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Garmin’s new Vivoactive watch can track your yoga sessions

It has also upgraded the Vivomove hybrid watches with better cases.
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Daniel Cooper / Engadget

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Garmin has turned up at IFA with a whole host of new watches, including the flagship Venu and its Avengers-branded special editions. But the company has also taken the time to refresh its line of cheaper Vivoactive GPS watches. The new Vivoactive 4 and 4S models offer the same features you would expect from the series, with the addition of respiration tracking. Watches can now monitor your breathing when you're doing yoga — previously limited to when you wore a chest strap.

That respiration tracking will keep watch over you while you sleep, tracking your breaths per minute and monitoring how much much oxygen you're getting at night. The company says that it examines the "broadest range" of vital statistics to give you a complete picture of your health. It'll also bundle in a number of innovations announced over the last year, like menstrual cycle tracking and reminders to keep you hydrated.

Obviously, these are good-looking watches, but in the vein of someone who wants you to think that they like to do triathlons every now and again. They all come with the ability to store up to 500 songs locally, either from your own collection, or via Deezer, Prime Music and Spotify. Not to mention that the 45mm Vivoactive 4 has a battery life of around 8 days, with the 40mm 4S comes in a little shorter, at 7 days.

Garmin

At the same time, Garmin is updating its lower-end Vivomove hybrids, the third-generation of which ships in three different styles. At the top of the range, you have the Vivomove luxe, which has a 42mm stainless steel case and the option of an Italian leather or Milanese metal strap. It has two color AMOLED displays that are embedded in the case and a touch sensor over the crystal for easy control. Double tap to wake it and you can check your heart rate, view messages and calendar notifications or activate Garmin Pay.

Further down the range, the Vivomove Style has the option of a woven nylon or silicone band and the same 42mm case. It has a Gorilla Glass lens and the same dual-color AMOLED displays as the Luxe, plus Garmin Pay, although the color options make them look, to me, a little more anonymous. That said, the woven nylon bands are pretty cute, straddling the line between formal and sporty.

Garmin

At the bottom of the series, there's the Vivomove 3 and 3S (for small), with 44 and 39-millimeter cases, respectively. Both get just a single AMOLED display (compared to the two found on pricier Garmin models), and are stylish enough if you're looking for a very basic fitness tracker in a hybrid case.

All of these watches do their best to disguise their fitness and smartwatch features behind a dressy, formal style. The Vivomove Style, especially with that Milanese band, is extraordinarily stylish, although all of the models would look great in formalwear. I have to admit a soft spot for the rose gold Style, which just looks damn fine on any wrist that I've seen them on.

You can expect battery life of up to five days on all of the new models, plus an additional seven days in analog-only mode when power levels drop. Thanks to the PPG / optical heart-rate sensor mounted on the back of all of the models offers continuous heart-rate, menstrual cycle, respiration and pulse ox tracking.

All of the devices are going to be available towards the end of September or the start of October. Prices for the Vivoactive start at $350, with the Vivomove running between $250 through to $550.

Catch up on all the latest news from IFA 2019 here!

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