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Garmin Vivosmart 4 takes the fight to the Fitbit Charge 3 with pulse-ox monitor

Garmin has introduced the Vivosmart 4, the latest version of its slimline fitness tracker, offering an enhanced design and a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen levels.

The £119/$129 wearable is a direct challenge to the new Fitbit Charge 3 and is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and is more stylish thanks to the metallic accents around the display. The new tracker, which succeeds the excellent Garmin Vivosmart 3, also promises a week-long battery life and water resistance, making it safe for the pool and the shower.

However, it’s the inclusion of the pulse-oximeter that’s raising eyebrows. It’s usually something that’s reserved for high-end Garmin fitness devices like the Fenix range, so it’s great to see Garmin make the tech accessible to a new audience.

Related: Best fitness tracker 2018

vivosmart 4

While the tracking of blood oxygen levels is used to assist with high altitude training, Garmin is using it here to add to the device’s sleep tracking nous. Garmin says it can assist with conditions like sleep apnea.

“Sleep quality plays a critical role in your overall physical health,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Poor sleep quality may contribute to the development of significant chronic conditions. With its slim design, the vívosmart 4 is comfortable to wear at night and pulse ox provides customers with information they can use to improve their health.”

Elsewhere, Garmin is introducing Body Battery, a new energy monitoring feature designed to showcase your readiness for a workout. It uses heart rate, HRV, sleep-based recovery stats and other metrics to tell users whether it’s a good idea to push themselves harder during a training session, or take a rest day.

Garmin is also launching the Vivosmart 4 with a newly redesigned Elevate wrist-based heard rate sensor, while it’ll also provide abnormal heart rate alerts, VO2 Max readings and more activity types (walks, runs, strength training, pool swims, yoga and more).

It’ll also offer all-day stress tracking and a new relax reminder that’ll take users through guided breathing exercises to help reduce elevated stress levels.

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is also £10/$30 cheaper than the Fitbit Charge 3, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. The Vivosmart 4 goes on sale on later this year, and will be available in berry with a rose gold bezel, powder grey with a silver bezel, azure blue with a silver bezel, and black with a slate bezel.

Can the Vivosmart 4 outsmart the Fitbit Charge 3? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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