Would appear they jumped the gun. That they are only offering grey is another clue that they somehow did NOT wait for Garmin’s announcement. Maybe they were confused given that it was supposed to be announced last week.
Garmin’s announcement of the ‘Venu SQ‘ is said to be towards the end of this month, i.e., September 2020.
The ‘Venu SQ’ was SUPPOSED to be announced September 16, 2020, alongside the ‘Forerunner 745’. Well that did NOT happen. Instead Garmin just announced the latest ‘Forerunner’.
The ‘Venu SQ’ is supposedly delayed until month end (if not longer). Not good. Usually Garmin would have gone ahead & announced & then stated a 6-9 week shipment delay.
Maybe they realized that they have to go back to an AMOLED screen! WOW.
Yes, Apple ‘Watch Series 4’ pioneered ECG/EKG way back in 2018. This is, however, Fitbit’s first foray into this field. That it has got US FDA approval is BIG. Samsung is still struggling to get this approved on their new ‘Watch 3’. That must be galling for them.
The Fitbit ‘Sense’, at $329, is quite the watch. It has built-in GPS & all the latest health tracking features. Most impressive Fitbit ever — & it even has an AMOLED, always-on display with a 6-day battery life. This is quite the watch & it is $100 cheaper than the Samsung ‘Watch 3’. Hopefully I will get one, in October, from ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA) to evaluate. I will keep you posted. OK?
What set out the Venu from all other Garmins was the bright, beautiful AMOLED display. And yes, AMOLED is a battery hog & that did not sit well with Garmin. Garmin likes to provide longer battery life at the expense of more striking screens. That is a problem.
But, abandoning AMOLED, in late 2020, on this type of watch is a mistake. With its shape it is going after the Fitbit Versa 2 & Apple. The Versa 2 has a great AMOLED display.
To compound matters there is also the new Samsung Watch 3 — with another v. attractive AMOLED display further augmented with a rotating bezel.
The Venu SQ will face stiff competition from these two. I will keep you posted.
The ‘Samsung Watch 3‘ has potential. NO, I haven’t got one yet. SMILE. But, I probably will in a few weeks after I double-, triple-check the reviews.
I will, of course, keep you posted. IF you are interested PLEASE joint the group. It is FREE (for now). SMILE.
Click images to ENLARGE.
The Garmin MARQ Explorer I returned to get the Titanium Fenix 6.
So, I now have two Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Sapphires — latest in Titanium and the other in Black DLC. Yes, I like the Fenix 6. SMILE.
I like the Fenix 6 so much that I returned a Garmin MARQ Explorer to get the Titanium one!
Here is the ironney (and possible even sadness). The TWO Fenix 6s together, even with one being Titanium, costs less than the MARQ Explorer. That is sobering. But, having worn two I liked the Fenix 6 better. I am not new to Fenix. I have owned a Fenix 5 and a Fenix 5 Plus.
The Fenix 6 display is head and shoulders better than that on the MARQ. The display is noticeably blacker (like with AMOLED) and brighter. Once you get used to the Fenix 6 display the MARQ looks washed out and pale! The software also is more reliable.
The Fenix 6 Titanium is JUST the bezel and maybe the back. The body is plastic. That is disappointing. The MARQ Explorer was all Titanium and, as the image above shows, had more presence. But, that is ‘OK’, I wasted too many hours getting the MARQ to go back to my watch face and do what it was supposed to do.
With the new maps released earlier this week there was a lot of software that had to be downloaded to my Fenix 6. Garmin Express had some issues. I had to do it twice — on two separate PCs, but in the end I got it all loaded and squared away. Good job I had a bit of experience with Garmin. SMILE.
Talking of which I do maintain an Excel Spreadsheet of all the smartwatches that pass through my hands given that I go through a fair number a year. This is today’s cut.
Yes, I got the Fenix 6 Sapphire — as I have my last 6 Garmins — from ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA). I do not deal with anyone else.
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.
Click Images to Display.
All images from garmin.com
I had given you a head-up on the Venu a few weeks ago, but I had no idea what the specs were going to be. Now, we know.
It, other than in terms of physical size/weight, DISPLAY TYPE and battery life, is IDENTICAL to the also new Vivocative 4 — albeit the Venu $50 more expensive. See 2nd image above, from Garmin, when you do their COMPARE and ask just for the ‘differences’.
The BIG breakthrough is the AMOLED touchscreen display with a 390×390 resolution, a full 50% higher resolution than on other recent Garmins, including the new Fenix 6. That is BIG. Wow. A 50% increase in screen resolution. The watch face is Garmin’s ‘old’ 1.2″ standard (as in say Fenix 5 Plus) rather than the new 1.3″ as in Fenix 6 & VA4. Also 20mm strap, as in Fenix ‘S’ models rather than the 22mm strap.
I gather, however, that this takes a heavy toll on battery life and it is difficult to keep it in ‘Always On’ mode. Garmin’s stated battery life (above) would indicate (to I) about a 24-hour battery life with 3-4 hours of music and 1.5 hours of GPS. I could just about get by with that, but it would be frustrating.
Garmin has added a LOT of high-end functionality into the Venu & Vivoactive 4: viz., Pulse Ox, Body Battery, respiration tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, music, Garmin Pay, fall detection etc. So, that is a LOT of smartwatch for the $399 price. Much better than anything that Fitbit offers — from what I can see. I am glad. I am a longtime Garmin shareholder. SMILE.
While the Vivoactive 4 is available now, the Venu is slated for Garmin’s infamous 5-8 weeks. That is not good. I will keep an eye on that for you.
The New Garmin Fenix 6(X) [August 28, 2019], With Its Leather Strap, Reminds Me Of My MARQ Expedition.
Amazon’s PREMATURE Listing From Monday, August 12, 2019.
Amazon (if you remember)
did EXACTLY this also
with the Garmin Forerunner 945;
i.e., ‘accidentally’ listed it
weeks before it was announced.
Read about that here — if you have forgotten about that leak.
My Garmin MARQ Expedition
with the CHEAPER Garmin Leather Strap.
Yes, it is the strap that makes me think the Garmin Fenix 6 (and the usual ‘S’ and ‘X’ variants) looks like my MARQ Expedition — but part of that is that I am using the cheaper $60 Fenix 5 leather strap on my MARQ so as not to ruin the expensive MARQ strap.
But, the Fenix 6 is going to be DIFFERENT from anything else we have seen from Garmin. It is going to have a 1.4″ display — compared to the 1.2″ on prior watches of similar ilk, including the Fenix 5X Plus. That is BIG. Very BIG. I like that. But, (damn) no AMOLED again. That irks me, though I have to admit that the sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel display on my MARQ is pretty impressive and pleasing. The Fenix 6 looks like it will have this technology, just on a bigger screen.
I initially thought that the Fenix 6 would be a watered down MARQ Athlete — with a leather strap. But, having studied the Amazon picture, long and hard, the Fenix 6 does not have the MARQ bezel.
I am pretty sure that from a hardware standpoint — i.e., the all important sensors — the Fenix 6 will use what is now found in the MARQ/Forerunner 945. That should be pretty good.
The rest, from what I can see, is ALL software! That means much of it, if not all of it, will be also available on the Forerunner 945, MARQ and possibly even the Fenix 5 Plus. Garmin does that. Think back to ‘Fall Detection‘. This is good.
The new software features, viz., Grade-Adjusted Pace Monitoring and ‘environmentally adjusted’ VO2 Max, seems pretty esoteric. We have seen the other features, music, Pulse Ox, maps on other models.
I was surprised by the $950 price tag — albeit for the 6X model. That still means a Fenix 6 will probably be in the $800 — $850 range. That is premium pricing (and that coming from one who is wearing a $1,750 MARQ).
The Forerunner 945, at $600, will probably end up with all the software features — but without the BIGGER display.
I will keep you posted over the next few weeks.
Yes, I will get a Fenix 6 for evaluation. SMILE.
I will also do another post on Garmin leather straps.
Click images to ENLARGE.
20-days ago when I strapped on a Amazfit Verge for evaluation.
The final watch face I was using on the ‘Amazfit Verge’.
During the 123-days that I owned the Fenix 5 Plus I have taken it off and put aside on two occasions. Once, for 10-days, when I was evaluating a ‘Polar Vantage V‘ and now for 20-days when I flirted with an ‘Amazfit Verge‘. I had very different reactions to these two watches. I was glad to get rid of the ‘Polar Vantage V’. It was a very boring, insipid watch. Not so with the Verge. I like the Verge. I returned the Vantage V though I had the option of keeping it (for free). I am keeping the Verge!
The Verge still has some ways to go. Floors climbed is a joke — a very bad joke. That was the one big flaw I found, other than the Amazfit APP not working with Android 9.
The AMOLED display on the Verge is an absolute joy. I can’t wait for Garmin to start using AMOLED displays.
Well, it is still kind of nice to have my Fenix 5 Plus back on my wrist. I have got used to its feel and I do like all the widgets.