Only a week ago we had a post on The winning GPS for sports - an article about what we would look for in a GPS sport watch for the near future.
Question: is something already in the pipeline?
Maybe, there is no official information available from Garmin, so this might be a rumour. But, the same thing happened to the pre-launch of the Forerunner 301 that was announced ahead of time from a Norwegian Garmin dealer. Now the same thing could have happened to the Forerunner 305 by an Italian Garmin dealer, so lets take this one seriously.
Some of the reasons why this might be a reality:
- Garmin has started to use better GPS chip sets from SiRF and this facilitates smaller sized batteries and improved GPS signal reception to fit a watch sized GPS.
- Garmin Forerunner 201 and 301 are somewhat bulky and uncomfortable to wear compare to a Sport Watch from Timex, Polar or Nike.
- Garmin has a reception problem on the Forerunner 201/301 series partly because of the GPS antenna location. A trick has been to wear the Forerunner on the wrist toward the body to make the antenna face as much as possible in a horizontal level facing the sky.
- Garmin has learned more about the sports market during the 2 years of selling the Forerunner 201/301 devices.
Of interest and why we think this is a real thing is if you look at the device design and particular the bend. We think the antenna area is located in that smaller bended part with the Garmin name. This makes sense since you would like the antenna to face towards the sky while using it as a sport watch.
This antenna design is then an improvement from the Forerunner 201/301 antenna design. Combinding this design with a better GPS chip set would enhance signal reception capabilities.
It’s also clear that the 2 large buttons on top are aimed at activity control (tracking) start/stop and lap function. This makes sense and will make the device more user friendly than the Forerunner 201/301 with smaller sized side buttons.
If this is the real deal, we would like to know more about:
- GPS signal reception capabilities in cities and forest
- USB or wireless data transfer
- Size and weight
- Is it comfortable to wear?
- Battery and memory capacity
- Does it come as a modular system with optional heart rate strap and cadence sensor?
Could this be a winner?
Well this is for sure:
The crew that designed this knows a lot about GPS technology combined with athlete demands on the design level. In the end will the combination of price and performances tell us if this is a winner or not.
Have a nice day :-)