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!
Sports Tech Deals of Note:
A new slate of sports tech deals began over the last few days. These are typical deals that Garmin does *every* single year, usually starting about a month out from Father’s Day. Suunto also often jumps in the fray (and others too).
⚡ This is by far the lowest price we've seen on 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). 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 spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening.
This is a solid deal, and I think the best deal to date on the Fenix 6 series. Note, I would not take this as a sign of some new Fenix unit. Instead, Garmin has *every year* put the Fenix series on sale in May, leading into people (normally) heading outdoors.
Both the Forerunner 245 & 245 Music are on sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date. So, that's worth considering. 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 is a solid deal on a solid watch. This sale timeframe is identical to last year's Instinct sale, however last year it was only $50 off (ahead of Father's Day). This year they're matching the Black Frida ydeal of $100 off.
This is the first 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. :-/
⚡ This is a great deal - and the lowest we've ever seen the GoPro Hero 8 down to. Of course, I don't expect a new version anytime soon (GoPro always release late Sept/early Oct). But, the Hero 8 is my go-to cam these days.
This is the second year in a row the inReach Mini has gone on sale ahead of Fathers Day. The only other time it was on sale was during Black Friday. Solid deal for a great little unit if you travel beyond cellular coverage. Plus, integration with Garmin watches has improved lately too.
DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:
Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:
I suspect for this week ahead we’re going to see a bit more variety in the subject matters. I don’t plan dates for announcements, they just happen when they happen. Outside of some Monday announcements, it’s gonna be a review focused week!
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 (and in this case, some of these are from the past few weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer):
1) Wanna build your own power meter? Now you can: If you ever wanted to channel your inner Keith Wakeham, you’ve got your opportunity. This company is well known in the power meter industry, and makes OEM products for a few different major players. I’m not super clear on the business motivation here, aside perhaps marketing and maybe trying to help a few power meter start-ups leverage their products. But it’s a fun story nonetheless.
3) Fitbit to build ventilators: Interesting. Keep in mind the Google acquisition of Fitbit has not yet closed, so it’s not clear what – if any, say Google had in this. It’s also not super clear to me how much demand still exists for ventilators given how many companies have stated their intentions to build them.
4) Behind the scenes on returning broadcast football to TV shows: This is fascinating for a lot of reasons. Technical, logistics, etc… But I think the biggest takeaway here is that this changes the landscape forever. While much of broadcast TV sports is done by hiring local crews that staff a remote truck that effectively plugs in the side of a stadium, the reality is that there’s still a lot of people that travel around. Like every other element of business, companies are going to realize they can do this remotely – even if those people are now in a building with good connectivity versus their homes.
5) Uber sells Jump to Lime: Jump was their bike-sharing scheme. I used it a few times in Paris, though I wouldn’t call myself a huge user of that specific platform. Ultimately, I think the challenge is there’s just too many platform options in some cities, coupled with some cities being super-resistant to making bike-sharing platforms easier. And of course, COVID-19 was simply the knife to the heart of many efforts that relied on people constantly touching and sharing the same space or objects. Still, COVID-19 has also showed us how valuable cycling can be as a replacement for short-distance journeys using other methods.
6) Apple continues to extend wearables lead: However, the real story here is that Garmin has surpassed Fitbit on sales of smartwatches, selling over a million units in Q1. For reference, the singular requirement of a ‘smartwatch’ by these analysis firms (I asked) is that it must support 3rd party apps. Which is a debatable, but probably fair line in the sand to draw.
7) The 20 Fastest Road Bikes In the World (according to Strava): I dipped into this a bit back earlier this year in the Strava annual report, but Cycling Tips decided to do it justice with all sorts of fascinating analysis. Note the caveats (which the author does a great job outlining), as always, but I think it still begins to paint a clear picture. [Yes, this is from last month, it was in my bucket to share since then.]
8) Remember AirDog autonomous sports drones? Before there was Skydio, there was AirDog. I even wrote a few reviews about them. Super cool stuff at the time. Ultimately though, they just couldn’t compete with the likes of DJI, and lacked the capital to dance solo like Skydio. In any case, they were sold to a US company. Exactly how they’ll be used is highly fuzzy. Sounds like an IP purchase to me. (Thanks Mārtiņš)
Sports Tech Device 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 and a few other firmware updates.
I swim, bike and run. Then, I come here and write about my adventures. It’s as simple as that. Most of the time. If you’re new around these parts, here’s the long version of my story.
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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.