Garmin has unveiled the Vivosmart 4, its latest fitness tracker, which adds new health features while retaining a slim design.
The most interesting new feature here is the pulse oximeter sensor, which tracks your blood oxygen saturation. The feature first popped up on the Fenix 5X Plus, where it's used to track oxygen levels at higher altitudes. Garmin's leveraging the same tech into a more mainstream use with the Vivosmart 4, which will give you readings through the day and during sleep.
Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivosmart 4 review
You'll be able to take a reading on the tracker at any time, but this data is now included on the sleep graph in the Garmin Connect app, where you'll also see a breakdown of your night's sleep stages, which the Vivosmart 4 also supports.
Why is this useful? Pulse ox readings can indicate if someone is suffering from sleep apnea, for example. This is something Fitbit is also working to introduce to its devices, but it sounds like Fitbit is still working through its validation process. That said, Garmin cannot diagnose these conditions, and a spokesperson told Wareable that users won't get an alert if they have low oxygen saturation. Rather, it's simply giving the user the data, which they could take to a doctor as an indicator that something is wrong.
Alongside the new pulse ox tech, Garmin has something it refers to as 'body battery' energy monitoring. In short, this takes into account how much energy you've been expending and will rate you on how ready you are to hit the next workout. If you're at 80 or 90, you're good to go. 20 or 30? Not so much. Think of it like the Garmin Training Load feature, but for more general wellness.
The Vivosmart 4 comes with a redesigned heart rate sensor, VO2 max tracking, and all the usual activities supported - running, walking, strength training, and swimming. There's stress tracking on top of that, and Garmin's new relax reminder for when it think you need to take a breather. And despite a rather minute screen, you'll be able to see notifications, but only send preset replies if you're on Android.
The new tracker comes in four colors: Black, azure, berry, and gray with rose gold. It costs $129.99 and is available to order from today. We're currently testing one - look out for the full review soon.