Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch for Athletes!

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Garmin Fenix 3 Multi-Sport Watch with Outdoor Navigation.

GPS sports watches have become a firm favorite of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and all those who love the great outdoors. Whether you like hiking, swimming, cycling, trail running or backcountry skiing, having a GPS watch is an essential commodity. Advances in technology have created GPS sports watches that offer tons of features which make outdoor recreational sporting and fitness activities fun and safe to participate in.

Garmin is a household name in the sports watch niche with a vast catalog of products all of which combine elegant designs with impressive features. Garmin prides itself on creating GPS watches with intuitive add-ons like altimeters, barometers, temperature sensors, and heart rate (HR) monitors just to name a few.

UPDATE – New version available: Remember to check out the newer Garmin Fenix 3 HR for the upgraded version with built-in heart rate sensor! And the latest and much better Garmin Fenix 5.

Now, on with the rest of my Garmin Fenix 3 review. If you have further questions, scroll down and ask in the commenting section.

Garmin Fenix 3

Garmin Fenix 3

Product Description

The Fenix 3 GPS watch is Garmin’s bold attempt to create a cross-platform watch that combines the multisport functionality of the Forerunner series with the outdoor watch design of the Fenix predecessors (Fenix 1 & 2). This third iteration of the Fenix line is noticeably more elegant than its predecessors with a sleek metal band which is also easily detachable. It is in many ways an improvement on the earlier Fenix versions as well as being more technologically advanced than the Forerunner series.

Products you need: 25 Cool Water Bottles

Garmin has always been known for including a wide array of useful sensors in their watches and the Fenix 3 is no exception. Despite weighing in at only 82g it is packed full of sensors like accelerometers, GPS, temperature sensor, digital compass, and a barometric altimeter just to name a few. It features a Chroma Display with backlight function. You also have a timeout functionality to preserve battery life.

Casual wearing of Fenix 3

Casual wearing of Fenix 3

The Garmin Fenix 3 has both digital and analog time features depending on user preference. The design of this watch also features large buttons around the screen which vastly improves the user experience. Even when your fingers feel a bit numb from being out in the cold, or are in gloves, you will have no trouble pressing the buttons on the watch.

Main Features

  • GPS Connectivity. The Garmin Fenix comes fully loaded with both GPS and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) capability. GLONASS is the Russian version of GPS and is touted as being significantly more accurate in the Northern Hemisphere. Users have the option of switching between GPS and GLONASS.The built-in “EXO antenna” ensures instantaneous GPS/GLONASS connection. The GPS/GLONASS mode of the Fenix 3 is super intuitive, with lots of features including an “auto-climb” feature which automatically comes into effect once the watch detects a change in the user’s elevation.


  • Wifi Enabled. Wirelessly connect with the Garmin Connect. This means faster upload and syncing of data with the Garmin Connect App. This feature is especially useful when in remote locations where cell service might be an issue such as mountain ranges, hiking trails etc.


  • Activity Tracker. The Activity Tracker feature on the Fenix 3 helps you track your progress while skiing, swimming, running, cycling etc. These activities have their own distinct mode within the Activity Tracker Feature. It also allows you to monitor your sleep pattern with the sleep analysis mode which tells you periods of movement and rest during your sleep.It also has a move alert mode that reminds you to get back on the move if you’ve been stationary for too long.


  • IQ Store connectivity. The IQ store houses all the cool Garmin apps that can be downloaded for use on compatible Garmin watches. The Fenix 3 has the Garmin Connect feature which links it with the IQ store where you can download apps and also download some beautifully designed watch faces. What is more, these apps and watch faces are absolutely free of charge.


  • Color Display. The Garmin Fenix 3 has a colorful 218 x 218-pixel screen which produces crisp, clear data display on a screen with highly intuitive menus. The display and layout of data on the screen are simple, yet elegant ensuring great customer satisfaction. Despite the high-quality color display, it does not drain the battery. Garmin uses top-of-the-line e-ink LCD display technology which has high battery economy. The color display feature of the Fenix 3 also boasts a transflective design which means your watch screen remains visible even in direct sunlight. You can customize the display to show split screens where multiple easy to read data fields are shown at once.


  • Smart Notifications. Never have to miss an important mobile notification again because you couldn’t hear your phone ring. The Fenix 3 combines smart notification with vibration alert to keep you up to date with all your mobile correspondences. Pair your Fenix 3 with your smartphone and it will display texts, emails, and other phone alerts on the go.


  • Sensors. The Garmin Fenix 3 is a cornucopia of advanced sensors that deliver premium quality functionality. Electronic compass, barometric altimeter and temperature sensors are just some of the nifty sensors on this versatile watch. It also has an HR monitor.


  • Battery Life. The Fenix 3 has a long-lasting, rechargeable 300 mAh lithium-ion battery. While in GPS mode, it can last up to 20 hours, and 50 hours if it is in UltraTrac mode. When not in any of the track modes and it is just being used as a normal watch, the battery can last up to 2 weeks.


Multiple Tracking Functionality

When it comes to cross-platform functionality, the Garmin watch catalog has always delivered stellar products. The Fenix 3 has multiple tracking functionalities across different activities. Some of the tracking capabilities of the Fenix 3 are as follows:

  1. Running: Apart from Distance and Pace, the Fenix 3 can track Recovery Time and Trails.
  2. Skiing: Distance, Descent, Speed, and even Number of runs.
  3. Climbing: Weather, Elevation.
  4. Cycling: Speed and Distance. It also has sensors to measure Bike Power and Cadence.
  5. Swimming: While swimming, the Fenix 3 not only tracks Distance and Pace, it also tracks Stroke rate, Stroke count and it can also identify different Stroke types.
  6. Golfing: Download courses from the app and view them on the display.
Fenix can handle water well.

Fenix can handle water well.

Garmin Fenix 3 GSP watch product video

One of the official product videos:

Pros and Cons

What we like and what we don’t like with the Garmin Fenix 3:

 Pros +  Cons –
  • The Garmin Fenix 3 has a high-resolution color display.
  • User-friendly interface with large and intuitive menus. No more having to squint in order to read information off your GPS watch.
  • Jettisons the complex operation of other watch brands with a basic off/on mode which saves battery power.
  • Allows you to name previously visited locations that you have saved.
  • Fast satellite uplink with the wifi-enabled feature to help you upload data quickly without having to use a cable.
  • Compatible with ANT+ and Android devices.
  • The watch only has the ability to set one alarm and there is also no snooze feature.
  • The Activity Tracker feature requires GPS to function which means battery gets drained quickly once this feature is activated.
  • HR monitor does not have a clip.


The Fenix 3 comes in a conventional 3-piece box. Once you open the box, you will find the watch, the charging clip, and the power adapter. The watch should fit snuggly into the charging clip. If you don’t want to use the regular charger, you can use any odd USB cable to charge your Fenix 3 watch.


Compared to other brands like the Suunto Ambit3, the Fenix 3 has some overwhelming advantages such as an auto-calibrating compass, Better Screen Display, ANT+, and Android compatible. The Fenix 3 is also significantly lighter than most other watch brands.

In terms of functionality, it is right up there with the best. The 5 button system does make the learning curve a little steep but with a little bit of patience you can master the setup and acquire dexterity in switching between modes and tabs.

So why would you buy this activity tracker watch? Because the Fenix 3 is full of nice features, is comfortable to wear, being lightweight and the price is affordable.

Where can I buy Garmin Fenix 3?

The fitness tracker is easily purchased on my favorite and trustworthy online store, Amazon, both in Europe and US. It has a product rating with 4,5 of 5 stars based on reviews from customers:

Always click the button to check recently updated price and additional info and reviews.

More info & Questions

I’m curious to know more about your own experiences with this fitness tracker if you own it yourself. Anything good and bad. If you have other questions or concerns, write them down in the comment section at the bottom. Here are a few examples of what other Amazon buyers have to say about this activity tracker:

“Exactly what I wanted on a all-in-one watch” by Wei

“Great looks and functionality – Running, biking, activity tracking” by KAZ3030

“Garmin is GREAT!” by N. Gonzalez

Interesting topic: Top 10 Fitness Trackers

Technical Specifications

Here are the most important tech specs:

General Design:
Name Garmin fēnix 3
Type Multisport Fitness Watch
Weight 2,9 oz (82 g)
Dimension 51,0 x 51,0 x 16,0 mm
Size One size fits all
Materials Stainless steel
Interaction Five buttons
Interface Color Chroma display
Resolution 218 x 218 pixels
Battery Type Recharchable 300 mAh lithium ion
Battery Life GPS mode: Up to 20 hours, UltraTrac mode: Up to 50 hours, Watch mode 6 weeks
Charge Time About 2 hours
Colors Black
Water-Resistant Yes
Water-Proof (depth) Yes, 10ATM
Vibration Yes
Sensors EXO antenna, GPS, GLONASS, Barometric altimeter, 3 axis Compass, Accelerometer, ANT+
Memory 32 MB (23 available)
It Tracks:
Steps Taken Yes
Intensity minutes Yes
Distance Yes
Activity time Yes
Calories Burned Yes
Sleep Monitoring Yes
Move Reminder Yes
Heart Rate and Zones Yes (with HR sensor)
UV -
Floors climbed Yes
24/7 (All day) Yes
Other features:
Time Yes
Barometric height Yes
Alarm Clock Yes
Guided Workouts Yes
Timer Yes
Stop watch Yes
VIRB Remote Yes
Smart Notification Yes
Music Control Yes
Find my device Yes
Wireless or USB Wireless
Sync Method Bluetooth Smart, Wifi
Mobile App Garmin Connect
Maintenace & FAQ:
Manufacturer Garmin
Manual (PDF) Product manual in PDF


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