Last year Garmin added music to its popular GPS sportwatches, see my Vivoactive 3 Music full review, and today announced its first sportwatch with LTE connectivity. The focus of this cellular service is on safety with support for discreet emergency messaging, incident detection, and real-time tracking by friends and family.
Apple and Samsung smartwatches have LTE that supports phone calls, text messaging, and many other applications, but these smartwatches do not have the same level of customization for activity tracking. Garmin is a leader in advanced activity and sports data collection and with this new LTE functionality you can leave the phone behind and know that there is still a way to reach family and friends in time of an emergency.
My current strategy when running is to wear my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus on one wrist and an Apple Watch Series 4 with LTE on the other. The primary reason for the Apple Watch is for communications without a phone being carried along.
The new Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Verizon) offers the following:
- New built-in safety features including assistance, which lets the user trigger a discreet message with their real-time location to pre-loaded emergency contacts, and incident detection that senses when the wearer experiences an impact while walking, running or cycling, give users and their loved ones peace of mind on the go and in case of an emergency, even when they don't have their phone
- Users can download and play their favorite songs or playlists, including those from Deezer and Spotify (coming soon), anyplace, anytime
- The vívoactive 3 Music – connected by Verizon, features the same high-end fitness, wellness and smart connectivity features first introduced on the vívoactive 3 Music, including Garmin Pay, wrist-based HR, Connect-IQ compatibility and more
- The Verizon-connected vívoactive 3 Music has a battery life of up to 5 days in smartwatch mode or up to 4 hours when connected to GPS, playing music, and using the LiveTrack feature over 4G LTE
Pricing and availability of this new Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music wearable will be revealed in the first quarter of 2019. It will be interesting to see what the additional cellular fee is for this device, if other carrier support will be offered later, and if other Garmin wearables will offer this cellular functionality.