What to expect from Garmin in 2023: expert predictions for next year's watches
2022 was a busy year for Garmin, so what might it have in store next?
It's been an extremely busy year for Garmin. It started 2022 with a bang by releasing the Garmin Venu 2 Plus on 4 January (the company's first watch to feature a built-in microphone) and hasn't let up since. The new Fenix 7, Forerunner 955, and Forerunner 255 series were the main attractions, but there were also some surprises in the form of the Enduro 2 and the ever so glamorous Epix (Gen 2). Just look at that screen.
Along the way we've also received the exciting Instinct 2, the slender Vivosmart 5, and the kid-friendly Bounce. I'm currently testing the sporty new Instinct Crossover that debuted a couple of weeks ago, marvelling at the way its little hands glide out of the way at the press of a button to make way for menus and data fields.
I've barely had enough room on my wrists to test them all. but few of these watches came as a surprise thanks to a list of devices leaked by 'an authorized Garmin dealer' back in April. The document gave warranty information for an array of Garmin watches, most of which hadn't been released or even hinted at previously. As the months passed, we were able to cross almost all the names off the list, the notable exceptions being the Garmin Austin (which I suspect was a codename for the Enduro 2) and the Vivomove Trend.
So what does the company have in store for 2023? We haven't seen another leak on the same scale for the coming year, but I can make a few educated guesses. For our thoughts on the current lineup, see our guide to the best Garmin watches.
1. Garmin Vivomove Trend
I thought the Vivomove Trend would launch alongside the Instinct Crossover, giving us two hybrid watches at once. I was wrong, and since Garmin doesn't typically launch new devices in December, it looks like it might be pushed back to January 2023 – or perhaps even further.
We don't know much about the Vivomove Trend beyond its name, which suggests something fun and fashionable, and that it will almost certainly have the same combined analog/digital face as other watches in the Vivomove series. However, details I spotted in an FCC listing that mentions the watch by name suggest that it will also be the first Garmin wearable to feature wireless charging.
Right now, all Garmin watches are charged using the same little USB cable that plugs securely into the back. The Trend, however, can apparently be charged via magnetic induction, just like an Apple Watch (see table above). Color me intrigued.
2. Garmin Forerunner 955 LTE
Before the launch of the Forerunner 945, something very interesting was accidentally published on Garmin's Australian website: a store page for a Garmin Forerunner 955 LTE bundle. This was pretty exciting stuff (at the time, the Forerunner 945 was the company's only watch with an LTE edition) but when the 955 arrived in June, this bundle was nowhere to be seen.
However, that doesn't mean we should write it off. The Forerunner 945 LTE launched well after the standard edition watch, after all, so a 2023 launch for the 955 LTE would make perfect sense.
Garmin seems to be getting more adventurous with LTE tech in general, too. The Garmin Bounce, which sprang onto the scene in November, is a kids' watch with LTE for text messaging. Surely it's time for adults to get the same thing?
If previous watches are anything to do by, the bundle mentioned on the Australian site is likely to include the watch plus a chest strap heart rate monitor – possibly this year's Garmin HRM-Pro. Fingers crossed!
3. Garmin Forerunner 755
I'm not expecting to see many Forerunners in 2023, with the 55, 255, and 955 all still fresh. The only one that might appear in the next 12 months is a new watch in the 700 series – but is there really a place for it now? After all, the Garmin Forerunner 700 series are triathlon watches, and now that the 255 has turned into an entry-level tri watch, there might no longer be any need for a 755.
However, Garmin could always pivot and take the 755 in a different direction. I speculated that there was no longer any need for the 200 series after getting my mitts on the superb Forerunner 55, which is such a capable watch it gives beginner and intermediate level runners everything they could wish for, but I was left to eat my words when the 255 arrived as a feature-packed multisports watch instead.
Perhaps the 755 might even turn out to be a dedicated cycling watch...
4. Garmin Velo
Each year I speculate that Garmin might finally be about to release a dedicated watch for cyclists to integrate fully with its bike computers, lights, radars and power pedals, exchanging the running-focused features of the Forerunner series for tools dedicated to improving your cycling performance. Every year I've been proved wrong, but perhaps 2023 is the year for the dedicated cycling watch.
The name hadn't been used by Garmin anywhere, but the French word for 'bike' fits rather nicely alongside the likes of 'Venu' and 'Vivo'.
5. A solar-powered AMOLED watch
AMOLED watches look fantastic, but the tech doesn't lend itself well to solar charging. Sticking a layer of photovoltaic film over the top of such a vivid display makes it look dull and unattractive, which rather defeats the point.
However, Garmin has some ideas to get around that problem, and this year the company has registered several patents for technology that would allow tiny bits of photovoltaic material to be placed in between the subpixels that make up an AMOLED screen.
It's tricky to get right, because the cells that make up the photovoltaic material must be connected by tiny metal electrodes. If these are too thin, they lose too much energy via heat, but the manufacturing process for making them thicker can result in electrodes with layers of oxidized metal inside. That means more resistance, more heat, and less efficiency.
There are some expensive ways around this, such as spraying over a fine layer of gold before the metal of the electrodes can oxidize, but Garmin's engineers have come up with a cheaper alternative that breaks up the oxidation using controlled electrical sweeps. Affordable and efficient.
A solar AMOLED watch is definitely on the cards at some point; it's just a question of whether it'll be in 2023 or later.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).