I would like to thanks Garmin Belux for putting this watch at my disposal to perform this test.
The idea of this article is to provide a brief test, concise and objective.
A year after its release, is the Garmin Fenix 3 the best Gps Multisport watch on the market ?
The box is sober and well finished.
The watch catches the eye immediately. The outline of the aluminum dial gives it a luxurious look. The Fenix 3 can be worn every day as regular watch without giving the impression to arrive straight from your last training.
It also exists in a large variety of finishes, colors and even with a leather strap. I have not tested the leather one, but I may be a little skeptical about its sports use.
The Fenix 3 is comfortable to wear and lightweight despite a important volume. Like on the Garmin 920XT, the bracelet remains securely attached to the wrist even during the most brutal movements, very effective especially in swimming.
The start up of the watch is simple and the new software version 6.5 offers a real plus in terms of friendliness.
The side buttons, compared with the 920XT, asked me a little time to adapt, but you'll get used to it. The screen of the Fénix 3 is very readable and the brightness is fully adjustable. The Garmin Connect application allows a full customization of the watch faces.
Widgets will take you even further into customization by adding a variety of data such as the number of steps, compass, altimeter, barometer, temperature, and so on …
Once connected to your smartphone, the Fenix 3 allows you to receive notifications and read them, such as emails, sms, twitter, facebook ...
Since the 6.5 update, it's also possible to answer a call or ignore it.
You can control music from your smartphone using the Fenix3.
Compare to the Gramin 920XT, it's now possible to disable the disconnection warning. This way you don't receive anymore a warning every time you leave a room without your smartphone.
This mode is identical to the 920XT, I invite you to check out my review here.
The Fenix 3 can, as the 920XT, be coupled with a specific heart rate sensor that stores your session and then retransmit it at the end of training. There are two sensors, one dedicated to swimming and the other for the triathlon. I tested it with the triathlon sensor and it works as well as the 920 XT.
I found the start of GPS a little longer than the one of the 920XT. But nothing disturbing though it's only a few seconds. To increase accuracy, the watch can also connect to the Glonass, the russian navigation system.
As for the 920 XT, when the watch is connected to your cardio sensor, cadence appears in a dedicated mode. This mode, based on a 3 data display, informs you about your running cadence.
But the Fenix 3 goes even further by calculating your lactate threshold.
After an interval training, the watch will calculate your heart rate and pace from which you will start to produce lactic acid. I have not had the opportunity to make a simultaneous comparison with a stress test, but I found results quite accurate.
The Fenix 3 can also automatically change and display your ascent speed rate, very interesting for trail.
The bike mode is identical to that of the 920 XT. I invite you to read it here.
The Fenix 3 can also be paired to a power meter or a cadence sensor.
The Fenix 3 has the same triathlon mode that the 920XT.
If you pair the Fenix 3 to a Triathlon belt, you will know your heart rate on swimming part after your triathlon.
I radther the smaller size of the Tri belt than the normal version.
The Fenix 3 has a variety of modes suitable for everyone such as ski touring, cross country skiing, hiking, trail, Sup, rowing and even golf ! Garmin offers you the oportunity to load your favorite golf course on your watch and then be guided along the fairways.
Each mode offers a variety of data linked to the selected sport, such as the number of paddle strokes, the weather forecast or your number of swings.
And if you can not find your happiness in the pre-installed modes, you are free to create your own ...
The Fenix 3 has a storm warning option that warns you that a depression is approaching in the coming hours.
Having selected this option, I was awakened at 4:30 am by the alarm. A little surprised, I looked out the window and didn't see anything. I went back to sleep and three hours later a very abundant snowfall was there. This is an option that can be very useful for mountain climbing.
Gps of the Fenix 3 lets you set waypoints and intineraries. The screen is very readable and well-contrasted even in bright sunlight.
The Fenix 3 also has a Track back mode that could get you out of a big hassle in case of bad weather. When you get caught by the mist and that it becomes very difficult to find your way back. The Track Back can retrace your steps safe. I remember one day on the Mont Blanc, we got caught in the mist around the Valot shelter. By that time if I had a Fenix 3, it would have avoided a very long descent.
The Ski / Snow mode of the Fenix 3 automatically calculates the number of descent, the max speed, the average speed, as well as information for each run.
All you have to do, is to turn on the mode at the beginning of your ski session and the watch will automatically pause it at the lifts.
I wanted to test this mode to realize its effectiveness and the results were above my expectations. You get quickly addicted of trying to increase your max speed on every run....
If you are looking for the best watch Gps multifunction, the most complete, the most flexible, look no further, you've found it...
Garmin has set the standart very high with this watch.
The ability to make evolve the watch through firmware updates, demonstrates once again the willingness of Garmin to always offer products at the cutting edge ... Congratulations for this watch!
One bad point, I'll have to send it back to Garmin and it breaks my heart ....