Garmin’s new fitness tracker monitors your blood oxygen levels

Garmin saved its reveal of the newest Vivosmart fitness tracker for IFA this year. For the Vivosmart 4, the company is adding a “pulse ox2 oximeter,” which measures the oxygen saturation in your blood.

You may have tried an oximeter when a doctor or nurse clipped a little accessory to your finger. In Garmin’s case, the oximeter is trying to determine how well a person is sleeping. It could also figure out whether they stop breathing during sleep, meaning they have sleep apnea. That’s the biggest hardware addition to the tracker, although the company’s also updating its software to build out its sleep-monitoring system, so wearers can check in on their sleep quality once they’re awake. Sleep definitely seems like the focus of this launch.

Of course, it measures the other typical things, like heart rate and activities. It should last up to seven days on a single charge, and it pairs with phones over Bluetooth. Wearers will be able to receive notifications and, with Android phones, reply to texts through preset messages. The device is listed on Garmin’s website now with an availability estimated in three to five weeks. It costs $129.99, and it comes in four colors: gray, maroon, blue, and black.

Skagen’s minimalist Falster smartwatch gets a sequel with fitness features

Danish watchmaker Skagen, a subsidiary of Fossil, announced a sequel to its minimalist Falster touchscreen smartwatch today at IFA 2018. The device, called the Falster 2, incorporates health-tracking features from Fossil’s most recent Wear OS smartwatches, announced earlier this month, alongside a new swimproof case and a nice-looking magnetic steel mesh strap.

The health-tracking features include a heart-rate monitor and support for the Google Fit platform. In addition to that, the Falster 2 now comes with GPS and it supports Google Pay with a built-in NFC chip, so you can make mobile transactions from the watch itself without needing to take your phone out of your pocket. The device also contains two side buttons that can be programmed for easy access to apps, while the actual touchscreen interface features with what Skagen describes as “battery-saving watch dials,” for customization.


Image: Skagen

In effect, Fossil has worked with Skagen here to incorporate the features of its fourth-generation of its Fossil Q lineup into an updated version of the Falster watch that made waves for its sleek and stripped-down design back at CES 2018 in January. Unfortunately, like the Fossil Q fourth-gen devices, the Skagen Falster 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, which is about two years old at this point.

The Falster 2 starts at $275 and starts shipping on September 12th.

Casio’s newest outdoor Wear OS watch is its smallest and longest-lasting one yet

Casio has revealed the WSD-F30 at IFA 2018 as the latest member of its Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch series, which the company has completely redesigned to be less bulky and have a longer battery life.

Casio first entered the smartwatch game with the Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 in 2016. It’s a massive, hiking-focused Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) that was followed up by the WSD-F20 in 2017, which added GPS integration and offline maps.

The WSD-F30 keeps all those features in a redesigned case that’s 3.9mm narrower and has slimmer bezels than the WSD-F20. The company has also enhanced the black-and-white screen layer. Instead of only displaying the time, the WSD-F30 can also show sensor data, such as atmospheric pressure and altitude, like other Pro Trek outdoor watches.

There’s also a big emphasis on battery life: a new algorithm has extended the regular Watch OS mode of the WSD-F30 from a day and a half up to three days in a new “Extend Mode” that limits access to offline maps and sensor data. It can also go up to a full month with just the time and sensor data in the monochrome mode. It’s an interesting mix of ideas that blends the more traditional Wear OS functionality with Casio’s own Pro Trek features that work independently of a smartphone.

And like the other Pro Trek Smart Watches, the WSD-F30 features an ultra-rugged design (developed originally for Casio’s G-Shock line) that can survive shocks, drops, and whatever else you throw at it during your outdoor adventures.

The WSD-F30 will come in orange, blue, and black, but there’s no price or release date yet.