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 218x218 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


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.

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