Heads up: Stack of February Sports Tech Sales

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Every once in a while the sports tech sales world syncs up.  Kinda like one of those crazy synchronized spin bike performances (yes, you need to check that out if you haven’t).  For whatever reason, today kicked off a wide swath of sales from numerous folks: Garmin, GoPro, Fitbit, TomTom, and Scosche.

So why the sales?  Well, I think we’re seeing some of those companies adopt slightly different sales strategies for 2017 – aiming for less ‘big bang’ type sales, and more frequent smaller sales.  If you look, for example, at these deals, they virtually identically match what was offered over the Black Friday-Christmas sales just two months two.  Like Groundhog Day.  And then there’s TomTom, which is basically perpetually putting products on sale.  They’ve conditioned all of us to never buy their stuff unless it’s on sale (to be clear though, the Spark 3 watch series is a great lineup).

None of these products are considered old, and nobody would expect any replacements of these specific products anytime soon.  This is purely drawing in interest in the traditionally quiet February time period.

In any case, here’s the listing of active sales over the next few weeks – all of which started earlier today.  Note that different companies have different end dates, with the Scosche sale ending soonest, on Wednesday.

Current Deals
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated

So basically – consider the above some Valentine’s Day sales or something.  Just to provide some brief insights on a few of these products:

Garmin: This sale is somewhat modest, though does touch on more of the broader reaching products for them.  The Vivofit 3 being the baseline Garmin activity tracker, whereas the Vivosmart HR+ is their GPS-enabled activity tracker band with full smartphone notifications, music control, etc…. The Vivofit Jr. is the kids variant, which is surprisingly cool (and the feedback I’ve been getting from parents with kids old enough is also surprisingly strong).  Unfortunately, The Peanut is still a bit too young at 7 months to be using it.  The best deal here, in my opinion, being the Vivosmart HR+.

TomTom: I wrapped up testing of the Spark 3 over the last few weeks, and just need to write up my thoughts and take some pretty pictures.  But overall I’m pretty happy with the usage of it.  The new 24×7 HR pieces added with a firmware update last year are much cleaner now with the updated app.  The optical HR seemed OK at a glance, but I haven’t run the numbers through the analyzer yet to dig into any nuanced issues.  More on that in my in-depth review.  Still, the baseline watch especially is really the best deal out there in sports tech at $99.

GoPro: These deals are ‘credit’ deals, meaning you get back credit at a retailer.  GoPro isn’t a fan of straight-up discounts on their products.  Out of the three cams on offer, my favorite here being the Hero5 Black.  It’s more or less my day to day action camera, except when I’m shooting something with data overlays (in which case I use the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30).  The reason for siding with GoPro as my daily driver? Simple: Fully waterproofed without a case.  I just don’t have to think about it.  Though, from a sports-focused standpoint, the VIRB Ultra 30 pretty much slaughters it in functionality.  In any case, you could pick up that Hero5 Black and then with the $60 credit you’d only be a couple of dollars short in picking up my favorite GoPro 3-way Pole, or three extra Hero5 batteries.  Not too shabby.

Fitbit: The Blaze got some nice updates over the past little while, including legit smartphone notifications (finally!), as well as a pretty solid update on the mobile app side.  Both of which are worth noting.  Of course with the Blaze you’re really buying into the Fitbit social ecosystem more than anything else.  Do keep in mind the Fitbit Blaze doesn’t have GPS built-in, but rather uses your phone’s GPS (which Fitbit cleverly calls ‘Connected GPS’).  In either case, if you pick up a Fitbit unit, the winner deal here is that accessories are 50% off for both the Blaze and Alta.

Scosche: This is simple – it’s $20 off, and remains my ‘most favored nation’ status for an optical HR sensor.  The fact that it’s dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart means it works with basically everything out there these days.  And the accuracy is unbeatable from an optical HR standpoint (in part because it’s typically strapped on your upper arm).

So there ya go – just a quick bit of coverage on these sales, in case folks are looking to pick things up following the frenzy of the holidays.  And for everyone else, I return you to your normally scheduled postings.  Except, you know, minus any actual schedule.  I mostly just float with the wind.

Oh – and obviously – if you use the linkage above you help support the site and increase your awesomeness.  And everyone wants to be awesome…especially going into a Monday.

Thanks for reading!

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34 Comments

  1. robert day

    I’m looking at the New Balance RUNIQ android watch . Looks interesting . I would be coming from the basic To Tom runner . I was going to grab the Garmin 235 as it would be a great upgrade for me for marathon training . The only reason I held off was because of this New Balance watch . Have you had a chance to see it in Las Vegas ? Any thoughts ? Are you considering reviewing it ? Thanks .

  2. David

    Ray: is it your feeling that the Vivofit and Vivosmart line is an “update every year” line or since we saw the HR+ and Vivofit 3 we won’t be seeing updates any soon… wondering if this is just clearing inventory for new models…

    • I don’t think we’ll see a new Vivofit variant soon. I could see something like end of year (September timeframe). And probably the same for Vivosmart HR+. Basically, at this point they’ve got a pretty competitive product, so waiting a bit makes sense.

  3. Adam

    Target.com is selling the Vivoactive HR+ for $149

    link to target.com

  4. Goran

    This is a US-only sale?

    Thanks!

  5. Brian

    Still rocking my Garmin 910xt (although the altimeter has gone out on it.) I do use it to race with an because of that I have the quick release kit. I know the 920xt has that same kit but the 735 doesn’t. My question is do you see a replacement coming out for the 920xt that I should wait for or do you think there will be a quick release coming for the 735? Don’t want to put money into something that is just going to be replaced in a couple months. But really like the quick release.

    • The quick release is the tricky part, since it took them forever to create one for the Fenix3, and there’s still no current plans for the Fenix5 (illogical to me, given tri is a big target market).

      I think the bigger question is where/how a FR920XT would fit into the overall landscape.

    • Patrick Utrecht

      Since Ray doesn’t like to talk about rumors, or he’s under an Non disclosure agreement, let me refer you to some early rumor talk about the 935 (replacing the 920) link to appelmoessite.wordpress.com Mind you, this isn’t official news but it’s likely that an announcement will be coming, seeing this ‘appelmoessite’ had the same early intel about the fenix 5.

    • Craig Hoskin

      PS. With your altimeter problem … try washing/soaking in warm water with soap, and a brush with a toothbrush, the two small holes for the altimeter on the back of the watch. Worked a treat for mine.

    • Brian

      yeah the quick release is a killer for me. I may have already been into the 735 otherwise…

    • Brian

      Interesting Patrick…thanks

    • Brian

      Thanks Craig I have tried just about everything including contacting garmin and they said I could send it in an have it fixed or received a refurb for $100. The watch still works just don’t get my elevation info and here in MN that isn’t a complete deal breaker…Thanks for the suggestion though.

  6. fisao

    Every time I come to your site, I learn a little something or other, but your link to the synchronised spin bike thingy…awesome, It made me laugh out loud and I thank you very much for this tidbit :)

    minor rant on/ regional sales suck! / minor rant off

  7. Matt

    Does the Rythm+ work as a Bridge?

  8. Scott H

    Any indication from Garmin they might match GoPro’s promotion with the Virb Ultra 30?

    • I haven’t seen anything there. I’d agree that a well-designed VIRB promo could go a long ways. I can’t think of the last time we’ve ever seen any VIRB promo. Maybe in that very first year there was one. In the second year, there were cases where once the products left MAP Policy (Minimum Advertised Price), we saw some crazy good deals. But that’s more on the retailer than Garmin at that point.

      I’d think something like a $299 for 7 day sale would go bonkers. But…what do I know. ;)

  9. Peter

    Few hours ago our 11,5mo old baby girl Nina made first 10 steps alone.
    As we are Garmin positive family, I think it should be cool to be able to track her progress …
    Do you think buying Vivofit Jr is for birthday is a totally stranbe idea of fanatic Dad? :)

    • Molly G

      The Vivofit Jr is designed for kids aged 4-9 and the band is not adjustable. I would not recommend buying this for a 1 yr old.

  10. Marcel

    I had the Scosche in my cart… at Clever Training no less (Amazon doesn’t offer the $59 price anymore), and then I hit the shipping cost wall. It has happened more often, but after a while, I forget, and I try again, and I cancel again. A 50% shipping fee, which is what the flat rate amounts to this time, is just silly for such a light item. That is the one thing preventing me from ordering at Clever Training – wish they would do something about it. I don’t mind paying actual shipping costs, but this is nonsense.

    • Hi Marcel-

      Sounds like you’re trying to ship from US to Europe or similar. I do agree the shipping fee is a bit wonky for the size of this particular item. Most times the flat-rate works out, but in this case for such an inexpensive and small item…not so much. I’ll poke them about seeing what can be done longer term.

      Note that you can also purchase from CT UK though, which may help a bit. Though no sale there unfortunately right now (but there is still the 10% deal).

      Thanks!

  11. Dan Morse

    I bought the Scosche but find it horribly unreliable. In the 6-7 months I’ve been using my Garmin HR chest strap I’ve only had one ride ruined (from a HR measurement standpoint anyway) by it. In a couple weeks on the Scosche, I’ve lost 3-4 times as many. I let my wife use it, but it literally only works half the time. Thinking of getting a Tickr in order to get ANT+/BLE. Here’s one of the rides my wife did with the Scosche on. It defaults to 72 when the connection drops.

  12. Jessica Lister

    Any idea if the Fenix 3 or Fenix 3 HR will drop in price with the Fenix 5 hitting shelves soon?

  13. Nancy

    Hi;
    I am not what one would call a young runner and I like simple-to-use gadgets. I had a Garmin runners watch which I may have used 40 times and now the battery dies after 45 minutes and that is after a full charge. I would like to buy a very simple user friendly watch that has distance, time and pace per mile. Heart monitor would be a bonus but not necessary. Any suggestions. Thanks so much.
    Nancy

  14. Tom

    Just noticed Amazon has the Garmin 235 (Black) on sale for $269 (marked down from the usual $329). Maybe this is old news… but I just noticed it.

  15. Pablo

    There is a better deal on the Scosche Rhythm+ on their website, I think the best deal so far $50.39 using coupon SCOSCHE37

    link to scosche.com