Garmin Launches Vivosmart HR Activity Tracker Band

The $150 touch-screen activity tracker includes heart rate monitoring and wrist-based notifications for users.

Garmin, activity trackers, health trackers, wearables, Android, iOS, health apps, Vivosmart HR

Garmin has expanded its activity tracker lineup with its new Vivosmart HR, a $150 wristband that includes heart rate monitoring, a 1-inch-wide touch-screen display and a wide range of notifications capabilities when used with select smartphones.

The Vívosmart HR displays steps taken, distance and calories burned, as well as keeps track of how many building floors are climbed by wearers and activity intensity while it is being worn, the company said in an Oct. 27 announcement. The tracker includes a display that can be read in sunlight and promises up to five-day battery life on a charge.

On the Vivosmart HR, users can receive vibration alert notifications about incoming calls, texts, email, calendar events, social media posts and more on many recent Android and iPhone smartphones, as well as track all of their physical activities using the Garmin Connect mobile app for iOS and Android. Wearers can also control the music players on their smartphones from the Vivosmart HR and send a signal to find their misplaced smartphone if necessary.

The activity tracker is available for preorders immediately and will be sold through Best Buy stores and starting Nov. 1, according to Garmin.

"This is the first activity tracker from Garmin with Elevate wrist heart rate technology that monitors your heart rate 24/7, offering more feedback on your daily activity, calories burned, workouts and sleep," Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement. "Thanks to the Vívosmart HR's always on high-resolution display, you can review your progress against your fitness, and stay connected with a full suite of smart notifications while you're on the go."

The device, which is controlled by swiping its touch screen, can be worn in water up to 164 feet deep.

An integrated barometric altimeter is used to provide activity information to wearers. The wrist tracker also measures activity intensity through Intensity Minutes so users can monitor their progress against weekly aerobic activity goals recommended by health organizations such as the American Heart Association, World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Garmin.

In addition, the device reminds users when they've been sitting too long and need to get moving, as well as provides a customized daily step goal to help motivate them and keep them active.

The Vivosmart HR comes in black, imperial purple and midnight blue.

New fitness bands have also recently been launched by Fossil, according to earlier eWEEK reports.

Fashion watch and accessory retailer Fossil unveiled two new fitness bands, the Q Reveler and the Q Dreamer, which are both designed to be worn by men or women and are each priced at $125. The Q Reveler can keep track of how far its wearer runs and can notify the user when incoming calls or messages are received from people and apps notifications that are important to them and notifies the wearer of incoming alerts via a subtle nudge and color LEDs.

The other band, the Q Dreamer, is a fitness tracker that looks more like a stylish bracelet and offers both a leather band for work and a silicone band for physical activities. The Q Dreamer also features vibrating alerts and customized color notifications for key contacts and apps.