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Garmin Fenix rugged GPS watch unveiled

Satellite navigation giant Garmin has announced the Fenix, a rugged entry in its line of outdoor sports watches.

Designed around a full-featured GPS receiver, the Fenix goes above and beyond the sports watches previously released by the company thanks to the inclusion of graphical mapping capabilities - the same capabilities as found in the company's budget-friendly line of greyscale hand-held GPS units.

In addition to the GPS receiver, the device includes an electronic compass, altimeter and barometer for recording real-time elevation data, weather and temperature as well as three-axis direction capabilities even when still. Wireless communication is also supported, with the watch able to talk to external heart rate monitors, speed/cadence sensors, and Garmin's Tempe external temperature gauge as well as smartphones and tablets.

The rugged design is claimed by Garmin to be both scratch-proof and waterproof to a depth of 50m, making it suitable for most outdoor pursuits. While it doesn't include graphical basemaps like a hand-held GPS unit, it does provide full graphical tracklock and navigational capabilities - and can pair with a smartphone to provide positional data for use with a separate graphical mapping application including Garmin's own BaseCamp app.

Garmin has yet to confirm UK pricing, but is aiming to get the Fenix out in the US by the autumn priced at $400 (around £258 excluding taxes).

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