Monthly Roundup – September 2016

Now a regular feature, here’s the roundup of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for September 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 Replacement is due imminently but this is a stable and very capable device
Garmin Fenix 4/HR Imminent, certainly by CES 2017
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 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy – 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 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 Ultra has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Released and due in stores by September
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

Garmin 930XT Within a month

An exciting year, this one…

A new Garmin FCC Filing showed up recently (sorry, I was cycling around the Isle of Wight so a little late to the party on this one, again!).

What we know from the filing…

  • The watch is square, like a 920XT
  • There is only one version, like the 920XT
  • Confidentiality runs out in September
  • Model number is AO2990/A02990

The Os in the model numbers are O on the FCC but seem to be 0 when Garmin refer to them. Weird.

My tech ninja mind translates this on your behalf to a new Forerunner 930XT next week. Garmin rarely wait long after FCC filings so I’d expect something in the next couple of weeks at least. We were certainly expecting a Forerunner 930XT about this time, and the Fenix 4 seems to have been submitted too. Remember two years ago the bitterness when they launched the 920XT only to pull the rug out from under their loyal customers who had just bought the “top of the range” computer 3 months later when they announced two more higher end watches. I suspect they are looking to fix that this time with a dual announcement of a new Fenix and a new Forerunner at the same time or very close together.
What’s odd is that DCRainmaker has insisted that to his knowledge there isn’t a new Garmin arriving any time soon to replace either. Not just passed over the comment but outright insisted, which is unusual for him. This seems to imply either Garmin are being more secretive or that they have done the FCC filing early and set the confidentiality date wrong. Or Ray is lying, which would be odd. Or he has baby brain and has in fact been testing the devices without realising what they are. All plausible scenarios 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Fenix 4 within the next month

A new Garmin FCC Filing showed up recently (sorry, I was running up a mountain in Wales so a little late to the party on this one!).

What we know from the filing…

  • The watch is round, like a Fenix 3
  • There is a Ti and Stainless version, like the Fenix 3
  • Confidentiality runs out in September
  • Model number is AO2614/A02614 (Fenix 3 is AO2557/A02557)

The Os in the model numbers are O on the FCC but seem to be 0 when Garmin refer to them. Weird.

My tech ninja mind translates this on your behalf to a new Fenix 4 next week. Garmin rarely wait long after FCC filings so I’d expect something in the next couple of weeks at least. We were certainly expecting a Forerunner 930XT about this time, but the popularity of the Fenix 3 and the pressure from Polar M600 and Suunto Spartan Ultra might have changed some timelines for announcements. Delivery might be a different kettle of fish – we weren’t expecting Fenix 4 until CES in January so I for one would expect a half arsed shipping schedule from Garmin if they do fully release it this year. Anyone remember trying to buy a 920XT for the first…well until the Fenix 3 was announced frankly. There weren’t many about!

Posted in Cycling, Garmin, Multisport, Running, Swimming

Suunto Wakulla

Not a lot of information here. Suunto have a trademark registered, and have done for a while for the word “Wakulla”. I’m wondering if this will be the weird cousin to the Spartan Ultra that the Kailash, Traverse, Vertical are to the Ambit. It gives us all another name to look out for though. Comment below if you have any info.
Interestingly, the word Spartan has been opposed as a trademark for them, despite having an old watch of that name. I assume they must be confident of getting it though, we’re quite far along in the process!

Posted in Uncategorized

New Polar Toys

*UPDATE* Here we go Nowyoucan site. Probably one of the below due for announcement in just under 6 days (next Wednesday lunchtime UTC)

*UPDATE 2* Well this is interesting, there are two different images in the campaigne. One, the main one, doesn’t have an HR bump. Another, very clearly does on Facebook

*Update 3* pictures here thanks to Naiboo.

Google cache pics thanks to Niklas-P.

Video thanks to Bob.

Article thanks to Grembol.

It’s about that time we had some new toys from Polar everyone. A little digging, a little luck, but we finally have some newey newness for you to read about. OK, not much but everything my Google-fu could provide.

Polar have just hired a new Sales and Marketing bod. Just kidding, I know you’re not interested in business news!

I give you…Polar M200 and M600. (that link may work soon, right now a holding page but is Owned by Polar Electro Oy)

Thank goodness for lawyers as they say (no, nobody says that). Paper trails all over the place. In this case, trademark filings can be seen at Polar trademarks.

The below would suggest that the M600 may be Android Wear, waterproof and supports mapping. This is a very different direction for Polar so take it with a pinch of salt. They do have Android experience, so there is no reason they couldn’t create a training app and reduce development effort by leveraging someone else’s platform. This would allow them to concentrate on features. Naturally battery will need to be considered here as mainstream smart watch devices are generally not as long lasting as our sport specific ones, but Polar may have cracked that little puzzle, we’ll have to wait and see.
I found no evidence of the M200 other than trademark, so we’ll all have to keep our eyes peeled for that one.

These are in the M range (whatever that means!), so although there is still zero evidence of the October launch of a Polar V800 successor, we still have plenty of time for something triathlon focussed and higher range. It could make sense to have a “serious” range with the “Vxxx” and a “consumer” with the “Mxxx”. This would allow a great battery life, readable screen etc. on the serious watches while offering the smart stuff and fart apps on a consumer range to appeal to the masses. Exciting times 🙂

M600

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Polar, Running, Swimming

Monthly Roundup – August 2016

I thought it might be useful to have a roundup of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for August 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 2 is not getting updates.
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR Buy – this probably won’t be updated until winter
Garmin Fenix 4/HR Probably coming in January
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Buy – this probably won’t be updated until autumn/fall
Garmin Forerunner 930XT/935XT Probably coming in autumn/fall
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy – 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 you get a good deal, but this won’t receive new updates
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, possibly to align with new ConnectIQ features or at 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 m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar m400.next Overdue, hopefully August (M600)
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you need Ant+
Suunto Ambit 3 Replacement announced – 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 Ultra has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Released and due in stores by September
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 H7i

Polar are about to release a new HR sensor by the look of it, the H7i. It’s waterproof to 30m so likely to replace the H7. This could be a sign of imminent v800 successor too, since these sort of things are often released together. We can only speculate on what the H7i contains but it’s likely to be running dynamics or store and forward swim data similar to what everyone else has been doing for a while. To my eye, the device doesn’t look smaller than the old one, which would be a mistake at this point as the Polar devices already looked massive even before Garmin made theirs smaller.

Polar H7i FCC

In the test report, the unit is described as “BLE, 5kHz inductive link, accelerometer” so I think we can confidently predict some kind of running dynamics or at least cadence from the HRM will be included in the v800 replacement, and certainly in the H7i.

The report later states:
“The test sample consists of a Polar H7i heart rate sensor that uses Bluetooth Smart technology providing ECG-accurate heart rate to any Bluetooth Smart ready device utilizing standard heart rate profile. There is also 5 kHz HYBRID data transfer. H7i includes memory for 1 training event and uses replaceable coin cell battery. Customer itself can update new firmware to device when available. H7i is used with comfortable and soft heart rate strap.”

This suggests store and forward technology will be included for at least one activity. Although Polar don’t need to store and forward, due to their 5kHz mode, store and forward is a much more reliable way to guarantee complete data when used for in water activity. This could also suggest that high definition data capture will be present. I’ve mentioned this before as a possible future feature on these devices, and with BTLE there simply isn’t enough bandwidth to transmit hi-def heart rate on the go. This would drain the battery quickly and serve no purpose since the data is not useful while in the activity. Waiting to upload later makes complete sense, however, since that would allow great analytics of heart data and the single large burst of data would not run the battery down the way constant transmission would. Either way, this device has memory for one activity, and there must be a reason for that!

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Polar, Running, Swimming

Monthly Roundup – July 2016

I thought it might be useful to have a roundup of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for July 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 2 is not getting updates.
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR Buy – this probably won’t be updated until winter
Garmin Fenix 4/HR Probably coming in January
Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Buy – this probably won’t be updated until autumn/fall
Garmin Forerunner 930XT/935XT Probably coming in autumn/fall
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Buy – this is brand new and seems to be running Fenix code so hopefully isn’t buggy
Garmin Epix Buy – this probably won’t be updated until winter
Garmin Epix 2 Hopefully coming in January
Garmin Edge 510 Don’t buy, this is very old
Garmin Edge 520 Buy, this is very new
Garmin Edge 810 Buy if you get a good deal, this is overdue for replacement for a while though
Garmin Edge 820 Leaked, this is imminent
Garmin Edge 1000 Buy if you get a good deal, this is overdue for replacement
Garmin Edge 1010 Coming soon, possibly to align with new ConnectIQ features
Polar v800 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar v800.next Overdue, expected announcement at Kona in October
Polar m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar m400.next Overdue, hopefully August
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you get a great deal
Suunto Ambit 3 Replacement announced – 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 Ultra has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Released and due in stores by September
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

GPSMap 66

So, not the usual kind of device I post about but while looking for Edge 820 evidence this morning I found this on the FCC website which is clearly a GPSMap 66s (It’s orange, so must be the s variant). I’ve no idea what they may have changed – it still looks identical to the GPSMap 62s and the only difference on the 64s was the inclusion of Bluetooth for uploads. Perhaps a new screen or better processor, which itself could improve battery life. Maybe a PLB type function to signal distress as these have been approved for mountain use relatively recently. Well, more recently than the GPSMap 64 release.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 08.55.13

Posted in Garmin

Edge 820 rumour video

We may be close to a new toy, or this may be a fake. No idea why anyone would put this much effort in for a fake so fingers crossed! Don’t see a card slot though…

link to video

The format is certainly what we’ve been expecting for an Edge 820. It’s roughly the size of the 520 by the look of it, but touchscreen. The Edge 520 has a similar screen size to the old Edge 810 which has a pretty big area around the screen.

What is interesting is that the interface has changed. This looks as though Garmin have actually designed for touch. While that may seem like an “about time” moment, it does make some sense. Of all the Edge devices, only the 1000 has “proper” touch using capacitive screen technology. The others use resistive which requires a press on the screen rather than modern touches and strokes like mobile phones have. The interface is shared between devices, so it made sense before to have a slightly utilitarian interface (think phones in the year 2000). Now that they are launching the Edge 820 and probably Edge 1010 shortly after there will be enough devices to justify a modern interface (i.e. post iPhone phones). I wouldn’t be shocked if they update the Edge 1000 with this interface, but I also wouldn’t expect it if an Edge 1010 will appear in 6 months.

From the limited evidence available, this looks like exactly what we all wanted from an Edge 820 device. I can only assume there is sufficient storage on board as I really can’t see a card slot. Let’s face it though, 8GB would be ample and these days doesn’t cost much for them to add internally. This would improve waterproofing since the USB port could easily be a waterproof one, with the flap there to keep mud out.

EDIT – Owen Gurwell (the user account on Garmin.com in the video) does indeed work for Garmin and according to LinkedIn he’s a videographer there so would be in a position to make this video.
Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 08.38.58

Posted in Cycling, Garmin