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Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Wrist-Based)

The world of fitness tracker has moved from the common accelerometer for step counter function to on-board heart rate sensor to measure calories burned more accurately.

Some of the strapless heart rate monitor watches that available in the market are as follows.

Mio ALPHA 2 Heart Rate Watch

Mio ALPHA 2 Heart Rate Watch Activity TrackerInstead of focusing on all-day fitness activity tracking, the Mio ALPHA 2 Heart Rate Watch emphasizes on running, bicycling, and other high-intensity activities. One thing that makes it different from many (if not most) activity trackers is the lack of sleep monitoring function.

However, it makes up that missing feature by providing various functionalities for multiple intense workouts. It syncs with both Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth Smart. A number of running and bicycling apps are compatible with the ALPHA 2 including but not limited to Strava, Runtastic, MapMyRun, Cyclemeter, MapMyRide, Wahoo Fitness, and miCoach. Mio also provides free PAI app to help you translate heart rate into understandable metrics.

The ALPHA 2 is fully water resistant to 30 meters (3 ATM or withstand water pressure equivalent to 100 feet deep), making it ideal for day-to-day activity tracking. It records steps, heart rate, pace, distance, speed, calories, and goal progress. Heart rate zones are user customizable.

Additional features include countdown, chronograph, repeat timer, and audio/visual alert when you reach new heart rate zone. ALPHA 2’s display is a mineral glass LCD that holds up well under bright light. The watch is powered by rechargeable lithium polymer, providing up to 24 hours of workout mode or 3 months of timekeeping mode.

Polar A360 Fitness Tracker

Polar A360Having been in the industry since late 1970’s, Polar has finally joined the crowd to include on-board heart rate sensor in fitness activity tracker, the Polar A360 Fitness Tracker with touchscreen display. Typical fitness tracker features are all present; it measures steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, active time, and sleep pattern.

It also gives inactivity alerts after 55 minutes of being physically inactive. Another interesting feature is that Polar offers various sport profiles based on which the device will deliver measured metrics. Battery life is good enough at up to 12 days of all-day activity tracking or 7 days of training mode without smart notification.

Polar even includes its Smart Coaching feature in the A360. It is comprised of many different functions based on heart rate calculation. One of them is activity guide with which the fitness tracker delivers exact practical guidance; depending on your fitness level, the watch may tell you to jog or walk for certain period of time to meet your goal.

Calories burned computation is not solely based on heart rate only, but also individual profile including age, height, weight, gender, and activity intensity. When used with Polar App or Polar Flow, you get detailed reports and analysis of fitness metrics gathered by the device.

Polar A360 can act as simple smartwatch as well by displaying notifications received on your smartphones. Notifications may include incoming calls, text messages, social media, calendar alerts, etc.

Garmin vivosmart HR

Garmin vivosmart HR Activity TrackerMore advanced approach by Garmin was demonstrated by the company’s Garmin vivosmart HR. It is still an activity tracker that has all basic functions to measure steps, calories, sleep, and distance. The small touchscreen display delivers all measured metrics and smartphone notifications as well.

There is no additional training mode in vivosmart HR, but Garmin inserted a barometric altimeter sensor to calculate the number of stairs you climb. Smart notification feature is compatible with major smartphone operating systems including Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Phone. The screen is small, but it can display notifications and contents.

Similar to the aforementioned devices, vivosmart HR is equipped with an on-board heart rate monitor. Since it holds a 5 ATM water rating, the watch is ideal for all-day fitness tracking. There is move bar, which develops after a period of inactivity for an hour; you can reset this move bar to zero by walking for a couple of minutes.

Garmin improves smartphone connectivity feature by allowing the vivosmart HR to control your phone’s music player and ring the phone in case you forget where you put it. The watch can even act as remote control for VIRB action camera. There is also Intensity Minutes function which monitors activity time to meet the widely accepted standard of 150 minutes per week.

Garmin Forerunner 225

Garmin Forerunner 225It is another sport watch by Garmin equipped with wrist-based heart rate monitor, but the Garmin Forerunner 225 is also loaded with features for runners. It has all day-to-day activity tracking functions to measure steps, calories, sleep, and heart rate.

Automatic goal based on your previous achievement and inactivity bar are available as well. Compared to vivosmart HR, the Forerunner 225 lacks of smart notification and VIRB compatibility. The heart rate sensor equipped on this watch is developed by Mio.

Garmin Forerunner 225 focuses more on running rather than activity tracking. A number of running features are available for examples Auto Lap, Custom Goal-oriented workouts, Interval Training, Auto Pause, Auto Scroll of data pages, and Pace Alerts.

Let us not forget that this sport watch also has GPS. Its activity tracking function uses both heart rate sensor and accelerometer; the latter replaces the needs for additional footpod to measure distance during indoor workout on treadmill. Battery life is quite good at 10 hours in training mode (with GPS on) or 4 weeks in watch mode. It holds 5 ATM water rating and is shock resistant.

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin has done a major improvement project for the Forerunner 225 by adding a variety of new features to introduce the Garmin Forerunner 235. In short, Forerunner 235 has all the features you can find in the Forerunner 225, yet the predecessor takes the running function to a new level. Three new running metrics are provided including VO2 Max, Recovery Advisor and Race Predictor.

On the hardware department, Forerunner 235 is superior for it has GPS and GLONASS as well as compatibility with smartphones to display notification and control music player. One of the biggest additions is Connect IQ, the company’s own app store, which allows user to install more apps on Forerunner 235.

Some apps add functionality, while others are for customization. Battery life suffers a little when used in timekeeping mode because it has at least 4 active functions: watch, heart rate sensor, activity tracking, and smart notification. As a result, Garmin Forerunner 235 only has about 9 days of battery life. For training, the watch can stay on for 11 hours.


Before the introduction of on-board or wrist-based heart rate monitor, you have to rely on 3-axis accelerometer to gather data and convert them to calorie computation in which process much guesswork is involved.

More accurate computation is possible with help from heart rate strap, which some might find it uncomfortable. Now that new models of fitness trackers have heart rate sensor mounted on its back (also commonly referred to as heart rate monitor watch), users are now able to measure activities and amount of calories they burn based on heart rate beats per minutes (bpm) for 24 hours every day without any additional strap.

Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT vs 60LMT vs 70LMT

A comparison chart of product features and specifications between Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT, 60LMT and 70LMT  GPS navigators.

Note: This comparison by GPSCompared is a basic guide based on Garmin published specifications and features at their official website. And by no means that this comparison is definitive. There might be other similarities and differences which are not covered here.

Garmin DriveSmart GPS Navigator
DriveSmart 50LMTDriveSmart 60LMTDriveSmart 70LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT
Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT
View the model availability and current priceGarmin DriveSmart 50LMT at WalmartGarmin DriveSmart 60LMT at WalmartGarmin DriveSmart 70LMT at Garmin
Introduction DateGarmin officially introduced DriveAssist 50LMT on January 5, 2016Garmin officially introduced DriveAssist 50LMT on January 5, 2016Garmin officially introduced DriveAssist 50LMT on January 5, 2016
What's Difference
Physical & Performance
Physical dimensions5.5"W x 3.3"H x .7"D (14.0 x 8.4 x 1.8 cm)6.7"W x 3.7"H x .7"D (17 x 9.4 x 1.9 cm)7.4"W x 4.4"H x .8"D (18.9 x 11.1 x 2.0 cm)
Display size, WxH4.4"W x 2.5"H (11.1 x 6.3 cm); 5.0" diag (12.7 cm)5.36"W x 2.83"H (13.6 x 7.2 cm); 6.1" diag (15.4 cm)6.0"W x 3.4"H (15.3 x 8.5 cm); 7" diag (17.6 cm)
Display resolution, WxH480 x 272 pixels800 x 480 pixels800 x 480 pixels
Display typeWQVGA color TFT with white backlightWVGA color TFT with white backlightWVGA color TFT with white backlight
Weight6.1 oz (173.7 g)8.5 oz (241 g)10.8 oz (306 g)
What's Common
Physical & Performance
Batteryrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeup to 1 hourup to 1 hourup to 1 hour
High-sensitivity receiverYesYesYes
Maps & Memory
Preloaded street mapsYesYesYes
Includes lifetime map updatesYesYesYes
nüMaps GuaranteeYesYesYes
Built-in memoryinternal solid stateinternal solid stateinternal solid state
Accepts data cardsmicroSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (not included)
Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest)YesYesYes
Waypoints/ favorites/ locations100010001000
Navigation Features
Speaks street names (e.g. "Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.")YesYesYes
Voice-activated navigation (operate device with spoken commands)YesYesYes
Traffic compatible (routes around traffic with a receiver and subscription)YesYesYes
Lifetime traffic updates (receive free lifetime traffic updates)YesYesYes
Lane assist (guides to proper lane for navigation)YesYesYes
Junction view (displays junction signs)YesYesYes
Route avoidance (avoid highways, tolls etc.)YesYesYes
Bluetooth® wireless technologyYesYesYes
Speed limit indicator (displays speed limit for most major roads in the U.S. and Europe)YesYesYes
View upcoming points of interest along routeYesYesYes
Trip planner

Trip log
Driver alerts for sharp curves, school zones, red light and speed camera warnings and more
Garmin Real Directions™ landmark guidance
Foursquare POIs
Receive Smart Notifications On Your Garmin displayYesYesYes
Smartphone Link SupportYesYesYes
This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows® XP or newer and Mac® OS X 10.4 or later.YesYesYes
Official Specs and Features
Learn more from the manufacturer site.Read more about Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT at Garmin .comRead more about Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT at Garmin. comRead more about Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT at Garmin .com
Price Check & Customer Reviews
View the model availability and current priceGarmin DriveSmart 50LMT at WalmartGarmin DriveSmart 60LMT at WalmartGarmin DriveSmart 70LMT at Garmin


Garmin Drive lineup is a new series announced last month (January 2016) at Consumer Electronics Show. The entire lineup brings quite a lot of driver alert features to encourage safe driving and drivers’ awareness of the surrounding situation.

Alerts are given for many different situations such as sharp curves, animal crossing, railroad crossings, one-way street, speed cameras, and more. There are also warnings given when approaching traffic jam ahead. During long non-stop driving trip, Drive series also gives fatigue warning and suggests some places for you to rest.

Included in the series is Garmin DriveSmart category which currently has 3 devices available: DriveSmart 50LMT, DriveSmart 60LMT, and DriveSmart 70LMT. They can respond to spoken commands and are all Bluetooth-enabled devices for Smart Notification (when paired with smartphone). All actually have the exact same set of features, but they are different in terms of dimensions and screen size as follows:

  • DriveSmart 50LMT measures at 5.5-inch W x 3.3-inch H x 0.7-inch D. Its screen size is 5-inch diagonal.
  • DriveSmart 60LMT measures at 6.7-inch W x 3.7-inch H x 0.7-inch D. Its screen size is 6.1-inch diagonal.
  • DriveSmart 70LMT measures at 7.4-inch W x 4.4-inch H x 0.8-inch D. Its screen size is 7-inch diagonal.

All bring the same Drive Awareness features, connectivity functions to smartphone, built-in North America maps, and lifetime map and traffic updates. Map updates are available up to 4 times every year and can be downloaded without any additional fee.

Traffic updates apply for lifetime as well and are sent directly to the device without requiring cellular networks. Apart from those, every DriveSmart has the following features.

Drive Awareness

The strongest point of the Drive series is Driver Awareness feature. In addition to navigational information, the device delivers alerts that relate to the current driving situations. Road conditions and landmarks such as railroad crossings, animal crossings, school zones, speed cameras, one-way street, sharp curves, and speed limit changes are all covered.

Anytime each of those situations comes up, every DriveSmart navigator produces noticeable alerts for drivers. Fatigue Warning system complements the older Up Ahead feature. Alerts are given during long drive and the warning comes with suggestion about possible rest times and places. Up Ahead can be continuously activated to display POIs such as gas station, ATMs, and all nearby services readable by the map.

Easy Search Function

POIs are sourced from Foursquare database, so the search function displays the most relevant results from the popular service. The database includes various places including restaurants and stores aggregated from millions of other users.

To simplify the navigational information even further, DriveSmart devices are equipped with Garmin Real Directions. With this feature, spoken direction no longer uses complicated street names and numbers to give directions, but it makes use of recognizable landmarks for examples buildings and traffic lights. Users are even allowed to make quick changes to route and include preferred roads by simply touching the screen.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Smart features allow for synchronization with smartphones via Bluetooth. When paired, notifications on your smartphones will be forwarded to the navigator’s screen. Notifications are user-customizable, meaning you can configure to display or hide notifications from certain apps.

Bluetooth connectivity also allows you to take or make hands-free calling. Both phone calling and smart notification are part of Garmin’s attempt to encourage safe driving because your hands can stay on the steering wheel while having conversation over phone and taking a glance at your incoming texts, emails, calendar reminders, etc.

If you have Smartphone Link app installed on your smartphone, DriveSmart will be able to receive updated traffic and weather information as well as route options.

Lane Assist with Junction View is still present to deliver understandable navigation when approaching complex interchanges. A bird-eye angle display appears on the screen complemented by bright arrow to show the proper lane to take. Navigating inside a big building or large area is made easy with Direct Access.

Optional Accessories

All DriveSmart devices are compatible with BC 30 wireless backup camera. It is an optional accessory which when installed gives live video feeds from the back of your car. The main driving map will automatically switch to camera feed as you engage in reverse gear.

Garmin babyCam is also compatible with every DriveSmart navigator; it is the camera mounted inside the car to display video feed from the backseat, making it handy when traveling with precious, fragile cargo, and your kids.

Disclaimer:Information provided is believed correct and true to the best of our ability based on the manufacturer published information. However, GPSCompared is not responsible for typographical errors or incorrect data. Please visit the official manufacturer product page for more details on the specifications and features
Note: This writer neither own this product nor have the personal experience in handling it. However this article is produced based on manufacturer published facts and other relevant sources (if applicable).


2015 Garmin nuvi GPS Models

2015 Garmin nuvi GPS Essential series

Essential Series

On January 7, 2015 Garmin announced the new 2015 Garmin nuvi GPS essential series. It comprising models of 57/58 model variants and 67/68 model variants.

2015 Garmin nuvi Essential Series Features

The new feature introduced by Garmin in this 2015 Garmin nuvi Essential Series is the compatibility to add a backup camera (BC 30 wireless backup camera – sold separately).

Several features like Garmin Real DirectionsTM, Direct Access and Foursquare® data are also available to this new new Essential Series. These features are previously only available to Garmin advanced models and higher priced models.

2015 Garmin nuvi Essential Models

Model Learn MoreCheck Price From Amazon
2015 Garmin nuvi Essential Models
Garmin nuvi 57
Garmin nuvi 57
Read more about Garmin nuvi 57 at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 57 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 57LM
Garmin nuvi 57LM
Read more about Garmin nuvi 57LM at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 57LM 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 57LMT
Garmin nuvi 57LMT
Read more about Garmin nuvi 57LMT at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 57LMT 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 58
Garmin nuvi 58
Read more about Garmin nuvi 58 at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 58 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 58LM
Garmin nuvi 58LM
Read more about Garmin nuvi 58LM at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 58LM 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 58LMT
Garmin nuvi 58LMT
Read more about Garmin nuvi 58LMT at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 58LMT 5-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 67LM
Garmin nuvi 67LM
Read more about Garmin nuvi 67LM at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 67LM 6-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 67LMT
Garmin nuvi 67LMT
Read more about Garmin nuvi 67LMTGarmin Nuvi 67LMT 6-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 68LM
Garmin nuvi 68LM
Read more about Garmin nuvi 68LM at garmin.comGarmin Nuvi 68LM 6-Inch GPS Navigator
Garmin nuvi 68LMT
Garmin nuvi 68LMT
Read more about Garmin nuvi 68LMTGarmin Nuvi 68LMT 6-Inch GPS Navigator

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