Garmin is to wearables what Apple is to mobiles. From the times when only watches were the only wearables, Garmin has the credit to change the very concept of wearables and take the fitness-focussed route. Its Vivofit and Vivosmart are already the much-liked activity trackers. A timely addition to its existing product line-up is Vivoactive that was showcased at international CES-2015. It is the first-ever fully capable smartwatch offering from the United States Company.

Inheriting features such as auto-lap, auto-pause and vibration alerts from its predecessors Forerunner GPS watches, the watch’s display stays always on. The watch also features vibration alerts for notification and has wireless heart rate sensors. Aimed at fitness enthusiasts, it tells you when you have been inactive for a while and when you complete daily step goals. On the fitness front, it can monitor activities like swimming, golf, cycling and running. On the other hand, it lets you glance on notifications that it receives via your smartphone. It can compute SWOLF score, a swimming efficiency parameter for swimmers. Runners can track steps covered indoors and outdoors along with run/ walk pause in between. Golfers can stay updated by downloading from 38,000 course maps available across the world. It can also measure dogleg and layup distances when the GPS is on. It features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.

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When compared to Garmin’s Forerunner watches like Forerunner 920XT, it is more compact and sleeker. Weighing in at just 1.34 ounces and with a thickness of just 0.3 inches, it gets the wear-ability totally right!

The full color sunlight display makes for a smooth readability even in the daylight. The screen is high resolution that makes the notifications and emails clearer. Depending on the GPS usage, the battery lasts about 10 hours whereas in watch mode, it can juice the device up to three weeks.

The watchbands can be replaced and so do the watch faces by connecting to the Garmin’s ConnectIQ app. The app also lets you download third-party fitness apps and widgets to optimize and customize the tracking of fitness activities. Set to take on the likes of Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S, Garmin Vivoactive is the first watch to run on the new-found ConnectIQ platform of the company. By the time in March when Mobile World Congress will take place in Barcelona, users might get to try their hands on customized widgets and watch faces from the ConnectIQ store.

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A refreshing break from the chunkier and massive GPS smartwatches, Garmin Vivofit can be worn throughout the day as you won’t feel its weight at all. It looks attractive too and is ultra-slim fitness watch. The GPS in the watch is capable to work as standalone and it tracks the fitness activities even when you are not connected to the smartphone. Later on, when you connect to the smartphone, it will sync the data to the smartphone app. Apart from the built-in apps for fitness activities, it tracks your sleep, calories burnt and steps taken. The range of display notifications comprises text message alerts, phone calls, emails and social media alerts. Garmin Vivoactive can also control the volume of music and is compatible with Android, iOS and Window phone. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters. You can also download third-party fitness apps on it.

Availability and Price of Garmin Vivoactive

It is available in two models. The standalone model is available without a heart rate monitor for $250 whereas Vivofit with heart rate monitor is offered at $300. Though, it is said to be compatible with other third-party HRMs too. Garmin Vivoactive is expected to release for consumers by the first quarter of this year. The colors available are black and white. The company has started to take up orders in the U.S. and the estimated shipping time is 5 to 8 weeks.

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The best part is that you are not limited to what Garmin provides you with. The combination of ConnectIQ and Vivoactive opens up the world of possibilities for the end users.


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