Image source: Garmin

No new product today, Garmin launches Instagram account for running

Garmin has launched today an Instagram account for running. No new product announcement as was initially hoped.

It looks like we got all hyped up for nothing. Garmin has teased on one of its official Twitter accounts that something new will be coming on Monday, March 7th. Most were hoping it would be a hardware or a software related announcement. It turns out it was an Instagram account for runners.

Several videos were released promoting the launch. Here’s one of them.

After a rather slow 2021, the company has landed quite a few devices so far this year. The list includes the Venu 2 Plus, Fenix 7, Instinct 2 and Descent G1.

The teaser tweet was posted a couple of days ago. You can see it below. What’s interesting is that this did not appear under the main Garmin Twitter account. Instead it appeared on the Garmin Fitness account which is linked to the Forerunner range.

There was some speculation that this might be a reference to the upcoming Forerunner 955. We know it is in the works as there has already been a leak that mentions the 955 LTE a few weeks ago on Garmin Australia. As with all leaks, there was some debate on its validity.

The Forerunner 945 was released in April 2019 and the 945 LTE followed last summer. If you ignore the interim version, the typical two year Garmin cycle falls this spring. So there was an outside chance it could be this watch. In our mind, a launch this summer was always more likely. Some thought we could see the Forerunner 255 today.

Another line of thinking was that the product announcement was something to do with Running Power functionality. Similar to the high-end Polar range and devices such as Stryd, this shows athletes how hard they are working. It is a nice addition to standard heart rate tracking that accounts for terrain, form, and fatigue to tell you how hard to move. Garmin has been rumoured for some time to be working on this.

Then there was the possibility that it was software based functionality that was coming to current crop of sports watches. It would not be logical to release the Forerunner 955 or 255 with Running Power so soon after the Fenix 7. Unless, of course, the same functionality would come to other devices via future firmware updates.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

Another interesting bit of information is that there is a Garmin smartband that was registered with the FCC a few months ago. It goes under the number 04352.

The confidentiality clause on that one runs out on March 30th. The device didn’t drop today but it should in the weeks ahead. The hope of many is that this could be some kind of Whoop competitor, something for those that are primarily interested in recovery insights.

If Garmin does, indeed, release such a device – it would be bad news for Whoop. Because such a product would probably lack the subscription model of its device. Garmin does not charge for any data.

Then again, there’s also the chance the smart band might be a reference to Vivosmart 5. The current generation Vivosmart was launched back in September 2018, so is well due for a refresh.

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