Garmin Fenix 3 Review: Awesome New Smartwatch

Garmin has a lot of tech in the marketplace right now. They have been putting out some great GPS systems, but recently, they have been known to put out good wearable tech as well. With the release of the Garmin Fenix 3, the company is pushing out a serious watch for those that are very active. If you’re a frequent runner, triathlete, or just about anyone that is going to push the physical limits of their body, this could very well be one of the most comprehensive solutions that you can wear on your wrist.


It doesn’t just count your steps. It’s something that measures a great deal of exercise options. From extremes like snowboarding or skiing to simple elements like jogging in place, you can find that this will give you a lot to utilize.

Don’t misunderstand, this isn’t a tracker alone, it’s also a smartwatch. While it’s not the “Apple Watch”, it still holds its own with a few great elements. With that in mind, consider a few notes in regards to the Garmin Fenix 3.

Key Feature Break Down

Looking at the Garmin Fenix 3, you are going to find that it has a lot to offer at first glance. It is a well-designed, good looking phone. It is similar to other options from Garmin that are in the market right now. This however has a focus on being outdoors, and you will start to see that when you break down the features.

For Outdoor Use – The thing that you will see up front is that it’s made for the outdoors. It is shatter resistant, water resistant, wind resistant, and fits very well on your wrist. It’s sturdy, strengthened for appeal, and Garmin is definitely reaching for a more masculine audience with this release. The dimensions are big, allowing for 16.7mm to be seen with ease. It’s a bit bulky, all things considered, but it’s light enough to wear on a daily basis. If you are concerned that this might break, you could purchase an upgraded version with a full Sapphire Crystal top and a metal linking band to give you added protection.

Diver’s Delight – If you have ever seen a diver’s watch, then you will definitely like this solution. This is a watch that looks a lot like modern watches that you would see on the higher end. That being said, it’s 100M waterproof, it’s wide, strong, and has a visual design that looks exactly like you would expect from higher brands that don’t offer tracking. It doesn’t have that “metal” design, though, but it still has tough, polymer reinforcements, so that you can at least feel confident that this is not going to get broken in heavy rotation.

Battery Life – Battery life is always a concern when you’re purchasing tech of this type. With that in mind, you are going to see that this has a good one, and could very well last a great deal of time. How long? Tests show that you can have this for about a week on your wrist, assuming you’re not using the apps or intensively checking the phone’s elements. General use could give you an easy 50 hours of use without charging.

Interface – The interface is easy to use. It’s clear, has an LCD panel, with a low light, and gives you a good overall look and feel. You don’t have to strain your eyes in the dark nor do you have a huge reflection in the day. You will be able to navigate the interface with buttons, and install several apps from the Connect Store. Now, you will not find the same amount that you would with other phones, but there are a few options to consider. You will not get full country maps, but that’s a small downgrade from other solutions from Garmin.

Tracking – Let’s get down the major feature that most tracker users will care about, and it’s fitness tracking. The performance on this is solid, with a good number of sensors that utilize GPS. Remember, Garmin is known for their GPS releases. You can get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi available, as well as other GPS elements in place. While it’s not 100% perfect, it is heavily accurate. You can track steps, height when hiking, speed, map heart rate, distance, endurance, and much more. It also can track sleep patterns, and much more. It’s an easy to use watch with lots of modes to explore in regards to tracking your personal information.

Smartwatch Functions – Again, it should be noted that this is not the Apple Watch. Don’t misunderstand what the Garmin Fenix 3 is putting together here. It has some functions, like notifications, Wireless, GPS, tracking, and visual design that seems to emulate smart watches, but it’s not the same thing. You can install apps, and get more functions, but the built in options include several widgets that you can use while running, hiking and diving. There’s no major email client, there’s no games, and it’s not really meant to emulate smartphones or tablets.

Worth Buying?

Let’s consider whether or not you should pick up the Garmin Fenix 3. The final verdict on this is simple, it’s a strong and solid tracker. Yes, it looks like a watch, and yes it has some subtle features that make it seem like it’s more than a tracker. However, it’s not a smartwatch. It’s hard to see past that if you are looking for that. However, if you aren’t looking for that, and instead you want something advanced with tracking capabilities, this is a great release. It features a lot of tools to help you track your running, exercise, heart rate, sleep rate, and more. It helps you get information as to how you’re moving and can be programmed to set reminders, and more.

It’s definitely worth looking into. Garmin is a solid brand, with some great upsides. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is definitely one of the better ones and more impressive than the previous versions that are on the market right now. Garmin uses their GPS element well here, and the added functions help create good elements as well.

For more information and reviews on the latest Garmin range, please visit: and find out more.

Jerry Adkins

Thanks for visiting GPS Bites. I started the website in 2012 to give advice on all matters regarding GPS and navigation. Prior to this I was the marketing manager for a global GPS device company.

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