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Wearable Tech

Garmin's Vivosmart HR+ is a slim fitness tracker with GPS (hands-on)

The company's latest fitness tracker includes an optical heart-rate sensor, GPS and smartphone alerts.

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Garmin has yet another new fitness tracker. For those keeping count, that's six in five months. The fitness company on Monday announced the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, a cousin to the already released and reviewed Vivosmart HR. It's available now for $220, £170 and AU$349.

The HR+'s standout feature is the addition of GPS for measuring pace and distance when running. It also includes auto pause, auto lap and a virtual pacer, all of which are pretty much standard for running watches. It keeps track of your personal records too.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

This Plus model is a little bigger than the Vivosmart HR, but still quite slim. It's actually pretty impressive that Garmin was able to squeeze all of these features into such a small device. It's lightweight and feels good on your wrist, but there are some sacrifices. The tracker is lacking a dedicated interval training feature, which can be found on Garmin's Forerunner series of watches, and other advanced training features.

Beyond running, the Vivosmart HR+ will measure steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, intensity minutes, continuous heart rate and sleep. Its always-on, sunlight-readable display can show alerts for calls, text messages and social networks from your iPhone or Android phone.

GarminVivosmartHRPlus2.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

The tracker can also automatically recognize and record walking, running, biking, swimming and elliptical training, similar to recent Fitbits.

Battery life is said to last up to five days as a fitness tracker, or up to eight hours with an active GPS signal. It can also be worn in the shower and while swimming.

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