Fenix 4

Recommendation: Wait, this is imminent


Early 2017 seems most likely, probably at CES.

Product Announced Available
Fenix 1 JUL 10, 2012 AUG 2012
Fenix 2 Feb 20, 2014 March 2014
Fenix 3 January 5th, 2015 February 2015
Fenix 4 January 2017?



  • Improved ConnectIQ platform (CIQ 2)
  • Faster Processor
  • More memory
  • New Running Dynamics
  • Running power
  • Comes with new HRM-Run
  • Group Track
  • Optical HR


  • Optical HR


I think there may be an optical option when the Fenix 4 launches. Quite a few people are asking for one, and the running only watches have done this. Unfortunately the new Running Dynamics don’t work without the pod so don’t expect full features without the good old strap, even if it’s the comfy new strap.


The5krunner – Garmin Forerunner 930XT / 935XT (FENIX4) For Early 2016 – Opinion



  1. Wondering, do you mean to write 2016, instead of 2017 here?

    • No I definitely think 2017 for this one as the Fenix 3 was released in 2015. Normally there is a 2 year cycle on these so I wouldn’t expect something new at CES other than even more colours.

  2. the upcoming CES 2016 will be at LV on Jan 6 & 7. are you definitely sure that they would not release the upgraded version of the Fenix 3 (i.e. Fenix 4) then?

    • There’s no such thing as definitely sure in this game! Based on the available evidence I would consider it highly unlikely that a Fenix 4 will be released at CES. The Fenix 3 will only have been shipping 11 months at that point, and it was a new hardware platform at that time. It’s been given pretty much all the new features other watches have this year (some in beta right now). It’s possible they could do a Fenix 3SE but I can’t imagine what they’d add because there just isn’t that much missing.
      As DCRainmaker has said on quite a few occasions, optical HR just doesn’t suit triathlon at the moment so the trade off of adding bulk to an already massive watch wouldn’t be worth it.
      I could be wrong, of course, and I’d love to see more speculation in these comment sections of the site!

      • Dave, isn’t the F3 a triathlon watch 🙂 seems to have optical now. DC might say whatever he says but MONEY talks louder.

        • Yes I was clearly wrong there so will be updating and adding a post detailing where I was wrong to explain how unreliable this site is going to be. I still think it’s worth a buy/don’t buy/wait rating though as a lot of forum posts are out there with people having bought just at the wrong time 🙂

          • unreliable??? I think the speculation is great. some ideas WILL be wrong other ideas no-one will have thought of before. Thought provoking..which is good.

      • Needs a software mod so that it can allow for genuine as the crow flies navigation back to a way point. Currently it guides you whilst following it’s map using paths and roads. I’d like to be able to make it back to a way point in a straight line. I can’t be alone in needing that functionality.

  3. I don’t agree with you on some points. They already released forerunner 225 and 235 with built-in HRM,so it won’t make any sense to release the F4 without it. When they released de F1 back in 2012 wearables dint have the attention they have now so they can’t afford to wait 2 years to refresh their line-up with others companies refreshing their line-up every 6-12 months. So if you planing to buy a garmin watch you should definitely hold and see what they bring to the table.

    • Which other companies are refreshing every 6-12 months? I can’t think of any, and certainly Polar and Suunto aren’t.

      The 225 and 235 are running specific and so optical suits them. For cycling it’s hopeless because you can’t see the screen while it’s on your wrist, and the sensor doesn’t work well with vibration. For swimming it’s also very poor, so for a triathlon watch it doesn’t make any sense for them to make the watch even bigger just to add a feature which doesn’t complement the use of the watch. It will come, but I’ll be amazed if it comes in January.

  4. if fenix 4 has optical hr, i could not buy. Without optical hr it will be perfect.

    • well spotted 🙂

  5. Hi,

    What do you think of a new date, May/June 2016? Exact before Apple smartwatch 2.

    Any updates on this area would be welcome.

    My plan to buy a watch in June/July 2016.

    • Personally I’d be surprised at a May/June 16 date for Fenix 4. They just added various new options in the Fenix 3 HR and colours so that says another year to me. I can’t see all that much they would change either given the Fenix 3 has had most of the new features of other devices added in software updates. A better screen would be nice, but then I don’t think any better sunlight readable screen exists right now so that would only be incremental updates. Battery and GPS tech hasn’t changed much so form factor wouldn’t change a lot. CPU updates would be possible as those have certainly improved, but the Fenix 3 isn’t slow.
      I think next January we might see new hardware which allows more complex in-watch software and analytics, possibly with more storage to allow greater depth of data to be retained from sensors. For instance, right now we record steps per minute rather than the actual accelerometer data. The current trend is that more data is better so storing more will become more common (regardless of the usefulness of doing so).

  6. I bought the Fenix 3 hoping that it would be able to use it’s GPS functionality to direct me back to a way point in a straight line / ‘as the crow flies.’

    I was sadly mistaken as were Garmin’s level 2 technical support department. They tried everything before admitting the watch will always use the map to get you back to the way point. One would hope you could press a button drop a way point, then travel away from that point and then be guided back IN A STRAIGHT LINE e.g. ‘ AS THE CROW FLIES’ with an indicator on the screen.

    Instead the watch tries to navigate you back to the way point via roads and footpaths. None of the multiple modes or features managed to allow this to happen.

    It’s a real shame as the watch is fantastic in most other regards. My only other complaint is the limited apps even in March 2016!

    This should be a simple software issue but would increase it’s functionality dramatically. Common on guys, Sunnto have been doing this for years! I would be happy to purchase the Fenix 4 if the team at Garmin could make this happen.


  7. I love Garmin (if true)
    It seems Garmin has a redesigned EXO-2 antenna for GPS/GLONASS reception ready. If this it true it would likely mean they improved the reception of GPS signal in hardware (and not software tricks)
    The Fenix 4 would of course have it.

  8. It gets even better!
    The new Chronos is not just another Fenix 3!
    It’s totally new. Not only the outside but special the inside.
    The Chronos is the new Fenix 4.
    Unless the Chronos has some big faults i would expect the 4 as soon as Garmin decides they received enough money from the Chronos buyers.

    Two versions the regular (“plastic”) and steel are ready.

    What has changed:

    Outer parts:
    – 180 degree rotated placement of USB connector. (left to right)
    – Reduced height of optical HR.
    – Reduced height of total unit. (due oHR and smaller battery)
    – No more screws on front, Accessibility of unit now from back.

    Inner parts::
    – New optical HR. (taken from FR735)
    – New Rotated optical HR placement. (compared to Fenix3HR and FR735)
    – New (smaller) battery, only 180mAh. (taken from FR630)(previous 290mAh/300mAh)
    – New Faster uController with more memory, support Connect IQ 2.1.
    – New Display, 64 colors. (RGB222) (previous 16)
    – New EXO™ antenna.
    – New communication antenna (BT,ANT, (Wifi?))
    – New barometric module/PCB.
    – No Wifi. (Chronos only?)

  9. Before we will see the Fenix 4 it’s possible the Descent will appear first. Descent is Garmin’s first Dive watch likely based on the Fenix4.

  10. The Fenix 4 is “death”.
    Long live the Fenix 5!
    11 different versions, collect them all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.