A New Garmin (x10), New iD.Tri capability & a Wear OS Boost
New Garmins, new Sigma features and a new Wear OS processor. What’s not to like today?
Sigma iD.Tri – New STRYD Capability
The Sigma news is from a few weeks ago so apologies for not mentioning this sooner.
IMPORTANT Background Reading: Sigma iD.Tri Review
The Sigma iD.Tri has good capabilities when it comes to compatibility with a broad range of sensor types. However, that was initially restricted to only allow certain sensor types for certain sports. To cut a long story short, the new firmware abilities mean that power meters are now enabled for RUNNING and hence STRYD can be a source of power for running.
I’ve paired STRYD up to my iD.Tri but all I can see is the ability to simply provide power. If/when I discover how to manually calibrate iD.Tri as a source of speed/pace for running then I shall report back.
Remember, iD.Tri is super cheap and SUPER-FUNCTIONED as well as having a rectangular watch face and probably is the best budget triathlon watch which also has proper triathlon capabilities.
This is a bit techie.
Last week Qualcomm announced two new Wear OS processors, the 4100/4100+ and these are undoubtedly more powerful than the chip in the Suunto 7 or some of the speedier Fossil WearOS -based watches. We know the 4100 series uses Bluetooth 5, has better GPU, CPU, memory and is more highly clocked than its predecessor. I’m not sure if any of that is too relevant, what might be relevant is the 12nm fabrication process which will play some part in boosting the power efficiency.
Is this the hardware holy grail that Google may have been hoping for? A:No, something else needs to change like the screen’s power consumption
For example, I’ve used the Suunto 7 quite a bit and it’s a great device. It’s perfectly fast enough for me. OK, things can always be a bit faster and a bit smoother but the speed of the Suunto is fundamentally good. I even think Wear OS itself is good (others don’t). But the limiter for smart watch tech is the battery life which needs to cover at least, say, 2 nights of usage and 10ish hours of GPS+oHR without the need for a recharge. The claims so far from Qualcomm seem to be of ‘only’ 20% battery saving. That’s not enough.
The Apple Watch 6 Pro for later in 2020 also needs to improve to meet those same multi-day performance expectations. Although naysayers will correctly point out that the Apple Watch 3, 4, 5 seem to have done perfectly well thank you very much on 1-ish days of battery life. So maybe people just want an excuse not to use Wear OS rather than a logical reason not to?
More info & background reading here: James @MightyGadget.co.uk
And that’s it. Oh, you wanted to know about the new Garmin Fenix? I almost forgot 😉
More details and specs here:
There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Tuesday and all the rest. Tomorrow is probably going to be Hot Wednesday. Why hot? Well, it looks like Garmin are turning up the heat on the competition by introducing/expanding the use of the tech that the competition can’t even get their hands on. We seem to be getting LOTS of Solar versions of everything. And by everything I mean the Garmin Instinct, and maybe a new Fenix or two.
Here are the headlines with links to more detailed discussions on the new Garmin Solar products
Garmin Instinct Solar
The Garmin Instinct SOLAR is now released (Wednesday). Yet the information was leaked before Christmas 2019 and then everyone forgot about it including, so it seemed, Garmin who disappointingly failed to release the Instinct Solar, perhaps chuckling secretly that they’d fooled everyone into thinking it wasn’t a real product.
It looks like the real reason is that they are instead cranking out a few different SOLAR variants of the INSTINCT as well as trickling down the SOLAR tech in the Fenix lineup. Here’s what looks to be on the cards tomorrow
- Garmin Instinct SOLAR (Link here)
- Garmin Instinct SURF SOLAR (link here)
- Garmin Instinct CAMO SOLAR (link here)
- Garmin Instinct TACTICAL SOLAR (link here)
- Garmin Tactix Delta SOLAR (& Delta Solar Balistics) – 2 models
- Garmin Fenix 6 Pro SOLAR (link here) – 4 model
So these are really the Garmin Instinct PLUS versions and not the Instinct 2 which is also rumoured. It’s not just the solar charging that’s included as there is also functionality around power management and crazy-long battery lives (claimed). There is also the latest ELEVATE sensor which was NOT on the original Instinct and this probably also saves a bit of juice. The Surf and Tactical versions are mostly only cosmetically different versions of the Instinct Solar plus each with a new pseudo-sports profile (surf and tactical)
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
So it’s 4 new Fenix 6 Solar models (6 if you include the two Tactix variants), plus 4 Instinct variants making 10 new ones and they are here NOW! We already have the 6X Solar and the Quatix Solar from previous months, so why not solar everything else in the Garmin range? Indeed so, why not?
Other than power management and longer battery lives, these will add few materially new features or hardware changes, although the detailed changes are discussed in more detail in the links above. Maybe the new models represent what otherwise would be a Fenix 6 Plus Pro Solar but those names start to get a bit too long? In which case that means the Fenix 7 is next in 2021. It is certain that these Fenix 6 models will be released tomorrow plus the 4 new models of the Instinct Solar plus two of the Tactix.
With the INSTINCT SOLAR coming in at GBP350. I’m guessing these are highly-niche products aimed at people who haven’t heard of USB battery packs. For the Fenix 6, it’s at least another $150 for the Solar, although I suspect for the Fenix there is less price sensitivity. Seriously though, there WILL be some genuine usage cases plus the tech is pretty cool so…why not?