It looks like a new Garmin smartwatch is imminent with the release of information today in a FCC filing.
What do we know?
A: Not a lot.
But the FCC filing for this “body worn transmitter” does state that the product is “a watch with a touch screen capability and one manual button on the right side” and, elsewhere in the document, NFC & BLE frequencies are tested.
That sounds like the design of either: a revamped Vivoactive 3 (VA3 Plus); a VA3 fix; a Vivoactive 4; an improved Vivomove HR; or an entirely new Garmin WearOS smart/ sports watch with touchscreen.
- The information was submitted 2 weeks ago for availability today. If this was an existing product that was being fine-tuned (bug fixed) in some way then why the 2-week delay? No secrecy is needed.
- Further information is witheld until Q1.2019.
- Garmin delivered the Fenix 5 PLUS series. Why not a VA3 Plus with the same technology, perhaps adding maps and music to the pre-existing contactless payments in the VA3? Perhaps something new las well like a SIM.
- VA3 was announced in Q3.2017
- The timing of a VA3 Plus compared to the release of the VA3 would be broadly in line with the timescales of the Fenix 5 Plus being released over a year after the Fenix 5 non-plus. (One source confirms VA3 Plus + Music)
- This is not the time to release a new product for sale in 2018, so it’s likely to be an announcement that we get either NOW or just before CES in Jan 6th, 2019 (most likely) with the product being available very soon after for purchase in Q1.2019.
- VA3 has been the subject of relatively large discounts of late ie >>$100
- The information has clearly been timed to avoid impacting on the Black Friday weekend.
- The above description, provided in the FCC filing, sounds like the Vivoactive 3 (minus the slider). Whilst I wasn’t that keen on the VA3 when I reviewed it, there was nothing glaringly wrong to warrant it being “fixed”.
- Is this the Project DragonFlyM that I wrote about earlier?…
- Polar’s M600 uses 2 buttons and a touchscreen with it being possible to design around one of those buttons so one button+touchscreen would work for a watch based on WearOS.
- I have had reports of a mystery device (likely, this one) being used on Garmin Connect profiles in the UK. These profiles have very recently been amended.
I have edited my expectations on this and, first off, I thought we had a new VA3. On closer reading of the FCC reports it has built-in LTE networking ie it’s like the Apple Watch 4 and effectively may have a SIM card inside. With a touchscreen this is screaming out WearOS, yet sources say otherwise. My first thought seems to be correct. If this is a VA3 Plus with music then it ALSO potentially has a built in SIM and this would make sense as, in some respects, the Vivoactive is where many of the super new features qickly end up (like with the Fenix)