Tech reviews

Week in Review – March 24th, 2024

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/X 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!

DCR Posts In The Past Week:

Here’s all the latest on the site:

Monday: Apple Fitness+ Studios Behind the Scenes: From Start to Finish
Wednesday: Polar Grit X2 Pro Hands-On: Here’s Everything New!
Thursday: Strava Expands Cycling Best Efforts, and Starts Pushing Routes to All Polar Devices
Friday: FIT File: Strava vs Komoot Routes, Let’s Talk Grit X2 Pricing

Spring Sports Tech Deals:

There’s a slate of new sports tech deals, primarily from Garmin, but also a few other companies jumping in on a spring-themed Amazon sale. Garmin seems to have some of the best deals here, though, the others aren’t too bad at all!

Product Sale Price Amazon Other site Sale Notes
Apple Watch Series 9 – $106 off!
$399/$499 (cellular)
$292 I have no idea why this specific Apple Watch Series 9 combo is on sale this much more than the other editions (which are on sale to $320), but hey…the one I’ve linked to is the Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Loop, and is currenetly listed as new at $293. Else, it’s $329 ($70 off).
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) & Sapphire – $300 off
From $549 ⚡ This deal is back, and at $549 for the base edition, and a mere $599 for the Titanium/Sapphire editions, it’s a very strong deal. Sure, not as stong as Uncle Amazon back during Black Friday at $449, but those days are gone. Also, this Epix series just got another huge slate of new features this past week, and continues to get equal new features to the Epix Pro units.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S – $100 off $249 This is Garmin’s mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music – $100 off! $299 This is Garmin’s mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics. This model also includes offline music such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Garmin Forerunner 55 – $30 off
$169 This is a good little running watch, though, it also supports plenty of other sport types as well. This is the normal sales price.
Garmin Forerunner 955 – $100 off! $399 This is one of Garmin’s most popular running watches, and it’s back down to the lowest price ever. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it’s very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It’d be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc…)
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499 See everything I said above on the Forerunner 955 base, except this one also has solar.
Garmin Index S2 WiFi Scale – 20% off
$119 I use this scale, merely for the weight tracking functions (not body fat). It works just fine, and integrates with the rest of your Garmin data. If you aren’t in the Garmin ecosystem, there’s plenty of cheaper options.
Garmin Instinct 2 Series – $60+ Off From $238 ⚡The Instinct 2 base is from $238 (on Amazon), a very solid deal – especially with all the major software updates it’s had over the last year. It’s also from $249 at REI.
Garmin Instinct 2X – $50 off $399 This is the second we’ve seen the Instinct 2X on sale, and since announcement it’s received a huge slate of firmware updates and new features. It’s best thought of as an Instinct 2.5, given the slightly different internals compared to the rest of the Instinct 2 series.
Garmin Instinct Crossover – $50 off $349
Google Pixel Watch 1 – $150 off $199 While the new Pixel Watch 2 just came out last fall, the Pixel Watch 2 got almost all the software features via software update. The Pixel Watch 2 does have a slightly better optical HR sensor, and better battery life, but otherwise is relatively similiar. In fact, the Pixel 1 just got another pile of software updates last week.
Polar Pacer – $70 off! $166 This is about as low as it gets price-wise for the Polar Pacer (base unit).
Polar Pacer Pro – $70 off!
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 – $50 off $249
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic – $100 off $299 This is a reasoanbly solid deal for this watch, which came out last summer.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer (+ Free Motion Plates) – $400 off!
$999 ⚡ This deal is back, except now they’ve sweetened it by adding in the $300 Tacx Motion Plates for free (via rebate). So, in the event you didn’t pick up before, go forth.

YouTube Videos This Past Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!


Stuff I Found Interesting Around The Interwebs:

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:

1) Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT series now has dark mode: Check out GPLAMA’s video for all the details:

2) Wahoo also has a new CEO: While I got the press release, it looks like no other outlet covered it except this one. While I somewhat wish that the new CEO would have come from within the sports realm, or sports tech realm, at least he’s a cyclist and runner (and apparently smart enough not to get suckered into swimming, the gateway to triathlon). As always, I’ll give him a fair shake and see how things cook over the next year. Sometimes an outside perspective works, sometimes not. Really just depends on the company and situation.

3) Smartwatches shouldn’t make you choose between Apple & Android: Obviously, lots of discussion this weekend on the US vs Apple case. In fact, a portion of that is focused on the ability for 3rd party smartwatches (e.g., Garmin/Polar/Suunto/COROS/etc…) to access certain features, which are today blocked (like responding to text messages). In any case, this piece from Victoria at The Verge is a good look at the situation as it pertains to watches.

4) New iGPSport iGS800 Cycling GPS Computer: A couple of people have asked about this new unit, and whether I’ll review it. I’m kinda on the fence. Historically when I’ve tried some of iGPSport’s devices (similar to Bryton), they tend to have good hardware specs, but usually are pretty rough on the software front. In some ways, the company’s introduction of this device follows that. While announced on Facebook, no mention of the device exists on their own company site (either in news section, or product section).

5) Man ties phone to drone, to get rescue in snowy mountains: After being trapped for two days, the man tied his phone to a DJI Mavic 3, sent a message, and then took off to (hopefully) get within range. It worked, and SAR crews quickly got to him. Like I always say: Travel with a drone or three.

6) Hammerhead revamps structured workout on Karoo: Along with adding Italian support, they’ve increased the granularity of the trainer control bits. Thus, Italian trainer users have two reasons to celebrate this week.

7) TrainerRoad launches Red-Light-Green-Light to all athletes: I’ve been using this in beta the last little while, and it’s pretty cool – albeit a bit of a cut-down version of what you might see within some watches directly. I might write-up more on this, later this week, given said usage.

Thanks for reading!


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