Garmin fēnix 3, Sapphire
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- CHROMA DISPLAY - 1.2” sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma optically-bonded display
- SAPPHIRE LENS - High-strength scratch resistant domed sapphire lens (Sapphire version only)
- EXO ANTENNA - Omni-directional steel EXO antenna, when paired with GLONASS and EPO, provides an even faster fix and accurate position than GPS alone
- WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY- Utilize one or more Wi-Fi hot spots to automatically sync your data with Garmin Connect and update software (when in range)
- BATTERY LIFE - Rechargeable battery; up to 20 hours in training/GPS mode, 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, and 6 weeks in watch mode (depends on settings)
- Unit Dimensions WxHxD : 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.6” (51.0 x 51.0 x 16.0 mm)
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||CloseoutNJ||Beach Camera Same Day Shipping||Techno Toys||GPS City||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Included||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Are Batteries Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Display Type||Color transflective memory-in-pixel Chroma||Color transflective memory-in-pixel Chroma||Color transflective memory-in-pixel Chroma||—||—||sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)|
|Item Dimensions||2 x 0.6 x 2 in||2 x 0.6 x 2 in||2 x 0.6 x 2 in||2 x 2 x 1 in||—||0.61 x 6.2 x 1.85 in|
|Item Weight||2.88 ounces||3.2 ounces||2.88 ounces||—||0.55 lb||3.04 ounces|
|Sport Type||cycling||swimming||cycling||—||swimming||running; hiking; golf; swimming|
|Style Name||Without Heart Rate Monitor||Base Model||Base Model||—||—||Watch Only (Refurbished)|
True Performance Meets True Style
- Stainless steel EXO antenna with GPS + GLONASS support for fast fix and accuracy
- 1.2-inch sunlight readable color Chroma display with high-strength domed sapphire lens
- Fitness training features like VO2 max and recovery advisor (when used with a heart rate monitor¹)
- Outdoor navigation features like 3-axis compass, altimeter and barometer, TracBack and Sight’n Go
- Connect IQ compatibility for customized apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields
fēnix 3 is the rugged, capable and smart multisport training GPS watch. With feature sets for fitness training plus feature sets for outdoor navigation, fēnix 3 is ready for any training activity and competition. Access to the Connect IQ platform allows customization of watch faces, data fields, widgets and activities. And, fēnix 3 is a thin, light multisport training GPS that won’t slow you down whether for training or every day use.
Serious Style That Stands Up to the Roughest Conditions
fēnix 3 is available in 3 bold models: gray with high-strength, scratch resistant, crystal and black band; silver with red band; and the premium sapphire model with a stainless steel band and sapphire lens. Each watch features a protective stainless steel bezel and buttons, and reinforced housing for extra durability. A sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma display with LED backlight lets you access your data in any light. fēnix 3 is water-rated to 100 meters and has a battery life of up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 3 months in watch mode (all depending on settings).
Advanced Fitness Metrics
fēnix 3 is packed with training features to tell you about your form and fitness. The first is the VO2 max estimator. When used with a heart rate monitor¹, fēnix 3 crunches data, including your running speed, beats per minute and heart rate variability to estimate the maximum volume of oxygen you can consume per minute. Track changes to your VO2 max to see your fitness gains and to compare with your peers. Other fitness metrics include recovery advisor with a recovery timer and recovery check, plus a race predictor, which estimates your ideal finish time based on your current VO2 max number.
Running Dynamics Features
fēnix 3 incorporates sophisticated Garmin running watch feedback on your running form by reporting multiple metrics. When used with the HRM-Run monitor¹, fēnix 3 reports your cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. These metrics are called running dynamics, and they affect your running economy.
Swim Profile and Ski-board mode
fēnix 3 isn’t just for running; special feature sets help swim training and skiing too. Borrowing from the Garmin Swim, fēnix 3 tracks your distance, pace, stroke count and more. You just tell fēnix 3 the size of the pool you’re swimming in and begin your workout. Ski-board mode puts speed, distance, vertical drop and an automatic run counter (with Auto Pause for the lift line) and more at your fingertips. You can even use your fēnix 3 as a glove-friendly remote, via ANT+, for the VIRB and VIRB Elite action cameras.
Navigate Your Way
No other navigator GPS plus ABC (altimeter, barometer and compass) wristwatch offers you the combined training functions and our leading GPS technology. fēnix 3 provides comprehensive navigation and tracking functionalities to guide you on and off the beaten track. Its built-in sensors provide information on heading, elevation and weather changes.
It records a GPS track log creating a “bread crumb trail” as you move. It also allows you to mark locations, such as a start/finish line, course checkpoint, or a campsite, vehicle or other point of interest. With fēnix 3, you can create and follow courses, mark up to 1,000 locations and store up to 10,000 track points and navigate to them.
Plan trips and share adventures with friends and family using BaseCamp. fēnix is equipped with both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart capabilities to wirelessly share locations, routes and geocaches.
Altimeter, Barometer and Compass
fēnix 3 is equipped with ABC sensors to provide relevant real-time information. The built-in altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, while the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not.
fēnix 3 auto-calibrates its ABC sensors using its GPS receiver and also auto sets the time based on location. For an extremely accurate temperature reading, pair it with our tempe external temperature sensor.
fēnix 3 uses the ConnectIQ platform for specialized software so you can personalize your watch with apps, widgets, data fields and unique watch faces that make your Garmin smartwatch even smarter.
Smart notifications lets you receive emails, texts and alerts right on your watch, even if you're on the trail. fēnix 3 receives the wireless signal from a compatible smartphone² and lets you know you have a message, displaying the text on its own screen whenever you’re ready to read it.
In the Box
- fēnix 3 - Sapphire watch with metal band
- Black rubber watch band (removal tools included)
- USB charging/data cable
- AC adapter
- Quick start manual
¹Heart rate monitors and HRM-Run, sold separately.
²Phone must be Bluetooth Smart. See Garmin.com/BLE for compatibility.
Top customer reviews
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Pros: Price point...I don't think its worth $650 for someone who primarily is a runner, I think the 630 or even the 235 would have been a better buy for me. But at $500 its a steal for the extra features! HRM works great and is very comfortable. Easy to use, garmin connect app for iPhone makes it easy to view stats. Aesthetically pleasing (except for size). So much customization! I haven't done much, just setting up the running features since thats my primary activity. This is my first GPS watch and its nice not to have to pull my phone out to look at my stats. I also like to look a my running dynamics after running to see if there are thing I can adjust the next time I run. Notifications work great (once u figure out how to set them up), can even answer the phone from the watch!
Meh: Display looks great in the proper light. If the backlight is needed the colors are washed out. Not a big deal since the data displayed doesn't need to pop like a picture. It reminds me of the Sony Clie T615c I used to have back in the day. Awesome with natural lighting, washed out with backlight.
Still evaluating: GPS accuracy. Comparing this to my iPhone running runkeeper for the last 4 runs it has matched up perfectly. I live in the suburbs of DC so theres not a lot of tall buildings or mountains. I've run around town and on the W&OD trails which is what I normally do. Haven't been hiking yet, which from what I hear may give it problems so I'll update later. Doesn't always play nice with third party software. Syncing with my fitness pal is hit or miss. The garmin connect app on the iPhone allows you to view information and set some customization. Some require the use of Garmin Express which is a software on the computer. Some things have to be done on the watch itself. I hope that there will be an update that will allow everything to be done on the app and just sync to the phone. Battery life. I've been charging it every 2 to 3 days. I had a full charge Saturday morning, notifications turned on, weather widget, digital face, bluetooth, calendar, glonass, Data Recording set to Every Second and activity tracking all turned on. Did a 7 mile run saturday, and a 13 mile run Sunday. I'm down to 35% Sunday night. Most people say they can go 7-10 days without charging. I may have a defective unit and will continue to evaluate and play around with the settings. Still better than draining the battery on my iPhone in GPS mode, but would like it to last longer
**update 12/30** Changed to 5 stars. Battery life is great if you turn off Wifi Auto Upload. When turned on the battery was discharging about 1% per hour in non gps activity mode (just activity tracking, notification etc). I turned it off and now its discharging about 1% per 5-6 hours in non gps activity mode!! Really you don't even need wifi auto upload on if you have a smart phone. Since it is paired by bluetooth it will sync to your phone instead of wifi to Garmin connect. Plus will save a lot of battery!!
**update 1/6/15** Losing a few stars. Might be a defective battery. Back to discharging 1-2% battery per hour in watch mode no GPS. 1 hr run with GPS drains the battery 9%. No were close to the 20hr GPS time. Emailed Garmin to request an service and they said that's normal. I understand that the max battery life listed only under perfect conditions, but this is about 1/2 of what is reported. Will try out for another week. If garmin wont service it, I'll probably send it back
**UPDATE 02/2/16** Finally got Garmin to replace the device. Battery life on the new watch is like night and day. I have had it for 5 days, done 5 activities (2 with GPS & HRM, 3 with just HRM), have BT on, activity tracker on, and notifications on. My battery is now at 68%. The watch gets 5 stars, poor quality control docks it a point.
Cons: Its big. First thing I did was swap out the metal band for the rubber ones. That cuts the weight in half, but it's still almost twice the weight of the Forerunner 630. I have small wrist so it sticks out like a sore thumb. I don't mind the diameter, but the thickness is a pain to deal with. It's supposed to be an everyday watch but it won't go under the sleeve of a button down shirt. For me thats not a big problem since I wear a lab coat at work and don't need to worry about it being covered. But if I'm wearing a suit I couldn't wear it.
Garmin has, in my opinion, a terrific package and set of features that would make this watch the hands-down best-of-breed were it not for this issue. But without an accurate GPS, what exactly are you buying here? An overpriced and over-sized fitness tracker. I'm sure this update will attract plenty of "unhelpful" votes from the fan-boys out there, but before you plunk down a bunch of money you need to know that the GPS on this watch just does not work correctly. (Seriously, go the the Garmin forum before you buy.) I love the device and I hope they address the issue in the Fenix 4. It appears after numerous software revisions that the Fenix 3 is a lost cause.
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ORIGINAL REVIEW (before getting more detailed experience with GPS)
Before you read further, in my world a triathlon consists of mow-the-lawn/walk-the-dogs/wash-the-truck. If you are looking for a review about how well the Fenix 3 paces your open-water swim, or measures your max VO2, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, this review is not for you (I am not even sure what all those mean but Garmin says the Watch can do them).
Ok, now that the spandex/12% body fat/Olympians are no longer reading, is there any reason us ordinary folks should consider this watch? Surprisingly, the answer is definitely yes! I bought the Sapphire Edition with great hesitancy but decided to give it a try since I needed a new watch after my POJ Basis Watch literally fell apart after a year (a pox on the house of Intel).
I considered the Apple Watch, but the daily charging requirement and the lack waterproofing or onboard GPS (plus the fact that the Apple is a whopping $500 more expensive for the Sapphire with the comparable metal band) made it a nonstarter.
I wanted a GPS unit for our annual back-country hiking / camping trips and was looking for a watch that had the following basic characteristics: (1) waterproof (2) sturdy (3) integration with the iphone for notifications etc. (4) fitness tracker (5) battery that lasts at least a few weeks (6) looks nice enough to wear every day. The Garmin has all of these characteristics and also has all the additional features one could want in an uber fitness watch. It also is a best-in-class GPS / hiking watch with altimeter, barometer, compass, built-in GPS receiver that does not rely on your phone. (A very helpful feature for everything from off-road to finding your way back to the car in a crowded parking lot.)
No, it does not have optical heart rate monitoring but the optical heart sensors are (I know this from experience) extremely unreliable especially when you need it most like when you are actually exercising. The Fenix 3 connects to a wide range of peripherals from Garmin's VIRB action camera to proper heart monitors running sensors, temperature sensors etc.
It does not store music (though it controls the iphone music fine) so if that is important to you this is not a good answer. The available apps are surprisingly useful but the selection is limited. You basically get all the notifications on the watch that are popping up on your phone (which is, again, surprisingly useful) but you won’t be using this to respond to social media posts, etc.
What’s not to like? Here are a few things: (1) It is big. Measure your wrist across the top. If it is 2 1/2” or larger it will fit fine. Under 2 1/4" and the watch will hang awkwardly over the sides like the old style GPS watches (e.g. Suunto Ambit) that are really not every day wearable. (2) Garmin does not have it integrated with Basecamp mobile and you cannot upload maps. This is ridiculous and intended to push hikers into the (imo) vastly inferior Epix. (3) The Garmin app store is weak. The watch does a ton of stuff out of the box and there are loads of watch faces to download, but the app store selection will never come close to matching the android or ios watches. Then again, they are nowhere close to matching the Fenix 3 as a rugged, stand-alone smart sport watch.
One comment on the Sapphire versus standard edition: The Sapphire is an extra $100 and for that you get the stainless steel metal link band as well as the standard black rubber watch band plus the tools to swap the bands. You also, of course, get an upgraded sapphire crystal. If you like the band upgrade, this is a great deal. If you decide later to add the stainless link watchband to the regular Fenix 3 you will spend more just for the band and you will not get the benefits of the more scratch-resistant crystal (and some other minor cosmetic improvements). Yes, the metal band is heavy but it is easily swappable with the lighter weight rubber one when weight matters (e.g. on your camping trips or marathon – in case you decide to become one of those exercise guys who stopped reading after the first paragraph).
Overall I like this watch far more than I thought I would. It does everything I was seeking in a smart sport watch and a great deal more than I will ever use. For my money, this is a far better solution than the apple/android options and is the only GPS watch available with the form factor and functionality to be both an everyday watch and a full-featured back-country companion.