Garmin 2019: New Products – Forerunner 245M Fenix6 ?!? 945 ? Edge 1040 ? Speculation

Garmin Forerunner 945

945

It’s been a good year for Garmin’s endurance tech products and a good year, financially, for the company overall. 2019 will almost certainly see this trend continue.

But exactly how? Will Garmin be selling more of the same-old, same-old, products? Or will we see more new and exciting stuff?

A: More new and exciting stuff πŸ˜‰

With a tailwind and a dose of good luck, January 2020 will reveal some FCC filings showing that a Garmin Fenix 6 is to be formally announced at CES2020. But that’s quite a wait for the next iteration of their flagship product.

If you want to look at predictions beyond 2019, then look at the latest post listed in this list here (link to: the5krunner.com).

    • Vivoactive 3 Plus or “DragonFlyM” /WearOS – Due January 2019 – probability – 100% VA3 LTE version announced
    • Forerunner 245 & Forerunner 245 Music – Due Q2 – edit: probability 100% MAY
    • Fenix 6 – Due Q4.2019/Q1.2020 – the probability of the latter date 80%
    • Forerunner 945 – Due Q2.2019 – edit: probability 100% MAY.
    • Forerunner 745XT – Due 2019 – probability 30%. Apparently this update to the triathlon range has been held back
    • Edge 830 or Edge 1040 – 830 is Over Due Q2/Q3.2019 – probability – edit : 100%, May
    • Edge MTB – New Product – probability 30%
    • Edge 530 – Over Due Q1.2019 – edit: probability 100% April
    • Forerunner 45 &/or Forerunner 45Music – Due – edit: probability – 100% MAY

edit: Apr 2019

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music & Garmin Forerunner 245 – Almost Here, “Speculation”

Commentary:

  • The Fenix 6 is a certainty. It’s just “when?” it will happen that is the question.
  • The 945 will be the top-end triathlon watch built for sport. Although technically the MARQ ATHLETE may superior
  • With the Garmin MARQ Athlete we have seen sport-focussed CHRONOS 2. This is NOT the 935 replacement. That will come this year too and it WILL be more sensibly priced for the masses.
  • The 245/245M each represent a product that would represent a potentially great seller in a significant part of the market. I am surprised that this has not already been released in 2018. But consider that Garmin may well be releasing a new WearOS watch to fit precisely in the 245/245M space. It will certainly be priced at LEAST somewhere around the $/Β£/Eu300+ mark. That’s easily Forerunner 245 Music territory. However the 245 and 245M are ‘easy adds’ to the existing Garmin range rather than a ‘special project’ like a WearOS watch. This is going to be the one that releases first and, indeed, it’s likely that these two models were the ones pulled by Garmin from a CES2019 launch.
  • A mid-range tri watch, the 745XT, is by no means a certainty. It represents Garmin’s entry-level multisport watch but it is also a watch which would sit firmly in the mid-market of pricing when compared to other products. Producing a 945 could see the 935 slip back in price to effectively become the 735XT replacement in the mid-market gap. Such a move could be devastating for Garmin’s competition BUT devastating also to Garmin’s new 945 through cannibalization of sales. #Dilema
  • Edge MTB – I reckon the Garmin Instinct (cheap Fenix) signals that Garmin wants to also hit new market segments. The MTB/trail market is the obvious one for a ruggedized, tailored and/or cut-down Edge 520 Plus
  • Edge 530 was due in 2018. The Edge 130 and 520 Plus products that we have now probably reflected the equivalent product. In fact, reports I had in 2017 were of the 530, so maybe Garmin just decided to stick with the 520’s branding and hence the Edge 520 Plus – the 520 is a HIGHLY respected product.
  • The high-end Edge products need to take another step forward, perhaps by including an eSIM or video capability. An Edge 1040 will happen at some point and an Edge 830 probably will not be too far behind.
  • Forerunner 45 &/or45M – will Garmin even bother in this space? Is the cheaper, Far Eastern competition too much to deal with? I don’t know the answer to the economics behind that. But I do know that Garmin’s CIQ music offering on a 45M would be a big seller..shame the 35 is not a CIQ product :-(, CIQ will likely never exist in that price bracket for a Garmin. Plus, at the lower price points, much of the competition to Garmin offer clearly better watches. eg Amazfit STRATOS and Forerunner 35 can sometimes have the same price.
  • NOTE WELL Hint there won’t be a 935 Plus, nor a 945 nor a 745XT…Garmin will introduce 2 or 3 rebranded tri-specific products. I reckon. they will be effectively the same thing as updated versions of those old models but with a different name consistent with a triathlon sub-brand. This could be a very, very, very (did I say VERY?) exciting event for 2019. It makes me poor just thnking about what I am going to have to do about it! (buy all of them)
  • I was surprised to see the MARQ which is effectively Chronos 2. I underestimated the success of the pseudo-luxury end of the sports watch market where Garmin competes with itself. The poll below shows that (15 MArch) only 3.22% of you expected the MARQ/Chronos 2…looks like my underestimation was shared by you all πŸ˜‰
  • Others – there will be other products and other variants. I’m less interested in products like a Vivomove. Vector 4 will happen at some point too, maybe not 2019. Relatively new products like Vivoactive 3 series will not be superseded by a VA4 yet, that will be for 2020.

Your Thoughts Welcomed Below and Your Votes too. Remember to vote on what you think WILL HAPPEN and not what you would LIKE to happen.

 

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26 thoughts on “Garmin 2019: New Products – Forerunner 245M Fenix6 ?!? 945 ? Edge 1040 ? Speculation

  1. There is a confirmation from FCC that something new comes on the way from Garmin. And everything points to what could be the first Garmin with WearOS and also with NFC and LTE. It’s a bit scary thing that they may focus it more on the casual market than the high-performance sports one so as not to compete with their other watches. But … if it really was a watch with WearOS … I’m sure that it would only be a matter of time that its apps from the developer community surpassed those of Garmin for all kinds of measurements with the sensors that the clock incorporates. Another thing will be the subject of the battery, but the LTE, bluetooth, optical heart rate sensor and GPS can be switched off at convenience.

    I see it as an intelligent movement. Now that there is a fine line between a smartwatch and a sports watch, better than when it breaks, you are the one who crosses it and the one who sells that watch. Will it has all the sensors? Will they remove something like Ant + to avoid overlapping or stepping on other products it from other products? Not sure if that is the most intelligent, if you are going to do something like that, do it well and add all features to make it attractive and position it above all the WearOS comtetitors, less if you plan release more than one model together, along the year or later. What market will they look for? Running, fitness, outdoor, golf … versatility?

    Article:
    https://gpsrumors.com/garmin-something-new-with-lte

    One watch FCC:
    https://fccid.io/IPH-A3405/RF-Exposu…Report-4073085

    And yes it is a clock.
    Manufacturer’s Accessory List:
    B1 011-04533-01 Black Silicone Wrist Band
    P1 362-00087-00 AC Adapter, 5.0V, 1.0A, USB-A Recpt
    P2 010-12491-01 CA Assy, Plug Charger

    Hello CES or perhaps sooner? Who knows. Very happy to watch all the new releases and reviews upcoming.

    Regards

  2. Fenix 6 – Due Q4.2019/Q1.2020 – the probability of the latter date 80%
    Forerunner 945 – Due Q1/Q2.2019 – probability 70%

    Do you think that 935 successor will be no longer “plastic” Fenix? I thought that new Forerunner 945 will be released few weeks after Fenix 6.

    • i would think the top-end tri watch MUST always be lightweight and so will be ‘plastic’…otherwise get a fenix.
      i still think the 935 will get a refresh in some way to include some of the smart stuff that has gone in to the Fenix 5 PLUS series. It is not a certainty though by any means.

  3. I was having a look through the 735 and the 935 features, there doesn’t seem like an awful lot of a difference? Barometer is the main thing I would like from the 935 (I have the 735), but otherwise it looks pretty similar.

    That would lead me to think they will just remove 735 form the line up, and as you say, the 935 slips back to fill the gap. They probably cover the cannibalisation of this by the fact the 945 will have music and other Fenix Plus type features?

    On a side note, I had was trying the Polar Vantage. Thought it was a nice bit of hardware, but so far behind Garmin in features/usability to not be a viable alternative, imo.

    • hi,the 935 supports CIQ3. there are other minor differences i guess, the ofrm factor is a major difference
      yes i’d also imagine that the 945 will be EVEN more expensive which means that the price of the 935 wouldn’t have to drop too much to fill the gap (if at all)

      Vantage: clearly it does not have as many features. but once they sort out the peripheries of what is not quite there, then it will probably be a more powerful offering for just SPORTS functionality…but, yes, it’s never going to have music, nfc etc etc.

    • IMHO one of the larger distinctions between them is the improved HR sensor on the 935 which not only does a better job of tracking all day (and resting HR) but also opens up 5 new Firstbeat metrics: Anaerobic Training Effect, Training Load, Training Status, FTP calculation, and All-day Stress & Recovery only came with the Fenix 5 generation devices and not the Fenix 3 generation of devices.

      With the 735/235/F3 there really isn’t a good actionable recovery condition metric. Recovery Adviser doesn’t appear to be more than a definite integral of the single activity’s HR graph, and as such doesn’t take into account other activities or notice if you recover faster than predicted.

  4. Wow, I disagree with a bunch of your estimates. I did a double take at them because I initially thought I read it wrong. Unless you’re getting some internal information from Garmin, nearly every watch you have listed for Q4 seems wrong.

    The Fenix 6 by the end of next year? Really? I get they just put out the 5+ line, but that should have no impact on the timetable for the new Fenix for CES 2019 and a late Q1/Q2 launch at all. The 5+ line wouldn’t even have existed hate Garmin not messed up the 5 line in the first place.

    Garmin’s release schedule also denotes the eminent announcement at CES of at least the next full gen of watches including the 935 replacement and the Fenix 6. Granted not every watch gets that treatment, but the big ones? I’d be shocked if both aren’t included with the CES announcement especially with Polar having the Vantage out in a sector that Garmin is now the old kid on the block. Not to mention the potential of diversifying all of these watches within the same brand to focus on aspects of function rather than having physical differences. What’s to say a Fenix 6X is focused solely on rugged outdoor activities and forgoes things like Running (and metrics) and biking (but only include MTB).

    Don’t forget, Garmin put out the Chronos only six months after the F3HR and then announced the F5 six months later. Granted the Chronos was a luxury watch, but still was a device unto itself for the public.

    As for other devices, I expect any bike gear to be announced in Feb and at least one odd one out being a new HRM-Run/Tri released with better accuracy, optional BTS connectivity, better running dynamics and a bundle with a redesigned foot pod (power to combat Stryd).

    If they do wait until 2020 for these upgrades, honestly, even with a Garmin OS platform, I don’t know what market they will be a factor in. It’s starting to dry up here. Fitbit had a good run up until a few months ago, and you don’t hear much about them, Suunto seems to fine stuck in 2nd gear, Polar took nearly half a decade to put out a top-end replacement, that isn’t that much of an alternative (nominally). That leaves Garmin and any hold out only gives more prominent brands more time to capitalize on their portion of the market (Apple, Samsung, Google).

    • he he he. maybe it’s the way i write ’em.
      there’s only one listed as Q4 (F6) and i say that 2020 is more likely.
      whatever new functionality gets announced at CES will show the way forwards. If it’s LTE in VA3M+ (it is) then we know that a F6 will at least have what new functionality the VA3M+ has (it will).

      If it’s a WearOS watch at CES (I think not, unless 2 releases) then that puts the F6 further back (it wont be)

      When I say ‘Due’ maybe I mean ‘overdue’. But that doens’t mean that a release WILL happen. it seems obvious that a 245 will happen but is the money there without canabalising other garmin stuff?

      va3/fenix and the Edge’s must be the big money earners for Garmin. so those should cycle as quickly as garmin can do the R&D. i think the 945/935+ are a sideline in that regard.

      yep you’re right about the hrmtri2/powerpod I think that’s the likely release for one of the non-key months. I wasn’t really thinking of accessories when i wrote it.

      I think fitbit’s doing alright. I was writing a piece on women’s watches and some of the conclusions i came to made me re-evaluate how i think about all things-Fitbit.

      suunto…i don’t know. the parent is up for sale, probably more prompted by some of the bike stuff they do. they will have some stuff next year for sure. possibly 3 new variants.

      I think polar must have a Vantage-lite of some sort lined up. they cant really benefit from investing in a v660, i would have thought, or in any kind of new running hardware – so they have to iterate what they have.

      your final comments on apple/google/samsung …yep. I’ve been saying that is where the future is for a while.

      • I’m unimaginative. What will Garmin use LTE for in a VA or FR? Streaming Spotify instead of syncing? SMS and notifications? Without going full-smartwatch WearOS (to allow more powerful apps, I have a hard time believing they can even do email decently on ConnectIQ and anything like current hardware) I’m having a hard time seeing the selling point.

        But that’s probably why I’m not them

        • subscription service to music
          live tracking, live upload,immediate post workout upload, race tracking
          more detailed POI info (shops , cinema)
          basically stuff that your mobile phone already does.
          i’ve made a few CIQ enquiries about what novel stuff might be possible….not got very far πŸ™
          unimaginative…I never saw the point in Google buying youtube…#sigh. what’s wrong with TV and DVDs πŸ˜‰

          • > live tracking, live upload,immediate post workout upload, race tracking

            So, yeah, clearly I missed this one. This is a biggie, and as my 520-linked-to-my-phone shows seems like current hardware is in the ballpark of being able to do this.

            > more detailed POI info (shops , cinema)

            Boy howdy, such interactive mapping would seem to take a lot more processor power than we have currently. Which loops right back around to me being suspicious that it would show up in a VA3M-class device. But, as I’ve already shown I’m not super great at predicting.

          • ok your suspicions are probably sensible

            the va3M+ will not have to have all the funcitonality that LTE can bring down the line
            historically vivoactive has had some of the latest bits of tech inside…like the Fenix.

            VA3M+ will be a building block for the LTE technology.
            i mean, maybe it WILL just initially be for streaming spotify (or whatever). but note the word …INITIALLY

          • There’s a giant cloud looming over implementing any “smart” functions beyond what Garmin currently offers (meaning becoming closer to a smartwatch while also being a full sports watch)

            Battery life.

            Just look at the smartwatch market right now. Those pretties hold a charge what? 2-4 days maybe? And that’s with passive functionality, juggle that with use, and you get a day on a charge? What benefit is that going to have on the people train or do competitions where they end up obtensivliy turning off those smartwatch functions in place of more use time and less charging?

            Garmin either has some masterstroke level programming or new battery tech because I don’t need a watch that I have to take off daily, just to make sure I have enough juice to run a 5k.

          • i cant see a programming masterstroke happening.
            but…
            swappable secondary battery, curved battery eg for secreting in the strap.
            low power gps (Sony or others)
            the apple watch 1 could hardly manage a day. it’s got a lot better. as you say 2-4 days seems a good situation. tech will keep on improving.
            with the VA3M+ … that is likely to add very specific functionality rather than generic smart functionality, so the incremental hit from what the new LTE can do might not be so much.

            things like that.

          • No way with a swappable battery, not with these being ATM 5. Strap battery is doable though I don’t see them packaging it with the watch standard, or if they do, it would be the “premium” version.

            Low power GPS from Sony as I’ve read it isn’t excellent right now (regarding accuracy).

            Smartwatch battery life is optimized differently than Sports watches with some overlapping tech (OHRM GPS units). What Smartwatches focus on is the functional life benefits with the activity options being a choosable use by the owner. Sports watches are activity oriented with a focus on accuracy and usability for the owner while working out/running/biking etc… all those smartwatches like options are secondary with little ingenuity beyond working.

            Who knows what Garmin is going to do. I’ve said this before, but the first company to create a sport/smartwatch hybrid with all the strengths and none of the weakness of both wins the market. Who gets there first is up for debate.

          • swap – battery. yeah prob wont do it. but someonesomewhere wil have thought of some other innovation eg like the 1030 charger
            sony gps is pretty good on the Coros Apex 46mm …less so on Suunto and Polar

  5. So no Forerunner 945 and no Fenix 6 at CES 2019! I have the Fenix 5x, the optical HR is broken and the bezel is scratched from a bike crash. I don’t want to Upgrade to a Fenix 5x plus because its nearly the same as the 5x and i don’t want to buy a new watch when in a few month a new watch will be announced.
    Is there a chance that the fenix 6 will be announced befor CES 2020?

    • hi garmin tri watch i think will come soon in 2019
      fenix 6 best bet is 2020 or maybe just before christmas this year at a push.
      fenix plus series have better hardware and functions. i’d go for one of those over the non-plus anyday.

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