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Garmin’s $150 Vivosmart 5 fitness band has some stiff competition

The new Garmin Vivosmart 5 fitness tracker follows in the footsteps of the 2018 Vivosmart 4, comes soon after the excellent Garmin Vivomove Sport smartwatch, and is once again aimed at those who trust the Garmin brand but don’t feel they’d get much benefit from one of its more hardcore fitness wearables. However, the high price puts it up against some stiff competition.

Garmin Vivosmart 5 in different colors.

Although the overall design is quite similar to the Vivosmart 4, Garmin has made the screen larger by 66%, so it should make all your fitness data and notifications easier to read at a glance. It’s controlled through touch, and also by using the single hardware button on the front. Inside the tracker is a battery expected to last about seven days before it needs recharging.

Garmin expects the Vivosmart 5 to be worn day and night. It tracks all the basics — steps, calories, and exercise intensity — plus your heart rate, pulse oximetry, stress, energy, and breathing rates. It makes use of Garmin’s 24/7 Elevate heart rate monitoring, which checks your pulse multiple times each second for more accurate results. Wear it overnight and it tracks sleep, including data on different sleep stages and movement.

A selection of apps will track different sports, ranging from walking and cycling to yoga and simple cardio routines. There’s no built-in GPS. but it does work with the GPS on your phone. The Vivosmart 5 is water resistant so it can be used when swimming, plus there’s an emergency alert system where your location can be sent to key contacts with a long- press of the button on the front of the wearable.

All data is synced with the Garmin Connect app available for both Android and iOS, and extra modes include women’s health tracking, hydration levels, heart rate alerts, and Garmin’s Body Battery feature to track overall energy levels during the day. One notable hardware change over the previous model is the ability to swap the bands. It’s available in either black, white, or cool mint.

Garmin has set the Vivosmart 5’s price at $150, making it only a little cheaper than the Vivomove Sport watch, but crucially a lot more than various other fitness bands from Xiaomi, Honor, and several other manufacturers. It also faces strong competition from Fitbit, including models like the Fitbit Inspire HR. We have the Garmin Vivosmart 5 ready for review, so you’ll soon be able to see how it compares to the extensive competition.

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