The rumour mill has already kicked into high gear on Garmin wearables we might see in the months ahead. A significant leak came towards the end of last year. An eagle eyed developer on Reddit spotted code in Garmin Connect that reveals a whole plethora of goodies to be released soon, including the Forerunner 745, Forerunner 955, Fenix 6 Sport and more.
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“I’m a developer and when I saw in the latest Garmin Connect had the note “features to support new Garmin devices.” I decided to do a quick APK Teardown and comparison, low and behold, there’s some new code, let’s get into it.” he says.
“The devices that seem to be in the final state are (they’re listed in the AndroidManifest.xml and have their own dedicated folders with various setup files)”
He went on to reveal his surprise that a simple comparison of the last APK against the current one revealed so much info. It took him all of about 15 minutes to come up with the results.
Here’s the full list of devices as discovered in the code. It makes interesting reading…
“EDGE_530”, “EDGE_830”, “EDGE_130_PLUS”, “EDGE_1030_PLUS”, “FORERUNNER_45”, “FORERUNNER_245”, “FORERUNNER_245M”, “FORERUNNER_945″,”FORERUNNER_955”, “FORERUNNER_955_LTE”, “FORERUNNER_745”, “VIVOSMART_4”, “VIVOMOVE_3_CLASSIC”, “VIVOMOVE_3_SPORT”, “VIVOMOVE_3_SPORT_ASIA”, “MARQ_DRIVER”, “MARQ_AVIATOR”, “MARQ_CAPTAIN”, “MARQ_COMMANDER”, “MARQ_EXPEDITION”, “MARQ_ADVENTURER”, “MARQ_ATHLETE”, “FENIX_6_SPORT”, “FENIX_6S_SPORT”, “FENIX_6”, “FENIX_6_SOLAR”,”QUATIX_6″, “FENIX_6S”, “FENIX_6X_SOLAR”,”FENIX_6X”, “LUMEN”, “VIVOACTIVE_4”, “ENDURO”, “TACTIX_DELTA_SAPPHIRE”, “TACTIX_DELTA_SOLAR”, “DESCENT_MK2”, “VIVOACTIVE_4S”,”VENU”, “INDEX_SCALE_2”, “VIVOACTIVE_4_FIRST_AVENGER”, “VIVOACTIVE_4_CAPTAIN_MARVEL”, “VIVOACTIVE_4_DARTH_VADER, “VIVOACTIVE_4_REY”.
Those in tune with Garmin’s ever increasing range of fitness trackers, smartwatches and cycling computers, will immediately notice a few new additions. This would imply that the lineup for 2020 (or at least part of it), could include the Forerunner 745, Forerunner 955, Forerunner 955 LTE, Fenix 6 Sport, Tactix Delta, Sapphire and Solar, Index Scale 2 and Edge 130 Plus.
Its worth pointing out, all of this information is according to an unconfirmed leak. Even if it is all accurate, we may or may not see these watches as Garmin might change its plans further down the line.
Having said that, one of the most anticipated devices on the list is the Forerunner 955. Many are wondering when we’ll see it and what features to expect. Competition is stiff, so it’s a fair bet that the company will set its aims high once again.
The Forerunner 945 is a cheaper version of the Fenix 6. Both have pretty much the same features, the main difference is in design. The fact that the bezel and case are made of fiber-reinforced polymer means Garmin is able to keep the price down. Mind you, this is still an expensive device but that’s to be expected considering the specs.
Most Garmin sports watches have now adopted a similar look. The Forerunner 945 is a rather bulky device although it is lightweight coming in at only 50 grams. But it’s fair to say this is a watch designed mostly for men. The company has started introducing different sizes. For example the Fenix 6 also comes in a 6s version and 6X. Could we see the same with the Forerunner 955? Possible, but not very likely.
It is also unlikely the watch will slim down very much. Shaving off a few millimetres in thickness would impinge on the battery. The Forerunner 945 runs an impressive 2 weeks on a single charge (GPS mode with music: up to 10 hours; GPS mode without music: up to 36 hours). Garmin is unlikely to downsize the battery capacity as it remains an important selling point.
The same consideration applies to the possible introduction of a touch or a high-res screen. While a better display is a possibility, the company will not want to compromise battery life so will opt to keep the physical buttons on the sides for navigation. The decision not to offer a touchscreen is practical because athletes would find a touchscreen difficult to use in wet weather or when swimming.
What is more likely is a sliming down of the bezel. Both the mid-size Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945 measure 47 x 47. But the Fenix 6 has a 1.3 inch display versus the 1.2 inch display on the 945. This is something Garmin could very well replicate with the 955. A resolution boost would be nice, as well. The Fenix 6 comes in at 260 x 260 pixels, while the 945 at 240 x 240 pixels.
Apart from reducing the bezel, we don’t anticipate drastic design changes with the 955. There’s no need to change something that works.
The 945 is a very capable multisport GPS watch. You can use it for cycling, open water swimming, cross country skiing, climbing, indoor run/bike/swim, hiking and much more. In addition to heart rate tracking from the wrist, the watch provides advanced running metrics and outdoor navigation. And finally, while not the most user friendly, the Garmin Connect software is top notch whether you are utilising the smartphone app or the even more comprehensive web dashboard.
According to the above mentioned leak the Forerunner 955 is arriving in a regular and an LTE variant. This will be a first for Garmin. Are you likely to call your office while on a run? Perhaps not, but it would be nice to have the option. It will be interesting to see what else the 955 brings to the table as it has pretty much most of the features of Fenix 6.
For example, there are lots of Firstbeat metrics. Currently 18 in total to be exact. No doubt, the company will continue to build on these. A possibility are 7-day training plans we saw on the Suunto Fitness 3. These take take physiological analytics to offer a customised training plan based on a user’s fitness level and overall exercise history. Miss a few sessions or push a bit too hard? No worries, the timepiece will adjust your training plan accordingly.
As mentioned, this watch is not simply for running. There are special features to help with swim training, cycling, golfing and skiing too. To list them all would simply take too long. But Garmin will continue to build on these which means we will see more niche sports and additional metrics tracked.
ECG sensors have been making all the headlines over the past year. Why not ECG functionality on a Garmin watch? Not a must-have, but it is a nice-to-have.
Other sensors are always a distinct possibility. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something truly new on this front. This could include a blood-pressure sensor, sweat analysis, glucose sensor, a hydration sensor and more. All of these would be nice, albeit unlikely.
Solar charging is also something we saw on Fenix 6. This is something Garmin could consider porting over to the Forerunner line. This along with Power Manager. On Fenix 6 the functionality offers various settings to manage battery use including Battery Saver, Power Mode, and Battery Alerts.
Expected release date
Garmin usually has a two year cycle for upgrading its sports watches, but the leak implies we could see the 955 this year. Expect a similar price-point (to the 945) of around $600. It looks like there will be a LTE variant, as well, that would probably run an extra $100 or so.
As far as a launch date, we are probably looking at a summer 2020 release. If you were looking to replace your 935 and skipped the 945, the wait for the next iteration might not be very long! There is of course the possibility Garmin will stick to its two year cycle, in which case the timepiece could receive post April 2021 official reveal.
So what do you think? What would you like to see on the Forerunner 955?
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