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Garmin muscles into the smart hybrid watch market

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Garmin Vívomove Sport.

In many ways, Garmin’s new Vívomove Sport is the hybrid connected watch that Swatch should be making.

It is cool, colorful and inexpensive, just like Swatch, and packed with useful tech for messaging, health and wellness tracking, sports assistance and timekeeping.

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Vívomove Sport watches have normal analogue hands, and could be mistaken for a simple Swatch, but the dial has a hidden display that shows most of the information that a full touchscreen timepiece like an Apple Watch offers.

But, because the Garmin gadget’s smartwatch features reside mostly on its tethered app, it stays charged for up to five days.

All the smartwatch notifications are shown in white on the lower half of the coloured dials.

The 40mm watches’s screens are touch sensitive. A first tap moves the physical hour and minute hands out of the way to a quarter past nine position. Then you can scroll between the various smartwatch features.

These features include notifications from smartphone calendars, social media and messaging apps; a person’s energy monitoring based on readings from in-built sensors including heart rate, pulse, sleep, respiration, hydration and blood oxygen saturation.

Garmin’s smartphone apps crunch this data and provide advice on stress levels and general health.

There are even features to help with mindful breathing to reduce anxiety and menstrual cycle monitoring that provides advice on exercise and nutrition tailored to where women are in their month.

There is no onboard GPS, so the watch has to be tethered via Bluetooth to record location, speed and distance information.

If this data is available, it feeds into Garmin’s advanced fitness and wellness systems, where it can be shared with people who want the motivation that comes with competing in real time with people around the world.

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