It’s that time of year again – the massive 2022 Sportswatch Year in Review video is up! This is now the 4th year in a row, and with it – by far the biggest and most epic year yet in terms of the number of watches that came out. Over 31 watches this year, and frankly, we’re gonna need a bigger table next year. It’s as if the dam finally burst from pent-up watch releases from the prior few years, flooding us consumers with tons of options from every company. And not just run-of-the-mill options, but it was a game-changing year for the sports watch landscape. We saw the biggest companies in the world start to battle it out for the athletes’ wrists.
These videos continue to be epic legends on their own. Last year’s 2021 edition is at 411,000 views, while the 2020’s edition has sailed past 441,000 views, and the first edition in 2019 has more than 339,000 views. As usual, for each watch, we talk through what worked well, and what didn’t work. As well as how we think things might change going forward (both at the product level and industry level).
The original sit-down session was nearly two hours long, which Des managed to cut down to 1hr 36 mins (inclusive of bloopers at the end). And, as a funny aside, this was actually the second time we filmed this. We initially filmed a version of it in mid-October, thinking the year was done. And then a slate of last-minute editions slid into home. Thus, last week we gave it another whirl.
Of course, since the point of the video is to discuss all these units, we’ve made it easy for ya to find the parts of the discussion you’re most interested in, down below you will find the quick and easy legend (you can click on any of these links to skip right to it). Also, you can drag along within the video up above, and it’ll show the YouTube chapters with those same markers. Magic!
Here are all the chapters, and note that the order is always based on the date of release (starting in January):
0:00 Intro and Overall Thoughts on 2022
2:28 Garmin Venu 2 Plus
5:11 Garmin Vivomove Sport
7:03 Garmin Fenix 7/Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
12:14 Suunto 5 Peak
7:57 Garmin Descent G1
20:16 Polar Pacer & Pacer Pro
22:39 Garmin Tactix 7
24:04 Garmin Vivosmart 5
25:45 Garmin Forerunner 255
28:25 Garmin Forerunner 955
32:56 Garmin Enduro 2
36:17 Samsung Galaxy Watch5/Watch5 Pro
41:15 Garmin Venu SQ 2
42:20 Fitbit Inspire 3
43:20 Fitbit Sense 2/Versa 4
45:58 Apple Watch SE 2 & Series 8
50:21 Apple Watch Ultra
56:37 Google Pixel Watch
1:01:54 Garmin MARQ Gen 2
1:07:41 Amazfit Falcon
1:09:07 Suunto 9 Peak Pro
1:15:21 COROS Apex 2/Apex 2 Pro
1:20:22 Polar Ignite 3
1:23:40 Garmin Instinct Crossover
1:26:47 Garmin Bounce
1:31:36 Final Thoughts and What’s Next? (also, bloopers)
Got all that? Good – it’s a doozy!
Of course, if you watch it through from start to finish (as most people do) you’ll find plenty of funny exchanges and moments. Plus, much of it you can ‘watch’ more as a podcast in the background. Certainly we show hands-on with all these watches (which took half a nuclear power plant to get fully charged), but it’s otherwise great to listen in the background. Plus…uhh…doing so helps the YouTube algorithm. 😉
With that – thanks for watching, and looking forward to doing it again next year!
Spoiler: They finally kiss
SO. MANY. WATCHES.
Unclear if we’ve hit peak watch yet or if that is next year.
I bet it was peak watch. I think Ray and Des were right that some of this was backlog but I think the expectations that even more inexpensive watches should do everything and the kitchen sink will only lead to more consolidation in the lineups, particularly at Garmin. They simply can’t find reasonable ways to differentiate their watches both in features and price when competitors are more and more putting wide feature sets even in their more inexpensive offerings.
I do not see the Garmin Forerunner 55. There are a lot of people, including me, that are between 55 and 255
I believe the 55 came out last year and was in the previous roundup.
Great video Ray, always good to see joint videos with Des. Do you think Apple iterates on the hardware in the Ultra immediately after a year or does this become like the SE and lasts at least a couple years before the next revision? Do you see trail mapping being brought natively to the Ultra (the biggest obvious miss, it should replace the misguided Compass waypoint feature) and ultimately is that the kind of thing that will require an Ultra 2 because of how Apple does business or is there a chance they make such a major edition even to Ultra “1” users?
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year coming up!
I am really interested in your closing comments about Garmin potentially releasing more LTE enabled products over the next year. I was starting to get the impression that the 945 LTE had turned out to be a failed experiment.
Any news about reviewing huawei watches? GT 3 pro definitely seems to be worth at least consideration. According to quantified scientist, the only one matching apple watch when it comes to heart rate accuracy. Also, battery claimed to last up to 14 days (though that seems like an exaggeration).
I am looking at a Forerunner 255 and the Fenix 6s pro solar, which is now down to $399. Which would you recommend for a triathlete?