Similar to how many of today’s non-flagship smartphones forgo fingerprint recognition, fast battery charging or optical image stabilization, fitness addicts continue to be dealt GPS-lacking cards in both the smart band and smartwatch game.
While these are generally capable of the exact same things as their location-identifying cousins and rivals, they need to tap into a handheld’s navigation system to decently monitor your runs and outdoor training sessions.
Even then, data precision can suffer, so if you have the choice, always go for a wearable with built-in GPS functionality. Like the just-unveiled Garmin Vivosmart HR+, which greatly resembles the OG Vivosmart HR on the outside while gaining global positioning under the hood.
That’s essentially it, the only difference between the two, but it’s enough for a pretty wide retail price gap of $70 on US shores. The Vivosmart HR+ costs $220, up from $150 for the non-Plus variant, in black/shark fin gray, imperial purple/kona purple, and midnight blue/bolt blue color combinations.
Unfortunately, processing time is listed as 3 to 5 weeks on Garmin’s website right now, so technically, the activity tracker isn’t commercially launched yet. In addition to extremely accurate distance and pace supervision, the wrist-worn device also brings an always-on touchscreen display to the table, smart Android and iOS notifications including emails, calls, texts and social media alerts, as well as auto synchronization to Garmin Connect Mobile for all your stats in one place.
The Vivosmart HR+ can automatically detect when you’re walking, jogging, biking or swimming, it counts steps, tracks floors climbed, activity intensity and heart rate, lasting 8 hours or so between charges with the GPS switched on, or up to 5 days in basic watch and fitness monitoring modes.