Feb 2019: Sports Watch Update: ‘All’ new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumours of replacement dates for Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit…more

V2.070 – 18 February 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 The intent is to give you an idea of which GPS Bike and Run sports devices are available NOW and likely to be superseded soon (or not).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.

Apple Watch 4 Review Nike 44mmSkip 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 the manufacturer)

  • Casio WSD-F30 – WearOS Navigation watch on sale
  • Fact: Polar Vantage V3 Firmware is imminent.
  • TOPRUMOUR: Several medium- to high-end sports devices were pulled from CES2019.
  • TOPRUMOUR: Complete rebranding (sub-brand), extension and launch of Garmin triathlon watch range
  • TOPRUMOUR: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active Feb 2019
  • SPECULATION: New Wahoo bike computer?
  • SPECULATION: Polar Vantage LITE
  • SPECULATION: Suunto 7, Suunto 5 (8, 6, 4, 2 you get the idea)

Monthly Commentary

We are in an hiatus for a short while. CES has gone and wasn’t very exciting in any case. A contact tells me that more than one new watch announcement was pulled/delayed from CES…#ExpectExcitementSoon

Spring is coming and with it vendors know that we start spending money on new bike, tri and running devices. ‘Very soon’ will be the time for new pieces of digital sporting wonderment.

I know of 4 new devices for the near future…I just can’t mention them. Grrr. Sorry. They are not in this document and I respect formal and informal NDAs. I have zero relationship with companies such as Garmin, Fitbit and Apple (or their PRs).

Garmin is going to be the great hope for something exciting, sometime soon. We are still tantalised by the mysteriously registered MARQ TradeMark from later summer 2018 – that is due to materialise into a product just about now. However, we’ve not had a new Suunto variant for some time and I would hope and expect there to be something from them by the end of Q2.2019. There’s an outside chance of a cut-down Polar run watch to add to the existing Vantage series or, indeed, a refreshed version of the greatly enhanced V650.

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…MARQ maybe?). 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 at some point 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.

The logic for this range extension to cheaper prices is similar to that for 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).The rebranding leak comes from other sources on the net.

Likelihood?…high, some of this is even 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 steal stuff. No ! I don’t think we will really see a TRIMAX BIKE.

We’ve also seen Apple and other vendors iterating yet more optical HR sensors. Garmin should be due another ELEVATE iteration this year as well (is that V3 or V4?)

These devices are going to be more accurate and even more Galileo-friendly than the current crop ie 2020-Galileo ready – look out for the phrase dual frequency. Garmin is going to start delivering on sensor accuracy…hopefully.

WearOS Tech – & Similar Smarts

There could be some imminent updates here as we head off to MWC 2019 (25Feb2019)

Casio has kicked this off with their rather fancy-looking dual-screened WSD-F30, this is something of a smart competitor to Garmin’s Instinct and Fenix products, albeit technically a quite different beast to each of them. Google, LG and others will follow in some form or other this year with new WearOS devices, though we might have to wait for September.

Whilst not WearOS, we’ve seen Withings add to their nice ecosystem with two well-priced MOVE models (+ECG) and we should see Samsung’s Galaxy Sport in two weeks, or so.

Wareable.com have suggested we might see a new Versa but it could just be new colours instead of the speculated cut-down Versa. I’m not quite sure what a Fitbit Versa can be sensibly cut down to. But that’s another matter entirely.

Bike Wars

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.

Leaks, Forecasts, Predictions and comments on current products are welcomed 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

CategoryLinks to either a review, opinion article or your local AmazonComments
BikeEdge 1000Superseded
BikeEdge ExploreCurrent: Jul 2018’s smaller version of the Edge 1030. Most performance features removed. Good for navigation
BikeEdge 1030Current, released along with podless Vector 3
BikeEdge 20, Edge 25Entry level cycling computer
BikeEdge 130Entry level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018
BikeEdge 200, Edge 500, Edge 510Effectively Discontinued
BikeEdge 520Still a great cycling computer
BikeEdge 520 PLUScurrent. updated hardware capability (CIQ3) and software
BikeEdge 530530 due Q1.2018 but this was probably negated by the Edge 520 Plus and Edge 130
BikeEdge 800, 810Effectively Discontinued
BikeEdge 820Flagship top-end, nav cycling computer
BikeEdge 830Expected March 2019ish.
BikeEdge MTBThere is a gap in the market here. It could be filled by Garmin – just like the Instinct did for budget outdoors
OutdoorsEpixNice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X
OutdoorsFenix, Fenix 2, QuatixOld
OutdoorsFenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variantsCurrent, still great devices
OutdoorsFenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUSGarmin’s flagship model for 2018-2019. Notably updated Fenix 5 models. No update for the 935 yet) though.
OutdoorsFenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5xGarmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018. Caveat Emptor. The Plus version is the one you want to buy.
OutdoorsInstinctOct 2018 A cut-down outdoors-focussed Fenix
OutdoorsInstinct 2Due 2020
OutdoorsTactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Descent MK1, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie, Quatix‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants of Fenix 5
OutdoorsFenix 6, Tactix Delta, D2 Delta, Descent MK2Expected 2019, (Delta 2020)
OutdoorsFenix ChronosQuality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.
OutdoorsFenix Chronos 22019, if ever
OutdoorsFenix 2 / Fenix 1Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.
RunForerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225Effectively Discontinued
RunForerunner 230Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.
RunForerunner 235Replacement is due. Good
RunForerunner 235LApr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market.
RunForerunner 245Overdue, 2019
RunForerunner 25Entry level run/sports watch
RunForerunner 30Entry level run/sports watch
RunForerunner 35Entry level run/sports watch
RunForerunner 45 and 45MOverdue, 2019
RunForerunner 610, Forerunner 620Effectively Discontinued but good enough
RunForerunner 630Great device
RunForerunner 645 and 645MMusic and non-Music version Q1.2018. Possibly 645-Triathlon or other variants to follow
Run/TriForerunner 735XT (or 645 tri)Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer)
Run/TriForerunner 745XTExpected March 2019ish
RunForerunner 910XTGreat tri watch in its day, still good enough if you can find one
RunForerunner 920XTGreat tri watch…all you need really. Sometimes CHEAP
Run/TriForerunner 935Top tri watch
Run/TriForerunner 945 or Forerunner 935 Plus or 645 triExpected March 2019ish
FitnessVivoactiveEffectively Discontinued
FitnessVivoactive 3Current – a contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3
FitnessVivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3MVA3 with music. Q2.2018
FitnessVivoactive 3 Plus MusicPLUS will have at least LTE. Jan/Q1.2019
FitnessVivoactive HRGreat device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
FitnessVivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4December 2017: supercedes VivoFit 3
FitnessVivomoveDress watch, superseded September 2017
FitnessVivomove HRCurrent Sept 2017

 

Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Apple, etc – Current and Rumoured Models

 

ManufacturerCategoryLinks to either a review, opinion article or your local AmazonComments
adidasRunSmart RunDiscontinued
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)RunBip / Pace / Bip LiteCurrent
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)RunPace 2This 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)FitnessVergeCurrent model A1811, as over 1 Dec 2018 now selling in the USA
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Run/TriSTRATOSCurrent, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl version
AppleFitnessWatch Series 1 (Sport), Watch Series 2 w/Nike, Series 3 GPS+Cellular, Current
AppleFitnessWatch Series 4 w/NikeCurrent, runs on WatchOS5.
AppleFitnessWatch Series 5Expected Sep 2019 will run on WatchOS6. Might even be good enough to finally call a sports watch
BrytonBikeRIDER 100, 310, 330, 410, 450h, 530E, Rider 530 TCurrent, 450E is top model @<$200 with all functions even 310 @<$150 supports a PM
BrytonBikeRIDER numerous other modelsEffectively Discontinued
CasioOutdoors

WearOS

Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20Current, replaced by F20/F30 announced Aug 2018
CasioOutdoors

WearOS

Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30Announced: Jan 2019, replacing WSD-F20. Expect a WSD-F40 in Jan 2020 😉
CatEyeBikeSTEALTH 50, Stealth EVO, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+2016 models are current
COROSRun/TriPace Pace Multisport M1Current, Garmin 735XT lookalike
COROSRun/TriApex 42mm 46mmCurrent Oct 2018. Highly credible endurance run and tri alternative. Competent small format available. Jan 2019 a special edition announced for 46mm.
EpsonRun/TriProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347Discontinued
EpsonRun/TriSF-seriesDiscontinued
FossilFitness WearOSSportNovember 2018
FitbitFitnessBlazeReplaced by Versa
FitbitFitnessCharge, Charge 2Discontinued
FitbitFitnessCharge 3Current
FitbitFitnessVersaCurrent SE version has Fit Pay payments

rumoured further Special Edition for Feb 2019.

FitbitFitnessCharge HRDiscontinued
FitbitFitnessIonicCurrent, September 2017
FitbitFitnessIonic adidasAnnounced Feb 2018, has an adidas app
FitbitFitnessSurgeSuperceded by Ionic
FossilFitness WearOSPuma-brandedFrom 2019 to 2028
GeekeryOutdoorsIronCloud T1IndieGoGo Campaign Q2/Q3.2018 look but don’t touch. Cheaper Fenix 5 wannabe. Apparently it’s folded. Caveat Emptor.
GiantBikeNeosTrackCycling Computer
HammerheadBikeKarooCycling Computer, first units released in Feb 2018.
HuaweiFitness WearOSFit, Watch 2 Sport, Watch GTWearOS 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.
HuaweiFitness WearOSHonor MagicWearOS and a good spec, November 2018
HuaweiFitnessProject TalosImminent (Q4.2018)
LezyneBikeMini, Macro, Micro, Micro Watch, Super, Mega, Watch variantsMEGA announced July 2018 @Eurobike
LGFitness WearOSWatch SportCurrent, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best. Watch2 has seen e-sim in China only
LGFitness WearOSLM-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 BlancFitness WearOSSummit 2Announced – several quite advanced sporty features
GoogleFitness WearOSPixel SmartwatchTo be released in 2019. Unclear if a SPORT/FITNESS version will be released as well.
MIO/MagellanBikeCyclo 605, 505HC+ othersNice 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 the situation in USA with sister company MAGELLAN. Who have dated ECHO/SWITCH run/bike products

MisfitFitness WearOSVaporWearOS. Replaced by Vapor 2
MisfitFitness WearOSVapor 2WearOS. Current.
MiViaFitnessRun 3502017 Firstbeat goodness, Versa look-alike
MobvoiFitnessTicwatch 2 aka Ticwatch Active2017 budget sports watch with GPS & Music
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch E22018 budget sports watch with GPS & Music, replacement for Ticwatch E
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch S2CES2019 replacement fro Ticwatch S (ie S1)
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch S2017 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.
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch ProWearOS 2.0
MysteryFitness WearOSNew EntrantWearOS 2.0, Q4.2018 at earliest. Maybe a long-term project for 2019
MotoFitness WearOS360 Sport – 2nd Gen/SportCurrent
New BalanceFitness WearOSRunIQWearOS. Current
PolarBikeV660V650 refresh 2019/2020
PolarRun/TriVantage VV800 replacement
PolarRun/TriVantage MMore run-focussed than the V model and a bit more than the M430.
PolarRun/TriVantage LitePossible entry-level run watch based on the existing Vantage framework
PolarFitnessA370A360 replacement with linked-GPS
PolarRunM200Entry level oHR running/sports watch 2016. replacement 2018/2019
PolarRunM400Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
PolarRunM430An optical M400, released
PolarBikeM450Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017
PolarBikeM460M450 with STRAVA LIVE
PolarRun WearOSM600Best WearOS sports watch for Android
PolarBikeV650Bike Nav Cycling device. Might get a refresh but fine as -is
PolarRun/TriV800Still a great multisport watch, replaced by Vantage V & Vantage M
SamsungFitnessGear SportCurrent (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format and the Samsung Gear Fit Plus could be the 2018 version of that)
SamsungFitnessGalaxy Watch ActiveGalaxy Sport  is Galaxy Watch Active, 20 Feb 2019
Sigma SportBikeRox GPS 7.0, ROX GPS 10.0, Rox GPS 11.0, Rox 12.0 SportGood feature set, current.

Rox 12.0 Sport June 2018 looks like a massive leap forward for the company

SonyFitness WearOSSmartwatch 3 SWR50WearOS. Current
SoWatchFitnessSoWatchIndieGogo – Sports and other stuff
SkagenFitness WearOSFalster 2With GPS added, this now counts as a sports watch. It aims to be seen as the prettiest.
PioneerBIKENAVCA600Cycling Computer, looks quite nice. OSM, ANT+, power
SRMBikePowerControl 7 (PC7)Cycling Computer
SRMBikePowerControl 8 (PC8)Cycling Computer
StagesBikeDash (L10)Cycling Computer. cheap and well featured
StagesBikeDash L50, M50New models for release Q1-2.2019
SuuntoVariousAmbit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)Still great devices. In many ways superior.
SuuntoVariousAmbit 4The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement to the AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.
SuuntoVariousAmbit/Ambit 2Effectively Discontinued
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN SportCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)Current
SuuntoOutdoorsSpartan Sport Wrist HR BaroCurrent
SuuntoRun/TriSPARTAN TrainerNew outdoor variants in Jan 2018, further variants possibly in 2019 under a new Suunto name
SuuntoOutdoorsSPARTAN UltraCurrent, OK to buy now. Suunto 9 is an effective replacement
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 3 FitnessCurrent. Low-end model with interesting specs. GPS only from paired and carried smartphone.
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 9Current. High-end Spartan ULTRA replacement
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 7Replacement for Suunto Spartan Sport – I don’t expect this in Q1
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 5Replacement for Suunto Spartan Trainer – I don’t expect this in Q1
TomTomOutdoorsAdventurerStill a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is closed down.
TomTomRunRunner 3, Spark 3Still a great watch. But it looks like TomTom sports division is closed down. Still firmware updates as of 8 May 2018
TomTomRunSpark, Runner, Runner 2Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2
WithingsFitnessMove & Move ECGCES2019, Sweet Fitness ecosystem
WithingsFitnessSteel HR SportCurrent
Wahoo FitnessBikeELEMNTA great cycling computer
Wahoo FitnessBikeELEMNT BOLTA great cycling computer
Wahoo FitnessBike +?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 (a guess)
Wahoo FitnessBikeELEMNT MINICut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX3 EVOCurrent
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX5Superseded by X5 EVO
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX5 EVOCurrent, refreshed model
XSFitnessXS 4 SmartwatchIndiegogo – 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 wrist bands from the lists above, like the Vivokids v2, although some bands have sneaked in there already.

Firmware Updates

Please let me know of any I’ve missed

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 might 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-the-wrist battery charging from body heat and solar cells.

Future Challenges

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 RUNNING TO MUSIC MUSIC is that of support for Quality CODECS eg 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 has more plausible 2-3 year cycles for a replacement model – but their vast range of products keeps the marketing department continually busy. When Garmin announced 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 <<

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Justin
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Justin

“Trimax™” Q2-Q3 makes me a sad panda. Garmin’s been making devices for years, and I know there are consumers all around the world that have seasons that are opposite to what we have here in the states (or just the northern hemisphere), but putting out a new device right in the thick of outdoor activities is just dumb.

I will admit to being intrigued by the Galaxy Sport since I am entrenched in the Samsung ecosystem. Intrigued, but not convinced it’s a piecemeal “sport” watch but is a smartwatch. If they were to put out a smart/sports, watch that does what, say the F935 does (or Fenix 5+ line), well damn.