Sports Watch Update September 2021
V2.360 – 23 September 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and Triathlon sports devices are rumoured to be pending release, available NOW, discontinued or which are due to be superseded.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, please use the Table of Contents 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 and wider technological changes & their availability. Most of these new product predictions will happen but the precise timing could be off. 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 is 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:
- IMMINENT: High end, Fitbit (Sep/Oct, Wear OS 3 models)
- ANNOUNCED: Apple Watch 7 (available late October 2021 or maybe later still)
- ANNOUNCED: Whoop 4.0 for late September
- RELEASED: Xplova X2 (small format bike computer)
- RELEASED Mobvoi Ticwatch E3 (Wear OS w/Snapdragon 4100)
- RELEASED: Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (Wear OS 3, sport and classic variants) 11 Aug
- RELEASED: Sigma Rox 2.0, 4.0, 11.1
- RELEASED: Favero Assioma Duo-shi (although I’m not quite sure why I’m listing it here)
- ANNOUNCED: Shimano R9200P and R8100P PMs (although I’m not quite sure why I’m listing it here)
- ANNOUNCED: Fossil Gen 6 (Wear OS 2, 4100)
- EXPECTED next: Garmin Edge 1040
- EXPECTED: Amazfit GTR 3 October 2021
- EXPECTED 2021: mioEXP triathlon watch.
- EXPECTED: Oct 2021 TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS
- EXPECTED by some but I’m not sure: Garmin Forerunner 655 + Wrist Running Power?
- EXISTS/PROBABLE: Garmin Vector AIR, RALLY AIR??
- LEAKED: Garmin Edge 1040, garmin.com leak reported here. Likely in 2021.
- RUMOURED: Garmin 955 (Leaked) Expected features here. Sources say September 2021. plausible, I favour later
- RUMOURED: Garmin 955 LTE! (Leaked) sources say September 2021, I suspect 2022
- RUMOURED: Google Pixel Watch (again)
- POSSIBLE: MARQ v2? v1 released circa 13 MAR 2019…a two-year lifecycle could give this perhaps planned for 2021.
- ? MARCH 2022: Garmin Vivoactive 5 / 5s (rather than Garmin Venu SQ 2, Venu 2 & Venu 2s ) https://fccid.io/IPH-04095 / https://fccid.io/IPH-04094
- EXPECTED: Forerunner 255 & 655 (or 245+/645+ /Music). Likely date Q3.2021 (no firm intel)
- EXPECTED: Edge 540 and 840 possibly Q3.2021 (no firm intel)
- EXPECTED: Vivoactive 5/Vivoactive 5 LTE (Late Q3.2021, some intel)
- EXPECTED: Fenix 7 (Summer 2021, other intel suggests later, in 2022)
- EXPECTED: Apple Watch 8 & Watch 8 Explorer September 2022
- EXPECTED: Apple Watch SE Gen 2 2022
- EXPECTED: Huawei Watch 3
- EXPECTED: Oppo Watch 2 (Jul 27 2021)
- RELEASED: Coros Vertix 2
- RELEASED: Garmin 945LTE
- RELEASED: Forerunner 55
- RELEASED: Wahoo Element Bolt (gen 2 model)
- REL:EASED: Suunto 9 Peak
- RELEASED: Garmin Descent MK2s (small version)
- RELEASED: Garmin Rally power meter pedals (rs/xc/rk 100/200, dual single, spd, spd-sl, Look/Keo aka Vector 4, up to $1200)
- RELEASED: Polar Ignite 2
- RELEASED Polar Vantage M2
- RELEASED: Garmin Enduro Watch x2
- RELEASED: Garmin Venu 2/Venu 2s
- RELEASED: Apple AirTag (although I’m not quite sure why I’m listing it here)
- RELEASED: Realme Watch 2 and 2 Pro (cheap, proprietary OS)
Q2.2021 was a little quieter than I hoped and I wouldn’t expect Q3 to be too different as we await the September/October announcements, although Coros cleverly avoided the crush and launched in August. Garmin has a limited number of launch slots that were taken by Enduro, RALLY, Venu2/2S, FR55, and FR945LTE; and 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. Apple has clearly encountered production issues which, in their worst case, may have forced a complete redesign to give what appears to be a minimally improved Watch 6.5 version rather than the visual and battery overhaul I expected.
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.
Garmin Running & Triathlon Tech for 2021
If you analyse previous release cycles, a LOT of Garmin products are due for a refresh in 2021.
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 655 is still a possible refresh.
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 😉
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
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/encouraging 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 2 tries to compete against the Garmin Fenix Pro, 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 a refreshed Apex model 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 2 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), that said Google will almost certainly NOT ALLOW a Suunto Gen 2 to run Wear OS 3 until Q3.2022…that’s a long wait unless they produce another Wear OS 2 watch in 2021.
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.
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 its 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 Pace 2, 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 Apex could be $200/£150 cheaper, then it might be a game-changer. At the current price levels, it’s just tickling the toes of the Garmin Venu rather than giving it a stern push
- 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 an iterated Kickr or new Roam – each of which could easily be as late as Q3.2022
- 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.
Smart Fitness, Wear OS, WatchOS & Similar Smarts
Finally, the Google+Fitbit deal is done. Finally Google has said stuff will happen in 2021.
Finally, the Apple Watch 7 is announced
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 its Gen 5 stock and has finished introducing some Gen5/LTE variants, probably before the launch of its Gen 6 on 27 September 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 (Watch4). 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
Interestingly, Samsung appears to have exclusive access to Wear OS 3 on its Galaxy Watch 4 models, at least for a while. The future of Wear OS appears to be a Google/Fitbit and Samsung duopoly perhaps with Fossil hanging on in the periphery.
Huami (Amazfit/Zepp), Huawei, Realme, Redmi, TicWatch 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.
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. Many challengers exist 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. One hopeful rumour even suggested that Polar might release a bike computer in late 2021 but I think that ship has sailed especially considering Polar’s reluctance to support ANT+ on their watches (their newer chest straps DO support ANT+)
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’.
|Category||Links to Review and opinion article||Price Check Link||Comments|
|Bike||Edge Explore||Current: Jul 2018’s smaller version of the Edge 1030. Most performance features removed. Good for navigation|
|Bike||Edge 1030||Price Check||Current, 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)|
|Price Check||Entry-level cycling computer|
|Bike||Edge 130||Price Check||Entry-level cycling computer with very interesting specs. May 2018|
|Bike||Edge 130 Plus||Price check|
Price Check: MTB Bundle
Price Check: HRM Bundle
|🔵 Edge 140 (due 2021)|
|🔴 Edge 200,|
|Bike||🔴 Edge 510||Price Check||Effectively Discontinued|
|Bike||🔴 Edge 520||Price Check||Still a great cycling computer and getting CHEAPER but a bit slow with no maps|
|Bike||Edge 520 PLUS||Current. Updated hardware capability (CIQ3), maps and software. Replaced by faster 530|
|Bike||Edge 530||Price Check||Available May 2019|
|🔵 Edge 530 Plus||Spring 2021|
|Edge 540||540 could be Spring 2021 (or 530+)|
|Bike||🔴 Edge 800, 810||Effectively Discontinued|
|Bike||Edge 820||Price Check||Top-end, medium-sized, nav cycling computer. Dodgy screen. Replaced by 830|
|Bike||Edge 830||Price Check||May 2019|
|🔵 Edge 830 Plus||Spring 2021|
|Edge 840||840 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||🔴 Epix||Nice But Effectively Discontinued and replaced by Fenix 5X|
|Outdoors||🔴 Fenix, Fenix 2, Quatix||Price Check||Effectively Discontinued, not as good as subsequent models.|
|Outdoors||🔴 Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR + variants||Price Check||Current, still great devices|
|Outdoors||Fenix 5 PLUS, 5s PLUS, 5x PLUS||Price Check||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 5x||Price Check 5||Garmin’s flagship model for 2017-2018.|
Caveat Emptor. The Plus version is the one you want to buy NOT these…
|Outdoors||Tactix 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)|
|🔵 Enduro||Ultra Watch|
|Outdoors||🔵 Fenix 7||Q2-Q3.2021|
|Outdoors||🔴 Fenix Chronos||Price Check||Super Premium: Quality innards, Quality shell and finish. F5s firmware. Expensive. Replaced by the MARQ.|
|Outdoors||MARQ (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||Instinct||Price Check||Oct 2018 A cut-down outdoors-focussed Fenix. Kinda|
|Instinct Solar (plus Tactical, Camo and Surf versions)||Price Check||Jul 2020|
|The Instinct Tactical edition is now available and differs only with the NIGHT VISION and STEALTH modes, as well as the JUMPMASTER profile.|
|August 2019 TACTICAL COYOTE edition|
|Outdoors||Instinct 2 (possibly SOLAR version)||Due in 2021. This WILL come as the Instinct is popular.|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 210, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 225||Effectively Discontinued|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 230||Probably won’t be replaced. Effectively Discontinued.|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 235||Price Check||Replacement 245 & 245M released|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 235L||Apr 2018’s cut-down version for the Chinese market.|
|Run||Forerunner 245 & Forerunner 245 Music||Current|
|🔵 Forerunner 255 (2021)|
|Run||🔴Forerunner 25||Price Check||Entry-level run/sports watch|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 30||Entry-level run/sports watch|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 35||Price Check||Entry-level run/sports watch|
|Run||Forerunner 45, 45S||Current, Announced April 2019|
FR45 Plus, August 2020 silent announcement
|Forerunner 45 Plus|
|🔵 Forerunner 55 (2021)|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 610, Forerunner 620||Effectively Discontinued but good enough|
|Run||🔴 Forerunner 630||Great device, superseded|
|Run||Forerunner 645 and 645M||Current.|
|🔵 Forerunner 655 (2022)||655 Overdue|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 735XT||Current, great mid-range tri watch (no barometer). it’s the last remaining CIQ2 device hence next to be replaced|
|Run/Tri||🔵 Forerunner 745||September 2020, top-end smaller tri watch|
|Run/Tri||🔴 Forerunner 910XT||Great tri watch in its day, still good enough if you can find one|
|Run/Tri||🔴Forerunner 920XT||Price Check||Great tri watch…all you need really. Sometimes CHEAP|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 935||Still a Top tri watch, no gimmicks|
|Run/Tri||Forerunner 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||🔴 Vivoactive||Price Check||Effectively Discontinued|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3||A contender to Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch 3|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3 MUSIC, Vivoactive 3M||VA3 with music. Q2.2018|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 3 Plus Music LTE Verizon||Jan-19|
|Fitness||Vivoactive 4 & 4S with a great AMOLED screen on the top-end VA4 called VENU.||Sep-19|
23 Sep 2020
Venu Plus to follow?
|🔵 Vivoactive 5 (2021, possibly 2020 if now moved to annual release cycle)|
|Fitness||🔴 Vivoactive HR||Great device, effectively Vivoactive 2, replaced by Vivoactive 3|
|Fitness||Vivofit 2, Vivofit 3, Vivofit 4||December 2017: supersedes VivoFit 3. Vivofit 5 due for Xmas 2019.|
|Fitness||🔴 Vivomove||Price Check||Dress watch, superseded September 2017|
|Fitness||🔴 Vivomove HR||Sept 2017|
|Fitness||Vivomove 3 / 3s /Style / Luxe||Sep-19|
|Swim||🔴 Swim||Effectively Discontinued|
|Swim||Swim 3||2022? 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
|Manufacturer||Category||Review, opinion article Links||Price Check Link||Comments|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami/Zepp)||Run||Bip (#A1608 – Bip S Supercedes)||Price Check|| |
|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)||Run||Pace 2||Pace 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)||Fitness||Verge, 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, GTR2, GTR 3||GTR2 released Aug2020|
GTR 3 released October 2021
|🔵GTS , GTS2||GTS2 announced Aug 2020, it’s their version of the apple watch|
|🔵Neo||Garmin Instinct rip off Aug 2020|
|Amazfit (Xiaomi-Huami)||Run/Tri||🔴STRATOS 1/2||Current, Multisport 2018 watch. Intl versions v1 & v2 are same.|
|🔵STRATOS 3||STRATOS 3 Aug 2019 – model #A1929|
|Huami Amazfit T-Rex – model #A1919,|
|Apple||Fitness||🔴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,|
|Apple||Fitness||🔴 Watch Series 4 w/Nike||Current. A notable hardware upgrade from the AW3. Discontinued|
|Apple||Fitness||🔵 Watch Series 5||Aluminium, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic versions as well as the 40mm and 44mm versions. Also a Nike co-branded version.|
|Apple||Fitness||🔵 Watch Series 6|
Watch SE Gen 2 (likely September 2022)
Apple Watch Series 7 – Sep 2021
Apple Watch Series 8 (may have ‘explorer’ variant) Sep 2022
WatchOS 8 September 2021,
|Bontrager||Bike||TREK Ride Time Elite, Trip 300, Bontrager Garmin Edge 1030||low spec own-branded devices and Bontrager-branded Garmin device|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER 100, 310, 330, 410, 450h, 530E, Rider 530 T, aero 60, one, Rider 860, Rider 420||Current, 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|
|Bryton||Bike||RIDER numerous other models||Effectively Discontinued|
|Casio||Outdoors||Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20||Current, replaced by F20/F30 announced Aug 2018|
|Casio||Fitness||Pro Trek Smart WSD-F21 HR||Sep 2019. Updated F20 with oHR|
|Casio||Outdoors||Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30||Announced: Jan 2019, replacing WSD-F20. Expect a WSD-F40 in Jan 2020 😉|
|WearOS||Casio G-Shock Move GBD-H1000|
G-Shock Pro GSW-H1000 (Wear OS)
|CatEye||Bike||STEALTH 50, Stealth EVO, STEALTH EVO, STRADA, PADRONE Smart+, Stealth evo+ CC-GL51 (2015), full spec’d Aventura||2016 models are current (full model list here), Avventura might only be available in Japan|
|COROS||Run/Tri||Pace Multisport M1||Current, the Garmin 735XT lookalike|
|Pace 2||2020 should see an update of the Pace, as Coros return to revisit their road running roots|
|COROS||Run/Tri||Apex 42mm 46mm||Current Oct 2018. Highly credible endurance run and tri alternative. A competent small format is available. Jan 2019 a special edition announced for 46mm.|
|COROS||Run/Tri||Apex PRO||Q4.2019 Somewhere between Apex and Vertix|
|COROS||Outdoors||Vertix||Current May 2019. Premium case and SpO2|
|CooSpo||Bike||BC200||Current (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)|
|Epson||Run/Tri||🔴ProSense 17, 🔴ProSense 57, 🔴ProSense 307, 🔴ProSense 347||Discontinued|
|Fitness newOS||After failing to buy Fitbit, Facebook will enter the market possibly with WearOS possibly in 2022.|
|Fitbit||Fitness||🔴Blaze||Price Check||Replaced by Versa|
|Fitbit||Fitness||🔴Charge, Charge 2||Discontinued|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Charge 3||Price Check||Current|
|Fitbit||Fitness||🔴Versa,||THE current SE version has Fit Pay payments|
|🔵 Versa 2||Versa Lite – March 2019|
|Versa 2 – available 15 September 2019 with Aug 28th Announcement|
|Versa 3 / Versa 3 SENSE||September 2020|
|Fitbit||Fitness||🔴Charge HR (Band)||Discontinued, replaced by Charge 2, Charge 3, Charge 4 (2020).|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic||Current, September 2017|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic 2||Overdue, might never happen|
|Fitbit||Fitness||Ionic Adidas||Announced Feb 2018, has an Adidas app|
|Fitbit||Fitness||🔴Surge||Superseded by Ionic|
|Fossil||Fitness WearOS||Puma SmartWatch||Sep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)|
|Michael Kors MKGO||Sep 2019 (Prob same watch inside as the Fossil sport)|
|Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3||Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3|
|Fossil||Fitness||Sport||Sport Uses 2019 Snapdragon processor. Fossil is a BIG WearOS watch producer for many sub-brands. Sport uses a new 3100 processor.|
|Fossil||Fitness WearOS||Gen 5|
Gen 6 (27 Sep 2021)
|Still 3100 chipset but looks sweet and runs smoothly enough|
4100/4100+ chipset for fall premium models
|Giant||Bike||NeosTrack||Cycling Computers. The NeosTrack is a reasonably high-spec model.|
|Fitness WearOS||Pixel Smartwatch||To be released in 2020 maybe. Unclear if a SPORT/FITNESS version will be released as well.|
|Decathlon||Bike||BC900||Cycling Computer, records power|
|iGSPORT||Bike||iGSPORT iGS618||Cycling Computer, I think these guys are owned by Xiaomi and could be one to watch at the budget end|
|Expect even more significant firmware updates throughout 2020|
|Hammerhead||Bike||Karoo 2||Cycling Computer, small format, Xmas 2020|
|Huawei||Fitness WearOS/Harmony OS||Fit, Watch 2 Sport, Watch GT Active||Price Check||WearOS and a good spec. Current (Watch 2 was 2017 with an incremental 2018 update) The Fit was effectively the “Watch 1 Sport”.|
|Watch Gt2e||Watch 3 Watch GT and this was codenamed FORTUNA (GT is not WearOS anymore)|
|Watch 3 (Mid 2021)||To run Harmony OS|
|Huawei||Fitness WearOS||Honor Magic||WearOS and a good spec, November 2018|
|Huawei||Sport ?WearOS?||Honor GS Pro/Kanon||Q4.2020, TomTom map partnership could be interesting|
|Huawei||Proprietary Android?||Watch Fit|
|Lezyne||Bike||Mini, Macro Plus GPS (Macro, Macro Easy, Micro, Micro Watch, Super Pro (Super GPS), Mega, Watch variants||MEGA 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|
|LG||Fitness WearOS||Watch Sport||Price Check||Current, apparently one of the better WearOS devices – certainly spec looks the best. Watch2 has seen e-sim in China only|
|LG||Fitness WearOS||LM-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 Blanc||Fitness WearOS||Summit 2||Announced – several quite advanced sporty features|
|MIO/MiTAC/Magellan||Bike||Cyclo 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)|
|Discover||Unsure of the situation in USA with sister company MAGELLAN. Who have dated ECHO/SWITCH run/bike products|
|Mio Labs||Running||🔴 Mio Alpha 2||revolutionary at the time|
|Mio Labs||Running/Triathlon||mioEXP||First sports watch in a long time by Mio. in fact since about 2015. Triathlon focussed and looking good for Q4.2020|
|Misfit||Fitness WearOS||Vapor||Price Check||WearOS. Replaced by Vapor 2|
|Misfit||Fitness WearOS||Vapor 2||WearOS. Current.|
|MiVia||Fitness||Run 350||2017 Fitbit Versa look-alike|
|Mobvoi||Fitness||Ticwatch 2 aka Ticwatch Active||2017 budget sports watch with GPS & Music|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch E2||2018 budget sports watch with GPS & Music, the replacement for Ticwatch E|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch S2||CES2019 replacement for Ticwatch S (ie S1). S=Sport|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch S||2017 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.|
|Mobvoi||Fitness WearOS||Ticwatch Pro|
Ticwatch Pro 3
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS
|WearOS 2.0, Pro 3/Ultra & E3 have snapdragon 4100|
|🔵 Ticwatch Pro, 4G LTE|
🔵 new Ticwatch Pro Jul 2019 with LTE (USA only).
|360 Sport – 2nd Gen/Sport||Price Check|
|Gen 3 November 2019|
Moto G Smartwatch,(Summer 2021)
Moto Watch ,(Summer 2021)
Moto One,(Summer 2021)
|New Balance||Fitness WearOS||RunIQ||WearOS. Current|
|Omata||Bike||Omata One||Price Check||Trendy Bike Computer Current|
|BKK, OnePlus||Fitness||Likely 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, Oppo||Fitness Android|
Fitness Wear OS
Watch (Wear OS Version)
|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 Survey||Bike||OS Horizon GPS||High-quality MAPS on a bikenav|
|OS Velo GPS|
|OS Trail Bike GPS|
|OS Trail 2 Bike GPS (2019)|
|Polar||Bike||V660||V650 refresh 2020? Well Overdue…perhaps never|
|Polar||Run/Tri||🔴 Vantage V||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.|
|Polar||Run/Tri||Vantage V Titanium||high-end case variant of the Vantage V|
|Polar||Run/Tri/Outdoors||Grit X||Polar Grit X – outdoors version of Vantage V|
|Polar||Run/Tri||🔴 Vantage M||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|
|Polar||Fitness||A370||A360 replacement with linked-GPS|
|Polar||Fitness||A380||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.|
|Polar||Fitness||🔵 Ignite||Fitness & Running watch. With GPS. Scope for a 3Fitness-like model with no GPS. Scope also to beef up the shell quality a little.|
|Polar||Run||M200||Entry-level oHR running/sports watch 2016. Replacement due in 2020 maybe? M200 looks out-of-date|
|Polar||Run||🔴M400||Replaced by M430 in Q1.2017|
|Polar||Run||M430||An 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|
|Polar||Bike||🔴M450||Replaced by M460 in Q1.2017|
|Polar||Bike||M460||M450 with STRAVA LIVE. M460 looks out-of-date|
|Polar||Run WearOS||M600||WearOS sports watch for Android|
|Polar||Bike||V650||A 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?|
|Polar||Run/Tri||🔴V800||One of the greatest multisport watches of all-time, replaced by Vantage|
|Samsung||Fitness||🔴Gear Sport||Price check||Current (Gear Fit Pro is BAND format and the Samsung Gear Fit Plus could be the 2018 version of that)|
|Samsung||Fitness||🔴Galaxy Watch Active||Galaxy Sport is Galaxy Watch Active|
|Samsung||Fitness||🔵 Galaxy Watch Active2||Jul-19|
|Galaxy Watch2 (never existed)|
|Galaxy Watch3 (SM-R840)|
Galaxy Watch4 / 4 Classic
Galaxy Watch 4 leaked in Feb 2021. Released 27Aug with Wear OS 3 (4 is the sport version)
|Sigma Sport||Bike||Rox GPS 7.0, ROX GPS 10.0, Rox GPS 11.0, Rox 12.0 Sport, id.TRI, id.FREE, Ro 2.0, Rox 4.0, Rox 11.1||Good 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|
|Skagen||Fitness WearOS||Falster 2||With GPS & oHR added, this now counts as a sports watch. It aims to be seen as the prettiest WearOS|
|Falster 3||Falster 3 uses the fastest processor|
|Sony||Fitness WearOS||Smartwatch 3 SWR50||Price Check||WearOS. Current|
|SoWatch||Fitness||SoWatch||IndieGogo – Sports and other stuff|
|Pioneer||BIKENAV||SGX-CA500, SGX-CA600||Cycling Computer looks nice. OSM, ANT+, power|
|Full list here|
|Specialized||Bike||SpeedZone Sport / SpeedZone II||Basic Cycling Computers|
|SRM||Bike||PowerControl 7 (PC7) / 8 (PC8)||Cycling Computer|
|Stages||Bike||Dash (L10)||Cycling Computer. cheap and well-featured|
|Stages||Bike||Dash L50, M50||New models for release Q1-2.2019|
|Suunto||Various||Ambit 3 variants (Peak, run, Sport…)||Still great devices. In many ways superior.|
|Suunto||Various||Ambit 4||The SPARTAN TRAINER is the replacement to the AMBIT3, at least in terms of looks.|
|Suunto||Various||🔴 Ambit/Ambit 2||Effectively Discontinued|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||🔴 SPARTAN Sport||Current, OK to buy now|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||🔴 SPARTAN Sport with oHR (WHR)||Current|
|Suunto||Outdoors||🔴 Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro||Current|
|Suunto||Run/Tri||🔴 SPARTAN Trainer||New outdoor variants in Jan 2018, superseded in 2019 with Suunto 5|
|Suunto||Outdoors||🔴 SPARTAN Ultra||Current, OK to buy now. Suunto 9 is an effective replacement|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 3||Current. 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|
|Suunto||Fitness||Suunto 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)|
Gen 2 perhaps due in March 2022
|Wear OS Smart sports watch|
|Suunto might iterate bi/tri-annual versions of 3/5/7/9|
|Suunto||Run/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 Heuer||Fitness||Connected Gen 1||Wear OS on snapdragon 3100 and a big price tag. yet still a smart fitness watch|
|Connected Gen 2|
|Connected Gen 3|
|TomTom||Run||🔴 Adventurer||TomTom sports division is closed down. Firmware updates as of 8 May 2018|
|🔴 Runner 3, Spark 3|
|TomTom||Run||🔴 Spark, Runner, Runner 2||Effectively Discontinued, there was never a Spark 2|
|Vivo||Smart||Watch||Smartwatch running FunOS, from BKK who own Oppo, Realme and One Plus.|
|Withings||Fitness||Move & Move ECG||CES2019, Sweet Fitness ecosystem|
|Withings||Fitness||Steel HR Sport||Current|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||🔴 ELEMNT||A great cycling computer, due a refresh. Might not happen if ROAM is seen as the replacement|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||🔴 ELEMNT BOLT (launched in 2017!)||A great cycling computer, due a refresh|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||ELEMNT ROAM (Sep 2019)||Colour version of a super-sized Bolt with navigation|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||🔴 ELEMNT MINI||Cut down cycling computer no GPS, no power compatibility, Wahoo-only sensors. Due a refresh but unlikely|
|Wahoo Fitness||Run/Tri||ELEMNT RIVAL (Nov 2020)||A mid-tier, mass-market triathlon watch|
|Wahoo Fitness||Bike||BOLT 2||25 May 2021|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||🔴 G3, G5, E5, E7||Effectively discontinued|
X2 (May 2021)
|Current, FYI they are releasing a turbo trainer Q3.2019|
X2 Bolt-sized unit, most features except maps.
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||🔴X5 (March 2017)||Superseded by X5 EVO|
|XPLOVA/Acer||Bike||X5 EVO (Nov 2017)||Current, refreshed model. onboard video, guess there’ll be an X6 next…|
|Zepp||Smart Fitness Watch||Zepp E|
|Zep E: 2x Apple watch wannabes|
Zep Z: likely sports watch
- 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
- Suunto Spartan is here: link to Suunto.com
- Suunto 5 is here: link to Suunto.com
- Suunto 7: is here: link to Suunto.com
- Suunto 9 is here: link to Suunto.com
- Suunto 3 is here: link to Suunto.com
- Polar updates are here: link to Polar.com
- Garmin updates are here: link to gpsinformation.net
- Elemnt Updates are here: link to wahoofitness.com
- Fitbit updates are here: link to Fitbit.com
- Hammerhead Karoo is here: link to Hammerhead.io
- Lezyne is here: link to Lezyne.com
- WatchOS 5 is here: link to Apple.com
- WatchOS 6 is here: link to Apple.com
- WatchOS 7 is here: link to Apple.com
- Stages DASH is here: stagesdash.com
- Sigma Rox 12 here: sigmasport.com
- Mio Cyclo: mio.com
- Coros: link to Coros.com
- Bryton: Facebook page for announcements
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.
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