Two new fitness trackers in two days. Yesterday Misfit announced Flare, a new minimalist fitness tracker. Today Garmin has added to its wide range of wearables the Vivosmart 3, a slimmer but more feature-packed version of its popular Vivosmart HR.
Just to make things confusing, Garmin has decided to skip labelling the tracker as Vivosmart 2 as it is a third generation device. Its also dropped the HR naming, presumably as heart rate monitoring is becoming all to common these days.
So what’s new?
The new tracker takes across all the features of its predecessors (apart from GPS), but adds more sophisticated fitness tracking tools such as VO2 max and fitness age, all day stress tracking, and the ability to count reps and sets in the gym.
Thanks to Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, you still get 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and the wearable automatically tracks activity including steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, sleep and more. It also features smart notifications to keep you connected while on the go.
As part of that 24/7 monitoring, when users are not on the move the device will now measure heart-rate variability which it uses to calculate and measure stress levels. To make you worry-free, you will get relaxing mindfulness experiences through deep-breathing sessions. A longer timeline of stress levels is accessible on the smartphone app.
Vivosmart also includes a new Strength Training activity for the gym rats. Presumably this is a combination of manual tagging of activity and automatic counting of reps.
More useful perhaps is the new VO2 max feature. This is essentially a new way to monitor your overall fitness over time. Users will see their VO2 max score translated into a fitness level, ranging from poor to superior, and will also see their fitness level in terms of an age.
“Health conscious customers are becoming more interested in the meaning behind their activity stats,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.
“As in, I like seeing the data, but how does it correlate to my overall wellbeing? With its new fitness and wellness monitoring tools that tell you things like fitness age and stress level, the vívosmart 3 is able to provide users with those answers, and that is a game changer for the activity tracker industry.”
In addition to the ultra-slim design, Vivosmart 3 has a Chroma display hidden behind the band. This means that the material of the band extends over the screen, so when you’re not using it, it disappears into the device.
With a battery life of up to five days, the swim proof tracker looks like a strong contender in the fight for your wrist space. Along with Fitbit Charge 2, its predecessor, the Vivosmart HR, is probably the most popular fitness tracker for the average person.
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