If you're looking for a new smartwatch with an emphasis on GPS tracking and an athletic lifestyle, then you may well be considering the Garmin Vivoactive 5.
In an increasingly competitive market, Garmin has really carved out its niche for its focus on health and fitness. But competitors are trying to catch up, with the likes of watchOS 9 expected to provide a host of new health monitoring features.
This puts some pressure on Garmin to make sure its next release continues to offer all the features consumers have come to expect, at a compelling price. With that in mind, here's what we know so far, about the rumoured Garmin Vivoactive 5.
Garmin Vivoactive 5: Release Date Speculation
Garmin has so far remained tight-lipped about a potential release date for the Vivoactive 5. But there are some tantalising clues, which may give us some pointers.
Firstly, a quick look at the historic release schedule of the Vivoactive range. The original Vivactive watch was released back in 2015, with the Vivoactive 3 in 2017, and the Vivoactive 4 in 2019. This suggests a fairly consistent biennial release schedule. And given that no Vivoactive watch was forthcoming in 2021, it might indicate that one is imminent.
The much-documented global chip shortage could easily explain a delay in that release schedule. So we are optimistic that if a Vivoactive 5 watch is being planned, Garmin won't want to delay it beyond 2022.
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And there's more. Documentation was recently filed with the US Federal Commission (FCC) for two new Garmin smartwatches, as first spotted by advnture.com.
Because these devices are capable of wireless communication, they have to be registered with the FCC. The two applications were published on June 10th. Of course, it's impossible at this stage to say whether either of these relates to the Vivoactive 5, and there are plenty of other models that these could be.
Finally, it's worth thinking about what other smartwatch manufacturers might be doing. In particular, we are anticipating the Apple Watch 8 in September. It could make sense for Garmin to release something new around this time, in an effort to compete with the market leaders.
Garmin Vivoactive 5: Price
Given the lack of concrete information, it's impossible to give a definitive price for the Vivoactive 5. But once again, there are some educated guesses that we can make.
The Vivoactive 4 and 4s launched at the $349.99 mark. It's a watch purposely priced more towards the mid-range sector of the market, and we wouldn't expect this to change. Of course, inflation may mean that the price goes up. But we'd be very surprised if Garmin didn't try to keep it under $400 at most.
The price will also be influenced by what competitors are offering, and what new features might be included in the Vivoactive 5. brings us neatly to our next section.
Garmin Vivoactive 5: Predicted Specs and Things We'd Like To See
The Vivoactive 4 was loaded with health monitoring features, at an extremely competitive price point. We certainly wouldn't expect a new watch to remove any of these features, so expect to see features such as body battery energy monitoring (essentially a monitor of your energy levels, to judge when is best to rest or be active) blood oxygen level monitoring, and stress tracking, among others.
Beyond these, we would hope that Garmin will have improved battery life, as this is one area where smartwatches consistently struggle. The Vivoactive offered a relatively impressive battery life of up to 7 days. But we'd love to see this improved even further.
One thing which will have a major influence on battery performance is the type of screen Garmin uses. There are rumours that they are looking to use an AMOLED display. This would improve brightness, but could also dent battery life.
We might also see some new health monitoring features, such as body temperature monitoring. An ever-growing number of smartwatches are incorporating skin temperature sensors, and it's possible Garmin might decide to include this as well.
Other possible new additions might include blood pressure monitoring or an ECG app. And we'd expect further enhancements to workout animations and preloaded sports apps.
Finally, there are rumours that Garmin is considering including LTE in the Vivoactive 5. LTE means you can receive calls and messages even without your phone, This could be very appealing to anyone who wants to go for a long run or bike ride without having to take their phone with them. It would also be beneficial for safety features such as Livetrack and incident detection.
There's plenty that we still don't know about the Vivoactive 5. But it could definitely position itself as a compelling alternative to the Apple Watch. As ever, we'll continue to update you as more information becomes available.