In the review queue 2020-2021

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Review Queue 2020

As you might have guessed the fun and games for 2020 are pretty much over when it comes to notable reviews of new sports electronics.

There is one more coming this afternoon/tomorrow which I have some final touches to add. The product is of the ‘same old, same old’ type but it’s good value and has a new, novel feature which is interesting in and of itself. Tho it’s not a ‘pro’ feature, more mass-market.

I’ll also be adding some new review content on existing endurance sensors that you may have seen but which I’ve not covered here. These might take a long time to test and publication might roll over to next year. Then, of course, there is the Karoo 2, but you already know about that.

After that I will be adding some ‘looks’ at various Apple Watch apps, more from the perspective of what interests me. Again there are some novel features that will pop out of those ‘looks’ and hopefully strike you as ‘interesting’. Mainly in the sense that some of the regular watch players may then go on to copy them. I’ll probably also cover things that I’m buying ‘for me’ like watch straps and I’ll be practising on those products, trying to improve my imagery with some new LED photography lights I have

endurance sports tv
Image|Endurancesports.tv – clicks to endurancesports.tv

2021

Question: What would you like to see here for 2021? 

There are so many options on ways forward with most of them super-interesting but also super time-consuming. Any guidance appreciated.

I think one of the trends you might see with reviews, in general, is less of the ‘big, detailed ones’. These just take up WAY too much time and you guys then go off and try to save 5 bucks buying it somewhere else 😉  (fair enough). So there comes a point where it’s not worth me investing a significant number of extra days in writing the extra details (fair enough?). So reviews the length of this week’s Wahoo ELEMNT RIVAL, to me, seem a fair compromise on detail+interest that I enjoy writing. Maybe you noticed that my ‘accuracy reports‘ have got MUCH MORE detailed but these will always now be supporter-only content as a) the interest group is highly niche and b) they take even more amounts of time to write up (I’ll still do the testing and analysing).

Another trend is that sports product reviews are now, shock horror, generally written by people who actually own running shoes. Rather than journalists who have just seen running shoes in sports shops, so there is certainly an increase in market-wide plausibility even if perhaps often from less hardened athletes.

You’ve probably also noticed that dcr’s detailed reviews have got less detailed as well over the last year or so. I don’t know why, maybe it’s for a similar reason to what I’m saying, maybe it’s the rise of YouTube or demise of Clever Training, or maybe there is just the reader-fatigue factor of the repetition of the same-old Garmin features that aren’t worth covering multiple times.

Of particular interest to me, today, was that I noticed for the first time that this site’s mobile/amp views exceeded desktop views. Again this is an indication that people accessing this site via that means are, almost certainly, looking to consume short-form content. From YOUR perspective this might be good as Google force me and others to produce special AMP content for mobile. That’s great and is very quick for you to load up the page on your phone and, at least from me, tends to have fewer ads in it which are low-paying for mobile in any case. So although this site is growing overall (yay! I had several ‘best-ever months this year’), the switch to mobile means that the overall ad revenues are not growing (grrr), although there are other technical factors involved there too. If you are interested, the best-grossing ads are video ads, there’s probably one on this page. #Shrug. More subscribers=Less ads.

I’m not going to comment on specific products for 2021 as my monthly roundup does that. My sense is that 2021 will be a good year, although you may have noticed that tech capabilities in endurance sports are, broadly speaking, plateauing – for example, the improvements in bike power meters will only be tinkerings around the edges of features.

I’m also not sure to what extent I will continue the ‘monthly roundup’. Again it’s a labour of love that takes a lot of time behind the scenes to keep mostly up-to-date on existing products and the rumours of new ones.  So if you want that to continue in its existing format then a) shout out below and b) stump up a supporter subscription  😉 … or at least an e-coffee, I might go on strike without coffee (I won’t really). I’m in two minds on this one as I would love to free up the time to work on new product content but I know a core of you LOVE the speculation stuff.

Anyway, please comment below on what you would like to see from this site going forwards…otherwise you might not get to see it.

 

Rant 1 – 2019 – The Problem with sports watch reviews, freebies and tech bloggers

 

 

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Mike

Am I the only one that has to switch to the non-mobile version to see/make comments? Regardless, I’m a fan of the monthly roundups as a quick way to see what’s on the horizon across the board in one place…

Rui Pereira

To see the comments I need to click the option to Leave a Comment, only then they show up…

Mariusz Luczak

Mike, you are not the only one. Same here on Firefox Mobile.

Will

More 5/10k running tips please.
Will you be selling power based running plans in 2021?
I enjoy the speculative posts about upcoming watches etc.
Any plans to review running shoes?
Have you seen adverts for Mymo gait analysis? The cynic in me thinks it would be a waste of money. But a review would be nice.
Short/medium format reviews are OK with me. It’s nice to have a different format to DCRs to digest.
ps. is it intentional to not add a comments section to some posts?
pps. I’ll try to buy you more coffee in 2021 (or another running plan)
Keep up the great work!

Nick K

Rumors, more rumors, even more rumors please! Nothing beats a juicy preview of something that’s right around the corner! As far as tech goes, product reviews with focus on emerging players like COROS and now Wahoo in watches would be great, especially on their differentiators. I’m sure DCR will cover Garmin in and out, but who would do poor Polar and Suunto justice? Your reviews of recovery and sleep tracking tech were always fantastic and highly appreciated. Maybe that’s a nice niche too? I got Ōura ring and that massage gun well discounted thanks to you, and both have seen good use. Last but not least, maybe it’s just me but I rarely read on desktops nowadays. iPad or more often simply a phone. I find it way more comfortable, especially with today’s larger screens. And it’s 2021, and Suunto doesn’t have a web site, so I’m not the only one who thinks that way 😂 Come to think about it, with latest feature removal, Polar will soon be there too. Which reminds me of COROS… See the clear trend here? Oh… speaking of web sites… I think covering non-watch parts of the platforms would be nice too! Be it… Read more »

Nick K

Could you please start a monthly Tech Gripes column? About various shortcomings of existing watches and platforms that vendors time and again fail to fix? I have a lengthy list for both Polar and COROS, especially the latter 🙂

Would be nice if somebody held them accountable*. Random people emailing support or shouting their heart out on Reddit doesn’t seem to help.

(*) That will probably be the end of your review relationship with them though.

Jacob

That new device it is one of major brand ?

Rui Pereira

Everyone likes watch reviews, especially when something different appears, but then you just scroll through, features, GPS accuracy bla bla, where’s the summary?

I like your approach of mixing small, medium and large articles, and that makes me check regularly to see if there’s anything new almost everyday. Keep it coming, even if sometimes if just a juicy tidbit or a wild rumour.

Will

Reference the watch glitches. I’m reading quite a few unsatisfied Coros customers on their FB page. Basically things not working in a logical manner, updates that break other things, quite a few irregularities. Makes me appreciate Garmin more, how over the years they’ve got the basics right. But yes – a monthly summary of bugs etc would be interesting, as many initial reviews can be seen with rose tinted glasses.

Nick K

The most maddening thing about COROS is how close they are to actually nailing certain aspects of experience. They literally come to the finish line, stop, take off their shoes, and walk in to the stands… My gripes, not necessarily in the order of priority: Rest HR is garbage. I wake up with 42, which is in the good ballpark, that would change to 59 an hour or two later. Or wake up with 47 and see it plummet down to 40. Or perhaps it will stay 42. It’s 2021, and everyone — and I mean everyone, including Fitbit — has RHR figured out. COROS doesn’t. Didn’t work on Apex in 2018. Doesn’t work on Apex Pro or Vertix now. So, a very useful recovery metric goes out the window. Strength workouts don’t use HR to estimate your effort/calories. I repeat, they don’t use it! Now, this might make sense for OHR, but the same happens when a strap is connected. Instead they have something like calories per set, I kid you not. That’s why you don’t have rest intervals based on recovery HR, like with runs. Now I don’t track calories, but COROS does. That’s how they report and… Read more »

Nick K

Challenge accepted 😀

Jacob

Somewhere you mentioned 955 would come christmas, is this still possible ?

Jacob

Wonder if they will change design(i mean like 645 steel bezel) it might get 1.3 inch display

Jason

Would be moderately interested in a Lumen review. I’m not buying one, but I’m more interested in what it could mean for the future, a next version, etc… If there was an accurate way to get my AeT, VO2, etc.. from such a device I would definitely buy one.

John Kissane

Personally I like getting different points of view on sports gadgets, especially from somebody who uses them & doesn’t just read the press release. Certainly helped me decide what new toy to spend the refunds I got from all the cancelled events this year (for anyone who cares a 945).

The bit of speculation of future gadgets is always interesting as not sure if anybody else is doing that. Keep up the good work!

GLT

+1

The new tech rumors were the original draw for me, but a fresh set of eyes with a slightly different geographical/cultural background are valuable. Reading about gear use and training experiences is always helpful in formulating new best practices. Weekly usage notes and long-term usability discussion seems hard to come by–not everyone constantly upgrades.

GLT

Agreed. It would be more of a writer-reader relationship builder that over time that amplifies the credibility of first-glance reviews. Another bit missing from the overall blog space would be advice on gray market purchases for the low-end buyers. Unfortunately also hard to monetize. A great many people have their needs addressed by something like a FR910XT they just need to know what they are missing and what the risks are.

Oskars

Can you tell more about the Clever training demise?