Garmin digs deeper with AMOLED
Increased graphics capabilities within CIQ4 to better take advantage of AMOLED/LCD screens
My coverage of the announcement of the recent AMOLED-packed Garmin D2-Air was a non-subtle hint from me that Garmin is actively moving deeper into that particular aspect of tech. There are clearly a few naysayers who either don’t want that kind of screen or who don’t believe that it will improve. Fine, believe what you want to. But it’s coming, folks.
I’ve said numerous times that people want pretty screens. It’s a statement of the obvious. Dcrainmaker and Apple also agree and you might want to check out dcr’s recent, and LONG presentation on the future of Sports Tech. I think dcr has got this one spot on and, if you are interested in ‘future stuff’, then he picks up the big trends. I also cover some of the finer details here in a somewhat shorter post ;-). Here is dcr’s YouTube presentation:
Today is turning into a bit of a Ray-love-fest as he also summed up some of the futures of CIQ4 that were announced at the recent Garmin developer conference. The parts of that which affects consumer-facing tech are also interesting to me (details on Ray’s post here) specifically it’s this point “Increased graphics capabilities within CIQ4 to better take advantage of AMOLED/LCD screens”
Will it be coming in performance, adventure watches in 2021? Err… No, probably not. At least not in the top-end model 😉
Baby Fenix 7, anyone?
CIQ4 – Launching Apps
This was interesting too, “Apps can now be launched at any time, including from an activity“. It always seemed odd to me that I had to start the STRYD app (or any app) as if it were a sports profile in itself. Once in the app or in the normal sport profile that was it. You were stuck there to the bitter end of your pain fest. I’m guessing that now it will be possible to have an app as a page within your sports profile, which seems far more logical and sensible to me.
CIQ4 – AMOLED – Timings
Another key takeout here for us here is that we are going to see the first CIQ4-capable watch in 2021. Possibly as soon as January. Surprisingly it seems that aspects of CIQ4 will not be compatible on ANY previous watch, perhaps even that CIQ4 will not be available to any existing watches???. So if you’ve just bought your Garmin Fenix 6X super-pro-solar-titanium with gold knobbly bits on it then GRRRR, it won’t support the new widget-glance-apps from CIQ4. Only the new watches will. I was surprised to read that but it is what it is and it means that, once again, Garmin has given us a nice way to tick off which modes are replaced with a CIQ4 equivalent, this then helps us know which CIQ3.X models will be replaced next 😉 Thank you.
It’s most likely that we will first see CIQ4 in a significant watch. So that means a MARQv2, Vivoactive 5/Venu 2 or, more likely, a Garmin Fenix 7 in September (ish) 2021. You could perhaps also assume that there is some more powerful onboard tech there to make the device faster too.
The timings of a new AMOLED model are less clear. The most obvious call would be for a Venu2 in mid-2021, maybe that could be the first CIQ4 device as well? An AMOLED-enabled Venu 2 WILL probably happen at some point but something else could sneak in there to be the first AMOLED/LCD model we see.
The D2 Air I mentioned above is effectively a repackaged Venu. Perhaps Garmin plans to repackage other models and add an AMOLED screen. Perhaps we’ll see a 245 AMOLED or a mid-range, mass-market AMOLED tri-watch (remember the Forerunner 745 is a small top-end FR945 and not really a 735XT replacement). Maybe the 735XT‘s true replacement will be a pretty-screened version designed to take you through a sub-3-hour Olympic triathlon. There’s some logic there.
Maybe the Forerunner 955 LTE in Jan 2021 will also have AMOLED? Or maybe the LTE version won’t have AMOLED but the non-LTE version will? (Probably not). My bet? A larger screen and, err, an LTE option.
Yep. Garmin is moving in the right direction. Just pretty-up that user interface, deliver a wholesale increase to oHR/GNSS accuracy and all will be good.