New wearable tech is alive at CES 2016 and biting the arses of anyone who touted the industry as a passing fad. Garmin are the world leaders in sporting wearables and they have announced three new smart sports watches to add to their collection.
A few people may have been expecting the GPS giants to unveil a Fenix 4, but instead they’ve added an optical heart rate monitor powered by their in-house Elevate HRM technology to the Fenix 3, along with some other upgrades. Up until the second half of 2015, Garmin steered clear of wrist-worn HRMs, opting instead for the proven accuracy of their EKG chest straps. Then, they released their first HRM watch – Garmin 225 and more recently the Vivosmart HR fitness tracker.
The new Garmin Fenix 3 HR will launch with a few variations including Sapphire, and a Titanium version of the Fenix 3. The Sapphire version released last year was pretty weighty, the new Titanium strap option cuts out some of the fat due to the lightweight nature of Titanium.
The new Fenix has also received a software update that will see new profiles and metrics for multisport tracking. Last year’s Fenix 3 owners will be happy to know the update is also coming to their watches. The update will bring new watersports profiles, including: Paddleboarding and rowing, plus around 40,000 golf courses – available through the Garmin Connect app.
More running and workout metrics are also inbound, such as estimating how ready you are for an upcoming event or training session, measuring ground contact and stride length which can improve running efficiency and help prevent injury, a heart rate variability Stress Score and Lactate Threshold, and more.
The high-end GPS watch has many, many sports modes, including: Swimming modes for the pool and open water. It will track your lengths, distance, pace, stroke count and recognize different strokes. The benefits of having an onboard EXO™ antenna GPS and GLONASS opens up a whole dimension of tracking possibilities – a real-time speedometer is always a winning feature.. If you’re the outdoor type and you’re thinking about getting a smartwatch, get one that’s GPS-enabled.
Smart notifications are also part of the Fenix 3 HR package. The watch displays incoming calls, emails, texts and social alerts when paired with your compatible smartphone, plus it has a Find My Phone feature, VIRB remote, vibration alerts and remote music control.
It takes care of the activity tracking essentials, such as steps, distance, calories burned and a hell of a lot more thanks to its GPS. Oh yeah, it also monitors your sleep.
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has a 218 x 218 MIP color display, but it’s not touchscreen like the cheaper Vivoactive.
It works with the Garmin Connect IQ platform which means you can download apps, watch faces, widgets and data fields. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to pair with the Garmin Connect app which is compatible with iOS, Android and now Windows. You can also log into your dashboard on your desktop/laptop.
This super-duper GPS Stormtrooper’s mega watch is also wi-fi enabled and supports ANT+ so it can be paired with other Garmin devices including a HRM-Run chest strap if you want more accuracy when monitoring your heart rate.
According to Garmin, the new Fenix 3 HR has a battery life of up to 16 hours in GPS mode, up to 40 hours in UltraTrac mode, and up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode with 24-hour heart rate monitoring. It’s waterproof rated up to 100 meters just in case you were planning on visiting the Titanic.
The release date hasn’t yet been revealed, but the price is $599.99 USD.
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has so many more features that the Sun would die before I could finish writing about them.. One last thing though… It’s better looking than a 25-year-old Joan Collins!
• The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is Now Available