There haven’t been many new smartwatches announced lately so the arrival of a few new devices at CES come as something of a relief.
First up are two new watches from Withings. If you recall, Withings arrived on the scene a few years ago with its hybrid fitness tracker. They were well received and the company was sold to Nokia, only to be re-sold back to the Withings’ founder last year. Announced at CES is the Withings Move and Move ECG. The major innovation here is the inclusion of an ECG monitor, thereby providing significantly more accurate data about the wearer’s heart. The more expensive model that includes the ECG has two sensors on the rear of the watch, as well as special strips on the side. For British readers keen to get such a sophisticated health device there’s good news and bad news! The good news is that the watch has a long battery life, comes in a variety of attractive colours and straps and is reasonably priced ($129.95); the bad news is that the ECG aspects require special approval which could take many months – the watch is slated for a Q2 launch in the US, but there’s no indication of a possible UK release. Related to this is an even cheaper watch (the Withings Move) that looks the same but omits the ECG sensors. This is priced at £59.95 and is due to ship next month, though it can be pre-ordered now. Both watches have a slew of fitness tracking options, but it doesn’t appear as if they’ll offer any sort of notification functionality. For more, see the Withings website.
The other announcement comes from Garmin in the form of an LTE-capable Vivoactive 3 Music watch. The non-LTE version already exists and is a mixture of running and smartwatch, with the ability to save music onto the watch itself. The new device is the first from Garmin with LTE and allows users to send SOS signals, receive messages, download music etc without needing to have their phone within easy reach. That’s the good news, the bad news is that it’s currently only lined up to be available via Verizon in the US. There’s been no mention of pricing yet, but it should be available from late February. More details are here.
If there are any more smartwatch announcements we’ll keep you updated.