Monthly Roundup – October 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 October 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 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 Imminent, certainly by CES 2018
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 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 Overdue, expected announcement at Kona in October. H7i Sensor just leaked which is likely to be packaged with this watch
Polar M200 Imminent
Polar m400 Wait – update is probably imminent
Polar 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!?


  1. Hi,

    are you sure about “CES 2018” for Fenix 4 or could that be a typo and it should read “CES 2017”?

    • Yes, I said 2018 on purpose. I don’t think Garmin need to update the Fenix 3 right now so they probably won’t. The Chronos is new hardware but not a huge leap so I’d say that’s a stop gap to hold off for a year on Fenix 4.

  2. About Fenix 4, do you mean CES 2017 or CES 2018, as you wrote?

    I’m about to buy a Fenix 3 HR, but now I’m confused. I believe if Garmin releases fenix 4 on next january, then Fenix 3 price will plummet! But if Garmin releases the F4 only on CES 2018, so I’m ok to pay a little more for a Fenix 3.

    What do you think?

    • Fenix 3 pricing will not plummet, no worries there. It would be discounted, but depending where you are the retail price may already be at or below whatever Garmin set the RRP to after Fenix 4 is released. America is different, so there it’s a different story due to manufacturer set pricing.
      Either way, the Fenix 3 is a good watch and you won’t be disappointed if you buy it. A Fenix 4 might be released at CES, but then it would take time to stabilise and become available. Even then it won’t be discounted so is likely to cost more.
      Ultimately it’s up to you, if you need to train this winter (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere) then buy one now. If you don’t need to train over winter then I’d hold off for a while and see what happens.

  3. We as far as i can help the Fenix 4 will be out way before CES2018.
    The reasons are simple. The Garmin firmware engineers already have openly reported the 3 (HR) is to limited. Garmin states Fenix 3 is not and will not be compatible with IQ 2.0 (the newest Chronos is 2.0 and may already use new hardware!)
    The Fenix 4’s have product numbers attached to them so in theory it could be ordered by limited shops from Garmin (however the specs are not revealed as is the shipping date)
    As i reported 4 weeks ago today the Vivofit jr has seen the daylight, based on that correct information i would expect the 4 this year.

  4. Great stuff! Any speculation on the release windows for Garmin’s mid-tier offerings? I have my eye on the Forerunner 230/235 but want to avoid any buyers remorse resulting from an imminent release of the 240/245. Thanks, and great site!

    • I’d say you’re safe with the 230/235 for a while yet as they are pretty new

      • Ok, good deal. Thanks for the feedback!

  5. It seems Garmin has added the .35 to the units released this year.
    (Garmin Edge 35 , Forerunner 35, Forerunner 735, Forerunner 935)
    So i don’t see, can’t find and don’t expect any updates on the 230/235. The 235 is a very nice watch and got better (after the firmware updates it received). If the market wants Garmin to update this watch it wouldn’t be before summer 2017.

    • Little update from my side the Forerunner 635 and Forerunner 935 have not been announced (has to do a little with the market acceptance of the 735) so the names may be updated.

      • your comments are always too intriguing and short! please tell us some more. eg on the 735. it’s a good little watch, I would have thought ideal for many women, for example. But the tri market is a much smaller device market than for running/cycling. so is the market saturated (bad news for other tri watches) or is there low take up of this specific device? eg I believe TomTom have NOT done a MULTISPORT 3 because the market is too small compared to that for the runner3/spark

        • First the 735 is NOT a tri watch. It is now a “GPS Running Watch with Multisport Features and Wrist-based Heart Rate” and that is a huge market (:-))
          Look at the forerunner series (see the point the 920XT is heading?)
          I could write a complete book on the war between product engineers and sales/management special in the tech. business in (growing) health/sport markets. Both have “spot blindness” and problems you cannot imagine for multi-billon companies.
          TomTom has a chosen operate in a carefully selected (almost middle) part of the market. Multisport looks simple but as this is (mostly) higher end the TOTAL package needs to be better. TomTom knows this and will only move if they want it (expansion) and can deliver that total better package.

          • What info do you have on the 635?

            I assume it will simply be the 630 with wrist HR (and still including a touch screen). The alternative would be a 735 without triathlon support, but that seems less likely given that its mostly a SW issue.

            Can we expect the 635 sometime soon?

  6. Hi. Great site btw.
    Looking to buy a watch as a present near end of October. My eyes are on the 630 – but wonder if there is likely to be a 635 or 640 announced in the next few weeks?
    Also interested in your description of the 735 as a ‘gps running watch…’ – do you think this is a better choice for mainly running that say a 630?

    • I wouldn’t expect one in those ranges. The 735 is similar hardware so the choice is really wrist HR vs touch interface for a pure runner. Also the multisport is a consideration which is obviously the price difference over the 235XT, which would be fine for a runner wanting wrist HR tracking.
      Generally it’s accepted that chest HR is better while running so the wrist bit is more aimed at 24×7 tracking.

  7. What do you expect the 635 to be? Simply a 630 plus wrist HR? Is there a market for that next to the 735? And when might we expect it?

  8. It’s quite possible that BOTH the 935 and 635 that WERE referenced internally were then, instead, called the 735 for release.

    • No the 935 and 635 are (still) internal names for the updates on the 920 and 630.
      The 735 was squeezed in as a fill-up/experiment/money maker.
      Just to make clear a 235 and 735 share the same PCB and are 99% hardware wise equal! (controller wise there could (still) be a difference)
      The 230 and 630 also use the same PCB but at least the 630 has a more populated pcb needed for touch and wifi are hardware wise more different.
      Question is there a market for a 635? Which is a 630 with optical HR or a 735 with touch and wifi?

  9. Hi! Any news from Kona about new Polar gadgets? Still waiting for some info on

    • Its seems, that the new gadget is Polars M200 not Polar started teasing M200 yesterday on FB. I suspect that successor of V800 will be available next year.Also FCC does not mention any new watch from Polar, only H7i.

  10. IMO, that market must be fairly small. although fairly small for Garmin could still be profitable.

  11. Polar just announced the M200 on their FB page officially.

    I don’t think the 10€ difference is justified, as the M400 seems way more capable than the M200 apart from the optical HR sensor and the vibration alert.

    • I thought so at first. But then I remembered I got a M400 for my sister the other day. Conclusions:
      – it’s an overkill for her, most of the features she does not need
      – she won’t use the HR belt as she does not feel comfortable with it and so her recovery stats are worthless
      – with ambient noise around she does not hear beeps (they’re too quiet)
      So I wish there was something like M200 then.

    • as zeger implies, different people have different requirements and put different emphasis on different things – lots of people don’t get on with HR straps. Look at how tomtom target the market, they do it very carefully for their relatively limited resources…and it works for them.

  12. I don’t get it why polar announced some time ago that they will release something at kona which is an ironman…
    Now it seems they used it for an entry level runners watch, no logic behind that move!
    I really expected a new triathlon watch like v800 but I guess they faced some serious problems and delayed it!

    I’m really disappointed since I wanted an upgrade for my m400! M600, m200
    isn’t something for me, need more battery and want a barometric alt!

    Now thinking of getting an v800 or a suunto spartan

    • It was never an announcment for a new watch. It was a teaser for upcoming contest to win a trip to Kona and to win a V800.

    • Yeah, I wondered if the teaser was related to the contest because (a) it had a pic of the current V800 and the replacement would have a different number; and (b) the timing of the teaser seemed to “fit” the contest more than Kona (seemed a bit early for Kona).
      Anyways, I decided to go ahead and get my V800 last month and I am loving it. If it has all I want, I don’t really care about getting the “older” model because the flip side is a stable and mature platform.
      Since you’ve waited to this point, perhaps you’ll want to wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday to get a deal on either the Polar or Suunto.

      • Yes I think I’ll replace my watch soon with a v800! The special editions are pretty cheap compared to the existing models. Around 300€ is fair compared to other watches In this segment.
        I don’t need the latest hardware, more important is a stable platform, barometric alt and long battery life. All this provides v800 but I’ve to admit I was hoping for a replacement at kona (if it was an announcement or I misunderstood that)

        • V800 has a lot of deficiencies that were not addressed by Polar. Some of those were promised, but promises were not kept. Last feature-wise update was done in January. There’ve been bugs reported months ago waiting to be fixed. IMO e.g. 920xt seems to be a better choice now.

          • yes this watch is not perfect but since i already own a m400, i can stick to the same platform.
            Unfortunately other watches arent perfect aswell, fenix struggle with gps problems, suunto spartan is nice but its almost the double price of a v800…

  13. Wonder if I should buy the 630 or the 735. Do you expect any update on the FR 630 soon? Wants the wrist heart rate on the 735. Will a FR 635 be likely before christmas? Or am I safe with the 630 for a while?

    • 630 is less than a year old so no update there for a while I’d say. 635 maybe but much of the functionality of 630 needs a chest strap and HRM-Run so other than activity tracking 24×7 there’s little to gain there with a 635 which may or may not be coming. I wouldn’t wait though, the 635 would probably have launched if it was coming this year.
      735 lacks touch screen and if you can live with that then go for it.

  14. Was thinking of picking up the tactix bravo or a used fenix 3 if a new iteration comes out january. You think theyll do a new tactix model in January?

    • Tactix came later than Fenix 3 by quite a margin, but turns out to basically just be a Fenix 3 (as is the Quatix 3). The D2 Bravo is actually different firmware on the same device but the others are the same firmware same device. Yes I think January will see launch of cheaper Fenix Chronos (aka Fenix 4) devices, but don’t expect to own one until April/May if they are announced at CES.
      If you’re buying used either way then go for it now, the prices probably won’t drop that much even second hand.

      • thanks for the input, snagged the used fenix 3. Hooe a new Tactix comes out for ’17 ces

  15. Do you think the Edge 1010 will be worth waiting for instead of buying a 1000 now? I need a new cycling GPS, but don’t want to spend money and 3 months later Garmin releases some new good tech.

    • I think the 1010 will be released at CES. I’m waiting for this one too. I don’t think functionality will be much different just a smaller device but with the same big screen and possibly better processor. It’s easy to wait here as it’s now winter 🙂

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