Building on its GPS roots, Garmin today introduced three new smartwatches with solid navigation features for hiking and fitness activities. The three vastly different products are designed to appeal to a variety of consumers in the burgeoning smartwatch market Apple will soon be entering, and include the watch-centric Fenix 3, the rugged Epix and the fitness-focused Vivoactive.
The Fenix 3 is the next generation in Garmin's multisport GPS watch category. With its built-in GPS, 100m water resistance and onboard barometer and altimeter sensors, the Fenix 3 supports a wide variety of outdoor and fitness sports, including swimming, biking, skiing and snowboarding. It also connects to the Connect IQ store allowing users to add apps, widgets, and other smartwatch features to the GPS watch. The $499 Fenix 3 will go on sale starting Q1 2015 with both Gray and Silver color choices and a heart-rate monitor bundle that will cost $50 extra. Garmin also is offering a premium Fenix 3 Sapphire with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and a suggested retail price of $599.99.
The Epix is a rugged GPS mapping watch for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a backcountry navigation solution. With its 1.4-inch color touchscreen, the Epix offers the ability to preload up to 8GB of maps that can be viewed and manipulated in the field. The watch features GPS and GLONASS for accurate positioning as well as support for external sensors that measure outdoor temperatures, user heart rate and more. Similar to Garmin's other new watches, the Epix connects to the Connect IQ store, allowing users to install apps, widgets, watch faces and more. The Epix will be available in Q1 2015 with a starting price of $549.
The Vivoactive is focused on the fitness enthusiast with a sunlight-readable color display, GPS activity tracking, smartphone notifications and support for wireless sensors such as heart rate monitors. The watch also features an interchangeable band as well as app and widget support via Garmin's Connect IQ store. Priced at $299 with a heart rate monitor and $249 without, the Vivoactive will begin shipping in Q1 with white or black color options.