I have a wedding to attend and I have claimed that my MARQ Expedition is my expensive dress watch — which was how I justified it. So, it would be wrong if I didn’t wear it with my new suit, short and tie. So, after a 22-day hiatus I took it out.
Charged it — using Garmin Express. I have heard that software version 5.20 was out. It got downloaded right away. It doesn’t do anything for I, from what I can see, but no doubt there are smaller bug fixes and stability improvements that go undocumented. No problems from what I can see.
I didn’t hook-up my Fenix 6 to Garmin Express today. So, it is still at 4.10. I am sure I will go up to 4.20 the next time I connect to Garmin Express. BTW, 5.20 on the MARQ is essentially the same as 4.20 on the Fenix 6.
My ‘Sensor Hub’ on the MARQ is still at 2.50. 2.53 is still in beta.
That was anticlimactic. Big Pixel 4 unveil and no Pixel smartwatch. Not to be deterred the diehards are now claiming that it is to be announced next week. Anything is possible, but this loos suspect. Today would have been the optimal time to make a big splash.
But, then again, you could argue that Google might not have wanted to watch to be overshadowed by the Pixel 4 and only get mentioned, in the media, in passing — the also ran.
It BETTER be better than the Fenix 5
in Open Water
BUT it doesn’t have a gyroscope.
This Garmin amused I. I do NOT consider myself a swimmer. Given that I do live in a lake community, with beach rights, I do swim ‘open water‘ in the Summer — but, I do live in New Hampshire, and this year, Summer was about 3-weeks long. (SMILE). If I am travelling, and staying at a hotel with a pool, I will swim, religiously — but I do not go swimming, in pools, other than when I am staying at a hotel (which is ~ 20 — 25 days a year).
That this ‘baby’ doesn’t have a gyroscope cracks me up.
GPS does NOT work underwater. That is why you need a gyroscope. The gyroscope is supposed to backfill data IN BETWEEN GPS reading. With the Fenix 5, with a gyroscope, this was still the challenge. The Fenix 5 did not keep up between GPS readings.
I HOPE Garmin has fixed all of the ‘open water’ issues in this — the ‘Swim 2’. As a huge Garmin fan (as well as a Garmin shareholder) I always want Garmin to WIN. Thus, though I am skeptical I am rooting for this watch to be a winner.
I did a bit of research. It, at its core, is a Garmin Forerunner 45 — with the special software adding $50 to the price. Interesting choice. It would appear that what Gramin was most concerned about was the $250 price point.
Well, I will keep an eye on this as I do with most Garmin watches. I will check the Forums.
No I am not going to get one. As I started off, I am not a swimmer.
I will be happy to share any feedback or updates you share with me. Thank you.
This should be a BLAST. Close to home. Music that we probably are somewhat familiar with.
Tickets, for us plebs, as of October 20.
Just giving you a heads up. It is OK, you don’t have to thank me. SMILE.
A Google Pixel Smartwatch Can Change Everything, But Doesn’t Make Sense — Better To Just Buy Fitbit.
Yes, rumors of a bona fide Google Pixel smartwatch — obviously running ‘Wear OS‘ (i.e., Android for watches) — are again on the rise. This time though they might be close to the mark. Based on a patent that Google filed, there is also an expectation that this watch might sport a ‘hidden’ camera. Yes, you can get watches with cameras now, but Google, with its Pixel phones, have shown that they know how to implement a real ‘nice’ camera. A good camera, in a watch, can be a gamechanger and get a LOT of folks into a lot of hot water! Just think of what you could take pictures or film without folks having a clue what you are doing! Frightening.
Even a semi-decent Pixel watch from Google, without a camera, would be quite an event. Cause quite the stir. Heavy Android users that want primarily a smartwatch — as opposed to a activity/health tracker à la a Garmin Fenix — would have no choice to look at it. But, then you have the Samsung watches that a pretty good on both front — ‘smart’ & fitness.
It has been widely and credibly reported that Fitbit THE COMPANY is for sale and yes, Google has been mentioned as a prospective buyer. That would make sense, BUT Fitbit does not run Wear OS. And that is Google’s dilemma. Fitbit has the hardware, experience and most importantly a huge, loyal customer base. Google has the money. They could plough large sums of money into porting Wear OS to Fitbit. To I that would be what makes most sense.
But, from what I see we will not have to wait too long. IF there is to be a Pixel watch announcement, it will be within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
Folks are claiming that it is available in Australia.
ISSUE: The U.S. availability for the new Garmin VENU is still stated as being 5 — 8 weeks, the SAME it was when it was announced 4-weeks ago, on September 5, 2019. Ideally it should now be saying, worst case, 3 — 5 weeks. Yes, Garmin could change this tomorrow to say ‘1 — 3 Days’. It does happen.
The Garmin Forums, however, have had an active ‘VENU’ Forum for at least the last couple of weeks. There are some interesting posts on that Forum. There are those that claim that they already have a VENU. At least one claims he got it from Australia. As you can see, above, I checked. Plausible. But, it doesn’t make sense UNLESS Garmin is using Australia as a big beat-site.
And to add further credence, on the Forum, ‘Garmin’ has announced that they are rolling out v.3.40 of the software.
CONCERNS: There is also a post, on the Forum, from what looks like a Garmin ‘insider’ that speculates that the delay may be due to the US-China trade war and tensions. They are not sure, but there is a concern. YIKES! Not good. This could hit all of us hard.
At this rate it is going to be touch and go whether the VENU will be available for Black Friday. Maybe that is not a bad thing. You don’t really want it discounted that soon.
In terms of the availability being stuck at ‘5 to 8 weeks’, it reminds me of the infamous Vivoactive 3 roll-out exactly 2-years ago. Same scenario. Makes me nervous because I had a lot of bad luck with the Vivoactive 3.
ISSUE: Because AMOLED displays can be a drag on the battery there is a ‘low-power’ ‘always-on’ display ‘mode’ (which just shows the time) on the VENU. The ‘Fitbit Versa 2‘ has that too. Appears, however, that this always-on mode has issues. Only a few watch faces support it. ‘Crystal’, which I tried on my Garmin MARQ, being one of them. But, I also see that ‘Crystal’ and a few other watch faces are now claiming that they are permanently ON, impacting battery life, even IF they are not your chosen watch face! Yikes. That is bad. I didn’t install ‘Crystal’ on my Fenix 6 because of this.
CONCERN: Will more and more watch faces end up being permanently on because they want to support the VENU always-on display mode? That would be a shame.
ISSUE: I am seeing, on the Forum, sensor (e.g., barometer) and software bug issues very similar to what I saw with the initial roll-out of the Vivoactive 3. That worries me. Yes, the VENU, theoretically, is still in beta-test phase. So, maybe they will iron out these issues. But, I doubt whether they will opt for new sensors this late in the game.
CONCERN: I had two Vivoactive 3s die on me. I just don’t want to go through that with the VENU.
So, those are my issues & concerns.