September 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

V2.140 – 19 Sep 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to give you an indication of which GPS Run, Bike and Triathlon sports devices are available NOW and likely to be superseded SOON – or which have been DISCONTINUED.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. I’m here to help with those.

As well as reviewing and discussing the leading endurance tech devices in detail, this site also speculates about many upcoming devices in detail as well. Use the links below or the search button above to find out more about any specific watch.

Expect EVEN MORE Garmin announcements

Fenix 6? that was news from Looong ago. Last week’s news.

Garmin fenix 6 specifications review

Fenix 6 baby

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:

Wahoo ELEMNT Roam Review

Monthly Commentary

September is here. The watches are not all here yet but the drip of new announcements has already turned into a trickle flood.

Garmin, Fitbit, Amazfit and even Sigma have already delivered new announcements and releases. Apple, Garmin (still YET more to come!) and others are going to give us more goodies over the coming weeks.

Garmin Running & Triathlon Tech for 2019

Garmin will be delivering the Vivoactive 4, Vivomove 3 and one new variant of each of the Instinct and MARQ. There is also a ‘new’ Garmin called the Venu. This IS a premium Vivoactive 4 probably with an AMOLED screen and that screen will probably not initially  make its way to the ‘regular’ Vivoactive 4 and 4S (nor to the Fenix 6 for that matter). The Vivoactive 4 wll see a 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. My suspicion is that the Garmin Venu is in effect the Vivoactive 4 “MARQ” edition ie  premium version of the VA4.

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! Edit: Forget that SRM have just announced the first ever MTB power meter pedals WAY more interesting.

A Vivofit could also be on the cards but we will probably NOT see the Garmin Forerunner 745XT mid-range tri watch and the high-end Forerunner 655 running watch until 2020.

Garmin fenix 6 specifications review

Keep your hopes alive for a HRM-PRO and a new running footpod/rd-pod (image further above!). I’d say, again, that they are imminent but that annoys some people. Let’s, instead, just say that they will be here ‘soon’.

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 I might 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 NORMAL-SIZE and SMALL-SIZE casings, ie 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. There are some rumours but I don’t think they are for imminent products.

Polar Vantage V ReviewHowever, a Suunto7 as a replacement for the SPARTAN SPORT WHR is an obvious next move for them but this could even be in 2020. 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 better financial sense to refresh that first, ie before Christmas or early in 2020.

Polar has more options than Suunto with more models/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. Again…no rumours 🙁 If I had to guess it would be for an A380 strap for Christmas 2019 with the more serious watches (bike computer?) coming in early 2020.

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 hit a peak of frenzy when Apple soon announce some minuscule difference to the AW4 and call it the Apple Watch 5. We’ve recently seen new stuff from Amazfit with the STRATOS 3 as well as the AmazfitSports Watch 3.

Amazfit Sports Watch 3 on Tue 27 Aug, clicks to source

Huawei Watch GT2

Huawei Watch GT2

Yet another new SnapDragon processor is in the pipeline – but remember, like CASIO, a SnapDragon processor IS NOT REQUIRED TO RUN WearOS (Source: Casio 😉 ). 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 spectacular this year . (I’m thinking of a new Google Pixel Watch of which there are early-stage rumous, again…not 2019).

Nicely we see Puma’s Smartwatch building on a Fossil platform to deliver a sporty WearOS offering on the lastest hardware platform. There are likely to be other Fossil-based WearOS sports watches as even Michael KORS release one.

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 with sensors and WearOS

Bike Wars

Garmin’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 the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM is shipping again with a modified mount that will hopefully not break anymore, maybe the buttons will work better than those on the Edge 530?…maybe not, let’s wait and see. Then down at the budget end of the market we are seeing a nicely-featured Bryton 420 at $130 with dual-band PM support and MANY other features – plus a colour Rider 860 at the same time.

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 head unit product that is morphing into something that might appeal to athletes. Watch out for that here maybe in this month. (I think  I’m more excited about this unusual product than the manufacturers are…#Sigh)

Minor/Niche Brands

Lezyne introduced a new MTB unit and revamped two existing models in Jul 2019. So I guess we have to wait for July 2020 for the next ones there.

Sigma has recently announced an id.TRI triathlon watch and an id.FREE sports watch. Competing at the low end of the market is dangerous territory when going head-to-head with some of the highly functioned Chinese smartwatch brands. Sigma needs something special here to succeed rather than relying on the strength of their home market (Germany), indeed they recently cut back the US operations.

 


 

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 superseded 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, D2 Delta (& S and PX) ‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation variants of Fenix 5
Outdoors 🔵 Fenix 6,

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

Tactix Delta, D2 Echo, Descent MK2 to follow later

 

2019: Aug 29

 

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-focussed 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.

This WILL come as the Instinct is popular.

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

Forerunner 655

Current.

Q1-Q2.2020 for the 655

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 spring 2020
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

 

Forerunner 955 – earliest September 2020. Likely 2021.

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 with a great AMOLED screen on the top-end VA4 called VENU. 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 3 / 3s /Style / Luxe September 2019

 

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

🔵GTS 

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

GTR released Jul2019 ( A1910). Ironman version and titanium version

GTS announced Aug 2019, it’s their version of the apple watch

Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami) Run/Tri 🔴STRATOS 1/2

🔵STRATOS 3

 

Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl versions v1 & v2 are same.

STRATOS 3 Aug 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 usually smaller one.
Bryton Bike RIDER 100, 310, 330, 410, 450h, 530E, Rider 530 T, aero 60, one, Rider 860, Rider 420 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. The Sep 2019 Rider 860 and Rider 420 might see the 860 as the new top-end model.
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 28th Announcement

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 SmartWatch

Michael Kors MKGO

Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3

Sep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)

Sep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)

Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3

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 Plus GPS (Macro, Macro Easy, Micro, Micro Watch, Super Pro (Super GPS), Mega, Watch variants MEGA announced July 2018

MACRO EASY GPS announced Jul 2019

Macro Plus & Super Pro revamped earlier models , announced Jul 2019

Full, current 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, id.TRI, id.FREE Good feature set, current.

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

id.TRI looks like an interesting ultra-budget TRI offering

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. A 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 (multi-streaming srvices on-the-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; wireless charging; 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 (eg Audible, Apple Music and Google Play Music still need to be added to Garmin. 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 if 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.

Navigation is also an area that needs improvement on an industry-wide basis. Unfortunately it is expensive to get the basics of routing corret before a service is released. I’d like to see better use of STRAVA and Google popularity data (like Garmin do with their own). I’d like to be able to use voice to create a route with Google maps on my phone and then have it automatically appear on my (non-WearOS) Garmin or Wahoo.

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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9 thoughts on “September 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. The5krunner, not sure if it’s a typo or something remaining for a continually updated article, but Garmin D2 Delta has been out over a year now already, it came out with the Fenix 5 plus. The next version will presumably be the D2 Echo, which would correlate with the recently announced Fenix 6.

    Anyways, anyone have any idea when the D2 Echo might be announced thinking soon since they normally come shortly after the Fenixs historically.

  2. Have you got any more information on the Sigma ID.Tri, it looks interesting. My two main questions are: 1) will connect to Stryd and it says it has structured workouts, 2) do the targets (assuming power is one of them) have to be in predefined zones (like Polar when I had one of those) or can they be specified to whatever range you want.

    Do you have any info to help shed light on this?

      • So, I got some answers out of Sigma, Stryd can connect through ANT+ and will show Power readings if you use a cycling profile.

        It’s not clear to me if you use it in Cycling Profile if it will then take distance and speed from Stryd or GPS.

        Power cannot be used as targets in workouts.

        Shame as was close to ticking all boxes that I actually need. I actually really liked the idea of the light above the strap to show if you are in zone or not as well. Thought that was quite a good idea!

        • that makes sense.
          IIRC STRYD have shied away from decsribing their pod as compataible with legacy-type devices where using a bike profile is required. For example this would for sure mess up your cumulative bike power stats if you had them, maybe you could manaually re-assign the sports profile after each workout…eesh

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