It was in January 2014 when navigation equipment maker Garmin decided to join the fitness tracking device bandwagon. For several years, the company has carved its name in the high-tech GPS industry. Now, it is building a new legacy in the growing fitness wearables market.
Whether the individual is a die-hard fitness enthusiast or has just started to become aware of the amazing benefits of keeping one's self fit, Garmin has just the right wearable to suit anyone's needs.
Vivofit 2, Vivosmart, Vivoactive and Fenix 3 are just some of the company's popular wearables.
Vivofit 2. Just like its older sibling, the Vivofit 2 is designed to measure burned calories, taken steps, and number of slept hours. With its LCD that is always on, one can always check the display for knowing the time and gathering fitness data. There's also the red meter that pops up when it senses inactivity after an hour. This will eventually build up until the wearer decides to get up on his feet to do some brisk walking.
The Vivofit 2 is best for those who want a design that they can customize and those who want to have an enhanced fitness tracking experience. It is excellent in monitoring steps, sleep and distance. It can also be worn like a regular watch because of a number of chic wristbands that one can choose from to match the wearable.
Perhaps its most outstanding feature is the yearlong battery life. The Vivofit 2 runs on a pair of CR1632 coin cell batteries, which will need replacement only after a year-long of usage. Other notable features include a physical button for controlling the 0.39-inch display, a new backlight capability, a new stopwatch and new audible inactivity alerts.
Vivosmart. The Vivosmart is an interesting wearable that's built with compelling features, which are enough to make it a standout in a market that is becoming crowded with several options. It carries a minimalist design concept that gives it a sleek and smooth appeal. It gives an impression of a stylish, understated designer wristband as opposed to being a mere sports fitness device.
The wearable's minimalist design continues on its interface. Once it's double tapped or raised while one makes a twist on his wrist to check the time, only then it begins to show life like magic. Some of the things that can be viewed on the display include the time, the date, the day of the week, and a number of activity tracker metrics. These include data on steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and steps needed in order to achieve one's goal.
The Vivosmart wearable sends out a vibration alert to remind its wearer to move when he's been sitting too long or to let him know if he's achieved his daily step goal. These are all basic fitness features of the device. In order to take full advantage of the Vivosmart, one has to pair it with a smartphone.
The Vivosmart is best for those who want to receive regular alerts on incoming phone calls, text messages, emails and calendar items. These can be achieved by pairing the wearable with a compatible iOS or Android device. There's also an option to read the full text content of a message or email on the wearable through a simple swipe and some taps on the touch screen. It's also perfect for those who want to wear a fitness tracker while they go swimming, surfing or taking a shower since it's water resistant by up to 50 meters (164 feet).
Vivoactive. At a distance, the Vivoactive may be mistaken for an Apple Watch. This is because it features an almost square, 1.38-inch touch screen display with pixel color of 205 by 148. It also has a pair of two physical buttons, which are placed on either side of the watch's face. The button on the left side tackles backlighting and power duties while the button found on the right takes care of certain watch functions such as accessing the settings and starting and stopping activities. Other actions can be accomplished by either tapping the display or making a finger swipe. Traditionally, the watchband is composed of comfortable rubberized plastic, which can either be black or white.
Some of its tracking features include logging the steps taken, the calories that are burned, sleep and the distance traveled. It also has full GPS tracking capability and is designed with a number of apps for recording golf, walking, swimming, cycling and running. Moreover, it performs indoor and non-GPS tracking of cycling, running and walking. For tracking other stuff such as the heart rate, temperature, running cadence, and cycling speed, this can be achieved by connecting the wearable with additional sensors, which are sold separately.
The Vivoactive can also be paired with a smartphone if the user wants to receive notifications on incoming calls, emails, texts and calendar entries. It can also help the user to find a misplaced phone through the "find my phone" app.
Fenix 3. The Fenix 3 wearable is best for those who are keen on sharing their activities with their friends and family. By simply adding email addresses, people can start receiving email invitations to help them start following along a friend's activity. This include getting information on the person's live location, time on the activity, average speed and distance traveled. There's also real-time sharing of the amount of elevation gained by the user.
Perhaps the wearable's biggest selling point is not really on functionality but more on the design. While it is an authentic activity tracker, it doesn't actually exude such or even feel like one. In reality, it looks more like a high quality sports watch. The $500 model comes with a standard crystal and a rubber strap. The next model, which costs $100 more, features a tougher sapphire crystal and a pair of metal and rubber straps. Both models offer the same features.
Similar to its predecessors, Fenix 3 is the company's third generation flagship model. It's loaded with various tracking capabilities on a number of activities such as swimming, hiking and even triathlon. Other features include GPS, compass, barometer and smart notifications. It can count steps taken, log the amount of calories burned and record one's sleep. Data can be uploaded to the Garmin Connect website through Wi-Fi connection while apps can be downloaded from Garmin's Connect IQ Store using a compatible smartphone.