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Week in Review–June 13th, 2016

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The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter and Facebook, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts in the past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.

Sunday: Week in Review–June 5th, 2016
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Suunto rolls out refreshed Movescount site, announces new Spartan Ultra GPS watch
Wednesday: Hands-on with new Withings Body Cardio WiFi Scale
Thursday: Dîner en Blanc 2016–the best night in Paris!
Friday: Garmin Forerunner 735XT In-Depth Review

Sports Tech Goodness on sale!

The theme of this week’s sale is definitely ‘The last sale is new again’.  Technically these are all Father’s Day sales, but in reality, they are merely Mother’s Day sales rebranded.  Either way, stuff be on sale, and you be savin’ money.

Fitbit Charge HR – $129 (was $149)In-depth review here

Polar A300 – $79 (was $99)Hands-on here

Mio Alpha 2 – $129 (was $149)Hands-on here

Garmin Vivofit – $49 (was $79)Review here
Garmin Vivofit with HRM strap – $79 (was $109)Review here
Garmin Vivofit2 – $69 (was $99)Hands-on here
Garmin Vivofit2 with HRM strap – $99 (was $129)Hands-on here
Garmin Vivosmart HR – $129 (was $149)Review here
Garmin Vivoactive – $169 (was $249)Review here
Garmin Vivoactive with HRM strap – $199 (was $299)Review here
Garmin Forerunner 15 GPS watch – $99 (was $119)Review here
Garmin Forerunner 15 GPS watch with HRM strap – $129 (was $149)Review here

I would not see any of these sales as indicative of something immediately new coming that replaces them.  Rather, this is mostly just having a sale on slightly older products given the excuse of a holiday to market it with.

YouTube videos I made:

Ok, technically I didn’t really make this first one.  I mean, sure, I setup a camera of which the footage was used.  And there is another which has additional footage I shot.  But otherwise it was 99% David from our Diner en Blanc last week.  But I’m in it a bunch!  Oh, and The Girl too!

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Hidden Motor Scandal Part 2: Just wait until part 18 or so. I’m almost certain it’s really gonna get better, sorta like Orange is the New Black – it’ll take a while to get cookin’.  Note the linked story is in English, which explains the video segment below that aired this weekend (in French).

2) Garmin FR230 tear-down: I’ve always wanted to do these, and it’s so rare that anyone does one that covers the endurance sports space (usually just things like iPhones). I think it’d be fun from a photographic side if done rather cleanly like some big tech sites.  The challenge is I just don’t know enough about the chipset components to make it interesting enough. Shame. (via Eli)

3) TomTom rolls out underwater correction mode for Bandit action camera: Pretty cool to see. It’s interesting though. For close-up fish on coral shots I like using something that gets rid of the blue. However, if I’m shooting something wider (i.e. a whale shark), then I find the blue background feels far more natural.  Seems like I’ll have to go back to the Maldives (where I first tested the TomTom Bandit action cam) to test this mode…

4) Lenovo outs a smart shoe? Not sure I’d be buying my footwear from a laptop company…though, I suspect like most things that you see at these types of events – I doubt it’ll ever come to market.  Still, neat to see continued innovation.  It sounds very similar to the Under Armour smart running shoe I tested this winter.

5) NYC’s underground half-marathon: Well, not really underground, but sorta.  Either way, cool idea for a race.  Sorta more like taking the concept of some of the adventure races where you need only hit each checkpoint and everything in between is up to you. (via Randy)

6) City using Strava data to ban mountain bikers: Really interesting, though also disappointing.  However, legally Strava speeds would be unlikely to hold up in court. Just too much error for using GPS instant-speed while mountain biking, especially with aspects like smart recording or switchbacks to consider.  That’s like taking the absolute worst possible accuracy case and trying to use that as being true. (via Randy)

7) Please don’t wear 10 fitness trackers at once to test them: Especially for heart rate data where for wrist based ones, it’ll interfere with each other, which impacts your HR accuracy data.  For steps, it’s not as big a deal, but it certainly can if the weight of all those trackers starts to impact natural movement.  My general rule of thumb these days is no more than one optical HR device per wrist, or no more than two non-optical HR devices per wrist (separated by a spacer).  In talking with companies in the space, they don’t have a problem with that test design either.

8) Bike thief lassoed and stopped by man on horse: Because…ummm…’Merica?  Seriously, just watch the video.

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners are perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin firmware updates.

TomTom and Sport Tracks add automatic sync: Apparently TomTom was busy last week, also adding in connectivity with Sport Tracks (to their new underwater camera mode).

Wahoo ELEMNT firmware update: Two bug fixes this week.

Polar M400 firmware update: Some minor tweaks/adds, plus some bug fixes.

Garmin Edge 1000 firmware update: Handful of new features, including being able to set ride type. Also some bug fixes.

Garmin Edge 520 firmware update: Same as Edge 1000.  The ride type feature on both is particularly well implemented.

Garmin Edge 25 firmware update: Boatload of bug fixes and small new features.

Garmin Forerunner 25 firmware update: Mostly bug fixes.

Garmin Fenix3/Tactix Bravo/Quatix 3 BETA firmware update: Minor bug fix. F3HR variant here.

Tip of the week to companies: If you have an RSS feed for updates I can subscribe, like Garmin, Polar, Adidas, Wahoo, and others – it’s nearly 100% how I remember to find these updates.  If you lack that, I likely won’t have your updates in the above.  Plus, users like it too.

Thanks for reading all, have a great weekend!

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22 Comments

  1. peroni

    The FR230 tear down shows it has a GPS chip that can support Galileo navigation system meant to go live sometime in 2017 or 2018
    Turning on that feature should be only a matter of a firmware update.
    It will be interesting to find out if Garmin will update some of the latest products with that feature.

    • Eli

      But don’t know if it will help or hinder accuracy as no real world testing was done plus it may have too much battery drain to be worth turning on.

  2. BartW

    If you already liked that Garmin FR230 tear-down i think you’re easy satisfied (taking in account your technical knowledge). You can always take the photos and let readers make the story.

    as for the tear down placing 2 photos and searching the types on internet doesn’t make it a very interesting tear down i think.
    It’s the whole product that needs a (photo) tear down, from display, buttons, speaker, changing pad till battery and the way everything is squeezed in.
    As from Googling the IC’s without technical background, No word about the even more interesting part of the Nordic IC -> ANT+. And final a max326 in this watch, don’t think so (for the unpopulated parts see FR630).

    I have always been interested in the internals of designs (as designer myself) but I don’t have a broken watch or the money to buy one for this purpose.
    If you or anyone can provide photos of them them i am more than willing to write a complete technical story include the complete block diagram of the whole watch including more detail about all parts than this “tear down” has.

    • For me, if I were to do a tear-down style post, it’d be far deeper in terms of photos than that one. More along the lines of an iFixit teardown (i.e. here’s a GoPro one: link to ifixit.com)

    • BartW

      I know the iFixit teardowns, their quality is high.
      If there will ever be a selfmade teardown on your site i would indeed expect it a bit more in that style (+little more text).
      Keep up the postings.

  3. Lieven

    If I understood it correctly the latest iOS version of Strava stopped supporting the RFLKT and RFLKT2? Any thoughts on this?

    • Indeed. I think it’s one of those cases where with better/cleaner support for Strava on the Garmin units (and soon on the ELEMNT), there’s probably dwindling reasons someone would actually use the native Strava app on the RFLKT.

  4. Benedik

    7our layout is broken. In Safari on the big iPad Pro, the adds are always above a part of the embedded videos.
    For screenshots write me an email

  5. ManilaRaf

    Ray,

    I’m looking at the Forerunner 15 without the Strap. It’s selling at $89 on Amazon right now (I’ll use your link =) ). Just wanted to ask as long as I use a strap that’s ANT+, it’ll work with the 15? I have a Wahoo Tickr X that I pair with my iPhone using the Wahoo App.

  6. Michael S.

    Why does it seem the Fenix 3 has had a software update pretty much every week I owned it, but the 735xt I just bought doesn’t seem to have any? (even though you’d expect a new product would be ripe for big fixes). Just curious! Keep up the great work!!

    • These are all beta updates. The Fenix3 and Forerunner teams are separate groups, and even separate divisions. So they run things differently.

      In general the Outdoor division seems to be more into doing public betas and gathering feedback, while the FR735XT seems to be into keeping things more private and less frequent.

  7. John

    Re: New Garmin “ride types.” I got so tired of having firmware updates overwrite my Race and Train profiles (to default settings) that I created my own separate Ride profile. Unless ride types would signify “road” or “gravel” (including which default bike was ridden) when uploaded to Connect then Strava, I’m not sure what this does for me?

  8. I love the Diner en Blanc video! Looks like a fun night… and your friends are a little crazy. Interesting to see some French people let loose a bit ;) Thanks for sharing!

  9. nachovica

    HI Rai
    Any chance to see a hands-on or in-depth review of new Samsung Gear Fit 2?
    Hardware-wise it seems to be on par with Garmin Vivoactive HR

    • Bongo McBongo

      +1 for the Samsung Gear Fit2 review? Can’t be worse than the original given Ray’s review?

    • Yup, I’ve been looking at the specs/videos a bit. I have one on order for when I arrive in the US next week.

    • Mitja

      Hi Ray;

      Just wondering if there is any chance of Samsung Gear Fit 2 review coming in the near future? :)

      My wife wants one – i’m A Suunto fan myself, so there’s a bit of a clash there…:)

      Thanks in advance…

  10. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for great updates.
    Just noticed that the Garmin Connect app (for Win 10 phones updated a few days ago, and for Android updated yesterday) added a function under connections to connect to Facebook, Gmail and to your contacts to find your contacts that use Garmin connect.
    Have not found this option on the connect.garmin site. Are you covering the updates on such apps as well for the software updates?

    • I’ve somewhat stopped covering app updates (unless it’s a major change), simply because there got to be far too many apps to cover and it was taking up quite a bit more time. Plus, these days app updates are easier to find than they used to be.

  11. StephenB

    Below is an email I received this morning from adidas. Essentially it seems to be saying that the adidas miCoach Pacer will soon be of no use because (as far as I know) there will be no way to read data from/on the device. I often used the Pacer to record heart/stride rate. I thought it was a good product which deserves to be supported.

    “As a result of technology evolution, miCoach Manager is being discontinued. What this means for you is that as of the middle of October, the miCoach Manager will be removed from the site and you will no longer be able to sync your Pacer and/or SPEED_CELL ANT+. The Pacer has been on the market for more than six years now, and production and development of the device was discontinued two years ago.

    For SPEED_CELL BTLE Mac users, you will still be able to sync your device via the multi-sport app, but no longer with your Mac via the miCoach Manager.

    Over time we will continue to evolve our products and services alongside new and emerging technologies.

    If you have questions regarding the Pacer, SPEED_CELL ANT+, SPEED_CELL BTLE or miCoach Manager, please reach out to miCoach Support. Thank you for your continued support and we hope that you understand our decision.

    Get more out of every workout by downloading our free Train and Run app at link to micoach.com.

    Best,
    Your miCoach Team”