V2.089 – 18 April 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intent is to give you an idea of which GPS Triathlon, Bike and Run sports devices are available NOW and likely to be superseded soon or which have been discontinued. As well as reviewing and discussing ALL of the leading endurance tech devices in detail this site 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 sports devices’ then this entire post should be of interest (or not !)
Recent New Stuff
The full list of ‘everything’ is further below for each manufacturer and, for now, here are some recent headlines:
- IMMINENT: Garmin Forerunner 945
- IMMINENT: Forerunner 245 and another the 245 Music
- IMMINENT: Garmin Edge 830 + new bike spd/cad sensors
- IMMINENT: Others that I can’t tell you about yet … grrr.
- RELEASED: Garmin MARQ range including ATHLETE version. #BankLoan
OK folks as someone famous once said, “It’s show time.” If you like reading about new tech then the Spring Bumper Edition of “Lots of stuff to read” will soon hit the shelves. If, like me, you like to have the latest greatest and buggiest tech on your wrist or on your handlebars then get your credit card ready.
Actually that’s a bit unfair, much of the tech has got better on first release over the last 18 months or so.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and the confusingly, similarly-named Huawei Watch GT Active both demonstrate a lack of originality on the naming front. As well as similar names we are starting to see much similarity of funtionality on devices, indeed even the look and feel of some of the smart watches are very similar.
However, I suspect there will be no plausible rip-offs of the quality of the Garmin MARQ series which were announced in March 2019.
As promised in last month’s edition of this post, the leaks started coming in mid-March. You can expect a few more over the coming weeks but more importantly, you can also expect at least one actual, REAL device from Garmin. The 245/Music, Edge 830 and Forerunner 945 are all at ADVANCED STAGES of production and an announcement of any of them could be as soon as tomorrow. It looks like we will be getting two major product releases from Garmin in either April or May and then one release in the other month. It is VERY unusual for Garmin to have two major releases in the same month. But they are churning out the new variants at great speed and I’ve even had a rumour of a Vector 4 in the fall/autumn (hmmmm…just one rumour).
But hey! It’s not just Garmin.
I know of 3 (5) new NON-GARMIN devices for the near future…I just can’t mention them. Grrr. Sorry. They are not in this document and I respect informal NDAs as well as formal ones. I have zero relationships with companies such as Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung and Apple (or their PRs), so they are fair game for now as far as speculating about new products goes. Hopefully that independence help me to produce fair reviews of those devices.
I’m getting the feeling that SOME of the non-Garmin releases are being held back. So the impending launches that I know about could be delayed either because the companies are keen to get the tech JUST RIGHT AND BUG FREE and/or that they are rescheduling announcements around what Garmin are doing. I’m just speculating here.
But remember, if you are holding off for these devices, they might come with bugs and it might only be an announcement that is made with the product’s retail availability lagging behind by a further month or so. If you have a race or trip planned for 1st May then I’d say buy what is available now and get used to how it works before the big day.
Garmin Running & Triathlon Tech for 2019
Garmin Forerunner 45 – Inbound
Garmin Forerunner Forerunner 245 Music – Inbound
Garmin Forerunner 945 – Inbound
Garmin MARQ Athlete – Touchdown
Garmin Forerunner 745XT – Flight Delayed
Garmin Edge 830 – Taxiing to the terminal
This is very annoying as I am going to have to buy ALL OF THEM. Except the 45 & MARQ,
The two 245s should be announced in the middle of April 2019 with retail availability very soon after. They are modified Forerunner 645/645M models ie same looks and modified functionality (hardware+features).
The Forerunner 945 COULD be released at the same time as the 245 or the subsequent month. Or the Forerunner 245 could follow the Forerunner 945. BOTH ARE IMMINENT AND AT AN ADVANCED STATE OF RELEASE so I don’t know which will come first. The following image from Garmin Germany “proves” the 945 is close. The 945 COULD even see a return of the rectangular screen. Maybe.
Based on a couple of rumours, my view was that the Forerunner 935 would be rebranded in 2019 and that Garmin would call it ‘something else‘. But this rumour has clearly turned out instead to be the rebranding of the CHRONOS to the MARQ. So we were close on that one. 7/10….must try harder.
But that’s a positive rather than a negative. The MARQ Athlete and imminent Forerunner 945 signal that 2019 will be the start of Garmin’s “year of the tri”.It’s just that the 745XT will be rounding off the year and looks likely be delayed until September/October 2019
It is HIGHLY likely that we will soon see a HRM-TRI-DUAL as Garmin seeks to refresh all their sensors. We’ve already seen the HRM-DUAL (run version) and appelmoessite confirmed that the Edge 830 will be released along with a new SPEED-ONLY BLE/ANT+ sensor as well as a CADENCE-ONLY BLE/ANT+ sensor.
Turning to hardware components; don’t forget that last year we saw Garmin enable support for GALILEO GNSS on many watches and that the MARQ heralds the arrival of the new ELEVATE oHR sensor. This new iteration of the ELEVATE sensor IS on the 245 and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that this will probably be on all new models from now on.
That just leaves two things
- Where is the new BLE footpod? and will it morph into a STRYD-like product? This could plausibly be released soon or over the summer #NoRumours
- Will Garmin enable dual-frequency GALILEO? That is what will bring greater accuracy. At present, It looks like the existing GALILEO+GPS functionality just works like GLONASS+GPS in the sense that it increases the liklihood of 5m ish accuracy.
We will specualte in separate posts about which of the maps, music, Garmin Pay and Firstbeat functions will make their way to which device as the year progresses.
I’ll end on a sad note. Fenix 6 will most likely be 2020.
WearOS Tech – & Similar Smarts
Huawei have not followed through with WearOS and, instead, have released the Watch GT Active based on their proprietary OS. I need to wrok up some courage to buy and review either this or the Galaxy Watch Active.
After that I will pine for a Google Pixel watch in September.
The bike computers/head units keep dribbling on to the market ranging from the Xplova X3 to the Sigma Rox Sport 12.
Whilst Garmin dominate many segments of the market, my guess would be that they hold the highest %age market shares in the bike categories. Garmin’s bike strengths are their feature-sets, connectivity to all sorts of peripherals and openness to many standards and platforms.
It’s difficult to know how to take Garmin on. Whilst Hammerhead are improving the navigation experience, Pioneer are playing feature catch up but adding some cool extra metrics for their power meter, Polar are relying on a sound platform (FLOW), and Wahoo are thriving on a more open approach to add functionlities via 3rd parties. And so the list would go on with competitors only attacking the many-sided Garmin castle from one or two angles.
We’re going to get the Edge 830 very soon (it might even be the next device we see from Garmin). I was critical of the 820 at launch. Despite having all the functionality and looking nice it just didn’t work in a couple of ways: it was underpowered for large-route navigation and the touchscreen was rubbish. I think I saw a Youtube of gplama with similar issues and I’ve met several people who had the same problems so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just me. So with that track record, you might expect the Edge 830 to be beset with similar issues. Hint: nope.
Garmin’s mistakes are getting fewer as time moves on. But bugs still exist. And weaknesses still exist.
Building on that here are my Garmin gripes, which give an in-road to areas that competitors can attack
- Garmin are just not cool.
- Reliability: Despite there being less bugs I REGULARLY get sent important and corrupted race files to fix.
- On your group rides think about how many times you hear people complaining that their Garmin has rebooted or stopped recording (or similar). I wouldn’t say it’s frequent…but you do hear people complaining often enough for it to be a concern. A year or so ago, several peple I ride with used to laugh at my old-looking Wahoo-ELMENT a year. They’re not laughing now and have one as well. Just sayin’.
So if, like Wahoo, you can cover the common areas of functionality in some way and be cool in some other way and ‘just work’ then you have the makings of a strategy to take on the Garmin behemoth.
Below is the list of ‘all’ sports devices that you may have read this article for…#Enjoy.
Please let me know of any other new devices I’ve missed below
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 rumours, 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
🔴 = Discontinued or effectively discontinued and replaced
🔵 = Expected Future Model.
|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 140||Due 2020 or beyond|
|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), maps and software|
|Bike||🔵Edge 530||530 was 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||Top-end, medium-sized, nav cycling computer|
|Bike||🔵Edge 830||Expected April-May 2019. Announcement could be imminent. June at latest.|
|Bike||🔵 Edge MTB (somethin more than the 520 Plus MTB bundle)||There is a gap in the market here at at least two price points. 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||Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.|
|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. Notably updated Fenix 5 models. No update for the 935 yet .|
|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 in 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 2020|
|Outdoors||🔴 Fenix Chronos||Quality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive.|
|Outdoors||MARQ (effectively Fenix Chronos 2)
Aviator (aero), Captain (marine), Athlete (multi-sport), Expedition (Hike/Outdoors), Driver (car)
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225||Effectively Discontinued|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 230||Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.|
|Run||Forerunner 235||Replacement 245 & 245M are imminent. 235 is good|
|Run||Forerunner 235L||Apr2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market.|
|Run||🔵 Forerunner 245 & Forerunner 245 Music||Imminent April/May 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 610, Forerunner 620||Effectively Discontinued but good enough|
|Run||Forerunner 630||Great device, superceded|
|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). it’s the last remaining CIQ2 device hence nextish to be replaced (likely Q3/4 2019)|
|Run/Tri||🔵 Forerunner 745XT||Expected Sep 2019ish|
|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||Expected April/May 2019|
|Fitness||🔴 Vivoactive||Effectively Discontinued|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3||Current – a contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3M||VA3 with music. Q2.2018|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3 Plus Music LTE Verizon||Jan 2019|
|Fitness||🔵 Vivoactive 4||This on Garmins lists and could be 2019, that seems too early to me.|
|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|
|Fitness||🔵 Vivomove 4||Overdue, Could be soon, could be 2020. Could be never.|
Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit, 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),||Current|
|Apple||Fitness||Watch Series 4 w/Nike||Current, runs on WatchOS5. A notable hardware upgrade from the AW3.|
|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, aero 60, one||Current, 450E is top model @<$200 with all functions even 310 @<$150 supports a PM (Full model list here)|
|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 (full model list here)|
|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 announced 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
Versa Lite – Marhc 2019
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic||Current, September 2017|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic 2||Due September 2019|
|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|
|Uses 2019 Snapdragon processor|
|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 Active||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 Watch GT and this was codenamed FORTUNA (GT is not WearOS anymore)
The will be a sport Watch GT Active version in Q2.2019
|Huawei||Fitness WearOS||Honor Magic||WearOS and a good spec, November 2018|
|Lezyne||Bike||Mini, Macro, Micro, Micro Watch, Super, Mega, Watch variants||MEGA announced July 2018
Full list here
|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 the 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, the 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 M-Lite or Vantage V-Plus||Possible entry-level run watch based on the existing Vantage framework, essentially a cut-down Vantage M. Alternatively extend the range and do a Suunto with a version with premium materials|
|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||STILL the best WearOS sports watch for Android|
|Polar||Bike||V650||Bike Nav Cycling device. Might get an ANT+ 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 Watch Active||Galaxy Sport is Galaxy Watch Active|
|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
Full list here
|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
Full list here
|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 an 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 8,7,6,5,4,2,1||Replacement for Suunto Spartan Sport/Trainer|
|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 8 May 2018|
|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?|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||ELEMNT MINI||Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||X3 EVO||Current, I might get one of these to play with|
|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 wrist bands from the lists above, like the Vivokids v2, although some bands have sneaked in there already.
- Suunto Spartan are here: link to Suunto.com
- Suunto 9 is here: link to Suunto.com
- Polar updates are here: link to Polar.com
- Garmin updates are here: link to gpsinformation.net
- Elemnt Updates are here: link to wahoofitness.com
- Fitbit updates are here: link to Fitbit.com
- Hammerhead Karoo are here: link to Hammerhead.io
- Lezyne is here: link to Lezyne.com
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 in many devices BUT for IMPROVED 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 (WearOS, Apple, proprietary); 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.
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/245M/945 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. Very few sports+music watches have an eSIM eg Apple, LG and Samsung, instead, they rely on BLE or WiFi to sync your music from your online music provider rather than streaming out-of-doors.
Another trend that is yet to start with RUNNING TO MUSIC is that of support for Quality CODECS eg AptX and AptX HD, these 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.
Your smartwatch is clearly going to become more like your smartphone. The small screen poses a problem and the only real way that can be addressed in the short term is though voice-control. In 2019 I’ve used ‘OK Google’ stuff at home much more and it’s not so shabby at all. Things will only get better.
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