A 2019 Sports Wearables Recap with DesFit (Video)


Okey doke, happy Sunday! Here’s a quickie of a post for you. Albeit, not a quick video. But that’s alright, quality over quantity. Or something like that.

As you may remember, DesFit was over here for the DCR Open House earlier this month, and last weekend we filmed this video chat-through of some 19 watches of 2019. If it came out in 2019 and was geared towards sports – we probably covered it here.

From Apple to Garmin, Suunto to Polar, COROS to Samsung, Fitbit and more. We emptied out the watch bins that Des himself so carefully had taped up for the open house (it’s his official job, he’s really good at it).

All Watches

We give our thoughts on all of them, ordered by release date from earlier this year in January to now. What worked? What didn’t? What’s a work in progress? We talk about all that goodness and plenty more in this video. It can be watched as a video, or you can also just put it on in the background kinda like a podcast. Though there’s plenty of b-roll goodness to note miss out on!

Oh – and if you’re wondering why you didn’t see this video as a subscriber of my YouTube channel, it’s because it’s over on Des’s channel, which you should (also) definitely subscribe too.

With that – I return you to your Sunday. So far mine has included time at the DCR Cave with toddlers and friends fighting over the kids smart bike, pedaling around town in the cargo bike singing wheels on the bus…and then looming this afternoon a children’s birthday party at a giant indoor play park. Hopefully later this evening I’ll finally get my own bike ride in. I’m actually feeling kinda Peloton-app like today. We’ll see.

Have a good remainder of your weekend – and thanks for watching!


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  1. Luis Betancourt

    So, the HR problems are finally gone on the AW S5?
    Nice work with all those watches!

  2. Chris

    You didn’t draw conclusions, and maybe I am projecting, but seemed you guys thought the Venu was the winner in the 2019 release calculus of value, features, usability, etc. Ya’ll just kind if nodded and sort of agreed, “it’s good” without expanding too much.

    • At the right price. I don’t think $399 is that price. I think $299 might be a bit cheap for it (the current sale price), but hey, it’s solid at that price.

      I think both of us were mostly talking about the display aspects. I don’t believe they’re tapping into that enough yet, but what they’ve implemented from a tech standpoint seems to be a solid trade-off for the vast majority of people, especially if they can find a way on some of the larger Fenix watches to get to 5-6 days of standby battery life.

    • Des Fit

      I’d have to mirror the statement about the Venu pricing as well as the display.

      At launch pricing ($400) it was a bit too much of an ask but at $300-$350 and I think it’s solid.

      And in regards to the display, although Garmin isn’t tapping enough into it quite yet and is basically the same interface, it’s a welcome sight to have more brightness and clarity.

  3. Jeremy

    For a tri, would you recomment the Fenix 6, the Coros Vertix or the Garmin 945?

    • The one advantage the FR945 has is the quick release kit. So if you like to detach the watch and put it on your bike for the bike portion, that’s a big item.

    • Jeremy

      If I plan to keep it on my wrist, verdict? Training for my 1st Tri(half ironman) and not sure what is the best to get. Upgrading from a Garmin 235 for all my running in the past.

    • Des Fit

      In regards to functionality, the 945 and fenix 6 (Pro & Sapphire) are nearly identical, however there are some nice interface touches on the fenix 6 like widget glances. Plus, the display will be larger on the 6 and 6X (but not the 6S). Another thing to consider would be weight.

  4. Pieter

    I miss the Sigma Sport iD.Tri?! I guess for the eu at least a very interesting budget multi sport option?!

  5. MK

    For an average entry-level user of smart watches what would be your recommendation

    Polar Ignite or Garmin Vivoactive 3 ?

    Currently, both are around 180 euros in Greece.

  6. Dante71

    Over the course of the year has the accuracy of the sony chipset improved with updates ?

    I remember this was something you pointed out in your reviews of both the 945 and the 245 when they came out.

    I’m considering jumping from a 225 to a 245, and I really find the gps tracking on my 225 to be spot on.

    Thanks !

  7. Joshua Goldberg

    Any insight as to whether garmin is going to come out with any future wearables with replaceable bands in the vivoseries? I don’t like bands or watches so have been using a vivofit3 with just the band taken off – it is obviously though quite dated. Seems unlikely though i guess now with everything using optical hr. Thank you.

  8. Will

    For someone who plans on buying a watch to use for at least a couple of years which, for normal people, doesn’t seem to be too crazy for the price, I am just having too hard of a time accepting what I’m hearing about Garmin these days (even with that really rich post made here about their whole issues as a company) to get a new one. My FR 225 is way less interesting to me than the 245 but I have never had build issues or, especially, crazy-ass (and apparently endless) firmware problems.

    It definitely does seem that Garmin’s tech (and for the price) is usually the answer… but should one include the nutso lack of attention to software (and some build quality) when coming up with a “best choices” sort of thing? Because as much as I want I can’t imagine buying in to the current state of things, regardless of how dope the hardware is.

  9. Mike R

    So I guess my question is, ignoring price, which would you rather have, the Venu or the Vivoactive 4?

  10. Industry Insider

    Ray have you been following the latest developments with the TACX bike and WAHOO bikes?

  11. RJ

    After reading the reviews probably The Garmin Fenix Plus sounds like the right fit

  12. Rutger van der Zande

    Another grest sum-up. Thanks to the both you.

    Are you planning on reviewong Michael Kors? Where are the compared to Garmin?

    Looks are good I think, but what about chipset, features, app? I can barrely find any serious reviews. (That may just be the answer though ;) )

    Kind regards,