JUMP TO:

BUY NOW:

  • Amazon.com
  • Clever Training
  • Clever Training Europre

Hands-on with Garmin’s new Fenix3 multisport GPS watch with color screen

IMG_2332

(Note: My Fenix3 In-Depth Review is now published and available here, go forth and enjoy all the details there instead!)

Today, Garmin announced the latest iteration of their Fenix lineup with the Fenix3 multisport GPS watch.  Described at its simplest – the Fenix3 takes the navigation and hiking functionality of Fenix2 and merges it with virtually all of the new functions found on the Garmin FR920XT watch.  Except one difference: It leaves behind the plastic look of the FR920XT and introduces everything from a metal link band to different glass options.

Let’s go ahead and dive into it!

(Note: Garmin has also announced other products today including the Garmin Epix GPS watch, the Garmin Vivoactive GPS smartwatch, and the Vivofit2 activity tracker.)

Summary of new features

IMG_2326

As I noted above, this watch is really about a tribal merge between the functionality found on the FR920XT and the Fenix lineup.  Historically speaking the Fenix lineup has always been aligned more to the Outdoor/Hiking crowd than the runner/cyclist crowd.  While the Fenix2 changed that a fair bit in becoming a multisport watch, there were always little reminders that it wasn’t quite of the same bloodline as the Forerunner series.

That all disappears now with the Fenix3.  This watch shares more in common with the Forerunner series than the Fenix series, from the ground up.  However, it doesn’t do away with any of the Fenix family features – namely navigation related.

IMG_2342

To keep it straight forward and to the point, here’s the run-down of all the new functionality found in the Fenix3 that weren’t present in the Fenix2:

Added WiFi connectivity: This allows you to upload workouts the moment you walk through your door.
Added concurrent Bluetooth Smart/ANT+: While the Fenix2 had limitations on using one or the other at the same time, that limitation goes away here.
100m waterproofing: This is an increase from 50m waterproofing.
New GPS antenna: The Fenix3 includes a new EXO GPS antenna which includes GLONASS support.
New color screen: This screen and user interface looks virtually identical to the FR920XT, except in the body of the rounded Fenix watch face.  It’s not HD-color like some smart watches, but it’s better than the FR620 and inline with the FR920XT.
Connect IQ support: This will enable you to download apps, watch faces and other customizations for the Fenix3…starting today for watch faces and data fields, with apps coming shortly.
Daily Activity Tracking: This will track steps, sleep, and how much couch surfing you’re really doing during the day.
Virtual Racer: This adds in the capability to race against past performance and downloaded courses.
Metronome: This audible/vibration alert was added on the FR920XT to be used for running cadence drills.
Personal Records (PR’s): This will let you know when you’ve hit your best times against standard distances like 1-mile, 5K, and other common brag-able reference markers.
Cycling Dynamics & Di2 support: These won’t be available at launch, but are being looked at for a post-launch update.
Cycling VO2Max: In addition to already supporting running VO2Max, the Fenix3 adds in support for cycling VO2Max for those with a power meter.
Multiple bike sensors: The Fenix2 didn’t support multiple bike profiles, the Fenix3 mirrors the FR920XT and allows you to pair to as many sensors as you’d like to save for automatic recognition as you change bikes.
FirstBeat HRV/RR: This data will now be included in recorded files.

Addition of Activity Profiles: Now you can create highly customized activity profiles just like on the FR920XT and Edge 510/810/1000 devices.
Multisport mode supports pool mode: Unlike the Fenix2, the Fenix3 allows you to choose the pool within a multisport event.
Alpine Ski & Snowboard Mode: While this was technically on the Fenix2, I call it out simply because very few people realized it was there.
Auto Climb Feature: This mode will automatically change your display fields when climbing. For example, you can set to show elevation, ascent, and grade fields as you start to run uphill.

Of course, what you see above might be somewhat familiar for Garmin FR920XT users.  It is in effect almost every software feature on the FR920XT coming to the Fenix3 (yup, even that Ski mode recently hit the FR920XT).  The key software differences then between the Fenix3 and the FR920XT becomes the additional more detailed navigation related functions found on the Fenix lineup that aren’t on the FR920XT.

The bands and watch materials:

IMG_2319

Some of the biggest changes to the Fenix3 isn’t actually the software, but the hardware itself.  It simply doesn’t look like any previous Garmin device…it actually looks physically attractive.  The Fenix3 comes in three different models, which are:

Fenix3 Gray – $499/$549 with HR bundle (shown above left)
Fenix3 Silver – $499/$549 with HR bundle (shown above right)
Fenix3 Sapphire – $599, no HR included (shown above middle)

The Sapphire edition refers to the glass used on the exterior of the display, which is a harder material.  It’s become popular with watch makers of late, as it implies being stronger.  In reality, I’ve never heard of any recent non-Sapphire Garmin or Suunto high end GPS device actually having their display cracked/broken in regular (or even non-regular use).  But to each their own.

In addition to the three Fenix3 models, there’s also a slew of different band options – which allows you to mix and match the different bands seen, including the metal band option seen below normally attached to the Sapphire unit.

IMG_2337

Product Comparison Tool:

Now, it’s probably getting a bit confusing with some of these recent models as to how the FR920XT, Fenix3 and Epix all differ.  In many ways, they’re basically the same base functionality with the material aspects of the watch and navigation capabilities being the difference.  Here’s a nifty little over-simplified visual overview of the differences that I whipped up:

image

But, for those of you who are more spec oriented, here’s the full rundown of specs.  Note that my charts don’t fully cover materials yet (like the glass front and band types), so this is more from a technical feature set level.

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 24th, 2017 @ 1:45 pmNew Window
Price$249$499$549
Product Announcement DateOct 1st, 2014January 5th, 2015January 5th, 2015
Actual Availability/Shipping DateEarly Oct 2014February 2015May 2015
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFiUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFiUSB/Bluetooth Smart
WaterproofingYes - 50mYes - 100mYes - 50m
Battery Life (GPS)UP TO 40HRS IN GPSUp to 50hrs in GPSUp to 50hrs in GPS
Recording Interval1s or Smart1S OR SMART1S OR SMART
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerGreatYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionGreatGreatGreat
AlertsVibrate/Sound/VisualVibrate/Sound/VisualVibrate/Sound/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesYesYes
MusicGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Can control phone musicNoYesYes
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYEs
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYEs
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceNoNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Designed for runningYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)With HRM-TRI or HRM-RUNWith HRM-TRI or HRM-RUNWith HRM-TRI or HRM-RUN (Gen1 only, no Gen2 Running Dynamics)
VO2Max EstimationYesYesYes
Race PredictorYesYesYes
Recovery AdvisorYesYesYEs
Run/Walk ModeYesYesYes
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Designed for swimmingYesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeYesYesYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterWith HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIMWITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIMWITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYEsYes
Indoor Drill ModeYesYesYes
Indoor auto-pause featureNoNoNo
Change pool sizeYesYesYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths17M/18Y TO 150Y/M17M/18Y TO 150Y/M17M/18Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fieldsYesYesYes
Can change yards to metersYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsYesYesYes
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Designed for triathlonYesYesYes
Multisport modeYesYesYEs
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYEs
On-unit interval FeatureYesYEsYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Auto Start/StopYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesYes
Day to day watch abilityYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoYesYes
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoOnly with Garmin Bluechart g2 maps (extra)
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNo
GeocachingNoVia GPS coordinatesYes (but not paperless geocaching)
Weather Display (live data)YesYesWith Connect IQ
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYEsYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoYes
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoNoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYEs
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYEs
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNo (can control VIRB though)No (can control VIRB though)No (can control VIRB though)
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)No
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)No
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesComing in updateNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoYesYes
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsYesYesYes
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows Phone
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 920XTGarmin Fenix3Garmin Epix
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

If you’d like to compare in other models – like the now older Fenix2, you can do that within the product comparison tool/calculator over here.

A few thoughts:

IMG_2323

In many ways, I think the Fenix3 is cosmetically speaking what many FR920XT users have been asking for – something that doesn’t look like a plastic watch.  And no doubt, with its weight and design, it certainly delivers there.  But would-be consumers also got something they probably didn’t want: A $50 price jump over the FR920XT, or a $100 price jump over the Fenix lineup previously.

Garmin argues that the price bump is justified, saying: “Based on the comprehensive feature set and premium materials used, we had to put this at a higher price point. Fenix 3 uses stainless steel, a mineral glass or sapphire lens, and although the 920 is a great watch it’s all plastic.”

While I’m horrible at picking apart prices, I suspect that Garmin also feels that given semi-competitive offerings on the market are in the same price range, that they can probably charge more.  While I think there’s some validity to that line of thought, we’re also seeing the floor drop out below connected watch makers as so many new entrants come onboard – be it Apple or other consumer electronic makers.  Time will tell whether or not this works out for Garmin.

Still, the Fenix3 is an impressive watch.  It is basically a FR920XT with advanced navigation features and a very clean external look, and to that end it does its job very well.  While I’ve spent a bit of time toying with it, I’ll be waiting until I have a final production unit to make any final opinions on it.  But, so far, so good.

Garmin is saying that the Fenix3 will ship in Q1 2015 (so by March), though it sounds like that might be quite a bit sooner rather than later.  In any case, once I do have a final hardware and software version – expect about 3-4 weeks later for an in-depth review from me.

First though, here’s an 8-minute YouTube video I’ve put together walking through some features and allowing you to see the display quality and responsiveness a bit.

Fenix3 Video & Photo Galleries:

In addition, here’s three different galleries of Fenix3 photos I’ve shot, along with a video playlist that I’m constantly adding to.  These are all shot on final hardware units.  The videos are show mostly on final software  Thus, there may be minor differences between now and release of the final software/firmware versions.

Video Playlist: This playlist starts with the final Fenix3 unit unboxing, and then moves into how it works, before going into videos on different Fenix3 functions. The little drop-down in the upper left allows you to change the video to other videos in the playlist. Keep checking back for new ones!

First Gallery: A mixed collection of shots

Second Gallery: Comparison Shots with a variety of watches

Third Gallery: Just a lot of photos of the watch screens

This is just a boatload of photos from using the Fenix3, different sport modes, different layouts, different features and functions.

With that – thanks for reading, and feel free to drop any questions below (though to keep things tidy, try and keep this post for Fenix3 questions, and the Epix post for Epix questions).

Pre-Orders:

Note: You can pre-order the Fenix3 through Clever Training today (all three versions and associated bundles), as well as various accessory bands.  The units will ship as soon as Garmin starts shipping, which is currently slated for Q1 2015.

Welcome to CES 2015! Don’t forget to check out all my CES 2015 coverage, as well as my continual updates throughout the day on Twitter.  It’s gonna be a crazy busy week!

2,338 Comments

  1. Nicole

    Do you know if the band options will be limited to the three shown or will there be more variety? I would be more tempted to buy this if there were band options similar to the Jonathan Adler designer bands they are going to release for the vivofit 2.

  2. Fyodor

    Quick question:

    Can you upload a course to the F3, and while doing it view the course’s elevation profile and your current position on it, e.g., if the course consists of 3 hill climbs, and you have climbed 2 already, can you see that there is only one hill climb left on the course/race?

    PS: Thanks for a great website!

  3. Jason

    Just placed an order for the Fenix 3 + HRM bundle via your CleverTraining link! Thanks for the review and discount!

  4. Tien

    Ray,

    Any word from Garmin on releasing an HRM-Run bundle for the fēnix 3 sapphire in the US? I’ve contacted both Garmin support and Clever Training with no definitive answer. Thanks.

    • I asked, and essentially Garmin hasn’t authorized such as SKU for the US market. CT (as well as I) have given that feedback back to Garmin that it seems kinda silly. Hopefully they’ll (Garmin) change.

  5. Tien

    Ray. Any word from Garmin on releasing an HRM-Run bundle for the fēnix 3 sapphire in the US? I’ve contacted both Garmin support and Clever Training with no definitive answer. Thanks.

  6. Phil

    Is the vibration quieter than the 920. I use a 920 as my everyday watch, but the smart notifications vibrate was just too loud for the office.

  7. Peter

    Hi! I’m wondering if it’s possible to attach a screen protector to the sapphiere version or if the domed glas makes that difficult?

    • Kong

      The whole idea with sapphire glass is that it is virtually scratch proof (at least very, very hard to scratch). I would say that getting a screen protector is somewhat overkill – point being that if you manage to get a scratch that could dent a sapphire glass, the same scratch would most likely go through any screen protector and scratch was is underneath.

    • Ted W

      I respectfully disagree. Todays screen protectors can take on very sharp objects, all those youtube video’s or dremel tools, pocket knives. They dont lie. Here was one that was shared earlier. I plan to get one. and save the $$ for the sapphire. I dont need/want the $129 metal band. link to zagg.com

  8. noah

    safety and product doc now showing on garmin.com under fenix 3 manuals as of today. hopefully it will ship soon.

  9. another firmware release today as well!

    Random weird question/thought. Could Garmin technically implement the Android Wear notifications like Pebble did?

    Whether they want to would be another question!!

  10. Jeff

    The thing I didn’t like about the Fenix 2 is that you had to turn on and off the gps, and if you forgot the battery died really quick. What I like about the 920xt is that the gps was only on when you were in an activity. Do you know if the Fenix 3 will be more like the fenix 2 or 920xt?

  11. Bart

    Fenix3 pre-ordered from CT, great review Ray Thanks

  12. Ray – what’s your record for number of comments on a post? The F3 must be getting close!

    • Sean

      Yeah, I can’t really tell of there’s way more buzz around the Fenix 3 or I’m just interpreting it that way because I’m really excited…

    • Sean

      s/of/if/

    • Jim

      It does seem like a lot of anticipation. I think there is because it’s the 920 but good looking. I have a new 920 on my desk, unopened. My dream watch. Then Garmin announced the Fenix 3 just a day before my 920 arrived. I am still debating but leaning towards the Fenix 3. I am an Ironman, but not fast so the extra weight doesn’t bother me, and the ability to wear it all the time is nice. It’s just so puuuurty 🙂

  13. Mike

    Does the Fenix 3 count steps (like the VivoSmart) and does it do Live Tracking (while recording) …….. both at the same time?

  14. Maximilian Mann

    Hi all

    So I have an Ambit 3 Peak Saphire. It does all I want and it does it well, I bought it over the F2 because the F2 has so many issues… But I am kinda intrigued by the F3. What are the main advantages over the Ambit3?

    Right now my setup is the following:

    Ambit 3 + Hr strap for my workouts and soon I will receiving a Fitbit Charge HR for basic activity tracking and HR all day tracking. Now i am thinking of swapping the Ambit 3 for the F3.

    But the question still remains for me is there a product that has all this features:

    1. All the functionality of an Ambit3/F3 (Navigation, Wp, Routes, Multisport…) +
    2. Activity Tracker and all day HR like the fitbit Charge HR +
    3. Good activity tracker App like the Fitbit app +
    4. Optical HR like hte mio Fuse for workouts.

    Unfortunatelly this product does not exist @ the moment. Right?

  15. Todd

    Do you get notifications (i.e. SmartWatch capability) while doing an actual activity?

  16. Kyle

    Any word about shipping? I have an order from CT but they dont have much information. I asked REI just to see what they had for a date and they said they are expecting to receive them on Feb 19th. Anyone else have any dates? Have you heard anything new Ray?

  17. Mike

    I’d like to eventually get one with a metal band. I have VERY small wrists. How adjustable is this bad boy?

    • Fab

      Asked same question to Garmin support site. they just answered that as the unit is not out yet they do not know for sure the details of all the accessories. they’re posting the information on website once it will be available. anyway, I’ve found an unboxing video on YT from which it doesn’t seem to be adjustable at all.

    • Joe E

      It is definitely adjustable by a jeweler, but cannot comment on how adjustable. Have seen posts by others that have had it adjusted.

  18. Gabe

    Some Fenix 3 Video Porn to hold you over for another few weeks. Lots of adjustment on the watch faces is very cool

    link to facebook.com

    • Ted W

      sure looked like moon phase and battery life. not sure if that was sunrise/sunset shows. hard to read parts

    • neil rosson

      Display is looking really good, thanks for the video.

    • Thanks for the link – those analog faces look excellent

    • Rob

      Wow….I think I need a smoke now (….and I don’t even smoke). It’s ridiculous how excited I am to get my hands on this watch. I pre-ordered on 01/11, so hopefully early enough that I will get one of the first batches. I am wondering what options the video is referring to with “Status Icons” @ 0:46?

  19. Robert

    Great review as always.

    I’m currently using an Ambit and it is time to upgrade. One issue I habe had with it is that I accidentally paus the excersice when working out with gloves. Since the start/stop button is on the side, and I have the watch on the left arm, I press the button when moving the wrist. Is this something you have experienced and do you in that case see a difference between Ambit and Fenix, especially 3, in this matter?

    I have been looking at the 920xt but the Fenix 3 is definitely better looking as a daily watch. The other option is of course to have on the right arm but for some reason I really struggle to remember that when leaving for a workout.

  20. Robert

    Great review as always.

    I’m currently using an Ambit and it is time to upgrade. One issue I have had with it is that I accidentally paus the excersice when working out with gloves. Since the start/stop button is on the side, and I have the watch on the left arm, I press the button when moving the wrist. Is this something you have experienced and do you in that case see a difference between Ambit and Fenix, especially 3, in this matter?

    920xt or use it on the right arm are other options but not great ones =)

  21. Robert

    Thanks for a great initial review.

    Still using my Ambit but it is time to upgrade. One issue I have had is accidentally pause exercises while using gloves. Since the start/stop button is on the side and I´m having it on my left arm the edge of the gloves hits the button when biking or skiing.

    Have you experienced this and in that case do you see any difference in Ambit and Fenix 3? Thinking about the new design with the small edges around the button.

    One solution is of course to have it on the other arm or look at the 920xt instead.

    • I was surprised myself, but I didn’t have any problems with it during skiing last week (under my coat/glove). Of course, your glove/coat may rub it differently.

  22. cyclingfool

    Ray,

    Got my order in for the Scosche Rhythm+ and Fenix 3 with Clever Training. I ordered the silver/red combo because I wanted the silver watch face but don’t care about the red band. I see that all the bands are on pre-order status also. I wander if the original black F2 band will fit the F3? If so, I will swap when it arrives and save a few $$$. ??

    • Ryan033

      Ray has indicated that all the Fenix and Epix straps will be compatible. I am looking at buying the Orange/Red Fenix 2 strap as I like it.

    • Siegfried

      Cyclingfool, I am ordering the Gray/Black band but I don’t care about the Black band and will order the red band, let’s trade!

  23. Availability for the Fenix 3 is now March 1st according to Amazon. Still hoping units will be sent next week, but seeing how Ray doesn’t seem to have received a production unit yet, my hope of getting it next week is slowly fading away…

  24. Frank

    From what I can see there hasn’t been any physical changes to the HR device. I have had issues with it cutting into my chest. Last half marathon I did it cut my chest enough to leave a scar. Any ideas on prevention?

    • Dom

      I’ve had that problem too. I put a strip of Micropore tape on my chest where the strap rubs it. Works very well.
      That said, I picked up a Scosche Rhythm+ last year and the only time I’ve used the chest strap since was to do a side-by-side comparison, which was very close.

    • Dom

      Oh, and there are a number of other recommendations in this post elsewhere on Ray’s site.

    • Raymond B

      So since we are talking about it, am I the only one that has a problem keeping the HR strap up? No matter what I do, they slide down. I have it placed as recommended. Not just a Garmin problem, my Polar straps do the same thing. Tried different tightness, unless I get a really good sweat on it slips. I spend a ton of time, pulling it back up. I like the extra data of the Run Dynamics and more accurate RR, but have gone back to just wearing a Scosche on my arm.

  25. todd

    Dumb question, sorry- to anyone, what do I need in order to capture indoor cycling metrics with this watch? I just preordered it through CT and got inspired to train for my first tri. Is there anything I can buy to attach to my spinning bike so I can see distance, speed, etc? Thanks!

  26. Frank

    I don’t know what spin bike you have so speed could be tricky but you can definitely get cadence with this: link to clevertraining.com

    As someone else pointed out, spin bikes are fixies sou you can always translate cadence to speed and distance.

  27. Any mountaineers/backpackers/climbers out there? I’m looking at the Ambit2 and the Fenix 3 primarily for tracking altitude, tracking mileage, and navigation. Training features are necessary but not of the highest priority, and I did have a Fitbit that I liked so activity tracking is also nice. The Fenix 3 clearly has a better package of features.

    But I’m wondering if the Fenix 3 will be more difficult to use in challenging alpine situations. Battery life? The readability of the color display? General durability? The Ambit has been marketed as a Denali-capable device, whereas the Fenix 3 seems much more training-oriented.

    I guess it’s probably still early to pass judgement but does anyone have any strong reactions or thoughts about this? Is Suunto the way to go for super burly mountaineering watches?

    • Patrick

      You should probably look more towards the Epix than this model since that can load all the maps you want including the alpine ones. Where on the Fenix 3 you get some navigation but it’s pretty gimped compared to the epix.

    • Milo

      Nate,
      I have been mountaineering for a while and from my experience what you really care about out of the features mentioned is durability, battery life and altimeter (which you can calibrate). Sunrise/Sunset data is also helpful.

      “Navigation” has limited value – let’s be honest, you will not be using Fenix or even Epix maps to find your way on Denali or any other proper mountain… It is nice to have a gps track – sure, but that’s about it (maybe it could be also useful for emergency reasons as backup device).

      Fenix in my opinion fulfills all the requirements, though I am not sure about two points. One: does it have sunset/sunrise data? Second – I am not sure if it has (and I don’t think Ambit 3 has it either) the ability to do long-term gps tracking (i.e. to operate in battery saving mode, giving altitude data, while connecting to satellites only 2-3 times per day to take the position for log).

      Bottom line – Fenix isn’t perfect. But it seems to be much better than Ambit (and that comes from long-time Suuno aficionado).

    • Yes, it shows sunset/sunrise data.

      And yes, you can show altitude without enabling GPS. It’s actually doing this 24×7, you just press the up/down buttons on the left side at any time to scroll through those screens including temperature.

      It doesn’t have a method though for taking a trackpoint a day or the like.

    • Patrick

      I have yet to see this answered: I know it has auto-calibration for altitude, but does it have a manual override way of calibrating? Like if I know I’m standing at a certain specific height, can I adjust the watch to the proper height/altitude should be off by a fair margin?

    • rabbit

      Yes, you can calibrate the altitude manually.

    • Thanks Milo. That’s helpful. I’ll bide my time and wait for the Fenix reviews then.

    • Patrick

      I chose the Fenix3 over the Epix for three reasons. #1 is style; I want something I feel okay about wearing at the office. #2 is cost. #3, related to 2, is that I don’t think the mapping display of the Epix will be all that useful for backcountry purposes, where I want to have a real topographic map regardless. I do think Epix maps would be pretty useful for road cycling, and potentially even car navigation, but my phone handles most of those issues pretty well at present; I’m primarily looking for a backcountry device, and the Fenix3 seems as good or better in every dimension that matters to me.

    • Forrest

      Epix maps won’t be very useful for mountaineering or backpacking. The display is too small, detail is limited, and you’d be crazy to try to climb a big mountain with a long approach and rely on a device with such a short battery life for navigation. Paper maps and a compass.

      I’m looking to upgrade from a beloved Suunto Core to a Fenix 3, and I do a lot of mountaineering and backpacking. For day trips the F3 will record my tracks; longer than that and it’ll be a fancy ABC watch. I can carry a week of AA batteries for my hiking GPS to record longer trips.

  28. Phil

    Hi Ray.
    Is it possible to set the Fenix 3 GPS to UltraTrack but keep Heart Rate samples to 1 second?
    My poor old FR610 is showing its age & I’m looking for an upgrade.
    I would happily promote your site if you sold T-shirts or whatever.
    I love your blog. Keep up the great work.
    Phil. (UK)

  29. Bryan Fisher

    Given that ant+ connectivity is included, is there any word that the Fenix 3 will have connectivity to the Tanita digital scale as the FR610 does?

    • MattB

      No, it doesn’t, like the 920xt it shares code-base with. But likely support will be added via Connect IQ quite quickly (previous articles have suggested Garmin themselves have used it as an example app).

  30. Bob

    I have a Garmin 920XT. I have been wearing it as a tracker, but it does not look that good as an all day watch. I maybe able to return to REI and get a Fenix 3, since it looks cooler. Other option is wait and get a dedicated tracker like up3 when it comes out and then wear any watch I want on my risk. Big dilemma!

    • Bob

      Sorry for typo. “Wrist”.

    • Gabe

      bob – a lot of us were in your boat. hold onto the watch until the fenix 3 comes out and then evaluate – REI has a pretty good return policy.

      with notifications, steps, etc. it made sense for me to have a watch that looked good for all day wear and that’s the Apple Watch.

      jk.

    • Frank

      Bob, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time struggling with the question you pose over the last year or so. I’m a devotee of the app integration concept as well as 24/7 self quantification. Kind of a nut about it really.

      What I eat is managed through MyFitnessPal. What I burn is managed through Garmin Connect. What I weigh is managed through Withings. If you buy into different ecosystems for fitness tracking and sport, you are going to end up having to take your tracker off when you engage in intentional exercise and put it back on (or forget to) immediately after. Even then, your fitness tracker won’t know about all those steps you logged on your morning run and you will get BMR credit from both devices. Or you can integrate only one or the other with your other apps . . . you get the idea . . . metabolic Babel.

      The way I have decided to approach it is to decide which company’s products I want to use for intentional exercise first. In my case, that is Garmin so I have three different trackers to choose from. In theory at least my Vivosmart, Edge, and fenix sort out any overlapping activity and leave me with one stream of calorie expenditure I can feed to MFP. I kind of like it that Garmin does not even pretend to address the calorie input side of the equation. If only GC/MFP integration worked better, I would be a pretty happy camper,

    • Todd

      Frank, you had me at “metabolic Babel.” Awesome.

    • Rob

      Frank – I utilize the same approach as you do, but I am currently using RunKeeper. Now switching back to Garmin and will be using Garmin Connect. What issues do you see specifically with GC/MFP integration?

    • Jimmy

      There has been a lot of issues lately with synchronization between GC and MyFitnessPal.
      It seems that the issues are getting resolved and according to this GC can no be used as step source to MyFitnessPal.

  31. JSeiley

    Fenix3 on pre-order from CleverTraining. Thanks for everything Ray.

  32. JorgeP

    Is it true that the Fenix ​​3 has no Autolap-function?? I mean by Autolap so that , for example, after every 1 km automatically a new round begins.
    Does anyone know exactly? Thanks

    • Chris C.

      The 920XT has this function (alert every km or whatever distance you chose). Given that the fenix3 and the 920XT share the same “platform”, I would assume what you heard is wrong.

    • JorgeP

      I compared the 920XT with the Fenix ​​3 at the Garmin web page. It appears that the 920XT has a autolap-function and the Fenix 3 has no autolap-function.

    • Dom

      That comparison tool also says that the Fenix 2 doesn’t have auto lap, which is wrong.

    • Those Garmin comparison pages are very poor – and contain lots of error’s across lots of products.

      Use Rays comparison tool instead: link to dcrainmaker.com 🙂

    • @runnerizer

      Funny I don’t see evidence of auto-lap anywhere but it would blow my mind if it didn’t have it since the 220 does.

    • Laurent

      Hello,

      look at video from DCR in this post at around 2:34….you have your answer right there.

      AutoLap is in the menu of the watch so I guess it should do it 🙂

    • Autolap is there. Autolap by position isn’t (it hasn’t been on any new running unit released by Garmin in the last few years).

      So you can autolap every 1KM or 1M or whatever you want, no problems there.

    • Christian

      Jorge gibt einfach nicht auf 🙂

  33. Bob Erwin

    Frank,

    You sound like you are doing pretty much what I am doing. I use MFP also, and wish there was better integration for tracking steps with MFP and GC. GC mobile will not update the calories consumed from MFP, unless you sync with the website first. This “real time” issue is a big one, which needs to be fixed. My workout activities feed fine to MFP. I just wish Garmin would feed the step activity to MFP, instead of having MFP feed GC.

    I appreciate your comments.

    • Frank

      I was a Fitbitter first (One and Force) and so appreciated the power of MFP integration and agitated continuously for it to be brought to the Vivofit and later agitated for sorting out the device overlaps so that I never had to take my Vivo off. They finally got it all working fabulously in the Fall.

      Then MFP integration went seriously into the crapper at Thanksgiving and I was too busy eating and drinking to care. I mean it was SO OBVIOUSLY seriously broken that I figured somebody would notice and fix it. Unlike most of the other tracker companies, Garmin had decided to rely entirely on MFP for calorie consumption. They couldn’t possibly just ignore this mess! Could they? Like you, I’m still waiting. Again.

    • Jimmy

      Garmin and MFP seems to be working on the issues
      link to forums.garmin.com

  34. Karsten

    I ordered my Fenix 3 through Clever Training. Thanks. Do you think they will offer integration with calorie tracking apps on iphone (Livestrong, Lose It)? It would be great to have calories burned vs intake available on the watch face.

  35. Grégoire

    Thanks for all written here 🙂
    Do I need bike’s sensor to track bike with the Fenix 3 ?

    • Chris C.

      It depends what you are after.
      No need for sensors to track GPS but you will for cadence and/ or power

    • Grégoire

      Thank you very much. GPS is enough for me on my bike, I am mostly interested in running dynamics and open water swimming (which I can’t do with my current TomTom multisport).

  36. Mike Noyes

    After reading the article and the great discussion in the comments i ordered a F3 – thanks to Ray and everybody for the information!

  37. todd

    Hey Ray, was that a fenix 3 at 1:09 of your skiing video?

  38. Fox Wang

    Is the Fenix3 can installed customized map just like Fenix?

  39. Joe

    Great overview DC and especially like that you are fully engaged in follow-up questions, you have a great site. F3 ordered, can’t wait for this watch. Have multiple “smart” watches and multiple running watches, but the Fenix 3 seems like it might be the best of all worlds. Hate running with Android Wear, displays are terrible and have to carry phone, and my 620 is not much to look at, but is great for running.

    Ordered through CT, thanks for the discount, hoping for early Feb delivery like everyone else.

  40. acousticbiker

    Hmm…’processing time’ for ordering the F3 on the Garmin website is now showing 5-8 weeks (same as Vivoactive). I believe it was 3-4 weeks the last time I checked. Ray, you had previously mentioned ‘sooner rather than later’ for F3 and ‘later rather than sooner’ for Vivoactive – has there been a change?

    • Joe

      Might be they have committed the first run and now the timing represents second run (wishful thinking probably).

  41. Jesse

    Saw the same thing, hope its for the second batch but my bet is that its not! Lets hope!!!

  42. acousticbiker

    Ray, can you tell us what material the watch case is made of? The bezel is clearly metal, but less clear what the remainder of the case is made of

  43. acousticbiker

    Another question for Ray: I notice that the bezel on the gray model shows what appears to be a lighter silver in places where there appear to be nicks – this is both in your video and in others I’ve seen (like link to youtube.com). I’m concerned that over time it will look like the Slate iPhone 5 aluminum that did not wear well (and which they fixed with the Space Gray 5S). I’ve ordered the gray through Clever Training, but now I’m wondering whether I should switch to the Silver (although I’d want and have to buy a separate black band instead of the red). Any thoughts/comments?

    • Chris Barrett

      I’m in agreement. If the grey is only a coating I think I will opt for the silver instead. A friend has the Suunto Ambit 1 and half of the black coating has scratched off and looks terrible with the shiny silver showing through.

  44. acousticbiker

    OK, one last question for Ray for now: what is the ‘Additional data’ field that shows on the bottom right of the digital watch face (is it the alarm time or sunrise/sunset?)

  45. todd

    Garmin’s official Twitter account just said mid March release. Pretty unfortunate. I was hoping for Feb.

    • acousticbiker

      Thanks, Todd – really disappointed to hear this. Is it possible (like was the case with the Fitbit Force) that the ‘official’ release will be mid-March, but that some channels will get it early? Talked to REI today and they’re still quoting a 2/19 ship date (they also got the Fitbit Force before the widespread release). Based on past history, might Garmin do this? And based on past history, would Clever Training be a priority/early channel for Garmin?

    • Joe

      Can you provide a link to that tweet? I could not find it anywhere on Garmin’s twitter feed.

    • I’ll poke on Monday to see how that Tweet aligns with things currently. I wouldn’t really overthink different timelines given to different retails versus Twitter. The chain of people that are involved for someone like REI or Clever Training to hear about a change in delivery date is surprisingly long.

    • Dave

      I just checked with REI on my order (Sorry Ray, already had mine on pre-order before I even found this site, but next order will definitely be through you). I know their dates don’t mean a whole lot, but they have an estimate of 2/12 for my order now..

    • Chris Barrett

      Did your poking get you any answers Ray?

    • I expect I’ll hear back sometime today.

    • Dave

      My wife noticed a charge/authorization on the credit card used for the order.. And when I went to check the status of the order on the REI website, the information is a little different. It now tells me that the order has been received and that it will be processed within 48 hours. And now has an estimated delivery date of 2/9/2015. I don’t remember seeing either of those, specifically an estimated delivery date in previous times that I have checked the order..

      Sounds promissing..

    • DT

      Ray, do you know if that potential timeline may apply to CT? I ordered mine the day of your first post. Thanks

    • Rob

      Dave,

      February 9th was the date that REI had given me until a few days ago and supposedly that was for the “first batch” of watches that are going out to fulfill the existing backorders. I have since gotten an update that I am supposed to have the watch “in my hands” by 02/19. When did you place your order? Mine went through on 01/11. To Ray’s point…this is probably all just speculation anyway, but I’m to excited about the watch to not speculate.

      Also, I suspect that with the impending release of the Apple Watch that Garmin is doing everything they can to get these new models out the door. I doubt that the Apple watch will be able to hold a candle to the Fenix 3 or even the 920XT, so not sure that there will be a direct competition.

    • Dave

      Hi Rob,

      Due to a goof up with my order my original order on 1/5 was cancelled and my current order was put through on 1/11.

      A couple days ago I didn’t see that estimate on the website. I had checked with REI live help every few days, and it has gone from 1/29 to 2/2, and yesterday they told me it was 2/12. Today, the estimate of 2/9 showed up on the check order status page, so I decided to check with the live help again to see if it was still on back order or if it truly was shipping.. She told me that they have received a shipment of them and that mine should be shipping shortly.

      Still crossing fingers and won’t get my hopes up until I see an email with a tracking number…

    • Gabe

      Rob – if apps and notifications are important to the consumer i would tell them to walk away from the garmin – far far away. Garmin notifications are rudimentary at best.

      as far as garmin as a fitness watch look no further. i would say recreational folks – who may go out for the occasional run or hike should just use a phone app or alternative products.

      spending a half a grand on a watch to do a tough mudder or infrequent exercises is mass overkill. might as well light a couple of hundies on fire and dance around naked.

  46. @runnerizer

    Can someone explain something to me? After reading all the posts and info, I am still unclear as to while the Fenix 3 supports Ant+/BLE for data uploads, does that also mean it can connect to BLE sensors that are BLE only? Has Gwrmin put a lock down on that aspect of BLE connections?

    • Bart

      That’s the way I understand it, if you refer to Ray’s comparison chart above it is no to all Bluetooth sensors

    • Bart is correct. Garmin has not enabled Bluetooth Smart sensor support at this time. Likely because they own ANT+/Dynastream, a competing technology.

      They do however permit use of Bluetooth Smart to talk to the phone .

    • Frank

      I would like to add that, if you already have an Ant+ receiver (almost any Garmin Device) Ant+ sensors are actually a superior choice because (a) they just work and (b) they will pair with multiple “Masters” (think Vivofit, Edge, Forerunner) at the same time. A BTLE sensor will only pair with one master at a time.

      I used to have quite a problem getting my Polar H7 to pair with my Loop instead of my iPhone. Sometimes the two would even swap possession of the HRM in the middle of an activity. Ended up having to turn BT off on one or the other to insure the H7 would stay paired where I wanted it. Messy.

      If you are high on a particular BTLE sensor you might be better off just eschewing the whole wrist borne component and using your phone for your sole UI.

  47. Frank

    A few of us determined nerd athletes have just launched a crowd experiment here: link to forums.garmin.com

  48. Alex

    Hi Ray and thanks for your great review! Could you telo me if the fēnix 3 can use foot pod for instant pace while running in outdoor? Fēnix 2 can, infact in foot pod options you can choose always on. Is that possible with fēnix 3 too? Thanks a lot and sorry for my bad english!

    • Frank

      And more important—at least from my perspective—will it display pace or speed from the footpod while estimating distance based on the GPS which is something the fēnix 2 can NOT do.

      I understand that the f3 has had it’s running. cycling, swimming DNA replaced by that from the 920. In comments to your 920 review Tim Gross (who seems to be sort of a foot pod expert) stated “At present, for outdoor runs with GPS on, current pace always comes from GPS and not a foot pod even if you have one paired.” and Olu said “If you have the HRM-Run, the footpod is serves no purpose for outdoor runs.”

      Is my desire to have this pace by pod/distance by sattelite combo which I understand was the default setup in the 620 a wacky thing? Maybe I should actually be happy that the f2 will ALLOW me to use the foot pod for pace out doors even if I do have to use its distance estimations as a result.

    • On this one, let’s wait until the final F3 software is released to see where it lands.

  49. Assur

    So how does the bluetooth hold on this thing when it’s connected all day? I now have a Fenix 2 and a vivosmart, and since they’ve fixed the connection problems with the latter I’ve noticed the notification features are actually quite useful. The vivosmart runs for several days when connected, but the Fenix just drains battery at a ridiculous rate. Would be nice to have a watch that actually combines the best of these devices!

  50. Geoffrey

    Hi there, can the Fenix3 wake me up with a vibration but no sound (in order to avoid waking up my wife)? 🙂

  51. Do you know if this will connect to the concept2 rowing machine in the same way the 310xt and 910xt do? (Ant+) and record meters, power, stroke etc?

  52. C

    So I have yet to find anywhere in Australia to pre-order this. All the US sites are very clear on not-delivering to anywhere other than the States.

    I’m doing the Everest Base Camp Trek in March (18th) this year and want a tough watch with long battery life and waterproof to track the walk – this is perfect and looks awesome obviously.

    Struggling to find anywhere to pre-order though 🙁

    • Jim

      This place has it for pre-order.

      link to pushys.com.au

    • Rob Youl

      Also Highlytunedathletes.com.au and johnnyappleseed link to ja-gps.com.au

    • Paul H

      If you really want to buy it in Australia then sign up to the Pushys newsletter. They do a $20 off promo every two weeks or so, which is about the best deal I have found. Highlytunedathletes.com.au only ask for an up front payment of around $80, though., which is useful for pre-order.

      However, unless you are really keen to buy local for warranty reasons there are much better deals O/S. I pitched in with Cotswold Outdoor (sorry Ray!) because I was able to find a 20% off deal online and this made the cheaper option even cheaper.

      Also, with the way the Aussie dollar I nose diving at the moment I would get your order in soon before the retailers adjust their pricing to match!

    • Steve

      I placed a pre order with 99Bikes.

      They have the cheapest price of anywhere I have found in Australia. Granted you need to be a club member but it’s only $5 to join and you will $10 off for your first on line purchase over $20 as well as a $25 gift card when you spend over $500 in a year so you will get that right off the bat.

      link to 99bikes.com.au

  53. Ted W

    there is the mode where the display will automatically change to display vertical ascent, etc. Is it a fair assumption that the same screen automatically shows up for descent?

    • It’s only triggered for ascent (climbing). Otherwise, it falls back to the regular screens you have. So as I crest the hill, it goes back to the regular screens.

    • Ted W

      does that seem odd they only show on ascent? just killing time while waiting for delivery. curious about how I will use or interpret new stuff over my F2

    • I suspect the logic is that most folks that want data fields specific to climbing are doing so usually only on the way up. Such as ascent rates, incline percent etc…

      Whereas on the way down that’s somewhat more rare (unless you’re talking skiing, but then that has its own mode anyway).

  54. xavi

    Quick question. Does fenix 3 support segments? Thx in advance!

    • xavi

      Thanks ray. Is it reasonable to expect an app from strava (connect iq) to introduce segments in fenix 3? Thx!

    • Strava has released apps on pretty much every smartwatch platform known to mankind over the last few years. I’d be surprised to see them ignore the one platform that’s actually used by athletes.

    • xavi

      That’s the answer I wanted to hear! Thx Ray!

      Having strava segments in fenix 3 should be really really nice.

    • Marios

      Well I would agree with your point but so far they are “ignoring” the Sony Smartwatch 3 which in my book has the most potential to disrupt the Garmin/Polar/Suunto world.

      People are asking for a standalone GPS app but Strava so far is not listening:
      link to strava.zendesk.com

      For most runners out there, the simplicity of running with bluetooth Music, GPS, Strava app on the watch, direct uploading over WiFi is very very hard to beat. It’s the Motoactiv as it should have been.

      The cherry on top is that all of that can be had for just $200 (you can easily find $50 off the $250 MSRP of SW3) which means that the days of M400, FR15, FR220 are numbered …

  55. Theo

    Can the Fenix 3 display an elevation profile chart while following a course/route with your position on it – similar to the Garmin Edge: article here and picture of chart here. If I’m not mistaken the 910XT had such a view (that did not work very well)?
    If not – I hope it is possible to program such a field using Connect IQ

  56. C

    So still no word on release? Hope to have it before leaving for Everest in March!

    • Sean

      Amazon says March 1: link to amazon.com
      but as Ray has said:
      1) Amazon might be guessing on the date
      2) Places like Clever Training will probably get pre-orders fulfilled first because Garmin has a smaller profit margin when selling through Amazon.

    • C

      Ah yes I see now reading up 🙂
      Ok well pre-order made with Pushy’s for the Sapphire…so fingers crossed.

  57. Alex

    Apologies in advance for a very personal parochial question….
    Thinking of odering one from Clever training, does anyone know what rate of import duty i will pay in the UK?

    • andy from embsay

      It’s not so much the import duty, it’s the VAT @20% that could mean it’s quite an expensive way to buy, even with the discount. I initially pre-ordered from CT, but then cancelled when I found I could pre-order here – and was slightly irked to see on my credit card bill they’d taken the payment and refunded it when i cancelled – and I’d been charged £9.70 foreign currency charge on the payment (as well as the difference in exchange rate between “buy” and “sell”) – I’d assumed they wouldn’t actually take payment til they had the watches in stock.

    • It’s about £90 – this is a good site to calculate import duty and taxes: http://www.dutycalculator.com

    • Shirish

      You can buy from Cotswoldoutddor in UK, link -http://m.cotswoldoutdoor.com/garmin-fenix-3-performer-gps-hrm-a3510035?id_colour=123
      They have both versions available. I have also ordered through them.

    • Alex

      Thanks all,

      looks like I wont be ordeing from CT,
      cotswold looks like they just have the performance bundles on sale and i already have a newish garmin hrm, so will look for a uk site just selling the watch.

    • Jim

      Going from UK to US it looks like the only fee is paying about $20-25 buck in duty. Is that correct? I’ve never bought anything online from overseas.

  58. Ari

    I think the Sapphire version looks awesome with the steel band, but a thought just occurred to me: Would the steel strap make the watch slide around a lot on your arm when you’re swimming, or on a hot run when you’re sweating quite a bit?

  59. Sean

    I read somewhere that the Fenix3 screen can only display 9 distinct colors ( Blue, light blue, green, light green, yellow, orange, red, pink and purple but no shades ) but have been unable to verify this. I think that would be fine because it would still be enough to differentiate different elements on the screen but would still like to know. Thanks in advance if anyone can answer this.

    • gaijin

      The fenix 3 has a 218 x 218, transflective MIP 16-color display. For comparison, the epix has a 205 x 148, transflective MIP 64-color display.

      HTH

    • Sean

      Thanks Gaijin.

    • The display is transreflective? Does this mean it’s more like the displays on hiking GPSes, as opposed to the 910? That’s very good news, if so. I find the Montana display a pleasure to use outdoors, while the 910 is just… usable, but nothing more.

      Thanks, yet another reason to wait and wait and… 🙂

    • Jb

      I wonder how the epix will handle colors of birdseye images and custom maps if it is limited to 64 colors. I wonder if these images or maps will have to be generated again from color depth reduced images…

    • Jb

      I wonder how the epix will handle colors of birdseye images and custom maps if it is limited to 64 colors. I wonder if these images or maps will have to be generated again from color depth reduced images..

    • jbadilla

      I wonder how the epix will handle colors of birdseye images and custom maps if it is limited to 64 colors. perhaps maps will have to be generated again from color depth reduced images

  60. Forrest

    My Suunto Core died. I’ve loved it but before I get another one to replace it, I think I should consider the Fenix and Ambit.

    I’m a cyclist but already have an Edge 800. So this would mostly be used hiking and backpacking. Also kayaking and XC skiing. My hiking GPS is old and slow and I’d like to be able to leave it behind on day trips.

    Any guess how long the battery might last in ABC mode? How reliable the altimeter and barometer will be with GPS left off, on multi-day trips into the wilderness?

    • Jasper

      just a small thought, you would leave your hiking GPS on day trips, but none of the above mentioned watches (ambit or fenix) lets you navigate (maps) like a hiking gps (or isn’t yours a map based? 🙂 )

      for the ABC mode, not sure. Garmins claims up to 6 weeks in smart watch mode (bluetooth on.. “up to”, maybe 6 weeks without BT and somewhere between with BT on, depending on how much you use BT)

      link to fenix3.garmin.com right at the bottom of the website, above the comparison of the Fenix watches.

  61. Ted

    What is “advanced navigation”? how is that feature different/better than not having it on the FR920XT?
    Thank you!!

  62. Dan

    I train and compete in Cornwall, and the majority of Tri’s in the competition season are pool swim–>outdoor bike–>outdoor run. This would obviously require a multisport mode with GPS off and accelerometer enabled for the swim, and then GPS acquisition, or something complex to be happening through T1 in preparation for the outdoor sections.

    Am I corrrect in assuming this has never really been resolved in multisport modes? Thiiking back to my Ambit 2, I could create a multisport mode from the ground up which was configured indoor swim, a T1 stopwatch, Cycle, T2 stopwatch and then the run. Somehow it worked – I think!?!!

    Apologies if this has been answered but I’d be interested to see whether any advancements had been made in the Fenix 3 with regard what exactly happens with GPS acquisition during the pool swim. I’m purchasing this anyway, so it’s an afterthought really, but I’d be interested to know the facts of how this mode would play out?

    • It’s capable in the FR920XT, Fenix3, FR910XT, and others. Just not in the Fenix2.

      GPS is simply acquired post-pool. To help in this, when doing these types of races, I get satellite acquisition ahead of time just outside the facility. This helps the last known location quite a bit and usually then only takes a second or two.

    • Dan

      Ideal – many thanks
      D

  63. acousticbiker

    Ray, can you comment on how phone notifications work (for example, do alerts show up during activities, how much info is visible given circular screen, what kind of notifications are supported)?

  64. Ethan F

    I know this sounds like a odd question, but considering I just bought a Fenix 2…would the watch bands be interchangeable? I really like the idea of a metal band. My Fenix on occasion doubles as my daily watch and would love to change out the plastic for metal. That is if it could be purchased separately 🙂

  65. After inquiring with Garmin on status of all recently announced products, here’s where things stand from their standpoint:

    Fenix3: On target for delivery in Q1-2015, likely late Feb/Early March.
    Epix: The very edge of Q1-2015, potentially just into April.
    Vivofit2: Estimated late February.
    Vivoactive: Estimated Mid to late March.
    Vivofit Signature bands: Estimated mid to late March.

    The previously noted @Garmin Twitter post on Fenix3 units was related to new orders, fwiw. Also, since someone asked above about REI noting ship (or delivery?) dates of Feb 9th, I asked Garmin about that too. They politely explained that’s “not possible” since the first production shipment won’t even arrive at Garmin by then. They expect it’ll be a 1-2 weeks until the first production media test units arrive (which are part of the first production shipment).

    Finally, for those with orders from Clever Training – they’ll be sending out an update on Friday for Fenix3 pre-order customers, based on expected arrival dates provided by Garmin through the distribution channel. In the case of backordered products such as these where there is large interest, Clever Training typically transitions to providing weekly Friday e-mail status/shipping updates for customers who have ordered – until all orders have been shipped.

    (As a reminder: Here’s the order of events that has to happen for any Garmin product to be shipped: link to dcrainmaker.com)

    Thanks all!

    • Todd

      Thanks so much for the follow up, Ray. I’m glad I supported you through CT- and would have even if it cost more and/or took longer to arrive. Thanks for all you do.
      Quick question- any guess as to whether delivery would be dependent on which model you ordered? i.e. Sapphire has a larger or smaller backorder? Or will it not really make much of a difference?

    • Dave

      Thanks Ray!

      As I mentioned earlier about my shipment from REI… I’m not getting my hopes up until I see an actual tracking number on the order.

      I just find it strange that when I asked if it was still on back order or actually being shipped that the response was that REI has received a shipment of them and are sending them out. I would tend to believe you since you have the contacts at Garmin, just makes me wonder where she got her information when I was chatting with her earlier..

      Dave

    • Todd – Delivery does often vary slightly based on model. But it’s too early to tell which models/bundles will arrive first.

      Dave – Indeed, they were confused at those dates as well. These dates above come from the PR team, after they validated with the different product teams responsible for the products noted.

  66. Brian McEntire

    Do we HAVE to wait until summer-ish for your latest activity tracker roundup? Will there be any kind of preview or “What Ray Uses” before then? I’m already on board with a Garmin 810 and FR620. I’ve kinda been holding out for a HR based tracker until they’re reliable and don’t need charged too often. But I’m also itching for sleep tracking and some prodding if I’m sitting around too much when not working out.

  67. Gabe

    Weird. I just got a shipping confirmation from REI. Said they have it and its on the way…

    • Gerald

      As did I. In fact, according to FedEx, it is sitting in their facility in Washington and will be in my hands on Monday.

    • Todd

      Lol if you guys do end up getting them on Monday how about throwing an unboxing video up for us poor schlubs that have to keep waiting?

    • I’d definitely love to see what’s in that box. They seemed pretty clear that no production units have come in, which matches what I’m getting from a few other folks at Garmin.

      I’ll circle back today and see if they can figure out what’s going on at REI. Perhaps someone tagged a bunch of Fenix2’s as 3’s upon arrival (things like that do actually happen).

    • Cesar

      I also got an email from REI. Apparently my Fenix 3 is on its way!

    • Dave

      I received my shipping email last night and according to the latest status this morning I should be receiving mine on Friday. After I receive it, I’ll be sure to post what is actually in the box. My fear is exactly what you stated, that they marked the wrong product as a fenix3 and shipped it out.

    • Sean

      FYIW, I ordered mine from REI on Jan 14 (now that I’m aware that clever training helps support this blog, my next purchases will be from there) and there’s no sign of shipping. Their support team said that they’re “targeting” February 21.

    • Sean

      Oops, s/FYIW/FWIW/ , and the date was Feb 19th.

    • Gabe

      It will be hilarious if it’s a Fenix 2. I have a tracking number and everything from FedEx and have a delivery date of Friday, so I’ll post when I receive it.

    • Gabe

      hope you guys are truly getting the fenix 3s.

      For those who received shipping notices – when did you order?

      I don’t like how Clever Train charges for an item that hasn’t shipped nor for items they even have in their possession. This is uncharacteristic of the majority of online retailers. I hope they phase this practice out.

    • Dave

      My order was for a Grey with Heart rate, and pre-ordered it on 1/11 from REI. I just got the shipping information for it, with expected date of delivery being Friday 2/6/15.

      Based on information that Ray is getting from Garmin makes me concerned that REI may have made a mistake on receiving and has shipped the wrong product. So, I’ll be posting here as soon as I get the box and see what’s actually inside of it.

    • rickNP

      Yeah REI would have quite a bit of egg on their face if they bungled Fenix2’s into the hands of those expecting F3s. While I ordered through the Clever Training VIP program, a buddy of mine used his REI dividends for the F3, so he’s tap-dancing in my face about getting his by this weekend.

    • Cesar

      REI sent me a shipment notification today. I put my order on January 6 and should be receiving my Fenix 3 this Friday!!

    • Drew Martin

      I didn’t order as I plan to order through Clever Training but early in January I asked REI expected delivery and they said shipping on the 29th of Jan. was expected. Later in Jan I asked again and they stated late Feb. as the expected delivery because it was on back order. Hopefully you all get the right watch! And hopefully they aren’t “test” batches full of bugs….kidding 🙂

    • David

      Maybe the ones REI is shipping “fell off the back of a truck”.

      I had a colleague who worked as a QA person at Seagate. And she saw an ad in a local electronics store for a Seagate HD that hadn’t been released to the public yet. In fact she was waiting for her initial shipment of those drives to QA. That shipment came in short, coincidence?

      Anyways, I don’t wish any ill luck on anyone waiting for the watch regardless of source.

    • Ryan033

      For me, I was happy when CT took my money straight away as I am in Australia and knew the AU$ was weakening against the greenback. So, I am so thus far over 5% better off because CT took my money early.. 🙂

      Interested to see what the REI people get delivered to them..

      Garmin still have 1 1/2 months to come through on their Q1 promise.. Patience folk, patience.. 😉

    • Rickey

      I ordered a Grey, no HRM, from REI on 1/17. Mine shows that it should ship within 30 days but there is not expected date online. If I get a chance tomorrow, I’ll call and see where I’m in the cue.

      (sorry that I couldn’t support Clever Training–I bought they last kickr they could sell a year or so ago, so I’ve put a little back into the DCR operation fund).

    • Neil

      Well, it’s confirmed – People have started receiving their Fenix 3’s (post 58 with pic on post 69). I wonder what Garmin’s official line is now?

      link to forums.garmin.com

    • Jim

      Crazy! It’s hard to argue with that picture, but very odd that Ray’s contacts JUST told him they hadn’t received any production units.

      Man I am antsy for this watch. I have saved for a while and had a new 920 in the box but returned for this.

    • Yeah, I’ve been working to get re-clarification since last night. They’ve gone a bit radio silence. I’ll give them till lunch before simply calling them.

    • Jim

      Someone on that Garmin Forum thread posted this update:

      “Here’s what Garmin order support told me when I inquired why REI was shipping nearly two months before them…

      We do release some new devices to a select few dealers early. It is usually done for Marketing purposes. “

    • Jesse

      Any update from Garmin? Just wondering I ordered from you on 01/06/2015 in hopes to get the first batch! No big deal just want to know what Garmin’s reasoning is!

      Thanks Ray

    • Dave

      Ok,.. Didn’t get any pics of it or the unboxing yet. But it’s official, I received the Fenix 3 from REI.. Going great so far. No problems pairing with phone, and no problems getting the latest firmware installed v2.20. I’ll try to get some pictures of it this afternoon and get them posted.

    • Gabe

      this is by far the best unboxing i’ve seen yet.

      link to youtube.com

      Congrats Dave – getting the watch is the easy part. Post up some activities! (hard part)

    • Jim

      Man I’m getting jealous. Can’t wait to see the unboxing. Hopefully this means Ray will get one soon and get that full review.

    • Jim

      Someone uploaded pics of the Sapphire model they got today. Drrrrroooooollll!

      link to imgur.com

    • So after a bunch of e-mails and phone calls and other means of communications, I think I’ve got a rough picture of what happened. In short, REI got a very small initial shipment of units. Garmin has confirmed that shipment bypassed Olathe entirely and went direct to REI.

      In talking with many, almost everyone was out of the loop that REI was getting an initial batch, except for a few very senior folks, with the rest told basically yesterday afternoon (hence the discrepancy). As you might imagine, there are a number of people not just outside of Garmin, but actually inside of Garmin unhappy there. It puts numerous employees in awkward positions with people they gave dates to. Be it PR folks to press/media, or sales teams to retailers. And of course it confuses you, the consumers. My dog in this is simply ensuring I get correct information to you – whatever that information is. So when it’s incorrect, I tend to be reasonably ticked about it.

      In any event (seriously, congrats to those enjoying units!), for those that ordered through Clever Training – they’re still working with Garmin on updated delivery dates, and still plan to communicate those dates tomorrow. Obviously, I hugely appreciate the support of the site here for those who ordered through CT.

      As for my final/production unit from Garmin, it’s expected next week as part of the first production shipment to arrive in Kansas (you can understand why this bypassing would cause issues internally as well). It’s that unit that I’ll be basing the review on (as opposed to beta units).

      Thanks!
      -Ray

    • Joshua

      Thanks for this update. So if you placed an order with CT as late as even this evening with their site showing expected in Feb, is it safe to say we should still receive those units without further delay or is that an unknown? I ask because as of yesterday rei said feb 19 into their warehouse, today they say mar 1, it seems like there is so much buzz around this product that all of us are more eager than many products in the past.

    • Victor

      Is it possible that REI struck a deal with the big wigs at Garmin to draw customers, screwing every other distributor and collaborators in the media channels?

      Best Buy bought a month long head start on the Vivosmart, but at least Garmin was clear about it. However, as an REI member, this kind of secret deals would change for the worse the image I have of the company.

    • Josh – I honestly don’t know yet. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of conversations occurring about exact unit ship times right now, with the goal of having a concrete timeframe for tomorrow. One could see a scenario where they allocate a substantial chunk of next week’s arrival to CT. Or, the gods may decide differently. I have been told unequivocally that all future Fenix3 shipments will route through Olathe. Whether or not that occurs…

      Victor – That’s pretty much exactly what happened. Ironically in the Best Buy case, that actually ended slightly early due to low sales (similar to what happened back with the red Vivofit with Verizon). But, like you said those were both disclosed upfront.

    • Joe S

      I’m happy to simply wait for my CT F3 pre-order, since it helps Ray. In the meantime, still happy with my F2 until the F3 rolls in 🙂 Keep up the great work Ray.

    • Joe

      Thanks a lot for the update. I plan on writing Garmin regarding my disappointment with how they handled this launch. Someone obviously does not have a clue about channel management if they think a small batch release to REI is the right move….

    • Ryan033

      Man, people get their kn*ckers in a knot..

      Garmin sent a batch to REI early. The result, some folk get their watches before everyone else.. Awesome for them.. Seems like the pictures coming out now are creating a stir, the watch does look good.

      Rest of us have to wait a few more days/weeks.. I am sure we will still get them before the promised date of Q1 2015 is over (if we pre-ordered awhile ago)..

      How about get excited as you will be receiving a great product in the near future rather than throwing your toys out the cot because someone else got theirs before you..

      Geez, #firstworldproblems

    • Bart

      I am also content with waiting for my Sapphire pre-order from CT, being a REI member i decided to go the route of supporting Ray’s site. I would bet that a good share of REI sales were generated from the buzz off this blog but for now I will just keep logging miles with my F2.

      Thanks Ray can’t wait til the full review.

    • JimG

      No one really like surprises!!

    • Ryan033

      Not sure which surprise you are referring to Jim, but there are different sorts of surprises..

      I wake up in the morning to find my dog has dug up an old bone in the back yard and is chewing it in the lounge on the new shag pile carpet.. – not such a good surprise..

      Wake up in the morning to find dog has dug up a canvas bag containing $100k of clean $100 bills.. – a pretty good surprise..

      P.S. The people who received their units early may have been pleasantly surprised..

    • acousticbiker

      Yeah, I don’t relate to the level of frustration with Garmin/REI from a customers’ standpoint (I can understand the Garmin staff frustration at not knowing). In fact, on the day of the CES announcement of Fenix 3, the REI prominently featured a banner ad at the top of their home page for pre-ordering the Fenix 3 – it was pretty clear there was a specialy marketing agrement going on and it’s also clear that it was a good move from a business standpoint (for both Garmin & REI), as it’s creating a lot of buzz/awareness.

      For me, I’ve ordered from CT to benefit Ray and to get 10% instantly (and tax-free). Would I have like to be one of the first to get it today? Of course, but I’m not entitled to anything and Garmin/REI can run their business how they please.

    • JimG

      I’m referring to those that were ill informed about REI early arrivals, whether it was DC, Garmin, or various other channels. Garmin had delivery protocols, and someone sidestepped them for whatever reason(s).

      Yes in the end a few people got their units a few days/weeks earlier than others, not really a big deal.

      But DC and others were told one thing, and it ended up not being the case. Hence the surprise.

    • Paul Stansel

      I just think it was a weird choice. If they wanted to use it for a sales boost that failed because they didn’t announce it ahead of time and REI has obviously run out of the initial batch after shipping some small amount. All they did was annoy their other partners and the vast majority of their pre-order population. Just seems like a no gain scenario.

    • Ted W

      Not sure I follow this line of thinking still. Guess I”m in the “who cares camp”. Last time I checked is not end of 1st quarter yet. so if one distribution outlet gets some first big deal (not to me..) I would like to have it in my hands also.. but I plan on a longer relationship with my F3 🙂 my F2 still works.. and will continue to work until its replacment comes. Then it goes up on ebay 🙂

    • amadeus303

      One man’s opinion, but the very fact that you’re still talking about it leads me to believe it was a great success. Did they create a “stir”? Yep. As the saying goes… “All that matters is that they’re talking about you…”

    • Ray

      Kudos to you for so patiently answering so many impatient questions about shipment dates. It’s a difficult position to be in.

      Patience is a virtue.

      Thanks for the unbelievably helpful reviews.

      A fan

  68. Ryan033

    Hmm, sounds like the PR team may be a little in the dark (hopefully for you REI fellas)..

    Now to wait for Clever Training batches.. Still not getting too expectant (well, trying not to be)..

  69. Bart

    Still no manual on Garmins website ….how will the lucky users know how to use them.

    • Ryan033

      Cool, thanks acoustic.. One of the only times I am actually reading a manual.. If I had the Fenix in my hands, I would be way too busy to read the manual.

      Some interesting things to bear in mind:
      – Thoroughly rinse watch in fresh water after contact with salt water, chlorine, suncream, cosmetics or other harsh chemicals..
      – Avoid pressing the keys when under water (I assume they mean buttons ;). I assume pressing start and stop for swimming will be ok.

      Anyway, thanks for the link, I better do some work now.. 🙂

    • amadeus303

      To my knowledge, those were the same guidelines listed in the manuals for the 910xt and 920xt – nothing different with the Fenix 3 in that respect.

  70. Taz

    I ordered my Fenix 3 – Gray wit HR from REI on 1/9/15.
    Shipped via FedEx Smartpost from WA on 2/3/15.
    Tracking # provided.
    Arrival date is this Fri 2/6/15.

    • fenix doc

      Same!

    • Reza

      I am interested to learn if the watch arrived?

    • Stuart

      Funny. I ordered mine (same model as Taz) from REI on the 1/6/2015 but requested delivery to the store near my office. I thought that would be faster but mine has not shipped. I guess it does not always matter if you ordered first.

    • Reza

      I ordered a sapphire unit from REI on 2/9 and received a ship confirmation yesterday. Scheduled delivery date is 2/26. To say I am excited to receive this watch is an understatement.

  71. Chilly

    I can’t wait to get the fenix 3. I’m in no hurry since my fenix 2 is only about 1 year old. And for the record, I’ve had zero issues with my fenix 2. As a runner I’m extremely happy with it, and haven’t had the issues some of had. I also use it for gym workouts, bike rides, hiking, and some swimming. Good luck to everyone.

  72. Scottie Holden

    Just traded $5 for $60 and upgraded shipping through the DCR VIP program at clevertraining.com. The wait for the fenix3 begins! Thanks for the discount Ray!

  73. Jason Raath

    This is probably a stupid question, but I’m not above those.

    I’m assuming all the units are the same inside (software etc.) with the exception of the material of the display? I quite prefer red accents on the grey with the rubber strap, but I do like the metal band on the sapphire unit. Could we expect to be able to buy the metal band as an aftermarket option at some stage?

    • Ryan033

      Hi Jason

      I too was partial to the red accents on the grey so ordered it and have ordered a Fenix 2 SE red strap for it. The metal band is available by itself but is a $129 option. I am not sure about how practical the metal band would be for running and swimming with though? Although, can swap out straps when needed.. Worth the hassle? Hmm..

      I know those velcro canvas straps are best for getting the most comfortable fit.. But they are not the most asthetically pleasing band.. I am tempted to get a nice leather band at some stage.. Hmm.. May need a forum for people to show off their ‘pimped’ Fenix 3s.. 😉

    • Jason Raath

      I agree, I have been looking at the nylon NATO straps for the unit. They’re comfy and look pretty good as well. I think I’ll order the gray option and swap out the strap.

      Display material doesn’t worry me too much as I tend to put a Zagg rubber protector on all my electronics irrespective of the composition thereof.

    • Jesse

      I had a NATO on my fenix 1 but after some time it started taking skin of my arm from rubbing! Just an FYI

  74. rabbit

    Is it true, that the fenix 3 compared to 2 fenix has a castrated alarm range (no “off course” alert, no weekday (mon-fri) alert, etc.)?

    • It only has a single time alarm. The FR920XT has off-course alerts, not sure why one would say the Fenix3 doesn’t.

    • thomsk-

      Ray

      Is adding in multiple alarms ala the Fenix 2 a possibility in a firmware update?

    • Technically yes.

      As part of my in-depth review I’ll be covering all these little nuanced type difference between the Fenix2 and Fenix3. I’d been mostly waiting to start on that, since each beta firmware update slightly changes features as they formalize (as it should, btw). So I’ll be circling with them to figure out where things are ‘final’ versus ‘in progress’ versus ‘perhaps’.

    • Gary P

      ok cool. thanks for the reply

      Looking forward to the full review

    • JimG

      I hate it when they (Garmin) drop or overlay the simple little things, like multi alarms etc.

    • J

      Any updates

    • neil rosson

      Agreed, off course alarms & workout alarms are crucial imo.

    • Just to clarify, there are plenty of workout alarm options. The poster above I assume was talking to simple time alarms (i.e. to wakeup at 8AM). For which there is only one there.

      As for workout alarms, there’s a gazillion options between unstructured alarms and workout intervals/structured workouts. Like the FR920XT, you can pretty much have the thing beeping/vibrating at you constantly if you’d like.

  75. David

    I contacted Garmin (UK) today and although they’re not able to commit to a UK release date, they did say that it’s currently tabled for the 19th February… subject to change of course, but figured I’d throw a bone out to the other Brits craving an an update. 🙂

  76. Forrest

    Does anybody know yet whether this will work with bluetooth smart HRMs, like the upcoming AmpStrip? The specs aren’t clear on this as far as I can tell. And now is a good time to pre-order the AmpStrip, if anyone is going to.

    • No, it does not connect to Bluetooth Smart sensors. I would encourage AmpStrip to enable/add ANT+ support.

    • Forrest

      Thanks for clarifying this for me, and for the great site, too.

    • Michael

      Hold up, it won’t connect to BT sensors? That’s insane. It has the capacity, but just doesn’t do it? I was actually ready to buy one of these but now, for that? Forget it. I’ll wait til something does the whole shamozzle. Or maybe I’m just being a brat because I have the newer BlueSC with ANT+, but this is still ridiculous.

      Any word on why they chose to do it this way?

    • Kate

      Ray, if you’re in touch with Garmin let them know that just made me decide to stick with the 910XT for another generation while I hope they change their minds.

  77. Todd

    Someone posted some unboxing pictures of the sapphire model. really sweet looking watch
    link to imgur.com

    • amadeus303

      Wow… I was torn between the Gray and Sapphire, but I ultimately ended up picking the Sapphire from Clever Training. After seeing these pics, I’m glad I did… that looks sharp! I can get use the metal band for those times when I need to dress for the office, and use the black band for training.

      Does anyone know if 1) you can adjust the sizing of the metal band with the included tools vs bringing to a watch repair shop or jeweler, and 2) can the metal band be worn in the pool for those times I’m too lazy to change the band?

    • Todd

      The guy on the Garmin forum that posted this said he took it to a jeweler to get resized. I have my own resizing tool so I’m hopeful that I can use that…
      I don’t know about the pool- I asked that same question before too. Since they built that functionality into the watch I would assume it’s okay but i’m still kind of leery about it.

    • Gabe

      he’s taking questions and answers on the garmin forum if anyone is interested.

      looks like the temperature reading on the fenix 3 is still big impacted by body heat thus useless.

      Heads up to those who care.

    • M L

      Those are really clear pics. Thanks for posting the link.

    • Kyle

      just a personal opinion…..I get why people are upset about the Temperature reading being impacted by body temp but I love having the option. All takes 15 min for the watch to adjust to the correct temperature. I use it fairly often while hiking. I take the watch off and set it down and come back in a few minutes and its fine. Also When I go out in the snow I just leave it hanging on a piece of rope in my tent to see the temperature throughout the night. I also find it pretty accurate if i wear it in water even on my wrist. While I would love if they came up with a formula for it to adjust to your skin temp, I am glad they put the reading internally for people like me.

    • Todd

      After seeing all those pictures it makes me want it even more. It looks 100x better than the Apple Watch- or anything Android. I came really close to getting an Android Wear watch around Christmas time but held off thinking that the tech is changing so quickly- 2015 was going to see major improvements. Thankfully 5 days into 2015 Garmin announced this one. I can’t wait to get Ray’s in depth review… but on looks alone it is stunning. If it functions even at my Forerunner 220 level I will be thrilled with it. Honestly, even if it doesnt’ work I think I’d still wear it around just as jewelry.

    • Also keep in mind on temperature, you can use Tempe if you really want to have the off-body accurate data.

      The challenge with any watch is that it’s going to gather body temperature impacted data when on the person.

    • Mark

      I expect the caribina mount option would also give good readings as the watch would not be in direct contact.

  78. Todd

    For those not monitoring garmin forums as well as here- somebody put up an unboxing video: link to youtube.com

  79. Gary Strader

    I just received a Fenix 3 from REI five minutes ago!

  80. Max

    Any word on how well the 3 will play with a Stages PM? I’m about ready to dump the 920 because it still has frequent dropouts.

    • You’re getting dropouts on the 920XT? I think I’ve only heard one other person. I’ve done a lot of power meter stuff lately, without issue (with many devices at once). I suspect you may just be running into a transmission/body issue if you’re hitting it on the 920XT. Have you reached out to Stages?

    • amadeus303

      As a 920xt and Stages PM owner, I can say that I’ve *never* had an issue with dropout between the 2. In fact, I’ve had the 920xt, my Edge 500, my Samsung Note 4, and my laptop running Zwift getting power readings simultaneously without issue. Prior to the 920xt, I had some issues with my 910xt… but they were rectified after I updated the firmware on my Stages PM.

    • Max

      Only been on the trainer with it so far. I’m getting occasional dropouts. Usually starts with cadence disappearing then power. Will come back after 15 seconds or so. A few times it’s completely disconnected and I get the alert when it reconnects, typically 20+ seconds. This is all in the aerobars.

      Now it appears to be assured of dropping if I sit up on the trainer for a moment with my hand up around my midsection. Say if I’m taking a breather between intervals and sitting up to take a drink.

      Obviously none of that will ruin a race. But it may be annoying enough to take a moment to look and have nothing. And it’s a lot of investment in two tech items.

      Yesterday I had the stages on my road bike, separate unit, drop from my 510.

      I have not contacted stages since I’ve seen the issues. I did contact them before I bought to ask what they’d been seeing. They said they were testing and seeing only the occasional drops. But they were testing on road bars. I let them know that the 920 plus stages would be more of an issue for tri guys in aero bars.

      So I’d be very interested to know what the experience will be on the fenix 3.

    • Max

      Tonight the 920 would not connect to the stages at all. I did have a 510 going also, which showed frequent drops. Two different Stages with two different headsets. Both with issues.

    • Simon Ritchie

      I too have been having a lot of problems getting my 920xt to connect to my Stages PM. It will connect when it is within a couple of feet, but as soon as I get on the aero bars it’s gone. I called Garmin and they had no answers, I called Stages and they said they’ve been hearing about this a lot and there is nothing that can be done. I called Garmin back and had them send me a new 920xt, but same results. Variation in people’s experience could come down to carbon vs aluminum aerobars, I have aluminum and I’m wondering if that’s the problem. If I can’t get it figured out I am also going to look at the Fenix 3.

  81. Paul S

    My confusion is why did Garmin bother? They can’t have shipped THAT many to REI or they wouldn’t have run out so fast. No one knew about it ahead of time so REI didn’t get some dramatic sales boost. It just makes me like both companies a little less. It’s not the end of the world certainly, but it does seem like a stupid way to antagonize your other channel partners and customers.

  82. Paul S

    My confusion is why did Garmin bother? They can’t have shipped THAT many to REI or they wouldn’t have run out so fast. No one knew about it ahead of time so REI didn’t get some dramatic sales boost. It just makes me like both companies a little less. It’s not the end of the world certainly, but it does seem like a silly way to antagonize your other channel partners and customers.

    • Rickey

      I suspect for the reason that we are talking about it now. Both on the REI and Garmin side of things. I has created a buzz that was more effective than a super bowl commercial. Now as Ray points out, it might have been in poor form and burned a few bridges.

  83. Dave

    So far I really like the F3 and have had no problems with it. I even took it to a local track for a couple miles to give it a try. I’ve got a couple questions regarding the features on it though. On the Garmin website for the F3 on the specs tab, it has a green check mark next to “Find my Phone” and “Music Control”. I can’t find anything about it on the watch, or in the manual. Any idea if that is just bad information on the website, or if it’s coming in a future firmware?

    link to buy.garmin.com

    Thanks,

    Dave

  84. Thomas

    Hi Ray, very good firstlook as usual !

    I have a question about availability in Europe, can I expect the same availability than in US ?

    At the same time, I really would like to support you and then order via a link (I’m in France, not in Paris so we cannot meet…), do you have any idea when you’ll be able to provide it ?
    If I order via CT, I’m pretty sure that I’ll have taxes (how much?) to pay and that’s normal, but it could cost more than order directly in France or EU country !

    Thank you

  85. Josh

    Ray, do you or anyone else have a recommendation on the best way to clean a watch after a workout since this device is now suitable as a proper regular everyday watch? I’ve got a nice stack of Purell wipes and hand sanitizer but wasn’t sure if using these 5-6 days per week would cause a problem with the watch material. Thanks again for everything you do for us.

    • Just a simple rinse in fresh water is fine, or, you can do as I often do – which is just wear it into the shower post-workout and let the warm soap/water just do it’s tricky.

      Basically you just want to ensure that salt doesn’t build-up, mostly on the contacts and the baro altimeter port (opposite side as contacts, tiny little holes).

    • Josh

      Terrific, thank you.

  86. Bob Erwin

    Ray,

    When you write your in depth review on the Fenix 3, will you also:

    1) Do some comparisons and give insights into whether you prefer the 920XT or the Fenix 3 for running, cycling, and strength training?

    I purchased a 920XT and for $50 more, it seems like the Fenix 3 is better. Also, still working with Garmin on HRM, phone, etc. constantly giving me notifications that they are connected/not connected during strength workouts. Not only annoying , but not getting accurate calorie burn and kills battery life. Garmin looking into this for me. I also have to turn 920XT off and back on to get HRM to connect when connection is lost.

    Thanks

    • A lot of it will really be personal preference (between the FR920XT and Fenix3). For me, I generally prefer a lighter watch than a heavier one. And the Fenix3 is heavier than the 920XT. That said, the weight is better distributed than the Fenix2, so it feels far more natural than tha watch.

      For running, I’m perfectly fine using either one. There are some minor display edge cases that I slightly prefer the fonts used on the FR920XT (running at night when it’s raining, specifically). But there are cases that I prefer the 920XT – such as ability to use the quick release kit.

      Which takes me to cycling. I prefer to have a unit on my handlebars, not my wrist. When in season, since I’m a triathlete, I prefer the ability to have a way to mount that to a mount quickly and easily, such as using the quick release kit. That’s an area where the Fenix3 currently lacks.

      In any case, I’ll be covering all the tiny little differences between the F2/F3/920XT in my review. Some of those differences will honestly likely come from things people post that they like/dislike. I notice many, but as with anything else there may be some tiny implementation difference that someone uses every day that I rarely use and don’t notice. So as usual, I’ll be grooming the various forums for that kinda stuff to help folks understand any differences.

    • Lew

      Ray, I’m sure you’ll do plenty of 920xt / Fenix3 comparison photographs, but one metric that will be helpful would be total outside circumference for each when being worn. Sort of how you’d measure your wrist circumference but with each watch worn at the same spot. While the metric itself won’t apply to others, the difference between the two will be useful. i.e. if only some of my dress shirts fit over the 920xt, how will they work with a Fenix3?

  87. Paul Chapman

    I’ve had the F3 for a day and all I can say is – solid. Solid. It’s better than an Suunto Ambit 2, not near as bulky. I feel this will be a winner for Garmin. Charges battery while a workout is going no worries. A lot of customization. Doesn’t make your breakfast.

    Glad I’m not DC Rainmaker doing a review, there is a lot to this thing, the number of threads on this post is an indicator. This is one of his projects!

    Initial battery life – came out of the box at 80% charged. I ran it for 13 hours and it went to somewhere between 5-10%. I only moved 8km in that time.

    • Todd

      I agree with this. Ray, you have your work cut out for you here. I imagine your Google analytics is pretty crazy these last few weeks!

    • Siegfried

      Congratulations on your new toy Paul! I am jealous, I don’t know when I will get mine. Pre-order from REI, right?
      Great to have a new training watch but 8 Km in 13 hours I think you need a new coach too! ahahah
      Cheers!

  88. LEO

    ciao Ray finaly we are on the way of your in depth rewiev and i’m really waiting it!!!!!
    please when you test consider also the ultrarunners people :
    1) all the test that you can do in ultratrack, gps precison, real battery life etc
    2) please try other configuration of battery life acording to the gps record time es. every 5 secondor 10 second how it will effect on the gps precison and battery life
    3) confirm the presence or not of the lock modality to avoid accidentaly press of somethig during activity
    4) altimeter precison… it is a fusion of bari and gps (like suunto) ?
    5) same thing for the gps data will it use automaticaly the internal acelerometer when it lose the gps signal? to avoid the lose of km?

    sorry again for my english
    and good work !!

  89. Matt

    Wow, those first unit pics of the Sapphire look great. Had the intent of waiting for the review, but couldn’t resist the urge to preorder through CT. Hope they get a big delivery soon!

  90. Luis

    Has anybody received any news from CT?

    • They’re still planning on an update today. Thanks!

    • Josh

      Their website shows expected in March for new orders, will be interesting to see how that affects orders placed while it said “expected in February.” Either way I am enjoying a little time running watch less and only with mapmyrun on the phone, somewhat liberating but also somewhat annoying.

    • Drew Martin

      Interesting…I decided to purchase last night and it said Feb.. (SUPPORTED THE SITE!!! THANKS DC!!) So if I make Feb. I would be shocked but hey maybe so…

      Side note. I’m seriously thinking this site should facilitate a way for all of us to sell our old goods and dcrainmaker.com takes a cut for support. I hate having to sell my goods via the “other” avenues 🙂

    • Katrina

      Ray, Does your VIP code work for the F3 to preorder? Or is it one of the exceptions? Using your code doesn’t reflect any discount…Thanks.

    • Hi Katrina-

      You’ll just need to use the CT/DCR VIP program. It only takes a second to sign-up, and you’ll still save the 10%. Details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Thanks for the support!
      -Ray

  91. Forrest

    Will the 23 MB available be enough now that people will be installing apps on their phone in addition to recording their activity data?

    I don’t have an F2 so I can’t really put 23 MB into context. But it seems low.

  92. neil rosson

    It now states battery as 16 hours in 1 second recording mode in the manual not 20. Way to go Garmin with the misinformation around battery life. Don’t know why they just didn’t stick with the bigger battery as was in the F2.

    • LEO

      I agree with you… my orientation is long battery life
      but we will see if in the depth review we ‘ll have some good news about ultratrack mode

  93. Steve Gasser

    Just got this from the Garmin Rep:

    Unfortunately I am e-mailing with a little bit of unpleasant news. During a meeting the other day we learned that the original estimated ship date on your fenix3 pre-order was not accurate. The current estimated ship date is now March 27th.

    This is due to the information that the entire first shipment had already been purchased by REI.

    I do apologize for any inconvenience, and the misinformation when the order was first placed.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Jesse

      I hope this is a joke? Most of us order from clever training early after reading posts about how a smaller company would most likely revive the units first. Steve are you from Clever Training?

    • Steve Gasser

      I am not from Clever Training. Just passing on the email that i received from a Garmin Rep. for my particular instance. Possible I am at the bottom of the list.

    • Jesse

      Copy, I ordered from Clever the on the 6th of January so hoping to hear something from them today like the stated earlier!!

    • Jim

      I am hopefully going to order in the next day or two (just waiting for my 920 return to process). Late March seems insane being as the first ones are already out. I mean it’s popular but I can’t imagine it’s THAT insane a level of demand. That would seem like super low production rate!

  94. Karsten

    Is this from Clever Training that you won’t be shipping till end of March? That’s 2 months after REI.

    • DT

      I did not get any updates from CT as Ray mentioned. Did anybody get it?
      REI still shows 30 days as delivery time

    • Jesse

      Never got an update!!! I called but the person told me that he cannot answer that question but can leave a message for Monday!!! It would just be nice to know something!! It seems really crazy for Garmin to send a whole batch to one company!

    • You should have received your update bout 10-15 minutes ago, Karsten posted a copy here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      If you didn’t receive an update – double check your SPAM folder, sometimes they get caught up there.

      As noted in the update, they remain on track for their originally promised timeframe of February.

      I’ve been told by a few people at this point that standard shipping procedures of going to Olathe are back in effect. I am hearing conflicting things on whether or not any F3 shipments are arriving next week (to Garmin HQ). If a shipment does arrive next week, then I’d expect to see units sent out to retailers.

      Thanks for the support!

    • Ted W

      I pre-ordered on the 7th. checked both main and spam accounts but didnt see an email. should I be concerned? I did log on and the pre-order is still there.

    • (Assuming it didn’t come in overnight)

      If you can log in and see it, I wouldn’t worry about it to be honest. If you want to double-check they have the right address on file, you can simply shoot a note to sales@clevertraining.com

      Cheers!

  95. Josh

    I got my Fenix 3 last night…. Did a 5 mile run today, everything was fine until 1:27 this afternoon when it froze on a notification. It’s been like this for almost an hour and a half now. The video is my watch, hopefully when the battery dies it’ll be fine again, inauspicious start though.

    link to youtu.be

    • Sean G

      Try holding the light button for 15-20 seconds…?

    • Try plugging into charger, or into a computer – that could sort it out

    • Josh

      I tried plugging it into the charger on a wall and a computer no luck, it kept going.

      I’m pretty sure I tried the power off (light button) with no luck. The watch did turn off a bit ago. It’s back on now, but i no longer get any notification vibrations. Seems like the little motor done burnt itself out.

    • My Fenix 3 had a similar problem. Used it for my first workout this morning (pool swim). When I was done it saved the workout and went back to the clock. Now the watch seems to be locked up. No combination of buttons seem to do anything. The time still works, but no buttons work. Plugging it in to the wall or computer doesn’t seem to do anything. Hopefully it resets soon.

    • Ended up holding power for about 3 minutes and it finally reset and seems to be working now. Hopefully just a fluke. The only other thing I have noticed is Bluetooth does not seem to auto sync with Garmin Connect app. With my 920, the watch would constantly sync with the phone app as long as Bluetooth was connected. With the Fenix 3, I have to go through the menu and click “sync” in order for it to sync even though my watch is connected to Bluetooth an gets notifications without issue.

    • Josh

      If you are on iOS a new version of the garmin connect app rolled out last night that fixed the auto sync issue for me.

    • You’re right, the iOS Connect update fixed the auto sync!

      I wonder if there is a way to shut off the vibration alert when Bluetooth disconnects. Every time I leave the room where my phone is, my watch vibrates, telling me Bluetooth lost connection.

  96. Scott Davis

    Hoping that is not the case for CT!

  97. Karsten

    I just got an email from CT… Thank you for your recent pre-order and anticipation of the release for the Garmin Fenix 3. Based on the most recent information available from Garmin, we are expecting to begin receiving units at our warehouse towards the end of February. At this time, we do not know the exact day they will arrive or how many will be on each shipment. Once units become available we will begin fulfilling current orders based on the date in which each order was placed. We will continue to provide the most up to date availability information via email each week on Friday afternoon until your order is fulfilled. As soon as your order is processed, we will notify you with the tracking information for your convenience. If you have any questions regarding your pre-order, please contact our customer service department at sales@clevertraining.com.

  98. MJ

    Apologies if this has already been asked but a few questions about bike mode.

    1, does F3 support multiple bike profiles each with own cadence sensor like 810 or will I have to pair each time out?

    2, will connect collate data between my 810 and Fenix for mileage per bike or will I have to work that out

    3, do you think the ski/snowboard function will translate well into uplift/ski lift assisted DH mountain biking to record run times? I currently just use lap’s and separate later but it interests me alot if the ski feature will essentially do this for me and allow me to cut out the uplift time/hr/ascent and just have data from time where I am actually on the bike.

    4, lastly as a general question will the unit guide me back to my start point the quickest way possible (I’m thinking a arrow in the direction of the start point, which I could mark as a waypoint if needed) or will it take me back along my track?

    I’m pretty much planning on using the unit as a run/swim training watch but also want to collect data when out on big mountain rides (think lots of rocky technical trails rather than a big mountain to ride up) when I don’t want my 810 on my bars partly incase of a “incident” but more because I don’t have time to look at it anyway yet still want to collect data from these rides.

    • 1) Yes (sorta, it has a sensor pool, so you can effectively create the same thing – it works out better for most people)

      2) No

      3) Yes

      4) You can do either. You can navigate to a given point direct, or do TracBack, which takes you via the route you came.

  99. MJ

    Thanks ray.

    Do you know many sensors can the pool take?

    • Not precisely. A lot is the rough answer. I usually find the ceiling every once in a while before a reset, but I’m guessing between 10-15 sensors paired. Right now I’ve got 8.

  100. G@v$ter

    Clever Training and Amazon all saying availability in March. Oh well, still way before the Apple Watch.

    • Note those are ‘new order’ dates.

    • Josh

      If that is the case then that is good as rei said this morning their date is now mar 4 instead of mar 1. I’ve got my order in with CT (under an expected in feb date) and am proud to support the site. Just hoping it shows up before some upcoming mar out of the country travels!

  101. Glajda

    I read the manual and couldn’t find any reference to locking the keys.

    Especially when skiing or hiking with poles I often inadvertently press the buttons so the inability lo lock them is a serious issue for me.

    Since this feature was on previous Fenix watches, is there any chance Garmin would add it in a firmware update?

    • LEO

      this lock function is important also for me in very long activity is a must….but the post n°1447 make me cray a lot the word freezing remember me all the fenix 1 , fenix 2 story….
      I really really hope ….

  102. Josh

    Fwiw my letter from CT rolled in overnight.

  103. Carol

    HI,
    Thank you for all of the useful info. Does the fr902xt have the trail running function or just the Fenix and can you describe that function in more detail. Thank you

    • Bob Erwin

      I have the same question as Carol. I do trail running with a group at a local state park in good weather, and would like to know more are the trail running option of the fenix 3, whether this option is in the 920XT, and does it make a difference.

    • Frank

      The fenix 3 manual is here: link to static.garmincdn.com. A quick search for the word trail came up zip. I looked around a bit and it does not seem to be supported as a separate, distinct activity type but this looks more like a roll your own kind of a device than it’s predecessors. You may be able to cobble together your own perfect trail running app. It would be nice to hear from some of those that already have them.

    • Both the FR920XT and Fenix3 contain the same sets of modes, including the ability to create custom modes. For example, both contain ‘Hiking’ – but both also contain the ability to create a “Trail Running” mode. Each mode can be customized insofar as things like battery consumption (i.e. UltraTrac).

      To that end, the definition if a trail running mode is sorta what you make it to be. For me, in my perfect trail running mode, assuming the mountains I’d likely customize the data fields a bit towards more showing ascent/etc. While someone else who is doing a 100-miler might enable UltraTrac to save battery.

  104. G@v$Ter

    Running thro Rock Creel Park this morning. and you could see it from a long distance out. A female runner with a red band and a very shiny silver bezel. She was so excited to show off her new Fenix 3. Wow, it looks amazing.
    Ray, I currently wear two devices and hoping to replace both with Fenix 3 as my 24/7 lifestyle device and will be buying the black rubber band and the metal band. Plan to replace my Breitling Navitimer with Fenix 3 for work. Could you cover the Fenix 3 as a 24/7 lifestyle device in your review, especially the sleep mode?

    • Frank

      I agree with G@v$ter. I am looking for a device I can wear 24/7. The fact that I can change the watchbands for work and training is great. I love my Jawbone but I am a runner and swimmer and a hiker. Is the Fenix 3 the best 24/7 lifestyle device for activity and sleep?

    • Yup, I’ll cover the sleep/activity modes. But, if you want a preview – it’s identical to that of the FR920XT (no differences). So you can swing over to that review to see how it works/looks.

      In general, the Garmin lineup is a poor choice for sleep tracking. The details just suck, and the fact that you have to do it manually also sucks. For step tracking it’s perfectly fine.

      As a 24×7 tracker, it depends a little bit. Some find the continuous HR monitoring of the Basis and Fitbit Charge HR/Surge watches to be valuable (even if they both suck at workout HR), so Garmin lacks that. On the flipside, those watch also lack the ability to use the iOS/Android notification center, which Garmin allows. So that means that for those units it’s just basically text messages and phone notifications, versus Garmin’s ability to get anything from Angry Birds to Twitter.

    • JimG

      I’ve gotta agree on having to manually start the sleep tracker, as I tend to fall asleep while watching TV. Seems like there should be an easier way to handle sleep time, not to mention naps.

    • Joe

      I thought the same thing about my FitBit Flex that I use now for activity and sleep tracking. Was not using it for sleep tracking because of that. Recently starting to focus on sleep more and decided to start using it and it actually makes me focus on sleeping better by having to indicate when I intend to go to sleep so I find it helpful for that purpose.

      Fitbit allows you to indicate sleep times post sleep (in case you forgot to turn sleep mode on) and then uses motion data during that period of time the same as if you put it in sleep mode. Does Garmin offer this type of editing? With FitBit also, even if you guess wrong the motion activity is subtracted from sleep so you get a reasonable estimate of sleep time, you just won’t get metrics like “Time to Get to Sleep” correct. Does Garmin work the same way?

    • Ted W

      can someone give a brief view on how and why you would want sleep tracking. guess you need the HRM on. while waiting for me F3 wanted to learn more about this

    • Joe – That may be the case with the older Flex, but with the Charge, Charge HR, and Surge – sleep tracking is automatic (no button pushing required). It tracks periods I’m away, periods I’m restless, and when I woke up and fell asleep.

    • Joe

      Yup understand that. Point I was trying to make was it is not that horrible having to indicate sleep mode (if you have to…) as it helps you focus on sleeping as an activity as opposed to something that happens to you (at least for me).

      Key is if you can edit post sleep, i.e. if you forgot to turn it on can you still indicate sleep periods in Garmin, and if you forget to turn it off can you edit to add an ending period for sleep and are all metrics still calculated correctly. Without this, then it is tough to make it work well.

    • G@V$Ter

      Ted – Since I have been tracking my sleep now for 12 months it appears that quality of my sleep has improved. Especially my sleep before an important event such as a race or presentation. This could all be due to the Hawthorne Effect link to refocuser.com

    • Ted W

      Thanks G@V$Ter. I think if i manually set when I start/end sleep it will confirm what I know to be true. Much much much to little sleep and that my average really is 4-5 hours a night. after reading a bit more, it would be nice to have the watch somehow detect sleep like other devices can. But I will likely play with the capability anyway.

  105. Grégoire

    Sorry for the offtopic…

    Is the watch compatible with the bracelet from Leatherman ?
    .
    I wonder how it would look with the black version…

  106. Mike

    When messing with the settings as far as watch preferences, can you change the color of the hands in analog mode? Can you make the second hand constantly rotate instead of tick?(like an automatic watch). I realize that is a really precise question, but I’m curious. Thanks.

  107. Gary

    I ordered my Fenix 3 through Clever Training and still haven’t received my Friday email update. I ordered it on January 12th. It’s now Saturday, 2-7 at 8 pm.

  108. Carol

    Are either watches comparable with heart rate variability monitoring?

  109. ferro

    I’d really like the Sapphire one with the metal band for everyday use. I think the sapphire is meant to be more scratch resistant. But is it easy to use it for sports with the metal band. Or, how difficult is it to switch the band to the rubber one? Tools included? 1min or 10 min problem?

    • Matt

      Check out this video where he’s exchanging the band. I imagine it’s not something you’d do on a daily basis, but doesn’t seem to take too long (with some experience at least).

  110. Ian Lamotte

    As a military user, I’m extremely disappointed they removed the map functions.
    I regularly use the OSM maps on my Fenix 1 to find back my position on inaccurate topo maps or difficult terrain. For example, finding a small trail or a small stream in deep snow isn’t always that easy. With OSM maps on the Fenix it’s a breeze.

    I’ll be keeping my Fenix 1 until Garmin adds basic map support to the Fenix 3, or Suunto releases something similar.

    BTW, how does the backlight work?

    • amadeus303

      For those worried about map functions, isn’t that what the Epix is for now? The Fenix 3 is now a multisport watch with a different form factor (than the 920). IMO, they should’ve just renamed the line.

  111. chals

    Ambit3 has fusedalti and fusedspeed. Does Fenix3 has something similiar? If not, will Ambit3 be accurate?

    • chals

      I mean more accurate, altidude and pace where the gps is disconnected due to trees or something. I rember something about a Suunto patent concerning fusedalti and/or fusedspeed too.

    • chals

      Maybe Ray can answer this?

  112. Markus

    Which settings are available for maps. Is there a Way to follow a Track and the direction of the Track is at the top of the Display?
    In pictures I see always North is up.

  113. Markus B.

    Which settings are available for maps. Is there a Way to follow a Track and the direction of the Track is at the top of the Display?
    In pictures I see always North is up.

    • Jasper

      there are no maps.
      there is a way to follow a “track”, by inserting waypoints and I believe it will give you an arrow to the next waypoint (not showing if you are on a hard road, gravel, on a river or so, no real maps can be uploaded at this point [referring to a maybe ConnectIQ app..] )

      hope this is the right info you where looking for

    • Markus B

      I don’t navigate with waypoints, i use only tracks. My question refers to the following.

      link to pocketnavigation.de

    • Jasper

      in my humble opinion, on that photo, north is not up, I thinks it’s slightly angled to the right.

      I think that photo is somewhat misleading, because your indicator of where you are is also angled to the right…
      I think: or north is always up, and your pointer can have an angle (like 180° when you walk to the south) of your pointer will be up and the north indicator will point in an angle…

      But after reading your post again I don’t think this is what you meant ? (English ain’t my native language.. )

    • Markus B

      (English ain’t my native language.. )

      English is also not my native language. In German I can explain it better 🙂

      Meine Frage ist ob man bei der Track Navigation die Strecke nur nach Norden ausgerichtet sich anzeigen lassen kann. Bei meiner FR 305 kann ich mir die Richtung des Tracks anzeigen lassen, Norden ist für mich dabei unrelevant.

    • Yeah, looking at that photo it’s hard to tell exactly which operation the’re doing. But what is clear is that they’ve already started/stopped the track (the green is the track where they were, with the start/end points). And now they are somewhere else slightly offset from those two points. Interestingly the locations aren’t shown on the map, which is odd as usual a textual name would show up.

    • Jasper

      I think I read your English right, or sort of :). Your german question makes it as clear as crystal to me 😉 (I do speak a “fair” bit of German, learned on ski- and hike holidays im Österreich 🙂 ! and reading is also not that bad if I may say so myself 🙂 )

      He meant if you can put it in a mode other than showing North up, so showing up is the direction of the track. Correct me if I’m wrong Markus :).

    • The Fenix3, like the FR920XT – both support the ability to specify “Track up” or “North Up” for navigation. This is defined on a per activity profile basis.

  114. Ted W

    I am sure that the F3 will pair with the Garmin bike/cadence sensor. I am curious. If that sensor is used on an indoor trainer, I believe that distance will be calculated based on the revolutions and wheel diameter or something. My question is what data gets uploaded to Garmin connect and specifically to Strava. Training to find how’s not get indoor trainer data into strava but also have HR data and the calculated distance

    • You can upload indoor trainer data to Strava (from the Fenix3 or otherwise), it shows those metrics as normal. Obviously, there’s no Segments against which to race.

    • Ted W

      Thanks Ray. I was looking for the speed cadence sensor and the photo on amazon looked different (part# 010-12104-00) then I found the one I remember was the GSC-10 (010-10644-00) Both seem to say they work with the F2 (currently own) and with the F3 (waiting for CT delivery). Is there a reason for one over the other? The one with the rubber band mounts looks handy if I wanted to switch from traininer to road to mountain bike. Views/Opinions anyone? Both I presume will “calculate” distance on an indoor trainer and have the distance then avaiable within GC and strava

    • One is a combined speed/cadence, while the other is cadence only or speed only. See full details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Personally, the Wahoo v2 sensors (either BlueSC or Wahoo RPM) are generally better since they do dual ANT+/BLE.

    • Ted W

      Thanks! I should have search your blog first, as when I searched for that garmin part number, up came that very link. I just responded to comment in there. wonder if my rims is considered asymmetrical (I think so) and if the garmin or Wahoo will work. will keep reading on them

  115. Jasper

    Hey Ray,
    any news on your European “partner/seller/thing” ? 🙂

    I almost can’t wait to order.. at the moment looking at Cotswold (yeah, as the million post you saw here for the reduction of 15%) because it’s cheaper than an Netherlands shop( there is no Belgian shop/web-shop taking pre-orders as far as I know..)

    If I can’t resist and order somewhere else before you got your European thing up ant running, I still want to support you, maybe by donation? 🙂

    Kind Regards

    • While I’d love for you to be able to wait for that to have the lights turn on, I wouldn’t want to have you wait unnecessarily, as it might be early Q2. Sorry!

    • Thomas

      I really wonder what kind of products have been shipped in the last days for the REI customers… How is it possible that the next round of shipping is 2 months later…? Refering to a message that I got from Garmin Support Europe:

      “Thank you for contacting Garmin Europe.

      We do not have any information on when the fenix 3 is going to be available in any region. It is still currently set to be released in the second quarter.

      We are sorry for any inconvenience.”

  116. Todd

    Haven’t seen this question yet- I have two phones, a Galaxy Note 4 & an iPhone 6 (work phone)- can I pair to both of them?

  117. Dave

    Ok, going on almost 4 days of use since receiving it last week and so far I am very impressed with it. I haven’t used it for any hikes off into the woods yet, so far only on a local track and a paved trail. But, GPS seems to be more consistent then the Fenix 2 based on what I see on the maps from Garmin Connect. And – Battery life is great, when I received it I got the charge up to 96% before unplugging it. And, I’ve used the GPS for approximately 4 hours, and I’m just now down to about 50% battery! The only catch I had was the bluetooth was getting disconnected, but the update to Connect on Friday evening seems to have corrected that.

    My only wish list at this point is that they would add more configuration items to the connect app and site, specifically the ability to configure the activities and data screens.

    • neil rosson

      Potentially less than 8 hours batters is not great imo.

    • neil rosson

      batters er battery:-s

    • Dave

      Actually. The total time since last charge is 4 days with notifications enabled and 4 hours of gps use, and was at 50%. Which if the expected use with gps is 16 hours means that 25% is attributed to gps, and the other 25% is regular use. Which puts expected battery life without GPS at somewhere around 16 days. In comparison, the fenix 2 with notifications enabled didn’t even make it 24 hours.

  118. Kermit262

    Loved my 920XT but the physical design of the Fenix 3 finally compelled me to upgrade. Was fortunate that my local running shop has a lenient return policy and so I got a full refund. Now to order the Gray Fenix 3 from CT.

    For those on the fence about the sapphire or gray/silver model: I saw some Savvies screen protectors on Amazon for the Fenix 3. That was enough for me to go with the Gray model and then order the screen protectors for scratch protection.

    • Raymond B

      I also sent back my 920xt. Rode the fence for a long time trying to decide Grey vs. Sapphire. I ended up choosing the Sapphire thinking if I did not think it was “all that” I could return it and just order the Gray once they are more readily available.

  119. Forrest

    Does the old “classic” strap record HRV?

    Do the cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time offer any utility to hikers? (My guess is no?)

    I’ve got a classic strap and recently bought a Mio Fuse, and before I place my order for a Fenix 3 I want to make sure I won’t miss anything if I don’t get it bundled with HRM-Run.

    • Reza

      I am pretty sure the Running Dynamics information is not captured by the classic strap. In order to capture cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time you’ll need an HRM-RUN.

    • Forrest

      Yeah, the classic strap doesn’t capture any running dynamics. (Does it capture HRV?)

      The question is whether those running dynamics are useful to hikers.

      If I don’t run, is there any reason to get the new strap over the classic one?

    • Dom

      Garmin straps have been capturing HRV for ages. Running dynamics are strictly for running, at least as far as ground contact time and vertical oscillation go; cadence might work, not sure.
      So if you can get an old school strap for less than the cost of the bundled HRM-Run, you’d get everything you need, I think.

    • Rickey

      Page 8 of the manual (link to static.garmincdn.com) says that running dynamics only occur when running. I haven’t really tested what the running dynamics look like while hiking, but I know when you do intervals and slow to a crawl or walk, they go red (into poor region). I suspect this is what you would see if you took it hiking–they would be non-informative.

      This said, having the nicer strap and accelerometer doesn’t hurt. It’s a nominal upcharge and you could probably sell it after the fact for the $50 it would cost you to buy it.

    • Dom is pretty close to correct.

      The only two metrics requiring the HRM-RUN is Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time. Cadence can also come from the HRM-RUN, but it can also come from the wrist. So you don’t need the HRM-RUN to get cadence.

      HRV/RR data has been required in the ANT+ spec for ANT+ heart rate straps for basically ever. Thus, any ANT+ HR strap will provide data, and allow you to get VO2Max/Recovery/etc data within a supported watch (i.e. the FR920XT/Fenix3/etc…).

      Finally, as for hiking, VO/GCT isn’t terribly useful in a walking state – it’ll basically show flatline. And, to extend that thought a smidge further, I’d argue at this point neither Garmin or any other organization has shown how exactly those metrics can be used in a running state either, to improve/change training or racing.

    • Dom

      I might quote that first line in my CV 🙂

      Does hiking record cadence, Ray?

    • Olu

      What Garmin needs to do is buy out Styrd an incorporate the “running power” into their HRM-Run. Now THAT would be useful!

    • Frank

      On the f2 it does not: link to connect.garmin.com. This was done with an HRM-RUN and a foot pod.

    • Dom – In the default ‘Hiking’ mode, it appears not to capture cadence from the wrist. I haven’t yet tried just creating a fake hiking mode based on running. Since there are no practical differences otherwise (that would work, fwiw).

    • Dom

      Thanks Ray. Something to experiment with when mine arrives, then!

    • G@V$Ter

      Ray makes a great point on why do we care about “Ground Contact Time” on a watch. A fun article to read from Wired Magazine dated 22 June 2009 about “The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics” quotes the study by Richard C. Nelson from Penn State on “A Study to Determine the Biomechanics of Running in Skilled Trackman” published 11 march 1970 where: “Nelson filmed a mix of 16 freshman and varsity athletes at the university running at various speeds, on smooth and sloped surfaces. What he found was both simple and powerful—the amount of time a runner’s foot is in contact with the ground is inversely proportional to how fast he’s running and unaffected by slope or stride length. That means if you know how long that contact lasts, you can make a pretty good guess as to how fast the runner is going.” See link to visualizinginfo.pbworks.com

  120. chals

    I try one more time maybe Ray can answer this?

    Ambit3 has fusedalti and fusedspeed. Does Fenix3 has something similiar? If not, will Ambit3 be more accurate on altitude? And pace too of gps signals are blocked in a tunnel or something?

    I think I remember something about a Suunto patent concerning fusedalti and/or fusedspeed too?

    • Frank

      Chals, the FR620 has something very much like fusedspeed but was foot pod based and did not have a clever marketing name. That capability was inexplicably dropped in the fenix 2 and FR920XT. I am still waiting to see if it reappears in the fenix 3. There is a small number of people urging Garmin to bring it back and I’ve been told by reliable sources that this is under active consideration. Time will tell. Suunto has applied for a patent on fused speed. I’m not a patent expert but believe—based on prior use—that Garmin could get this application thrown out or substantially pared back in scope.

      I think fusedalt is no different from Garmin’s automatic GPS based altitude calibration (which is really pressure calibration) but I am not 100% sure. I have heard one reference to receiving a current barometric pressure value from a nearby weather station which would be cool but I’m not sure such a thing is really happening.

    • Dom

      The FR620 will give you speed from the built-in accelerometer if you have GPS switched off on a treadmill indoors, without a foot pod. If the GPS signal is lost during a run, it will fall back to the accelerometer for speed. The fenix 3 manual says it supports the indoor mode but doesn’t explicitly mention fallback (I imagine that’s something that Ray will cover in his review). This isn’t exactly the same as fused speed, but your tunnel question should be covered.

      I agree with Frank, fusedalti is basically the same as Garmin’s continuous adjustment mode for GPS correction of calibration.

    • For the second day in a row, Dom is correct. It’s just failback when GPS=0, not merging. The scenario is tunnel.

      As for Suunto’s use on Fusedspeed, as far as implementation in products go, Bryton actually did it before them. Garmin has never merged the two (only failing back and forth), to my knowledge. Garmin has in previous products (pre-FR620 vintage) allowed you to select a speed source. I’ve been talking with them about bringing that back, not sure if I’ll succeed, but I’m trying.

      (And Dom, I’m double checking later tonight the hiking/cadence item)

    • Frank

      Is Bryton still in business? When I try to go to link to brytonsport.com I get “Unable to connect to the proxy server”

    • I think it’s just a temporary thing (site outage). Google Cache has a copy from two days ago.

  121. Kermit262

    Just dug out my trusty Garmin Forerunner 305, to use while I wait arrival of the Fenix 3. Out of curiosity I compared the weight of the two and was surprised that the Fenix 3 weighs 5 grams more the the 305! (77 grams vs. 82 grams.)

    • JimG

      hehe I too will using my FR305 for a few weeks, until I can get an F3. Even though the 305 is lighter, it is def more bulky. I will be missing the vibration alerts of my F2.

    • Josh

      Kudos to you guys on the 305 reminders, time to pull old trusty out and charge it up until F3 arrives!

  122. Avihay

    Hi..
    Can you show some screens for running mode with HRM paired ? it it the same like the 620 or 920 ?
    Also, can you tell about the phone notifications? (email, phone calls, messages, whatsapps, Facebook , etc..)
    which of the above are supported ? can you show an example ?

    Thanks

  123. Glajda

    Just found this entry in 920XT firmware update: Up to two Connect IQ data fields can be added to each activity profile in Activity Settings → Data Screens.

    Does that mean only two custom data fields per activity?

    Can someone test Fenix 3 on how many IQ data fields can be added?

  124. Cyclingfool

    I’m not sure i ever understood correctly. Some of you got emails from CT but never stated if they were emails with shipping date info. Did CT receive some F3’s and ship and we are now waiting on the next round?

    • Josh

      No. Scroll up a bit as well and you can see a copy off the letter that was sent out. Nothing expected til later this month.

  125. Just as a heads up to folks, as I promised earlier I’d let ya know once a final production Fenix3 unit was/is on the way to me for evaluation (and thus what I will base my final in-depth review on). It arrived in my US forwarding box this morning, and was shipped back out a few minutes ago to me in Paris. It should arrive Thursday, assuming no French customs issues. Given I’ve largely had quite a bit of success the last 45-60 days on inbound shipments, I probably am due for a customs hold-up. Either way, I’ll post once in-country.

    Note that I don’t have status of any other units or shipments at this time.

    • Marios

      Thanks for the update Ray! When should we roughly expect the final review assuming you receive it on Thursday?

    • I’m tentatively aiming for around March 5th, basically three weeks. That will be dependent on me both finding an openwater place to swim in/around Johannesburg next week – and being able to squeeze in such workouts in my regular day job work I have there.

      Swimming in the waters around Paris isn’t really an option this time of year. Failing swim options in Johannesburg, I believe I’ll be in Barcelona the first weekend of March, which worked last year for my Fenix2 swims (yes, it was cold then too).

    • Chris Barrett

      Johannesburg is nice and warm at the moment. Hope you enjoy your stay in our country.

    • Neither FedEx or French customs failed me on this sunny day today, and the final production unit arrived this morning. I’ve published up a simple unboxing video here: link to youtube.com

      Enjoy!

    • Dan Wells

      Looks awesome Ray. Eagerly awaiting mine from CT. Now that you have received yours, should we expect it to take a week or two before CT and other retailers start getting shipments or should it be quicker? Thanks for the awesome blog!

    • I think it’s going to be soon for CT. Not this week (that I know), but soon. And while a few REI shipments hit this week, I don’t believe they actually got new units (from what I’m gathering). What looks like happened was that REI actually truck-shipped some from their Seattle distribution center out to their PA one. Those were the units they got last week, and then sent out this week from PA. Why they did that beats me…but it appears that’s why a few REI people are seeing a few units this week.

      (It’s also possible my speculation is wrong…but I’m pretty sure it’s not.)

    • Dan Wells

      Sounds great. Thanks

  126. Bart

    Appears key lock was added:.)

    link to www8.garmin.com

  127. Bart

    Updates & Downloads

    Fenix3 software version 2.40
    as of February 9, 2015

    Use Garmin Express to install this file.

    (2.09 MB)

    View system requirements

    Change History
    Changes made from version 2.20 to 2.40:
    Added access to sensor-specific settings from Compass, Altimeter, and Barometer widgets (press the START key).
    Added lock keys feature (hold the LIGHT key).
    System requirements
    IBM-compatible PC running Windows XP or later operating system and an available USB port.

  128. Rob

    Looks like there is another shipment from REI on the way. I had ordered mine on January 11th and I just received notification that my Fenix 3 is on the way via UPS from Bedord, PA. I’m waiting for the delivery estimate, but with any luck it should be here on Friday or Monday the latest.

    I think it’s borderline unhealthy how excited I am about this watch… 😉

  129. bill

    Hi,
    Two questions for folks:

    1) I’m wondering why the weather app (widget?) is not showing the correct weather for my location? How do I check to ensure it’s displaying my location’s (zip?) weather forecast?
    2) Why is my altimeter reading always all over the board? Seems like it fluctuates wildly and rarely has my correct elevation.

    Thanks for any insight!

  130. Ondra

    Hi,
    have anybody seen both color versions – gray and red and compare it “live”? Which color would you chose? I like gray more, but because top of watch is from metal, I am affraid of scratches and silver one should be more practical, scratches should not be so visible. What do you think?
    Ondra

    • G@V$Ter

      Hi Ondra
      See my post #1491. I have only seen the red Fenix 3 on a female runner in Rock Creek Park in DC last Saturday. The group I was running with spotted it a mile away and new exactly what it was. The lady was so happy with it. I mean beyond excited. If Red is your color then the red Fenix 3 will make you faster or slower if every runner stops you to have a look at it like we did.

    • Rob

      Seems the bands can also be bought separate in a number of other Colors…

      Scrol to the bottom to see them

      link to gps.nl

  131. Stuart

    For those waiting from REI, I ordered my Fenix 3 – Gray with HRM on January 6 for delivery to my nearby store. Today’s status update on my order page says:

    “Your order has been received and is being processed. Expected arrival date at REI Store on or before Saturday, 02/14/2015. We’ll email you when it ships.”

  132. Dave B

    REI follow-up. My Fenix 3 is out for delivery. Last UPS departure scan was from New Stranton, PA, USA @5:40 am Feb 11th 2015. My Chicago, IL delivery is expected EOD Feb, 11th. Thanks again Ray !

  133. Mike

    Please can you tell me what an EXO antenna means exactly? Garmin mention it as a key feature on their website, but I can’t find much by way of explanation of how it differs from the antennae in their other watches.

    Thanks,

    Michael

    • gaijin

      The metal ring (bezel) on the front of the watch is the EXO antenna. It’s nothing more complicated than a play on words – an EXO skeleton is on the outside, as the EXO antenna is on the outside. This differs from previous watches which had internal antennae.

    • Mike

      Thanks. It will be interesting to see whether this has a noticeable effect on GPS accuracy.

  134. Jim

    The refund for my 920XT finally hit my card so I pulled the trigger on the Grey Fenix 3 from Clever Training. Can’t wait!!

  135. noah

    spoke with REI,my sapphire version ordered 1/24, scheduled to be delivered by march 4th, possibly before.

  136. Renė

    Hi,

    Sorry if you got that question already. It seemed the Fenix 2 had software crashing issues while recording your activities. Has this been fixed with the Fenix 3 or is this still an issue?

    Cheers, René

  137. Thomas leong

    Hi just wonder if any of the new function will be transferred to the Fenix 2? It seems like its been less than a year since the 2 came out and now the 3 is here!!! The 2 year cycle seems to have shortened somewhat.

  138. Jeti

    how about europe, is any information when we can buy new fenix?

    • Thomas

      In France, local running shops give “march” as delivery time… Don’t know if some website will sell before, if you find some, please let us know !

    • Jasper

      In a dutch web-shop/store it’s February, in an UK web-shop they would receive their units mid February and send them end of February… (But I think you will be in the end of the line)

  139. Prady

    I have been using the Garmin Fenix2 for close to 8 months, and has always given problems to me.
    Initially it had problems syncing wireless to my iphone.
    Then when this got fixed (dont know how) only the small 1-3 hrs workouts were able to sync but not the long ones. I had to manually sync them using the cable by connecting it on to the computer.
    The GPS takes ages to load some times as much as close to 3-5 minutes.
    Then when contacted Garmin of these problems, they asked me to do a master reset, and upon doing so, even bigger problem started happening. When ever I tried to start a workout, the watch simply restarts and dosent start the workout.
    I am now completely pissed and asked Garmin to refund the amount and they refuse to do so and have asked me to send it for repair or replacement as it is with in the warranty.
    I, will sell this watch as soon as I get it back from them. Cant live with it.
    Not sure if these issues are addressed in the new F3?

    • Kong

      From what I have gathered is the F3 a totally different beast than the F2. It is not as much of an incremental uugrade, but rather a total makeover.

  140. Jonas

    Do you know if the F3 allows for laps to be made when the watch is paused? A-la Forerunner style? Or is it like the F2 where you have to play through the menus when paused to lap, and then play through the menus to resume?

    • No, not in paused mode. You can display anything you’d like in that mode, but the lap button doesn’t work for marking laps (it acts as ‘back’).

    • Jonas

      Ah Thanks Ray – was hard to get an answer on that. That’s about the one thing I miss from the Forerunner line. When your doing intervals I’m okay with timing the pauses, but I prefer not to (as it adds to your total time and distance if walking and not bending over) and very hard to fiddle with when you’re exhausted.

      +1 for the 920 then I guess.

      Any idea on the 620? if it works there out of curiosity?

    • The FR620 works as previous (just tried it).

      However, the FR920XT works like the Fenix3.

  141. Hans

    ok, I think with 1,600 comments this is now a new record on the page for unreleased devices :).

    I ordered my F3 Saphire on Jan 7 from CT and got their email last Friday – thanks Ray for this site, you make us in the PNW proud!

    If you received your final hardware this week from CT, is there hope that they actually received their first batch of devices?

    • I received the unit direct from Garmin (media loaner/demo unit), not from CT. They haven’t received their units yet, but, it does sound like there is at least progress there. Thanks for the support via CT!

    • Ted W

      Good thing i’ve got a recovering ankle. And my garmin speed+cadence sensors are due to arrive today, so I can at least try them with my F2 while waiting for my ankle to reach 100% and for the F3 to arrive. its Friday, so perhaps we’ll receive some type of update again from CT. Weekly updates at this point right..

    • Ted W

      duh.. of course today is thursday however. I’ve been mixed up all day…

  142. Thomas leong

    Hi Ray Thanks again for keeping us all up to date!! Just wondering, traditionally gamin’s update on models has been about a two year turn around. It seems like less than twelve months ago when you reviewed the Fenix 2! It it likely for any of the f3 software to filter down to the F2? Seems a bit unfair for all the f2 buyers to have their purchase superseded in less than 12 months.

  143. Jay

    I just learned to not order through garmin.com. I pre-ordered on 1/13 and just called to check the status. They said end of March because they send out large shipments before filling garmin.com orders. I canceled and ordered through REI (which says they’ll ship it within 30 days).

    • Frank

      That’s kind of been their standard line for a long time. Pay full price and get at the end of the line. Probably makes their other retail channels happy. It’s kind of interesting that they are so honest and blunt about it. I think they just aren’t interested in the retail business. You know all those customers are a pain in the lower unit.

  144. C

    For anyone ordering in Australia…

    I have my Sapphire pre-ordered through Pushys.com and called them up yesterday to check on status. They advised they’re getting a bulk order in 1st week of March so I can expect mine to be expressed shipped out for second week in March…which is good because I want this for my Base Camp trek to Everest.

    Waiting game sucks though!

    • Ryan033

      Base Camp trip.. Noice..

      My fingers are crossed for you.. Hope you get to make the trip with your watch.. 🙂

  145. Sean

    Am I interpreting this picture correctly: link to dcrainmaker.com in thinking that most of the “black bezel” isn’t active but there are “tics” that are addressable (changeable by software)?

    • Stuart

      There are ticks and number in five space increments 0 – 55. They are on the bezel and work to count seconds in certain digital and analog modes.

      Mine arrived from REI today so speaking based on watch in hand.

    • Sean

      Thanks Stuart. I’m mildly envious I ordered mine on Jan 14 and mine is still weeks away 😉

  146. Sean G

    Both my Sapphire, and my wife’s Silver arrived today. Had mine lock up once before I was able to update the firmware, but running smoothly since then. Loving it so far.

    The bands on the F3’s are much longer than the F2’s, and it wraps around way to far on my wife’s wrist. She’ll need to cut it down, or find a shorter band.

    • Ryan033

      Show off.. I am hoping CT get a batch on the 19th Feb and I am ordered early enough to make the first batch.. My fingers are crossed..

      Enjoy your time with the watch before we all get ours.. 😉

  147. Thomas

    For me it’s not clear what navigation features regarding tracks and routes are present on the Fenix 3 – even the manual seems not to be very specific about it.

    I currently have a 920XT, and during an activity it records a track. The only way to follow this track later, is to start an activity and race the track from the protocol. Which is somewhat limited in two ways: First it’s difficult to find a specific track since you need to remember the date when it was recorded, second memory is limited and as you record new activities, old activities will get lost.

    What I’m looking for, is the ability to record a track, then give it a name and save it for later use. So e.g. when coming from a great hike (I live near the Alps) that I’d like to repeat, I want to save it under a name that I can specify, then at any time later browse through my list of saved tracks, and use it for navigation (as can be done with the Garmin handheld GPS devices).

    The manual isn’t very specific about this. So a question for those who already have it: Is this possible?

    Thanks,
    Thomas

    • Adam

      You don’t say if you are a user of Garmin Connect, but that already covers a lot of the functionality that you require. You can create a library of your favorite routes (or “Courses” as they are referred to on Garmin Connect) from the GPS traces of previously recorded activities, name them whatever you desire, correct or modify the route as you require and then reload them to a device to follow on a future activity. Obviously, storing all of these routes online and loading them as required will help keep them organised and solve the issue of limited device memory.

      Hope that helps!

    • Victor

      Adding to Adam’s post.

      To save a track as a course in Garmin Connect, open the activity page and click on the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen. Selecting “Save as course” will take you to the Course page to make any edits or simply save it.

      You can also send saved Courses from your library in Garmin Connect to the watch via Bluetooth and the Courses widget in the Garmin Connect mobile app.

      An easier way of finding the track you want to save as a course would be easier if Garmin Connect could display a map with all our recorded activities. Fortunately, a couple of developers found a way to do it with data from or .

    • Thomas

      That helps a lot, thanks. I didn’t realize that I could convert tracks synchronized to Connect to routes.

  148. In your oppinion, how would you compare/rate the fenix3 to the Ambit4?

    I would be upgrading from my FR610.

    Primary use for the device in order would be running (trail/OCRs) (uploading custom trainings to device, uploading of metrics from races/training to computer), hiking (uploading custom maps to device, uploading of metrics from hikes to computer), biking (uploading custom trainings to device, uploading of metrics from races/training to computer).

    No Android or iPhone to sync to, as I have a Windows Phone, this function is not a deal breaker.

    Thanks!

    • Jasper

      where do/did you find any info about the Ambit4?

    • Michael Raz

      “uploading custom maps to device” – no custom maps (nor base maps) in the Fenix 3. You can upload saved or tracks or custom make routes in Garmin Connect and upload but these are not “maps” in the way you can display a map in Fenix 2 or others.

    • Rudy

      Jasper, that was a “fat-finger”…. It was meant to be the Ambit3

      Sorry, for the confusion…

    • Michael, thanks for the response.

      I would like to know why Garmin dropped the map feature, as that was the roots of fenix.

      It looks like the F3 is just a pretty 920xt!

      I guess, it is why they developed the Epix…

      Now, I need to decide how important mapping is, otherwise I may jump ship to the A2 or A3.

    • Olu

      I didn’t think that the Ambit series show real maps. Doesn’t it show a bread crumb trail like what we presently see on the 920xt?

    • Dom

      I have an Ambit 2 Sapphire and it does not show real maps, just a line for planned route and line for your track. It has one cute feature: if you are zoomed in and move away from the planned track, it zooms out automatically so that you can still see your current position and the planned track.

    • Rudy

      Olu and Dom, Thanks noting the lack of mapping on the Ambit.

      So, it seems that it’s a wash, as only the Epix allows mapping.

      So, I am back to deciding between the fenix2/3 and Ambit2/3.

      I think that I am leaning towards the fenix?, as I already have Garmin devices, accessories and sensors.

      Syncing with mobile is not a current option for me.

  149. Zlatko

    Can the metronome be used for pacing swim strokes? Is the vibration strong enough?

  150. PAC

    Email update from CT — while you kind of have to feel sorry for CT getting trumped by REI – I’ll definitely think twice about pre-ordering from them again for another Garmin…the immediate credit card charging and holding my $ for what will be 2 months doesn’t really help either…..

    Thank you for your recent pre-order and anticipation of the release for the Garmin Fenix 3. Based on the most recent information available from Garmin, we are expecting to begin receiving units at our warehouse during the last week of February. At this time, we do not know the exact day they will arrive or how many will be on each shipment. Once units become available we will begin fulfilling current orders based on the date in which each order was placed. We will continue to provide the most up to date availability information via email each week on Friday afternoon until your order is fulfilled. As soon as your order is processed, we will notify you with the tracking information for your convenience. If you have any questions regarding your pre-order, please contact our customer service department at sales@clevertraining.com.

    Kind Regards,
    Clever Training Team

    • Dan Wells

      Got the same email. I was hoping to have it for my first trail marathon of the year, live tracking would be cool. Probably won’t happen but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It would be awesome if CT told us where we are on the list so we could get a better idea of arrival dates.

    • Gunnar

      I like that they take the full amount. Easier to keep track of expenses at my end. No surprises with my bank account once the unit becomes available.

      Besides, you can stop the order at anytime and request a refund if needed.

    • Cyclingfool

      Dan/Pac,

      What is your order date with CT? I ordered 01/24 and I am not even getting update emails like above? Makes me wander how FAR down the list i am. Did you guys call into CT and get on a special email update list?

    • Joe E

      Order on 1/12 from CT and never did anything special to receive update emails.

    • Paul Stansel

      1/14 for me and I get the emails no problem.

    • All backorders receive the e-mails, though, some small percentage seem to get snagged along the way to your inbox each week. As long as you can lookup the order status online on their site, you’re good to go.

      I ensure that each week the status update also gets posted here (either by me, or if usually someone else beats me to it first).

      I do think next week we’ll have some pretty concrete details. Do keep in mind that CT is always very conservative when it comes to dates in terms of what they publish. Also keep in mind the Garmin factory is indeed shutdown currently for the Chinese New Year. It shut down yesterday (Friday), and will remain shutdown for the following week.

      It remains to be seen if a shipment ‘made it out’ in time before closing down.

      And finally, thanks for all the support via CT! I have forwarded on the credit card pre-charge aspects, and will look to continue having a discussion around that with them.

      Thanks!

    • Olu

      Hi Ray. I know this has been asked before but thought I’d revisit it. 1st I think that you do great work here and would like to continue supporting the site. I registered for the VIP program at CT, but have had mixed experiences with them so ordered the F3 through REI (which ended up screwing my order anyway). Any thought to some other way folks could help support the site financially or otherwise? Thanks

      Olu

    • I’d second that – I actually cancelled the CT order because with tax and duty I would have been paying an £80 premium for the sapphire without the HRM compared to getting one with the HRM from the UK. I was actually happy in doing that anyway when I thought CT would get it early but that doesn’t seem the case now.

      So other means to support the site would be most welcome – just a tip jar would be a good start.

      I’d actually pay for subscription too if that became an option here…

      Cheers

      Ian

    • JimG

      Seriously, Garmin plant shutdown for a whole week?

    • Jim – It’s very common, the both countries (Taiwan and China) pretty much shutdown. A week is actually on the ‘slim’ side of things. Most are much longer.

    • MattB

      To be fair, in the UK most manufacturing plants shut down for 2weeks around our main holiday period (Christmas and New Year). Why should it be any different elsewhere?

    • Dan Wells

      I ordered on the 19th. I wasn’t getting my emails at first so I just called up CT and they had it fixed within a few minutes. Any problems and I’d call them, they seem to be top notch and others with more experience agree.

  151. Bernie

    I agree with PAC – I’d happily pay a $50 deposit…but holding 500 bucks at ransom is a little much. It’s not like CT needs an accurate count of units – they are going to purchase the biggest lot they can get from Garmin no matter what.
    – bernie

    • amadeus303

      I’d even happily pay a smaller, non-refundable (say $25) reservation deposit just so CT can at least “protect” themselves from placing a larger order and then have buyers back out. We’re essentially financing their inventory.

      That said, I do appreciate that this helps Ray and the site… and I’m happy to do that for the wealth of info that I get from it. I would be more apt to donate directly to Ray and potentially shop somewhere else in the future.

    • Drew Martin

      It is a fair argument that because you are paying full amount that you would be entitled to at least know your place on the list and probability of getting it with their first shipment. I have to admit it would be a bummer to have pre-ordered, paid full price before it was released only to have it end up on back order.

      But my experience with CT in the past has been top notch. I have no doubt they are communicating to the best of their knowledge. Most other places would not be so forward with weekly updates.

    • I am not defending nor condoning CT in their pre-order process, but as a SMB, I thought I would share note.

      Most electronic transactions for purchases have the following 2 options:
      – Process the full amount at the time of the pre-order purchase (easier for the merchant to balance their books)
      – Approve the credit card for the full amount, but not charge the card (we use this method, to keep customers happy!) (This makes bookkeeping a challenge, depending on how far out the pre-order is. Additionally, banks not the merchant only retain this information for 30 days. So, if the pre-order is 45 days out, the merchant would have to contact you to re-enter the financial data)

      Again, not defending nor condoning, it just that the electronic payment and banking industry are not friendly to SMBs.

      Sorry, if this was too far off topic…

  152. Luis

    I think that a serious talk between CT & Garmin is well overdue. I’m surprised that Garmin didn’t learn the lessons from last year’s fiasco with Best Buy.

  153. Seth

    Thanks for tweeting the box opening. Got me pumped up for my pre-order which subsequently told me it was shipping 15 minutes after I watched your video!

    My Fenix 3 arrived today, from REI. Ordered on the 19th. Up and running smoothly. Had to update software. Got the sapphire and while the band is quality, immediately switched it out for the rubber since it is more snug and going to be used way more for fitness than “out on the town”. HAd to get used to some of the buttons and the interplay of how to get to various screens, but overall decently intuitive. The one thing I’m not getting is weather. It says it is supposed to come via bluetooth, and while all of the other notifications and bluetooth syncing is working (i.e. calendar and notifications) the weather isn’t. Not a big deal though.

    • Craig

      I’m over in the UK and it’s still on pre order, still torn between the sapphire and standard, for the sake of a screen and metal strap, can I justify an £80 increase??

  154. Cyclingfool

    This may have been asked so I am sorry if I missed it. Edge and forerunner products allow you to view your heart rate outside of an actual activity. My F2 doesn’t. Does the F3 work like the rest or follow the F2 during activity only?

  155. Forrest

    Random question, a little similar to Cyclingfool’s.

    I already have an Edge 800 and HRM. I’m going to use the F3 to record rides and send them to Garmin Connect (because the Edge doesn’t do wireless uploads) but I plan to keep using the Edge while I ride. Will the HRM talk to both units at the same time? It just broadcasts to whatever might be listening, right?

  156. Hi Ray,
    Does the Fenix3 has the same calorie rate algorithm as the FR920xt?

  157. Cat

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your amazing reviews – I have an old Forerunner 305 but I’ve recently got back into running and it drives me crazy how long it takes to acquire satellites (often when running with a group where I can’t delay starting it misses the 1st 2 or 3 km!) and it’s uncomfortable on my tiny wrists.

    It seems like to get the same features including being able to follow a planned route I’m looking at the Fenix 3. Is there any chance of a size comparison to the ancient Forerunner 305 so I can see if there is much improvement there (it sounds like the Fenix is actually a little heavier) and a photo on a ladies wrist would be helpful too.

    Otherwise – any other suggestions for something with similar functionality to the 305 for tiny wristed ladies!

    • Anthony Tieuli

      My tiny wristed lady friend tried on my Fenix 2 and literally laughed because it was so big on her. The face of the Fenix 3 is supposed to be an even bigger face. Maybe the 920xt would be good? Navigation capabilities are the same according to Rays chart.
      Several women in my running club have it and love it.

    • Anthony Tieuli

      That is if you want to be able to follow a planned route like you mentioned. Otherwise, you could save a ton of $$ and get a Forerunner 220 or upgrade to the 620. Definitely the most popular watches amongst my running friends.

    • Mark

      I’m too making to 305 to fenix 3 jump. Going to be interesting how big a jump it I’d. TBH the main thing I was looking for was wireless activity sync.

      The 3 announcment came just as I was looking at upgrade options. I love my 305 except having to plug it in.

    • Kermit262

      You are in for a real treat. Used my 305 a few days ago and couldn’t believe how poor the display was compared to my (now returned) 920XT. The Fenix 3 should be at least as good.

  158. Taz

    I set up WiFi and it seems to connect then I get an error message “Insufficient memory….” Seems as though the wifi sync is not working for me. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Stuart

      I had this problem when I first set the watch up. It appears to be an error message when you set up wifi but have no actual workouts to upload. After my first workout, everything transferred perfectly fine. Hope this helps.

  159. richard.h

    hi…Ray

    may i ask how long is the respond time on F3 compare to F2 ..when loading/saving a very long trip ( e.g a 50 km trail run) ?

  160. aqd4349

    Hi Ray

    would you know if there is anything special one need to do (other than going to the menu and turning on “Activity Tracking”) to enable step tracking and indoor running speed, distance, cadence measures on the F3?

    I have turned on Activity tracking on my F3 and cannot get any step count. I have also not been able to get any speed, distance, cadence metrics from running indoors (GPS off).

    • Odd, that’s all I’ve done. Have you paired it with your phone by chance (and does it show anything there)?

      And failing that, have you tried powering off and back on?

    • aqd4349

      Hi Ray,
      yes. I’ve paired it with the phone and shows zero steps. The short indoor run I did was sync’ed to the phone but showed zero distance, speed, cadence.

      I also power cycled it and did not seem to help.

      Does the watch need to be used with GPS before the other tracking and indoor running functions are enabled? I got the F3 last Thursday and have not taken it out yet.

    • There was a quirky with the FR920XT* (for some time, may or may not still be there), where it was a bit funky if it hadn’t at least once received GPS upon taking out of the box. Things like sensor pairing didn’t work right, etc… I’d try and go outside and get satellite signal and see if that helps.

      *This matters because the Fenix3 is basically built atop the FR920XT codebase.

    • Jim

      Ray,

      Is there a cool down option after a run? Time stops for a run but time starts to check heart rate for a few minutes?

      Is this on the fenix 3? Fenix 2?

    • Ted W

      The F2 doesnt have this option. There is some functionality that suggests recovery time, but its next to useless. Run over say 13 miles, and its usually multiple days of rest listed for recovery. A cool down might be nice, but its not on the F2, and I’ve not heard mention of it for 920xt or F3

    • Frank

      Does it think you are wearing a foot pod? In other words, is that sensor enabled but not present? That combo will get you the no steps, no speed no distance scenario you describe at least in the fenix 2.

    • Aqd4349

      Thank you Ray and Frank for the insights and suggestions. I took the F3 outside and let it acquire GPS during a short run. Then the stepa count started to increase. So it seems it was the need to initialize with gps for the first time. Hope that was all.

    • Steph

      Surely it needs to do a few GPS runs first to be able to measure your aversge stride length, do thst when you turn GPS off it knows what to use for your stride length? So maybe until you’ve done this a few times for it to get these figures? It won’t allow it?

  161. Bob K

    I’ve been reading sport watch reviews for months now and thought the F3 might be the unit I purchase. Then I see post #1460 above and I wonder if there is such a thing as a watch with a good feature set AND reliability. Almost every online review of the Fenix line mentions freezing, crashing or some other weirdness. Although the Suunto product is not perfect in terms of features, there aren’t as many “crashing” stories. What good is a product if it locks up in the middle of an activity?

    I have three Garmin products in the household and not one of them is reliable from a software standpoint. My car GPS frequently bricks after FW or map updates, my 800 bike computer will stop navigating mid-ride or refuse to give turn by turn. Just yesterday the 800 re-set all it’s preconfigured fields.

    Why is it so hard for Garmin to make things work reliably? This is a serious question, not a troll. Presumably the people here are “fans” and not inclined to just gripe about the gear but it’s troubling that people are already finding problems with the F3.

    • Jim

      Ray,

      Wondering if there was any interest or desire for a cool down option on HRM settings. For instance, after a run, hitting stop and having a cool down option along with DONE, SAVE, SYNC, LAP, etc.. I think it would be nice to be able to see your run times and how long its taking to recover from the run..

      Is this on the fenix 3? Fenix 2?

    • Jim

      Ray,

      Is there a cool down option after a run? Time stops for a run but time starts to check heart rate for a few minutes?

      Is this on the fenix 3? Fenix 2?

    • Bob, interesting question you pose.

      I’m not very familiar with Garmin (the company), but I did use a number of their products over the years, so that’s where my comment comes from: I think Garmin as a company isn’t enough focused on software. They do regard themselves as a hardware company, since their products are hardware, but this is not enough in today’s world, where the software is as much the differentiator as the hardware. You can see it in other domains; for example, Nikon – awesome hardware, but the software is, if not an afterthought, at most on the 3rd place (behind cameras/sensors and lenses).

      I think that in today’s age, a company playing in these fields (hardware driven by software, plus platforms to process whatever data is generated by the hardware) needs to regard themselves as software on equal footing to the hardware teams. You can see companies that started on the other end and branched into hardware, how much better (IMHO) they execute on the software side. But if you focus on the hardware first, and software second, you’ll always have these kind of issues.

      Personally, I’m glad that Garmin managed to execute the pivot from (automobile) navigation devices (a marked severely impacted by smartphones) into other branches, and that they seem still to be doing great products. I learned what crashes my Montana and how “temperamental” it and other Garmin products are, and I’m fine with that. But I do keep wishing that one day hardware companies realise that the standard has been moved beyond by software-centric companies.

      PS: to keep on topic, I’m happy enough with the 910 I have to trust Garmin that the 920/Fenix 3/Epix platform won’t be that much worse (even though it’s a different platform), so I’m looking forward to getting one of them (undecided yet which, waiting for Fenix 3 release and real-world reviews).

    • PhilBoogie

      Fully agree on your view on Garmin’s software. And lack of QA. I bought the Oregon 550t as a bike computer, it’s that thing with the touchscreen and maps. I’ve had the thing lockup on many occasions, but they did continue to update the firmware and it’s way infrequent now.

      On the desktop software side, Basecamp, I think they still have a long way to go. The say your device syncs with Basecamp, but it really doesn’t It’s a mere copy of the .gpx file and any alterations you make in Basecamp doesn’t sync back to the device. Many other issues with it; moving time is one, which can only be read on the device, not in Basecamp (that actually calculates the start and end time, lowering your average speed if you took a break along the way).

      Anyhow, I digress, in spite of all the shitty software I’ve seen from Garmin (and others) I still think my decision to buy this Fenix 3 watch is a good one. But where to preorder in The Netherlands?

    • Patrick

      I still use mapsource instead of basecamp for my oregons (have the 450 and 600) Sire it doesn’t get updates but it is free, still available at garmin, and works intuitive.
      As for pre-orders in the Netherlands you can’t go wrong with gps.nl or you wait till Ray finally reveals his European counterpart so we can support his site from this side of the ocean (any news on this Ray?)

    • Jasper

      for the Netherlands parts I found a site, named gps.nl: link to gps.nl don’t know if it is any good, or reliable.. I bought (pre-order) through Cotsworld being from Belgium.. I’ll have to see what that brings me…

    • Patrick

      gps.nl only have a few stores, so they’re not as big as most of the big-brand retailers, but they make it up in good customer service. They’re pretty much the only “expert” gps shop in the Netherlands with their own forum as well.

      I only have experience with them with the hand-held navigation models (oregon) so not sure how good they are with the more sport specific stuff like forerunners and fenixes. But from my experience I can recommend them, I’d always try to buy in my own country before looking abroad. The USA is not really an option for me due to the heavy import taxes.

      Also their aftersales are very decent, they traded in my malfunctioning Tempe sensor after a year no-questions-asked for a new one and my broken old Oregon 450t was replaced with a new refurbished one within a few workdays (at a small fee).

    • Stuart

      Bob –

      I had the same concern after reading some reviews. Then I got my Fenix3 and it crashed within 24 hours – that was Friday morning (2/13). Since rebooting it then, it has been flawless – multiple bike rides, swimming, multiple runs, activity tracking and sleep tracking. It has also synced flawlessly over bluetooth and wifi. And best of all, despite all of this tracking, the battery is still at 50% without having charged it since Friday morning.

      I have had my share of problems with Garmin products but I think they are really on the right track here. The watch seems really accurate (I was really impressed with the swim tracking compared to a Finis watch that I had) and I think they are really on the right track here from a form factor and performance perspective.

  162. HAF-TX

    Any information on how the Fenix 3 with the metal band (the sapphire version) would mount on a bike with the Garmin bike mount. I would think it would have to open completely to feed it through the bike mount. I also think it would be smaller than my wrist needing to be tighter which can be done easily.

    • Jasper

      I thought that there wasn’t a bike mount out yet, for the Fenix 3.. Trying to think logical, with the metal band not able to open like the rubber (it’s always a closed circle), so it can’t open completely..

    • Hmm, yeah, I don’t know how that would work either. I’ll ask if they have any suggestions…

    • Joe E

      Couldn’t you use something like the Profile Design computer mount to mount the Garmin bike mount and it would have an end open then?

      link to all3sports.com

    • Yup, that’s an option. You might get a bit of flux with the weight of the unit though. Probably not much. The only thing is you’d have to ensure the sizing was exact, so it didn’t fall off (meaning, that it was snug).

  163. DT

    Ray, I ordere it via CT on Jan 5th. Do you think it would be safe to assume that I sho get it by the first week of March? (I have Oceanside that month and want to be sure I can train with it). Thanks

  164. Jason Raath

    I’m onto my third Garmin device (fenix 2), I still use an Edge 510 for cycling and recently retired my 910XT.

    No software problems with the fenix or Edge. The 910XT however, gave me a few issues, although the only problems were related to my totals reflecting something ridiculous like 55,000km of running with similar outlandish totals for swimming and running. Turns out my antivirus software was the problem.

    For the record, Garmin south Africa swapped out the 910XT unit twice with no questions asked on both occasions. My point is, many products have an issue of some kind on occasion, it’s how the providers deal with these issues that makes the difference.

    With that in mind, I’ll continue to support Garmin. As far as CT goes, I’ve used them once and it was a pleasure, they do warn you that they’ll take your cash straight away, but the updates etc. are great and there was never a need to call them. It’s also nice to support Ray for all the hard work he does keeping us in the loop. I’ve tested a few other review sites and never seen anything as comprehensive. CT & DC will enjoy my support for as long as I’m able to exercise 🙂

  165. Pedro Santos

    I own a fenix 2 (before I had a FR610) and I’m quite frustrated with the running software, in particular when I do interval workouts. The sound alerts (fast/slow) are not implemented as in the FR series and I don’t feel the instantaneous pace is accurate at all. It doesn’t seem it was designed to run (on top of all other features)…
    Any idea if fenix 3 fixes these differences with the FR series or 920XT? I would go immediately for it.

    I’m also quite frustrated with the barometric altimeter. It measures consistently <-50m when I'm running at sea level. I need to manually calibrate everytime…

    Thanks a lot.

    • Rob

      I also lean to buy the Fenix 3, but I mainly hear more negative news from Fenix 2 & 3 users. The majority of the 920XT users seem te be happy with it.

      I want to upgrade my 310XT mainly for (trail)-running… the runningshop where I normally buy all my stuff is getting in some Fexix 3 this week, but they advise upfront to better (be safe) to buy the 920XT based on their previous experiances!

      Like to hear from Fenix 3 users their experiances, as I do not like to gamble with $500,- which I only can spend once… and I hope when Ray’s review comes out all will also get a bit more clearer what is the smart move here.

    • Jasper

      If you read the posts here, there is only positive news about the F3? (besides from the connection to phones problem, which was been fixed after an update…). So I’m curious where you get your info from..?
      Besides, the 920 and the F3 run basically the same software, so I can’t really see why the F3 would be worse then the 920 (besides the GPS-antenna vs the F3’s EXO GPS-antenna.. )

  166. Frank

    Garmin is doing quite well in the fitness segment despite their perennially buggy products. Check out pages 46-49 here: link to sec.gov. (2014 report should be out in a few days)

    My theory is that their main competition (Polar and Suunto) are even worse and their customer support is much, much worse.

    I’m hoping someone like Wahoo or 4iiii will eventually bring us a compete line of bug free alternatives that are actually tested before being sold to an unsuspecting general public.

    • PhilBoogie

      Good point on the quality of the competition. Kind of choosing from the least sucking offering. Bit like Apple products, they’re great but do have a few bugs. But when looking at ‘the competition’….

    • Bob K

      You’ve confirmed my suspicions, Frank. At this price point the thing should work and not be buggy. I’m surrounded by computers and electronics and only one company’s gear causes me concern. Users shouldn’t have to figure out or contend with eccentricities. The fact that people are already having issues suggests Garmin didn’t even fix what ailed the F2 before moving onto F3. At least in my region of NY, almost all shelf space goes to Garmin; the other two are pushed to the back. I think that’s why they have the market share, not because they make stuff that is reliable.

    • JimG

      I seriously doubt there are any 100% perfect/bug free GPS watches anywhere. I really boils down to the lesser of two evils, the one(s) that have the best features, the least bugs, and best customer service -or- back their products. JMHO.

    • I’m confused. Did I miss somewhere where people are having issues with the Fenix3*?

      I’m watching the Garmin Forums pretty carefully, and here. The singular issue I’ve heard was that the step counter required you connect to GPS once upon unboxing, which is the same limitation the FR920XT had. I’ll ask why. I suspect the technical reason is they want to ensure a timecode compliant timestamp to start step-counting on.

      Which isn’t to say the Fenix3 is spot on 100.00% perfect. But, it’s as good as the FR920XT (which people seem quite happy with).

      Again, everything I’ve seen in both locations (aside from ‘when will it ship’) is that people that do have units seem happy with it. But again, maybe I’m missing something.

    • Bart

      Agreed Jim….I think with all of the devices you tend to see a lot of posts on the negative experiences and not many on the positive. I currently am using an F2 with about 75 activities without one of the issues you see posts about, waiting patiently for my F3 to arrive via CT 🙂

    • Olu

      IMO, Garmin may have some bugs, but they also have far more features then their competition. Polar and Suunto are playing catch up at best. I’m sure Garmin could make a completely trouble free device if they removed the following:

      *vibration
      *the ability to create alerts based on time, distance, calories
      *the ability to create alerts when over or under range for pace, cadence, heart rate, power
      *the ability to send customized workouts with a plethora of options
      *the ability to add customization through Connect IQ

      I’m sure I missed a few but I think you get my point.

    • Mark

      I’ve also had good luck with Wahoo so far, but have hit 2 significant bugs with 4iiii. Everyone has their own unexpected cases I guess.

    • Reza Chapman

      I had only one issue with my F2 in that it locked up when Garmin released the Data Page Auto Scroll feature. Other than that single issue, I have nearly a hundred Activities logged without issue.

      I too am looking forward to the arrival of my F3. Just wish it would ship already! 🙂

  167. JimG

    It appears (to me) that GPS sport watches (and fitness trackers) seem to be going thru a very similar growth spurt like cell phones, lot of new hardware/software features and companies all clamoring for that #1 top spot, and lots of sales. The big difference is not as many choices as cell phones, and also not as many customers. Some companies simply do overall better job, of creating positive product experience than others.

    I’ve owned several Garmin products since 2006. The latest being the F2 which I plan to upgrade to the F3, mainly due to features that are of use to me. And the F3 most likely will serve me well until the next *BIG* release, assuming that might be an F4.

    At some point the sport watches will get good enough (like cell phones) that you can go a longer time without feeling that you need to upgrade upon every new hardware release. I’m hoping the Connect IQ apps helps a bunch in that area.

  168. Fabrizio

    First of all: thanks for the great blog. Don’t know where you find time to keep it all always updated.
    I’m not much into operating systems’ technicalities so I’ve been wondering if the new Fenix could ever be compatible with Windows Phone.
    (Sorry for my bad English).
    thx, Fab

    • Ever…absolutely. When? That’s tougher.

      I’d point out that Garmin did recently release a Windows Phone VIRB app. They seem to see it as a bit of an experiment. Of course, releasing a VIRB app is comparatively simple, since the VIRB app quite frankly doesn’t do much. But it’s a start…

    • PhilBoogie

      If history is any indication, they will get more 3rd party support when their marketshare increases to a ‘normal’ level. Microsoft does have a way of introducing a new product in a saturated market, getting no where, but slowly they gain support (through whatever means).

      Windows Phone market share currently is about 5% which is indeed very small. but looking at the number of apps they have in their Store it seems like there’s ‘an app for that’ meaning all parts are covered.

      But that’s mainly independent devs, not companies like Garmin. I have no idea if there is a certain level of market share Garmin wishes to see before developing for Windows Phone, but knowing Garmin is the largest player in sports watches they certainly could be presumed to be the first in doing so.

      tl;dr
      No one knows, but Garmin is probably going to be the first to write an app for Windows Phone.

    • While the Windows Phone market is small, it is the easiest to develop for.

      Not to mention that with Windows 10, developers on develop a single app, it is functions across phones, tablets, laptops and desktops!

      Let’s hope Garmin starts creating apps very soon!

    • Jasper

      Windows doesn’t develop every app they got in the store, that’s the work of independent people or companies.. So that’s not an argument… To make your argument even worse: And from what I heard, there are many, many apps that are just viruses and scams. ..

    • I can’t argue if there are scams/viruses in apps on stores, as I have only seen vulnerabilities in Google Play.

      But, as a Windows Phone user for the past 3 years, I have not had any issues with apps.

      But, I think some of that some of my luck is not downloading apps that I am not in need of and or not investigated or from the company the app is designed for.

      We got a Windows tablet for our son, he has “yet” to download any vulnerabilities. And he downloads FREE apps daily, like they are going to take down the store tomorrow! We have been lucky thus far.

      Just my .02

  169. mattmar

    I am having a difficult time deciding on the epix over the feni 3 saffire. what are some of the biggest differences and whatare your suggestions. I would be using it for hiking/tatoo on training/ and as a smartwatch

  170. For those curious, I got in a semi-short openwater swim tonight. No laughing at my pace, it’s been a long day after a 11hr Redeye flight last night and working from the moment I landed.

    Fenix3 Openwater Swim: link to connect.garmin.com
    FR920XT on Swim Buoy: link to connect.garmin.com

    Photo of buoy/lake to set the mood: link to instagram.com

    I had planned to also have an Ambit on me too, but accidentally left that charging in my hotel room and didn’t realize it till I got to the lake.

    I’ve got a couple of videos I’ve been attempting to upload as well on the Fenix3. But alas, my hotel internet connection here says 554 minutes until completion (of just the first video). So I’ll just try again in the morning from a much faster internet connection.

    Cheers.

    • That’s interesting – the 920 is clearly a smoother better track; however is that something to do with the fact the GC hasn’t tagged the F3 one as a swim; and has not, therefore, had any post processing applied to smooth it out a bit?

    • GC doesn’t apply any smoothing.

      With the FR920XT, it was in bike mode during the swim (simply to ensure it didn’t do anything funky sitting on the buoy). I set the event type to Swim after the fact so you’d see the yardage.

      The Fenix3 (like the FR920XT/FR910XT/Fenix2/FR310XT, and the Ambit 2/3) all utilize the Openwater Swim Mode, which reduces the data points recorded to give a smooth track when GPS accuracy would otherwise decrease due to the signal dropping when out of range underwater.

      Note, I just realized when I changed the title on the F3 activity I accidentally set it to uncategorized. Just set it back to Swimming.

    • Thanks Ray – that makes sense – I didn’t realise OWS mode reduced the data points, hence the jerkiness of the F3 track, or that you had the 920 in a different mode.

      Cheers

      Ian

    • Mark

      He he he. Connect thinks you took your bike with you on the swim.

    • MattB

      That’s a pretty decent OW track by the look of it. Was the temperature from the internal sensor or a Tempe in the swim-buoy? If the former, it’s interesting to see it matches air temperature exactly without body heat interference when swimming, rather than recording the water temperature. Also I see your 920xt enjoyed a little free-dive near the end ;P

    • Temperature would have been in-watch. No Tempe with me.

    • Ted W

      So what is the theory on why the 920xt track is “smoother” than the F3 track? the bouy kept clean lines, why you were rusty you your open water sighting 🙂

    • neil rosson

      Thanks for the vids. I wonder if you could use some sort of arm pouch you use for smartphones to keep the battery in.

  171. Bart

    Had the same issue, for me it came down to what I would use it for the most. For hiking and mapping related activities, my hand held GPS devices work the best. I ended up with the F3 for running,biking and swimming. Now because I am a gadget freak I would probably be in on the next Epix release. (Epix 2 maybe)

  172. Bart

    Thx Ray in advance for the videos to be posted:)

  173. KZSTAN

    What are the case dimensions for the F3? I looked around but only see that the screen is listed at 1.2 inches (30.5 mm) and didn’t see the overall diameter/height.

    I’m new to sports watches….I typically wear a mechanical dive watch (Orient Blue Ray! which is 41.5 mm diameter, 13.3 mm tall). Now that the GPS/activity tracking/style/connectivity of sports/smart watches are getting better, I might give one a try. My current watch is comfortable, but I could handle a larger size. I’d just like to check on the size since this is something that would get worn on a daily basis, need to fit under a dress shirt, etc.

    • Kermit262

      Physical dimensions 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.6” (51.0 x 51.0 x 16.0 mm)

    • KZSTAN

      hmmm…I preordered one, but think it might be completely huge on my wrist. The features are very much want I’m looking for, so I’ll give it a try!

  174. Garth Armstrong

    Just a comment about Sapphire lens. The reason watchmakers use sapphire lens is because they are scratch resistant, not unbreakable or more crack resistant. If anything they may be more brittle than the plastic lenses but generally they will not get scratches. So a watch with a sapphire lens will still look good after many years of mud, sweat and tears. The lens will way outlast the technology inside the watch.

    • Orjan Sandland

      I just want to add my support to this statement! I have a 15 year+ Timex titanium watch with sapphire lens, that saw some heavy use over the years… not a single scratch in the lens.

  175. For those interested, I’ve posted two additional Fenix3 videos:

    1) Openwater swimming: A brief demonstration at the start/middle/ending of my swim
    link to youtube.com

    2) Fenix3 while charging: Showing how to enable the charging while recording mode of the Fenix3
    link to youtube.com

    Enjoy!

    • Patrick

      Nice videos especially the charging one is very useful!

      One question on the charging, you mention ultra-trac mode, does this mean that the watch has to be in ultra trac recording for the charging to work, or can it also work with “normal” 1s interval gps-settings? Mainly asking because if I would choose to haul some large ass battery with me I may as well get the best readings possible (1s interval and not ultra-trac).