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Garmin has unveiled an upgrade to its Tactix GPS smartwatch: a carbon-coated, all-black utility watch equipped for night vision, HALO jumps, GPS navigation, and a host of other tactical endeavors. It's called the Tactix Bravo and it's basically a smartwatch on steroids.
Garmin is perhaps best known for its line of GPS navigators, but in recent years the company has stepped into the wearables arena. Its track record on GPS navigation has proven valuable in producing an expanding line of activity trackers and tactical smart watches, and the Tactix Bravo may be the pinnacle of that progress.
The Bravo features a scratch-resistant screen and bezel optimized for use with night vision goggles, as well as a suite of sensors and toolsets for military training, exploration, navigation, and "missions" (real missions—not missions to Pizza Hut).
Users can store up to 1,000 GPS waypoints for navigating remote areas of the globe, or use the dual-position mode to "simultaneously display two sets of coordinate systems on a single data screen." (We have no idea what that means.)
The battery life is also pretty impressive for a smartwatch. It's equipped to last up to 50 hours in "UltraTrac" mode, 20 hours in GPS mode, and up to three weeks in smartwatch mode. It's even suited for high-altitude skydiving: Garmin's Jumpmaster software uses a variety of on-board sensors to gauge altitude, descent speed, wind, and impact point.
But it's not all Rambo and G.I. Joe. The Bravo includes some fitness tracking features as well, including advanced running metrics like stride length, ground contact time balance, and vertical ratio. Step-tracking, mileage, and sleep patterns can also be monitored, and the Bluetooth radio allows users to connect to their smartphones for call, text, and email notifications.
Unless you're a survivalist or Navy Seal, there aren't many legitimate reasons to own this gadget—impressive as it may be. But if you insist, the Tactix Bravo is expected to ship later this month for a suggested retail price of $699.99.