This version has been superceded
V2.035 – 04 September 2018 – latest version **HERE**.
There has been little new of interest to say on rumoured new GPS sports watches/head units. Hence there was no July update to this post.
Lezyne announced the MEGA, which looks pretty cool and super-reasonably priced. They seem to be running out of sized-based superlatives for names of their products. Perhaps the next one will be Uber? Although that name rings a bell from somewhere else, so, maybe not. Apparently they are also backtracking on its included STRAVA functionality as there are now increased costs for them using STRAVA.
We could speculate about a Suunto N where N is a number other than 3 or 9…but hey. Actually I have had ONE snippet of a rumour of something in the offing from them in the fall/autumn. But even when/if I have any juicy info I’ll be under nda…grrr.
The other two companies supposedly releasing a new tri watch or two this year are having a few seemingly incorrect rumours being passed around about them. Tut, tut. TomTom and Epson ? 😉 Get excited but don’t get two excited. If you get my cryptic drift.
Garmin are likely going to release something. Probably tri/run and bike related over 2 devices. Again, all is quiet. And will probably stay so until September.
The fitness watches are starting to kick off with the release of the Ticwatch PRO. We should also see more announcements in September (10 September is the very likely launch date for Qualcomm’s replacement to the WearOS SnapDragon 2100 processor). I’m hoping for quite a few of WearOS September announcements and for some of them to be more credible devices for more serious athletes – but that’s a hope rather than an expectation, having said that the aforesaid TICWATCH is claiming a long battery life though still using the Qualcomm 2100 processor. Also some Sept 2018 leaks of info suggest that WearOS manufacturers need to wait until 2019 to deliver more newer hardware models that are notbaly better.
Don’t forget the Apple Watch 4 building on WatchOS 5.
But it’s August and we are all on holiday now.
In the meantime here is a picture of some headphones. I have some news on headphones but I suspect that everyone reading this will have zero interest in headphones ;-). Actually there is an interesting angle that will state that all the smartwatches that play music seem to be much more quality-limited than I had at first thought. I’ll back that up with some real info at some point but it’s a bit disappointing.
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||Garmin’s flagship model for 2018-2019. Notbaly updated Fenix 5 models. No update for the 935 yet) though.|
|Outdoors||Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5x||Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018. The Plus version is the one you want to buy.|
|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, possibly Q3/4.2018|
|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 built on WatchOS5.|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER 100, 310, 330, 530E, Rider 530 T||Current|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER numerous other models||Effectively Discontinued|
|Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20||Current, replaced by F30 announced Aug 2018|
|Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30||Current, replacing WSD-F20.|
|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. Watch2 has seen e-sim in china only|
|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 could be as soon as Sep 2018 but a Watch3 derivative will be 2019|
|Fitness WearOS||Pixel Smartwatch||To be released in 2019. Unclear if a SPORT/FITNESS version will be released as well.|
|MIO/Magellan||Bike||Cyclo 605, 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 (re-announced Aug2018?), 205 HC, 200, 400, 405, 315 HC, 315.
Unsure of situation in USA with sister company MAGELLAN. Who have dated ECHO/SWITCH run/bike products
|Misfit||Fitness WearOS||Vapor||WearOS. Current.|
|MiVia||Fitness||Run 350||2017 Firstbeat goodness, Versa look-alike|
|Mobvoi||Fitness||Ticwatch 2 aka Ticwatch Active||2017 budget sport watch with GPS & Music|
|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 – not WearOS|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch Pro||WearOS 2.0|
|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.|
|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|
|Skagen||Fitness WearOS||Falster 2||With GPS added, this now counts as a sports watch. It aims to be seen as the prettiest.|
|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 to the 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 9 is effective replacement|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 3 Fitness||Current. Low-end model with interesting specs. GPS only from paired and carried smartphone.|
|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/F5SPlus 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.