Garmin Forerunner, Huawei & Ironman News for The Weekend

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News today from Huawei, Garmin and Ironman/Fulgaz

We have some relatively interesting watch, firmware and app news today. Something for everyone! Though if you are hoping that the Garmin news is the watch news then you will be disappointed, sorry.

Garmin Forerunner 745
745 vs 945…same, huh?

Garmin Firmware

Garmin FR745 and FR945 triathlon watches get the following features which comprise some new sport profiles plus tinkering with physiology features

  • New HIIT activity. Workouts can be downloaded from Garmin Connect.
  • New bike activities, including eBike, eMTB, Cyclocross, Gravel Bike, Bike Commute, Bike Tour, and Road Bike.
  • New Tennis activity.
  • New Snowshoe activity.
  • Updates to Garmin Pay.
  • Improvements to the resting heart rate algorithm.
  • Populate stress with a chest strap if available in Breathwork and Yoga.
  • Fix an issue that could cause interference with Firstbeat driven metrics like Body Battery, VO2 Max, and Intensity Minutes.
  • Other minor bug fixes and improvements.

I was surprised that there isn’t a Tennis activity already on the 945/745 but admit never to looking for it. The inclusion of HIIT workouts is one of many steps in what companies are doing across the industry to match fairly popular types of activity and how it is reported, recorded and managed.

I would be interested to know how the resting HR algorithm is improved but suspect we will never know how wrong it may previously have been. Then, finally, the ability to use a chest strap with breathwork/yoga is both unsurprising and surprising at the time same time! Surprising that people wear a chest strap in yoga and unsurprising that people want a chest strap for certain kinds of breathwork. On that last point, I had an interesting play with HRV4biofeedback to determine my resonant breathing frequency and it was interesting to learn what that was & apply it to my morning HRV readings.

There are other minor Garmin Edge updates today and, indeed, the FR245’s updates are also mostly minor but the 245 does get some of the goodness coming to the 745 & 945.

ironman-logo-iconIronman buys Fulgaz

On the rare occasions I’ve used Fulgaz, I’ve been impressed with what I saw and vowed to use it more but never did.

The Fulgaz app has a library of over 1,500 routes from 40+ countries, most with 4K video content. I’m assuming that Ironman will soon be video recording all their course routes so that you can check out your IM/HIM route beforehand on Fulgaz on your indoor trainer. This is Ironman’s first such digital acquisition and the Press Release clearly indicates that they have plans to do more

The IRONMAN Group has confirmed the acquisition of indoor virtual cycling app, FulGaz. This marks the global event company’s first major digital technology acquisition. According to IRONMAN it is a… ‘major step towards delivering enhanced services to athletes throughout their entire athletic journey.

Note: Ironman VR is currently on ROUVY

Huawei Watch GT 3

Huawei’s new Watch GT 3 looks nice, although I have no plans to test it partly because of its use of a proprietary operating system which I think will limit its future.

Watch GT 3 is light at 46g but looks fairly chunky, nevertheless, it is able to deliver all-day health monitoring

On the face of it, the sensor package is #Shrug for 2021, although Huawei claims to have accurate sensors. Ever heard that marketing line before? I suppose it’s better than the inaccurate sensors from last time?

  • Accelerometer sensor
  • Gyroscope sensor
  • Geomagnetic sensor
  • Optical heart rate sensor w/SpO2
  • Air pressure sensor
  • Temperature sensor

Huawei also claim a sweet-sounding 2-week battery life or 8-day battery life in these scenarios

The battery can last for 14 days in the following situations: 30 minutes of Bluetooth calling every week, 30 minutes of music playing every week, heart rate monitoring enabled, HUAWEI TruSleep enabled for sleeping, 90 minutes of working out every week (GPS enabled), message notifications enabled (50 SMS messages, 6 calls, and 3 alarms a day), screen is turned on 200 times a day.

The battery can last for 8 days in the following situations: 30 minutes of Bluetooth calling every week, 30 minutes of music playing every week, heart rate monitoring enabled, HUAWEI TruSleep enabled for sleeping, 180 minutes of working out every week (GPS enabled), message notifications enabled (50 SMS messages, 6 calls, and 3 alarms a day), screen is turned on 30 minutes a day.

In the real world, that probably means “4 days, if you are lucky”.

Huawei competes squarely against the Apple watch in the overall market although clearly Apple/Huawei focus on selling their watches as add-ons to own-branded smartphones. It’s quite interesting to compare how Apple Watch now makes claims about its battery life which are more realistic and reminiscent of similar types of battery life scenarios that Garmin started to put out a few years back.

Compare Huawei to Apple Watch 7 battery claims. Apple’s are officially 18 hours but well over a day in my reality, and my battery PBs include an 800-minute GPS+HR workout log (more is possible):

  • AW7: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth; or
  • AW7: Up to 1.5 hours of talk time when connected to 4G LTE; or

  • AW7: Up to 11 hours indoor workout; or

  • AW7: Up to 7 hours outdoor workout with GPS; or

  • AW7: Up to 6 hours outdoor workout with GPS and 4G LTE; or

  • AW7: Up to 11 hours playback from Apple Watch storage; or

  • AW7: Up to 8 hours streaming a playlist with 4G LTE

DCR also today wrote about the Watch GT 3, pointing out that sports workouts now come with the potentially more accurate dual-frequency GNSS. The Huawei chip (China) could be the same as the one used by Coros (China) from Airoha (MediaTek, Taiwan) which gives market-leading levels of GNSS accuracy, albeit with the dual-frequency disabled 😉

Huawei’s site also shows images of the optical HR design. The arrangement of the LEDs in the array looks like the optimal kind to me so there is a chance it could have good accuracy (or not).

finally check out the Huawei promo video which is well-shot but slightly ridiculous (IMHO).


Other Endurance Tech News

Other minor firmware updates were for Garmin Edge, Hammerhead Karoo 2, Apple Watch OS 8.1, and Wahoo ROAM.

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