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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:
This weekend a massive boatload of sales kicked off, mostly wearable focused. I suspect some of these are driven by the various Fitbit announcements as of late. Still, certainly lots of goodness to be had in here. I’ve put a little star next to the ones I think are the best deals.
We've got a couple of these, both at home, and the office, and mostly just use it to play music for the kids. I don't have a specific need to pickup another one this year, but it's kinda incredible what kind of technology they can pack into that price.
⚡⚡ This is the lowest price AirPods have ever been - this is solid! I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
⚡ These are my daily driver headphones that I use for all my trainer rides, and anything else sport related. While they're not perfect (namely the charging case), it's what I keep going back to every day because of the seamless Apple ecosystem integration (iPad/Apple TV/iOS/Mac).
⚡ This is a very solid price for the DJI OSMO Action, and it's a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn't compete with the Hero 8 or Hero 9). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we'd see a new OSMO Action sometime this past spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening for a while.
⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredible solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last month on Amazon Prime Day ($239). Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Both the Forerunner 245 Music is sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date. The FR245 Music supports Spotify, Amazon Music, and other streaming platforms.
If you're looking for a runners focused watch, there's no better deal on the market than this. Period. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series. Seriously, this is a solid deal.
This isn't a bad price per se, but for $20 more you'll get so much more watch out of the FR935 deal. However, that doesn't include music, whereas this FR645 Music Deal Does. Also, the 51% off is per list, but realistically we're talking about $70 off normal prices.
If you're looking for a solid budget GPS running watch, it's hard to go wrong here. Sure, it's a few years old now, but it'll track your race just fine and upload to Garmin Connect and all the other Strava-like sites as well.
This bundle includes both the dual ANT+/BLE Speed & Cadence sensors (V2), and is notable because the speed sensor not only transmits like any other, but also records your rides even when you don't have a bike computer/watch paired to it - making it perfect for commuter bikes. Both sensors are fully compatible with basically every app/watch/bike computer out there.
This is Garmin's latest ANT+/Bluetooth Smart speed sensor, but notably, it's also one that can record your rides without being connected to a bike computer, making it perfect for tracking mileage on a commuter bike. I'm super tempted to pickup a few of these and outfit all our commuter/cargo bikes for 2021 to see what the mileage/breakdown by trip/etc looks like at the end of the year. Yes, I'm a geek.
This is only the 2nd time we've seen the Garmin Swim 2 on sale. And as part of my in-depth review I found it easily the most accurate openwater swim watch GPS-wise I've ever tested. Which, is good, since most pools seem to be closed these days. :-/
⚡ Obviously this is the previous edition, but dang, it's still a good price for a great little GPS watch. This has mostly been on sale at this price range for a while now, however, I've included it in the list merely because if you're looking for a deal then this is probably one of the best deals out there.
⚡ This is a great deal on this unit which can send messages back and forth when there's no cellular service. It also connects to the Garmin Edge devices plus the Forerunner & Fenix devices for sending urgent messages sans-cell signals
⚡ The Hero 8 is still a great camera, so if you don't need the extra bits of the newer Hero 9, this saves you a $100 in comparison. Plus, this includes an extra battery, shorty stick/tripod, head mount, and 32GB MicroSD Card. Note: Price seems to fluctuate a bit between $279 and $299.
The entire lineup of Insta360 One R action cams are 15% off, including the 1" and 360 variants. Overall it's a good cam with good picture clarity (I've mainly used the 1" 5.3K variant), but I find the software really lets it down.
This is my main tripod I use day in and day out, and during all my travelling. It's probably got 500,000-800,000 miles of travel on it, and it still looks like new - despite the fact that I treat it like crap. It's out in the salt spray waves often, in the mud and rain, etc... It just rocks. I just bought another one to have one permanently setup in the studio (+ one for traveling).
This is my main shooting cameras for video (they make great stills too, but I mainly got this for video), and I've bought two of them. $700 off is an awesome deal. In my case I got the kit. And in case it's even more of an endorsement, both GPLAMA & DesFit also use this camera too!
⚡ I love this little sensor, and you'll see it in almost every one of my watch/HR sensor reviews as a comparison/reference strap. It's just so darn accurate and so easy to use. Every optical HR sensor (and app with it) should aspire to be what this thing is.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds - 39% off
I use this card in both 128GB and 256GB variety, and it's perfect for all my drones and action cams, easily recording 4K/60 and 5K/30, as well as 5.7K without trouble. I often pickup these cards when on sale like this, so I have them for later in the year when not on sale.
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) STAC Zero Silent Controllable Trainer goes on sale: You’ll remember my preview post from last fall. Now, you can pre-order it for delivery this summer. I should have a unit arrive in a couple weeks, giving you hopefully enough time and information should you want to make the early-bird pricing cut prior to April 30th. Given I’ve previously seen their setup as fairly accurate, the key item here I’ll be looking for is ease of configuration/setup, and speed of responsiveness. Chatting with them they’ve made the config/setup easier than their past units, so hopefully this will be a solid competitor for the 2018-2019 trainer season.
2) Android Wear renamed to Wear OS: Ok then. I’ve never quite understood corporate renaming efforts, but especially this one. It’s one thing when you control all the channels/outputs/etc so you can quickly change branding and such. But in this case you’ve got numerous vendors who are unlikely to move quickly to update countless references to it across sites, platforms, apps, devices, marketing materials and such. Not sure on this one. Albeit on the flip side, this may help iOS users realize it’s not Android-specific. You can use an Android Wear device with iOS (mostly).
3) Polar sleep study with 6 million nights of data: Plenty of interesting tidbits in this post and infographic thingy. Kinda reminds me of one Fitbit did a long time ago somewhere (perhaps someone has Google Kung Fu). Would be interesting to compare the two data infographics and see how much things align.
4) Polar also made two new M430 colors and dropped the price: They’ve added in a Kermit green color and a dark blue option. Also, the new price of the unit is $199/199EUR going forward (for all color variants, not just Kermit). Also of note is that unlike Garmin, Polar names these colors rather simply. ‘Dark blue’ and ‘green’ are the official names. Whereas if these were Garmin devices, they’d be called ‘Southern Lillypad’ and ‘Prussian Blue’. I appreciate simplicity.
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.
Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: A large pile of new functionality/tweaks. Quite a pile of new items, mostly smaller in nature like data fields. But sometimes it’s the sum of the pile rather than a single standout feature.
GoPro Hero6 Firmware Update: This was actually a few weeks ago, but I missed it in the notes. Given these are rare, wanted to call it out. Mostly performance and lighting improvements.
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2019 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s 2018 Gear Guide too.