August 2019: Sports Watch Update: Fenix 6 – All new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumors + replacement dates for Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit

V2.130 – 21 Aug 2019

This post is regularly updated before being periodically replaced, with a refreshed introduction & commentary to give you an indication of which GPS Run, Bike and Triathlon sports devices are available NOW and likely to be superseded SOON or which have been DISCONTINUED. You might want the latest model or you might want to delay your purchase as a new model will lower prices for older models.

As well as reviewing and discussing ALL of the leading endurance tech devices in detail, this site also speculates about many upcoming devices in detail as well. Use the search button above to find out more.

Image Source: 9to5Google

Expect Garmin Fenix 6, Fitbit Versa 2 and more announcements just before IFA Berlin on 25 August. ie this week…Most sources say AT or AFTER IFA Berlin.

clicks to source on Appelmoessite, will disappear when source is taken down

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, past & future’ is further below for each manufacturer and here are headlines from recent months:

STRATOS 3

Monthly Commentary

Another quiet month has passed as we move into the final quiet (ish) month of the year…August. OK, let’s be honest, the last week of August is going to be one of the busiest of the year. But, apart from that…

Despite proper evidence and rumours coming thick and fast, I’m playing catch up with some old content that I need to write as well as looking at some swim gear and actually doing some races aka using the gadgets for the purpose they were intended for.

There is a subtle difference between rumours and speculation and leaks. I’m generally less interested in rumours but the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro rumours are now FACT. Personally I was initially sceptical (sorry!) of the timing but there are a whole swathe of Garmin watches are possible for CES2020 and even for Christmas 2019 (details below). A recent FCC filing (edit: now MANY FCC filings!) gave me some thoughts that a 745XT might be on the cards but that model is probably less of a money-spinner for Garmin and now it looks like there will be new variants of the Fenix 6, Vivoactive 4, Vivomove 3 and one new variant of each of the Instinct and MARQ.

If you do follow that link you will also see reference to a Garmin FCC filing which had NFC and a few other things of interest. I guess that could be a either one of the Fenix 6 models or the Vivoactive 4. My bet would be that the lucrative Vivoactive is more in need of an update than the Fenix in time for Christmas. (Both Vivoactive and Fenix are money-spinners for Garmin)

Indeed the Vivoactive 4 seems to be coming in Star Wars (and other) related Vivoactive versions (Hmmm!! yes, really). With the release of the next Star Wars film on 19Dec2019, I would imagine that the Vivoactive Star Wars Edition will be available some time around then, possibly with the base, non-film version being released a month or so before the film-related versions (#Sigh).

There is also a ‘new’ Garmin called the Venu. To me this looks like a Vivoactive 4 but premiumised (yes that IS a word, don’t check) in some way, be that materials or other aesthetic improvements, such as a superior AMOLED screen which might not make its way to the ‘regular’ Vivoactive 4 and 4S.

Either way I don’t think we will see anything released from Garmin, Polar and Suunto until September but with announcments near IFA Berlin (25 August) and further announcements following through into October. Yet the leaks for smartwatches like the Apple Watch 5 should start fairly soon and they should start to become marketing reality in September.

An exception to that general rule for Garmin might be that we get a minor announcement in August like new accessories (HRMs and footpods). There’s also a Garmin Vector 4 Power Meter rumour too but, as I say, I’m less interested in unsubstantiated rumours – unless lots of them are from different sources and point to the same thing!

Garmin Running & Triathlon Tech for 2019

A Vivomove 4 or new Vivofit could be on the cards but I’m  more interested in the Garmin Forerunner 745XT mid-range tri watch however I don’t expect a 745Xt this year (indeed I heard the rumour of a delay to that quite some time ago but didn’t believe it at the time).

More likely is a Vivoactive 4 which could ‘easily’ come about with the rolldown of some of the new hardware we’ve seen in the 945/45/245/MARQ ie the Sony chipset and new Elevate sensor along with some tinkering of the software interface. A normal-sized version and a VA4s (small) version will also come and one or both might have a great AMOLED screen like the Polar Ignite although my suspicion is that the Venu is EFFECTIVEY the vivoactive 4 “MARQ” edition ie  premium version of the VA4.

Keep your hopes alive for a HRM-TRI-DUAL and a new running footpod/rd-pod (image further above!).

Also worth noting is the imminent VivoMOVE 3, VivoMOVE SPORT and VivoMOVE Style. These will have no GPS and so I probably won’t talk much about them. However with the addition of the ‘SPORT’ model then I guess Imight have to. The Vivomove STYLE might well be the premium version of the Vivomove 3. This then adds credibility to every Garmin sub-range being extended with the addition of a PREMIUM casing as well as a NORMAL-SIZE an SMALL-SIZE casing (just like the Vivoactive and Fenix)

Suunto & Polar

I DO NOT KNOW OF ANY NEW PRODUCTS THAT ARE IN THE PIPELINE. Both are good at keeping info close to hand.

Polar Vantage V ReviewHowever a Suunto7 as a replacement for the SPARTAN SPORT WHR is an obvious next move for them but one is NOT imminent for Sep 2019 (if it exists). Once that has happened then we would be into new territory with whatever is going to be refreshed on the Suunto 9…do we see a Suunto 10 or 11? I don’t know. On the other hand you could argue that the Suunto 9 is one of Suunto’s better sellers and so it would make bteter financial sense to refresh that before Christmas

Polar have more options than Suunto with ranges that can be extended or refreshed. So I don’t have any guesses for exactly what’s next for them on the hardware front.

However I suspect that both Polar and Wahoo might have some things of interest for us with their platforms fairly soon.

WearOS Tech – & Similar Smarts

The smart watch season will start to hot up soon with things like the Apple Watch 5 and the possibility of a STRATOS 2

Yet another new SnapDragon processor is in the pipeline. Last year’s model only had very minor performance improvements and was not widely adopted. Maybe the next generation can give us some decent battery life but don’t expect anything this year despite that still being possible.

A heads up (again) for qooapps’ Sporty Go! app, which is a clever sports app that works on WearOS and Samsung platforms and does unusual things like supporing STRYD. Perhaps have a look at GhostRacer too in you are looking to do unusual stuff.

Bike Wars

Garmin Edge 530 ReviewGarmin’s impressive Edge 530/830 has had quite a few of the original bugs fixed and the non-working buttons made to work on the 530. Similarly Wahoo’s ELEMNT ROAM is shipping again with a modified mount that will hopefully not break anymore.

I have work to do with Wahoo, Sigma and Stages so I’m busy busy…but it’s with products you already know about.

There is another unusual bike headunit product that is morphing into somethig that might appeal to athletes. Watch out for that here maybe in September.


 

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 or ‘very recent’.

Category Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon Comments
Bike Edge 1000 Superseded
Bike Edge Explore Current: Jul 2018’s smaller version of the Edge 1030. Most performance features removed. Good for navigation
Bike Edge 1030  / 🔵  

Edge 1040 (2020)

Current, Q3-Q4.2019 will see updates to the 1030 to match the new 530/830. This could be a 1030 plus or just better firmware. This will NOT YET be the 1040.
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 but a bit slow with no maps
Bike Edge 520 PLUS Current. Updated hardware capability (CIQ3), maps and software. Replaced by faster 530
Bike 🔵Edge 530 Available May 2019
Bike 🔴 Edge 800, 810 Effectively Discontinued
Bike Edge 820 Top-end, medium-sized, nav cycling computer. Replaced by 830
Bike 🔵Edge 830 Available May 2019
Bike Edge MTB (something more than the 530 MTB bundle) There are gaps in the market here 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. These are notably updated Fenix 5 models.  Soon to be superceded in Q4.2019 with better hardware in the Fenix 6.
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 NOT these..
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

Fenix models are 6S (Base, Sapphire and Pro), 6 (Sapphire and Pro) 6x (Sapphire and Pro)

IMMINENT Announcement

Likely available for Christmas 2019, almost certainly IMMINENT availability

 

Outdoors 🔴 Fenix Chronos Quality innards. F5s firmware. Expensive. Replaced by the MARQ.
Outdoors MARQ (effectively Fenix Chronos 2)

Aviator (aero), Captain (marine), Athlete (multi-sport), Expedition (Hike/Outdoors), Driver (car).

🔵MARQ Commander is due in Q4.2019. This will be a military/hunting-foscussed device (same differential features as Instinct Coyote)

Announced. the MARQ range is the Fenix range in a fancy shell eg MARQ ATHLETE is simply a 945 in an expensive shell.
Outdoors 🔵 MARQ2/CHRONOS3 2021
Outdoors Instinct

The Instinct 🔵Tactical Coyote edition is now available and differs only with the NIGHT VISION and STEALTH modes, as well as the JUMPMASTER profile.

Oct 2018 A cut-down outdoors-focussed Fenix.

August 2019 TACTICAL COYOTE edition

Outdoors 🔵 Instinct 2 Due in 2020
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 Current
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, 45S Current, Announced April 2019
Run 🔴 Forerunner 610, Forerunner 620 Effectively Discontinued but good enough
Run Forerunner 630 Great device, superseded
Run Forerunner 645 and 645M Current. 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 tho)
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 Here !! outsmarts the top tri watch
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 & 4S / 4 / Music and/or LTE functionality is possible but rumours indicate that we will see Garmin’s first move to include a great AMOLED screen this might appear on a top-end VA4 called VENU. This is on Garmin’s lists and could be SOON ie september 2019
Fitness 🔴 Vivoactive HR Great device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
Fitness 🔵 Vivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4 December 2017: supersedes VivoFit 3. Vivofit 5 due for Xmas 2019.
Fitness 🔴 Vivomove Dress watch, superseded September 2017
Fitness Vivomove HR Current Sept 2017
Fitness 🔵 Vivomove 4 is indicted to come as an updated Classic version as well as a new sport version Overdue Could be very soon, could be 2020.

 

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

 

Manufacturer Category Links to either a review, opinion article or your local Amazon Comments
adidas Run 🔴Smart Run Discontinued
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Run Bip (#A1608)

Pace (#A1612, #A1602)

Bip Lite (#A1915)

Current products
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Run Pace 2 Pace 2 is Stratos. The only difference between the Chinese (A1609 Amazfit Pace 2) and the International version (A1619 Amazfit Stratos) is the firmware.
Amazfit Stratos 2 means Stratos (A1619), via KZV
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Fitness Verge, Verge Lite ,

🔵 Verge 2

🔵 GTR

Current model A1811 (Lite #A1818), as over 1 Dec 2018 now selling in the USA. Verge 2 imminent with eSIM.

GTR released Jul2019. Ironman version and titanium version

Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Run/Tri STRATOS

🔵STRATOS 3

Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl version

STRATOS 3 SOON Q3.2019 – model #A1929

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. A notable hardware upgrade from the AW3.
Apple Fitness 🔵 Watch Series 5 Sep 2019, will run on WatchOS6. Lightweight Ceramic and Titanium versions likely as well as the usualy smaller one.
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). Aero 60 is a fully-featured bikenav
Bryton Bike RIDER numerous other models Effectively Discontinued
Casio Outdoors

WearOS

Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 Current, replaced by F20/F30 announced Aug 2018
Casio Fitness

WearOS

Pro Trek Smart WSD-F21 HR Sep 2019. Updated F20 with oHR
Casio Outdoors

WearOS

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 is available. Jan 2019 a special edition announced for 46mm.
COROS Run/Tri Apex PRO Q4.2019 Like the APEX but more Pro-y.
COROS Outdoors

Tri

Vertix Current May 2019. Premium case and SpO2
Epson Run/Tri 🔴ProSense 17, ProSense 57, ProSense 307, ProSense 347 Discontinued
Epson Run/Tri 🔴SF-series Discontinued
Fossil Fitness WearOS Sport November 2018
Fitbit Fitness Blaze Replaced by Versa
Fitbit Fitness 🔴Charge, Charge 2 Discontinued
Fitbit Fitness Charge 3 Current
Fitbit Fitness Versa, 🔵 Versa 2 Current SE version has Fit Pay payments

Versa Lite – March 2019

Versa 2 – available 15 September 2019 with Aug 25th Aunnouncement

Fitbit Fitness 🔴Charge HR Discontinued
Fitbit Fitness Ionic Current, September 2017
Fitbit Fitness Ionic 2 Due September 2019, maybe
Fitbit Fitness Ionic adidas Announced Feb 2018, has an adidas app
Fitbit Fitness Surge Superseded by Ionic
Fossil Fitness WearOS Puma-branded From 2019 to 2028
Fossil Fitness

WearOS

Sport Sport Uses 2019 Snapdragon processor. Fossil are a BIG WearOS watch producer for many sub-brands. Sport uses new 3100 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.
Giant Bike NeosTrack Cycling Computer
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)

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
Google 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 Fitbit 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 for Ticwatch S (ie S1). S=Sport
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

🔵 Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE

WearOS 2.0,

🔵 new Ticwatch Pro  Jul 2019 with LTE (USA only)

Mystery ‘big name’ 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 V Titanium high-end case variant of the Vantage V

I’m not at all convinced that there will be a Vantage M – lite model. although this could theoretically replace the M200.

Polar Fitness A370 A360 replacement with linked-GPS
Polar Fitness A380  I guess you could speculate that there is an A380 due but I would not be so sure that Polar (or anyone else) will pursue a premium band format.
Polar Fitness 🔵  Ignite Fitness & Running watch
Polar Run M200 Entry-level oHR running/sports watch 2016. Replacement 2019 maybe
Polar Run 🔴M400 Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
Polar Run M430 An optical M400, released. this is mostly replaced by the Vantage M, although the Vantage M has notable extra stuff kinda making it a model higher. M430 has been confirmed as remaining in the Polar product set as a full-featured running watch BUT it will not receive new functionality.
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
Samsung Fitness 🔵 Galaxy Watch Active2 July 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

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 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, superseded in 2019 with Suunto 5
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 8,7,6,4,2,1 Replacement for Suunto Spartan Sport perhaps? There seems to be a thing with odd numbers going on (I DO NOT KNOW AND WOULD NOT SAY if Suunto 7 will be next but it seems logical S9 could also be refreshed with new hardware and adaptive training and sleep)
Suunto Run/Tri 🔵 Suunto 5 Good mid-range tri watch. Replacement for SPARTAN 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 ROAM Colour version of a super-sized Bolt with navigation
Wahoo Fitness Bike ELEMNT MINI Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors
XPLOVA/Acer Bike X3 EVO Current, FYI they are releasing a turbo trainer Q3.2019
XPLOVA/Acer Bike 🔴X5 Superseded by X5 EVO
XPLOVA/Acer Bike X5 EVO Current, refreshed model. onboard video
XS Fitness XS 4 Smartwatch Indiegogo – Watch, phone, everything.

Notes

  • 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 OR MORE VIVID colour screens (yes even Garmin will give us an AMOLED screen either this year or early in 2020); 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 (and we will see this from Garmin by Q2.2020 at the latest)

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/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. 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. Personally I can’t see the point of that for a device in use whilst running but it you are using your watch to play back at home to higher quality bluetooth speakers then it might make some sense to add this. ie it’s more likely to come from Apple Watch than Garmin Vivoactive.

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 on watches.

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7 thoughts on “August 2019: Sports Watch Update: Fenix 6 – All new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumors + replacement dates for Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit

  1. Is there any news/rumor on the Vivosport? I’ve been waiting for a new version for a long time.. but maybe the Vivofit 4 will get GPS and effectively merge with Vivosport..

  2. Hi — Not sure why the Garmin Vivosmart series seems to be missing. But thanks for all the work that goes into this, love what you’re doing here!

  3. Some clarifications for Huami products in your sheet:
    All Amazfit products share the same Sony GNSS chipset.

    New entry:
    A1929 Amazfit Stratos 3 (silly numbering due to the Chinese naming)
    https://fccid.io/2AC8UA1929

    First Xiaomi-Huami row:
    Bip and Pace are different products.
    Bip (A1608) is a fitness tracker/running watch with 176×176 rectangular, eigth-color MIP screen and Sony GNSS (IP68 and BT4.0).
    https://en.amazfit.com/bip.html
    Bip Lite (A1915) has better WR (3ATM) and newer BT (4.1).
    https://en.amazfit.com/bip-lite.html
    Pace (A1612) is an Android 5.1 based sports/running watch with 320×300 “flat tire” round hybrid 262k color + eight-color MIP screen (like on Suunto) and Sony GNSS (IP67 and BT4.0)
    The only difference between the Chinese (A1602 Amazfit Smartwatch) and the International (A1612 Amazfit Pace) version is the firmware, which is replaceable.
    https://en.amazfit.com/pace.html

    Second Xiaomi-Huami row:
    Pace 2 is Stratos (like “Vauxhall in the UK” 🙂
    The only difference between the Chinese (A1609 Amazfit Pace 2) and the International version (A1619 Amazfit Stratos) is the firmware, which is replaceable.
    Amazfit Stratos 2 means Stratos (A1619) (lame naming)

    Third Xiaomi-Huami row:
    As far as I know, the GTR is a premium quality activity tracker (16MB RAM, 64MB ROM). The steel version has problems with the weak GPS signal reception 🙂
    Verge (A1811) is also Android 5.1 based (Ingenic M200 MIPS based 2×1.2GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 4GB Flash) but it has an AMOLED 360×360 round screen and IP68 WR.
    Verge Lite (A1818) has fewer features than the Verge: It does not include barometer, compass, microphone, speaker, and internal storage.

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