Garmin, a popular manufacturer of GPS equipment, has been chasing the fitness bands industry for quite a while with its smart bands; Vivosmart HR, Vivofit and couple of dedicated fitness smartwatches like recently launched Fenix 3. The brand now has revealed a heart rate monitor equipped Vivoactive HR at the MWC stage in Barcelona. It is the successor to the Slim Vivoactive, which was launched last year. The vivoactive HR would be shipping in Q2 2016 and will set you back $250.
Like its predecessor, the Vivoactive HR is capable of tracking your all day activity. It sports a touchscreen display with built-in GPS and many smartwatch functions. But what’s interesting is the addition of the Elevate wrist-based heart rate monitoring technology, which has been deployed in other Garmin products like Forerunner 235 and Fenix 3. The smart band is also capable of logging steps; floors climbed, sleep quality and intensity minutes. Whereas with built-in GPS it can differentiate and monitor your walking, running, biking, swimming, golfing, skiing, snowboarding, and many other rigorous activities.
The tracker has been redesigned and quite better looking than its predecessor and sleeker as well so that it’s comfortable to wear. But still, you probably won’t want to wear it to parties, or to the office for a fact. It’s not stylish per say like most of the smartwatch. With bezels around the sunlight readable color touchscreen display being reduced, it looks quite slimmed down. Though, these two physical buttons below the narrower screen look odd, as they don’t quite fit right in.
The screen can display detailed information about recent exercises, daily exercise totals and how much progress you achieved towards your set goals. You’ll also see heart rate information as well as navigation when you’re doing running activities. It is compatible with the Connect IQ store that lets you customize the appearance of the tracker by installing watch faces, widgets, and apps.
Pairing the tracker with your smartphone is quite easy via Bluetooth connection, as it syncs up the health data with Garmin Connect app. You can check your progress on smartphone and will receive smart coaching as well. With smartphone notifications coming to the tracker, it can easily replace your smartwatch if you have any. You’ll get calls, texts, emails, calendar notifications on the wrist.
According to the company, the battery life on this thing should be around up to eight days when you’re in watch/activity tracking mode. While it promises up to 13 hours of continuous usage in the GPS mode. Note that Tracker can monitor your heart rate and other general activities as well as sports endeavors, and it can also be paired with ANT+ sensors such as bike cadence sensor to get extra features out of your smart band.