Another confusingly named vivo-something emerges from Garmin. This time a rather sweet-looking VIVOACTIVE 3 which replaces the Vivoactive HR (aka Vivoactive 2)
Here’s another image before I go on to saying why this release is significant for Garmin
From the pictures you can see it has Quick Release straps but not those of the Fenix and, probably, the same iteration of the ELEVATE oHR sensor. There is one button on the right hand side and this means that it MUST be a touchscreen device. Garmin haven’t always been great with touchscreens but their oHR is generally OK and I grew to really like the straps.
Also the charging port is the same as the Fenix 5 (again that’s NOT great in my experience…it wobbles) and you can pretty much be certain from the image that this is a smartphone connected watch.
It will not have escaped your notice that the Vivoactive 3 is round. The previous 2 models of VIVOACTIVE were rectangular/square TA DA !
First up I wasn’t expecting this until next year.
With significant upheavals in the basic ‘tracker’ market this looks like a cool move for Garmin as they again focus on the ‘proper’ end of activity tracking ie by including competent sports tracking functionality for people who are more likely to keep using the device – rather than those who are using them to record their first 100,000 steps and then leaving it in a drawer somewhere until friends or family buy them the new model the next Christmas-cum-birthday.
INTERESTING: The interesting thing for me is that the existing VIVOACTIVE HR EVEN NOW has some pretty cool bits of tech inside it. Often these bits are ahead of or the same as the bits in many of Garmin’s other, more expensive watches. So it is SUPER-likely that the VIVOACTIVE 3 will contain some new bits of tech to excite us.
By coincidence I mentioned this yesterday with some speculation around the 245/645. That article yesterday will possibly be miss-focussed (aka wrong). It is the VIVOACTIVE HR that I reckon will have the new functionality in it and I reckon that will be music (finally). Whilst music DOES make sense for many runners (not me) and it DOES make sense for inclusion into the 246/645 it makes EVEN MORE SENSE to put music into a more mass-appeal format ie the VIVOACTIVE 3. Go back and look at the pictures again. It looks like a THICK device…lots of battery and gigs of speedy disk storage perhaps?
This also fits in line with some of the comments in Garmin’s recent Q2 investor call (Source; dcrainmaker)
“Activity Tracker Market: “Our product introductions will take place a little later in this year in terms of refresh.” – This was in reference to questions about the decline of activity trackers this year and Garmin talked a bit about where they stand quarter by quarter, talking to a soft Q3 (now till September), but that later this year they’d basically have new products that should breathe some life into their Fitness division numbers.
“Advanced Wearables: Whatever the heck this means, they’re focused on squeezing money out of it. My assumption here is simply them focusing on their higher end Forerunner units. Given it’s part of the Fitness slides, that’s logical. Since they used the word ‘wearable’, that likely doesn’t imply things from the recent acquisition of aerodynamics company”
So dcrainmaker’s assumption (and mine) that they would be focussing on FORERUNNERs looks to be slightly off the mark. Although the new Forerunners will still happen.
PROBLEMETTO: The problem with this device is that it might be so good that it canibalises sales from even more profitable, higher-end devices in Garmin’s range. Nice problem to have I suppose.
Images Source: WAREABLE.COM
Words: mine, some very similar words below from techy agent also with an interesting take on the intentionality of this leak to combat the newly ‘leaked’ Fitbit.