This version has been superceded
V2.040 – 6 October 2018
Hmmm. This has been a quieter month than I thought, although things are starting to hot up.
Withings has bought Withings (errr). It’s a long story and a slightly old one too. However after buying back Withings from Nokia, Withings are now releasing a sports watch. It does look as sweet as a watch can look but serious sports fans need only know that the connected GPS comes from your smartphone and not onboard on the watch itself. However Withings also have an interesting and more general HEALTH offering that includes the new watch(es) as well as a smart scale and HRM for under your mattress with IFTTT integration. Which is, sort of, one direction that the Apple Watch is heading. Bon Chance Withings.
Suunto seem to have snuck out a new Suunto 9 along with new firmware. Well they’d already released the Suunto 9 with Baro but then the Suunto 9 became the non-baro version. But now there is a Suunto 9 Baro. Got that? ? ? I’m still not sure I have. Caveat Emptor.
Garmin have failed to release any hardware in September which is strange. Maybe they didn’t want to spoil the launch of the Polar Vantage M & V. (Errrr….so that’ll be a Garmin release in October then perhaps also supporting Spotify!)
Talking of which. Polar released the Vantage M and Vantage V. The latter is the V800 replacement and the Vantage M is, sort of, an extended M430. they both look pretty good to me as ‘proper’ sports/tri watches. They look POTENTIALLY GREAT as sports-focussed devices They don’t, and never will, have all the features of a Garmin and so a few people are grumbling that their favourite features are missing. It has a few super niche things that I’d like which are missing too, but I am staying in positive mode on the Polar Vantage and not grumbling at all yet. I like it. Everyone I show it to likes the looks of it. EVERYONE.
You’ve probably guessed that a rumoured new entrant into the sports watch market is not entering it this year. I’ll say no more.
However there is a supposedly super-secret new WearOS SPORTS watch of the Polar M600 kind.
Apple have released the Watch 4 running WearOS 5. I’ve not played with that yet but I guess when Apple say that it is not merely EVOLVED but rather TRANSFORMED, then that must be true. Anyway, both v4 versions are a bit bigger than v3. (Processor is more powerful than v3, thinner than v3, has an improved oHR, has a NEW EKG and Bluetooth v5 (NOT the v4.2 on the v3 Watch). Battery life is unchanged at 18 hours and there is still a cellular (LTE) version. Got that?
More interesting than the Apple announcement is the one from Huami. They are the makers of the cool and uber-featured STRATOS tri watch. Well now they have released the AMAZFIT VERGE. It is NOT a replacement for the AMAZFIT STRATOS. Instead it looks like a super smart watch that can also do fitness, NFC, GPS, etc. ie it’s targeted at the Apple watch…but significantly cheaper. It might have Asia-only availability at first.
Mobvoi, the makers of the Ticwatch are also releasing a new watch. This one is the E2 and might run on the new Qualcom Snapdragon chip.
I reckon we will see another Suunto this side of Christmas. Perhaps an updated Spartan Trainer would be the best bet, unless you knew better 😉
I have a new Mio Cyclo 210 for review and the MIO 605HC is being more actively launched now as well.
Please let me know of any others.
This post will be continually updated. Hopefully October 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. Failing that something in 2019.|
|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 earlier in 2018 so more likey March 2019ish.|
|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 Q4.2018|
|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 Q4.2018-Q1.2019|
|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 Q1.2018. Possibly 645-Triathlon or other variants to follow|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 735XT||Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 745XT||Possible Q4.2018|
|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 Q4.2018|
|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)||Fitness||Verge||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 w/Nike||Current, runs 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, 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||Charge, Charge 2||Discontinued|
|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, Watch GT||WearOS and a good spec. Current (Watch 2 was 2017 with an incremental 2018 update) The Fit was effectively the “Watch 1 Sport”. Watch 3 could be the FORTUNA in October 2018 but more likely we will see FORTUNA and a sporty “Watch GT” – these are effectively both the Watch 3.|
|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 models being the ICONIC SPORT. LM-W319 could be as soon as Sep 2018 (likely this is now the W7 which is a non-sports hybrid.) 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 605HC (Q2.2017). Other models include Cyclo 210 (re-announced Aug2018?), 400, 405, 405HC
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||E2||2018 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|
|Mystery||Fitness WearOS||New Entrant||WearOS 2.0, Q4.2018 at earliest. Maybe a longer term project for 2019|
|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||Vantage V||V800 replacement|
|Polar||Run/Tri||Vantage M||More run-focussed than the V model and a bit more than the M430.|
|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 Q4.2018. 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.|
|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 Q4.2018.|
|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. Could be a swim watch, who knows?|
|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 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.