Garmin Fenix ​​3 — The coolest sports tracker watch I’ve ever seen. On top of that, they are smart.

A week ago, Roman Yuryev did a review of the «junior» Garmin vivofit2 and vivoactive, calling the latter the «Swiss knife» of sports trackers. Alas, Roma, vivoactive is an Alpine dagger.

The real Swiss knife is Fenix ​​3.

Phoenixes can do so much that a lifetime is not enough to try out all their functionality. Yes, this is not necessary. The watch is designed for a single solution in sports and outdoors. It’s easier to make a list of sports programs that are not supported by the watch than to list the main types in which Garmin can act as an activity tracker. In no other watch have I seen such a rich selection of disciplines:

  • Skis
  • snowboarding
  • Rock climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Paddleboarding (a type of surfing)
  • Power training
  • Cardio
  • Multisport
  • Walking
  • Cross country walking
  • Run
  • indoor running
  • Bike
  • exercise bike
  • Swimming in the pool
  • open water
  • Triathlon


The owners of the previous version might reasonably object that Fenix ​​2 did the same. There are differences and they concern not only the appearance.

– Fenix ​​3 has got a color display of 218×218 pixels with a constant indication. During the day, the readability of the display reaches 170 °, and at dusk the active backlight saves.



– Fenix ​​3 has become thinner by 2 mm (15 vs 17 mm for Fenix ​​2);


Fenix ​​3 9g lighter than the second model (82 vs 91 for Fenix ​​2);
– Fenix ​​3 antenna catches GLONASS and GPS (Fenix ​​2 is GPS only).


— Water resistance doubled to 100 m. In the pool and open water, the watch counts pace, strokes, calories burned, speed;
– On the hand of a climber or hiker, the Fenix ​​3 detects that the ascent has gone, and automatically switches to climb / cross-country running mode. The built-in altimeter shows the height, and the barometer can determine what the weather is waiting for us.


– The battery capacity of Fenix ​​3 is 300 mAh versus 500 for Fenix ​​2. Do not jump to conclusions.

The run times of both watches are almost the same: 50 hours in UltraTrac mode (1 GPS scan per minute), 20 hours of continuous training with always-on GPS.

But in simple-clock mode 40 days of work Fenix ​​3 will have a better 25 days than Fenix ​​2. Charging takes place via a USB cable through a proprietary connector.

garmin fenix3 charger

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We move on. Phoenixes can count steps and monitor sleep. Moreover, they do not need to be put into sleep mode from the button, like other trackers: in the latest firmware 2.5, a function has appeared to automatically determine the owner’s activity (went to bed — the watch switched to sleeping mode). It’s mega convenient.

There are several versions Garmin Fenix ​​3different colors and straps. The premise is identical.


Some kits come with a wireless chest ANT heart rate monitor, like in my case.


The box also contained a clip-on watch charger and a USB cable. The clip can be used with your watch without removing it from your hand when you need to charge on the go.


The weight of the watch on a silicone strap is 82 g, on a metal one — 175.


Fenix ​​3 tracks a variety of activities with a built-in foot pod, GPS/Glonass sensors, altimeter, and heart rate monitor (optional). First you need to register in the Connect IQ sports network and fill out your profile, indicating your age, height and weight.


If an activity with GPS tracking is selected, then before starting a workout, the watch searches for a satellite, which is indicated by a red strip around the screen. When a satellite is found, it turns green. Search for satellites can be disabled in the settings.


For hikers and climbers, the function will be useful trackback – navigator for returning to the starting point by built-in compass.


Fenix ​​3 supports the installation of third-party programs and dialslike Pebble. Fenix ​​2 didn’t have that.


In addition, you can control music from the watch, save location checkpoints, and at the end of the day, see your progress step by step.


Cardiozones are set in the profile. At the end of the workout, the watch is synchronized via Bluetooth with a smartphone with Connect IQ or via Wi-Fi (!!!) in the absence of a phone.


The watch displays on the screen all notifications via vibrating alert coming to the phone, like Pebble. Unlike Garmin Vivo Active, you can also receive a call from them by continuing the conversation from your smartphone.


Promo clip.

Who is this watch for?: for active people, tourists, climbers and sportsmen. You just can’t think of a better one.
Where could I buy: where you want, but there is a place with 10 percent discount on Garmin devices.

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