Garmin Fenix 3

9.6
9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = (Hombre Golf Club) score (9.6)/10


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Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
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Modern technology has completely modified the way we measure time, as the watches offered on the market nowadays are everything but watches. Today they are called fitness trackers, and the ones that integrate smart functions are called smartwatches, and the combination of the two is what dominates the market. One type or the other, these are very advanced devices that integrate multiple functions that can perform versatile functions. Among the most praised watches that are said to be extremely precise and functional is Garmin Fenix 3, the watch that is still dominating the market despite being there for about four years. And, it is a watch that integrates a full range of golf measuring features, something that a very few watches can boast about.

Before we proceed with the model, just to say a few words about the manufacturer. Garmin is one of the key players in bringing about new technologies and wearable devices for vehicles, automotive markets, the military, marine, and the army. The company has set the highest standards in these industries and it is the one that moves the limits even further with every new release. 

Garmin Fenix 3 was a revolution of itself when it hit the market due to the wide range of sports functionalities and metrics it included. But it isn’t just the multisport function that it positions it on top, but the utmost precision, effectiveness, and the overall package that makes it the watch you can trust. And while you get the standard distance, calories and other standard measurements with it, it goes with more advanced features like measuring the oxygen level in your body and heart rate monitoring and a myriad of other functions that are integrated to appeal to high-end sports enthusiasts. 

If we have already attracted your attention with the introduction of Garmin Fenix 3, the review below goes into details about every possible segment related to this watch. 

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Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

A multisport fitness tracker with many advanced features

It features VO2 Max used with the Heart Rate Monitor and Recovery Advisor

Rugged, elegant design with three color options

Connect IQ allows customization by downloading apps, widgets, data field, and watch faces

GPS Navigation with GLONASS support and stainless steel EXO antenna

It also comes with a 3-axis compass, barometer, and altimeter sensors

Color Chroma display

Cons

The heart rate tracking needs to be additionally purchased and it isn't integrated within the design

Pricey

Multisport Functions

Compared to runners or cyclists, not many wearable trackers integrate golf functions, so the Garmin Fenix 3 is a dream come true for all the golfers out there as it includes golf among the multiple sports functions. So, if you select golf as your preferred activity, you can basically track anything related to golf such as distance to the next hazards, swing features, and your performance. In combination with the golf app on the device and synchronized with the Garmin IQ Connect app on your smartphone, you can analyze later on your performance and have an in-depth insight into the way you play golf.

In addition to this so-much appreciated feature, it does track always anything you can think of, such as running, skiing, cycling, swimming, boarding, hiking, etc. The watch delivers basic metrics like distance, speed, pace, stroke, and it predicts the finish time in case you are racing, or if you are climbing. Swimmers can benefit from the Garmin Fenix 3 with the detailed measurements of the pace, stroke count and distance. The watch is waterproof up to 100 meters depth and what you need to do is insert the size of the pool and begin the workout. Plus it integrates an auto-climb feature that modifies the data stats of the fields in case you’re climbing or descending. All in all, whatever sport you decide to track, it will provide you with reliable data which will help you customize your training session or advance in the competitions.

Design

Fitness trackers have undergone considerable improvement in their design, so Garmin Fenix 3 has been one of those who have the reputation of being among the most stylish and sleek sports watches.

It reminds of a regular watch with its rugged but elegant design, while the 1.2inches round Chroma display with LED backlight is big enough to provide clear readings even in the brightest sunlight. If you are into Garmin watches you already are familiar with the fact that there aren’t many models that feature touch mode, so Fenix 3 is navigated with five easy to manage buttons, three on the left side and two on the right. Even though a bit robust, the watch is very lightweight and comfortable, and can be worn by anyone, especially thanks to the lightweight and comfortable bands.

Style

The wrist watches have always been considered status and style symbols and for years they have marked the particular style of an individual, so naturally, the style matters when buying a fitness tracker as well.

In order to appeal to as many people as possible, it comes in three different color options: silver with red band, gray with scratch-resistant, highly durable, crystal and black band, there’s a premium Sapphire model which features sapphire lens and stainless steel band. Each of these models features stainless steel buttons and bezel with a reinforced housing for added durability.

However, these three models offer the possibility of customization with access to the Garmin Connect IQ platform which enables users to connect online and download multiple watch faces, apps, widgets and data fields. Plus, the design itself offers band replacement, and the silicone band is particularly useful for sports that involve a lot of perspiration or contact with water.

Advanced Fitness Metrics

The reason why Garmin Fenix 3 is considered a top-performing fitness tracker lies in the multiple advanced fitness metrics which go beyond just basic health stats. One of the most prominent and very sophisticated features it has is the VO2 max estimator which in combination with the heart rate monitor, analyzes the capacity of your heart and your current fitness level by measuring the oxygen level that you can use per minute. This is performed by calculating the maximum volume of oxygen that you can use in ml per kg of mass body weight in one minute. However, we have to point out that unlike many other Garmin models, Fenix 3 doesn’t integrate optical wrist heart rate sensors, so if you want to make use of this function, you’ll need to make an additional purchase of heart rate monitors and HRM-run which are sold separately. The VO2 max measurements are useful to track your fitness potentials and compare them with your peers.

In addition to VO2 max, the Garmin Fenix 3 integrates a recovery advisor that calculates the recovery time each individual needs. The Race Predictor that we mentioned above works with the help of the VO2 max feature which estimates the ideal finish time based on the readings provided of the VO2 max.

In case you are a runner, it is advisable you get yourself the HRM-Run monitor which is sold separately because it provides detailed running dynamics such as your ground contact time, vertical oscillation and cadence.

Navigation

Garmin is one of the leaders when it comes to navigation devices, so no other wearable can provide the accuracy and the reliability that Garmin devices do. The tracking functionalities of the Garmin Fenix 3 integrate GPS tracking with GLONASS support and stainless steel EXO antenna with included ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) for extreme accuracy and fast fix, which make it one of the most comprehensive tracking devices. It also has built-in sensors that deliver detailed information on the elevation, weather changes and the heading with trustworthy precision. It has the ability to record a GPS tracklog as you go around, it allows you to mark different locations, to create a course checkpoint, to follow courses, to store up to 10,000 track points and to mark up to 1,000 locations. Thanks to the ANT+ and the Bluetooth Smart functions, you can wirelessly share routes, locations, and geocaches, while with the help of BaseCamp you can plan trips and share your experiences.

ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass)

The Garmin Fenix 3 features ABC sensors that are capable to deliver real-time information. The altimeter delivers elevation data and provides very precise info when you are going uphill and downhill. When it comes to the barometer, many users claim that it is one of the most accurate, as it measures the air-pressure in short-term intervals and detects any possible weather changes, while the 3-axis compass reliably provides your current location. The sensors are auto-calibrated with the help of the GPS receiver and it auto sets the time.

Garmin Connect IQ

Connect IQ is the proprietary Garmin’s platform that offers specialized Garmin’s software. We said that there are plenty of different ways to customize your watch, so this is the place that will help you choose the right face for your watch, the app you most need, to get a few widgets or to select data fields. This is all made possible with the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart wireless connection which allows data transfer in real-time.

Smart Functions

The Garmin Fenix 3 is a smartwatch too, meaning, it connects to your smartphone to deliver some smartphone functions such as receiving messages, e-mails, phone alerts, and social site notifications. However, the smart function of the Garmin Fenix 3 has much more to wish for, so it is not going to really meet your expectations if what you are looking for is a smartwatch only.

Battery Life

For such powerful and demanding features, one would expect an equally responsive battery which can endure for a long time so that the watch fulfills its functions. Therefore, if you decide to use it only in watch mode (which you probably won’t) then it lasts for about 3 months, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 50 hours in UltraTrac. The battery is charged through the USB port which can be charged through any USB charging port and it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Key Features

From what you could read above, it becomes clear why Fenix 3 is a wearable that is still very attractive on the market. We will try to shortly summarize the huge number of features that it is equipped with, even though that will mostly mean mentioning just the most important ones.

So, the Garmin Fenix 3 is a multisport fitness tracker and smartwatch that integrates a variety of functions that will help you customize your training and prepare for competitions. It includes metrics for almost all sports, including golf and integrates in-depth and very detailed tracking functions. It is a GPS training watch that has a stainless steel EXO antenna and is GLONASS supported. For extreme accuracy and advanced readings, it integrates barometer, altimeter and compass sensors, that make it one of the most precise navigation device.

It also has advanced tracking features such as VO2 Max, which when used with a heart rate monitor, it can measure the oxygen capacity per minute. It can also predict the health status and warns of potential colds and it features Recovery Advisor which estimates the time you’ll need for the next training session.

When it comes to its design, it is rugged but elegant and it comes in three varieties among which is the premium Sapphire model which has a stainless steel bezel and band and which is more expensive than the regular models. It is navigated with the help of the five buttons and it can be customized with the help of the Garmin Connect IQ platform which allows you to download widgets, face apps, data fields, etc. It can be connected with your smartphone to receive smart notifications.

Key Features

  • A multisport fitness tracker with many advanced features

  • It features VO2 Max that can be used with the heart rate monitor and Recovery Advisor

  • Rugged, elegant design with three color options

  • Connect IQ allows customization by downloading apps, widgets, data field, and watch faces

  • GPS Navigation with GLONASS support and stainless steel EXO antenna

  • It also comes with a 3-axis compass, barometer, and altimeter sensors

  • Color Chroma display

Bottom Line

One thing is for sure if you are looking for high performing, multisport fitness tracker, the Garmin Fenix 3 has a lot to offer and it deserves the status of one of the best fitness trackers. If you need complete data on your performance in whatever sport you choose, with advanced readings, this is the model you can rely on, however, if you just need any smartwatch, then probably is not going to meet your expectations completely.