Garmin adds GPS technology to an activity tracker with the Vivosmart HR+By Rob Thubron
Garmin has released its sixth fitness tracker in five months. The most recent addition to the company's growing range of products, the Vivosmart HR+, is, as the name suggests, an upgraded version of the classic Vivosmart HR tracker.
The HR+'s biggest advantage over its predecessor is the addition of a GPS receiver. The function introduces more accurate distance, time and pace tracking, and thanks to the Garmin Connect app, users can view a map of their activities.
Another new feature is the inclusion of the Garmin Move IQ auto activity detection software, which automatically recognizes activities such as walking, running, swimming and biking without the user needing to start a timed exercise session.
The rest of the device's functions are mostly the same as the Vivosmart HR, including a heart rate monitor, water-resistant (to 5 ATM) touch display, and the ability to track steps, distance, floors climbed and activity intensity.
While both Vivosmart devices are fitness trackers first and foremost, they do have smartwatch-like connectivity features that will alert you of any incoming calls, texts, emails, social, calendar, and other smartphone notifications. You can also use it to control music on a smartphone and it comes with a phone-finding function.
Like virtually all wearables, the Vivosmart HR+'s battery life isn't its most attractive feature. When set to the standard watch/activity tracking mode you can expect it to last up to five days. But while the GPS is activated you'll only get around eight hours continuous use.
The Vivosmart HR+ could be an enticing product for those looking for a device that's primarily a fitness tracker but also features the connected functions found in smartwatches. It's priced at $219.99 and is available now in regular size black/shark fin gray, imperial purple/kona purple and midnight blue/bolt blue, and an extra-large black/shark fin gray band.
Earlier this month, Garmin revealed the $149 Vivomove, an analog-style watch that boasts connectivity functions and activity tracking features.