Garmin adds LTE to its music-focused smartwatch

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Garmin’s long been a sort of secret success story in the world of wearables. The company rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as Apple and Fitbit — or even Android Wear and Samsung — but it’s found a nice life beyond GPS systems.

One thing the company’s products products have lacked until now is LTE functionality. The option has become a mainstay for Apple and Samsung products, and certainly makes sense for what is ostensibly a fitness.

The option will be arriving first on the vivoactive 3 Music, the streaming-focused wearable it introduced over the summer. One of the product’s selling points was the ability to download offline playlists from the likes of iHeartRadio and Deezer. Of course, having a device that’s always connected via Verizon does render that functionality slightly moot. Though Garmin will be adding some more notable services soon, including Spotify.

The main case use here — as with other LTE-enabled wearables — is the ability to take the watch out and leave your phone behind. Garmin’s certainly built up the feature set over the generations, including the addition of Garmin Pay, so you can buy stuff on the go.

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The wearable promises up to five days of battery with light usage. That shrinks dramatically down to four hours, however, when you fire up LTE and start streaming or using GPS tracking.

Pricing is still TBD on the watch, which drops later this quarter.


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