The navigation specialist Garmin has announced the launch of three new smartwatches to hit the fitness tracker market this quarter. The Fenix 3, Epix and Vivoactive...
The Fenix 3 builds on the old Fenix 2 with a few upgrades. As well as GPS, the watch features GLONASS satellite positioning, a compass, barometer and altimeter for hikers. It has a basic step counter and a sensor for heart rate for runners. And as for the more hardcore athletes, the watch can calculate recovery time, VO2 max, stroke count, and has a Live Track feature which allows you to share communal workouts with friends using Bluetooth to connect to the mobile app.
In addition, the Fenix 3 will buzz hourly to get you to move around - helpful on those tricky office days. It has a new daylight readable colour display, which seems a definite improvement from the monochrome of the Fenix 2.
The watch also comes in five different varieties. Two colour options being silver with a red band or grey with a black band, which you will pay $499.99 for. Both of these colours come with the option of an added wireless heart rate strap, which you can get included for $549.99. Or the juiciest option at $599.99 is the sapphire model, which holds a stainless band and domed sapphire lens.
The second watch is the Epix - essentially a mobile GPS with watch features. The 1.4 inch touchscreen allows for a detailed colour map of your surroundings. And with 8GB of storage for updates, digital compass, barometer, altimeter and ANT+ support, it's a perfect alternative option for rambling hikers. It will cost $549.99, or $599.99 with a topographic map pre-installed.
The final addition to the Garmin family is the Vivoactive. It is the little brother to the other two giants, in being both thinner and more affordable at $249.99, or $299.99 with a heart rate strap. It has a colour display, supports heart-rate monitors, and can push notifications from your smartphone, calendar apps and track activities like cycling, running and golf. It is GPS enabled, and the battery will last about 10 hours in this mode, or in watch mode up to three weeks.
What's more, Garmin have created its own app platform for its smartwatches: Connect IQ. Apps on the list include things like AccuWeather and Tempo, a calendar app. All of the new smartwatches run on this platform, and you can add extra functions to your watch by downloading apps.