CES is often just a land of iterative updates that won't get anybody to upgrade, but do reveal the essential nature of consumer products. Yes, it looks just like another year, another CES, another fitness tracker, another brand partnership with a well-known designer. But wearables sit at the intersection of fashion and tech, and sometimes their yearly changes look more like the former than the latter. And that's okay.
This year it's Garmin with the Vivofit 2, a small update to last year's model that adds a backlight and a few other improvements but keeps the year-long battery life and always-on display. The company has tapped Jonathan Adler to design a few interchangeable bands. They're still bulky receptacles for the Vivofit module, but they at least look like they're meant to be seen instead of hidden. That goes double for the new "Style Collection," which gives you options including leather or steel that are either garish or classy, depending on your appetite for rose gold.
A tiny judgmental Pinocchio on your wrist
The Vivofit 2 isn't very different from last year's version. The basic shape and size is the same, and it will pair with a full heart-rate monitor and your smartphone for full workout tracking. We called last year's version a "dead simple" step tracker in our review, and sometimes that's all you really want. However, it does still feature Garmin's signature red bar, which grows longer as you're stationary like a tiny judgmental Pinocchio on your wrist: your fitness wearable is a lie, you are just sitting. It beeps, then you move, then you healthier.
If that sort of better-designed wearable guilt appeals to you, the Vivofit 2 should be shipping in Q1 for $129.99, and all the different bands should be available around the same time.