Monthly Garmin Roundup – September 2018

There are a few bits of news around Garmin this month, but nothing I’d consider major. They have registered a new trademark “Marq” which is listed as being a watch. The term Marq(ue) may suggest something high end. trademark link here.
A subsequently removed forum post suggests that there will be an analog version as well as a standard version. Looking at the existing product range it’s possible that Garmin will come up with a Fenix Chronos style uber Fenix which includes real hands. That would be pretty cool but I imagine we’re looking at the 2000 bucks range for these if they appear. It’s also possible that they’re just renaming the existing tracker with analog hands. Either way, it’s something for us to debate. The forum post also included reference to a Fenix 6 and Forerunner 245. Neither of these are particularly surprising, but the fact that the post is talking about issues with Bluetooth in the Cirrus chipset is interesting. This implies these are further along than expected, and the post also suggests there is a BTLE HRM-Run out there too!
In other news, I just bought the Vivosmart 4 and it seems like a nice little device. Unobtrusive enough for all day wear but clever enough to track running distance quite well along with HR info.

Garmin Update
Garmin Watches
Garmin Bike Computers

Garmin Update

Elsewhere on the web, here are some recent Garmin stories:



Range Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Fenix Series Garmin Fenix Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Fenix 2 Don’t buy. This is pretty old and is quite dated from a technology standpoint. The new generation Garmin range really is a lot better.
Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR, Quatix 3, D2 Bravo, Tactix Bravo This has been superseded. I’ve downgraded to red because updates and features are gradually disappearing. Let’s be clear though, this is still a very capable watch and I would have no problem buying and using one for the right price on the understanding that it is what it is and won’t get new features.
Garmin Fenix 5, 5s, 5X, Quatix 5, D2 Charlie, Tactix Charlie Released in January 2017 so this watch is not dated and will be very well supported throughout the next year (2018) at least. I’ve put back to green because of the release of Fenix 5 Plus which seems similar enough that we can expect another year of reasonable support on the 5. It won’t get all the new features but at least we know where we stand
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Finally arrived in June 2018 including the Ti model(s) we predicted after the D2 Charlie arrived. These are SO expensive though 🙁
Garmin Fenix 6 With the Fenix 5 Plus in June 2018 don’t expect to see the Fenix 6 until January 2020, although there are mentions of it on the web already around its Bluetooth chipset so it might be Jan 2019. If it is I think there will be a lot of quite annoyed 5 Plus owners.
Garmin Fenix Chronos Buy if you wear solid gold underpants can’t afford the Fenix 5 Plus. Suddenly the Chronos looks cheap, but sadly also a little dated. Downgraded to red since the Fenix 5 Plus arrived, there is little reason to buy the Chronos now. It’s possible there will be a Chronos 2 later this year or Jan 2019 as an early look at Fenix 6 technology. Expect that to be £1500 though…
Garmin Marq All I got is a name. I’m putting this here just in case it’s a new Chronos type device. There are digital and analog versions (allegedly)
Mapping and hiking specific Garmin Epix Don’t buy. This experimental watch led to the Fenix 5X but firmware updates have all but stopped on this device despite numerous bugs
Garmin Epix 2 Abandoned, the Epix has been replaced by Fenix 5X
High end Triathlon 9xx Garmin Forerunner 910XT Don’t buy – this is very old
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Has now been replaced, but this is a very capable and mature device (October 2014). If it’s cheap I’d certainly get one on the understanding that no new features will be coming.
Garmin Forerunner 935 Has arrived at last (March 2017) so is fresh and good to buy. Uses Fenix 5 firmware so pretty safe from bugs. no current rumours of a replacement, although a Fenix 5 plus equivalent may appear
Garmin Forerunner 935 Plus Personally I don’t see this happening but if it does it’ll be at one of the big marathons in 2018. The 920XT didn’t get an update when the Fenix 3 HR appeared…
Garmin Forerunner 945 Expected early 2020
Midrange Triathlon 7xx Garmin Forerunner 735XT If it’s cheaper than the FR935 then great, otherwise definitely go for the FR935. May 2018 is the earliest we’d expect replacement but with the Forerunner 935 in the mix it may be dropped as it was an interim solution using FR235 hardware before F5 hardware was finalised.
Garmin Forerunner 745XT I just can’t imagine why this would exist so have marked it Grey as “not happening”. Maybe I’m wrong.
High end running 6xx Garmin Forerunner 610 Don’t buy, this is very old (2011)
Garmin Forerunner 620 Don’t buy, this is very old (2013)
Garmin Forerunner 630 Don’t Buy – this is still fairly new but is already on the “previous models” (aka “dead to me”) page at Garmin. The 645 is clearly the future here and is a much more capable device
Garmin Forerunner 645/645 Music Launched January 2018, earliest replacement likely January 2020
Garmin Forerunner 655 Expect in around January 2020. The “Music” suffix will disapear since music will be standard in the next model
Midrange Running 2xx Garmin Forerunner 210 Don’t buy, this is very old (2010)
Garmin Forerunner 220 Don’t buy, this is very old (2013)
Garmin Forerunner 230 Don’t Buy – This range has ended with OHR models taking over everywhere
Garmin Forerunner 225 Don’t buy. Garmin immediately replaced this with the 235 using their own sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Wait. Garmin have released the 645 which kinda takes over this range. The 235 is fairly dated compared to newer watches but still fits the bill as a great running watch.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Missing in action, should have launched alongside the Forerunner 645. Garmin have released the 645 which kinda takes over this range and didn’t include a 245 yet which may not even fit into the range given the lower cost of the 645.

This has now been mentioned in a forum post on Garmin forums so it might exist after all

Budget Running 0xx Garmin Forerunner 25 This has been out a while (August 2015) and has been sorta replaced with the FR30. Still cheap and capable though
Garmin Forerunner 30 released September 2017
Garmin Forerunner 35 Buy – this is still fairly new (September 2016). September 2018 would be the soonest we’d expect a replacement.
Fitness Garmin Vivoactive Replaced by the Vivoactive HR and on the “previous models” (aka “dead to me”) page at Garmin.
Garmin Vivoactive HR Don’t buy unless you get a good deal. This is still quite new but has been superceded by the Vivoactive 3 which seems to add a lot of things including wrist based payment. Not quite ready for a red grade yet, this is still a great watch
Garmin Vivoactive 3/Music Buy, this is just released in August 2017 so August 2019 is the probable replacement.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Late 2019 is the earliest we expect this model. Expect the Music tag to disapear as music will be standard accross all but the cheapest watches by then.

Garmin Bike Computers

Range Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
High End 1xxx Garmin Edge 1000 Buy if you get a really good deal, this was overdue for replacement and very, very old for a current device (2014!) even when replaced in August 2017. This is cheap everywhere now, and still a good device but only a little cheaper than the Edge 1030.
Garmin Edge 1030 Finally arrived in August 2017. Likely replacement…2020! Although I can imagine a 2019 update so we’ll wait and see
Garmin Edge 1040 Keep calm and wait until 2020!
Midrange Map/touch 8xx Garmin Edge 800 Don’t buy, this is very old (2010)
Garmin Edge 810 Don’t buy, this is very old (2013)
Garmin Edge 820 Buy, this is quite new. July 2018 is the earliest we’d expect replacement although 2019 more likely
Garmin Edge 830 Summer 2019
Midrange Map/buttons 5xx Garmin Edge 500 Don’t buy, this is very old (2009)
Garmin Edge 510 Don’t buy, this is very old (2013)
Garmin Edge 520 This is current, although may be replaced around Jan 2019. Kinda sorta replaced by the plus model
Garmin Edge 520 Plus Buy, this is current, although may be replaced in 2019. Too similar to the old 520 to be a safe bet
Garmin Edge 530 Summer 2019, expect a single model with maps like the 520 plus
Budget 2xx & 1xx Garmin Edge 200 Don’t buy, this is very old (2011)
Garmin Edge 130 Buy, this is new in April 2018 and a great little computer.
Garmin Edge 140 Not before May 2020, probably May 2021
Basic Garmin Edge 20 While this is current, it’s due for replacement in 2018. It’s possible this replacement will be pushed back though, as there’s very little to change on these devices. With the Edge 130 this range may disapear altogether, or just hang around as an ultra low cost alternative
Garmin Edge 25 While this is current, it’s due for replacement in 2018. It’s possible this replacement will be pushed back though, as there’s very little to change on these devices. With the Edge 130 this range may disapear altogether, or just hang around as an ultra low cost alternative


  1. what about vivosport?

    • Somehow that one slipped under my radar. I think I may have assumed it didn’t have GPS. I’ll do some research and get it added. It looks good though, I may have to get one!

  2. Prices of forerunner 235 dropped from like 250 euro to 190 in about a month in Netherlands. 245 soon?

  3. First comment i’ve seen from someone with info about the 945.

    It all looks sensible to me timing/polar disruption/christmas runup/gap in fenix range/kerching factor

    sorry for posting a link but’s worth it this time for this product.

    • Thanks for the link 🙂 Hopefully we’ll see some evidence shortly! Coincides with the Vantage availability so doesn’t seem too far fetched for Garmin to launch something to retaliate, and a Forerunner 945 would be just the thing to do that.

  4. So what watch is this going to be on the 25th:

    Sample label shows a square readout, kinda low res as well.

    • Part Number: 010-02064-00 is the instinct.

      i think we are due a FR45 IIRC…boring but…there we go

  5. Any word on a new Varia Vision?

  6. What about the vivoactive sport?

  7. Hi,
    I have trouble understanding the price difference between forerunner 645 and the vivoactive 3. with and without music for both.
    I think the vivoactive music is very plastic but don’t know if this is also true for the 645 that j have not seen in real life. Some say you can’t tell vivoactive and 645 apart except close inspection…
    The few additional functions of the 645 doesn’t seem to justify almost twice the price.
    Also, for the price of a 645 you can now get a fenix 5..
    I’m leaning towards the 645 because I prefer the black slate version compared to stainless, and I think the fenix is too large and heavy. But again, is it worth 2x the price of the vivoactive 3?

    • I agree. The Vivoactive seems way better value if you don’t need those few features. The VA3 music looks very cheap and plastic to me where I really loved the look of the non-music. If I wanted music I’d go 645M just for the looks. I’d also go 935 over Fenix 5 though so I’m probably not that helpful here 🙂

      • Thanks for the response.
        I will probably hesitate until purchasing. I prefer the 645 and with music for the sake off the slate gray version. But the 645 is basically the only Garmin not on sale currently. So vivoactive are really low and good value and fenix also reduced price as well as 935. Frustrating. Anyway.
        Thanks a lot for your very comprehensive list of all versions. Really helped me get a grip in what I regarded as a complete djungle before!

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