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(Pocket-lint) - Garmin has announced an LTE version of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music sports watch. Powered by Verizon, the new watch will compete with the likes of the Apple Watch in giving you a phone-free experience. 

The Vivoactive 3 Music was launched in 2018, offering a consumer take on Garmin's sports watch experience. It's a touch-controlled device closer to a smartwatch experience than some of Garmin's more advanced devices

The addition of cellular connectivity means that it can be connected without needing a phone, bringing with it a couple of new features, like being able to send a distress message to pre-assigned contacts. With a 5-second press of a button, you'll be able to alert loved ones that you're in trouble.

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There's also incident detection, designed to detect impact, so if you're hit by a car when riding your bike, the Garmin device will be able to detect it and send an SOS message for you. 

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As the Vivoactive 3 Music worked with Deezer and Spotify previously, we're not sure how the experience changes in the new model. The information suggests you'll still have to download music, whether you can just streaming it on a track by track basis we don't yet know - but Garmin does suggest you'll be able to download music without your watch. 

The battery life in smart watch mode is listed as 5 days, but using GPS, Bluetooth to a set of headphones and LTE, Garmin says that will be reduced to 4 days. That's still a lot better than most smartwatches.

Otherwise, things are very much as they are on the previous Vivoactive 3 Music. At launch, the LTE version is coming to Verizon in the US and there's no word on whether it will be on other networks, or when there will be an international release.

You'll need a Verizon connected device plan to enable the connected features and prices will be announced early in 2019.

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 7 January 2019.