Garmin has revealed the Vivoactive HR sports watch and Vivofit 3 activity tracker, which look like solid improvements over the previous models in both design and features. For the Vivoactive HR smartwatch, the biggest updatel is the built-in heart rate monitor that obviates the need for a chest strap. It's also received a complete style makeover and looks significantly nicer than the chunky square design of the original Vivoactive. Using the built-in GPS, it can track running, cycling, swimming, golfing, rowing and skiing/snowboarding, with custom settings for each sport.
The Vivoactive HR's screen features Garmin's full-color Chroma Display, which is readable in bright sunlight, unlike LED-equipped watches. That helps it last for up to eight days in activity tracking mode, though it will only go around 13 hours if you turn on the GPS. Along with the heart rate detector and GPS, it also has a built-in accelerometer.
The biggest new software feature is Move IQ, which is also available on the Vivofit 3. It allows the Vivoactive HR to detect whether you're walking, running, biking, swimming or elliptical training, letting you track those sports without the need to start a timed activity. As before, you can review your day's activities in a timeline view using the Connect IQ platform. That also allows you to add widgets and watchfaces, track your sleep and join online challenges with friends. Connect IQ also gives health and wellness tips and lets you know when you reach your goals. The Vivoactive HR arrives in Q2 2015 for $250, and you can add accessory bands in black, white, "force yellow" and "lava red" for $30 a pop.
The Vivofit 3 features an improved backlit display that shows steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes and time of day. Like the Vivoactive HR, it also has the Move IQ feature that can detect whether you're walking, running, biking, swimming or doing an elliptical workouts so that you don't need to start a session manually. As before, it has a removable battery that lasts around a year, and is waterproof to 50 meters. Best of all, it now costs just $100 with a black band (regular or extra large) or regular-sized white band -- a big drop from the Vivofit 2's $130 price tag. Accessory bands run $30 each, and a custom Jonathan Adler band (above) is $40.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.