Garmin Releases for 2021 | rumored 955, Air and more

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new Garmin GPS Watches 2021 (remainder of 2020)

Almost a year ago there was a leak of planned new Garmin models. At the time, and for many months since, some of those potential models were labelled as ‘ridiculous’ by some commenters.  I think now is a good time to have a quick recap and the high level of accuracy of those rumours and to see what we might have in store for 2021 and maybe even something in the next 4 weeks to nicely round off 2020.

Here are the leaked models with a TICK next to the ones that happened

So, there we go. Pretty accurate after all, despite the CV19 delays. I would say the as-yet-unreleased models have a HIGH degree of certainty to be released in the next 6 months at the LATEST.

Some comments on what might be left in store for us

Garmin confirms more AMOLED and CIQ4 – hints on the 955

 

  1. Garmin released the 745. This is NOT a mid-range tri watch. It is a smaller, non-PRO version of the high-end FR945, so there is still scope for Garmin to target the mid-market position of the 735XT if they want to. More likely is that they will let the price of the FR935 drift lower to take up the mid-market mantle, at least in terms of price it’s mid-market. We’re talking about targetting Coros Pace 2 and any Polar Vantage M replacement, maybe the P2 is at a lower-mid price point. anyway, you get the drift.
  2. Don’t necessarily expect a Fenix 6 Plus. We had the SOLAR models for that. Fenix 7 is probably next, although these SPORT versions would be possible too. What would a sport version be though?
  3. It’s obvious that an LTE-something will be on the cards at some point and further likely that such tech will find its way onto all higher-end models to a) justify a replacement high-priced model and b) be a tech gateway to enable new features without a phone. The limiter is Garmin’s global ability to get commercial access to the right cell networks. We’ve seen LTE on the VA3, my speculation would be LTE for Fenix, high-end forerunners, high-end Vivoactive and maybe at some point the Edge 1040/540. Providing that the commercial aspects can be ticked off, I suspect there will be MORE interest and demand for LTE that might initially seem to be the case (it will enable some cool sporty stuff)
    • An FR945 replacement in April 2021 would match a 2-year release cycle.
    • A Fenix 7 in August 2021 would match a 2-year release cycle.
    • a 945 LTE makes no sense to me, at least not as the only LTE model, LTE needs to be on a ‘volume’ product. ‘Volume’ means a Vivoactive or Fenix much more than it means Forerunner.
  4. Vector 4 will be released, I’m guessing it’s more likely to be around the end of Q1.2021 and had previously been rumoured as of late 2020 (which is NOT happening). Maybe there will be a ruggedised, off-road (gravel/MTB) version too?
  5. The 655 is overdue but not rumoured. Maybe there is too much overlap with the triathlon models for Garmin to bother with a new model here?
    • Jan 2021 would match a 3-year release cycle.
  6. A Forerunner 245Plus in April 2021 would match a 2-year release cycle (usually targets the Spring start to the running season)
  7. A Garmin Vivoactive 5 Release Date for September 2021 (Venu) would match a 2-year release cycle. However, this and earlier models were released over a shorter cycle so could be due…now (although it’s usually geared toward the Fall/Christmas sale period). If you want to bet on one last hurrah from Garmin for 2020, then my bet would be on the Vivoactive 5…it’s a long shot as Garmin has almost certainly hoped that their Xmas2020 money-spinner will be the Venu SQ.
  8. April 2021 would match a 2-year release cycle for an Edge 530 replacement. (Edge 530 Plus or Edge 540). This could be an interesting one to watch as we see the effect of Karoo 2 on sales and I would imagine that Wahoo must be due a replacement or addition to their ELEMNT range (no intel on that at all). Again, Garmin will be worried about Wahoo to some degree, less so about Hammerhead – at least for now.

I could talk about Solar trickle-down, or LTE, or new sporty variants. The following linked post does that towards the end where you might find some of the sections about impending tech to be interesting (or not!).

 

October 2020: Sports Watch Update: All new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumors + replacement dates for Garmin, Apple, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Samsung, Fitbit

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Peter

Any thoughts on when Garmin might release other models with an OLED screen like the Venu?

Svante

Any thoughts on what to expect in a Fenix 7 next year..?

Fabio

Long question short: i’m waiting for the ‘next’ high end tri watch ..so a 955 or fenix 7 or something similar. Before reading this post i was convinced something would be presented in 2020…

My loved 920xt is slowly dying and it miss some feature like physio trueup (usefull if u use an edge too).
I think that maybe it s time for a fenix 6x pro or 945…but i admit …i won’t be happy when they ll present new model in 2021…

Fabio

Thx for the answer . Just curious: why a 2 or 3 week time frame only?is not possible a ‘xmas big thing’ like something in late november?

tfk, the5krunner

almost always start of month to mid month

Sander

I got the 920xt as well! 5+ years to be exact. Works just fine but I am really looking forward to the 955!

tfk, the5krunner

how’s the battery holding up on the 920XT. I miss my old 920XT…well I miss it in every respect apart from the colour scheme!

Fabio

I’m with a 920XT from 2015 and the battery is still good. I train a lot indoor so the gps is not using it but i think i have lost something like 20% of battery duration.

Love the square display ..that s one of the things i don’t like in new models.

Jared

That square display is so aesthetically pleasing. No squished data fields. But, it is definitely a large wrist watch as a result, so I get the move to all circles

Jared

Still use mine daily. With blue tooth, GPS etc I get about a week with daily 30-90 minute runs/swims/rides. I love this watch and hope any upgrade can match or exceed its value. Though I am skeptical because this watch was such a fitness specific homerun. Isn’t packed with gimmicky nonessentials

tfk, the5krunner

yes !!! all it ever needed was a better colour scheme 😉 (and I know there was a grey one)

James Neuer

same here! I know exactly what you mean. Hopefully there will be a release soon.

John Kissane

After 2.5 years with my 645, I’ve given up on the 655 so you can’t tease me any more by mentioning it 🙂 A shiny new 945 is winging its way to me from Germany thanks to a friend whose company get a nice discount from Garmin, coincidentally my 645 came from the US originally. Will really have to try & buy local next time!

Will

I just bought my 645M this weeks. Looks like I’m 2.5yrs behind the curve. But coming from a 920 it feels bang up to date. I imagined there’d be a 655 soon too considering how cheap the 645 is, but everyone in the know thinks not.

John Kissane

With the current price the 645M is a great deal for sure. I’d lost a lot of motivation with every event that I’d entered being cancelled. But then realised I could take the refunds & put them towards a new bit of tech that might get me interested again. Well that’s the hope anyway 🙂

FitGearHunter

Great content these last few weeks. You are always on top of things. Garmin is crazy how they secretly release things. Did you see the new vivfits? Just accidentally came across.

Anyway – didn’t see the answer in the see above for AMOLED expectations – what are your expectations for AMOLED w higher Firstbeat analytics (honestly I think this is what the 655 should be, AMOLED Forerunner and $499), and timeframe?

tfk, the5krunner

hi
yes i’ll be passing on the vivokid thing
AMOLED is only going to be on smart watches in the near future ie smart not sport watches.
watches for high performance conditions don’t lend themselves to amoled imho. however muuch of the market at all levels wants better screens they just need to eat less battery and perform well in all light conditions. i don’t think the tech is quite there yet.
so we’ve had amoled on the vivoactive 4 (venu). that is a SMART watch that can do fitness.
firstbeat? not sure what you mean, sure presentation of their data will benefit from better screens
PS I saw your site and loved some of the stuff. I might write about some of your findings…i assuem that’s ok with proper accreditation and a link etc etc?

inSyt

No new bands? A VivoSmart (or VivoRing) with Firstbeat’s sleep tracking algos will be great. Also that VivoSport is donkeys years old now.

tfk, the5krunner

vivoring….yes, that’s a game they should get in on. Others have been doing very well out of rings and face-less bands. easy wins for garmin

Ralph

I think that Garmin will keep a close eye on the Karoo2 and possibly counteract it with a new Edge model. The Karoo2 seems to be poking right into the gap that exists between Garmin and Wahoo. Wahoo followed a slightly different concept with its bike computer, but the Karoo2 now seems to take up both concepts a little bit.
All that remains is Connect IQ as a unique selling point.

tfk, the5krunner

CIQ is a great point of difference. Karoo would benefit from android-related functionality
I agree with your take on positioning
however, I don’t think Garmin will be overly concerned. Garmin is by far the market leaders with a very significant share in the markets in which they compete. Karoo is coming from a low point and Wahoo needs at least a refresh.

Ralph

Of course, CIQ has great and cool features. I don’t want to be without some of these apps myself.
However, the competition shows that not every user need them.
I still think Garmin will be keeping an eye on the Karoo2 because Garmin wants to control the market and that means even startups shouldn’t get too big. High quality and sophisticated bike computers are not an easy business environment, especially when you consider development and maintenance costs. Therefore, you – as a leader of the market – want to keep the main piece of the cake. For example, I had doubts that H. would survive at all and now they go one better with a Karoo2.
From a user perspective, it can only be good for us that the competition is getting bigger.
But we will see… 🙂

James Neuer

Hey, what’s good?

I’m looking for a new multisports watch and it will be a Garmin. Should I rather wait for the new 955 or should i buy the 945 for 440€? Any advices?

Best regards

tfk, the5krunner

935+hrm-Pro+Stryd

Nathan B

Unless you want either contactless payments or music, in which case the 745 or 945 would be a good option.

Unsure why you’d want the HRM pro with a 935 tbh… I’ve had the HRM Tri all this time and it’s been great. Unless you need Bluetooth, there’s not much reason to go Pro. Save the money.

Chuck

Some people have received a survey from Garmin that asks questions about sleep/recovery/training guidance for the Forerunner series. Anyone here seen this survey?

Lee

I am still impaitently waiting for a real LTE watch from Garmin, just really want to completely ditch the phone for runs. I am tempted to switch over to an Apple watch, but I just have so much invested in the Garmin Ecosystem.

Charles

245plus – what features would you guess at for it?

Any reason to think a 655 or 245plus would have improved heart-rate monitoring abilities, or has that tech reached its limit?

tfk, the5krunner

good question.
i would say that Garmin’s current ELEVATE v3 /gen 3 is the best they have done. i would say gen 3 has reached it’s accuracy limit.
no doubt there will be a gen 4 at some point.
for example the LED array configuration is definitely sub-optimal. so that can be improved for a start.

a 245+/255 is an average-priced forerunner. it won’t have masses of top-end features. perhaps it would be something more like a larger screen area (hardware feature).