Garmin confirms more AMOLED and CIQ3-System4 and CIQ4 – hints on the 955

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Garmin digs deeper with AMOLED

Increased graphics capabilities within CIQ 3-System 4 to better take advantage of AMOLED/LCD screens

My coverage of the announcement of the recent AMOLED-packed Garmin D2-AirΒ  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:



Garmin CIQ4

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 that affect 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

Trend: Venu, D2 Air, AMOLED in CIQ4 … AMOLED *IS* coming folks.

Will it be coming in performance, adventure watches in 2021? Err… No, probably not. At least not in the top-end model πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ 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?Β  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.

More Info: What to expect on Garmin Forerunner 955 (FR955)

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.

Take Out

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.







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21 thoughts on “Garmin confirms more AMOLED and CIQ3-System4 and CIQ4 – hints on the 955

  1. I don’t understand the ‘want’ for prettier screens – if you take a typical Garmin watch and scroll through a few pages what do you see? Basically it’s all numbers, some simple graphs, text displaying training status etc – none of this is graphically intense and doesn’t need AMOLED or even many colours at all. The only use-case for a better display is mapping in my view, and even then I find maps on such a small display basically useless and I don’t see AMOLED or LED changing that.

    Honestly, I’d be happy with a larger display with less bezel, retaining the same overall size, that for me would be a far bigger improvement than more colours for the sake of it.

    I think there is a danger with bloggers such as yourself to ‘hype’ the next big thing – certainly in my running clubs (with many fell runners), the best runners are typically using old tech – they know that a new watch isn’t going to improve them and they tend not to have ‘upgradeitus’. Conversely the weaker runners are more likely to sport the latest tech… among the best, I see a lot of Sunnto Ambit 2 / 3s, Forerunner 230 or 235’s and several Polar V800s. There doesn’t seem to be a rush to upgrade, I’ve never seen a Fenix 6 or Polar Vantage V ‘in the wild’ for example and these two clubs cover over 250 runners. I don’t see a fancy screen changing that – those folks who want toys rather than tools will probably upgrade, but I think runners generally are not a key demographic for pretty screens that don’t work well in daylight.

    1. hi
      thank you for the comment and for making it nicely! I actually agree with a lot of what you say, surprisingly.

      It’s a fact that MANY people want prettier screens – gucci handbag vs tk maxx, similar argument

      Hype: I mean, I like the tech, other people like the tech. I agree there is a VERY significant ‘TOY’ factor around all/most of it. It’s harmless…except to your wallet. I’d much rather fiddle with my toy in the evening than watch Eastenders, pun intended.

      Certainly, the tech will make few people faster. I was MUCH faster before I had all this tech nonsense. then again, I was younger too πŸ˜‰ but i agree with your point and your sentiment.

      I did the Hackney Half Marathon a couple of years back. I would agree that there was a majority of runners in the front start pens who didn’t have GPS watches. If you come to my tri club, however, MOST of them NOW will have gadgets. the next trend that is happening there is that there is a move to Apple Watch type devices

      If we went to a swim club meet tomorrow i expect we would see even less tech than at your track

      “the best runners are typically using old tech” … yep . he used FR35 effectively as a stopwatch.

      if you’re a good runner you will know that you can pretty much feel your exertion levels and don’t need a watch. That said some of the watches you mention probably will not be used by your fellow runners to measure load, if they had a better and quantified handle on load and recovery then they would be better able to target and pal for harder workouts.

      tech can help if you have aspects of your training that you are open to changing.

    2. It’s perfectly fine you don’t understand. I would say I’m part of the “real” runner community, but I also a fan of newer toys and nice design. So this combination exists :-). I like it when I can use my sportswatch as a regular, good looking watch. And a nice screen makes the watch look better. I don’t want an Apple Watch, because I prefer my sportswatch and I don’t want 2 watches. But I think it would be nice if aestatics can improve, that’s all.

    3. I think that the ultra running community are probably more interested in newer tech compared to the fell running community. Things like battery life and navigation are important aspects for us and I’d love to have a watch with detailed maps on a clear screen when I’m running long distance footpaths. Despite having a geography degree, I find carrying a paper based map quite fiddly and it’s just one more thing to add weight to the backpack when navigating over 70+ miles.

      The concept of ‘best runners’ using old tech isn’t quite true from my experience. As a race director for an ultra marathon I notice that the winners very often have modern watches. Obviously the watch doesn’t make them go faster, but I’ve had some of the fastest long distance runners in the UK complete the race and they very often have newer devices.

      Best runners using old tech…seems that Kipchoge was recently photographed training with a Coros Apex Pro πŸ™‚

  2. Agree 100% with apps within activities screens. Having them separate has always seemed a bit odd to me. You note stryd, but I can also see things like navigation/mapping apps benefiting from this assuming that garmin would allow a ‘competing’ navigation app to display as a page within an activity.

  3. So you’re thinking 955 is in Jan? Any other rumors on the Airspeed sensor that sort of leaked on their site a while back?

    1. It’s the only one not yet released from the leak of a year ago. even the descent was released today. There is pretty much always something in january. yet jan is the wrong time for a forerunner and i’d normally expect it a few months later. So…. (yes)

      1. I think i could wait Jan for a 955 but even if i usually race in ironman and 70.3 i’d like to try some trail races in the next few months… If Fenix 7 won’t be presented before Q3 2021 i think i ll go for the fenix 6x Pro

  4. AMOLED is super pretty, until it switches off or switches to low power mode to save battery. Luckily, Garmin’s range is massive enough to accommodate all known display types.

  5. it seems like Garmin came out with the PowerGlass tech and then just.. forgot about it?
    shouldn’t they come out with a 955 Solar next?

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