Monthly Roundup – February 2017

Now a regular feature, here’s the round-up of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for February 2017…

OK, so I dropped the ball in January with this one, and February is late. I’m sorry! To be fair, with all the CES kerfuffle it was worth skipping one anyway, and now we’ve had to rethink what’s on the way and when.

In alphabetical order of manufacturer.

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Garmin Fenix Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Fenix 2 Don’t buy – Fenix 3 is now cheap and Fenix 4 is due imminently
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR, Quatix 3, D2 Bravo, Tactix Bravo This has finally been superceded. Don’t panic though, the Fenix 5 adds very little, so if the Fenix 3 is cheap it’s a great watch to buy. Updates will stop within the next year though, but there isn’t a lot they need to add to this stable and mature watch.
Garmin Fenix 5 Brand new, although pricey. This looks to be the Fenix 3 firmware so the usual “don’t buy Garmin until 6 months in” shouldn’t apply in theory!
Garmin Fenix Chronos Brand New, buy if you wear solid gold underpants. This has been replaced by a Fenix 5 so it’s not without risk, especially given the cost. Garmin have confused the market here and nobody knows the future of the Chronos. In theory it’s a 5 underneath so safe, but I wouldn’t put my money on it at that price.
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Replacement imminent but this is a very capable and mature device
Garmin Forerunner 930XT/935XT Imminent. Yes, still imminent despite CES coming and going!
Garmin Forerunner 25 This has been out a while but nothing obvious seems planned in the near future.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 230 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 225 Don’t buy. Garmin immediately replaced this with the 235 using their own sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 630 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy if you really, really need it – this probably won’t be updated until winter. It does appear abandoned by Garmin though with no new firmware for a very long time
Garmin Epix 2 Probably abandoned, the Epix has had no firmware updates for a very long time. Expect maps in the Fenix 4 instead
Garmin Edge 510 Don’t buy, this is very old
Garmin Edge 520 Buy, this is very new
Garmin Edge 810 Buy if very cheap, but it will feel dated fairly soon compared to the new lineup
Garmin Edge 820 Buy, just released
Garmin Edge 1000 Buy if you get a good deal, this is overdue for replacement
Garmin Edge 1010 Coming soon…Sea Otter? I don’t even know any more. It’ll have to be this year though.
Polar v800 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar v800.next Overdue, expected announcement at…who knows! H7i Sensor has been leaked which is likely to be packaged with this watch
Polar M200 Buy, this is just released
Polar m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar m400.next Possibly replaced by M600 so may not be updated. This also may be replaced by an M200 to differentiate with M600
Polar M600 Buy, this is brand new
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you need Ant+
Suunto Ambit 3 Replaced by Spartan Ultra – buy if you get a good deal and are not bothered by being a generation behind
Suunto Ambit 4 Officially not going to happen, Spartan Series has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Sport Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Trainer Announcing shortly, just leaked. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Kailash Buy if you can work out what it’s for or who it’s aimed at
Suunto Traverse Why Suunto, WHY!?
Posted in Uncategorized

CES 2017

OK folks, CES announcements start tomorrow. We’re expecting several announcements, including the much anticipated Fenix 4/Fenix 5 – The Fenix 3 was permanently discounted recently so this one would seem very likely indeed. Suunto will hopefully reveal the Spartan Trainer (and hopefully finish the Spartan Ultra, no rush Suunto!!). Polar should announce something to replace the v800 but rumour has it they won’t be ready for a few months. I’d still like to see them announce though, just so we know where to stand in terms of plans for devices this summer.
For bikes, I would expect a new Edge 1000 (Edge 1010 probably, or Edge 1020 to match the Edge 520 and Edge 820). This is overdue and the current device looks dated compared to the newer siblings so anyone wanting a larger screen has to either invest in an older device at the end of its lifecycle, or wait and hope. Polar may announce a replacement for the v650 too, but I won’t hold my breath there – they don’t seem to have really embraced the off-wrist device category.

I’m also hoping to see some more truly competetive stuff from other companies. Bike computers especially are starting to heat up with new entrants to the market and a customer base itching to get out from the Garmin fingers crossed style of firmware updates. On the wrist, there is already plenty of choice from the likes of TomTom, Apple, Samsung and others but for sports nobody currenty competes with Fenix 3 as an overall package. It has just enough smart watch and oodles of sport. The competition is doing less well because they have oodles of (pointless?) smartwatch and just enough sport. Time will tell. Long term I think Apple and Samsung will take the industry and destroy everything we love about current gen sport watches – they did it with phones and any early 2000’s phone power user will tell you there’s a whole lot still missing from current gen smartphones. Call quality for one!

So, use the comment section below to say what you’d like to see, or are expecting to see this year at the worlds biggest gadget-fest. Needless to say this site won’t be reporting – once they get announced they are no longer rumours! DCRainmaker.com is in attendance and usually offers a good skeptical view of what gets announced. There will also be a thousand sites out there which copy and paste marketing blurb. We call those “clickbait” ­čÖé

p.s. appologies for the mess of a site/menu at the moment as I try to bend this CMs to my will. I know what I want and am starting to think coding my own CMS may be the best option!

Posted in Uncategorized

Galileo Goes Live

The Galileo satelite system has finally gone live after 17 years. This service is the European funded version of the US owned GPS service and has a stated accuracy of 1m for most, and 1cm for paying customers. While there are currently only 18 satelites in the service, this number is expected to rise to up to 30 in the near future. All cars sold in Europe from 2018 will have to include a Galileo capable chip for the European eCall system.

What this means for gadget fans, of course, is that all of the devices we’re expecting at CES will likely include new chips that support Galileo. Whether that will translate to better accuracy or not we’ll have to wait and see. Most of the accuracy issues on current watches are not down to GPS accuracy but rather antenna and chipset issues and tradeoffs – battery being the biggest one.

Posted in Uncategorized

Monthly Roundup – December 2016

Now a regular feature, here’s the round-up of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for December 2016…

Not a lot has changed this month, we’re still expecting various new devices in January at CES so check here before buying Xmas gifts if you’re worried about buying at the end of a product lifecycle.

In alphabetical order of manufacturer.

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Garmin Fenix Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Fenix 2 Don’t buy – Fenix 3 is now cheap and Fenix 4 is due imminently
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR, Quatix 3, D2 Bravo, Tactix Bravo Kind of tricky. The Fenix Chronos has sort of replaced this, but we still expect a Fenix 4. Good device so don’t hold off but it will almost certainly be superceded in January 2017
Garmin Fenix 4/HR/Fenix 5 Kind of arrived as the Chronos. Expect cheaper models at CES 2017
Garmin Fenix Chronos Brand New, buy if you wear solid gold underpants. This might/might not be replaced by a Fenix 4 so it’s not without risk, especially given the cost. Garmin have confused the market here so only have themselves to blame if people wait for a “real” Fenix 4
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Replacement imminent but this is a very capable and mature device
Garmin Forerunner 930XT/935XT Imminent
Garmin Forerunner 25 This has been out a while but nothing obvious seems planned in the near future.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 230 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 225 Don’t buy. Garmin immediately replaced this with the 235 using their own sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 630 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy if you really, really need it – this probably won’t be updated until winter. It does appear abandoned by Garmin though with no new firmware for a very long time
Garmin Epix 2 Probably abandoned, the Epix has had no firmware updates for a very long time. Expect maps in the Fenix 4 instead
Garmin Edge 510 Don’t buy, this is very old
Garmin Edge 520 Buy, this is very new
Garmin Edge 810 Buy if very cheap, but it will feel dated fairly soon compared to the new lineup
Garmin Edge 820 Buy, just released
Garmin Edge 1000 Buy if you get a good deal, this is overdue for replacement
Garmin Edge 1010 Coming soon CES in January 2017
Polar v800 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar v800.next Overdue, expected announcement at CES in January. H7i Sensor has been leaked which is likely to be packaged with this watch
Polar M200 Buy, this is just released
Polar m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar m400.next Possibly replaced by M600 so may not be updated. This also may be replaced by an M200 to differentiate with M600
Polar M600 Buy, this is brand new
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you need Ant+
Suunto Ambit 3 Replaced by Spartan Ultra – buy if you get a good deal and are not bothered by being a generation behind
Suunto Ambit 4 Officially not going to happen, Spartan Series has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Sport Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Trainer Announcing shortly, just leaked. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Kailash Buy if you can work out what it’s for or who it’s aimed at
Suunto Traverse Why Suunto, WHY!?
Posted in Uncategorized

Polar something coming?

I’m partially guessing but Polar appear to have hosted some press in Madeira this week judging by their feeds, and some comments from well known bloggers. I can’t see anything in the FCC or trademarks, or even any rumours yet.

If said event took place, it certainly included cycling, so it would seem either the long overdue v800 replacement (v900, v950, v1000 take your pick!) or a v650 replacement which is less overdue. Either way, we’re too close to xmas for a sensible announcement so CES 2017 could be the date to wait for.

If anyone has any info let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Polar, Running, Swimming

Garmin Fenix 5!

UPDATE – Screenshots added from another site.

Sorry I don’t really have time to investigate right now but take a look at this link in the mean time. I can’t see it being true myself but I’ve been wrong before. To my eye this looks too similar to Fenix 3 so there’s no reason to skip 4 and move to 5. The USB c connector might happen, but I’d rather see a magnetic connector which doesn’t have an irritating post in the middle of it. Garmin have learned this lesson before with connector comfort so unlikely to repeat so soon.┬áhttps://appelmoessite.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/the-new-fenix-5-and-5s/

Garmin seem to be trying to remove the leak, and some bloggers who deal with them have been asked to take down the story. This site doesn’t deal with Garmin and I never post their copyright pictures, only screenshots of interesting things I see on the web so we should be safe here ­čÖé

1 2 3 4

Posted in Cycling, Garmin, Multisport, Running, Swimming, Uncategorized

Monthly Roundup – November 2016

Now a regular feature, here’s the round-up of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for November 2016…

In alphabetical order of manufacturer.

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Garmin Fenix Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Fenix 2 Don’t buy – Fenix 3 is now cheap and Fenix 4 is due imminently
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR, Quatix 3, D2 Bravo, Tactix Bravo Kind of tricky. The Fenix Chronos has sort of replaced this, but we still expect a Fenix 4. Good device so don’t hold off
Garmin Fenix 4/HR Kind of arrived as the Chronos. Expect cheaper models at CES 2017
Garmin Fenix Chronos Brand New, buy if you wear solid gold underpants. This might/might not be replaced by a Fenix 4 so it’s not without risk, especially given the cost. Garmin have confused the market here so only have themselves to blame if people wait for a “real” Fenix 4
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Replacement imminent but this is a very capable and mature device
Garmin Forerunner 930XT/935XT Imminent
Garmin Forerunner 25 This has been out a while but nothing obvious seems planned in the near future.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 230 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 225 Don’t buy. Garmin immediately replaced this with the 235 using their own sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 630 Buy – this is still fairly new
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy if you really, really need it – this probably won’t be updated until winter. It does appear abandoned by Garmin though with no new firmware for a very long time
Garmin Epix 2 Probably abandoned, the Epix has had no firmware updates for a very long time. Expect maps in the Fenix 4 instead
Garmin Edge 510 Don’t buy, this is very old
Garmin Edge 520 Buy, this is very new
Garmin Edge 810 Buy if very cheap, but it will feel dated fairly soon compared to the new lineup
Garmin Edge 820 Buy, just released
Garmin Edge 1000 Buy if you get a good deal, this is overdue for replacement
Garmin Edge 1010 Coming soon CES in January 2017
Polar v800 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar v800.next Overdue, expected announcement at Kona in October. H7i Sensor just leaked which is likely to be packaged with this watch
Polar M200 Buy, this is just released
Polar m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar m400.next Possibly replaced by M600 so may not be updated. This also may be replaced by an M200 to differentiate with M600
Polar M600 Buy, this is brand new
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you need Ant+
Suunto Ambit 3 Replaced by Spartan Ultra – buy if you get a good deal and are not bothered by being a generation behind
Suunto Ambit 4 Officially not going to happen, Spartan Series has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Sport Buy, just released. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Spartan Trainer Announcing shortly, just leaked. Be aware there may be more models coming
Suunto Kailash Buy if you can work out what it’s for or who it’s aimed at
Suunto Traverse Why Suunto, WHY!?
Posted in Uncategorized

Suunto Spartan Trainer

Sorry everyone, I’m late to the party on this one. I do have a real job ­čÖé Thanks to The5kRunner for posting this first, although it seems he was late too!

Suunto have registered a new device with the FCC, the “Spartan trainer”.

https://fccid.io/RYP24601

This device seems to put the GPS bump back as it was in the Ambit line, and also seems to either do away with touch screen or at least put the buttons back.
screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-52-35

Following the recent reviews of the Spartan, this might be a good move by Suunto. Of course, it’s also going to really upset anyone who thought they already had the new Ambit replacement in the Spartan Ultra or Spartan Sport. As you can see this is an optical HR unit, but it doesn’t appear to be the Spartan Sport HR we were promised.

With thanks to javaski03, who commented on The5kRunner for the below pictures. These aren’t the originals, just some screenshots of web pages I was browsing which I thought you might all like to see…

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-56-48
screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-07-56-25

And some screenshots of some stuff I found in the Google cache.
screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-08-02-10
screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-08-02-02

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Running, Suunto, Swimming

Polar v800.next news

It’s looking ever more likely that a new high end watch will arrive soon from Polar. Although nothing is on FCC right now there are some hints. Firstly, it’s been way too long since v800 was released. It’s a great watch (finally) but was dated a few months after release when Garmin dropped the 920XT and then Fenix 3 which kind of killed the market for black and white watches with slow feature releases.
Anyway, my slender evidence…Amazon, yes AMAZON appear to have ceased ordering v800 watches. They aren’t the only ones, various other sports retailers have quietly dropped the watch. Amazon obviously still lists it, but from third party sellers only and at an inflated price. This is what happens to legacy products on Amazon, try it with pretty much anything you can’t get any more and you’ll find one or two sellers asking crazy money.
screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-07-44-42
Both the black and the blue are gone with no signs of new stock but much higher prices from third party sellers. Clearly Amazon are expecting something new and different shortly, and that might line up with CES 2017 or perhaps earlier to capture the xmas market.

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Polar, Running, Swimming

Forerunner 930XT update

OK, so this one is now officially “overdue”. The garmin-930xt was due in October this year based on a two year cycle. The burning question on everyone’s keyboard then is “should I get a 920XT for xmas?”.

The answer, dear reader, has never been more complicated. With Fenix Chronos Garmin have muddied the waters in what constitues a new watch. Chronos has the same functionality as Fenix 3, but supports the newer ConnectIQ 2 and has a vastly improved processor. It’s very likely they will do the same to the 920XT shortly, if only to support ConnectIQ 2.

So, as it stands today in late October, I expect a Forerunner 930XT and 935XT at CES in early January. I expect this device to be available in different colours to the 920XT. One of them will be black, and I suspect this time it’ll be grey on black or black on black after the kerfuffle over a blue stripe last time. Another one will be red/pink/purple/white of course – where Garmin come from girls are girls and boys are boys. Personally I’d like them to also pick some more jazzy colours like the yellow FR230, but as long as the body is plain enough straps can be swapped.

Features? You want features? Sorry, no, probably not. Better processor and more memory to address more modern requirements. These might lead to improved battery life, but it’s more likely Garmin would do what Apple does and keep the battery life static while adjusting things around it – make the watch smaller or thinner for instance. People (normal people, at least) are pretty happy with the battery on 920XT so with that in mind, and with a lack of real “features” being added it’s likely they would make the case smaller. This is a welcome change of course.

The screen will probably stay the same, not a bad thing as it’s functional and clear.

Sensor support may improve – running power for instance is gaining traction. They might even add the elusive indoor rowing support.

So, would I wait? Not really. The 930XT will be more expensive and do the same thing as the 920XT. If you need a watch for training and xmas is your chance to get one past the boss go for it. If you will feel disapointed to not have the latest in the range, January is only an extra month away.

The above is speculation, of course, it could easily be another year before we see an update to the 920XT. It doesn’t look dated, it doesn’t lack support for any real training scenarios a triathlete would be interested in other than a few niche ones. I don’t even think the public are screaming out for optical HR on this one like they did with Fenix – the discerning 920XT owner is usually too busy training, after all.

Posted in Cycling, Garmin, Multisport, Running, Swimming