Garmin’s Vivofit and Vivoactive trackers get heart monitors, altimeters

Garmin just released some pretty smooth updates to its most popular fitness trackers, the Vivoactive and Vivofit. In addition to a completely redesigned case and band, the new Vivoactive HR features 24/7 optical heart-rate monitoring and a barometric altimeter. This is in addition to full smart notifications, Garmin Connect IQ apps, customizable watch faces, and specialized activity tracking for running, cycling, pool swimming, golf, standup paddling, rowing, skiing and snowboarding. This update bumps the Vivoactive HR’s tech spec even closer in-line with Garmin’s flagship GPS smartwatch the Fenix 3 HR at close to half the price.

The Vivofit 3 update includes Garmin’s Move IQ auto activity detection and a slew of new fashion bands, including two sets from Jonathan Adler and the fashion-forward Gabrielle collection. With Move IQ, the Vivofit 3 will automatically detect sustained activity events like walking, running, swimming, biking or ever elliptical training and upload them to Garmin Connect when the band syncs. This eliminates having to tell the band ahead of time to start an activity. And, with a wide variety of bands to choose from the Vivofit 3 can be customized to fit anyone’s fashion groove.

Both new bands feature tracking for steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes and time of day, but the Vivoactive HR’s onboard GPS make it the better choice for more serious athletes. Garmin’s new trackers will be available this spring with the Vivoactive HR retailing for $250 and the Vivofit 3 for $100.

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