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!?
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17 comments on “Monthly Roundup – November 2016
  1. Arda says:

    Discovered your website/blog while I was looking for a Garmin GPS watch. I am a casual runner and Forerunner 25 or 230/235 should be OK for me however I dont know if it is wise to buy almost 1 year old model.

    Anyways, I really like your text and find it very funny. I will for sure continue to visit your site after I bought a watch 🙂

    • lusty says:

      Sorry I’ve added those models in now. They’ve been on the list for a while and I kept forgetting.
      The FR25 is a non-optical HRM version of the FR35 and so is probably safe for a while.
      The FR235 and FR230 have only been out for a year so there’s a good year of life left in them, possibly more.
      All of these will do the job for a casual runner, although Ray at DCRainmaker.com has suggested the Polar M400 is better value for this use-case in the past. The M400 itself is two years old but still perfectly functional for this kind of training.

      For running, there is nothing “missing” in any of these devices. They all do GPS tracking, all integrate with Strava for social, all support training workouts of various types. All of them support Heart rate with a strap, while the FR35 and FR235 also have optical HR. Optical HR is convenient but widely regarded as poor for running so may not be worth the extra money. That said, the FR235 does track your HR throughout the day which may be useful if you don’t find the bump on the back uncomfortable.
      Hope that helps 🙂

      • naiboo says:

        I´m searching for a new watch since some months now, still hoping find the ideal watch for me.
        I´m using a M400 now and the more i look at other watches, the more i see how good this watch is! What i really like is that you can add sport profiles (i build XC ski skating, classic, rollerski skating, classic whereas at garmin for example i only can choose xc ski) and custom watch faces. It´s stable, no gps worries (ok sometimes it could be more accurate but no gps loss or lockups), battery life is still ok after 2 years of use (>5h) and no problems with the usb jack (some report corodation).

        I´d keep the M400 if it had bigger batterylife with at least 10-12h with GPS and barometric alt…

        • the5krunner says:

          keep the watch and buy a $/£5 USB portable battery pack.
          use some kind of elevation correction based on gps location (software) after you have finished.

          • naiboo says:

            i wanted to use my M400 and charge it while road biking with a powerpack and it is not charging while you have a recording running….

            barometric isn´t that much important , its more a nice to have feature for my next watch but my main focus on my next watch.

  2. Luc G says:

    Are you sure about the 1010?
    3 years tends to be the cycle on Garmin lately

  3. Ondrej says:

    Hello there

    what is this:
    https://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/aviation/announcement-d2-bravo-titanium-aviator-watch/

    is that the garmin chronos? but with some software add on for the aviators, who actually are the only client group being able to afford that thing?

  4. Brian Hileman says:

    Would you buy a FX3 HR for $400 still?

    • lusty says:

      Of course. If you need one, buy one. We expect the new range in January but that won’t make a Fenix 3 stop working. If you’re happy with a new watch coming out just after you bought it go for it. A lot of gadget fans get frustrated if they just invested and then a new one is out, and this site tries to help them not to buy too soon.

  5. Rob says:

    I am also trying to decide whether to buy the Forerunner 230 or wait for the next model. Doesn’t Garmin release replacement models every year? They replaced the FR220 with the FR230 after only six months. I also note that the price on the FR230 is now $179.99 from $249.99. I know that the FR230 is a great watch, but the new one will be better, perhaps with music capabilities, etc.

    • lusty says:

      I think you’re safe with the FR230 for another while yet

      • Rob says:

        I am noticing that prices of most GPS watches, whether Garmin, Polar or TomTom, seem to be dropping significantly (25% or so). Wondering if this is a trend that will continue with the new models, or whether it is just clearing out old models. I think it may be permanent to keep prices below competing smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, that offer more features.

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