Quite the roaring start for wearable device manufacturers at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
It didn’t take a visionary to anticipate CES exhibitors will have their goodie bags filled with Apple Watch alternatives, each looking to grab as big a piece of the wearable pie as possible before the swanky iOS-running timepiece debuts.
Already a market veteran, Garmin keeps focusing its efforts on the loyal sports-fanatic crowd, although this time around, the GPS producer extraordinaire seems to have grasped the concept of different budget audiences.
Granted, two of the three intelligent watches Garmin is showcasing in Sin City are still out of the majority’s grasp, with price tags that make the OG sensor-filled Forerunner 920XT feel within reach. But the third manages to near-flawlessly balance out affordability and productivity, starting at $250 in April by itself, or $300 when bundled with a heart rate monitor.
More than just a fitness band, the Vivoactive looks a little like Sony’s SmartWatch 3, and preserves the company’s GPS center of attention while being fully capable of displaying a number of notifications from synched smartphones on a color panel.
Far from muscular, the Vivoactive is robust enough for the masses, and can withstand water immersions up to 50 meters deep. It’s perfect for casual swimmers, bikers, runners and folks looking to lose weight sans a lot of hassle and overly detailed stats.
Detailed and complex in everything that involves sports tracking is the (convoluted) middle name of both the $500 Fenix 3 and $550 Epix. The latter is made to handle the unpredictable outdoors, and ditches style in favor of ruggedness. Also, most typical smartwatch functions for an intricate web of global navigation and maps.
The Fenix 3? It’s more elegant than the Epix, less futuristic-looking than the Vivoactive, and the one that resembles a conventional, “non-smart” watch the most. It starts at $500, and an unbreakable sapphire-coated version is priced at $100 more, complete with a heart rate monitor, all the sensors you could need, Wi-Fi support and decent smartphone integration. It’s really the best of both worlds, but alas, priced accordingly.
Source: Garmin Blog