V2.064 – 14 January 2019
This post is regularly updated before being replaced, periodically, with a new one that contains a more pertinent introduction & commentary. The intent is to give you an idea of which GPS Bike and Run sports devices are available NOW and likely to be superceded soon (or not). My personal interest is speculating about new models and replacement models. Obviously this site reviews and discusses some of these devices in detail and also speculates about some potential devices in detail as well.
Skip to the section you want, though if you are here for the first time and interested in ‘future stuff’ then this entire post should be of interest (or not)
Recent New Stuff
The full list of ‘everything’ is further below, here are some recent headlines (there are other leaks further down in the table and listed by manufacturer)
- ANNOUNCED: Vivoactive 3 PLUS Music with LTE…CES2019
- ANNOUNCED: TICWATCH E2 and S2. Still using the old WearOS processor
- ANNOUNCED: Withings Move & Move ECG
- TOPRUMOUR: Complete rebranding (sub-brand), extension and launch of Garmin triathlon watch range
- TOPRUMOUR: Samsung Galaxy Sport Feb 2019
- RELEASED: Amazfit Verge
- RELEASED: COROS APEX, (42mm, 46mm)
- SPECULATION: New Wahoo bike computer?
- SPECULATION: Polar Vantage LITE
- SPECULATION: Suunto 7, Suunto 5 (8, 6, 4, 2 you get the idea)
“Fzzzzzzz” best describes the end of 2018, with only the Polar Vantage offering us any real new product excitement.
The overall level of Fzzzzz-ness will likely continue over the next few years but China and Garmin should both give us reasonably frequent explosions of tech delight. Or something like that.
Garmin Vivoactive Tech
First up is the start of a new tech trend (for Garmin). Yay! It looks likely that Garmin will be embedding some sort of cellular chip inside the new Garmin Vivoactive 3 Plus Music; or is it the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Plus? Either way Garmin will be knocking really hard at Suunto’s door when it comes to giving a product the longest possible name.
Garmin’s Vivoactive range often has first-line new tech on Garmin devices. ie the Vivoactive (or Fenix) is often a showcase for lots of new, internal techy bits and pieces. So it shall be again.
With the Garmin Vivoacteve 3 Plus Music you will be able to leave your smartphone at home and still be able to be tracked by your partner who will be ensuring that you complete laps of the park and not trips to the bar at the local pub whilst you are listening to the Spotify subscription they bought you for Christmas.
Too fantastical? Nope. I’ve been saying it for a long time in previous iterations of this post and some Apple/WearOS watches already do this. Recent FCC filings and other info supports these assertions. Liklihood?…super high, this is backed by evidence (FCC) and HIGHLY credible rumours.
Garmin Triathlon Tech for 2019
It looks like Garmin are NOT releasing a 935 Plus or 945 or 645 Triathlon or 745XT. Well, that’s not strictly true. They will be released in 2019 but Garmin will call them; something else’. Let’s say it’s called Trimax (the name is a pure guess). We would get a Garmin Trimax and a Garmin Trimax Pro. The former would be the 745XT and the latter the 945 and there may also be a Trimax Pro/945 Music/NFC/LTE/dual-frequency-Galileo. My guess is that we would also see a Trimax Lite as there is a space in the market for that from Garmin – ie 3, or even 4, models in total. Of course they would all be essentially the same inside but with modified cases and bits of functionality disabled.
Thus, with this range extension and rebranding, we would in part be talking about something similar to the cut-down BUT COMPETENT Garmin Instinct (eg no CIQ) but, instead, for the triathlon market. The Trimax Lite would then become a worthy competitor of the likes of the Amazfit STRATOS (albeit more expensive). Likelihood?…high, some of this is backed up by evidence.
2019 will be Garmin’s “year of the tri”. I reckon they will also be updating some of their accessories eg a BLE+ANT+ HRM strap and a Running Power Footpod (edit: evidence Jan 2019 has an FCC filing for a BLE HRM). There could even be a rebranding of something like the Edge 130 to become a ‘dummy display unit for the bike leg of a tri” as data is relayed to it from the Trimax – eg called Trimax BIKE. Key feature? A tethering point to avoid it being nicked in transition (yes, really, people do).
These devices are going to be more accurate and even more Galileo-friendly than the current crop ie 2020-Galileo read (look out for the phrase dual frequency). Garmin are going to start delivering on sensor accuracy…hopefully.
None of you are interested in WearOS tech. I know that. But I am 😉 I promise (maybe) that something in 2019 might just finally excite you sporty types. Likelihood? high…very good leaks from the people who are making it.
Hammerhead’s Karoo, Pioneer’s CA600 and Sigma Sport Rox 12 might only very, very slowly dent the Garmin EDGE bike computers’ stranglehold on the market. But a revamped and slightly improved Wahoo ELEMNT might put the cat amongst the pigeons. BIG BUT – there will probably also be a couple of new, large Garmin cats feasting away too. Likelihood? Pure guesswork, for now.
Please let me know of any others.
All the latest speculation and leaks along with comments on current products are here: >> FORUM <<
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 and I won’t talk about it as I always honour agreements I make either written or verbal. So there will be a few more surprises over and above all of this 😉 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 – Current and Rumoured Models
|Category||Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon||Comments|
|Bike||Edge Explore||Current: Jul 2018’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|
|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 due Q1.2018 but this was probably negated by the Edge 520 Plus and Edge 130|
|Bike||Edge 800, 810||Effectively Discontinued|
|Bike||Edge 820||Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer|
|Bike||Edge 830||Expected March 2019ish.|
|Bike||Edge MTB||There is a gap in the market here. It could be filled by Garmin – just like the Instinct did for budget outdoors|
|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. Caveat Emptor. The Plus version is the one you want to buy.|
|Outdoors||Instinct||Oct 2018 A cut-down outdoors-focussed Fenix|
|Outdoors||Instinct 2||Due 2020|
|Outdoors||Tactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Descent MK1, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie, Quatix||‘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||2019, if ever|
|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. Good|
|Run||Forerunner 235L||Apr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market.|
|Run||Forerunner 245||Overdue, 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||Overdue, 2019|
|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 (or 645 tri)||Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)|
|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 or 645 tri||Q2-Q3.2019,|
|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 3 Plus Music||PLUS will have at least LTE. Jan/Q1.2019|
|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|
Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Apple, etc – Current and Rumoured Models
|Manufacturer||Category||Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon||Comments|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run||Bip / Pace / Bip Lite||Current|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run||Pace 2||This is the Smartwatch 2 (Chinese) or Pace 2 (Chinese), 2S is the sapphire model. Replaces A1602 Smartwatch (Chinese) and A1612 Pace (Intl)|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Fitness||Verge||Current model A1811, as over 1 Dec 2018 now selling in the USA|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run/Tri||STRATOS||Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl version|
|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.|
|Apple||Fitness||Watch Series 5||Expected Sep 2019 will run on WatchOS6. Might even be good enough to finally call a sports watch|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER 100, 310, 330, 410, 450h, 530E, Rider 530 T||Current, 450E is top model @<$200 with all functions even 310 @<$150 supports a PM|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER numerous other models||Effectively Discontinued|
|Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20||Current, replaced by F20/F30 announced Aug 2018|
|Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30||Announced: Jan 2019, replacing WSD-F20. Expect a WSD-F40 in Jan 2020 😉|
|CatEye||Bike||STEALTH 50, Stealth EVO, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+||2016 models are current|
|COROS||Run/Tri||Pace Pace Multisport M1||Current, Garmin 735XT lookalike|
|COROS||Run/Tri||Apex 42mm 46mm||Current Oct 2018. Highly credible endurance run and tri alternative. Competent small format available. Jan 2019 a special edition annonced for 46mm.|
|Epson||Run/Tri||ProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347||Discontinued|
|Fossil||Fitness WearOS||Sport||November 2018|
|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. Apparently it’s folded. Caveat Emptor.|
|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” (GT is non WearOS) – these are effectively both the Watch 3.|
|Huawei||Fitness WearOS||Honor Magic||WearOS and a good spec, November 2018|
|Huawei||Fitness||Project Talos||Imminent (Q4.2018)|
|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.|
|Mont Blanc||Fitness WearOS||Summit 2||Announced – several quite advanced sporty features|
|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. Replaced by Vapor 2|
|Misfit||Fitness WearOS||Vapor 2||WearOS. Current.|
|MiVia||Fitness||Run 350||2017 Firstbeat goodness, Versa look-alike|
|Mobvoi||Fitness||Ticwatch 2 aka Ticwatch Active||2017 budget sports watch with GPS & Music|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch E2||2018 budget sports watch with GPS & Music, replacement for Ticwatch E|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch S2||CES2019 replacement fro Ticwatch S (ie S1)|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch S||2017 WearOS 2.0 budget sports watch. Ticwatch E is cheaper and non-sport version. Ticwatch 2, Active and Classic are different – not WearOS. Replaced by S2.|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch Pro||WearOS 2.0|
|Mystery||Fitness WearOS||New Entrant||WearOS 2.0, Q4.2018 at earliest. Maybe a long-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||Run/Tri||Vantage Lite||Possible entry-level run watch based on the existing Vantage framework|
|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. Might get a refresh but fine as -is|
|Polar||Run/Tri||V800||Still a great multisport watch, replaced by Vantage V & Vantage M|
|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||Galaxy Sport||Galaxy Sport 20 Feb 2019?|
|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 forward 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||BIKENAV||CA600||Cycling Computer, looks quite nice. OSM, ANT+, power|
|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 Q1-2.2019|
|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|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||SPARTAN Trainer||New outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2019 under a new Suunto name|
|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|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 7||Replacement for Suunto Spartan Sport – I don’t expect this in Q1|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 5||Replacement for Suunto Spartan Trainer – I don’t expect this in Q1|
|TomTom||Outdoors||Adventurer||Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is closed down.|
|TomTom||Run||Runner 3, Spark 3||Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is closed down.Still firmware updates as of 8May2018|
|TomTom||Run||Spark, Runner, Runner 2||Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2|
|Withings||Fitness||Move & Move ECG||CES2019, Sweet Fitness ecosystem|
|Withings||Fitness||Steel HR Sport||Current|
|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? It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a new ELEMNT with improved screen+hardware|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||ELEMNT MINI||Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||X5||Superseded by X5 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
- There are probably also some Kickstarter and Indegogo type new models planned. My broad opinion is that if this is the first sports watch from a company with no track record then you will lose your money. Spend a little bit extra and instead get a real product now.
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?
The big trend is ‘not here guv’….the smart money is now in MEDICAL-WEARABLE tech rather than sports wearable tech. Otherwise there will still be innovation in 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 , Edge 130 and others BUT for the accuracy we need DUAL FREQUENCY GALILEO; 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, blood pressure) & 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/eSIM (for live services like CRASH and WEATHER and FRIEND LOCATIONS mostly for cyclists and STREAMED MUSIC for runners); smart home integration/Internet of Things integration; integration of video recording onto Bike computers. We migtht also see voice activation ‘OK Garmin’ for CIQ apps but which also trigger sports functionality like ‘take a lap’ or ‘change screen’. Improvements on the wrist might see more accurate ECG/EKG. Battery tech will also see on-wrist battery charging from body heat and solar cells.
Music on watches has still not been properly addressed but it is getting there. 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, live streaming services (albeit with only one active). But just how exactly will live streaming services be properly handled other than through on-watch SIM? – answer? Vivoactive 3M Verizon. And very few sports+music watches have an eSIM eg Apple, LG and Samsung. Another trend that is yet to start with MUSIC on the run is that of support for Quality CODECS – AptX and AptX HD are not supported on any running watches AFAIK.
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 – but their vast range of products keeps the marketing deparment continually busy. When Garmin announce a new hardware ‘base’ (usually the highest 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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All the latest speculation and leaks along with comments on current products are here: >> FORUM <<