new Garmin GPS Watches 2021
Almost a year ago there was a leak of planned new Garmin models for 2020-21. 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 of the level of accuracy of those rumours and to see what we might have left in store for 2021.
This article is in 2 parts with a quick look at the leaks from last year that have almost all come to fruition and then further below my thoughts on what else is probably scheduled/due for release this year. There are also links to a couple of other posts where some of this stuff is discussed in much more detail.
Here are the leaked models with a TICK next to the ones that happened
- ✔️ Garmin Enduro Watches (2 solar versions), almost certainly Forerunner/Fenix 6-variant inside – Q1.2021, Discussed in much more detail here, covering all known info.
- Garmin Forerunner 955 (likely new features discussed HERE in detail) – rumours say Q2.2021, I would personally bet on it being later.
- Garmin 955 LTE (and/or 945 LTE) – rumours say Q2.2021.
- ✔️ Garmin Forerunner 745
- ✔️ Garmin Venu (this was not known to be the SQ until Sep2020)
- ✔️Garmin Index Scale 2
- ✔️Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Review
- ✔️Garmin Edge 130 Plus
- ✔️Garmin Quatix 6 (based on Fenix 6)
- ✔️ Garmin Tactix Delta (Solar & Sapphire)
- ✔️ Garmin Marq – 7 versions (some were pre-existing but there is now an 8th Golf model which was not leaked)
- ✔️ Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4s (Feb 2020)
- Garmin Fenix 6S SPORT (possibly a minor cosmetic variant, probably the internal name for PRO or SOLAR)
- Garmin Fenix 6 SPORT (possibly a minor cosmetic variant, probably the internal name for PRO or SOLAR)
- ✔️Garmin Fenix 6 PRO SOLAR (possibly, ie NOT the 6X solar but solar on a lower model)
- ✔️ Garmin Lumen (this was probably the Varia RTL515/315 although it could be the announcement of this: Lumen )
- Garmin Vector AIR – via bicycling.com, this is clearly real but might never make it to market for commercial reasons but I think it will eventually make it to market.
There we go. Accurate after all, despite the CV19 delays. I would say the as-yet-unreleased models have a VERY HIGH degree of certainty to be released during 2021.
Note: Garmin ENDURO thew us all for a while and it was assumed that this was in some way a mistake or a bike product. Nope. The leak was correct. It’s actually 2 top-end watches.
More detailed comments further below on what might be in store for us in 2021
There are a LOT of plausible arguments for a LOT of new Garmin replacement models this year. However, ALL of these just won’t happen. If in doubt…follow where the money leads you to think (Edge/Vivoactive/Fenix)
- 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-to-mid price point. Anyway, you get the drift there is still scope for a cheaper Garmin tri watch.
- Don’t necessarily expect a Fenix 6 Plus. We had the SOLAR models as a proxy for the F6+. Fenix 7 is probably next, although the rumoured SPORT versions would be possible too. What would a sport version be though? I reckon that is just another name for the PRO versions that were already released. Fenix 7 here we come…Q3?
- It’s obvious that LTE-somethings 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 limiters are Garmin’s global ability to get commercial access to the right cell networks and customer demand! 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 access can be secured, 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 (MARQ2 may precede it)
- a 945 LTE makes no sense to me, at least not as the only LTE model but the 945 LTE is leaked in multiple sources and seems to be happening. What will be more interesting will be what new features are included AND if the 945LTE gets any upgraded hardware (which it probably will)
- GARMIN RALLY: Vector 4 will be released, I’m guessing it’s more likely to be around the end of Q1.2021. Maybe there will be a ruggedised, off-road (gravel/MTB) version too? (Edit: yes!!! 6x Garmin Rally SKUs, one spindle length, dual/single, LOOK/spd/spd sl, maxing out at $1200 on Wed 24 March.)
- 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? Maybe February’s ENDURO effectively becomes the top-end Forerunner running watch? That would make sense to me.
- Jan 2021 would match a 3-year release cycle. Perhaps there will be a different, top-end running watch 😉
- A Forerunner 245Plus in April 2021 would match a 2-year release cycle targeting the Spring start to the running season
- A Garmin Vivoactive 5 Release Date for September 2021 (Venu) would match a 2-year release cycle. However, VA5 is not widely leaked. Garmin Venu 2 *IS* however leaked (*NOT* the square Venu SQ one…the OLED one that will probably have LTE this time around)
- 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 & Wahoo Elemnt 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!).