Top > News Update > Garmin New 3 Smartwatches Target at Sports Junkies

News Update

Garmin New 3 Smartwatches Target at Sports Junkies

Posted on: 30 Jan, 2015

In year 2015, Garmin has managed to basically reinvent itself. Once the king of in-car GPS navigation, the company is now equally known for its sports watches and fitness trackers.


Indeed, with the exception of a few low-end navigators no one cares about, Garmin is pretty much only showing wearable devices here at CES. In brief, this year's lineup runs the gamut, with prices starting at MYR1,100 and going all the way up to MYR2,400. Still, they all have this in common: They're equal parts smartwatch and fitness tracker.

Normally people prefer to tell you about a company's flagship products first and then work their way down the list, but in Garmin's case the highest-end items are actually the nichiest. In the highest-end of Garmin smarthwatch, that would probably be the Vivoactive, Garmin's first-ever dedicated smartwatch. Until now, the company offered a fitness band that also showed some smartphone notifications. This is different, though.

This is a proper watch, with a square, color touchscreen, and a newly launched app marketplace ("Connect IQ") for loading up your device with custom software. As is always the case with app stores, Garmin has the challenge of convincing third-party developers that these are devices worth writing apps for. Even without their help, though, Garmin has the basics down: The Vivoactive displays emails, texts, social media notifications, missed calls and calendar reminders.

Of course, this is a Garmin, don't forget, so naturally there's a GPS radio on board for tracking distance and speed in sports like running, biking and golf. Swimming too: The watch is waterproof up to 50 meters, as are all the products announced today. Last but not least, the battery life seems long compared to other smartwatches; Garmin rates it at up to three weeks, or 10 hours with GPS enabled. Look for it in April with a price of MYR1,100 (make that MYR1,320 if you want the heart rate monitor bundle). For the money, it comes standard with a silicone band in black or white, but there's also going to be an optional leather strap.

For someone who spends a lot of time hiking and skiing, the Vivoactive is a wimpy little thing. If you're the rugged, outdoorsy type, you'd be better off with something from Garmin's Fenix series, whose models have historically included an altimeter, barometer and compass. Now in its third iteration, the Fenix gets access to the same Connect IQ app store as the Vivoactive, effectively transforming it into a super-rugged smartwatch. Also with this generation, Garmin is adding a sapphire screen option, which should be even more scratch-resistant than the standard mineral glass lens. Look for it later this quarter starting at MYR2,000 (or MYR2,200 with an included heart rate monitor). The higher-end sapphire model, meanwhile, will go for MYR2,400. A serious piece of kit, for sure. But then again, some of you are serious snowboarders.

Finally, we reach the most obscure product of the bunch, a watch called the Epix, which is actually pretty similar to the Fenix 3, except it comes with preloaded maps. Like the Fenix, it's a rugged multi-sport device with an altimeter, barometer and compass. This, too, is intended for people who spend a lot of time outdoors -- hikers, hunters, rock climbers and what have you -- but in particular, these are people who might get lost in the wild if not for the maps on their wrist. In addition, there's not just GPS, but also GLONASS for faster, hopefully more accurate location tracking (the Fenix has this too, just without the built-in maps).

Also like the Fenix, the Epix has access to Garmin's Connect IQ app store, so you can use it as a smartwatch if you so choose. I imagine the capacitive touchscreen here isn't quite as resilient as the sapphire panel on the other model, but what you lose in durability you make up for in battery life. Garmin rates it for up to 50 hours in the battery-saving "UltraTrac" mode and up to 16 weeks in watch mode (versus six weeks for the Fenix 3). So, if you're more worried about getting stranded than you are cracking the watch in a wipeout, this might be a better choice. Expect it to hit shelves later this quarter, starting at MYR2,000.

For more latest price of Fenix 3, Vivoactive and Epix, please visit here.




News Update

Garmin Grows in the Wearables Market with Device, ... Posted on 12 Jul, 2016

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today reported new data that demonstrates the company’s strong and growing posi... - Read More -

Oregon 700 Series Introduction Posted on 01 Jul, 2016

Today Garmin announced the Oregon 700, 750 and 750t, an update to its popular series of touchscreen outdoor handhelds. Featuring high-sensitivity GPS ... - Read More -

Vivomove - Classic Watch with Activity Tracking Posted on 05 May, 2016

The Garmin Vivo empire is expanding.  This time though, in a way unlike any other Garmin product.  It actually looks pretty.  Swanky pe... - Read More -

GPS Support

Garmin Connect IQ Partner Posted on 15 Jan, 2015

Explore and download apps to personalize your Garmin with Connect IQ, our open platform for third-party developer apps- Read More -

How to Update Montana Software? Posted on 12 Aug, 2013

Use Garmin Express to install this file. The system requirement for updating software is IBM-compatible PC running Windows XP or later operating syste... - Read More -

What is Garmin Express? Posted on 07 Jun, 2013

The Garmin Express is an essential tool for managing Garmin devices. Garmin Express is designed to be the one-stop shop for updating maps, updating so... - Read More -