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The do-absolutely-everything watch.
The new Garmin fenix 3 is designed to be your "one watch to rule them all," as it were. Utilizing EXO+ GPS and a GLONASS antenna, the fenix 3 records data such as: how fast you’re going, how far you’ve gone, calories burned, elevation gained and lost, number of ski runs you’ve taken, and even how well you’re sleeping. Included in this bundle is the HRM-Run heart rate monitor strap, so that you’ll have better insight into exactly how your body’s performing.
In addition, the fenix 3 is compatible with all ANT+ devices, so you can get readings from your bike’s power meter, and other ANT+ heart rate straps directly to the watch’s 51mm face. You can even pair it with your mobile devices to get email, text message, and stock updates on the go. And, since you’ll be wearing this watch when you’re in all kinds of inclement weather, the fenix 3 is water-resistant to 10 atmospheres.
- Do-it-all watch compatible with just about every technology on the market
- 51mm face for easy reading
- 10-atmosphere water resistance rating
- ANT+ compatibility
- Includes heart rate monitor, USB cable, and charging cord
- Up to three months of continuous battery life
- Customizable displays and settings
- Chroma display is easily visible even in bright sunlight
- Q & A
My fenix 3 is not working effectively
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I bought the fenix3 as a replacement for a Forerunner 620 as I began moving into races exceeding 50 miles. The battery life and ability to track elevation change in real time as well as keeping the running dynamics found on the Forerunner 620 really appealed to me.
However, I have found the watch to be incredibly frustrating since my purchase in February 2016. The watch face background switches from black to white and back again at random for no known reason, and the watch data screen pages also move back the first screen randomly, no matter the page I have set. No, autoscroll is not enabled. I've even tested this issue to confirm my wrist wasn't hitting the page up or down buttons by setting the watch on an outdoor table and turning on GPS-enabled activities. Yes, the background color switched between white and black randomly, and the data pages always flipped back to the first one no matter which one I set it on. Garmin in fact confirmed that the background color should not change from black to white and back again while a GPS-enabled activity is activated, so they implied there is a glitch with my individual watch.
I had read numerous product reviews that discussed myriad fenix3 glitches, but I had assumed that after more than one year on the market Garmin would have resolved them. This was my mistake. I allowed my optimism to outweigh logic and reason. I failed there.
Garmin technical support was very unsupportive, stating the only fix was a hard reset or I could mail the watch to them for further review at my expense. They then would repair the watch or send a new or refurbished one. I had only bought the watch 41 days prior. In actuality, I had reported the issues to Garmin well before the 41st day, but they have two-business-day response time, so it ended up being 41 days before I learned my fate. After numerous hard resets the issues were still there.
I would advise prospective buyers to purchase this watch with knowledge it might have glaring issues. Please check the retailer’s return policy on opened electronics prior to purchase.
I still use the watch and enjoy the watch’s features greatly, but I loathe having to frequently press the page up and down buttons to reach needed data because the watch constantly reverts to the original data screen page. Also, when it switches to a black background at random, I find it difficult to read the screen under certain lighting conditions.
The watch is great in theory, but in execution I must’ve received a defective unit and Garmin’s quality control and customer support leave something to be desired. My next GPS watch will be one of Garmin’s competitors.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Been using this for about a month now and im still finding new stuff that I can use this watch for.
-Bluetooth is great and easy to connect.
-Has a great battery life. Charge it about once a week just to make sure it does not die on me.
- Cant wait to test it out some more this summer when I can capture some more data on my hikes and climbing.
It would be nice to have one watch that could do it all.
Can this also function as a golf watch if I were to purchase a Garmin app or something?
yes, the app is included
I am a female with a small wrist and I see that this is a larger watch than the Fenix 2. I don't mind a large watch but will the band fit my wrist?
sure will! the size selection goes all the way up to the watch face!
Big watch, even bigger features!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This thing is awesome!
I've used it hiking, cycling, paddling, and as an everyday watch so far and have been quite impressed.
It's a fitness/outdoor forward smart watch. The bluetooth connection is easy to set up to your phone and has been solidly strong. The GPS has been relatively quick to lock on, and is quite accurate (check out the attached image from my Adirondack paddling adventure).
The Garmin Connect app for the iPhone has been really easy to use and track activities/training. This device, especially when paired with an HRM, really captures a lot of data.
The step counter/move function has been a fun feature, though turn off the move notifications before you go check out a movie.
There was one instance that it began vibrating for no reason & wouldn't stop until I hard reset it, but other than the one instance, it's performed incredibly well.
For the Outdoorsmen and (Tri)athelete
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I bought the gray non-metal band. I've had it about 12 days now.
I love Garmin watches. I bought the 920XT, then found out about this guy. Researched it and fell in love.
Who is it for: 1.Serious hikers 2. Triathletes (ONLY if you are serious into hiking as well, if you don't hike check out the 920XT it is like this BUT no hiking and cheaper. If are a triathlete and don't like hiking, you should check out hiking... seriously :) )
Who is this not for: 1. Single sport athletes (you can find much cheaper Garmin products that do JUST running or swimming or cycling. Also I recommend the Garmin 510 edge for serious cycling. More screen space for data, can mount to bike, don't have to turn your wrist to see stuff) 2. Non-serious physical activity folks. I know the 'quantified self' is all the rage right now but you can do that cheaper with other Garmin products, its like buying a $6k bike for your Sunday 10mi bike ride... 3.People with small wrists who hate big watches. I upgraded from the 920XT which fit me PERFECT. I knew this would be bigger before I bought it. I am told ladies don't like big watches, so be careful ladies!
Pros: 1.Great battery life, I get about 9 days with average settings. I will test this summer as I hike more. Looking forward to seeing how that holds up on my 4-5 day AT hike 2. Garmin IQ store, love what some folks do, I am running a custom watch face. Most of the stuff is free. 3. I like to track my swimming (NOTE: I have not taken it in the pool yet but if it handles like my 920XT I will be happy. NOTE 2: assuming it is like the 920XT it DOES NOT record kick sets! Your arms must move!)
Cons: 1. It’s big, I have medium to big wrists and it still feels big but I am over it. 2. I wish it would sync calorie count from Garmin connect to reflect my bike rides using my Garmin 510. To see your full daily stats across all devices you must check App or Garmin Connect. 3. The Bluetooth range is slightly smaller than the 920XT. I keep my phone in the other room at night. With the 920XT remained connected all night. This guy often vibrates telling me it lost connection. That kind of bothers me, vibrating all night wastes battery.
Parting thoughts: Garmin releases updates sometime that hose the battery sometimes. If this happens let it fully discharge then recharge it. That fixed the issue for me. Garmin is mostly good with their updates but sometimes there is a turd, they usually fix it in 1-2 months. Also, it automatically tracks sleep which is nice to know how much sleep I got and how active I was in bed but I don't really know what to do with that. Tell my unconscious self not move so much? The 920 Does sleep too, they added that a few months after release. Garmin connect is pretty cool. I prefer it over Strava. It has more data to view and you can customize it. UI is a little wonky. Hopefully Garmin can one day steal some of of Google's programming/UI talent :)
Ill answer any questions! Maybe update later...
Photo Note: That is a custom watch face.
i haven't been able to get a straight answer on whether or not it's possible to import a .gpx (say, exported from mapymyhike or ridewithgps) to the watch and navigate. there are some comments indicating that it's possible via basecamp, but i've had zero luck importing .gpx to basecamp (from which i might presumably send to the watch). so... is this possible? big selling point for me. thanks.
Yes, you can import. Here is the link for a free download of Garmin's BaseCamp:
They also have a mobile version:
(this is available for iOS or Android).
In BaseCamp, you can create a course and send it to fenix 3. You should also be able to import files from mapymyhike or ridewithgps to Garmin Connect and send to the fenix 3. Or, create a course in Garmin Connect and send it to fenix 3.
If you are still having trouble, you can contact Garmin Product Support directly.
What are all the differences with the Fenix Models?
So there are actually a lot of differences, maybe to many to hit up here in this forum. First off, lets drop the Fenix out of the equation, its the same price as the updated 2, and Garmin doesnt make/ sell it anymore.
Fenix 2 versus Fenix Bundle = HR monitor. Extra $50 gets you the heart monitor included in the box.
Fenix 3 slightly bigger face yet, thinner on the wrist. Better display resolution, and had color display. Weigh .01 oz less than the Fenix 2. Smaller battery means its faster to charge yet, it holds the same power as the 2 and even an extra week when only in watch mode (No GPS). You can also have some functionality between music on your phone and a find your phone feature. A big seller is the Fenix 3 uses, GLONASS an additional GPS system that provides more accurate and faster (20% faster) satellite data, than a device with out.
Some other features is that it will keep your personal records and provide a virtual pacer for you. Comes with a step counter, and actually monitors sleep patterns. It will also easily auto syn data to your computer.
The one thing it does not come with is the hunting/fishing calendars, and the sun and moon info.
I think the GLONASS alone is worth the extra $100 plus you have the latest and greatest from Garmin.
You can call or email me directly. 801-736-6398, or firstname.lastname@example.org
If I don't care about the metal band on the Sapphire model, is the Sapphire crystal display really worth the extra money, is it really that much stronger than the regular face? Also are there any other differences b/t the sapphire and non-sapphire other than the metal band and sapphire crystal screen?
ben - I have a sapphire crystal on my Omega that has not scratched in 15 years. Previously, I had a Rolex with a mineral crystal lens that had to be replaced 3 times. I am shopping the Fenix3 and if I buy, I will definitely pay the extra money for the lense upgrade alone.