Fantasy new Polar watch ‘sighting’, Suunto 9 BARO vs Galileo in OWS and tidbits

I’m having a quiet few weeks (partly) away from the gadgets and away from training to a degree brought on by ‘other’ work, completing tax returns and tapering for my B race. I’ll tell you about the race next week if it goes well in 30c degree heat 😉 The last time I did this course I forgot my trusty 935 but still got a PB/PR. Oh dear.

My race prospects seem to have improved somewhat this year. Whilst I’m definitely SLOWER in the pool than last year, I seem to have mastered the art of swimming in a straight line in OWS and boosting my OWS times that way. Which brings me nicely onto my first OWS swim with Galileo on the 935 (blue, below). The red line (Suunto 9) clearly shows my mastering of the most direct route from A to B – I haven’t got a true GPS reference but the red track is VERY GOOD ie very close to what I really swam. Those of you well versed in logic will deduce that if the Suunto 9 BARO is VERY GOOD (as I claim) then the 935 with Galileo is, err, not ‘very good’.

suunto 9 935 galileo
Blue=935+Galileo, Red=Suunto 9 Best (v2.1.54)

That’s disappointing for the Garmin

Although for OWS I’d still be reasonably OK with the GNSS track that the Garmin has turned out. The Suunto 9 in red (firmware v2.1.54 – first true non beta version) is pretty much spot-on. It looks REALLY good. Having said that, I’d caution the reader that in previous firmware versions, from not so many days ago, it really was NOT spot on. I’d also caution the reader that I haven’t done too much with the Suunto 9 yet on this specific firmware iteration. In run mode it might not be good..I don’t know yet. I’d kinda got fed up testing previous firmware versions that, themselves, had clearly not been properly tested by Suunto. Anyway. Now I might make the effort.

Also to be clear about Galileo on the Garmin in OWS…this is NOT as good as the 935 has been in GPS-only mode on VERY many previous swims. But now that the GPS firmware on the 935 has been downgraded (? v4.x to v2.x) to support Galileo does that mean that the GPS-only performance in OWS will suffer? This is a bit of a nightmare for me. How can any single person (DCR included) work on supposedly final firmware versions when they change so much? #Nightmare. A great strategy for any sports watch vendor must be to continually iterate new firmware versions and then the contention,”Oh it’s fixed in the latest version” can never quite be dispelled even by the most conscientious of testers.

All I can do is report what I found. Here is an alternate view from dcr (link to:

With my sample size of 1: Garmin is not as good as it was with GPS-only and Suunto has got better – FOR OWS.

Here is an older Suunto 9 GPS post with some best tracks. #Mixed.

Suunto 9 BARO – Some Best-GPS tracks

My first foray into Galileo with the 935 was in the link shown immediately below. However, since that post, Garmin’s Galileo performance has been mixed too. Sometimes its definitely better and then it has a wobbly and is definitely more than 5m out. Grrrr

GALILEO – Is it Rubbish?

Other News

In other exciting, self-obsessed news my favourite Garmin watch face is now available on the 235. I emailed the developer AGES ago in 2017 and he admitted forgetting to support the 235 despite supporting the 230 (IIRC). Well now I’m a happy bunny. CIQ Source: author cliv3run at


935 235 forerunner garmin


I am still periodically updating last month’s take on all the latest watch/bike head unit machinations but I don’t have enough new info to warrant a July version. Here is the latest version of June’s view on all-things-wrist based and sporty.


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


Polar-sponsored Javier Gomez was pictured wearing a round watch that is clearly NOT a V800. I *DO* have images of the new Polar watch and the round watch below shared the new Polar’s same roundness. On closer inspection the bezel looks a bit bigger in the image below and more Garmin-esque. Indeed, apparently, it’s a Forerunner 645. Javier may have changed sponsors. Nevertheless there REALLY is a new Polar watch…what it is …when we will see it … are other matters entirely.

Pete Dean, below, also cites this trademark (link to:


Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $599/£525/Eur599 and may well fall in 2019.

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7 thoughts on “Fantasy new Polar watch ‘sighting’, Suunto 9 BARO vs Galileo in OWS and tidbits

    1. maybe it is shown on the attached picture at the end of the article that can’t be displayed

  1. Any NDA-friendly clues about looks or specs? more round-sporty-suunto or more sharp-rugged-fenix looking?

    1. It is most likely going to be round. The only company putting out anything in the realm of being fitness oriented first…is Fitbit ironically. The company that cut its teeth on being a fitness/ sports watch but lagged behind all their contemporaries in terms of functionally (and accuracy) is the only one putting out a form factor conducive to what most athletes want (square face). I’d be shocked if this is square.

      Here’s hoping it’s something worthwhile 🙂

      1. well i dont mind it being round as i wear my current m430 around the clock (see what i did there??;) and would like it to have somewhat more casual look. i mean i’m out of training most of the day, right? had fenix 3 in the past, but i really prefer polars ecosystem. what i meant was if it would be more sporty looking (suunto-dont like) or more smart looking (fenix-me likey). although looking at polars past deeds in design realm i dont get my hopes high.

  2. Polar is currently knocking $200 off the v800 (I got the message via email) which usually means there is a new product coming within a month or so. Gotta clean house before the new watches come out.

    Also, the image is borked.

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