This version has been superceded
V2.025 – 11 July 2018 – latest version **HERE**.
The Suunto 3 Fitness, Fitbit Versa and Garmin Edge 130 are announced and available, with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus now being available to buy. The interesting Suunto 9 is now also fully public and available to buy.
The widely expected Garmins did not materialise in May but instead came in June and HERE THEY ARE Garmin FENIX 5 PLUS. Let’s get ready for some excitement with the music enabled Vivoactive 3M (announced!), the Forerunner (2)45M (we’re not sure if it’s the FR45 or FR245 or if the FR45 would be a well-featured watch).
With the COROS now available, any other tri watch announcement looks set for Kona rather than imminently – there could well be two more this year. Polar news looks like it may be two case variants of the same watch that some people thought were two watches. Also there are further rumours of Polar moving to the middle ground. What does that mean for the V800 replacement?
Other interesting news comes from Google. It looks like they are going to start taking WearOS a little more seriously. They should be releasing a PIXEL branded smart watch ie the high-end Google sub-brand. There are also various talks and leaks about Samsung adding their weight to WearOS by producing a WearOS device. This might sound trivial but Samsung have a large market share and an appstore largely devoid of, err, apps. So WearOS could be a win for Samsung as WearOS does have apps…lots of them!. I can’t see it happening myself though.
I also think I’m right in saying that Samsung build their own smartwatch processor…what’s the big deal? Well, that’s what’s holding back the development of WearOS from a hardware perspective by Qualcomm (who supply current WearOS processors but need to supply a more powerful one). Also on the back of this LG seem to be planning a newer and greater WearOS device. LG MAY be classed as the current market-leader on WearOS.
Put that all together and WearOS might start to become more of a contender in the sporty space as well as; against Apple in particular. Or not…And don’t forget, Apple are ‘beefing’ up (ahem) the sport competency of their WatchOS 5.
The COROS Pace Multisport seems to be shipping on Amazon and at $300 comes in $50 less than the 735XT it looks like it is trying to copy. As far as I can tell it doesn’t even yet properly support external sensors. So have a click and a look but don’t buy it (yet) until I post the review in July.
This post will be continually updated. Hopefully June will see lots of reasons for me to edit it with the latest news.
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 😉 I have at least a reasonable level of confidence that watches predicted for the future are broadly correct – timings and functionality may NOT be what I expect. 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.
|Category||Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon||Comments|
|Bike||Edge Explore||Jul 2019’s smaller version of the Edge 1030. Most performance features removed. Good for navigation|
|Bike||Edge 1030||Current, released along with podless Vector 3|
|Bike||Edge 20, Edge 25||Entry level cycling computer|
|Bike||Edge 130||Entry level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018 announcement/release|
|Bike||Edge 200, Edge 500, Edge 510||Effectively Discontinued|
|Bike||Edge 520||Still a great cycling computer|
|Bike||Edge 520 PLUS||current. updated hardware capability (CIQ3) and software|
|Bike||Edge 530||530 expected 2018, possibly very soon. Yes, even with the 520 plus announcement although rumours could have confused it with the 130|
|Bike||Edge 800, 810||Effectively Discontinued|
|Bike||Edge 820||Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer|
|Bike||Edge 830||Expected 2018, possibly very soon, although rumours could have confused it with the Edge Explore|
|Outdoors||Epix||Nice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X|
|Outdoors||Fenix, Fenix 2, Quatix||Old|
|Outdoors||Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variants||Current, still great devices|
|Outdoors||Fenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUS||Refreshed model for Jun 2018 IMMINENT|
|Outdoors||Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5x||Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018. A plus version *IS* imminent.|
|Outdoors||Tactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Descent MK1, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie||‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants of Fenix 5|
|Outdoors||Fenix 6, Tactix Delta, D2 Delta, Descent MK2||Expected 2019, (Delta 2020)|
|Outdoors||Fenix Chronos||Quality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.|
|Outdoors||Fenix Chronos 2||Possible Q3.2018|
|Outdoors||Fenix 2 / Fenix 1||Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.|
|Run||Forerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225||Effectively Discontinued|
|Run||Forerunner 230||Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.|
|Run||Forerunner 235||Replacement due 2018. Good|
|Run||Forerunner 235L||Apr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market. Interesting|
|Run||Forerunner 245||Expected Q3.2018|
|Run||Forerunner 25||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Run||Forerunner 30||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Run||Forerunner 35||Entry level run/sports watch|
|Run||Forerunner 45 and 45M||May/June 2018|
|Run||Forerunner 610, Forerunner 620||Effectively Discontinued but good enough|
|Run||Forerunner 630||Great device|
|Run||Forerunner 645 and 645M||Music and non-Music version announced. Q1.2018 aailability UK/USA|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 735XT||Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 745XT||Possible Q3.2018|
|Run||Forerunner 910XT||Great tri watch in its day, still good enough if you can find one|
|Run||Forerunner 920XT||Great tri watch…all you need really. Sometimes CHEAP|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 935||Top tri watch|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 945 or Forerunner 935 Plus||2019|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3||Current – contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3M||VA3 with music. Q2.2018|
|Fitness||Vivoactive HR||Great device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3|
|Fitness||Vivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4||December 2017 supercedes VivoFit 3|
|Fitness||Vivomove||Dress watch, superseded September 2017|
|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 format.|
|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 M1||Current, Garmin 735XT wannabe|
|Epson||Run/Tri||ProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347||Discontinued|
|Epson||Run/Tri||SF-series||discontinued, 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, Mega, Watch variants||MEGA announced July 2018 @Eurobike|
|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-W319,||LM-W315 could be called ICONIC. With one of the other model being the ICONIC SPORT. LM-W319 Imminent June 2018|
|Fitness WearOS||Pixel Smartwatch||To be released in 2018 alongside new Pixel smartphone. Unclear if a SPORT/FITNESS 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 (Q2.2017). Other models include 210, 205 HC, 200, 400, 405, 315 HC, 315. At least some available
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 not what is written to the left 😉|
|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 WearOS sports watch for Android|
|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, Rox 12.0 Sport||Good feature set, current.
Rox 12.0 Sport June 2018 looks like a massive leap forwards for the company
|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|
|Stages||Bike||Dash (L10)||Cycling Computer. cheap and well featured|
|Stages||Bike||Dash L50, M50||New models for release c Q3.2018.|
|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 9||Current. High end Spartan ULTRA replacement|
|TomTom||Outdoors||Adventurer||Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is being closed down at least in US.|
|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 Q3 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.