Garmin has officially joined the LTE smartwatch party with the Vivoactive 3 Music - Connected by Verizon (yes, that's what it's called).
The watch is pretty much the same Vivoactive 3 Music we've already tested, albeit with a few new features. The big one, of course, is 4G LTE from Verizon - and only Verizon.
If you've got cellular service with any of the other big American telecoms, you're out of luck here. The extra connectivity support means you can receive texts and download music (not stream it seems) from Spotify and Deezer without your phone. The more interesting use, however, is that Garmin is using cellular for safety features.
There's both assistance and incident detection. Garmin wearables have great GPS capabilities, and many Garmin users wear them on hikes. So if you're out on a hike and feel unsafe or something happens, you can hold down the button for five seconds and send an alert to pre-loaded emergency contacts. They'll also get details of your real-time location.
As for incident detection, it's a lot like the Apple Watch's fall detection. If you're running, walking, hiking, or doing other activities and the watch detects an impact (read: you fall) it will automatically notify pre-loaded emergency contacts and tell them your real-time location. You can also manually let your friends and family know where you are with LiveTrack.
Elsewhere, the Connected by Verizon is just like the regular Vivoactive 3 Music. You're also getting Garmin Pay and smartphone notifications and fitness tracking. Unfortunately, you'll get five days of battery life instead of the seven days on the regular Vivoactive 3 Music. You'll also get four hours of LTE use.
Pricing and availability aren't known yet, but Garmin says it will share more information over the next few months.
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