Garmin VivoActive three Music 4G LTE Verizon hands-on
“Garmin provides a useful characteristic addition to an already nice health smartwatch, however you’ll really want a Verizon contract to get essentially the most from it.”
Necessary security options are simple to make use of
On a regular basis wearability
4G LTE connection for SMS
Complete exercise monitoring
Verizon-only for 4G LTE
No iMessage help
Including 4G LTE connectivity to a smartwatch makes it extra helpful, and may also imply you’ll be able to depart your smartphone behind for those who don’t really want it and nonetheless stay involved. Apple has executed this efficiently with the Apple Watch Sequence four, and now it’s Garmin’s flip with the Garmin VivoActive three Music 4G LTE with Verizon. A ridiculous mouthful of a reputation, however behind it is a good wearable that — offered you’re conscious of its limitations — may very well be precisely the machine informal health followers need.
The underlying know-how and health options on the 4G LTE mannequin are precisely the identical because the common VivoActive three Music, so you have got a 1.2-inch display with a 240 x 240 pixel decision, which is practical relatively than being excellent, the flexibility to retailer round 500 songs, plus the Garmin Pay contactless fee system. You’ll acknowledge the 4G LTE mannequin by the crimson ring across the crown, in comparison with the common mannequin, and we are able to’t think about the place Garmin acquired that concept.
New 4G LTE connection
What’s new is the 4G LTE connection, which right here is offered by Verizon, and for the whole lot to work optimally it is best to ideally have a Verizon contract to your cellphone. The wi-fi connection permits lively GPS when out working, plus streaming music from chosen providers too after all. However extra attention-grabbing are the protection options. In case you’re out working, mountain climbing, or doing one other exercise and fall down, the watch is conscious and can ship an emergency message to a few contacts. The message features a GPS hyperlink to your location, and you’ve got a five-second window to cancel the message for those who’re not injured.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments
Upon activation of this security characteristic, the watch aggressively vibrates, so it’s unlikely you’ll miss it. If the watch doesn’t understand you’ve fallen and been injured, you’ll be able to override the characteristic with a protracted press of the crown.
Extra from CES 2019
Supplied you have got a Verizon cellphone, you’ll be able to ship and obtain SMS messages on the Garmin VivoActive three Music. You possibly can ship fast replies, or faucet out easy responses utilizing an alphanumeric keyboard. It’s solely SMS although, and also you’ll have to show off iMessage on an iPhone to make use of it.
The crown is simple to find and press, and it takes a protracted sufficient maintain to activate the emergency message so that you gained’t unintentionally ship one out. The display shows its data clearly, and it’s vibrant too, with out an excessive amount of garnish or animations to remove from its major features. When shopping messages the mini display isn’t nice for lengthy, detailed texts, however effective for a number of traces. The keyboard is small, as a result of the display is small, so that you gained’t wish to be tapping out any prolonged responses both, making the wide-range of fast replies very welcome. Don’t count on WatchOS ranges of polish typically, because the menus and screens are comparatively fundamental trying, with out the visible punch of Apple’s watch software program.
We just like the look of the Garmin watch although. It’s slim on the wrist, has a delightful unisex design, and the silicone strap is versatile and really snug to put on. We’d think about these points important for any health wearable made to be worn for lengthy intervals of time, however so usually firms get it incorrect. The Garmin VivoActive three Music, with-or-without 4G LTE, will get the stability of fitness-cool and on a regular basis wearability good.
Though it is possible for you to to purchase the 4G LTE model with out already having a Verizon contract, chances are you’ll discover it annoying to take action, as it is going to be assigned a brand new quantity. This implies you’ll have to inform your pals they could obtain SMS — or worse, an emergency message — from an alternate quantity.
It’s unlucky Garmin has chosen to promote the 4G LTE model as an unique with Verizon, because it limits the viewers considerably. When the watch goes on sale earlier than April it can additionally solely be offered by Verizon and its companions shops, not by Garmin. It’s comprehensible from Garmin’s point-of-view, as establishing contracts and connections isn’t its space of experience. We additionally don’t understand how a lot the 4G LTE model will value, or how a lot additional per 30 days it can value so as to add it to your Verizon contract. The usual VivoActive three Music prices $300, so count on the 4G LTE mannequin to value extra.
Including the 4G LTE connection makes an already nice health smartwatch even higher. It’s a particular competitor to the Apple Watch Sequence four, as it may be used with Android and iOS; however it will possibly’t match the Apple Watch’s community versatility and distinctive ease-of-use. We’ll look forward to the ultimate costs earlier than deciding whether or not it’s price shopping for the 4G LTE mannequin over the usual Garmin VivoActive three Music or not.