Monthly Garmin Roundup – February 2019

There are a few bits of news around Garmin this month, They have finally released a dual Ant+ BTLE heart rate strap as mentioned on this site previously. It’s the basic one so don’t get too excited, but expect to see run and tri versions soon. As we also predicted there’s a watch with LTE built in and I’d expect this to be added to other devices in the range over the coming years. I’d expect to see a Fenix 6 model with and without LTE next year in January. As we’ve seen with music and maps, Garmin tend to test the waters and give a choice for the first few devices before just making a feature the new normal. I’ve no problem with LTE being in a watch but currently the hardware takes space from battery so there’s a trade-off. I’m sure we’ll see that trade-off go away within a year though, Garmin are good engineers and have the buying power for custom chips once they know there’s a market.
Garmin Update
Garmin Watches
Garmin Bike Computers

Garmin Update

Nothing on the FCC site this month.

Elsewhere on the web, here are some recent Garmin stories:
https://the5krunner.com/2019/01/31/garmin-hrm-dual-review-specifications/

https://the5krunner.com/2019/01/27/2019-connect-iq-developer-award-nominees/

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/01/garmin-hrm-dual-heart-rate-strap-in-depth-review.html

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/01/first-look-garmin-vivoactive-3-music-cellular-lte-for-verizon.html

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/10/tech-tidbits-spotify-on-garmin-fr645-music-new-coros-helmets-no-apple-watch-ecg-yet.html

Firmware Updates

Forerunner 935

Changes made from version 11.00 to 12.10:

  • Improved sensor error detection.
  • Added support for Garmin Explore mobile app.
  • Added support for Swimrun auto sport change.
  • Made improvements to waypoint navigation when using MOB.
  • Fixed an issue where a calorie alert could be shown early during a pool swim activity.
  • Fixed an issue preventing the Share Mode for XERO Locations from being changed.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause heart rate alerts to be shown during the incorrect activity type.
  • Fixed an issue where non-GPS activities were being displayed in the Navigation menu.
  • Fixed an issue with backlight level when using Flashlight.
  • Fixed an intermittent issue where the device may appear frozen while applying a software update.
  • Fixed an issue where the sunrise and sunset times in New Zealand were not taking daylight savings into account.
  • Fixed an issue where the heart rate zones could change from %LTHR to %HRMax after a software update.
  • Fixed an issue where the device would connect to Varia Lights when cycling through certain widgets.

Forerunner 645 Music

Changes made from version 4.10 to 4.20:

  • Improvements to the music experience.
  • Fixed an issue where the sunrise and sunset times in New Zealand were not using daylight savings.
  • Fixed an issue where non-GPS activities were being displayed in the Navigation menu.
  • Fixed an issue where certain CIQ watchfaces were displaying the incorrect date.
  • Fixed an issue with backlight level when using Flashlight.
  • Fixed an issue with playlists not including all songs transferred.

Fenix 5

Changes made from version 12.00 to 12.30:

  • Fixed an intermittent issue where the device would display an incorrect sensor error message.
  • Fixed an issue where some devices were reporting a higher than expected battery drain.

Fenix 5 Plus

Changes made from version 6.00 to 6.51:

  • Fixed an issue where the device was reporting extremely high values for Bike powermeter.

Instinct

Changes made from version 2.80 to 2.92:

  • Improved system stability during rep counting activities.
  • Fixed rare issue where the watch face could fail to update the time.
  • Fixed personal record date getting cut off in history menu.
  • Floors climbed improvements.

Edge 1030

Changes made from version 6.30 to 7.00:

  • New Beta Feature: Galileo satellites. There is now support to use the Galileo network of satellites to assist in getting GPS fixes. With the correct GPS firmware, this option can be enabled by selecting GPS+Galileo in the GPS setting. Sync the device with Garmin Express to make sure that the new line of GPS firmware is provided to the device. Without this, the option will not be available.
  • Added cycling dynamics support for 3rd party power sensors.
  • Updated smart notification categories. In the phone settings, social and other smart notification categories can be enabled. This will make the Edge show notifications from other applications depending on how they are categorized by Garmin Connect Mobile. Apps like WhatsApp, GroupMe, and Twitter may show up under social and things like e-mail, calendar, and news may show up under other. These categories are off by default and must be enabled to be seen.
  • Fixed an issue causing cadence and power data dropouts.
  • Fixed the activity profile routing mode getting reset to Road Cycling mode.
  • Added prompt to indicate when a course has more course points than are supported by the device.
  • Improved Shimano STEPS response time.
  • Fixed lens mode VIRB setting.
  • Fixed issue with transmitting front and rear gear information to the Varia Vision.
  • Fixed sharp bend notifications on the Varia Vision.
  • Fixed crash when using Varia Vision with workouts.
  • Fixed issue with elevation back correction that could allow large dips in elevation.
  • Fixed issue where the GPS data field did not match the GPS indicated by the status bar.
  • Fixed issue where virtual partner features were disabled for third party GPX TRK courses.
  • Added the current software version to the power on page.
  • Fixed issues with device transfers.
  • Completing a segment will now turn on the backlight.
  • Added a minimum scale to the altimeter page so that small elevation ranges are reflected properly.
  • Fixed elevation zooming issue with large courses/activities/segments (>100mi or km).
  • Improved activity auto-start when the device is stationary.
  • Updated radar tone to be easier to hear.
  • Minor bug fixes and stability improvements.
  • Minor CIQ improvements.

Edge 820

Changes made from version 10.00 to 11.00:

  • New Beta Feature: Galileo satellites. There is now support to use the Galileo network of satellites to assist in getting GPS fixes. With the correct GPS firmware, this option can be enabled by selecting GPS+Galileo in the GPS setting. Sync the device with Garmin Express to make sure that the new line of GPS firmware is provided to the device. Without this, the option will not be available.
  • Added cycling dynamics support for 3rd party power sensors.
  • Updated smart notification categories. In the phone settings, social and other smart notification categories can be enabled. This will make the Edge show notifications from other applications depending on how they are categorized by Garmin Connect Mobile. Apps like WhatsApp, GroupMe, and Twitter may show up under social and things like e-mail, calendar, and news may show up under other. These categories are off by default and must be enabled to be seen.
  • Fixed an issue causing cadence and power data dropouts.
  • Updated indoor trainer UI to properly disable GPS when activated and no longer try to calculate routes while active.
  • Fixed issue where FTP data would not be uploaded to Garmin Connect correctly.
  • Fixed crash when doing a calculation with automotive routing selected.
  • Added ability to select CIQ data fields on the map page.
  • Added prompt to indicate when a course has more course points than are supported by the device.
  • Fixed issue with transmitting front and rear gear information to the Varia Vision.
  • Added ability to stop the course from the course review page of the active course to make it easier to reactivate a course.
  • Updated the incident detection interface to better indicate when the user is trying to dismiss the page by holding the specified area.
  • Fixed crash when using Varia Vision with workouts.
  • Fixed issue where the GPS data field did not match the GPS indicated by the status bar.
  • Fixed issue when coming out of mass storage mode that could cause a crash.
  • Added the current software version to the power on page.
  • Fixed issues with device transfers.
  • Completing a segment will now turn on the backlight.
  • Added a minimum scale to the altimeter page so that small elevation ranges are reflected properly.
  • Fixed elevation zooming issue with large courses/activities/segments (>100mi or km).
  • Updated radar tone to be easier to hear.
  • Minor graphics improvements.
  • Minor bug fixes and stability improvements.
  • Minor CIQ improvements.

Edge 520 Plus

Changes made from version 3.00 to 4.00:

  • New Beta Feature: Galileo satellites. There is now support to use the Galileo network of satellites to assist in getting GPS fixes. With the correct GPS firmware, this option can be enabled by selecting GPS+Galileo in the GPS setting. Sync the device with Garmin Express to make sure that the new line of GPS firmware is provided to the device. Without this, the option will not be available.
  • Added cycling dynamics support for 3rd party power sensors.
  • Updated smart notification categories. In the phone settings, social and other smart notification categories can be enabled. This will make the Edge show notifications from other applications depending on how they are categorized by Garmin Connect Mobile. Apps like WhatsApp, GroupMe, and Twitter may show up under social and things like e-mail, calendar, and news may show up under other. These categories are off by default and must be enabled to be seen.
  • Fixed an issue causing cadence and power data dropouts.
  • Updated indoor trainer UI to properly disable GPS when activated and no longer try to calculate routes while active.
  • Fixed issue where FTP data would not be uploaded to Garmin Connect correctly.
  • Updated the FTP pages to be more intuitive for button inputs.
  • Fixed crash when doing a calculation with automotive routing selected.
  • Added ability to select CIQ data fields on the map page.
  • Added prompt to indicate when a course has more course points than are supported by the device.
  • Fixed issue with transmitting front and rear gear information to the Varia Vision.
  • Added ability to stop the course from the course review page of the active course to make it easier to reactivate a course.
  • Added tip to the bike light control page to indicate that the page is just for displaying data and that controlling the lights requires a Varia Remote.
  • Fixed crash when using Varia Vision with workouts.
  • Fixed issue where the GPS data field did not match the GPS indicated by the status bar.
  • Fixed issue when coming out of mass storage mode that could cause a crash.
  • Added the current software version to the power on page.
  • Fixed issues with device transfers.
  • Completing a segment will now turn on the backlight.
  • Added a minimum scale to the altimeter page so that small elevation ranges are reflected properly.
  • Fixed elevation zooming issue with large courses/activities/segments (>100mi or km).
  • Updated radar tone to be easier to hear.
  • Fixed the drawing of the underscore icon on the keyboard.
  • Fixed minor issue caused by reviewing a personal record.
  • Minor graphics improvements.
  • Minor bug fixes and stability improvements.
  • Minor CIQ improvements.

Edge 520

Changes made from version 12.80 to 12.90:

  • Fixes an issue causing custom fonts in Connect IQ apps to not display properly.
  • Fixes a crash when syncing emergency contact data that has a long email address listed.
  • Fixes an issue with the Time/Distance Ahead data fields when doing a distance only target.

Edge 130

Changes made from version 3.20 to 3.30:

  • Changes to support manufacturing

Changes made from version 3.00 to 3.20:

  • Add manual elevation calibration feature
  • Add setting to disable auto power down
  • Fix issue with segments not always working during a course
  • Fix ‘ETA at Dest.’ data field showing incorrect value
  • Integrate improvements for CIQ 3.0
  • Fix other bugs

Vector 3

Changes made from version 3.44 to 3.50:

  • Official release of 3.44 beta software

Changes made from version 3.30 to 3.44:

  • Address ANT outages on Vector 3S Systems
  • Improve Cycling Dynamics synchronization between pedals
  • Improve capabilities synchronization on older head units
  • Remove spurious crank length settings warning

Garmin

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…
Unknown 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
Garmin Instinct Launched October 2018 so the first update to this new range is likely to be October 2020
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 Expect a replacement Summer 2019
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

11 Comments

  1. What about the lineup for dog tracking units? The Garmin Alpha 100 is from 2012 and should most likely be replaced.

    • Not something I track on this site, sorry.

  2. Fantastic summary, thanks a lot buddy.

  3. Some of that chart is a bit out of date! But I might hold off on a 520 plus to see if anything does come over the summer for the 5XX/8XX lines. I got a Pioneer CA600 so I could shed Garmin. And it’s not really very good, probably returning that and coming back to the Garmin fold.

    • Which bits are out of date? You’d be surprised how hard it is to read every line and spot these things when I update them 🙂 I feel pretty sure the Edge devices will see an update soon, probably adding LTE support and maybe a camera too. We’ll also probably see better support for Aero sensors and hopefully faster CPUs.
      Ultimately the 520/820 are great devices so I wouldn’t avoid them right now if you need a computer. That said, the 1030 is in another league and definitely superior so if you need it for road use and can afford it I’d go 1030.

  4. “Expect the Music tag to disappear as music will be standard across all but the cheapest watches by then.”
    You sure about this?
    I’m a casual runner/cyclist and would prefer a running watch without built in music capabilities.I use a sandisk clip sport for music with my vivoactive 3 and I think it’s great. If they go that route, I won’t be using the music feature on my next Garmin. I might be the minority here.

    • It doesn’t matter whether you want it, adding music doesn’t take anything away from the watch and so it’ll become a standard feature. There’s no benefit to making a model without it. Once you try it though, you may find you like it. I used iPod shuffle for years and didn’t like wireless headphones until I found some that fit well and have long battery life and now I’ve finally switched. The music with Spotify on the Fenix 5 Plus is a really nice feature once you get used to it.

  5. Awesome summary, thanks. Have been waiting for the 820 replacement but may not be able to wait until…need it for Japan in May (for navigation). Didn’t want to go the 820 with it to be replaced, but the 1030 is rather large. So would you recommend the 1030 over the 820 or hang on to see if the 830 releases?

    • You didn’t say what kind of riding you’re doing but for road I DEFINITELY recommend the 1030 over the 820. It’s faster and easier to navigate in every way. The 820 will get the job done, but it’s slower to calculate routes and slower to browse maps etc. Also the battery lasts longer on the 1030.
      For MTB I have the 820 and it’s fine. I wouldn’t want the big 1030 on my bars for a rough downhill or singletrack, and it does navigate fine.

      If you’re going in May then I wouldn’t wait. It’s unlikely you’d get a unit in your hands by then even if they announced tomorrow (which they won’t. Probably). Earliest announcement is probably Sea Otter, and expect a couple of months of short supply while they ramp up production.

      • Sorry it will be road riding. Thanks for the advice 🙂

        • In that case I’d recommend from Garmin:
          1030
          1000
          820
          In that order. I know the prices are wildly different. The software is almost identical so I’m really just recommending bigger screens and more responsive processors with larger battery. Also look at the Edge Explore range if you don’t need workout features.

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