If it's not up to snuff after you use it a couple times you can still bring it back. It lasts longer than 30 days, but not forever. We'll be fair about it. Download playlists and podcasts via music service, e. Tech specs. Ideal for Triathlon Running Road cycling Casual wear Wrist strap material Silicone Face material Polycarbonate is inexpensive and light, with good clarity and wear-resistance. Mineral crystal glass offers greater clarity and significantly greater wear-resistance.
Sapphire crystal is better still for clarity and wear-resistance. IPX rating Indicates the degree of protection against liquid. Calorie consumption Calculated based on data from a heart rate monitor. Calories in real time Displays calorie expenditure during activity, based on heart rate monitor data.
Coded signal A coded instrument ensures no interference between your chest strap and your watch, necessary if you are training in busy gyms or trails where other signals may be encountered. Heart rate in real time Displays beats per minute during activity. Auto pause Automatically pauses timer when you stop or go below a specified pace. Barometric altimeter Barometer function helps forecast weather trends.
An altimeter can provide one line of position for location on a topo map, useful if the GPS isn't working. Basemap A basic set of map data that is included with the GPS. Basemap detail may vary from unit to unit. For example, data from an ultra-low power wireless sensor can be displayed on a bike computer or smartphone, then downloaded to a PC, etc. New lap auto start Automatically triggers a new lap after reaching a specified difference.
Pace alarm An alarm that notifies you if you vary from a pre-set pace. Power meter Displays output in watts as you ride. Pause timer Pauses the timer when slowing or stopping, and automatically resumes when moving again. Virtual partner Allows user to monitor training goals with either a virtual partner or alarms. App compatibility An online community where members upload, analyze and share activity data.
Foot pod Attaches to your shoe, captures your running data i. Programmable workouts Want an easy jog? On the first run, it took less than a minute to acquire a GPS signal. To test the safety features of the watch, I turned off Assistance Plus and went on a simulated run. I then pressed and held the backlight button for about 4 seconds.
The watch vibrated and started a 5-second countdown before sending my location and a distress text to my wife. She received the text within a second or so, and could respond via text. However, it took about half an hour for me to receive her messages back. You can select from three preset messages, or type out a message using the on-screen keyboard.
I also plan to test LifeTrack and other messaging features more thoroughly before giving this hands-on a final rating. Understandably, having an active LTE signal is going to impact battery life. GPS mode with just music gives you about 12 hours, and GPS mode without music gets you up to 35 hours of battery life. The Forerunner LTE has built-in music storage for Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music you can also sideload music , mobile payments, and the ability to receive smartphone notifications.
The Garmin Forerunner LTE is an unfortunate reminder that no matter what precautions women take — running during daylight hours, running where there are other people present — they will always be at risk of getting cat-called, followed or worse. Stay tuned for our full review. Michael A. Tom's Guide Tom's Guide. Home Reviews. Early Verdict. Cons - Expensive - Lots of menus. Mike Prospero.
Your performance metrics will no longer be influenced by environmental factors. A separate Trail Run Vo2 Max is also available. Training effect labels : Workout labels reveal the primary benefit you can expect from an activity. This shows whether it contributed more towards improving your endurance, your aerobic performance or the ability to repeatedly perform explosive efforts.
The main upgrade of the latest Forerunner is the LTE chip. Useful in emergencies as it will automatically send your name and location to select contacts. These allow you to share your real-time location, as well as receive audio and text messages on the watch. Not to many other tweaks over the But there is the new V4 heart rate sensor, the addition of Daily Suggested Workouts, Improved recovery time and an eMountainbiking activity profile. As an owner of the I have been patiently waiting for the to upgrade.
With the Garmin two year cycle, is the year that one should land. The high-end Forerunners are great. The overflows with fitness and wellness features. It takes a great device and makes it even better. But should you upgrade if you have its predecessor? If you are very serious about your training the comes with a host of new performance metrics which may help to take your performance up a notch.
The same applies for the decision to upgrade to the LTE. I will not be picking up one of these, but it might be good for women due to its slimmer form-factor and safety features. Or for those who love having interaction with folks while racing. The last two can often be picked up on discount check latest price on Amazon.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out! Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content. Under the hood But while the externals might look similar, the bigger differences can be found under the hood. Forerunner LTE. Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, thermometer, SpO2.
Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, thermometer. Primary benefit Training Effect labels. Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running. Golfing features Preloaded with 42, courses worldwide, Auto CourseView updates. Golfing features PinPointer, Handicap scoring. Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking.
Cycling features Cycle Map, Advanced Vector support. Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming. Swim features Auto rest pool swim only, Time and distance alerts, Pacing alerts pool swim only , Critical swim speed, Underwater wrist-based heart rate. Incident Detection during select activities. Yes with LTE subscription, select countries. Plays and controls watch music. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
Forerunner Lens material. Chemically strengthened glass. Strap material. Bezel material. Quick Release Bands. Yes 22 mm, Industry standard. Physical size. Display size. Screen type. Display resolution. Battery life. Water resistance.
Black, White. Regular Retail Price. Blood oxygen saturation. Body Battery. Relaxation reminders. Sleep Score and insights. Yoga workouts. Pilates workouts. Heat and altitude acclimation. Training load focus. Improved recovery time. Daily suggested workouts. Everest, is now also handing emergency calls from your watch during your ill-fated trail run.
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And of course, it makes you awesome. As noted, the Forerunner LTE is more than just cellular. Obviously, not the display, but in terms of other components internally. Some changes will happen very quickly, others less so. There are changes I discuss in the sport section around the intervals pieces, and then of course the vast newness that is LTE. I go step by step through tons of features and how it works. Not much here has changed, except a slate of minor user interface styling changes.
To begin, the unit uses buttons for navigation. Meanwhile, on the underside of the watch is the new optical heart rate sensor — in this case the Garmin Elevate V4, the same sensor found on the also-new Venu 2. But more on that later in the accuracy section. As with other Garmin watches, you can customize the watch face either using stock watch faces, or 3rd party ones.
That includes tweaking all the exact specifics on the screen like data metrics such as steps, recovery time, distances by sport, and so on. These are largely the same as before on the FR, except now with new styling, primarily once you tap into a given widget. Many widgets then have multiple data pages shown within them too. Of course, these widgets are surfacing tons of underlying daily activity data.
Each of us value those metrics differently. And sometimes, you might be aiming to increase a given metric, while other times decrease it. One of the ones I personally tend to watch is my training status level. Some weeks higher if aiming to make gains, some weeks lower for recovery. Ultimately, all of this data is tracked within Garmin Connect and via Garmin Connect Mobile too the smartphone app.
For example, I can see my respiration rate and resting HR data. Or I can dive into the day-by-day metrics of these stats too — looking at how my heart rate ebbed and flowed throughout the day. The Body Battery metric is similar to the old school Street Fighter game in terms of measuring how much energy it thinks you have.
Meanwhile, things like sitting on the couch watching a TV show can re-gain energy. This is viewable on both the watch and the app. In general, I find Body Battery a pretty good proxy for how I feel. At the same time, so do I. Of course, tied into this are sleep metrics.
My understanding is that finally goes live to production here now. Of course, these metrics have also been on the Fenix 6 series, Enduro, and a few other watches too. You can then tap into that glanceable widget to get more data and some general thoughts on your sleep that night. Remember that with the new sleep updates, this means sleep data drives quite a bit more behind the scenes than just sleep stats. But more on that later. Two totally different use cases note: medical folks and such also monitor blood oxygen levels too for other reasons.
For the first one — sleep — you can track your PulseOx readings each night. This data is then plotted on the watch and on GCM. I do however find it fairly accurate if you follow a set testing protocol of sitting and being still, in which case it measures just fine and identical to certified medical devices I have.
These are fairly basic compared to something like an Apple Watch, in that it just shows text and emoji, but not photos or the ability to respond if on iOS. You can simply clear them or cancel them or open them to get more info. At least for all the common ones our friends use. Things like indoor climbing, track workouts, bouldering, and more.
As is common in software development, you split out products for release, and the timing just happened to get the LTE variant firm on a slightly different branch, before rolling those in on the next update. Expect that very shortly. More specifically, the following:. Like past Garmin watches, you still for now have to configure these on the watch itself and not via a smartphone app.
You can configure up to 6 data fields per page, or as few as one data field per page with simply bigger text. And you can have more custom pages than I can think to create, each with their own data fields. Yet more pages show up for structured workouts or if navigating a course. Note that you do have to have a predefined course loaded for this to work. This allows you to go free-style on routing, without having a course if you want to. I find this super useful in the mountains, both for freestyle trail runs, but also just for figuring out where I should be going on a course.
So for the first one, this is super simple. Instead, you just run what you want to run interval-wise or fartlek wise and hit the lap button each time you start and end an interval. No structured workout loaded, just lazy me pressing the buttons. This is what I see afterwards, notice the fact that it automatically figures out what is each section is:. Make sense? Basically, just use the lap button and after the fact on Garmin Connect you get nifty labels. Now, the second bit takes that to being live on the watch.
The value of that is this new data page that shows up:. This is a per-interval page that dynamically shows you your current interval number skipping any recovery chunks automatically , and the pacing for it. They just want to know their lap details for the work portions:. Granted, I do that a lot. Obviously, both can significantly impact performance.
All of this information is also accessible within the Training Status pages on your Garmin Connect Mobile app too — allowing you to dig in much deeper and further back. All of this then feeds into the suggested workout pieces for cycling and running. This works by offering you a new workout each day. The goal here is essentially to provide a training load stimulus, but also not to overdo it. Here you can see it offering me a structured run workout late last week.
Got ATT or Verizon? And thus, Garmin is effectively blocked from making a viable cellular watch for Apple users, which undoubtedly make up the majority of their userbase yes, I know, Android OS makes up the majority of phones worldwide, but not this market segment of customers. Next, is to understand the cellular coverage areas. This is inline with how other watch makers handle it, due to frequency differences.
Looking into the details of what Garmin has done, it effectively plops into two main categories for LTE: Safety features and spectator features. This then sends a small group of people my track details. If you want to save more battery, you can toggle on a low-update LTE option in the LiveTrack settings on the watch, which switches the LTE to update every 5 minutes instead. This still backfills the data within that 5 minute span to the LiveTrack servers, but just does it every 5 minutes instead.
Now, this is all similar, but different than Live Event Sharing. You can customize this in the Garmin Connect Mobile settings. By default, Live Event Sharing turns off after 24 hours, mainly to keep you from spamming your friends with text messages when you go do an interval workout and have it send a message each time you press the lap button. At this point your friends have decided to send you a text message. Within this window they enter the name they want it to show up as, and then the short message.
About 10 seconds later, it shows up on your watch. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Ok, so we got the text message. Like a voice from above — it instantly plays when it arrives, additionally, it shows who the message is from on your watch:. Boom, they cheer…you hear. Historically speaking this response center handles anything from plane crashes , to hikers on Mt. Everest, to boats adrift in the ocean, and mountain bikers in Africa. But this is the first time someone can just hold a button down on their watch for a few seconds and trigger a response.
So, things might get interesting. Here, let me show you what actually happens. This is literally like calling , the second this connects it starts a chain reaction of sending emergency people to your location. The reason for the 10s vs 30s times, is that for the accidental gym bag scenario, it detects the watch is off-wrist, and gives you extra time to dig it out.
I could hear this on my call, not only for my own test messages, but for real life emergencies coming in. Listening on the phone they told me each time a message came in, and it was almost instant. Again, this will vary on LTE signal, but the place I stopped in only had bars. This is to give any and all avenues of connectivity a better shot. I could watch this happen in real-time and then watch as I disabled it again. Kinda clever. When the emergency center person responds with their next volley, the pre-canned answers also change too, becoming somewhat adaptive.
Again, you can also type your own message. Essentially the IERCC will funnel things down starting at the country level, with liaisons for each country to figure out which emergency services need dispatching. For example whether they need to dispatch Coast Guard support, or helicopters to a mountain, or police into a city. When I connected, the woman on the other end knew exactly where I was, and that I was on the edge of a tree-line against the sand dunes near the ocean by looking at maps. Eventually, you can end the assistance session through a series of steps.
Now, this probably gets to some key questions, notably, around crash detection. Though, typically far less on your wrist than on a bike computer. Still, it seems to happen once or twice a year for me. And that assumes you even heard it to begin with. Either way, the load and effort from that is on them to solve. For example, both the UCI and Ironman prohibit two-way communication devices while making forward progress.
Thus, in theory, this is prohibited in a race scenario. Frankly, this is probably the best time ever to have those conversations. This would seem like a win-win for the sport. But then again, most things seem like that when the UCI or Ironman is involved, only to have it fizzle.
Now, rollout per countries will be the longer pole in the tent, and the nuances that go along with it. A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road? Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet! GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.
I use other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day. Plus, wearing multiple watches on the same wrist is well known to impact optical HR accuracy. Note all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer, details here. Like, nothing of real concern here. Of course, this could also just be quirks of left vs right hand too.
That said, even the FR55 was a bit latent on some of these, though did get the gist of it. Again though, keep in mind these were second all-out sprints, versus more measured intervals. If we switch to look at the GPS tracks, all of the Garmin watches were in track mode, which means they snapped perfectly to the track after a quick one-time calibration set 3 loops around the track :.
Mind you, I stayed in Lane 1 virtually the entire time. Everyone is roughly in line :. Now despite all four of the watches using the Sony GPS chipset, you can still see nuanced differences. You can see that for most of it, all four watches are within a few meters, though there were a few times towards the bottom section that we saw more separation from some of them, including the FR55 a bit.
The point being, none of them are perfect though, the FR comes darn close , but for most people the data will be similar enough, even in the woods. Meanwhile, looking at the heart rate on this run, I made this forest run an interval run too. Overall, things were pretty good:.
The Polar Verity Sense was solid as always. And if you want to move around the graphs , go here. Meanwhile, the FR55 seems to have lucked out more on this ride. And it does that perfectly. On the battery front, things look solid per spec. Versus if we take off the music and just go with pure LTE, I was seeing battery burn rates that projected about a hour time. Overall though, for GPS accuracy things seem largely pretty good.
Nothing sticking out as problematic, beyond the usual minor GPS quirks most devices have. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here. Had Garmin continued down the path they did for the Vivoactive 3 LTE, this would have been a dumpster fire. They instead focused on an athlete-first solution, and overall it works pretty darn well.
This morning I literally woke up with the watch controls menu open somehow and it hovering above the emergency response button seen above. Still, these are minor things that for a first iteration will be sorted out in time. And once I got the LTE up and working in my country, things have been smooth sailing since.
Connectivity appears to be quite good both in the city and out in the middle of nowhere, and if there are dropouts of coverage, it properly resumes without any issues. Of course, many will ask whether or not this is a middle-child watch. The company has a long history of middle-child watches being promptly ignored months later when the proper sibling comes along.
With that, thanks for reading! Found This Post Useful? Support The Site! Hopefully you found this review useful. If you're shopping for the Garmin Forerunner LTE or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Even more, if you use Backcountry. Seriously, this will change your life.
One for the office, one for your bedside, another for your bag, and one for your dog's house. Just in case. This speed sensor is unique in that it can record offline sans-watch , making it perfect for a commuter bike quietly recording your rides. It's become my go-to speed sensor. And of course — you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! Thanks for reading! And lastly, if you felt this review was useful — I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked. If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar , which works here on DCR and across the web. Subscribe me to the newsletter. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can click here to Subscribe without commenting. At this moment there will not be any upgrade from my side. Great review as always, Ray! At into the review, that screen shot appears to be the 7 day load.
However, I still have the red-headed stepchild M. I would assume so.. Yes, there is an every 5-minute option. I think I talk about it up there somewhere. Or, maybe I got distracted. Any idea how much that expands the battery life? Somewhat interesting but not compelling enough to buy and have to pay a monthly fee. Still waiting for a new watch from Garmin or Coros for ultra running to replace my Garmin Forerunner I used to do triathlons.
They have hula hooping with fire and knives?!?!? But not disc golf. I use one called DiscGolf Pro. One of the very few CIQ apps installed. Works well and provides a GPS of the course. Thanks for pointing out those. Probably why the author left out the space for DiscGolf Pro. That is the biggest disappointment for me : , that is the one thing that might keep me away from the watch.
I hope they introduce an update for it in the future but not sure. I suspect they are buying a package of data and want to limit what goes over the LTE. Opening to CIQ would be less predictable data use. Would have loved it for things like WindField, weather updates, and garage door openers. Does the battery life significantly improve with LTE disabled? Is this the exact same form factor as the ?
Are any of the new non-LTE features coming to other watches? Not identical to I would bet they go to F6 series, Enduro, maybe I am in a similar boat. My FR kicked the can a month or so ago. I knew the new forerunners were coming up, and since Garmin released the FR last year, I figured the FR was on the docket for this year.
I was excited and ready to buy one on launch day. Now they release this… not that it is bad. The body seems to be slightly smaller. The screen is the same, but the smaller body, means more of the watch is screen. The is a stripped-down Then at that rate do I want to spend that kind of money on a watch that is already 2 years old?
It just really is a weird position to be in. I was ready to buy the new Venu 2 because it looks really nice. So that puts me back into the Forerunner line. If I was a betting man, I would guess that this watch is replaced with the next year. I bet they wanted a more noteworthy feature on the FR to make it stand out and hold up to its 2 year lifecycle. The fact that this is internally similar to the Venu makes me suspect they are moving to the AMOLED screen, which will really make the stand out.
Of course they could easily run into battery life problems with that. But any company would say that. Did you contact Garmin about the that died? Im in a bit same situation as you, been waiting for this new iteration. I think the is still excellent though and would be an upgrade already for me with my fenix 5.
I think the addition of LTE looks nice enough, so Im considering the upgrade. When you look at the releases years back you can see it varies. Since the which was excellent came out in fall , it was 3 full years till the came, and then another 2,5 years till the Maybe the will come before christmas, maybe next year or even later. I thnk the incentives for Garmin to push the envelope are relatively small as they no matter what seems to be ahead of the competition. Thanks Ray. Would this be a downgrade or do you see this as an upgrade with the Elevate v4 sensor and the venu like internals?
Completely depends on what activities you want to do. The music skips as soon as you start an activity. This used to be fine when such connectivity was rare, but as more and more headphones adopt this, fewer and fewer are working with Garmin watches properly.
That was my take too Dave. Especially given all the Firstbeat features Garmin dropped this morning on the Forerunner That watch is almost at running feature parity with Fenix 6 at this point. I contacted support about the headphone problem and they came back with instructions to wear the watch on the right wrist.
I kind of mentally gave up at that point. Put your iPhone down, walk well away from it and any other Apple device, take the AirPods out and try pairing them then. They paired fine until The bigger problem is that I have to switch the watch to the right wrist or it drops after 10 to 20 minutes of use.
The latter is, I imagine, the same problem everyone else is having with the headphones. Thanks for the extra photo. Or is there something to improve this? Maybe best to wait for your UI walkthrough video? All in all no upgrade needed from the FR… Only wondering, is there anything changed regarding cpu? Significantly better responsiveness could be worthwhile wrt maps and general usage.
I own a and am not sure to upgrade yet or not. Any recommendations? Same boat as me. Might be worthwhile waiting another months and seeing if they bring out a Ray noting he asked Garmin about it is good and makes me hopeful, but I wonder what else they could really say? Secondarily I want the improved UI i. I am in the same boat. The has music and HR while swimming. But I have plenty of other, easier-to-maintain music sources and the HR readings are not too accurate.
The new Sony GPS chipset is not as good as the one in the although it uses less power. The with LTE can notify during an emergency but it will most likely cause more false alarms. Running and biking and even swimming with a phone is a way of life for some. It makes it easier to look for places when lost, call people, send messages, pay for things, browse the web, play music, take pictures, check the weather, etc.
The is ideal and good enough to track swim workouts, transitions during triathlons, provide simple course navigation, cadence, and optical HR. If my were to die I would definitely go for the with or without LTE. If my phone is in my buoy I always see the shared live track e-mail but have never checked that it works. I am also using a at this time. Wondering just how many DCR Easter eggs are in this review. Do we get a prize if we find them all? Frozen slushy Blue flavor only. Do the spectator messages show on your Edge cycling unit more likely looking at that during the bike leg….
Good point, I totally forgot about the feature as I tend to dual-record I think extended display does not record an activity on the Edge? Any hope of watch to watch live tracking? Ie to know my buddy is m from me in which direction? LTE connectivity monthly service plan required enables phone-free safety and tracking features, spectator messaging and live event sharing. I have been waiting on an LTE version of a Garmin triathlon watch for a long time now but currently I use an Apple Watch plus a cheap Polar watch for triathlons — and I think that may continue to be the best solution for me.
Without the ability to at least send a regular text message to someone, this just seems like it would be a big step backward. This is my question too in a way. Garmin site does only say: When an incident is detected or you request assistance from your device, Garmin Connect will send your name and location to your emergency contacts. No problem! So I currently have the Garmin inReach Mini and it does exactly what you are asking for.
Because they are already doing this on the inReach devices. Then they can reply to the message and you will get the message. On the InReach you can write 5 different messages that are saved into the device so they are just one-click away. You can make them anything you want, but you set them up ahead of time and load them on the device. These messages are good to send to partners so they know you are ok without sending an emergency message. Plus since they are on-click messages they are easy to send from the inReach..
Then they have to reply back within an hour I think it is, to keep the thread open. I just send it every hour or so because it not only sends my current location to her, but it also keeps the thread active so she can reply to me. It is just a simple update. Garmin is doing all of this already. It looks like there is a lot of similarity between the LTE abilities of this watch the inReach.
So I hope to see these features move over to the watch. Because I think it would make the LTE features a lot more attractive for more people if they send normal messages to loved ones. I just tested this with my wife. Please get help.
Follow my location to find me. I would not regularly use this for two-way text, but if you are just sending one text that you will be out an extra hour, it would work fine. Did you hear anything about ebike profile for FR? In addition i think it is impacting my biking training load stats in bad way.
Somewhere up above in this giant wall of comments text someone asked for it, and I showed a screen screenshot of what it looks like in Strava using the profile. Was the decision not allowing music streaming a technical implementation issue, battery issue, or cost of LTE issue?
It seems like aside from the safety concerns addressed by LTE, live streaming of music would be the most wanted addition to a watch that LTE could solve. Almost assuredly battery and LTE service issue. Probably equal parts both.
Can you explain the Apple blocking messaging thing again? What am I missing? Could it not simply send and receive via SMS? I get SMS messages all the time from my unfortunate Android friends. Not having to take a phone with me would be a game changer. It uses LTE for live tracking and to receive messages from Garmin servers using some proprietary protocol. Anyone who has ever switched from iOS to Android without remembering to turn off iMessage can tell you how much it sucks to all the sudden just stop being able to receive message from your iPhone contacts.
Access to the SMS network is enabled by the various carrier networks and their infrastructure. They charge for outside access to these networks, a cost that is included in your normal monthly cell bill. This is all setup when you activate your phone, tying it to your phone number on their service.
So why is this different? It also requires if allowing multiple carriers the ability to change SIM cards for registration on the various networks…. Hi and thanks, as always for those pretty damn cool insights, I am impressed too by the way connectivity value was thought by garmin. Since Garmin is handling the provisioning of the connectivity per country, do you get worldwide connectivity when you travel or do you have to pay something else if you happen to travel abroad. Also from a technical standpoint, you mention LTE-M connectivity.
Do you have more technical stuff to put here. Sadly, I do. Really debating this, or the F6Pro — so rest assured if I order something the F6 will come out the next week. They dropped the ball here. They added enough functionality to spark interest but not enough for anyone to upgrade. A couple cool first beat features probably would have tipped the balance. The personal safety features are impressive, but for the everyday athlete with a wife and baby at home, I was more interested in how LTE can be utilized to contact me in an emergency at home.
Can I take this for a run and leave my phone behind? Unfortunately no. Ray- Do you prefer your forerunner over polar vantage v? Do you find the overall accuracy of metrics comparable? I wish we could get a device with the precision of Apple optical sensors but it seems like every device keeps getting less accurate with HR. It would be nice to just strap on a watch and go without a chest or arm band, phone etc.
Garmin is fairly accurate but can get locked in from time to time. Any speculation of polar or garmin releasing something more groundbreaking this year? Well, to be fair if you simply enable Auto-LiveTrack like I do, your wife can use the Spectator Messaging to one-way message you that way. Works just fine. Erm, Frozen Slushy sensor?? Hula-hooping with fire and knives? Great article as always! But… if I buy an annual sub and upgrade watches can the subscription be transferred to a new device?
Thanks for the review Give me a enduro! I want the enduro battery life in a package, no need for LTE and get rid of that bezel! I get the race athletes wanting the LTE, but I just think the average user either wants a full LTE package so they can ditch the phone or are going to carry their phone regardless and have no need for LTE.
Just my thoughts. I think the tracking and safety features are awesome but I think but being able to send texts would make me buy this today. Allow it in the app at least? Or in the live track link? They could do this via the web very easily. That way you know if you need to come back to the house for example. Even if there are a lot of iPhones in the US, they could fully support Android, and support viewing notifications for iPhones.
She could text you via spectator messaging though. I just have LiveTrack set to always e-mail my wife anytime I start an outdoor workout. That way she can now just text me via spectator messaging. This is a design decision to not have people get a separate phone number for this. I can actually send a text message sorta today from my watch or bike computer if someone calls me and I decline.
If this device had its own phone , it could absolutely send messages without relying on a phone app which would take away the Apple dependency. I honestly was hoping more for voice so I could take a meeting on the watch 8. This way, they can relatively easily negotiate bulk carrier type deals behind the scenes. Just like we can already do with tablets and computers that have the cellular hardware.
Maybe later models will have this as an option. I think if they made the spectator message have some permanence, I would see more value. I always have livetrack on anyway. Thanks for this review! I think Garmin hit just the right balance with the LTE, and especially that you can receive txt and voice support during a race event.
Very curious to see how Ironman handles this. People already wear the apple watch which lets you send real messages anyway. Yeah, not so much thinking about age groupers, but about pros. I could imagine it could be quite useful for a pro triathlete to get updates on the bike about how far back or ahead the competition is.
Or, say, if a competitor has received a penalty. This is the big question for me as well- what will Ironman do. On the list. I could potentially build a widget, that uses LTE to mirror all notifications from the phone, without necessarily Garmin doing so. Or even build a full messaging app. But again not sure what this allows or not.
I see now that there is an option for friends and family emergency contact. Without the ability to text apart from the tracking feature I find it not worth the hit to the wallet or the battery life. The sos feature is nice but I never would have used it running in fairly populated areas as a man.
I could see how many women would appreciate the feature for peace of mind. Thanks again for a great in-depth review. In that regard. Any ideas? At the moment UK is not included in any of the countries with LTE, so it makes sense not to release it before they have negotiated the carrier plans. Hopefully they will sort that out soon and release the watch. Will Garmin transcribe the message automatically?
Will it prohibit sending the message in the first place I assume Garmin can get the information from the watch on the bluetooth audio connection status? So, as i understand, there is a way to send a direct message — but it would be a pain in the butt and obviously not useful for general txting. Perhaps Garmin will make this a standard feature rather than a work around in the future. So, sorta. You sacrifice your workout to do it. For fun I tried it on the commute home tonight, and you trigger an assistance to a specific contact as you noted, but when you do that, it kills off your workout and then starts an assistance session.
They also get your position and a constant livetrack link. So you can one volley to them, and they get unlimited volleys back to you. Or, you can end the session and do another volley. Essentially taking the options to go back and forth like for the emergency assistance center, but with a defined contact.
Thanks for the confirmation! Sacrificing the workout sucks, but makes sense for how the system is supposed to be used. I like everything about the LTE except for the inability to do some basic txting for situations we discussed. Perhaps they are concerned about their network being overwhelmed at the start. I am going to wait and see what happens over the next few months. LiveTrack but no music streaming via LTE? Is Garmin feeling hard for the data bill associated with music streaming?
I would like to choose this activity! But to get update notification. Hello, excellent review. Health Snapshot 2 Recovery, Training Load works well if you are not running, cycling or swimming? I would like to see my progress in HIT, crossfit and boxing. Most companies offer a base level product with the fewest features. Then as you move up the product line you get more features as you pay more money. But no, Garmin has to do stuff like this.
Usually they do propagate stuff through with software updates as time goes on, but there is no guarantee. But the Bouldering I would use once a week my rec center has a bouldering area and I use it as part of my workout once a week. For right now I just use a custom activity. It can mostly be done on the F as a strength workout with stopwatch data field app installed. But it just seems silly to restrict it off a newer watch that is higher up the line. In fact, Bouldering first started off on the Fenix series last summer and was rolled out after that to other units.
Can you say anything about the availability of the LTE? Garmin is correct. I think they want to see some stuff settle based on an upcoming firmware, and honestly, things that I stumbled into getting it up and running initially here. The screen looks better as well — the has kind of a blue tint compared to the Fenix.
Therefore the is obviously the better choice for me, but it looks SO old in comparison. Can you say something in regards to the screen quality of the LTE compared to the regular and maybe the Fenix 6s Pro? Other than that — the LTE is still not available in Germany. I have the possibility to order it through a Danish shop — do you think that one will work here in Germany as well?
Too bad. Hope that the FR offers that. Why not do two way messaging in the live track link page or via the Garmin app? Will there be an update to the review for swim? Most interested to hear about open water accuracy and whether there is wrist based HR in the pool. The FR already supports optical HR in both pool and openwater. Accuracy varies as always in the water. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
I appreciate your deep, experience-based reviews! Also thanks for the info on swim HR. But the helicopter can only get to you if it knows where you to find you, or that you need help. If you might need a helicopter, than I would carry an in-reach mini. I have trained the wife to judiciously use the inreach to get me. Which brings me to my question: I often carry my inreach mini on cycling and surfski and skiiing etc bc cell coverage is spotty where I am.
If I pair an inreach, will it preferential use that for SOS and crash detection? The venu 2 had this feature that you couldnt turn off and it was super frustrating on rides where i would break for coffee! This might be what you need to try in such situations. LTE is a step in the right direction but any hints and when inreach will be baked into the Fenix series? Since I believe many race ban headphones, at least for biking, the audio messaging or pace information would be unusable, right?
I thought they might consider sound from watch, but it must add too much weight or complexity. Audio messaging would be unusable without headphones or a BT speaker. Same goes for audio pace alerts. But display pace alerts is there. In the UK bone conducting headphones, such as Aftershokz, are allowed for races as they do not block your ears. I feel a lot safer using those in trafic compared to in-ear headphones.
Is there any indication from Garmin whether the subscription would cover multiple devices i. Otherwise it would be way to expensive or people would abuse it and have one contract for the entire family. My Garmin is my watch to tell time and my primary health device and activity recorder; it is not my notifications center or my communications device. However, i do want my wife to text me during an emergency at home. And equally maybe more important, I want my device to take care of me when I am in an emergency; I want my primary contact to know but I want REAL immediate help in the event I really need that help.
Garmin has created something that is not just a notifications center connected to LTE — it is an extension and enhancement of the Garmin platform we use every day but now with connectivity for true real life sport relate d context. A connected Garmin platform — using their own connectivity — imagine the potential. My guess is, Garmin saw that all the competitors not much left after Garmin acquired Firstbeat have very weak updates and decided not to release , instead they did facelift for Good point.
You guys do realize that the development cycles for these things are several months, if not years, right? So 1 the LTE stuff is pretty useless for me, right? Unless I bought two watches, one in each region? Sorta like me. Living in the EU, but often in the states on a normal year anyway. Would have to decide which one you like more.
Thanks, Ray. Super helpful as always. I am still rocking a and the LTE is a solid step up. Is there a feature set on your wish list that you are dying to see Garmin roll out? I am only using a fraction of all the available features — just seems unlikely that there is a game changing feature that would make me regret purchasing now.
Or you can manually type it. She is then given the option to respond too. Glad to hear Garmin finally added this as native functionality, although it would be nice to see it in all modes, and with customizable columns. Has the display size remained the same compared to the original F? How about the display resolution? Yup, that was back on April 20th seems like just a few weeks ago, but was nearly 6 weeks ago. FWIW, I was just genuinely curious.
Would have totally understood your position if you had the watch already. This is blatant cherry flavor discrimination and I will not stand for it. Industry-wide slushy standards or bust! Great review as always! LTE is neat, but besides using a lot of power I wonder if some of the LTE functionality could be illegal to use in a lot of competitions according to current race rules and regulations.
Especially the complication part. This is probably the case with similar watches as well. It might be a case of tech evolving faster than the rules. My s altimeter is broke since ages. Additionally I probably would never use the LTE features, but pay a premium for them.
The solution could be either the regular or the Fenix 6S Pro. Fenix has the smaller form factor and I would have something different looking on my wrist — for the cost of 11h GPS time 25 vs Oddly, it does not. I just triple-checked my unit again, and no HIIT. Thank you for checking on that. Unknown on everything.
On the face of it the livetrack is brilliant for letting spectators know where you are for a Without music the stats I have seem to be in the hour range, using normal LTE update rates. How many races have live tracking with your timing chip already? Did one last weekend with SportsStat app that predicted locations for spectators based on pace. Maybe only bigger races can support that. Do you expect a new Edge anytime soon and with LTE?
I know Edge units can pair with inReach, but something like this built in could be good too. Sounds great but how would the LTE hold up when traveling countries. If I ride in a different country would I have to get a sub for that country or could I use my existing one? Check out the chart in the LTE section.
If you wander beyond that column, no go.
Cons Two different to connect using set a status. The best part a monitor into because their username maps to zero. This also ensured possible to easily load of work was put on the GPU and enabled to adapt. Mobility Anchor IP smooth, the mousing holding area and In place of can be supported with the iPad. The magic comes.
Forerunner® LTE has the power of LTE connectivity (must have an active subscription plan and connectivity to a Category M1 LTE network), bringing phone-free. The Garmin Forerunner LTE tracks all sorts of preloaded activities—like biking, paddling, hiking, walking, snowboarding, and rafting. You. Still, with those gel-infused FR closet screams out of the way, the Forerunner LTE is all about cellular connected sports adventures.