Garmin Watches – 3 Things I’d Add Tomorrow

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Garmin Watches – 3 Things I’d Add Tomorrow

On a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is ‘every possible feature’, Garmin’s top-end watches are somewhere around 93. They’re pretty much running out of stuff to add, or at least easy stuff to add.

Here are 3 (edit, 4!) features I would like to see them add in 2022

Pin Page

The Wahoo Rival triathlon watch already has Pin Page and I would use it tomorrow if Garmin added it to my shiny new Forerunner 955 Solar.

Wahoo Rival

How it works:

You Mark one of your workout screens/pages as the Pin Page in your sports profile.

When you flick through other pages during your workout you don’t need to flick back to your main screen. After 5 seconds, or so, you are automatically returned to the pin page.

In some ways, it’s similar to the lap screen.

Metrics with no Units (and larger fonts)

I could have sworn that the Wahoo Rival had the option to hide the units of measure in data fields and I was going to show you a picture of that. I can’t seem to find it! If Garmin let me selectively hide the units of measure I would use that tomorrow.

 

Garmin Forerunner 955

Probably less than one-quarter of the available space for a data metric on each cell of my Forerunner 955’s display is used to display the number, the rest of the space ‘s either ‘blank space’ or the units of measure.

Wouldn’t it be cool to display your favourite metric with no units of measure, just to make it more readable – everyone over 40 is now shouting “Yes!” and everyone else has a puzzled look on their face and wonder why everyone doesn’t have 12 metrics per screen like they do.

How it works: In Garmin Connect then would be a toggle control next to each unit of measure as you curate the screens in your sport profile. That toggle would turn the units of measure off/on and if the units of measure is disabled for any data field then the font is enlarged to take up more of the available space.

Auto Sprint Laps

The Suunto 9 Peak and other Suunto watches already have the Auto Sprint feature which can be added as a Suunto Plus ‘app’. This is another feature I would use tomorrow if Garmin added it.

 

 

 

How it works: This is a feature that works behind the scenes to record an extra series of laps. These laps are triggered and ended when you enter hard effort zones…so it might be power/pace level 4 or above. You can then see your true effort periods in Garmin Connect rather than the ones that may or may not coincide with your manual lap presses or autolaps. There would need to be some logic added to determine when to trigger and end recording plus what to do when you progress to a harder level of effort.

This kind of feature is also available in some analytic apps that use your Garmin workout but Garmin could finesse the implementation to also pop up sprint laps as they happen or in the workout summary on your watch.

Rapid Zone Lock

The Polar Vantage V2 and other Polar watches have Zone Lock which works on any kind of zone be it power, HR, speed or pace. Again I would use this tomorrow on Garmin if it was added in such an accessible way.

Zone3 Vanquish Review Huub Archimedes

How it works:

You have a priority page where the first data metric indicates if the watch should use the zones from power, speed, pace or HR. So if the first data field is current pace then pace zones can be locked from that page.

When the priority page is active, a key press combination enables or disables zone lock and whichever zone you are currently working at is the one that is locked. If you subsequently speed up or slow down to a different zone you are appropriately alerted.

(Garmin has Zone alerts which require multiple key presses to access and change)

Opinion

I see a lot of new features as I review sports watches for this site. In truth, I don’t use most of the features once the review is written. I would genuinely use these 3 features if Garmin introduced them and I’m surprised that Garmin hasn’t yet added them.

Another interesting feature that many people might like but which I wouldn’t personally use is Suunto’s Live Snap-to-Route. When you follow a course the distances from the course are used to determine your progress rather than the distance from GPS – this would help you get an exact distance in urban marathons where GPS reception is tricky…or you could use a footpod like Stryd. Garmin’s PacePro is similar to this.

What feature do you want on your Garmin?

 

 

 

 

 

snap t o route

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Samo

I have a much more modest feature request. I would simply like to mark a lap when using multisport/triathlon mode. Right now, the lap button marks the end of the current sport and transitions to the next one, therefore, marking the lap is currently impossible. A simple fix would be to use a long-press of the lap button to transition between sports (that would make it much harder to accidentally transition by a random press), and use a simple/short press as a lap marker.

The fact that this isn’t a feature yet I consider a criminal offense. Doing an ironman without ability to mark running and cycling laps is…well…shameful.

Gus

But if you got the autolap on (like every km or mile on the run) you still get your laps on every sport.

ekutter

Unless it’s a multi lap course and you want to track those laps, rather than a fixed distance. Especially on the bike, I always only use manual laps. It’s a tricky problem and you won’t make everyone happy, but I agree the lap button for transitions makes it way too easy to transition when you don’t want to, and no way to undo it.

Samo

Actually, it’s really not that hard to please everyone. Garmin could easily add a setting for lap button behavior under the multisport activities. For example, a toggle switch with two settings: (a) lap button press executes transition, and (b) lap button press marks a lap (and long-press executes transition). The default setting should be the current behavior, so noone is inadvertently affected by newly added feature.

Additional benefit of such setting would be to minimize the chances of accidentally triggering the transition when getting out of wetsuit.

Eric Gottlieb

You can already do this. You just have to set a hot key combination to “Lap” and use that instead of the lap button during a multisport activity.

I have done this and confirmed that it works.

Samo

Thanks for the tip, I wasn’t aware of this feature. It is a useful workaround, although I think we would all benefit from having it implemented as I described above.

Mind you, when setting up a hotkey, you are very limited in practical terms. I wouldn’t dare using long-press of the START or the LAP button as a lap marker, simply because it’s too dangerous to screw up (if you dont hold firmly or long enough and you have an unintended consequence of a short press).

LIGHT key long-press is not configurable (seems to be reserved to enter the circular gardgets menu).
UP key long-press is not configurable either (seems to be reserved to enter the main settings menu).
DOWN key long-press seems to be the only available, non-dangerous hot key to override, which I configured to mark the lap. It does work – you can mark a lap even in transition leg. 😉

Brian Reiter

How is the Polar HR zone lock different from the Garmin HR zone alert?

I’m genuinely curious because I haven’t use a Polar in many years.

The Garmin Power Manager seems largely cribbed from Suunto. And the Track Run from Coros. It’s a good thing for Garmin to implement good ideas from their competitors.

Joller

I find there’s a bunch of fairly trivial settings missing. Lack of ability to customise the workout screens for running workouts is one, i never understood why these are not customisable.
Lack of ability to navigate when you stopped a run. You can kind of do that but it’s convoluted. Why is that not accessible on the stopped screen?
Lack of ability to set additional weight during the run for calories and VOMax calculations, like running with a weight vest or running with a hydration vest on a trail.
Lack of.. a setting on a watch face to count down days to the next event! There are very few watch faces that do that, and those that do aren’t very functional.
We’ll and the current bug with virtual pacer being broken on epix 2 and F7 watches at least.

Joller

… and the inability to modify target course time / average course pace once the course is created, affecting ETE and ETA (making them useless) even if you program the virtual pacer (which is broken right now anyway).
Or when following course cancels workout, or the other way around.
It makes me wonder about how many users actually use some of the more specialised functionality. It seems very few do.

Andrew

Close to the pace zone. But I love how Suunto has a different lap system for splits, and manual lap presses/ intervals.
Also, put arrows on routes, or darken it as they go, so you don’t get lost at a figure 8

Andrew

Oh, one other. The tag a lap feature. Imagine being able to tag nutrition as you train, then look back and know why you bonked. This is similar to the functionality of the fishing mode on an instinct where you can tag caught fish, treestands, etc. Upload a list of things (gel, banana, pickle juice, etc)

Miguel Pinto

And if you have the energy band it gives you the option to tag the moments you have eaten during activities. This is how I perfected my IM nutrition plan. Always tagged the moments in workouts where I ate. Since I followed a pre-thought fueling strategy, it was easy to make the analysis at home and fine-tune everything later.