Garmin taking the battle to Apple with Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935 updates

The Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 are pretty feature packed devices, but they are going to get even better in the coming weeks.

Buried amongst all the news surrounding IFA in Germany was Garmin’s announcement that it will enable its to high spec devices to monitor all day stress, workout tracking in the gym and more. This means Garmin is slowly positioning its Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 line to be used as 24/7 fitness monitors, the same way they are top of the range when it comes to sports tracking.

These are the same features that debuted back in April onboard the Vivosmart 3. The functionality will also be available on Garmin’s new trio of Vivo devices.

The news comes less than a week ahead of the expected launch of the Apple Watch Series 3. The new wearable is expected to raise the stakes with new health sensors, a cellular connection, a front facing FaceTime camera, smartbands and hopefully a boost to battery life. It is also likely to come with a faster processor and more RAM. This is on top of all the great updates we are looking forward to with WatchOS4.

As part of 24/7 fitness tracking, Garmin’s Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 will now benefit from tracking your reps, sets and rest times in the gym, along with customized workout capabilities so you’re not stuck doing the same old routines. Cardio tracking is also being improved, and that brings the ability to track activites such as boot camp classes and high intensity interval training.

This new update is also aimed at helping you track and manage your stress. Garmin is tapping into your heart rate variability readings (small changes in the intervals between consecutive heart beats), to arrive at this information. The detailed analysis comes thanks to Firstbeat technology.

Essential reading: Ten stress busting wearables to help you chill

The all day stress monitoring feature can be monitored daily on the Fenix 5 or Forerunner 935 watch, and observed over time via the Garmin Connect app. To make you worry-free, you also get relaxing mindfulness experiences through deep-breathing sessions.

If you are the proud owner of a Fenix 5 or Forerunner 935, the news should make you happy. Although pricey, both of these are as good as it when it comes to sports watches. Garmin has taken the opposite approach to many, by coming up with a great sports tracker and working to adapt it for the average person interested in 24/7 fitness monitoring.

The battle is heating up. Apple is coming out with its third generation device, Fitbit has already announced its Ionic smartwatch, and Samsung is preparing to launch Gear Sport. All of these are coming with similar specs and targeting pretty much the same segment of the population. This along with Garmin’s new Vivo devices and all the other releases ahead of the holidays should make it a fourth quarter to remember. Who will come out on top remains to be seen.

Garmin’s software update is expected to roll out in the next few weeks.

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