IFA 2017 is here and manufacturers have been holding press events for the past several days to show off their latest and greatest gadgets. GPS tech and wearable manufacturer Garmin is among them, taking to the stage a couple of days ago to introduce three new wearable products.
These arrived in the form of the vívoactive 3, its flagship, feature-packed watch that comes with its all-new mobile payments system, the vívomove HR, a stylish, hybrid smartwatch, and the vívo sport, the company’s latest fitness band (read an overview of the three devices here).
I had the opportunity to spend some time with the vívoactive 3 and vívomove HR during Garmin’s press event to learn a little more about them — here’s what you need to know.
The vívoactive 3 is a feature-packed sports watch aimed at those looking to lead a healthy lifestyle. It runs on Garmin’s own custom software, though it’s compatible with Android and iOS phones for advanced features like notification syncing (for emails, messages, missed calls etc). The device makes use of stainless steel design, circular watch face, and always-on Garmin Chroma display, said to offer good visibility even in strong outdoor light.
As you might expect, the vívoactive 3 puts a large focus on fitness: it comes with more than 15 sports apps covering a range of activities, with all-new profiles designed for things like yoga and elliptical exercises, and will allow you to download custom exercises through the Garmin IQ Connect platform and create your own. The vívoactive 3 can also keep track of reps and sets and, of course, will survive in both the pool and the shower.
Garmin’s fitness tracking features are helped by its proprietary “Elevate” wristband, which can monitor things like VO2 Max and heart rate variability (HRV). This, according to Garmin, can even assess your stress levels, but it might take a bit of setting up; it generally suggested that my stress levels were low though, while at a busy show like IFA, I can assure you that I was feeling anything but relaxed.
Garmin also included a new navigation control in its watch known as “Side Swipe.” This is employed instead of a dedicated button or dial to make navigating menus a little more intuitive. While it worked well enough at the show, for anybody familiar with other smartwatch products, it’s not a big deal — it literally just means swiping the watch face. I can scarcely believe Garmin trademarked it to be honest.
Garmin also says that the watch is suitable for scrolling with either a finger or a thumb, which strikes me as another minor addition, but maybe some people are particularly precious about that kind of functionality.
As for the battery life, Garmin promises up to seven days when using the device in smartwatch mode, and it’s said to survive up to 13 hours while making use of GPS tracking (the specific battery size hasn’t been discussed). These are impressive numbers as far as wearables are concerned – Source