Monthly Roundup – June 2018

Here’s the round-up of recommendations so everything is in one place, and so we have a nice record of speculations updated for June 2018

A bunch of stuff finally arrived, and a bunch of stuff is still MIA.

Garmin Watches
Garmin Bike Computers
Polar Watches
Polar Bike Computers
Suunto
TomTom
Wahoo

In alphabetical order of manufacturer.

Garmin

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
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Garmin Fenix 3 Fenix 3 HR, Quatix 3, D2 Bravo, Tactix Bravo This has been superseded.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.
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 πŸ™
Garmin Fenix 6 with the Fenix 5 Plus in June 2018 don’t expect to see the Fenix 6 until January 2020
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 Β£1500 though…
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. The 920XT didn’t get an update when the Fenix 3 HR appeared…
Garmin Forerunner 945 Expected early 2020
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.
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
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
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.
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 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

Garmin Bike Computers

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
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
Garmin Edge 200 Don’t buy, this is very old (2011)
Garmin Edge 130 Due to be announced before 3/5/2018, already on the FCC Site
Garmin Edge 140 Not before May 2020, probably May 2021
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 Buy, 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
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
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!

Polar Watches

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Polar RCX 5 Released Mar 2011 this watch is very out of date
Polar RCX3 Released Mar 2012 this watch is very out of date
Polar RC3 GPS Released Mar 2012 this watch is very out of date
Polar v800 Wait – update is probably imminent. This watch is very, very old for a current watch (2014!). The M400 was just updated and that was launched near the v800. This watch is now so far behind the curve and so long overdue for replacement that Polar might have decided to exit the premium end of the market.
Polar v800.next v850 LONG Overdue, expected announcement at…who knows! This watch is now so long overdue for replacement that Polar might have decided to exit the premium end of the market.
Polar M200 Buy, this was released Oct 2016 so we wouldn’t expect a replacement until late 2019 given the relatively slow update cycle at Polar
Polar m400 Finally updated. This is a very old watch for a current model (2014) but is very cheap and still works well.
Polar m430 Launched April 2017 and based on M400 so shouldn’t be buggy, a definite safe buy
Polar M600 Buy, this is new (Aug 2016) and was updated with new Androidwear in 2017 so definitely supported well

Polar Bike Computers

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Polar M450 Replaced with….identical hardware and a new firmware. Normally I’d say buy if cheap, but Polar abandoned this for no reason so buyer beware.
Polar M460 Launched April 2017 this is M450 hardware with new firmware. Given the treatment of M450 owners I’d say be careful buying this. Yup, Amber warning for a “brand new” device. That’s a first for me.
Polar v650 Wait, this is very old for a current model and overdue for replacement (Jan 2014). This device is now so long overdue for replacement that Polar might have decided to exit the premium end of the market.
Polar v650.next Overdue, expected announcement at…who knows! This device is now so long overdue for replacement that Polar might have decided to exit the premium end of the market.

Suunto

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Suunto Ambit Don’t buy this is very old (2012)
Suunto Ambit 2 Don’t buy unless you need Ant+, this is very old (2013)
Suunto Ambit 3 Don’t’ buy, this is very old (2014)
Suunto Ambit 4 Officially not going to happen, Spartan Series has replaced Ambit
Suunto Spartan Ultra Released Jun 2016. Suunto have created numerous models based on the same hardware (WAY too many to understand). There is likely a v2 in the works for this year to supercede the whole range.
Suunto >Spartan Ultra 2 Spartan is now replaced by the Suunto X series. The Ultra is replaced by the 9
Suunto >Suunto 9 Just released in June 2018 so don’t expect a replacement before 2020
Suunto Spartan Sport, HR, Baro Released after the Ultra but based on the same hardware. Suunto have created numerous models based on the same hardware (WAY too many to understand). There is likely a v2 in the works for this year to supercede the whole range.
Suunto Spartan Sport, HR, Baro V2 Moving to the Suunto 7
Suunto Suunto 7 Due later this year
Suunto Spartan Trainer Seemingly based on different hardware than the Spartan series, this may have a different refresh cycle
Suunto Spartan Trainer 2 Probably not going to happen
Suunto Suunto 5 Coming in 2019
Suunto Suunto 3 Released 2018. Not a GPS watch so won’t be covered here
Suunto Kailash Buy if you can work out what it’s for or who it’s aimed at
Suunto Traverse Why Suunto, WHY!?

TomTom

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
TomTom Multisport Launched April 2013, available July 2013 older watch probably best not to buy. Replaced by newer runner models
TomTom Multisport Cardio Launched April 2014, available April 2014 older watch probably best not to buy. Replaced by newer runner models
TomTom Runner Launched April 2013, available July 2013 older watch probably best not to buy. Superceded
TomTom Runner Cardio Launched April 2014, available April 2014 older watch probably best not to buy. Superceded
TomTom Spark (Runner 2) TomTom have formally announced they are exiting the US market DO NOT BUY
TomTom Spark 3/Runner 3 TomTom have formally announced they are exiting the US market DO NOT BUY

Wahoo

Manufacturer Device Current Speculation
Wahoo ELEMNT Launched September 2015 and available March 2016 it’s possible we’ll see a replacement in 2018 but looking at the way Wahoo commit to their products 2019 seems more likely. Also, Wahoo would be likely to support this after a new device arrives so less risky than other manufacturers. The amber rating is purely based on not wanting to buy just before a release of a replacement.
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt Launched and available March 2017 this is a new device and earliest expected replacement would be 2019.
Wahoo ELEMNT Mini Launched and available August 2017 this is a new device and earliest expected replacement would be 2019.
Wahoo ELEMNT Rival https://fccid.io/PADWF119 shows this new device due by the end of May, possibly earlier. This will be Wahoo’s first GPS based fitness watch and is likely to be good if their other products are anything to go by. This is delayed but should still be coming!

18 Comments

  1. Finally, I have been waiting for your post since last one month

    • Yes thanks I realised after I posted that Suunto had made some changes πŸ™‚ Will fix now

  2. put Vivoactive 3 Music instead of Vivoactive 4

  3. Some additions on Polar flagship models:

    There is chatter and reported “sightings” of a successor to Polar v800 in fall–total redesign and all new model line numbers. Also the v650 got a very welcome and significant-to-some software update to include Strava live segments, advance power metrics/improvements, Barometer/GPS based inclinometer.

    • Hi

      Were did you read about this chatter and sightings of the hopefully coming soon new polar watchπŸ‘

  4. i’ve seen a picture of it/them/whatever…some months ago actually.

    • Show these pics pls

  5. So pls show us those pictures

    • Yes pleaseπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  6. “Downgraded to red since the Fenix 5 Plus arrived, there is little reason to buy the Chronos now”

    Granted, this touches a bit of a nerve because I just bought the Chronos, but I have to say that there is one BIG reason to still buy the Chronos over the Plus, that being that the Chronos is still the only attractive watch in the entire Fenix line. No?

    • I’d disagree. The Chronos was released while Fenix 3 was the only option, so a smaller, lighter, nicer watch was very different. Since then Garmin released the 5 and 5 plus in various styles and designs, all of which are smaller and lighter. I personally think that the 5 Plus Ti/Ti watch (which is more expensive than Chronos!) is more attractive than the Chronos. It certainly looks as though Garmin intend to just extend the Fenix 5 Plus range rather than update the Chronos at this point. I just checked and the Fenix 5 Plus is slightly smaller than the Chronos (and the 5S Plus more so). Chronos is very slightly thinner, but not enough that you’d notice.

      • Well, I have both the Chronos and the black 5 Plus sitting here with me right now, and I don’t see how you can compare them. (I had the Titanium 5 Plus with me last week, but couldn’t get past the ugly orange band, its looks much better in photos than real life).The Chronos looks like an entirely different watch, a classic Tachymeter, whereas the Fenix 3/5/5Plus- first of all, they ALL look basically the same, except in size, so I don’t think you say that the line has different “styles”. And of course its all relative and comes down to personal taste, so I won’t waste time arguing it, but I feel like they just look really boring. Most reviews of the watch line always touch on the industrial look with the screws proudly showing (and not in a positive way). Most rumors seem to suggest that the Fenix 6 line will include a complete physical makeover.
        I will say the 5 Plus is way zippier than the Chronos.

  7. Hi Dave,
    Might be worth sorting the tables by RAG, with green first so there isn’t a whole load of out of date stuff at the top of the table, or even adding release date and sorting by that, although thats likely a lot of work.
    Any reason for not including some of the competitors in the bike computer space who are upping their game (Lezyne, Sigma). More competition and anything that puts pressure on Garmin to up their quality and customer service game would be great.

    • Hi Jeff, they are sorted by RAG within their product lines. This way you can easily see the status of similar models together. I thought about sorting the whole table that way but it would lose some info. Take a look at my newer posts which now have model ranges included.
      Yes I do plan to add others in. The issue is that the other vendors are less regular with releases so things get a bit more random. I’ve made sure to include anything I think is a genuine competitor to Garmin in this space, and anyone I think will definitely continue to make devices in the future. When I added TomTom though, they pulled out of the market a couple of months later. I don’t see Lezyne as all that serious in this space, it’s not their core area and they’ve not pushed hard enough or fast enough to take the market. They certainly sell a few units, but I don’t see Garmin getting worried by them. Wahoo on the other hand, pose a very serious threat as they have great execution and a huge following.

  8. Great stuff thanks Dave.

    I wish Wahoo would bring out a serious competitor to the 1030, there’s very little competition at the high end. I’ve a few mates who have had one too many Garmin issues and have jumped to Wahoo and are very happy, but the lack of colour and full-on mapping/navigation is a deal breaker for me

    • 4 out 5 of my mates have now moved to wahoo. we were talking the other day about it over beers. we specifically mentioned the mapping and it’s obviosu that the maps are NOT the best quality on the wahoo…BUT you can actually read them in all light conditions. Kinda important. other points all boiled down to ‘ease of use’ and ‘good excution of relevant functionality’

      @Dave I’d imagine that Lezyne sell more bike computers than Polar.

      • True, but Polar sell more watches and are an established player in the market (which they partly created…)

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.