With vívoactive 3 Garmin wants a piece of the smartwatch market

If Fitbit can do it, so can Garmin; the wearable packs contactless payments and support for third-party apps.

With vívoactive 3 Garmin wants a piece of the smartwatch market

Fitbit unveiled its first smartwatch and so did Garmin; and just like Fitbit, Garmin's product also enables contactless payments, the feature that the company refers to as Garmin Pay.

The is called Garmin vívoactive 3, and like many such devices – it comes with a built-in GPS receiver so you can run with it while leaving your phone at home. Later when the two connect, all the exercise data will be synced through the Garmin Connect mobile app.

The wearable also packs Garmin's Elevate wrist-based heart rate tech that lets users calculate their VO2 max and fitness age. Plus, there are more than 15 preloaded indoor and outdoor sports apps with additional apps available to download from the Garmin Connect IQ store, where you will also be able to grab widgets and watch faces. Among available apps are Uber, SmartThings (for smart home control) and AccuWeather MinuteCast.

Garmin Pay

The press release puts a special emphasize on Garmin Pay; enabled by FitPay, it supports Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards from major issuing banks, with more being added every day. Adding these cards into their Garmin Pay wallet gives users the same rewards and benefits of the physical cards, with the convenience of having them right on the wrist.

"Anyone who is out and about being active can relate to the struggle of where to stash a credit card or cash, and has had to forgo a post-workout snack or coffee as a result," Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement. "We're solving that dilemma with Garmin Pay, an exciting feature on the new vívoactive 3. Use it pretty much wherever contactless payments are accepted, and give yourself one less thing to remember when you're leaving the house."

Other things to know

A few other things you should know about Garmin's smartwatch include:

  • The vívoactive 3 features stainless steel metal details and an always-on high-resolution Garmin Chroma display.
  • Side Swipe is the name of Garmin's UI that lets you quickly scroll through menus, widgets and stats.
  • The device is safe for swimming and showering.
  • Battery life is up to 7 days in "smartwatch mode" and 13 hours in "GPS mode."
  • Smart alerts – both on display and with vibrations.
  • Music playback control, and control of a Garmin VIRB camera.

Availability

The vívoactive 3 comes in three colors — black/stainless and white/stainless (with a suggested retail price of $299.99) — and black/slate ($329.99) and is available for purchase at Best Buy and Bestbuy.com. Users also have the option to switch up their style with compatible accessory bands, which will be sold separately.

Other devices

The vívoactive 3 is not the only device Garmin has announced; other products include:

vívomove HR

This is an updated version of the original vívomove that (obviously) adds a heart rate sensor (duh) and some more smart features to the mix.popular model Garmin introduced last year. The device is actually a hybrid smartwatch with analog watch hands and a touchscreen display. The vívomove HR will be available in two version: the vívomove HR Sport ($199.99) with a silicone strap, and the vívomove HR Premium ($299.99) with a leather strap and full steel body.

vívosport

The vívosport comes with an always-on Garmin Chroma color touchscreen display, a built-in GPS, and a Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor. The waterproof device also comes preloaded with sports apps for walking, running, biking, cardio, strength training, and cycling, and will track your stress levels all day long. It will be available in black/slate, black/fuchsia, and black/limelight color options for $199.99. The black/limelight option will only be available in a large size, while the other two colors will be available in both small/medium and large.

Also, the company has announced new software update for its fenix 5 lineup and Forerunner 935, that will add the capability to count your reps, track interval training exercises, keep track of your stress levels, and more.

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