Garmin turns up the heat with its new GPS watch

  • Waterproof up to 50m
  • GPS-enabled
  • Uses a 3-axis electronic compass

Garmin has raised the stakes for outdoor adventurers with the launch of its fenix GPS Navigator and Altimeter, Barometer, Compass wristwatch, which says the company is designed to satisfy the requirements of “the serious adventurer”.

With its GPS navigation capabilities, a built-in barometric altimeter, barometer, 3-axis electronic compass, and 50m waterproof construction, the fenix allows wireless unit-to-unit communication so users can share their route with friends – all while using it as a functioning day-to-day wristwatch.

At its core, the fenix is equipped with GPS navigation, allowing bushwalkers and hikers to mark up to 1,000 points of interest, as well as access their bearings using the device’s 3-axis electronic compass.

The fenix not only records where users have been, but also guides users through the wilderness and back again with its TracBack feature which records a track log – basically a GPS ‘bread crumb trail’ on a trek or hike.

The fenix’s ANT+ capabilities and Bluetooth technology allows users to keep in close contact with others while exploring. With Garmin’s free trip-planning software BaseCamp, users can download tried and tested trip routes, or create their own to share with others.

The device’s built-in barometer and temperature sensor allow the monitoring of weather changes, which should help in determining clothing and shelter needs.

For additional ambient temperature readings, Garmin’s Tempe external temperature sensor is designed to attach to a backpack, jacket, or shoes.

The fenix is built to endure tough outdoor conditions, via its shock-resistant and high-strength housing and a mineral glass lens to protect against scratches.

With a large LCD display with LED backlight and polyurethane wristband, this watch has a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 weeks in watch mode.

Day-to-day watch functions include alarms, tones, vibration alerts, timer, stopwatch and world clock with the ability to display several times zones at once.

The Garmin fenix will available from August 2012 with an RRP of $449


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