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The imminent release of two new Garmin models should not be any breaking news. We are talking about Garmin, who until now had us accustomed to years with more than 20 new model announcements from different segments, a presentation cadence that was truncated in 2020 for obvious reasons.
However, Garmin's machinery began operating last week with the launch of the Garmin Lily, a small smartwatch focused on the female audience. But there are still pending some announcements that should have arrived last year and we still don't know anything about. These are the releases I thought Garmin was going to make last year (news I announced to you in March 2020):
- Garmin Edge 1030 Plus — Announced June 2020
- Garmin Edge 130 Plus — Announced June 2020
- Garmin Varia Radar RTL515 — This was going to be RTL520, but changed the numbering. Announced in May 2020.
- Garmin Quatix 6 — Announced May 2020
- Garmin Forerunner 745 — Announced September 2020
- Garmin HRM-Pro — Announced September 2020
- Garmin Fenix 6, 6S, 6X Sport — These were the Fenix 6 Solar. Announced July 2020
- Garmin Index Scale 2 — Announced October 2020
All that has already been announced, but a few things were still pending.
- Garmin Enduro — At first I thought it would be a specific Edge for mountain biking, but it turned out to be a watch for ultradistance
- Garmin Forerunner 955 LTE and 955 — LTE version as the most important thing to highlight
- Garmin Vector Air — Opposing forces cycling power meter (power estimation by speed and wind) and, combined with a direct measurement power meter, real-time CdA analysis. The presentation may have been delayed to better refine the algorithm.
- Garmin Forerunner 655 — I'm not very clear that the project is going forward, I don't know if there is a gap in the range to introduce this model
Well, it's the first two that I want to talk you about today.
--- February 13th update
We have images of the Garmin Enduro, and basically confirmation of everything I had told you about the new Garmin model focused on ultra-trail.
In a promotional video that was uploaded to Vimeo (and found by the5krunner) we have already been able to see images of how it looks like, and indeed it is a 51mm Fenix 6X (in all probability).
In the video we do not see any new information besides what we already knew, which in short is this:
- A lightweight model, supported by new straps and the use of titanium in its most expensive version
- 80 hours of battery life with use of GPS, relying on solar charge
- 2 months of continuous use in smartwatch mode (again, supported by solar charge)
- Specific VO2max for trail running
- Expanded ClimbPro
- Rest timer on a new ultra-trail profile
- Recovery time adjusted by other metrics (rest, sleep, etc) — Not new
- Workout suggestions — Not New
- Ski profile - Not new
- MTB dynamics (Grit & Flow)
Here is a gallery with some of the images.
In short, short information beyond putting a face to the small differences that exist from the current Fenix range. That is, the new straps, the yellow ring surrounding the dial and the button in the same color.
And here is the video from Vimeo. If you don't see it, it's been removed.
Anyway, on Tuesday we'll have all the details. In the meantime underneath you have everything I wrote at the time.
I'll start with the first one because the announcement is imminent (within two weeks). From the Garmin Enduro I can tell you practically everything, the only thing I don't have are images of the watch. But everything will be very similar to the Garmin Fenix 6X Solar, with a little more battery life and new software features that will also come to the Fenix 6.
But also some omissions that I will discuss later.
Let's go with the full specs.
- Power Glass for solar charging
- 1.4″ screen
- 51mm diameter
- Steel or titanium bezel with DLC finish. The titanium version also has buttons and back cover of that material
- Possibility of a nylon strap
- Up to 80 hours with GPS use
- Up to one year of battery life with 3 hours of sunshine per day in maximum illumination conditions
- Power Manager
- – NEW – VO2max estimation adapted for trail run
- – NEW – Ultrarun activity profile
- – NEW – Rest timer for ultradistance races
- – NEW – ClimbPro new features. In addition to giving the information about the climbs, now it also gives it of descents and flats
- Advanced recovery time depending on rest and activity
- Workour suggestions
- Barometric altimeter
- Magnetic compass
Not to say there is also a new medal for a challenge of recording more than 80 hours of race in 30 days. Those 80 hours is not a trivial choice, it is precisely the maximum battery life using GPS announced by the new Garmin Enduro.
Things to consider is there is no WiFi connectivity, which practically eliminates the possibility to offer music playback, because there is no wireless download.
A tener en cuenta es que no hay conectividad WiFi, lo cual prácticamente elimina la posibilidad de que ofrezca reproducción de música, porque no hay descarga inalámbrica.
Probably it doesn't have any maps either. At least it's something that doesn't appear in the list of main features. It is strange in the case of a watch intended for ultradistance, but the reason for all this omissions may be in the quest for tremendous extended battery life.
As for the software, there are three new specific features.
VO2Max for trail running
First we have VO2max estimation with specific adaptation for trail running. So far this estimate was not produced in trail run profiles as it was not adapted to make considerations based on the grade.
That is, in the normal running profile the watch records if you run at 4:00 min/km maintaining a heart rate of 150 beats per minute, and will estimate that your VO2max is X (it's a simplification of the algorithm, but it's more or less so).
What happens in trail running? First of all, until now there was no VO2max estimation in those profiles. If you were to use the standard run profile, imaging you are running at 6:00 min/km at 170 beats per minute, but you do it climbing a 12% grade hill. However the watch will not take it into account, so the watch will simply consider that you are running slow and with a high heart rate, so it will lower the VO2max record.
The new algorithm will take these factors into account. What I am unclear is whether it will assign a specific VO2max for trail or provide the data for the general value. It has already been seen in the latest beta firmware of the Fenix 6.
The new ultradistance profile has a rest timer. Its only mission is to record the time you spend on aid stations (or at a lunch/dinner during the race). This will allow you to see more accurate data about running or resting times in the race analysis.
ClimbPro also for flats and descents
Another feature that has been uncovered in the latest Forerunner 945 beta firmware is the ClimbPro new features. So far ClimbPro gave you information about the different climbs ahead, as well as the ongoing climb with details such as grade, graph and remaining distance and positive meters.
As you may well know if you are regular to running in the mountains, running uphill is exhausting, but doing so downhill can be even worse.
ClimbPro on the Garmin Enduro will also offer relevant information for the descents. The graph, what lies ahead, etc.
Remember that to have all this ClimbPro data it is necessary that we have previously uploaded a navigation route. That's where the watch pulls the information from, and it couldn't be otherwise because it wouldn't know where we're going.
Garmin Enduro, price and availability
The official announcement of the Garmin Enduro will take place on February 16th. As for the price, it will not be cheap. You should consider that the watch comes from the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar. The Garmin Enduro version with titanium bezel with DLC and nylon strap will cost $900.
So doing a few quick calculations and comparing with the current Garmin range, we are talking about this approximate prices:
Garmin Enduro – 750€
Garmin Enduro Titanium – 850€
These are not final prices but simply an estimation I'm doing. But I don't think I'm going to be very wrong.
Garmin Forerunner 955 LTE
And what about the Garmin Forerunner 955? Well, little is known beyond that Garmin has already sent a unit to the FCC to pass all the relevant tests. And one of these tests is radio frequency exposure for the different frequencies used, including LTE.
We're not looking at Garmin's first LTE watch. A few years ago they announced the Vivoactive 3 LTE, but it was associated with the exclusive sale with an operator as it did not yet equip eSIM. Each watch had a physical SIM inside, so distribution was hard.
That Vivoactive 3 LTE was simply a test model for public acceptance. That is, a market research (but with someone else's money).
But it is clear that in this case we will be talking not about a physical SIM, but about offering the watch with the possibility of setting up an eSIM through the mobile phone app.
The big question regarding this model is how Garmin will take advantage of the LTE connection and how it will save power consumption to continue providing reasonable battery life.
Unless Garmin announces the FR955 LTE with some exclusive and important new features, here are the possibilities I can think of:
- LiveTrack straight from the watch without using a connected phone. It can be useful not only for training but also for racing, depending on the battery life offered
- Incident notifications in case of fall, etc.
- Music streaming (such as Spotify), without having to download music beforehand
- Sending and receiving SMS messages
- Activity sync straight to Garmin Connect as soon as we finish our workout
LTE is the only type of connection it will offer (in addition to the classic WiFi and Bluetooth, of course), which means that there are no 3g or 2g bands. This will limit quite a lot the use of mobile connection exclusively to urban environments since the deployment of this band in rural areas is not frequent at all.
What I don't think Garmin integrates into the watch will be sending and receiving calls, precisely because it only has LTE connectivity. It won't be a coverage issue exclusively, the operator with whom we are going to use the watch must have VoLTE enabled, which would be another issue to add to the watch itself.
There's plenty of information for you to chew until the Garmin Enduro presentation on February 16th. And if in the meantime you have any doubts or want to ask a question, you already know that you have the comments at the bottom of the page.
And with that... thanks for reading!