Garmin newly released its flagship product – the Garmin fēnix 3 HR, a SmartWatch with Wrist based Heart Rate monitoring where True Performance Meets True Style. Garmin fēnix 3 HR is a thin, rugged, multisport training watch developed not only for the outdoor adventurer but for also to meet the needs of the rigorous trainer. After many years, this watch made me wear a watch on my wrist again.
Display: 30.4mm (218*218 pixels, Pixel Density Sharpness 257 ppi), a transflective full-colour screen with sapphire glass lens
Storage: 32MB internal Memory for maps, routes, and up to 100 hours of activity data
Water resistance: 10 ATM (100m)
Connectivity and sensors: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, ANT+, GPS, GLONASS, optical HR, altimeter, barometer, compass, ambient temperature sensor
Battery: 300 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion. 40 hours in UltraTrac mode, 16 hours in GPS training mode, and 2 weeks in smartwatch mode with 24/7 HR monitoring
Dimensions: 51.5 x 51.5 x 16 mm
Weight: 86.1 grams
With Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology that measures heart rate at the wrist using Optical Sensors and an Omni-directional stainless steel EXO™ antenna with GPS & GLONASS satellite reception, it has the ability to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
Water-rated up to 100 meters, this watch boasts of an immense battery life of up to 40 hours in UltraTrac™ battery saver mode, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode.
At 10 ATM, this watch can withstand Splashes, Rain or snow, Showering, Swimming, Diving into the water, Snorkeling and High-speed watersports. Just make sure you don’t go Scuba Diving with this watch on.
It has three buttons on the left:
Light – Switch on/off the Device, Switch on/off the Backlight.
Up – Scroll up to the previous menu item, Dismiss notifications, Return to the main menu.
Down – Scroll down to the next menu item, Show Clock.
Two on the Right:
Start/Stop – This button helps you start/stop a race, a timer or Select a menu item.
Back/Lap – This button helps you mark a lap, Return from the existing menu item.
Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Technology
Optical heart-rate monitors garner heart-rate data through “PhotoPlethysmoGraphy” (PPG) – a technique that uses small LEDs on their undersides that shine green light onto the skin on your wrist. The different wavelengths of light from these optical emitters interact differently with the blood flowing through your wrist. When that light reflects off your flowing blood, another sensor captures that information. That data is then processed, along with motion information detected by the device’s accelerometer, with complex algorithms to produce discernible pulse readings.
Classic Style Stands Up to the Roughest Conditions
The bright, high-resolution, full-colour 3.1 cm Garmin Chroma Display™ with LED backlighting assures great readability in all ambient conditions. Transflective technology that reflects and transmits light at the same time enables the watch face to become even more readable under intense sunlight. This delicate display is protected by a high-strength domed sapphire lens with a protective PVD-stainless steel bezel and buttons with a treated silicone band and reinforced housing for extra durability ensuring your watch can be used even in rough terrain.
Measure Oxygen Levels and More During Exercise
Packed with additional training features to tell you all you need to know about your form and fitness, the VO2 max estimator 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 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.
Advanced Running Dynamics combined with Physiological Metrics
For runners, the inbuilt feature to tap into extended physiological metrics and advanced running dynamics help with advanced fitness training.
fēnix 3 HR reports the following data:
Vertical oscillation and ratio — the cost-to-benefit ratio where ‘the cost‘ is the vertical oscillation (ground clearance or lift) and ‘the benefit‘ is the distance travelled (stride length). The ratio is the benefit ratio to stride length.
Ground contact time and balance (GCT-B) — shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry.
Cadence — also known as stride rate is the number of steps a runner takes per minute (SPM).
Stride length — determines a responsive current pace. Stride length is measured from heel to heel and determines how far you walk with each step. On average, a man’s walking stride length is 2.5 feet or 30 inches, according to Arizona State University. A woman’s average stride length is 2.2 feet or 26.4 inches.
Physiological metrics measure your heart to provide –
Stress score: fēnix 3 HR measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for about 3 minutes, to calculate an estimated stress level. Measured between 1 and 100, lower scores indicate lower stress levels.
Performance condition: After running for 6-20 minutes, fēnix 3 HR compares your real-time condition to your average fitness levels.
Lactate threshold: By analysing your pace and heart rate, fēnix 3 HR estimates the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue, and the intensity of exercise at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood at a faster rate than it can be removed.
Swim Profile, Ski Mode, Rowing and Golf
fēnix 3 HR watch isn’t just for running; special feature sets help swim training, skiing, golfing and paddle sports, including stand up paddle boarding and rowing. Borrowing elements from the Garmin Swim™ device, fēnix 3 HR watch tracks your distance, pace, stroke count and more. You just need to let fēnix 3 HR watch know the size of the pool you’re swimming in and begin your workout.
Ski mode puts speed, distance, vertical drop and an automatic run counter (with Auto Pause for the lift line) and more at your fingertips. The feature set for paddle sports includes stroke count, stroke rate and even distance per stroke.
Golf mode gives you yardage to the front back and middle of the green for any single course you’ve downloaded from Garmin Connect™.
You can install additional feature sets or remove those that you do not need from the Garmin Connect™ app.
You can even use your fēnix 3 as a glove-friendly remote, via ANT+® wireless connectivity, for VIRB® action cameras.
Navigate Your Way
fēnix 3 HR watch provides comprehensive navigation and tracking functionalities to guide you on and off the beaten path using GPS and ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass). TracBack feature navigates you back to your starting point the same way you came. Its built-in sensors provide information on heading, elevation and weather changes.
It records a GPS track log, creating a “breadcrumb 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 points of interest. With fēnix 3 HR watch, you can also create and follow courses.
fēnix 3 HR watch is equipped with both ANT+ connectivity and Bluetooth® smart capabilities to wirelessly share locations, routes, and geocaches.
Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass
fēnix 3 HR is equipped with Altimeter, barometer and 3-axis compass with auto calibration to provide accurate and real-time information.
The built-in Altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent.
The Barometer can display 6-hr, 12-hr, 24-hr and 48-hr Barometric Trends which can, in turn, be used to predict weather changes by monitoring trends in air pressure. It can also display storm alerts based on the set criteria.
The 3-axis electronic Compass helps keep your bearing both while moving and while stationary. It can be set to display readings in Letters/Degrees (as shown in the infographic above), Letter/Mils, Degrees, Mils.
Mils is another unit of measure, the radian, used primarily by militaries in artillery, tank, and mortar gunnery. There are 2 PI radians in a circle. PI is a constant of approximately 3.14159265. That is 2 * 3.14159, or 6.28308 radians. If you were to divide each radian into 1000 mil-radians, you notice 6283 mil-radians in a circle. Mil-radians are called mils for short, thereby making 17.46 mils equal to 1 degree.
fēnix 3 HR watch auto-calibrates its ABC sensors using its GPS receiver and also automatically sets the time based on your current location. For an extremely accurate temperature reading, pair it with Garmin’s very own tempe™ external temperature sensor.
Apps and Watch Faces
You can personalize your fēnix 3 HR watch with free downloads from Garmin’s Connect IQ store. You can customize your watch face, add data fields and get apps and widgets that provide information at a glance. Accuweather has a very informative widget (Left) that sends up-to-date Weather information to your smartwatch.
There is also an app by Uber that helps you keep track of the cab you booked without checking your phone often.
An inbuilt Widget gives you information on Sun and Moon Rise and Setting Times.
Another Widget provides you Tidal Information.
Smart notifications let you receive emails, texts, and alerts right on your watch, even if you’re on the trail. fēnix 3 HR watch receives the wireless signals from a compatible Bluetooth enabled smartphone and informs you of the message by displaying the text whenever you’re ready to read it.
Other connected features include automatic upload to Garmin Connect online fitness community, live tracking and social media sharing through our free Garmin Connect and Garmin Connect™ Mobile applications.
The Charging Clip is a rugged metal clip with an attached USB interface to plug into your computer or power adapter to recharge the battery. It duals as a data transfer cable. Pinch the sides of the charging cradle glyph icon to open the arms on the cradle. With the contacts aligned, place the device into the cradle glyph icon and release the arms to hold the device in place.
Black Watch Band (010-12168-01)
Premium Metal Band (010-12168-04)
Red Watch Band (010-12168-05)
Blue Watch Band (010-12168-06)
Yellow Watch Band (010-12168-07)
Green Watch Band (010-12168-08)
Brown Leather Watch Band (010-12168-12)
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White Silicone Watch Band (010-12168-14)
Black Silicone Watch Band (010-12168-24)
Green Silicone Watch Band (010-12168-25)
Blue Silicone Watch Band (010-12168-26)
Black Leather Watch Band (010-12168-29)
QuickFit® 26 Watch Bands, Black Silicone (010-12517-00)
QuickFit® 26 Watch Bands, Amp Yellow Silicone (010-12517-01)
QuickFit® 26 Watch Bands, Flame Red Silicone (010-12517-02)
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QuickFit® 26 Watch Bands, Slate Gray Stainless Steel (010-12517-05)
QuickFit® 26 Watch Bands, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium (010-12580-00)
Bicycle Mount Kit (010-11029-00)
Charging Clip (010-12168-28)
Carrying Case (010-10718-01)
Europe AC Adapter (010-10635-01)
AC Adapter, North America (010-10635-02)
Carabiner Strap (010-12168-10)
Bike Cadence Sensor (010-12102-00)
Bike Speed Sensor (010-12103-00)
Bike Speed Sensor and Cadence Sensor (010-12104-00)
Soft Strap Premium Heart Rate Monitor (010-10997-07)
Foot Pod (010-11092-00)
- Stunning rock solid hardware
- Comfortable fit despite its size
- Long battery life
- Accurate GPS and activity tracker
- Clear and crisp full-colour display
- Easy to use interface
- Support for a vast number of sports and activities
- Waterproof up to 100 meters
- Smart notification system
- Store with extra downloadable apps
- Compatible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+
- Large watch face
- Fairly Expensive
- Considerably Heavy
My Personal Thoughts
I’ve personally worn it 24/7 since I got this watch except when it needs to be charged. I charge it once every week. I’ve worn it while swimming, on the beach, in rain and in the snow. I’ve worn it during my morning walk and during my run and it’s performed well on each occasion. The battery lasts between 5-7 days depending on usage, and the GPS Signal acquisition time varies between 7 seconds to anywhere close to 2 minutes.
How expensive is it?