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Garmin's $1,500 Smartwatch is a Thing of Beauty

If you're going to splurge on a smartwatch and you like to be really, really active, Garmin's new Fenix Chronos should have the style and sports chops you crave. Although it starts at $899 with the leather band, the $1,500 Titanium model--complete with brushed titanium hybrid band--is the one that gets our heart racing.

Speaking of which, Garmin's Elevate wrist heart rate technology accurately monitors your heart rate without a chest strap and uses that data to calculate calories burned and your overall activity intensity.

The Fenix Chronos sports a 1.2-inch always-on, sunlight-friendly color display, built-in GPS with GLONASS satellite reception, a barometric altimeter and 3-axis compass. The watch is also water-rated for up to 100 meters deep; yup, feel free to go swimming with it.

MORE: Best Fitness Trackers - Track Activity, Calories & Sleep

As you would expect from a smartwatch, this device offers notifications from your phone, including emails, texts and other alerts, but you don't have to charge it nearly as often as Android Wear watches or the Apple Watch. Garmin promises one week of battery life in smartwatch mode; you'll get 13 hours in GPS mode.

Advanced fitness features abound on the Fenix Chronos. There's a VO2 max estimator that estimates the maximum volume of oxygen you can consume per minute, a recovery advisor with a recovery timer and even a race predictor, which estimates your ideal finish time based on your current VO2 max number.

Runners will especially appreciate the Fenix Chronos' ability to measure everything from the bounce in your running motion and running symmetry to your cadence and stride length.

Because the Fenix Chronos uses a proprietary OS, this is not the smartwatch for those looking for the biggest number of apps, though there is a Connect IQ store for downloading watch faces, widgets and apps. It's for those who want to make a statement while they're training hard and in between workouts.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.