Garmin Announces Vivosmart, a Fitness Tracker and Smartwatch in One
e-News® | The NEWS Company…: Garmin, the company best known from its days as a maker of in-car navigation systems, has introduced a new wearable device that combines the communication features of a smartwatch with the fitness-centric capabilities of an activity tracker. The vivosmart is a wrist-worn fitness band that sports a hidden OLED display that illuminates only when you receive notifications or tap it.
The vivosmart, like Garmin’s fitness-focused vivofit bracelet, includes a built-in activity sensor that detects when you’ve been sitting on your keister for more than an hour and alerts you to — well, more like guilts you into — start moving for a bit. It can also be used to check the number of steps you’ve taken each day, how many miles you’ve walked, and how many calories you’ve burned.
Unlike the vivofit, however, the vivosmart can also receive notifications from your smartphone for everything from social media updates to emails and text messages, all displayed on the device’s horizontal screen. You can also use the vivosmart to control your smartphone’s music player, as well as the VIRB action camera, Garmin’s GoPro competitor
Like the Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand activity trackers, the vivosmart comes with its own smartphone app. Available for iOS and Android, Garmin’s Connect Mobile app can provide you with sleep tracking information, so you can see if you’re getting a restful night’s sleep or tossing and turning.
Garmin Connect Mobile also syncs with the MyFitnessPal fitness app, allowing you to track your overall daily caloric intake and see how many of those calories you use, a nifty tool for those looking to shed a few pounds. The vivosmart also connects to Garmin’s heart-rate monitor accessory, so you can check your beats per minute while on the run.
Garmin says the vivosmart’s battery will last up to seven days, though that depends on how often you receive notifications from smartphone apps and how much you use the fitness band’s display. What sets the vivosmart apart from its fellow fitness trackers is its ability to receive notifications from your smartphone. According to Garmin, anything that appears in your phone’s notifications drawer will be displayed on the vivosmart.
None of the fitness trackers from the likes of Jawbone or Fitbit, two of the biggest names in fitness bands, can do this, giving the vivosmart a distinct advantage over its rivals. Is that enough for the vivosmart to take on the biggest names in the fitness industry? We’ll find out when we review it later this fall.
The vivosmart goes on sale in mid-September exclusively at Best Buy for $169 or $199 as part of Garmin’s heart rate monitor bundle.