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

This version has been superceded

latest version **HERE**.

V2.040 – 6 October 2018

click to withings

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.

*NEW* Sports Watch Not Announced (Yet)

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 E2

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 called the Suunto 5 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.

COROS Pace Review M1 Multisport


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.

Garmin

Category Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon Comments
Bike Edge 1000 Superseded
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 Effectively Discontinued
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

 

The rest:

 

Manufacturer Category Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon Comments
adidas Run Smart Run Discontinued
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
Casio Outdoors

WearOS

Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 Current, replaced by F30 announced Aug 2018
Casio Outdoors

WearOS

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 Charge 3 Current
Fitbit Fitness Versa Current SE version has Fit Pay payments
Fitbit Fitness Charge HR Discontinued
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.
Giant Bike NeosTrack Cycling Computer
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.
Google 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.
Pioneer Bike CA600 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 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 X3 2018…still waiting
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.


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Hi. Perhaps the hint about the capabilities of battery life expected in the upcoming WearOS watches could come of the new Huawei called FORTUNA?: http://www.slashleaks.com/l/huawei-watch-fortuna-promo-material-leaked http://www.slashleaks.com/wp-content/uploads/huawei_mega_leak_24.jpg http://www.slashleaks.com/wp-content/uploads/huawei_mega_leak_23.jpg It’s interesting because in the future, other manufacturers can improve it more with better gps chips, displays, etc. I would like to know what kind of display it’ll have. Becouse if it’s amoled instead of transflective, I can imagine a future Amazfit Stratos 3 with 40 gps in high precision or next Polar M630… and more with low one. Not sure if Huawei will add several gps precision modes but being WearOS and it’s flexibility even i could develop my own running app optimizing it as a base service. As sport watches are adding smartwatch features, it seems that smartwatches manufacturers are counterattacking just by adding advanced sport functions each time. And an open SO plus programming environment with greater possibilities to develop may end up being better if the community contributes in the long run … It will be very interesting how this contest ends within a few years. Surely we will benefit from more alternatives to choose and less abusive prices in certain models ; ) It’s rumored that LG could… Read more »