Tech Tidbits: Favero MX Pro Shipping, Polar Vantage V3 Update, Garmin Beta Update

Just a couple of quick tidbits that are worth mentioning to round into today’s update quickie post, efficient as always. Or, at least as efficient as you’ll get around these parts.

Favero Assioma Pro MX Availability:

After these were announced a bit over a month ago, they virtually instantly shifted from available to not available. Now, they’re back available again. Favero says they’ve re-stocked components they ran short of, and are allowing people to place orders again. Frankly, this is about as simple an update as you can get. These continue to be a great unit set, and I continue to use them in testing/validation.

As for the Look MTB SPD & Road KEO pedals that were announced a week later, I literally just finally got a final-final (for real this time) set that Look is certain resolves all the issues from before. I did an initial test ride yesterday, but will be putting them through their paces again over the coming weeks.

Polar Vantage V3 Update, Grit X2 Pro Shipping:

As outlined when the Polar Grit X2 Pro was announced, the Polar Vantage V3 will get the exact same firmware/features (because it’s running the exact same internal hardware/software/etc, basically differing in external design). Dubbed the V2.0 update, this update includes a substantially new heart rate algorithm, and more, specifically the following:

– Added Vertical Speed, VAM, 3D Speed
– Added Breadcrumb trails regardless if in route
– Added route arrows to indicate direction
– Added ability to access maps outside training
– Added new watch faces (both analog and digital)
– Increased map render speed, and route sync speed
– Increased optical HR accuracy

Note that this is in addition to Strava Routes support, which rolled out a few weeks ago. This update, technically version 2.0.19, is available to both Polar Vantage V3 owners as of today, as well as Polar Grit X2 Pro owners.

Speaking of which, the Grit X2 Pro starts shipping today, after a short delay from Polar. When you get your new watch, it’ll prompt you to update to software version 2.0.19, matching the Vantage V3 above. It is this version that I’ll be basing my final review on, specifically the heart rate algorithm pieces (I’ve been testing it for the past month, but it’s only this new V2.0.19 that includes some critical HR algorithm changes). Here, a photo last week on the trail in the jungle and rain:

Look for my final in-depth review next week sometime.

Garmin Fenix 7/Epix Series Beta Firmware:

Last week Garmin started the most recent quarterly update beta cycle again, though, this one is probably the tamest one we’ve seen to date in terms of new features. Most of these quarterly updates have had 20-50 new features each time, whereas one is “just” half a dozen or so (meaning, it’s more like all their competitors). That said, sometimes Garmin saves new features for later, occasionally tied to other product releases. Note that this is available for *all* Fenix 7/Epix watch variants (Pro/Not-Pro/etc…).

Officially, the ‘added features’ list is as follows (plus a boatload of other fixes/tweaks/etc…):

– Added ability to find a lost phone during an activity with GPS.
– Added Applied Ballistics Wind Mode (Tactix only).
– Added Indoor Walk activity.
– Added Messenger App.
– Added Recovery Advisor as an option in Morning Report and glances.
– Added self-evaluation to more activity types

As a reminder, ECG is disabled during the early betas, but is re-enabled later. Also, as usual, Garmin launches the beta cycle at slightly different times for different watches (e.g. Forerunner 965), and often with slightly different features. Also, in case you’re wondering, the ‘Messenger’ app above is simply the Garmin inReach connectivity messaging app.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Mike S.

    Messenger app?? Surely not an iOS version.

    EDIT. Never mind. Read the rest of the post!!

  2. Patrick

    “available” seems putting it strongly for the favero mx – i got the email saying i could pre-order and the website words it as “booking” to purchase in a months time. still, its progress trowards availability

  3. Derek P

    When are Favero releasing a road pedal body for the Por MX? Instant buy at that point (well, it would be if there was a huge increase in availability!!)

  4. Jasper

    Hey DC,

    I was wondering if you are familiar with Forto Powermeters? They are a Dutch company with a stages/4iiii type powermeter with competitive prices. They are already selling an 11s 105 crank powermeter for €219,-.

    Was wondering if you had a chance to test them already?

    link to fortocycling.nl

  5. Teddy

    Even though it’s traditionally only used for InReach, do you think the Messenger app is a signal of LTE capabilities coming to a new watch soon?

  6. Matthew B.

    It’s pretty interesting. I believe we’re currently at a hardware “lull” from a technology standpoint at Garmin, especially on the Fenix/MIP side of things. Battery technology obviously improves, but optical HR (current gen) and GPS chipset (dual band) is pretty darn accurate. Screens are bright, good sized. MIP screens could further reduce reflectivity with solar/sapphire, solar technology could advance a bit to be incorporated into AMOLED devices. I could see the Instinct 3 getting a color MIP screen, new sensors, etc – brining it more to a “plastic Fenix” vs the previous Forerunners – which are now more “plastic Epix”.

    From a software side, there still could be *many* improvements, but some/most of them would require a more powerful chipset, which could be the focus of Garmin in subsequent releases. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought “wow, this interface is fast” on a Fenix or Epix, but they also definitely lean toward power savings vs performance in that regard.

    • vpier

      Well I wouldn’t call the gen 5 OHR sensor accurate. Sorry but this is far from reality, especially in case of HIIT sessions. At least my watch is lagging around 45″ behind, which in terms of interval training is a no go. You start an all-out run and watch shows you in Zone 2, you finish after 30″, still in Zone 2, and while in recovery you get 160BPM :) This was never the case with Apple watch though, which is unfortunate for Garmin.

    • Matthew B.

      The sensor has inconsistent performance depending on all sorts of physiological factors, for sure. For me running, it’s generally spot on, with a few seconds of delay. For weight lifting, it is less consistent but generally pretty darn close.

  7. Ryan M.

    Newest Forerunner 955 beta finally gets JetLag advisor. Also an interesting note about dynamic HR data. Probably really tough to test, but interested to hear what it does

    Adds the Jet Lag Adviser glance.
    Adds support for the Garmin Messenger app with a glance and app.
    During an activity, use GPS to navigate to the point where a phone lost connection.
    Adds heart rate dynamic source switching to select the best heart rate data source (watch or chest HRM) to improve accuracy during running activities.
    Fixes “Lock On Road” setting not being honored.
    Fixes intermittent crash in music control.
    Fixes persistent notification vibration for incoming calls.
    Fixes inconsistent activity profile ordering between Connect and device.
    Various UI improvements and fixes.

    • Max

      Also curious about the Dynamic Heartrate: Is it instant switching during the activity? Or will it record both HR sets then compare & adjust them after the activity?

      I wear my Polar H10 during runs b/c of HR issues from my FR265. Occasionally I adjust my strap and it’ll give a ~5sec of bad reading during the activity. Ideally Dynamic Heartrate instantly swaps from strap to watch in that moment (so no alert about low HR), or at least just replaces those outlier data points with watch data after the run.

    • It’s doing it during the activity, live.

      I’ll dive into more of the nuances is an upcoming something, it’s actually super interesting what they’ve done. Not like earth-shattering, but more clever than they’re letting on.

    • BuTTuS

      Is it to calibrate/learn the wrist sensor from the external strap…?

    • Garrick

      It says it switches during running activities. So does it not apply the same switching for cycling and other activities? Seems weird that it would only apply to running.

    • It’s all workouts.

      Running is simply where it’s most interesting, because typically that’s where cadence-lock comes into play (and inversely, for chest straps, where connectivity issues on dry/cool issues come into play).

    • inSyt

      Interestingly, the 255 received the same update, with Jet Lag advisor and Messenger app.

    • Harry

      Is there a way to tell when it has been done or to even tell what the source is? I had a race on Sunday and didn’t have time to check prior to make sure the chest strap was setup. I think it was, but can’t see a way in Connect to even see it?

    • It’s technically in the FIT file, but isn’t visually displayed anywhere for a consumer. I’m working to get it added to the DCR Analyzer.

      That said – if you’re just looking to see if the chest strap was there, you can do that on Garmin Connect. On the website side, it’ll show it on the right side (for a Garmin strap), and on the mobile app, it’ll show it on the first page of your activity summary.

      If you’re trying to see if a non-Garmin strap was connected, the DCR Analyzer will actually do that today already (for ANT+ straps).

    • Harry

      Thanks for such a quick response!

      What heart rate averages do people see during a half marathon I wonder?

      My average last year on same course as this year was 171 with 190 max. I didn’t have a chest strap that year though.

      This year I did 160 average with 176 max. I did a much better time, 1:43 though.

      Just wondering if this indicates I have more in the tank to use up maybe and push myself further. My joints are aching today so I know I pushed myself. But maybe I could have gone even harder, I didn’t feel breathless aside from some coughing (so maybe I was!) but that could just show how much fitter I am.

    • Ryan M.

      Until the DCR Analyzer is updated, you can upload the .fit file to fitfileviewer.com and view the chart which can show both wrist heart rate/external heart rate/heart rate (which is the data stream used for the final file)

  8. Kostiantyn

    I couldn’t find a setting for this feature anywhere. It would be great if there was an option: only a chest sensor. I’m not sure that combining accurate data from a chest sensor with inaccurate data from an optical sensor will result in super accurate heart rate data.

    • mjciv

      Not sure how it works for different watches, but on my Epix gen 2, you can configure a “power mode” for each activity (or for smartwatch use).

      For example, to disable wrist HR for running:
      -start a run activity
      -long press menu
      -scroll to and select “power mode”
      -select “jacket mode”, which by default turns off the wrist HR.

      all runs will be in jacket mode until you revert. wrist HR function in other activity types, or in smartwatch mode, is unchanged.

      you can also configure jacket mode, or other power modes, from the main menu. menu > power manager > power modes

    • BuTTuS

      If you got a Forerunner you as of now have to turn off the optical sensor manually before starting the activity, and remember to enable it again after…

  9. Michaellpl

    Preordered those pedals, can’t wait 😀

  10. Thomas

    For the lack to put anywhere else:

    Are you going to test the Magene PES P505 powermeter?
    I know, gplama gave it a ride, and it looked quite good… if that holds in a full DCR review, it’s redefining the price point for spider based power meters.

  11. John Watson

    Ray, are pedal wrench power pedals like the mx2 or the looks less likely to round out? Having that problem now with my 5 year old assioma duos.

    • I think as long as you use a good pedal wrench (that’s the exact fit, and not oversized), and ensure that you take the extra second or two, to ensure that it doesn’t slide inwards on the spindle, then it’s good.

  12. DusaC

    FYI the pre-sale registration is now active and I managed to purchase one as of April 23. Shipping is 7-10 days.