

Firbit Versa review sports fitness watchThe Suunto 3 Fitness, Fitbit Versa and Garmin Edge 130 are announced and available, with the Garmin Edge 520plus being imminent.

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.

Firbit Versa review sports fitness watchPolar 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 CategoryLinks to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon Comments
GarminBikeEdge 1000Superseded
GarminBikeEdge 1030Current, released along with podless Vector 3
GarminBikeEdge 20, Edge 25Entry level cycling computer
GarminBikeEdge 130Entry level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018 announcement/release
GarminBikeEdge 200, Edge 500, Edge 510Effectively Discontinued
GarminBikeEdge 520Still a great cycling computer
GarminBikeEdge 520 PLUSupdated hardware capability (CIQ3) and software Q2.2018 (imminent release)
GarminBikeEdge 530530 expected 2018, possibly very soon.
GarminBikeEdge 800, 810Effectively Discontinued
GarminBikeEdge 820Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer
GarminBikeEdge 830Expected 2018, possibly very soon
GarminOutdoorsEpixNice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X
GarminOutdoorsFenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variantsCurrent, still great devices
GarminOutdoorsFenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUSRefreshed model for May 2018, maybe just the F5plus first with NFC
GarminOutdoorsFenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5xGarmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018. A plus version *IS* imminent.
GarminOutdoorsTactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Descent MK1, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants of Fenix 5
GarminOutdoorsFenix 6, Tactix Delta, D2 Delta, Descent MK2Expected 2019, (Delta 2020)
GarminOutdoorsFenix ChronosQuality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.
GarminOutdoorsFenix 2 / Fenix 1Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.
GarminRunForerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225Effectively Discontinued
GarminRunForerunner 230Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.
GarminRunForerunner 235Replacement due 2018. Good
GarminRunForerunner 235LApr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market
GarminRunForerunner 245Expected Q3.2018
GarminRunForerunner 25Entry level run/sports watch
GarminRunForerunner 30Entry level run/sports watch
GarminRunForerunner 35Entry level run/sports watch
GarminRunForerunner 45 and 45MMay 2018
GarminRunForerunner 610, Forerunner 620Effectively Discontinued but good enough
GarminRunForerunner 630Great device
GarminRunForerunner 645 and 645MMusic and non-Music version announced. Q1.2018 aailability UK/USA
GarminRun/TriForerunner 735XTCurrent, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)
GarminRun/TriForerunner 745XTPossible Q3.2018
GarminRunForerunner 910XTGreat tri watch in its day, still good enough
GarminRunForerunner 920XTGreat tri watch…all you need really.
GarminRun/TriForerunner 935Top tri watch
GarminRun/TriForerunner 9452019
GarminFitnessVivoactiveEffectively Discontinued
GarminFitnessVivoactive 3Current – contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3
GarminFitnessVivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3MVA3 with music, expected very soon
GarminFitnessVivoactive HRGreat device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
GarminFitnessVivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4December 2017 supercedes VivoFit 3
GarminFitnessVivomoveDress watch, superseded September 2017
GarminFitnessVivomove HRCurrent Sept 2017

The rest:

Manufacturer CategoryLinks to either a review, opinion article or your local AmazonComments
adidasRunSmart RunDiscontinued
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)RunBip / PaceCurrent
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)RunPace 2This is the STRATOS
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Run/TriSports Smart Watch 2S (STRATOS)Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Option for a hard glass screen
AppleFitnessWatch Series 1 (Sport), Watch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3 GPS+CellularCurrent
AppleFitnessWatch Series 4Sep-18, could be round.
BrytonBikeRIDER 100, 310, 330, 530E, Rider 530 TCurrent
BrytonBikeRIDER numerous other modelsEffectively Discontinued
CasioOutdoorsPro Trek Smart WSD-F20Current, replacing WSD-F10. Will we see a WSD-F30 in 2018
CatEyeBikeSTEALTH 50, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+2016 models are current
CorosRun/TriPace MultisportQ2.2018, Garmin 735XT wannabe
EpsonRun/TriProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347Current, USA initially
EpsonRun/TriSF-seriesReplaced by ProSense, in USA
FitbitFitnessBlazeReplaced by Versa
FitbitFitnessChargeDiscontinued
FitbitFitnessCharge 2Current
FitbitFitnessVersaCurrent SE version has Fit Pay payments
FitbitFitnessCharge HRDiscontinued
FitbitFitnessIonicCurrent, September 2017
FitbitFitnessIonic adidasAnnounced Feb 2018, has an adidas app
FitbitFitnessSurgeSuperceded by Ionic
FossilFitness  WearOSPuma-brandedFrom 2019 to 2028
GeekeryOutdoorsIronCloud T1IndieGoGo Campaign Q2/Q3.2018 look but don’t touch. Cheaper Fenix 5 wannabe.
GiantBikeNeosTrackCycling Computer
HammerheadBikeKarooCycling Computer, first units released in Feb 2018.
HuaweiFitness WearOSFit, Watch 2 SportWearOS 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.
LezyneBikeMini, Macro, Micro, Micro Watch, Super, Watch variantsThere will be a new model announced in April 2018 with formal launch at Sea Otter. Year 11 (link) for 2018.
LGFitness  WearOSWatch SportCurrent, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best.
LGFitness WearOSLM-W315 , LM-305, LM-W325LM-W315 could be called ICONIC. With one of the other model being the ICONIC SPORT. Possibly Imminent May/June 2018
GoogleFitness WearOSPixel SmartwatchTo be released in 2018 alongside new Pixel smartphone. Unclear if a FIT version will be released as well.
MIO/MagellanBikeCyclo 505HC + othersNice 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

MisfitFitness  WearOSVaporWearOS. Current.
MiViaFitnessRun 3502017 Firstbeat goodness, Versa look-alike
MobvoiFitness  WearOSTicwatch S2017 WearOS 2.0 budget sport watch. Ticwatch E is cheaper and non-sport version. Ticwatch 2, Active and Classic are different
MotoFitness  WearOS360 Sport – 2nd Gen/SportCurrent
New BalanceFitness  WearOSRunIQWearOS. Current
PolarBike?V660?V650 refresh 2019/2020
PolarRun/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 😉
PolarFitnessA370A360 replacement with linked-GPS
PolarRunM200Entry level oHR running/sports watch 2016. replacement 2018/2019
PolarRunM400Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
PolarRunM430An optical M400, released
PolarBikeM450Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017
PolarBikeM460M450 with STRAVA LIVE
PolarRun WearOSM600Best AndroidWear sports watch
PolarBikeV650Bike Nav Cycling device, summer 2018 firmware refresh
PolarRun/TriV800Still a great multisport watch
SamsungFitnessGear SportCurrent (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format and the Samsung Gear Fit Plus could be the 2018 version of that)
SamsungFitnessGear S4SM-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 SportBikeRox GPS 7.0, ROX GPS 10.0, Rox GPS 11.0Good feature set, current
SonyFitness  WearOSSmartwatch 3 SWR50WearOS. Current
SoWatchFitnessSoWatchIndieGogo – Sports and other stuff
PioneerBikeGPS Cycle ComputerCycling Computer
SRMBikePowerControl 7 (PC7)Cycling Computer
SRMBikePowerControl 8 (PC8)Cycling Computer
StagesBikeDashCycling Computer
SuuntoVariousAmbit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)Still great devices. In many ways superior.
SuuntoVariousAmbit 4The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.
SuuntoVariousAmbit/Ambit 2Effectively Discontinued
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN SportCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)Current
SuuntoOutdoorsSpartan Sport Wrist HR BaroCurrent with more variants possibly in 2018
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN TrainerNew outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2018
SuuntoOutdoorsSPARTAN UltraCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 3 FitnessCurrent. GPS low-end model with interesting specs
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 3 Fitness GPSBasically a guess as to what Suunto will release next. Supported by a 3rd hand rumour.

More likely it will be a SPARTAN ULTRA 2.

TomTomOutdoorsAdventurerStill a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down
TomTomRunRunner 3, Spark 3Still 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
TomTomRunSpark, Runner, Runner 2Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2
Wahoo fitnessBikeELEMNTA great cycling computer
Wahoo fitnessBikeELEMNT BOLTA great cycling computer
Wahoo fitnessBike + ?ELEMNT New??? Speculation for 2018/19. CEO/Chip is on record saying Wahoo are looking beyond cycling.
Wahoo fitnessBikeELEMNT MINICut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX32018…still waiting
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX5Superseded by EVO
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX5 EVOCurrent, refreshed model
XSFitnessXS 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, 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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4 Comments on "May 2018: Sports Watch Update: ‘All’ new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models. Replacement dates. Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit…more"

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Mark
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Think one of the garmin watches will be vivoactive 3 music as I caught a listing of it on Argos site.

Miki
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I would like to add some more speculations. Besides music, pay and Galileo I think they will add Gorilla glass or sapphire as standard option for the upcoming Fenix 5 plus and other upper models. The reason why I think they will add it is because the 645 has gorilla glass. Also the Amazfit and Apple products should alert Garmin that they have to step up their game.