July 2021: 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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Suunto 9 Peak side view buttons

Sports Watch Update July 2021

V2.351 – 27 July 2021

This frequently refreshed post shows which GPS Run, Bike and Triathlon sports devices are rumoured to be pending release, available NOW, DISCONTINUED or which are due to be superseded. Elsewhere on the site, there are detailed opinions about specific models, future devices and sports tech trends. Oh! and LOTS of detailed hands-on reviews on virtually all of the key run/tri watches and bike computers that you can BUY NOW.

This is a LONG, info-packed article, use the Index to skip to the section you want. If you are here for the first time and interested in ‘future sports devices & feature sports tech developments‘ then this entire post and the one linked at the end should be of interest – some info is based on part-substantiated rumours and extrapolation of past product release cycles. Most of these new product predictions will happen but the precise timing differs. Similarly, most of the futures/features predictions will be proved to be mostly correct.

 

Recent Highlights and the INBOUND Queue

2021 is turning out to be a good year for sports tech as we start to see the appearance of slipped developments from last year, the expansion of known technologies and some genuine feature innovations. Add to those the fact that many watches and bike computers from several vendors have 2 or 3-year lifecycles which just so happen to end this year.

The full list of everything, past & future is towards the end of this post. The general trend is one of the iterative releases of bike computers and sports/fitness watches where technical components are updated and, usually, one major new software feature introduced.

We should also see the next tranche of bike power meters from most manufacturers with Favero already confirming a new variant for Assioma. Perhaps we shall also some product innovation and competition in the accessories space with competitors to WHOOP and STRYD as well as a new swathe of Dura-Ace 12-speed, Wireless goodness? Here are headlines from recent months:

 

 

 

Monthly Commentary

Q2.2021 was a little quieter than I hoped and I wouldn’t expect Q3 to be too different as we await September announcements. Garmin has a limited number of launch slots that were taken by Enduro, RALLY, Venu2/2S, FR55, and FR945LTE, although Polar provided some excitement with two refreshed models M2 and Ignite 2. The new Wahoo Bolt has livened things up a bit and we need a bit more on the excitement front.

There are not as many new rumours as usual for sports watches, at least none that I can mention. Conversely, there are a few smartwatch PR companies creating a lot of noise, but all that ‘sound and fury’ probably signifies very little other than a large marketing budget.

Wahoo Bolt smart trainer support segments with rival Review - 2021's new ELEMNT, V2 buyers

Garmin Running & Triathlon Tech for 2021

If you analyse previous release cycles, a LOT of Garmin products are due for a refresh this year.

For example, the new Garmin Enduro Watch for Ultra Runners is not even a refreshed 655 but perhaps the last of the Fenix 6 variants.

The Garmin RALLY pedal power meter line indicates the start of a mini-trend where we will see pedal power meters gain compatibility with the major pedal types/cleat types (MTB), SPD-SL (Road), and Look/KEO.

There is very little recent chatter around the Forerunners 655 & 955. Perhaps there is too much crossover with the small format Forerunner 745 & 945LTE? Perhaps there will never be a 655 if Garmin decides to simplify its sometimes-confusing product range? Or probably the new Enduro has taken the place previously occupied by the 645 as the top running-specific watch.

The 945LTE and 745 are both small format watches. Thus don’t dismiss a medium-format 955 as a genuine replacement to the 945 this year. Nor should you dismiss the possibility of a true mid-market triathlon watch from Garmin (the 745 isn’t that).

The Venu SQ and Venu 2 signal Garmin’s continued intent to take the smartwatch market seriously and Garmin Lily backs that point up further by attacking the small-wristed, female market squarely. These markets are incredibly competitive and Garmin’s sporting edge is eroded bit by bit each year. Apple obviously has a stranglehold on the iOS market for smartwatches and Google/Fitbit may make Garmin’s job ever-harder in the Android space later this year. Nevertheless, Garmin will roll the Vivoactive 5 dice one more time between Sep 2021 and Jan 2022. This will be a make-or-break time for Garmin and a failure to progress against Apple/Fitbit and Samsung in the pure-smart space would mark a slow, long-term turning point for their fortunes.

For all new higher-end iterations from Garmin in 2021 expect to see LTE as an option, perhaps even in the high-end bike computer formats too eg an Edge 1040 was inadvertently leaked 😉

Garmin has just about refreshed all their accessories to include BLE and ANT+ support. The obvious omission is the footpod. Whilst I would like to see a direct STRYD-competitor, it’s more likely that Garmin will introduce wrist-based power SOON and PERHAPS also a new iteration of the RD-POD

Detailed review of the Polar Vantage M2

 

Suunto, Polar, Wahoo, Coros & Other Sport-focussed GPS Watches

In 2020 Polar introduced Grit X which builds on the latest generation of Polar features as well as adding in some new ones that increase the Grix X’s suitability for outdoor adventures. Then, Polar refreshed its high-end multisport watch, the Polar Vantage V2 to mixed reviews. The V2 had new hardware plus all the existing Vantage 1 features topped up with all the new features from the Polar Grit X. Their portfolio was mostly completed this year with the Vantage M2 and highly competent Ignite 2. Next up logically would be a new Unite and then a premium Titanium version of the Vantage V2 (no intel on those). However, an outside bet would be that Google is subsidising many companies to re-target the Wear OS market and perhaps Polar has taken that bait and also decided to build on its Wear OS competence from several years ago with the sweet M600?

Coros Vertix tries to compete against the Garmin Fenix, whereas their Apex models are sporty-smart hybrids in a similar vein to Polar & Garmin Venu. Compared to Polar, Coros also has well-made hardware, more features but a poorer platform. Thus Coros historically found it harder to justify their pricing as a premium competitor in their chosen segments. That changed with the Coros Pace 2 which is very highly featured, with novel features and at a great price. Again, it’s the platform that lets down the Pace 2 but it still sold well because of the price/feature combination. This enabled Coros to rethink its strategy going forward and it has revamped its distribution but doubled down on the existing platform eg with the nice EvoLab. All of this leads me to guess we will see refreshed Apex and Vertix models soon enough.

Polar M2 and Coros Pace 2 thus go head-to-head on many levels with each having quite stark advantages over the other. Yet the two are relatively evenly matched as an overall offering and both can sell well compared to Garmins at the same price points…unlike at the higher price levels where most vendors struggle to counter Garmin’s products. The ageing Suunto 5 slots in here as well with some deep discounting making it an interesting alternative.

Suunto 9 Baro/Peak join the fray and tries to compete against Fenix, Vertix and Grit X. It’s hard to see how anything but Garmin Fenix will dominate the higher-priced end of the market. Ultimately the Garmin dominance will stifle the competition as soon as Suunto et al realise they just can’t win unless they are really, really clever. The smaller Suunto 9 Peak should sell well simply because of the form factor however their best long-term prospects lie in the East and in trying to crack more mass-market needs there. I think we could see a Suunto 7 Gen 2 this year but only if the first generation was successful (IDK if it was and I have no intel on Gen 2)

The Wahoo Rival competes against the V2/935/945 as a true sports watch.  Like the V2 it can’t match the Garmins on a feature-for-feature basis, however, Wahoo has some key benefits over Polar because of the loyalty to their brand, the openness of their platform, and their interesting portfolio of products.

The sporty-smart-fitness watches then sit as uneasy bedfellows at the low/mid-price points, all trying to differentiate themselves from the out-and-out smartwatches made by the smartphone manufacturers (Samsung, Apple, etc). The main differentiator of these products seems to be their claimed sportiness/healthiness. Ultimately an app or two on an Apple Watch will do the same job(s) and therein lies the long-term fate of companies like Polar & Garmin.

Cheaper sporty-fitness watches include the Polar Ignite 2 and its GPSless sibling the Unite. Perhaps you might bundle in the Suunto 3 Fitness to this category too. Premium models here include Garmin Vivoactive/Venu and Suunto 7. I don’t really ‘get’ the Unite/Suunto 3 part of the market but the others all have compelling arguments in their favour. That said they are all competing in a confusing, competitive part of the market and sometimes it’s the one who shouts loudest that is hard to beat…Apple.

Coros PACE 2 Review Specifications

Q3. 2021 sees these brands & products at an interesting juncture.

  • Polar has thrown the dice for 2021. There might still be a Unite 2 but their future will probably comprise platform improvements, case variants and new features. Wear OS revisited? Maybe.
  • Suunto has more scope to refresh their product line further in 2021. Will they boldly push an S7 gen 2? A refreshed Suunto 5 could also be interesting but the market has moved on a lot since its original launch and more than a simple refresh is needed to beat Coros & Polar.
  • Coros are likely to iterate rather than release new models. They have a conundrum though, the app needs significant work and, with the exception of the P2, Coros must realise that their company strength is “features” and their products can sell REALLY WELL if they get the price right. Thus if a next-gen Vertix could be $200-$300 cheaper, then it might be a game-changer. At the current price levels, it’s just tickling the toes of the Fenix 6 rather than even being a thorn in the side of the Fenix 5/5+
  • I can’t see Wahoo releasing another watch in the foreseeable future but as a company, they have a huge range of options open for their progress. I guess the next watch move is either a Gen 2 product in late 2022 or a cut-down run-only product before that (I don’t know)
  • Smaller companies like Sigma, Mio Labs and one or two others may well treat us to a good-value and focussed product this year.

From all that, what I see as interesting are a Suunto 7 gen 2 (2022 would fit past product lifecycles); a feature-full & revamped Coros data platform (unlikely); and many more Wahoo RIVAL features like track mode (will take time). None of those is a certainty. In fact, I’d probably bet they don’t happen! Which could make for a boring 2021 unless  you are a Garmin-lover or a Wear OS lover.

Apple Watch 7 imagined by Prosser
Apple Watch 7 imagined by Prosser

Smart Fitness, Wear OS, WatchOS & Similar Smarts

Finally, the Google+Fitbit deal is done. Finally Google has said stuff will happen in 2021. Finally!

Although not official, we shall say ‘Bye Bye’ to Fitbit’s FitOS and Wear OS will swell in size, notably because the next generation of Fitbit devices will likely run WearOS. Plus it’s confirmed that 2021 will see Samsung make a move in Wear OS, which will add significant credibility to the platform.

After a near-silent 2020, we shall see a lot of activity elsewhere in Wear OS as (non-Fitbit/Google) companies build on the new generation of SnapDragon processors (4100) with a new WearOS 3.0 – that mostly means Fossil but others too. Fossil is clearing out their Gen 5 stock and has finished introducing some Gen5/LTE variants, probably before the launch of their Gen 6 in Q3.2021. It will be interesting to see if Oppo/Zepp/RealMe/BKK can take over Fossil’s mantle in the Wear OS space, it looks like WearOS is one of their strategic targets and the company is already in talks with Google about expanding the feature set of Wear OS. At the same time some vendors, like Mobvoi, are considering alternatives to Wear OS.

2021 is the year when Google MUST act with a significantly improved Wear OS 3.0, however, the Fitbit acquisition might delay Google’ hardware efforts (Pixel) into Jan 2022. So Can Fossil and Samsung(!) come up with the goods sooner?

Starting this year, the *BIG* Wear OS ‘Bounce’  will come from

  • Re-purposed Fitbit devices ported to Wear OS
  • Accelerated take-up of the new SnapDragon 4100/4100+ processors (eg by Fossil)
  • New strategic movers like Oppo, although at least one Oppo watch will skip Wear OS.
  • At least one Samsung model will move from Tizen to Wear OS. Perhaps ultimately the whole company
  • Casio has just released their first Wear OS watch on G-Shock (Protrek too), there could be more
  • There appears to be a bezel-less Google Pixel due for 2021, perhaps branded as a Fitbit by Google
  • A significant Wear OS platform update as announced in May

Amazfit, Xiaomi, Realme, Redmi, TicWatch, Zepp and others will continue in the battle of the budget smartwatches. Several of these have significant sales figures in some Far Eastern markets and some of the products might even be described as increasingly competent. Indeed what we are perhaps seeing right now are the Chinese companies building up significant competencies and sales volumes in their domestic markets before using that strength in other geographic markets.

Oh. I almost forgot 😉 There might be an Apple Watch 7 in Sep 2021, preceded by watchOS 8 in August. That’s just a longshot guess though 😉 (errrr)

Nike Run Club NRC Apple Watch SE

Bike Computers – Hope or Hopeless?

Garmin is clearly dominant in this sector and Wahoo is clearly the main challenger brand. The jury is firmly OUT on the potential longterm impact of Karoo 2 but it is ‘one of the great hopes’ with a realistic chance of success

Other than an occasionally misplaced FCC filing, Wahoo is very good at keeping quiet, so don’t expect any leaks…just hope quietly.

Apple, Google and maybe “China” will eventually clean out the watch markets but Garmin holds a dominant position with bike computers. There are many challengers to Garmin’s Edge Series but only Wahoo/Hammerhead seem to be coherent challengers and they are lagging behind if the number of features is how you judge bike computers. Will Bolt 2/Roam 2 be able to withstand an onslaught from Edge 540/840? It’s an interesting market position to debate as Garmin Edge will NOT pull further ahead either in terms of features or market share as their tech is already well-advanced and their market position too dominant. Catching up in each of those respects is MUCH easier than pulling further ahead. Interestingly we may next see an Edge 1040 (leak first reported here) which surprises me as I’m not sure what it can bring to the party in terms of new capabilities, other than LTE, Solar and a new GNSS chipset….well apart from those!!

How difficult is it for smaller companies to catch or even beat Garmin at cycling? Read this: How to Beat a Garmin Edge. The answer is ‘VERY‘. If there is ever some new product to beat Garmin it will likely be another device based on Android. Why?… Answer: “apps” and a shorter, easier product development cycle, which sounds a bit like the Karoo.

I suspect that Garmin doesn’t care too much about lower price points, so Bryton, Sigma, Lezyne, CatEye, Polar and other smaller bike computer companies can fight out the price-per-feature battle in that very messy and less profitable arena.

There are good bike computers like Stages, Sigma ROX and the high-end Bryton models but all of them, in my opinion, lack that certain ‘je ne sais quoi‘ that could propel them to the same levels as Wahoo. And when you contemplate that the ever-successful Wahoo BOLT prospered even past its 4th birthday, then you have to conclude that it’s not high technology that bike riders necessarily want. Maybe it’s the ‘just works’ factor or the platform or the brand image.

Garmin also doesn’t seem to care too much about MTB, gravel or e-bike specific models. Maybe they know something that we don’t? (A: probably!). Maybe the SPD Rally pedals are the first indication that Garmin will take off-road more seriously. (Don’t forget, cargo biking, electric bikes and many other bike markets are growing and might be attractive to Garmin)

 


Lists of All GPS Sports Watches & Bike Computers

This is my opinion of current & future devices across the GPS running/cycling market. Updates to this will be issued as and when information emerges which may include rumours, although please note that any information provided to me under NDA by manufacturers will *NOT* appear here and I won’t talk about it as I always honour agreements I make either written or verbal. So there will be a few more surprises over and above all of this 😉 I have at least a reasonable level of confidence that watches predicted here for the future are broadly correct – timings and functionality may NOT be what I expect. Please let me know of errors or omissions. At the end of the table is a discussion about current issues and sports tech trends. Thank you. Enjoy.

Garmin – Current and Rumoured Models

🔴 = Discontinued or effectively discontinued and replaced

🔵 = Expected Future Model or ‘very recent’.

CategoryLinks to Review and opinion articlePrice Check LinkComments
Bike🔴Edge 1000Superseded
BikeEdge ExploreCurrent: Jul 2018’s smaller version of the Edge 1030. Most performance features removed. Good for navigation
BikeEdge 1030 Price CheckCurrent, Q3-Q4.2019 saw big updates to the 1030 to match the new 530/830.
 Edge 1030 Plus (2020)Price Check

Price Check: Bundle

Edge 1030 Plus was June 2020
🔵 Edge 1040 (2021)
BikeEdge 20,

Edge 25

Price Check

Price Check

Entry-level cycling computer
BikeEdge 130Price CheckEntry-level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018
Bike Edge 130 PlusPrice check

Price Check: MTB Bundle

Price Check: HRM Bundle

Jun-20
🔵 Edge 140 (due 2021)
🔴 Edge 200,

Edge 500,

Price Check
Bike🔴  Edge 510Price CheckEffectively Discontinued
Bike🔴  Edge 520Price CheckStill a great cycling computer and getting CHEAPER but a bit slow with no maps
BikeEdge 520 PLUSCurrent. Updated hardware capability (CIQ3), maps and software. Replaced by faster 530
BikeEdge 530Price CheckAvailable May 2019
🔵 Edge 530 PlusSpring 2021
Edge 540540 could be Spring 2021 (or 530+)
Bike🔴 Edge 800, 810Effectively Discontinued
BikeEdge 820Price CheckTop-end, medium-sized, nav cycling computer. Dodgy screen. Replaced by 830
BikeEdge 830Price CheckMay 2019
🔵 Edge 830 PlusSpring 2021
Edge 840840 could be Spring 2021 (or 830+)
Bike🔵 Edge MTB (something more than the 530 MTB bundle)There are gaps in the market here at least two price points. It could be filled by Garmin – just like the Instinct did for budget outdoors.
Outdoors🔴 EpixNice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X
Outdoors🔴 Fenix, Fenix 2, QuatixPrice CheckEffectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.
Outdoors🔴 Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variantsPrice Check 

Price Check 3HR

Current, still great devices
OutdoorsFenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUSPrice Check

Price Check 5S Plus

Price Check 5X Plus

Garmin’s flagship model for 2018-2019. These are notably updated Fenix 5 models.  Superseded in with better hardware in the Fenix 6.
Outdoors🔴 Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5xPrice Check 5

Price Check 5x

Price Check 5s

Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018.

Caveat Emptor. The Plus version is the one you want to buy NOT these…

OutdoorsTactix Bravo (disc), Tactix Charlie, Tactix Delta (2020), Descent MK1/MK22s, D2 Bravo, D2 Charlie, Quatix, D2 Delta (& S and PX) Solar & Sapphire‘military’/hunting, diving, aviation, solar, durable variants of Fenix 5/6
Outdoors Fenix 6, Price Check
Fenix models are 6S (Base, Sapphire and Pro), 6 (Base, Sapphire and Pro) 6x (Pro and Solar)
🔵 Tactix Delta, D2 Echo,
🔵 Descent MK2i (Q4.2020)
Quatix 6 (2020)
🔵 D2 Delta (base, sapphire, solar)
 Fenix 6 (further Solar and Sport variants for 2020)
🔵 EnduroUltra Watch
Outdoors🔵 Fenix 7Q2-Q3.2021
Outdoors🔴 Fenix ChronosPrice CheckSuper Premium: Quality innards, Quality shell and finish. F5s firmware. Expensive. Replaced by the MARQ.
OutdoorsMARQ (effectively Fenix Chronos 2)Announced. the MARQ range is the Fenix range in a fancy shell eg MARQ ATHLETE is a 945 in an expensive shell.
Aviator (aero), Captain (marine), Athlete (multi-sport), Expedition (Hike/Outdoors), Driver (car).
MARQ Commander 1 Oct2019.
Outdoors🔵 MARQ2/CHRONOS3Q2.2021
OutdoorsInstinctPrice CheckOct 2018 A cut-down outdoors-focussed Fenix. Kinda
 Instinct Solar (plus Tactical, Camo and Surf versions)Price CheckJul 2020
The Instinct Tactical edition is now available and differs only with the NIGHT VISION and STEALTH modes, as well as the JUMPMASTER profile.
InstinctPrice Check
August 2019 TACTICAL COYOTE edition
OutdoorsInstinct 2 (possibly SOLAR version)Due in 2021. This WILL come as the Instinct is popular.
Run🔴 Forerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225Effectively Discontinued
Run🔴 Forerunner 230Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.
Run🔴 Forerunner 235Price CheckReplacement 245 & 245M released
Run🔴 Forerunner 235LApr 2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market.
RunForerunner 245 & Forerunner 245 MusicCurrent
🔵 Forerunner 255 (2021)
Run🔴Forerunner 25Price CheckEntry-level run/sports watch
Run🔴 Forerunner 30Entry-level run/sports watch
Run🔴 Forerunner 35Price CheckEntry-level run/sports watch
RunForerunner 45, 45SCurrent, Announced April 2019

FR45 Plus, August 2020 silent announcement

Forerunner 45 Plus
🔵 Forerunner 55 (2021)
Run🔴 Forerunner 610, Forerunner 620Effectively Discontinued but good enough
Run🔴 Forerunner 630Great device, superseded
RunForerunner 645 and 645MCurrent.
🔵 Forerunner 655 (2022)655 Overdue
Run/TriForerunner 735XTCurrent, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer). it’s the last remaining CIQ2 device hence next to be replaced
Run/Tri🔵 Forerunner 745September 2020, top-end smaller tri watch
Run/Tri🔴 Forerunner 910XTGreat tri watch in its day, still good enough if you can find one
Run/Tri🔴Forerunner 920XTPrice CheckGreat tri watch…all you need really. Sometimes CHEAP
Run/TriForerunner 935Still a Top tri watch, no gimmicks
Run/TriForerunner 945 Top Tri Watch, all the features plus LOTS of gimmicks. LTE for 2021
🔵 Forerunner 945LTE (June 2021)
🔵 Forerunner 955, Q1-2.2022
Forerunner 955 LTE, yup it WILL happen
Fitness🔴 VivoactivePrice CheckEffectively Discontinued
FitnessVivoactive 3A contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3
FitnessVivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3MVA3 with music. Q2.2018
FitnessVivoactive 3 Plus Music LTE VerizonJan-19
FitnessVivoactive 4 & 4S with a great AMOLED screen on the top-end VA4 called VENU.Sep-19

23 Sep 2020

Venu SQ

Venu Plus to follow?

🔵 Vivoactive 5 (2021, possibly 2020 if now moved to annual release cycle)
Fitness🔴 Vivoactive HRGreat device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3
FitnessVivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4December 2017: supersedes VivoFit 3. Vivofit 5 due for Xmas 2019.
Fitness🔴 VivomovePrice CheckDress watch, superseded September 2017
Fitness🔴 Vivomove HRSept 2017
FitnessVivomove 3 / 3s /Style / LuxeSep-19
Swim🔴 SwimEffectively Discontinued
SwimSwim 2Oct-19
SwimSwim 32022? this will be on a 3-4 year release cycle

 

Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit, Apple, etc – Current and Rumoured Models

Category Links to either a review, opinion article or your local AmazonLinkComments

ManufacturerCategoryReview, opinion article LinksPrice Check LinkComments
adidasRun🔴Smart RunDiscontinued
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami/Zepp)RunBip (#A1608 – Bip S Supercedes)Price Check 

Current products

Pace (#A1612, #A1602)Price Check
Huami is renaming to ZEPP
Bip Lite (#A1915)
Bip S (2020)
Ares (Rugged, hexagonal Bip, May 2020)
Xiaomi Mi Watch Color (2020), plus sports edition
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)RunPace 2Pace 2 is Stratos. The only difference between the Chinese (A1609 Amazfit Pace 2) and the International version (A1619 Amazfit Stratos) is the firmware.
Amazfit Stratos 2 means Stratos (A1619)
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)FitnessVerge, Verge Lite,Current model A1811 (Lite #A1818), as over 1 Dec 2018 now selling in the USA. Verge 2 / Nexo imminent with eSIM.
 Verge 2 / Nexo
🔵 GTR, GTR2GTR2 released Aug2020
🔵GTS  , GTS2GTS2 announced Aug 2020, it’s their version of the apple watch
🔵NeoGarmin Instinct rip off Aug 2020
Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)Run/Tri🔴STRATOS 1/2Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl versions v1 & v2 are same.
🔵STRATOS 3STRATOS 3 Aug 2019 – model #A1929
Huami Amazfit T-Rex – model #A1919,
🔵T-Rex
🔵Ares
AppleFitness🔴Watch Series 1 (Sport),Current, great pricing on the AW3 beware inferior hardware compared to AW4.
🔴 Watch Series 2 w/Nike,
Series 3 GPS+Cellular, 
AppleFitness🔴 Watch Series 4 w/NikeCurrent. A notable hardware upgrade from the AW3. Discontinued
AppleFitness🔵 Watch Series 5Aluminium, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic versions as well as the 40mm and 44mm versions. Also a Nike co-branded version.
AppleFitness🔵 Watch Series 6

🔵 Watch Series SE

Apple Watch Series 7 – Sep 2021

 

Runs WatchOS 7

WatchOS 8 due Summer 2021, Watch7 might bring a circular watch face or sliders to replace the crown

 

BontragerBikeTREK Ride Time Elite, Trip 300, Bontrager Garmin Edge 1030low spec own-branded devices and Bontrager-branded Garmin device
BrytonBikeRIDER 100, 310, 330, 410, 450h, 530E, Rider 530 T, aero 60, one, Rider 860, Rider 420Current, 450E is the top model @<$200 with all functions even 310 @<$150 supports a PM (Full model list here). Aero 60 is a fully-featured bikenav. The Sep 2019 Rider 860 and Rider 420 might see the 860 as the new top-end model built on Android – a first for Bryton
BrytonBikeRIDER numerous other modelsEffectively Discontinued
CasioOutdoorsPro Trek Smart WSD-F20Current, replaced by F20/F30 announced Aug 2018
WearOS
CasioFitnessPro Trek Smart WSD-F21 HRSep 2019. Updated F20 with oHR
WearOS
CasioOutdoorsPro Trek Smart WSD-F30Announced: Jan 2019, replacing WSD-F20. Expect a WSD-F40 in Jan 2020 😉
CasioOutdoors
WearOSCasio G-Shock Move GBD-H1000

G-Shock Pro GSW-H1000 (Wear OS)

CatEyeBikeSTEALTH 50, Stealth EVO, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+, Stealth evo+ CC-GL51 (2015), full spec’d Aventura2016 models are current (full model list here), Avventura might only be available in Japan
COROSRun/TriPace Multisport M1Current, the Garmin 735XT lookalike
Pace 22020 should see an update of the Pace, as Coros return to revisit their road running roots
COROSRun/TriApex 42mm 46mmCurrent Oct 2018. Highly credible endurance run and tri alternative. A competent small format is available. Jan 2019 a special edition announced for 46mm.
COROSRun/TriApex PROQ4.2019 Somewhere between Apex and Vertix
COROSOutdoorsVertixCurrent May 2019. Premium case and SpO2
CooSpoBikeBC200Current (hey! they made the effort to include power meter support, I made the effort to include it in this list, I’ve no idea who they are)
EpsonRun/Tri🔴ProSense 17, 🔴ProSense 57, 🔴ProSense 307, 🔴ProSense 347Discontinued
🔴SF-series
FacebookFitness newOSAfter failing to buy Fitbit, Facebook will enter the market possibly with WearOS possibly in 2022.
FossilFitness WearOSSportNov-18
FitbitFitness🔴BlazePrice CheckReplaced by Versa
FitbitFitness🔴Charge, Charge 2Discontinued
FitbitFitnessCharge 3Price CheckCurrent
FitbitFitness🔴Versa,THE current SE version has Fit Pay payments
🔵 Versa 2Versa Lite – March 2019
Versa 2 – available 15 September 2019 with Aug 28th Announcement
Versa 3 / Versa 3 SENSESeptember 2020
FitbitFitness🔴Charge HR (Band)Discontinued, replaced by Charge 2, Charge 3, Charge 4 (2020).
FitbitFitnessIonicCurrent, September 2017
FitbitFitnessIonic 2Overdue, might never happen
FitbitFitnessIonic AdidasAnnounced Feb 2018, has an Adidas app
FitbitFitness🔴SurgeSuperseded by Ionic
FossilFitness WearOSPuma SmartWatchSep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)
Michael Kors MKGOSep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
FossilFitnessSportSport Uses 2019 Snapdragon processor. Fossil is a BIG WearOS watch producer for many sub-brands. Sport uses a new 3100 processor.
WearOS
FossilFitness WearOSGen 5

Gen 6 (Q3.2021)

Still 3100 chipset but looks sweet and runs smoothly enough

4100/4100+ chpset for fall premium models

GiantBikeNeosTrackCycling Computers. The NeosTrack is a reasonably high-spec model.
Neos ANT+
AXACT 13W
GoogleFitness WearOSPixel SmartwatchTo be released in 2020 maybe. Unclear if a SPORT/FITNESS version will be released as well.
DecathlonBikeBC900Cycling Computer, records power
iGSPORTBikeiGSPORT iGS618Cycling Computer, I think these guys are owned by Xiaomi and could be one to watch at the budget end
HammerheadBikeKarooFeb 2018.
Expect even more significant firmware updates throughout 2020
HammerheadBikeKaroo 2Cycling Computer, small format, Xmas 2020
HuaweiFitness WearOS/Harmony OSFit, Watch 2 Sport, Watch GT ActivePrice CheckWearOS and a good spec. Current (Watch 2 was 2017 with an incremental 2018 update) The Fit was effectively the “Watch 1 Sport”.
Watch Gt2eWatch 3 Watch GT and this was codenamed FORTUNA (GT is not WearOS anymore)
Watch 3 (Mid 2021)To run Harmony OS
HuaweiFitness WearOSHonor MagicWearOS and a good spec, November 2018
HuaweiSport ?WearOS?Honor GS Pro/KanonQ4.2020, TomTom map partnership could be interesting
HuaweiProprietary Android?Watch Fit
LezyneBikeMini, Macro Plus GPS (Macro, Macro Easy, Micro, Micro Watch, Super Pro (Super GPS), Mega, Watch variantsMEGA announced July 2018
MACRO EASY GPS announced Jul 2019
Macro Plus & Super Pro are revamped from earlier models, announced Jul 2019 with FE-C…cheap, sturdy and highly featured.
Full, current list here
LGFitness WearOSWatch SportPrice CheckCurrent, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best. Watch2 has seen e-sim in China only
LGFitness WearOSLM-W315, LM-305, LM-W325, LM-W319,LM-W315 could be called ICONIC. With one of the other models being the ICONIC SPORT. LM-W319 could be as soon as Sep 2018 (likely this is now the W7 which is a non-sports hybrid.) but a Watch3 derivative will be 2019.
Mont BlancFitness WearOSSummit 2Announced – several quite advanced sporty features
MIO/MiTAC/MagellanBikeCyclo 605, Nice devices. The 505HC appears to now be discontinued and replaced with a slightly superior 605HC (Q2.2017). Other models include Cyclo 210 (re-announced Aug2018?), 400, 405, 405HC, Discover/Plus (May 2020)
DiscoverUnsure of the situation in USA with sister company MAGELLAN. Who have dated ECHO/SWITCH run/bike products
Discover Plus
🔴505HC+ others
Mio LabsRunning🔴 Mio Alpha 2revolutionary at the time
Mio LabsRunning/TriathlonmioEXPFirst sports watch in a loooong time by Mio. in fact since about 2015. Triathlon focussed and looking good for Q4.2020
MisfitFitness WearOSVaporPrice CheckWearOS. Replaced by Vapor 2
MisfitFitness WearOSVapor 2WearOS. Current.
MiViaFitnessRun 3502017 Fitbit Versa look-alike
MobvoiFitnessTicwatch 2 aka Ticwatch Active2017 budget sports watch with GPS & Music
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch E22018 budget sports watch with GPS & Music, the replacement for Ticwatch E
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch S2CES2019 replacement for Ticwatch S (ie S1). S=Sport
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch S2017 WearOS 2.0 budget sports watch. Ticwatch E is a cheaper and non-sport version. Ticwatch 2, Active and Classic are different – not WearOS. Replaced by S2.
MobvoiFitness WearOSTicwatch Pro

Ticwatch Pro 3

Ticwatch E3

WearOS 2.0, Pro 3 & E3 have snapdragon 4100
🔵 Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE

🔵 new Ticwatch Pro  Jul 2019 with LTE (USA only).

MotoFitness WearOSCurrent

 

 

360 Sport – 2nd Gen/SportPrice Check
Gen 3 November 2019

Moto G Smartwatch,(Summer 2021)

Moto Watch ,(Summer 2021)

Moto One,(Summer 2021)

New BalanceFitness WearOSRunIQWearOS. Current
OmataBikeOmata OnePrice CheckTrendy Bike Computer Current
BKK, OnePlusFitnessLikely WearOS

Sister brand RealMe introduce Watch 2 and Watch 2 Pro

Probably due Q4.2020, probably based heavily on the Oppo Watch

RealMe are cheap and proprietary OS. june 2021.

 

BKK, OppoFitness Android

Fitness Wear OS

Watch

Watch (Wear OS Version)

Watch 2

Looks like an Apple Watch with very limited EU/USA availability as of July 2020. Based on Android

Wear OS version released 31 Jul 2020

Watch 2 – 27 Jul 2021

Ordnance SurveyBikeOS Horizon GPSHigh-quality MAPS on a bikenav
OS Velo GPS
OS Trail Bike GPS
OS Trail 2 Bike GPS (2019)
PolarBikeV660V650 refresh 2020? Well Overdue…perhaps never
PolarRun/Tri🔴 Vantage V

Vantage V2

V800 replacement
There are no published plans to take the features any further. Polar will fix bugs though.
V2 new for October 2020
Who knows if they will iterate either the hardware or software.
PolarRun/TriVantage V Titaniumhigh-end case variant of the Vantage V
PolarRun/Tri/OutdoorsGrit XPolar Grit X – outdoors version of Vantage V
PolarRun/Tri🔴 Vantage M

Vantage M2

More run-focussed than the V model and a bit more than the M430.
I’m not convinced there will be a Vantage M lite model ie something to theoretically replace the M200. Looks like the Ignite/Unite covers that.
No intel on the M2. My guess would be Q1.2021
PolarFitnessA370A360 replacement with linked-GPS
PolarFitnessA380 I guess you could speculate that there is an A380 due but I would not be so sure that Polar (or anyone else beyond Garmin/Fitbit) will pursue a premium band format.
PolarFitness🔵  Ignite

Ignite 2

Fitness & Running watch. With GPS. Scope for a 3Fitness-like model with no GPS. Scope also to beef up the shell quality a little.
PolarRunM200Entry-level oHR running/sports watch 2016. Replacement due in 2020 maybe? M200 looks out-of-date
PolarRun🔴M400Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017
PolarRunM430An optical M400, released. this is mostly replaced by the Vantage M, although the Vantage M has notable extra stuff kinda making it a model higher. M430 has been confirmed as remaining in the Polar product set as a full-featured running watch BUT it will not receive new functionality.
M430 looks out-of-date
PolarBike🔴M450Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017
PolarBikeM460M450 with STRAVA LIVE. M460 looks out-of-date
PolarRun WearOSM600WearOS sports watch for Android
PolarBikeV650A good Bike Nav Cycling device. Might get an ANT+ refresh but fine as-is. Does Polar want to go down the route of giving this proper onboard maps?
PolarRun/Tri🔴V800One of the greatest multisport watches of all-time, replaced by Vantage
SamsungFitness🔴Gear SportPrice checkCurrent (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format and the Samsung Gear Fit Plus could be the 2018 version of that)
SamsungFitness🔴Galaxy Watch ActiveGalaxy Sport is Galaxy Watch Active
SamsungFitness🔵 Galaxy Watch Active2Jul-19
Galaxy Watch2 (never existed)
Galaxy Watch3 (SM-R840)

Galaxy Watch 4

Aug 2020

Galaxy Watch 4 is leaked in Feb 2021. Released 27Aug with Wear OS

Sigma SportBikeRox GPS 7.0, ROX GPS 10.0, Rox GPS 11.0, Rox 12.0 Sport, id.TRI, id.FREEGood feature set, current.
Rox 12.0 Sport June 2018 looks like a massive leap forward for the company. Highly competent bikenav
id.TRI is a very interesting budget TRI offering
Full list of Sigma products here
SkagenFitness WearOSFalster 2With GPS & oHR added, this now counts as a sports watch. It aims to be seen as the prettiest WearOS
Falster 3Falster 3 uses the fastest processor
SonyFitness WearOSSmartwatch 3 SWR50Price CheckWearOS. Current
SoWatchFitnessSoWatchIndieGogo – Sports and other stuff
PioneerBIKENAVSGX-CA500, SGX-CA600Cycling Computer looks nice. OSM, ANT+, power
Full list here
SpecializedBike SpeedZone Sport / SpeedZone IIBasic Cycling Computers
SRMBikePowerControl 7 (PC7) / 8 (PC8)Cycling Computer
StagesBikeDash (L10)Cycling Computer. cheap and well-featured
StagesBikeDash L50, M50New models for release Q1-2.2019
SuuntoVariousAmbit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)Still great devices. In many ways superior.
SuuntoVariousAmbit 4The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement to the AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.
SuuntoVarious🔴 Ambit/Ambit 2Effectively Discontinued
SuuntoRun/Tri🔴 SPARTAN SportCurrent, OK to buy now
SuuntoRun/Tri🔴 SPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)Current
SuuntoOutdoors🔴 Spartan Sport Wrist HR BaroCurrent
SuuntoRun/Tri🔴 SPARTAN TrainerNew outdoor variants in Jan 2018, superseded in 2019 with Suunto 5
SuuntoOutdoors🔴 SPARTAN UltraCurrent, OK to buy now. Suunto 9 is an effective replacement
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 3Current. A low-end model with interesting specs. GPS only from paired and carried smartphone.
🔴 Suunto 3 Fitness (April 2018)

Gen 2 overdue but may not happen.

The Suunto 3 dropped the FITNESS suffix in 2020 and DOES have very slightly different hardware
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 9 Baro (spring 2018)

Suunto 9 Peak (smaller)

Current. High-end Spartan ULTRA replacement. My GUESS is that this will iterate next in some way in 2021 (no intel)
SuuntoFitnessSuunto 7

Gen 2 perhaps due in March 2022

Wear OS Smart sports watch
Suunto might iterate bi/tri-annual versions of 3/5/7/9
SuuntoRun/Tri🔵 Suunto 5 from May 2019

Gen 2 due but may not happen

Good mid-range tri watch. Replacement for SPARTAN Trainer. Due a refresh in 2021
Tag HeuerFitnessConnected Gen 1Wear OS on snapdragon 3100 and a big price tag. yet still a smart fitness watch
Connected Gen 2
Connected Gen 3
TimexRun/triIronMan R300#Sigh
TomTomRun🔴 AdventurerTomTom sports division is closed down. Firmware updates as of 8 May 2018
🔴 Runner 3, Spark 3
TomTomRun🔴 Spark, Runner, Runner 2Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2
VivoSmartWatchSmartwatch running FunOS, from BKK who own Oppo, Realme and One Plus.
WithingsFitnessMove & Move ECGCES2019, Sweet Fitness ecosystem
WithingsFitnessSteel HR SportCurrent
Wahoo FitnessBike🔴 ELEMNTA great cycling computer, due a refresh. Might not happen if ROAM is seen as the replacement
Wahoo FitnessBike🔴 ELEMNT BOLT (launched in 2017!)A great cycling computer, due a refresh
Wahoo FitnessBikeELEMNT ROAM (Sep 2019)Colour version of a super-sized Bolt with navigation
Wahoo FitnessBike🔴 ELEMNT MINICut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors. Due a refresh but unlikely
Wahoo FitnessRun/TriELEMNT RIVAL (Nov 2020)A mid-tier, mass-market triathlon watch
Wahoo FitnessBikeBOLT 225 May 2021
XPLOVA/AcerBike🔴 G3, G5, E5, E7Effectively discontinued
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX3 EVO

X2 (May 2021)

Current, FYI they are releasing a turbo trainer Q3.2019

X2 Bolt-sized unit, most features except maps.

XPLOVA/AcerBike🔴X5 (March 2017)Superseded by X5 EVO
XPLOVA/AcerBikeX5 EVO (Nov 2017)Current, refreshed model. onboard video, guess there’ll be an X6 next…
ZeppSmart Fitness WatchZepp E

Zepp Z

Zep E: 2x Apple watch wannabes

Zep Z: likely sports watch

 

Notes

  • There are many other low-priced brands, several of which are visual rip-offs of the main brands’ models.
  • Some low-priced brands include PARNERME, UWEAR, GoLife, GooPhone, Reabeam, FitCare, iGPSport, Xoss
  • There are probably also some Kickstarter and Indegogo type new models planned. My broad opinion is that if this is the first sports watch from a company with no track record then you will lose your money or, at best, receive a pile of junk. Spend a little bit extra and instead get a real product now.
  • If you’ve found a brand that I’ve not listed above and the price looks too good to be true…there’s probably a reason. Just go for the brands above…eg Lezyne & Bryton offer cheap and perfectly good bike computers that support complex usage.

What have I missed? Are there others?

Note: information that has become available about accessories is NOT included here as there are too many of them to keep up-to-date with. There are also too many Power Meter variants for me to keep track of. I have more than a passing interest in PMs for triathlon disciplines but I don’t keep an eye on the whole market – the document I keep up-to-date on PM is my guide to the best power meter. I’m generally going to exclude wrist bands from the lists above, like the Vivokids v2, although some bands have sneaked in there already.

Lists of all Firmware Updates

Please let me know of any I’ve missed

Also useful for checking compatibility and new ANT+ devices. VERY occasionally you might see a special ‘leak’ appear here first by accident.

Subscriber-Only Content

The remainder of this update is subscriber-only content and comprises a discussion of the trends in emerging technology and new technology – for example covering payments, GPS, OHR, Safety, Mapping and much more.

Recommended Reading: Endurance Technology Trends

END

 

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1 thought on “July 2021: Sports Watch Update: All new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumors + replacement dates for Garmin, Apple, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Samsung, Fitbit

  1. Hey!!

    Buy Garmin Edge 830 or wait to Garmin Edge 840?
    What do you think? how many time I will need wait?

    Thanks

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