Garmin is known for its rugged and reliable outdoor performance wearables, but one of its newest watches is more suitable for a covert mission than a weekend warrior outing.
The Garmin Tactix Bravo is an updated version of its 2013 Tactix GPS military watch, and was inspired by the needs of law enforcement officers and special operations teams. It offers daily tracking, advanced workout recording, and Bluetooth remote control of Garmin's action cameras, but also has a "full multisport toolset to handle training, exploring, missions and more."
The Tactix Bravo has a sapphire lens and a bezel with a diamond-like carbon coating to protect it from wear and tear, and its color display has a special mode that is compatible with night-vision goggles. It has Garmin’s EXO omni-directional antenna, along with high-sensitivity GPS and support for GLONASS (Russia’s version of GPS), all of which means better signal strength for extreme outdoor activities. Like the previous Tactix, the new watch can mark and store up to 1,000 waypoints for navigation back to starting points, and it can display two sets of coordinates at the same time.
Tactix Bravo's display is compatible with night vision goggles
It also comes preloaded with a bunch of software for different aerial and land-based missions. For example, Garmin says the watch has software dedicated to three jump types: HAHO, HALO, and Static. This, dear Verge reader, is the part where I Google something for you, because it’s been a long time (never) since I’ve performed these kinds of jumps. In short, these are different parachuting techniques. I’ve asked whether we can demo these at CES and am still waiting to hear back.
And the Tactix Bravo can get up to 50 hours of battery life in tracking mode, 20 hours of battery life in GPS training mode, and three weeks as an everyday smartwatch.
There are also some updates coming to Garmin’s Fenix 3 multisport watch, for people who are more into hiking, less into jumping from planes. A new version of the Fenix 3 will have all-day wrist-based heart rate tracking. All Fenix watches will get a software update that will include tracking for golf, standup paddleboarding, and rowing, as well as improvements in running measurements. And there are new leather and nylon watch band accessories.
The new Fenix 3 will ship in the first quarter of the year and range in price from $600 to $800, depending on the bands and the materials (a titanium model costs more).
Garmin hasn’t announced any updates to its popular line of Vivo trackers at CES so far, which include the Vivosmart wristband and the Vivoactive fitness watch, but we’re expecting to get more updates on those sometime early in the year.