Garmin’s latest fitness trackers have impressive battery life & can automatically identify your activities


This morning, Garmin has announced two new fitness trackers. Building on a solid foundation from the existing lineup, today’s release includes two different models: the vívofit 3 and vívoactive HR. Each tracker is built for different needs with heart rate monitoring serving as the defining spec seperating the two. A key new feature allows each device to automatically identify different activities based on movement.

With Apple gunning for FitBit in the fitness tracker space, Garmin is moving to set itself apart with unique features. Head below for full details.

The slimmer vívofit 3 (above, left) has improved in many different areas, according to Garmin, as it aims to compete with other low-price trackers like the Fitbit Flex. One of the new features is Move IQ. On the software end of things, this is focused on automatically detecting different activities such as walking, running or swimming. By identifying the exercise, vívofit can more accurately estimate calories burned.

Other improvements include an “easier” to read backlit display that shows calories, time, distance and intensity minutes. Like the vívofit 2, it is waterproof to 50 meters and has a removable battery that is estimated to last one year.

Garmin plans to launch the vívofit 3 in Q2 with a regular or extra large black or white band for $99.99. A regular sized camo option will be available for $109.99. Additional styles will be released at $119.99. By comparison, that list price is down $30 from the second generation.

The most notable addition to Garmin’s fitness tracker line is the new vívoactive HR sports watch that includes a built-in heart rate monitor. It is loaded with features such as GPS, a full-color display, and an accelerometer. Garmin made a concerted effort to identify weaknesses in the fitness market and built the vívoactive HR accordingly with a focus on tracking all activities. Garmin VP explains, Dan Bartel, explains further:

“The vívoactive HR builds on the incredible versatility and multi-functionality of its predecessor by adding wrist-based heart rate and a barometric altimeter – allowing it to track even more data essential to workouts and day-to-day activity. All your efforts to stay active are accounted for from taking the stairs at the office to going on a run or ride.”

Alongside the Move IQ software seen on the vívofit 3, this model is focused on 24/7 heart rate monitoring. While other trackers like Apple Watch or Fitbit’s Charge HR offer similar features, the vívoactive 3 is capable of up to eight days of battery life. By comparison, the Charge HR is capable of around five days while the Apple Watch needs to be recharged nightly.

The new Chroma full-color touchscreen display is readable is direct sunlight. Garmin has also built support for its Connect IQ store into the watch, which offers access to free apps, widgets, watch faces and more. Built-in GPS automatically tracks progress on certain activities like running, cycling, golfing and skiing. Although it should be noted that this feature dramatically decreases battery life down to 13 hours. The vívoactive HR is smartphone compatible and can relay notifications, social media alerts and more.

Garmin has set the list price at $249.99 in regular or extra-large sizes. There will be additional bands available in a variety of colors for $29.99. The vívoactive HR is set to ship in Q2.

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Source: vívofit 3 / vívoactive HR

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