You probably know the name Garmin as a familiar manufacturer in the sports watch space. But the company will be making its debut in the smartwatch category with the new Vivoactive, which was announced today ahead of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which formally kicks off tomorrow.
At $249, the Garmin Vivoactive stands out as a device that’s part classic smartwatch, part sports watch. You can choose from several apps that would allow you to track biking, swimming, walking, running, and golfing stats, which is a nice touch and something you don’t see too often. It’s also compatible with both Android and iOS devices when it comes to wireless pairing for notifications. The Vivoactive is also the first to ship with Garmin’s ConnectIQ user experience; buyers, however, will have to wait till March before the company launches the ConnectIQ app store.
How do the sports-oriented apps work? We’ll give you a brief taster. Well, you can calculate your swimming efficiency with the swimming app, while the running app shows you statistics such as your pace, time, and distance. And if you’re into golf, the Garmin Vivoactive’s golfing app allows you to download up to 38,000 different course maps, as well as calculate different types of distances on a golf course once you’ve got GPS turned on.
In terms of specs, the Vivoactive’s battery lasts about three weeks tops, or approximately ten hours if GPS functionality is turned on. It is also waterproof up to 50 meters, a nice touch for a sports-oriented smartwatch. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor like other fitness devices do, but it can also be paired wirelessly with separate monitors to this end. Lastly, the device is only 0.3 inches thick and 1.34 ounces heavy, making it one of the thinner and lighter smartwatches out there.