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Tech Garmin fenix 3 Sapphire with HRM product review

Discussion in 'Cycling Department Forum' started by SnyperAL, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. SnyperAL

    SnyperAL Well-Known Member

    Garmin 3 Fenix.jpg
    I thought i would take the time to review the almost obsolete fenix 3 which i've been using about 3 months now. For those who dont know, the Fenix 3 is garmins high end range of activity tracking watches. It comes in many different flavours and prices, starting at £307.19 (amazon prices) for the err, entry level watch:


    Moving up through the ranges we have the fenix 3 saphire coming in at £359.48, this watch is identical to the above model, only features a scratch resistant screen and both a steel and rubber bracelet. The steel bracelet weighs almost as much as the watch itself and adds quite a bit of heft to the device. However that being said, for the man about town, it turns a rubbery watch into a nice dress watch, and quite the fashion accessory.


    Next up, we have the model bundled with a Heart rate monitor. This connects intuitively to the watch whanever you start any exercise. I couldnt find any bundles that reflect the price i paid, however you can buy the HRM seperately for £45.98


    Finally for now, we have the top of the line sapphire HR which features built in wrist based heart rate monitoring and avoids the flaff of having to wear a seperate HRM


    The fenix 3 itself is a year or so old and is naturally being phased out, so if you've got deep pockets, you could always treat yourself to this:


    £1099.99 for the titanium hybrid... ouch.

    The fenix 3, like most multi-discipline watches covers the usuals from running, swimming and cycling right through to Golf. Thats right, using the GPS and some downloaded golf courses, the watch will tell you how far you are from the hole. (not a feature i've personally used, but an interesting one nonetheless) Here's a quick rundown of the features as i can remember them, with a full spec list at the garmin website below:
    • Gps enabled smart watch
    • Waterproof to 10 ATM
    • Colour display
    • Bluetooth Music control
    • Vibration alerts, text and phone
    • Completely custimizable watch face, everything from digital, analogue and all sorts in between

    Like most modern smart watches, it acts as a pedometer, tracking your daily footsteps and vibrates every now and then to tell you to move. If you wear it to bet, it'll track your sleep, and no doubt give a detailed analysis of how effective your sleep is. The data this thing collects is quite astounding, without the HRM, and that to the mix, and its working out how many calories you've burned, your training effect, you can then set up goals, programs, training patterns, interval training, its like having the little conscience on your shoulder telling you to do something on your wrist, and then telling you why you should do it.

    Using the watch is straight forward, you just put it on your wrist, set up a garmin profile on your smart phone, and then just do what you normally do, over time I believe it makes goals for you, changing your daily foosteps to a reachable goal, and you get a nice firework display go off whenever you achieve this. As soon as you want to get sweaty, thats straight forward. you click one button to bring up the activity list, click what you are about to do, and click start, as soon as you do this, it'll pair up with whatever sensors you are using to assist, this include the HRM, Cadence sensors, speed sensors, and temperature sensors. the more you have connected, the information it'll snoop from your workout.

    I used to have a fitbit HR, and moved onto the Fenix because i wanted more information and a reliability that i wasnt getting from my fitbit. Now I was a huge fan of the Fitbits battery life, lasting 4 or 5 days before dying, but I found that sometimes it wouldnt track an activity, and the screen was hard to read while exercising. So i spent out on the fenix and havn't looked back, the battery life is insane, easily lasting 7 days, a screen i can read in the brightest of lights, and a all in a hard wearing bomb proof case. To put this into perspective, I am a road worker, there is almost no point in me wearing a watch to work as it'll get destroyed by banging it on my metal pavers, or covered in tarmac. However the screen on my fenix is still unscratched and is as clean as the day i received it I was concerned at first, wearing a watch this expensive to work, but i wanted a tool, and boy has it rewarded me. It's certainly not a cheap watch, but as a tool, its immense.

    I've got 2 mates who also have the fenix 3, and so far the only activity we have found that there is no pre scripted metric for, is boxing. Probably skipping too. so if you do both of those, look elsewhere.
  2. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld Senior Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write a full review @SnyperAL
  3. SnyperAL

    SnyperAL Well-Known Member

    Thank you, while searching through apps and guides and whatnot, i stumbled accross this video, my language skills are poor but the guy puts the watch face through its paces.


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