Image source: Garmin

Garmin unleashes four new smartwatches at IFA including the high-end Venu

It’s almost becoming too difficult to keep track of Garmin’s range of fitness trackers, smartwatches and hybrids. The company has just released four more devices into the wild including the Vivoactive 4/4S, Garmin Venu, Vivomove 3 and Legacy Hero Series.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

We knew they were coming thanks to a plethora of leaks, we just weren’t sure exactly when. These four follow in the footsteps of the Fenix 6 range which was unveiled only days ago.

And while the Fenix and Forerunner watches are aimed at serious runners, cyclists and triathletes, the watches unveiled today are geared towards ordinary folk looking to improve their fitness. They come in attractive designs, some new health and fitness features and slightly higher prices than the previous range.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S

This is an update to the Vivoactive 3, Garmin’s main competitor in the all-purpose smartwatch space. The predecessor was released back in 2017 so was ripe for a refresh.

The original came only in one size but Garmin is now introducing two, a 45mm stainless steel model and a 40mm model for small wrists (4S). The larger one comes with up to eight days of battery life in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS and music mode. The 4S has room for a smaller battery so will keep going up to seven days in smartwatch mode and five hours in GPS and music mode. That’s not bad considering the thing has an always-on display.

Garmin unleashes four new smartwatches at IFA including the high-end Venu

Other changes over the original include pulse oxygen readings which Garmin has been adding to its latest crop of watches, along with estimated respiration. This will insure you get very advanced sleep analytics.

There’s also the new Body Battery function, abnormal heart rate alerts, female health tracking, yoga and pilates workouts, as well as some 40+ workout animations. Garmin also mentions hydration tracking in the press release, but don’t get excited. It relies on you manually logging your water intake.

The heart rate sensor has received an upgrade and now features the new ELEVATE sensor. This will also track your heart rate under water. Finally there’s Sony’s new low-power GNSS/Galileo chip.

Other features are identical to previous Vivoactive models and include the essentials such as NFC for on-the-go payments, music storage (that plays nice with Amazon Music, Spotify and Deezeer) and built-in GPS.

Both models are priced at $349.99 and available in a multitude of colour options and metal finishes on Garmin’s website and Amazon (check price).

Garmin Venu

In a sense, this one can also be considered a Vivoactive 4 iteration, albeit a high-end one.

The feature-set is identical, the only difference is in design. Venue slaps on a AMOLED display inside the 43mm case, similar to what you’d find on an Apple watch or Fitbit Versa 2.

Garmin unleashes four new smartwatches at IFA including the high-end Venu

Its pixel resolution is 390 x 390 versus the 260 x 260 display of the Vivoactive 4. This is despite the display size being smaller on Venu, 1.2″ versus 1.3″.

The sacrifice is battery life which is only five days and 6 hour in GPS and music mode. Venu is also pricier and starts at $400 on Garmin’s website and Amazon (check price).

The Vivomove 3 range

For those not in the know, analogue or hybrid smartwatches are traditional looking timepieces that come with abilities that are evident in today’s smartwatches. They combine style with functionality.

The Vivomove HR is a one of the most feature packed and best hybrids out there. Released in 2017, the device has a stunning OLED display, tracks all important activity metrics including heart rate and VO2Max, supports notifications, and is swim-proof.

Now the range is even better.

Garmin unleashes four new smartwatches at IFA including the high-end Venu

The Vivomove 3 series comes in a number of different variants. This includes the Vívomove 3/3S (to denote two case sizes – 44mm and 39mm), Vívomove Style and Vívomove Luxe.

All of these slap on Pulse Ox, Body Battery, Garmin Pay (select models only) and Connected GPS, features which are not available on the predecessor. Battery life is up to 5 days in smartwatch mode and a further 7 days in with limited functionality.

The difference between the variants again comes down to design. The Vivomove 3 and 3S have monochrome displays that spring to life in the bottom half of the watch face. They come with a stainless steel bezel and silicone bands.

The new Vivomove Luxe is a fancier version of the same. It has a 42mm stainless steel bezel and casing. The straps come in a choice between Italian leather and Milanese metal strap. The watch features a hidden dual AMOLED colour touchscreen with a domed sapphire crystal lens.

The Vivomove Style is similar to Luxe. The difference is that it has an aluminium casing and a choice of metal finishes. Also, it features a Corning Gorilla Glass lens instead of the sapphire one, and the straps come in a choice of a woven nylon or silicone band.

Depending on the model, the hybrids cost anywhere between $250 and $550. You can pre-order now on Garmin’s website and Amazon (check price).

Legacy Hero Series

Garmin unleashes four new smartwatches at IFA including the high-end Venu

This series brings a Marvel inspired design to Garmin watches. There are two special edition timepieces, Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain Marvel. The first comes in a 45mm, the second in a 40mm case.

These borrow all the features of the Vivoactive 4. The difference is that they are built from materials influenced by the superheroes, they come with some new watch faces and goal animations and there are Marvel-themed challenges.

The watches are set to land in October for $400.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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