LAS VEGAS -- Watches that include GPS are extremely helpful for runners, tracking your runs and providing information on your distance and pace. One of the problems with them though, especially the ones that also include all-day activity tracking, is that they're simply too bulky and unattractive to wear in most non-workout environments. Garmin, however, is looking to change this. Here at CES, the company showcased the Vivoactive, an ultra-slim GPS smartwatch aimed at athletes.
The Vivoactive includes built-in apps for running, cycling, golfing and even swimming -- the watch is waterproof up to 50 meters. The GPS enables the watch to track these activities even if you aren't connected to your smartphone. It will also track your daily activities, such as steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and sleep at night. It'll display notifications too, such as emails, text messages, phone calls and social media alerts, from your smartphone. All of this information is displayed on the device's high-resolution color touchscreen.
As is the case with most smartwatches, the Vivoactive can be used to control the music you are listening to. The watch can also be customized with different watch face designs, watch bands, widgets and additional apps.
The watch borrows many of the features found in Garmin's Forerunner GPS watches, such as auto lap, auto pause and support for vibration alerts and wireless heart-rate sensors. On the activity tracking side, the Vivoactive also includes inactivity alerts and personalized daily step goals. Battery life is said to last up to three weeks with daily activity tracking, or up to 10 hours with an active GPS signal.
Additional activity tracking and workout details can be viewed on the Garmin Connect mobile app on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The app can also sync with third-party options, such as MyFitnessPal.
The Garmin Vivoactive will be available in the US in black or white for $250 in the first quarter of the year. It can also be bundled with a heart-rate monitor for $300. Pricing and availability for the UK and Australia weren't available at the time of writing. The US price converts to about £160 and AU$310, while the heart rate bundle increases those prices to £195 and AU$375.
This article will be updated with our hands on impressions of the Garmin Vivoactive later in the week. We expect to see many more activity trackers and running watches this week in Las Vegas. Be sure to follow CNET's ongoing coverage of CES 2015.