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Hands-on: Sigma’s iD.TRI & iD.FREE Multisport GPS Watches

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I’ve always been a bit impressed by Sigma. Here’s a company that is mostly unknown outside of Europe (or even Germany), yet they tend to put out high-quality products that compete technically with those from the bigger-name American and European brands. Now, I say ‘technically’, because in general Sigma nails the functionality aspects. After all, their SIGMA ROX 12 GPS that came out last summer is ahead of what popular bike computer maker Wahoo Fitness offers on any of their head units from a functionality standpoint, and it’s not terribly far behind Garmin in certain areas either. The challenge for Sigma instead has always been the inverse problem of ‘Form over function’, more of a ‘Function but not form’ sorta issue.

But first, an explainer. The company has two products here – the iD.FREE (169EUR) & iD.TRI (179EUR) I’m going to abbreviate them to just Tri and Free, simply so I can type faster. Both units include a bike mount in them, which is reasonably impressive – and both units are identical in hardware specs. The 10EUR difference simply adds structured workout, competitions, and multisport mode to the other model. I’m mostly going to use the Tri variant in this post.

However, what’s impressive is the list of pretty advanced features for a sub-$300 watch, let alone at sub-$200 watch. Here, a quick overview:

– GPS recording with up to 12hrs run-time (8hrs in 1-second recording)
– 7-Day always-on mode battery life
– Optical heart rate sensor (via Valencell)
– ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart Sensor support (HR/Power/Cadence/Speed)
– Barometric altimeter (no new Suunto/Garmin/Polar triathlon watch below like $400 has a baro altimeter)
– Full navigation via GPS track & Komoot integration
– Full structured workout support via app (or 3rd party .FIT files)
– Full multisport mode (have to set up via app)
– Geocaching mode (supports Geocaching.com)
– Glowing light on bottom used for zones/targets, notifications, workouts
– Smartphone notifications
– Automatic crash detection, emergency contact notification
– Medical information shown on watch in crash
– Normal activity tracker type functionality (steps/etc..)
– Waterproofed to 50-meters
– Weight at 42g (that’s less than any Garmin triathlon watch) with mineral glass display (not plastic)

That’s a super-strong lineup for any watch, let alone one in this price bucket. And again, it includes a bike mount. And hardware-wise, the strap is silicone with a metal buckle (most cheaper watches have plastic buckles). On the flip-side, note that there is no backlight in regular watch modes, though it does appear to come on when text messages come in. Kinda quirky.

With that – let’s get into the basics of the watch.

Watch Walk-Through:

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You’ll start on the watch face, which as one might expect, shows the time. There’s two watch faces on the watch, but down in the bottom left you’ll find the steps for the day (you can also change this to HR, distance, or calories).

While my day today did have some 8-9 miles of hiking/running/etc, it didn’t quite have 29,000 steps worth. About 15,000 of that is due to driving the rental RV down to Eurobike. Apparently it’s a bumpy ride (the Garmin only accumulated a bit over 1,000 steps during that time period, including two gas station stops). In any case, I don’t own a car, so normally this wouldn’t bother me personally.

Most of these settings can be tweaked via the companion app. You can see things like the clock face, as well as more general bits like the alarm (configurable for Daily, or Mon-Fri), as well as bits like smart notifications enablement. It’s also where you can set the daily step target.

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Looking at more general things, from the watch-face, if I tap the lower left or lower right buttons it’ll iterate through some quick daily stats including steps, heart rate, distance, and calories.

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The heart rate comes from the Valencell reference optical HR sensor on the back of the unit. This is considered one of the best sensors out there from an accuracy standpoint, but perhaps more importantly, one of the best sensors out there when put on a super-lightweight watch like this (as compared to when it’s put on the far heavier and bouncier Suunto 9). Weight matters for optical HR accuracy on the wrist.

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Back on one more general thing before the sports side of life, it does get smartphone notifications. And this is an area that shows some of Sigma’s inexperience. Right now you have to manually dismiss every notification, always. Meaning, they don’t automatically disappear after a set number of seconds, nor can you clear everything in one bunch. Nor can you set to ignore. There’s only one option – OK – and you *have* to press it each time on each notification. Notifications are toggled back in that settings menu (On/Off), and then ultimately controlled on your iOS/Android via the normal notifications center. This notification came in an hour ago, it’s still there:

 

Ok, with all that said, we’ll press the sacred red button. This will go ahead and bring up the main sports menus. It’s also where you can dig into settings and such as well:

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Your options here are:

– Training (select a sport, off you go)
– Load Track (following a course/route)
– Games (various activities including Geocaching, ‘HR Slalom’, ‘Speed Recovery’ (HR), and ‘Activity Sprint’)
– Memory (history and minor analysis tidbits)
– Settings (piles upon piles of things to dork with)

We’ll temporarily defer looking at the ‘Training’ bits, since I’ll cover those in a second. So let’s look at ‘Load Track’ instead. It’s here that you can load tracks from the smartphone app or Sigma Datacenter (desktop app). You can’t seem to make a track directly on the smartphone app itself, though you can show nearby routes via GPSies integrated right into the app:

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I will give credit to the above that it’s pretty cool, the using your current location to find nearby trails. Albeit only a handful of trails, but still – something I don’t see in other apps.

And with Komoot if you’ve got a Komoot account you can integrate that as well, all right within the app:

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All of that will sync via Bluetooth Smart to the app once you send it over. Though I find the sync can often fall apart and I’ve got to manually sync things. In that same vein, it’s super weird to me that after I’ve synced (usually manually) from the watch to the app, that I have to then remember to press the button to sync that again to the Sigma Cloud platform. Without doing so you won’t get your workouts on sites like Strava or such.  I don’t understand why I have to take so many manual steps. It should just be instant when my workout completes.

And while I’m on the app – this really gets to my core complaint about the Sigma lineup: They need to invest in some graphic designers. This is the main page of the app when you open it. And if I swipe once, I get this second page:

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As you’ll see above, the watch is currently not syncing today, but let’s ignore that. Why on earth is 60% of my entire iPhone screen taken up with showing me how many steps I did today? And the same goes for showing me activities by week (using the ‘Week number’ system that’s commonly used in Europe, but virtually never used in North America). So much of the app feels like 1997. They desperately need to re-think the user interface. The same applies to the Sigma Datacenter desktop app (and was a core complaint of mine back with the Sigma ROX 12 GPS).

And, once it did finally sync, here’s what I get. Except – I can’t tap on anything. What does the ‘Low 2:13h’ mean? I get that 31,302 is my steps for the day, but I can’t tap on anything, and there’s no explainer text anywhere.

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And I get it – there will be some of you that say ‘User interface doesn’t matter, I just want accurate stats’. Which is fine I guess, except that I see no reason they have to be mutually exclusive. Nobody actually likes using clunky interfaces, and anyone that says they do are the same people that say they don’t pee in wetsuits. I’d easily go as far as arguing that the singular reason Sigma hasn’t really caught-on outside the German market is because of the clunky user interface of their apps (and to a lesser extent, sometimes their devices, though the ROX12 was pretty smooth device-wise).

On the bright side – I do like the usage of the little LED along the bottom. This is used in a pile of scenarios, from notification of an incoming text message, to heart rate zones during a structured workout, to when it displays an error message for something. It’s also used in things like showing you that you’ve progressed to a higher level of workouts or activity this week:

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You can see how even on your wrist, it’s super easy to see:

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In any case, let’s wrap-up real quick in settings before we get to the run. It’s here we can pair sensors (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart), as well as pair our phone:

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It’s also where we can set various device settings like units or language, alarms, keylock, the current altitude, GPS update rate, and so on. More or less all the major stuff you’d expect:

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You can also configure user settings here as well, like your weight/height/age. Plus also where you can view medical information if you’ve added it via the app.

In one way – mainly the display rectangular-ness, the device reminds me of a TomTom watch. Though it’s clear this is all Sigma from the ground up. For one, it’s a heck of a last faster – but most notably, it’s also a bit more Android-like. Tons of things you can toggle and tweak. Whereas TomTom was all about minimalism.

An Example Workout:

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Ok, with all that set, let’s go back into the training section, pick a sport, and go running, hiking, or something. I’ve done both. Even some rides too. First up, choose your sport. You’ve got Running, Cycling, Swimming, Hiking, Fitness (Gym), Skiing, and Other.

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There aren’t explicitly indoor variants of these, but rather you just skip finding GPS, and then go ahead and start the activity. I’ve found in general that GPS acquisition is often slow, and usually takes at least 2-3 attempts. The watch has a very fast time-out if it doesn’t find GPS, so you have to keep telling it to try again. This is in numerous locations that I’ve tried including: Amsterdam, New York City, the glorious town of Putz, Germany – and the middle of the Austrian Alps. It’s just rarely successful the first time around.

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Once you’re ready, simply press the ‘Start’ button (the red button again), and you’re good to go. One of the cool things about the watch is that it mirrors Garmin’s ability to see data fields even when paused (a surprising number of other watches don’t let you see data fields/screens when paused). And of course, you’ll see those same fields when you resume again.

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Atop that, it’ll actually briefly show you the name/function of each data field on your data pages when you switch pages:

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Fear not, you can turn this off if you don’t like it (it’s a bit long for my taste). The switching of data pages is super quick – instant. I mean, it should be. But it’s instant-instant. There’s no lag whatsoever. There’s also a few graphical pages, like the altitude profile:

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And there’s even a data field for weather. Albeit, I’m not terribly certain on telling me if it’s going to start raining, or was raining (Post-Thought Update: I then got rained on). Still, I appreciate the thought.

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The heart rate will by default come from the optical HR sensor, though again, you can pair an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap. I’ve done testing with both the optical HR sensor and two different external ANT+ HR sensors (Garmin HRM-DUAL & Polar OH1+). I’ll show some charts down below.

From a wearability standpoint, it’s nice and light, and the strap is high quality and doesn’t feel too stiff or weird. I’m happy there.

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Once you’ve completed your workout you’ll be able to see some summary stats on the watch itself, as well as upon sync (manual or automatic) over on the Sigma app. Or, if you’re using the desktop, the desktop app. All of which can ultimately be synced with Sigma Datacenter and then up to various 3rd party platforms like Strava, TrainingPeaks, and 2Peak.

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So how does accuracy look? Ask and you shall receive. We’ll start first with a run on relatively flat terrain. This one compared the Polar Vantage V with the OH1 Plus connected for HR. While on the Garmin side as a reference point we’ve got the FR945 with the HRM-DUAL chest strap. I know, these are both more expensive units, but frankly in all my years of testing that hasn’t mattered. After all, most of these companies are using the exact same GPS chipset anyway, and half of them are using the exact same optical HR sensor. It’s how they use it that matters.

Let’s start with GPS. In this case, it’s a simple run around the rowing basin, though, about half of it is in the trees, and half of it in more open fields. Kinda a blend. Here’s that data set:

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In general in this section below (both going out, and coming back), it wobbles quite a bit into the trees and off the into the water, and isn’t anywhere near as accurate as the Polar unit:

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It’s getting the general gist of the route right, but doing it in a drunk-driver sorta way:

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And the lower section:

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Honestly, I think we’ve seen enough on this run, it’s not good.

As for the heart rate side of things, despite the watch saying it was ready – it apparently wasn’t. You can see how the HR stays stuck at 70 for a while, before it catches on. Also, in case you’re wondering – apparently I didn’t press start on the FR945? Or I did (I’m like 99.99% sure I did), and the watch crashed and lost the workout (a first). Or, aliens. Either way, that’s why it starts 12 minutes in.

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In any case, once the Sigma unit locks heart rate at the 3-minute marker, it holds it nice and steady for the remainder of the workout. A bit of a wobble here and there around the 35-minute marker however. Not huge, but worth noting.

Let’s go look at another GPS track, this time up in the mountains. While I know the flat-lands were challenging, perhaps we just need something more robust to get some good GPS accuracy. This time I’m off doing a trail run in Austria. It’s basically just up, and back down. I suppose like all runs in the Alps. Here’s the data set:

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At a high level, things don’t look too shabby. The lines are all atop each other – that’s a good sign! So let’s zoom in. Note that the vast majority of this is in the forest, though there are some open field sections as I descend (the north/upper portion of this image).

Let’s look at the ascent first. This was slow, as one might imagine when it’s a 20%+ incline. But, things look good here too:

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So let’s skip ahead as I start descending a bit, and initially, that’s across some large meadows of sorts:

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And oddly enough, this is where the Sigma goes astray a bit. It’s almost like it struggles with each terrain, and does better with hard terrain. Though, admittedly that is a pretty short lasting issue. We’re talking only a few hundred meters and then it locks back on again.

The remainder of the zig-zags back down into the village are perfectly fine:

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Now it’s worth noting that the run today (literally, just 4 hours ago), is on a newer firmware version than the run 2 days ago. There’s supposed to be some fixes in there, though I’m not sure if they were for GPS.  I’ll likely post a few more GPS & HR tracks over the coming days. I have more GPS tracks from the previous few weeks, including in the mountains and in Amsterdam, but they were all on the previous GPS firmware.

Either way, on the whole, for this run – given the terrain and huge trees, was actually very good for it overall. I’d have no complaints with using this GPS track for anything on this run.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Wrap-Up:

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Ultimately, like with the Sigma ROX 12 – the company might be onto something with this watch. They’re effectively taking the place of the ultra-budget market from the now defunct TomTom wearables line – but doing so with a far greater and more capable product (at least in terms of technical functionality). The thing to keep in mind with Sigma is that they aren’t actually a new kid on the block. They’ve been around the block more times than a toddler on a tricycle. And they have very strong brand recognition in Germany and other parts of Europe, and will show that on Wednesday with a sprawling booth at Eurobike. One that’ll be packed with people as always.

The challenge for the company though is whether or not they want to break out of that mold. Do they want a global product that competes on a global scale with the likes of Garmin, Suunto, and Polar (and to a far lesser extent, Apple/etc..)? Or are they content with the product they have and raking in the budget buyer with what is arguably a great physical watch, albeit with some minor quirks?

If they want to expand beyond their safe zone, then that’s gonna be spending some money to overhaul their app platforms: Phone, desktop, and web. It’s as simple as that. The apps as designed today just don’t cut the mustard in 2019 (let alone even 4-6 years ago). They do have the underlying technical bones though, they just don’t have a cohesive and coherent user interface for this decade.

But again – I see promise here. And the pricing is incredible. Seriously – 179EUR for a full-featured multisport product is an astoundingly good value. Let alone one that can also follow courses, do structured workouts, and has a nifty green glowing light on the bottom. Everyone loves a good glowing light.

With that – thanks for reading!

(Availability note: My understanding is the product is set to ship immediately, this week, starting in Europe. Availability beyond that region-wise is a bit unclear still.)

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103 Comments

  1. Sigma: Let’s name our new watches like the VW ID.3!
    Volkswagen lawyer: Hold my Dieselscandal file!

  2. DF

    Curious how you would compare this to the Coros Pace which has most of these features for $200? Admittedly, this is a pretty cool looking watch compared to the super ho hum Coros.

  3. Ralph

    The devices have hit the FCC website so I suspect US availability soon!

  4. It’s great these watches have a barometer at this price point but I’d rather have a watch that can measure temperature and humidity, which also affect performance and can’t be determined from GPS data. Do any sport watches measure temperature and humidity?

    • Virtually all watches that have a barometer also show/measure/record temperature, however, humidity is a rare one.

      The challenge with temperature though is that it’s on your wrist, so that’s a bit impacted by body heat.

  5. I came it to slam them for such an ugly product and wondering how they could compete with Garmin.

    But that price is a relief and looks like a great watch for someone who just wants to track sports rather than wear it all-day

  6. JJS

    Ray, thank you for this post! I live in Germany and I use Sigma products since many years. It is good to see that they are diving into wider possibilities while they don’t leave their ‘cheap but trusty’ playground…
    You mentioned a bike mount thing. Could you show a picture of this?
    Thx and keep up your good work!

  7. Tommy

    Who’s idea was it to put SIGMA in big white text on the front. No one will wear that

  8. pingi

    Hi DC,

    thank for the review. Can the watch be charged during workout? I couldn’t find any picture of the charger cable. Are the watch files accessible as USB mass storage?

    Cheers,
    pingi

    • Hi Pingi,

      let me give you a quick answer for your question.
      Mechanically, the watch could be charged during the workout, however, we currently do not have this feature implemented in the software. I guess you are asking for some ultra- run usage or similar?

      Yes, the watch is accessible as a masstorage. So you can download the files as .FIT format or also upload structured workouts e.g. from TrainingPeaks in .FIT Format. Just drop them into the “Workout” folder (iD.TRI only).
      I have attached a picture of the charger.

      Hope that helps!

    • Dave Lusty

      Really great to see the manufacturer responding to comments here Nik. Great job!

    • pingi

      Hi Nik,

      thank you for the fast reply!

      Yes, my major outings are around 9h (in winter too), few times even 14+h and I am planning to try some 24h events/summits. Also I know there is a huge influence on the battery based on the temperature..

      Cheers,
      pingi

    • Yup – I agree – I love it when manufs reply in the comments and help folks out! Thanks Nik!

    • Welcome 🙂
      Happy to help with technical questions!

  9. Florian

    “On the bright side – I do like the usage of the little LED along the bottom…”
    I see what you did there….

  10. Neil Jones

    Seems odd to offer two distinct SKUs with all the extra production and logistics that involves, for just a €10 difference in retail price. Maybe they’re testing the market and will drop one of these after a few months?

  11. John Mannion

    Heart rate strap??

  12. Andreas

    are power meters supported in running mode as well (e.g. STRYD) or in bike mode only ?

  13. dizpark

    Ray, do you intend to to a full review. I am very interested in GPS accuracy. I am looking at this as a ‘cheapish’ option for my children orienteering training/events. Previously our go to option was Polar M430, but it is quite bulky on small wrists. This looks like it is slimmer/ smaller. HR accuracy and all the training bits are fun and motivational, but I would mostly use it to look at the gps tracks post orienteering event for analysis. And good GPS is a important for this.

    • TBD on a full review. I might just add a few more things to the post/etc..

      My concern is mostly around availability. I generally don’t review products that are only available in a single country or region, or more specifically – don’t have more global plans. If a product says ‘We’ll only be available at launch in the US, but plan to expand beyond early next year’, that’s totally different.

      Or, frankly, if a product is available in at least the US/Canada – that’s 40% of my audience. Whereas Germany is…like 4.56% according to the metrics today.

      Finally, sometimes I’ll review products that are region-limited, but show great potential or are hugely innovative in their field. An example of that is the Wattbike Atom, which was only UK-available, but really lead the charge on indoor ‘smart’ bikes.

    • Abdiel

      Only 4,56? Need to talk to my friends… -_-

    • Gerald Greig

      Would be interested to see your full audience region / country % according to the “metrics”?

  14. Zoltan Szabo

    Thanks for the hands-on review, Ray! Afterall a full review would be great! 🙂

    Is the “following a course” function can be used during a running session? I mean is there an additional data screen for the navigation? Like on the Ambit3 series?

    Thanks

    Zoltan

    • JP

      What Zoltan said, I’d be really interested in the course-following screens etc

    • Zoltan Szabo

      Meanwhile I found some additional info on the manufacturers webpage:

      link to sigmasport.com

      But I’m still not sure, whether this screen is accessible during a running session or not.

    • Abdiel

      On the “Service”-tab you can find the manual: link to sigmasport.com

      “3.1 Loading the tracks on the device and navigate
      […]
      You can start a track from the main menu level. To do so, select the menu item “Loading track”, select the desired sport profile and start the training session. The track will then be displayed on an extra screen.”

    • Zoltan Szabo

      I missed that, thanks! Good old RTFM. 🙂

      Good news, anyways. That makes this watch a real contender for me.

    • Hey Guys,

      sorry for the late reply. But glad you found the information..! 🙂
      The “track navigation” is available in all sports profiles, so you can use it in running, cycling hiking (iD.FREE) etc. mode. Only for swimming we did not implement it for good reason 😉

      The navigation page will always load as a separate page, so you will have all your “regular” training values on hand.

  15. Adam

    Great work Ray.
    Does the ‘swimming’ option include open water and pool swimming?

    • Hi Adam,

      you can enable GPS for the swimming profile. However, we currently recommend to use it on a buoy or in the swimming cap (like many other manufacturers do…). As we are not fully happy with the GPS distance accuracy when worn on the wrist. We are optimizing this atm.
      Pool swimming is fully supported, and different pool lengths can be set.

      Hope that helps!

  16. likepend1

    i was just a little curious so i went to the SIGMA page to look it up. This 180euro watch has a barometer (says that it is measuring air pressure). have to say, i am interested in this watch. Will definitely come back for your in depth review, thx Ray!!!

  17. Felkerino

    Ray, at what point do you pull the plug on a post? This product seemed to throw up more red flags than green, so to speak. I’m not sure how it will succeed given the issues surrounding notifications and the core functions of HR and GPS lock time and tracking. A previous-generation Garmin watch beats it on features and price, other than barometer.

    • I don’t think it threw up too many red flags. The GPS did better after the firmware update on Friday evening, so that helped. HR is TBD another workout post-update (though given that’s outsourced, there’s really nothing that will change there).

      I agree that a previous-gen Garmin would easily beat it, though probably not in this small a form factor. For example you could get a FR920XT on sale for sub-$200, but that’s also a beast of a watch physically.

      As for giving up on posts, I usually don’t tend to give-up because a product is bad. Usually once I start investing real effort into it, I’m going to write about it no matter what. Typically speaking what happens if I start seeing problems on an unannounced/unreleased product is that I’ll ‘downgrade’ my post plan from ‘Full In-Depth Review’ to ‘Hands-on’ type posts, meaning that the company needs to put more time into it because for whatever reason, the product I have in my hands at this point simply isn’t ready for prime time, and as such shouldn’t be released to consumers as-is. I generally only write full reviews on final hardware/software, and for products that are expected to ship within the next hours/days, or at worst perhaps a week.

      Sometimes that can simply be because I don’t get the final firmware until a day or two prior, which isn’t enough time for me to fully test all the scenarios (I can sometimes in trainers, because it’s a much more static scenario).

      It’s a trend that you’ll see on full display this week in a lot of upcoming products that frankly just aren’t baked enough yet.

    • David E.

      Right. So how many Full In-Depth reviews are we getting in the next 72 hours and how many Hands-on posts? 🙂

    • Somewhere between 8-11 Hands-on/First look like posts, and between 3-6 In-Depth Reviews in the next 72 hours. Though, it seems like the number of products making the transition from Review to First Look/Hands-on is sliding with each successive workout I do. :-/

    • David E.

      Wow. May the Haribo be with you.

    • Don’t worry, I’m covered! Fresh pickup at the grocery this afternoon.

  18. The Dark Passenger

    Ray – can you take laps with this watch (eg use on a running track)?

    • Hi,

      you can take laps manually (by pushing the start button during training) and also enable Automatic Laps based on Distance (e.g. every 1km) or Time (e.g. every 5 mins).
      You will get a lap pop-up and can see the laps after training in the training summary, memory and also in the Apps.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  19. Greg Franks

    “then that’s gonna me spending some money”. You can be forgiven for “gonna”, but “me”?

  20. Robert

    Ray I’ve never had a problem with my Garmin’s while driving, until I became a lorry driver. Now I’m getting 10k a day just bouncing around on the air seat.

  21. Marco

    Is Stryd powermeter supported? How? How much Stryd fields van we het in 1 screen like power lap average, power 5s average, power Total average, etc.?

    • Hello Marco,

      Stryd is not explicitly supported. We have focused on the compatibility to bike power meters at the current stage.
      However, I will have another look into this topic.
      You can freely define the displayed values for training, so you can have up to 3 values on one page and a total of 6 training pages per sport profile.

      Have a nice day!

    • Marco

      Thanks Nik,

      Ik hope you Will support Stryd and I’m sure a lot people want it..Garmin does not support native power si you can get An advantage there. Thousands of Stryd users want it. Please focus and you will have a great USP.

      More as 3 valies will be better. 3 sound reallly bad to have a good overview.

  22. Belinda Blinked

    Can you extend the battery life similarly wth this watch by reducing the sampling rate?

    This really reminds me of my TomTom Adventurer which has a 24 hour battery life (with 2s GPS sampling rate) and I wondered if this can compete.

    • Hi Belinda,

      the watch has two GPS modes, the low power (“ECO”) mode already puts the GPS chipset into a low power option. The sampling rate in this case is not really relevant for the power consumption.
      When comparing to the Adventurer, you have to also compare the physical size of the devices. And you can see that the SIGMA watch is a lot smaller and lighter, so I am afraid 24h runtime will not be possible with our current chipset. Nevertheless, we are still working on the optimization of power consumption and will hopefully be able to reduce the battery drainage without loosing performance with a FW update.

    • Belinda Blinked

      Thanks Nik! Interesting that this is smaller, I hadn’t realised that.

  23. Bill O'Hara

    Sigma didn’t have a polished product with their wired units. My past experience and some of the comments here indicate that sigma can not be trusted…their old wireless units were hardly better. They were also spendy for the lack of features when Garmin came on the market.

  24. Steve

    Thanks for the Hands-on Ray.
    For me this looks to have all the features I’d want, at a good price and a nice small to wear size, so as not to bother me to wear casually as well as for training.
    I have tried lots of the more well known brands for such devices over the years (Garmin, Suunto and Polar), and some have been great, and others have fallen below my expectations, so I guess I have been looking for something new, and this has appeared just at the right time.
    I’d been keen to try recently a TomTom wearable (probably the Adventurer), but shied away from them when I realized that support had dried up from the manufacturer over recent times, plus the sizing also looked a little big too, when I looked in detail.
    I am UK based, so it will be interesting to see on availability, but hope they make it to these shores soon.

    • dli

      In France the price on Amazon is only 135€

      link to amazon.fr

      The only feature I like on Garmin Connect is the calendar with all the colors.
      Most of the time I go directly to Strava to check my activities.

      For triathlon I need a basic and not too expensive sport watch (I lost my 935 during a triathlon swim).
      All the complex features are only usefull during training or hiking.
      For cycling I already have a Garmin edge 1000 (and an old edge 800 mounted on my bike for triathlons)

      I will wait a bit to get more comments on this Sigma watch.

      Regards

    • Steve

      Thanks dli, looks like there is a listing for both the Tri and Free on the UK version too if you do a search. Also a little less in £s, but guess that is the exchange rate currently.

  25. Benjamin

    Great article (I would be very interested in a complete review).
    To Ray or Nick, I see on one of the the ID TRI screenshots the hiking profile, but from Sigma’s website it should only be available on the ID FREE. Can you confirm if the hiking and skiing profiles are available on the ID TRI?
    Also, is it possible to see the elevation profile and progress on the watch (with a loaded track) while running?
    Finally, I see that it not possible to charge the watch during an activity. Is it something that is planned to be implemented in a future update?
    Thanks a lot
    Benjamin

    • Hi Benjamin,

      thanks for your questions:

      Sport profiles on the watches are:
      iD.TRI: Swim, Bike, Run, Other
      iD.FREE: Swim, Bike, Run, Fitness, Hiking, Skiing, Other

      You can see the elevation profile in two ways. One, without a track loaded, you will see the elevation of the past 2 km. Second, if a track is loaded, you will see 500m of past elevation and 1.5km of elevation of the track. So you will see what is ahead of you in terms of elevation.
      The elevation profile can be used independant of the Sport profile. You can simply set it as one training parameter in one of your pages (a total of 6 pages with max of 3 values per page is possible). Setting is done on App or DataCenter.

      I will look into the “charging during training” question, as this has been raised before. So we wight implement it in one of the first updates.

      If you have any further questions, I will be happy to help!

    • Abdiel

      Hallo Nik,

      I’d appreciate to have all default profiles also available on the ID.Tri rather than to define them on my own.

    • Benjamin

      Hi,
      Thanks a lot for the details. Is there a place were we can check the change logs for the future updates ?
      Benjamin

    • Hi Benjamin,

      I guess the best way is to follow our social channels. We will post updates there normally.

  26. Kyle Stein

    Ray,

    In the example workout section during your Alps run:

    “It’s almost like it struggles with each terrain, and does better with hard terrain.”

    Did you mean “easy”?

  27. CoachieRichie

    Hi Thanks for the great review Ray. These watches fill a gap in the market delivering all the essential features that a Triathlete wants plus a few more unique features at a “reasonable” price point. I was just wondering how the pool swimming works and if they have advanced metrics such as stroke rate, number of strokes, etc. Looking forward to the in-depth review in a few weeks and well done to Sigma!

  28. MDus24

    I‘m always super interested in creating and following a course.
    So, as I see it right now, you can follow a course on this watch. But, it has to come from komoot or gpsies?
    There is no easy way to create your own course (in the app, on their website, or Whatever) and then use that on the watch?
    So, if I’m in a new town and want to run 5k, around that lake I saw on google maps, without getting lost and without checking google maps the whole time. What’s the easiest way to plan and make that run?
    L

    • Hi,

      you can use our PC Software (Windows or Mac) to create routes easily and synch them to the watch. Then you can download routes from Komoot and Gpsies as well. Another option for navigation is using the Komoot Navigation. So you plan your route inside the Komoot App, start the Navigation on the App and will receive turning notifications on your watch. However, for the last method, the smartphone needs to be in your pocket.
      So to summarize, there are many different ways to navigate with the watch, including self-created courses.

      Hope that helps!

  29. Martin

    Hello,
    does it have builtin GPS or not? Which satellite systems are supported? How does automatic fall detection sensor work? How long does it take to dial the default contact?,

    • Hi Martin,

      yes, off course, GPS is integrated in the watch. There is no further support of other sattelite systems, so no GLONASS, Galileo etc. only GPS.

      The fall detection is based on acceleration and Speed. After a fall is detected during training, the watch will vibrate for 30s and alert you. If you do not react in this time period and our App is connected, your emergency contacts will receive a SMS with your coordinates etc. Further, the watch will display your Name, Bloodgroup, medication etc. (you have to manually input this information via our App).

      Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Marco

      Why no GLONASS, Galileo etc. ?

    • Well, there are two reasons.
      1. Price. GPS chipsets with mutliple satellite types are much more expensive than GPS only chipsets. As we wanted to offer both watches for a really good price, we cut down on chipset price. Still the chipset is a very good one, and the performance is also good.
      2. power consumption. With a small watch you need to find ways to reduce power consumption and the GPS chipset is a ver power consuming part. GPS only simply needs less power.

      Kind regards,

      Nik

    • Martin

      Hello Nick,
      thank you for your answer. I don’t know if I missed it, but can I change the GPS logging interval to extend battery life? And I do not know whether I also overlooked whether the watch has a blood oxygen sensor.

      Best regards,
      Martin

    • Hi Martin,

      you cannot change the logging interval, but you can set the GPS chipset to a low power mode (calles ECO mode inside the watches). This will extend the battery life to 12 hours approx. However, GPS accuracy is slightly decreased with this mode.

      There is no blood oxygen sensor in the watches.

      Thanks and have a nice day.

      Nik

  30. A Non

    Michelle HAwk at [somewhere dot com] stole your review:
    [Redacted link to plagiarizing website]

    • Wayne Schaap

      Also stole the Apple watch review as well.

    • Yeah. I found an e-mail address today that might go somewhere, but probably doesn’t. If not, they mistakenly used GoDaddy as their hosting provider. Which is great for me, less so for them. GoDaddy takes a pretty hard view of DMCA requests (in my favor) and will simply wipe off their entire account if they don’t quickly respond.

      I’ll give them a few days before escalating over.

      Thanks for the heads up!

      (Also: I’m going to break the link in this thread, simply so it doesn’t give them more SEO credit)

  31. Bruce

    Can Sigma iD.Tri shows distance and speed from Garmin’s Ant+ foot pod for running?

  32. dan

    Is there any chance to get into it TRI or FREE some 24×7, vo2max and recovery functions. Or do they have them?
    Thanks in advance

  33. froggyranita?n disp

    Hello, just got my Sigma Id.Free today and so far so good.
    Nevertheless i have a few questions for which i could not find an answer in the user manual:
    1) how do you see past messages/sms you have received? It seems as if you press OK the message is deleted from the Watch
    2) What is the backlight used for? (it is located between the Watch and the armband)
    3) How do i see the clock during the night? The Watch does not seem to have a “light”
    4) How do i see just the clock on the main display? I would like to remove the calories/steps/HR and so on
    5) How does the crash detection exactly works?

    Thanks, Pascal

    • Gabriele

      Just got my id free yesterday too, great price on Amazon.it (147 euro)

      2/3) don’t mess with the smart light that is only for notifications, for the screen backlight press + and – together (see the manual)

      4) in the settings you can put tracking OFF, I did it too because the step counter is a totally random 🙂
      so like this you will see magically appear the date near the time instead of step calories etc.

      5) it was explain in some posts before and in the manual (download it from the website, not the paper one inside the box)

      I really like the look and super light weight, I will test it soon on the mountains!

      The first thing that I really miss btw is the altitude view using the barometric altimeter… you can see it only during a session.

    • froggyranita

      Thanks Gabriele for your answers!
      I realise too that if you select “race” for the Watch face, the steps/hr disappear, but no date displayed.
      Furthermore you can customize your activity screens using the app or the sigma data center.
      One last note, it seems as if there is an internal thermometer in the Watch.I’ve not been able to test its accuracy yet.
      Regards, Pascal

  34. Marko

    Thanks for the hands-on. It convinced me to buy an ID.FREE, mainly for the Komoot navigation and the Geocaching integration. I got mine yesterday. Before the ID.FREE, I used an Amazefit Bip and I already start missing a few things:

    – I need at least 2 alarms (Mo-Fr and Sa) but can only set one on the ID.FREE.
    – A raise to turn on the light feature would be great instead of pressing +/-
    – The ID.FREE is missing basic watch features like Countdown and Stopwatch.

    I also was not able to get the Komoot navigation working. None of the Bluetooth connect options in the Komoot settings let me connect the ID.FREE. Did anybody get this working?

    • froggyranita

      Hello, i was able to connect to the ID.FREE from the Komoot app on IOS using Bluetooth.
      Funny enough the iD.FREE is listed as “unknown Bluetooth device” when you select SIGMA iD.Free from the menu “What do you want to connect to” from the Komoot app.

      Regards, Pascal

  35. Marko

    That’s strange. On my Android phone I only get a selection of boke computers when I open the Bluetooth connect menu in the Komoot app. I already updated to the latest Sigma Link and Komoot app versions. Maybe I need a new firmware version for the ID.FREE. I’ll check that once I am home.

    Thanks,
    Marko

    • froggyranita

      As you can see from the snapshot, the IOS version of the Koomot app has the SIGMA watches option
      FYI, the IOS Koomot app is version 10.0.03 (2391) and my Id.Free firmware is 1.41

      Regards, Pascal

    • Marko

      With the help of the Sigma support I was able to get the Komoot navigation working. As a workaround I had to select the “Metz E-Bike-Display” from the Kommot Bluetooth connect settings to get the iD.FREE connected. Now it’s in the list with its correct name and navigation works like a charm.

  36. Mirko Loehmann

    Does the Sigma watch bring HR broadcast e.g. to bike computers?

    • Marko

      The watch does not seem to broadcast the HR as an ANT+ sensor. At least my ROX 11 did not find any sensors. The ID.FREE connection settings also only have an option to connect to ANT+ sensors.

  37. Gabriele

    I was thinking right now… the bluetooth is always on?? I mean, there isn’t a way to turn it off or airplane mode etc.

    I really don’t like the idea of having a constant bluetooth transmission on my skin.
    Honestly I don’t think that without pairing a phone the bluetooth is off…

  38. Amit

    Can this connect to a running power meter (stryd). Thanks

  39. Gerhard

    This could be a real contender if the gps is good in the firmware tweaked post release. I will follow.

    There are sure some limitations and annoyances but the size, square screen and barometer still makes it compete with more expensive watches.

  40. froggyranita

    The watch is indeed usable as a masstorage and you can download the files as .FIT format but what a strange and complicated way to name the file!!
    This is the filename of my activity:
    24AF967F-3437-1440-0F8C-7A9F38F38772_937479019700_2019-09-15_11-48-40.fit

    Please Sigma, make the filename much shorter.
    Thanks, Pascal

  41. David Lillaz

    Hello.
    I received my ID.TRI last wednesday.

    My comments about it :

    – Price : 135€ amazon changed the price from 135€ to 175€

    – RUN and BIKE activities : GPS is ok compared with 935
    A little bit slower than 935 to acquire GPS (+10 seconds).
    Altimeter calibration : so far I did not manage to make it work.
    The altimeter seems to be ok so far (graph and D+).
    Heart rate is ok when running (better than 935, the same as VA3M)

    – SWIM : not tested (all swimming pools are closed at the moment)
    The swimming pool length is not easy to change…. you have to go through a lot of screens.

    – Day to Day use : works fine for me but I noticed a few limitations :
    The battery indicator is not precised (% indicator would be better).
    The battery drains a lot when you leave the heart rate monitor ON.
    Heart rate value is not going below 42 (my resting HR is around 34).

    – SIGMA applications : You can export the activity in FIT, GPX files.
    But the FIT/GPX file import feature is not working for me.
    (I wanted to import an activity from garmin to Sigma).

    Regards.

    • froggyranita

      ” SIGMA applications : You can export the activity in FIT, GPX files.
      But the FIT/GPX file import feature is not working for me.
      (I wanted to import an activity from garmin to Sigma).”

      It seems as if the FIT import is not possible (there is no FIT filter in the import box) and i confirm that the GPX import does not work.
      It recognizes the file, but it never shows in the application

      Ciao, Pascal

    • Hi Pascal,

      Unfortunately you can’t import .fit files or any kind of activities from other brands. If you import a .gpx file, it will be show up in “Tracks”. So you can upload this .gpx files to the device to follow the route during the training.

      Kind regards,
      Nik

  42. Marko

    Are there any plans to export the daily steps or other activities to Google Fit / Apple Health from either the Sigma Link App or the Sigma Cloud? Having this data locked in the Sigma ecosystem is a real downer for me.

  43. David Lillaz

    Hello,

    a few more comments :

    – Sleep duration : at work (behind a computer, not moving a lot) it thinks I am sleeping … Yesterday the sleep duration was ok when I checked before going to work. But it increased while I was at work…

    – Today I tried to connect my garmin footpod and it did not work (no device found). I checked with VA3M (which is having display issues) and the footpod was detected correctly.

    – Altimeter calibration : the value you can set in the application is not taken into account. After uploading your file you have to change the altitude of your starting point manually in the application itself. This is not a big issue for me because I am only looking at the D+ value.

    As said before the potential of this watch is good (not hardware issue so far) but it needs software upgrades.

    By the way I still didn’t find how to turn off the watch.
    I wanted to reboot it because the notifications were not working any more, I rebooted my phone but still issues with notifications…

    Regards

    • Marko

      You can restart the watch by pressing the START button for several seconds. Be sure to be on the main screen and that key lock is not active.

  44. froggyranita

    As the hardware seems to be exactly the same between the iD.Free and the ID.Tri, could you turn the iD.Free into an iD.Tri or vice versa via firmware update/change?

    As the iD.Tri is 10 euros more expensive than the iD.Free i could understand that Sigma would charge this amount to be able to perform that operation.

    Just curious 🙂

    Regards