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Garmin unveils three new smartwatches at CES 2015

Garmin has unveiled three new smartwatches with built-in GPS: the Vivoactive, Fenix 3, and Epix.

The Vivoactive (pictured) is billed as an ultra-thin smartwatch with sports and activity tracking apps, with a high resolution colour touchscreen which is sunlight-readable.

The device, like both the others Garmin has launched, hooks up with the new Connect IQ store which offers apps for customisation such as widgets, new watch faces and so forth.

The Vivoactive is water-resistant to 50 metres, so it can track fitness stats for your swimming sessions, or indeed running or golfing (with 38,000 golf course maps supported). The battery lasts for three weeks in the watch/activity tracking mode, or 10 hours with GPS active.

This one is the cheapest watch starting at £200, with shipping set to begin in the second quarter of 2015.

The Garmin Fenix GPS sports watch features a stainless steel bezel, and a premium “Sapphire” version will has a scratch-resistant domed sapphire lens and a stainless steel wrist band.

It’s waterproof to 100 metres and can handle various types of activity tracking including triathlon, cycling, skiing and hiking, or even advanced fitness training. The latter means the watch apparently acts almost like a personal trainer, and it can be paired with a heart rate monitor to estimate VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption).

The Fenix boasts 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode, and up to six weeks in smartwatch mode. It will start at £370, or for the premium Sapphire version, £450, and it will be on shelves this quarter.

Finally, the Garmin Epix is a rugged watch with a 1.4in colour touchscreen that boasts a new steel Exo antenna for GPS and GLONASS, providing accurate positioning with sensors that add altimeter, barometer and compass functionality. It comes with Recreational Map Europe on board, and a one year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. There’s also 8GB of storage for further maps you might want.

Martin Resch, EMEA Product Manager for Outdoor at Garmin, said of the device: “For the first time, we’re able to pack the punch of an outdoor handheld GPS into a wearable device. Garmin is already a leader in GPS wearables, and we’re excited to kick things up a notch with Epix by adding preloaded mapping and smart features to a rugged watch that can handle the most rigorous conditions.”

The Epix will set you back £420, and should be available this quarter.