Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Multisport Review

Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Multisport Review
24 Jul
Garmin Fenix GPS Multisport Watch

The Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Multisport Watch is Garmin's latest flagship GPS sports watch, boasting an incredible array of features but still retaining wearability and style for everyday use. It encourages you to rise above your limits with its enhanced GPS sport features designed for demanding athletes and outdoor adventurers. You don't have to be a sporting figure to enjoy the watch, though, whether you’re into running, cycling, swimming, trail running, indoor training, cross country skiing, triathlons or recreational activities such as hiking, climbing and downhill skiing, it is a true all-rounder. From the perspective of an average user, this is a top quality bit of kit.

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Garmin Fenix GPS Multisport Watch DesignThe Garmin Fenix 3 Multisport Watch is a versatile timepiece, which appeals to the fashion aware consumer who wants their fitness device to seamlessly blend into their social life. Available in 3 models: grey with a black band; silver with a red band (both with scratch-protected domed crystal lens) or the Fenix 3 Sapphire. The overall design is rugged and seems to be built to last. The buttons are solid and slightly stiff at first but once you use them more and more they become fluid. For this reason, maybe a future version of the watch might be more appreciated with a touch screen capability built-in to the watch, as well. The overall feel and quality are amazing. With the link bracelet, the weight is 192grams, which is a little heavy on the wrist, but this only contributes to the overall feel and class of the watch. You may potentially have a few knocks and potential scratches but the screen protection will save the day.

Here is a breakdown of the Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Multisport Design features:

– Stainless steel EXO antenna with GPS + GLONASS support for fast fix and accuracy
– 3.1 cm (1.2-inch) sunlight readable colour Chroma display
– Altimeter, barometer and 3-axis compass with auto calibration
– Better Style that Stands Up to the Roughest Conditions
– Garmin Fenix 3 comes in 3 models: grey with a black band; silver with a red band (both with scratch-protected domed crystal lens) or the Fenix 3 Sapphire. They are water-rated to 100 m with a battery life of up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 3 months in watch mode.


The Fenix 3 is marketed by Garmin as a “rugged, capable and smart multipart training GPS watch”. It probably has more features than you can ever expect. To briefly summarise, the main features of the watch are as follows:
– Stainless steel EXO antenna with GPS + GLONASS support for fast fix and accuracy
– Outdoor navigation features: 3-axis compass, altimeter, and barometer, TracBack, and Sight'n Go
– Enhanced fitness training features including VO2 Max and Recovery Advisor with optional HRM
– Smart notifications and connect IQ app support for further customisation
– Battery life: 20 hours GPS mode, Water rating 100 m, Garmin Connect compatible
-Advanced Fitness Metrics: VO2 max estimator, recovery advisor, race predictor (based on current VO2).
– Running Dynamics Features: Feedback on running form, cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time (some features require a heart-rate monitor, which is included with this model).
– Swim Profile and Ski-board mode: Track swim data including distance and stroke count. Track ski-board data including speed, distance and vertical drop.
– Navigation: Altimeter, barometer, and compass which can provide information on heading elevation and weather changes.

Looking specifically into the Garmin Fenix 3 Multisport watch Navigation, it provides comprehensive movement and tracking functionality. It records a GPS track log and allows you to mark locations, such as a start/finish line, a campsite or other point of interest. With Fenix 3, you can create and follow courses or mark up to 1,000 locations and navigate to them. Plan trips and share adventures with friends and family using Garmin’s free planning tool BaseCamp on your computer.

Fenix 3 is equipped with a barometric altimeter and an electronic 3-axis compass. The device auto-calibrates these sensors using its GPS receiver to provide the most accurate information possible. The built-in altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, while the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not. The accuracy of your GPS will be complimented and enhanced, providing more accurate run data.


The Fenix 3 keeps you in touch with the world – whether it be through your smartphone to receive smart notifications directly on the watch or through your Wi-Fi hotspot for seamless automatic activity upload to Garmin’s free online community, Garmin Connect. At Garmin Connect you can save, plan and share your efforts as well as access workout plans and more. The live tracking feature lets you invite followers using email or social media so they can see your stats and location on a map in real time.
Fenix 3 uses the Connect IQ platform for further customisation so you can personalise your watch with ConnectIQ apps, widgets, data fields and watch faces that make your Garmin smartwatch even smarter. Garmin Connect IQ gets better and better as you develop with it. There are so many useful widgets and watch faces, all for free.

Some of the most popular apps are below, you can find them here:

  • Actiface
  • Strava
  • dwMap
  • Gym Timer
  • GPS Position
  • GARMIN Find My Car App
  • Running App Professional


The battery life is superb, without even trying to save energy. You can leave the GPS, 1-second sampling and Bluetooth on the whole time when engaged in an activity and not notice any rapid drain on the battery.

Battery lifetime: Up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode.


Garmin Fenix GPS Multisport Watch fitnessThe Garmin Fenix 3 GPS multisport watch is very much activity orientated; Walking, Hiking, Running, Swimming, Triathlon and any number of others. It really is first class, it includes all navigational tools you could ever want: altimeter, compass, GPS (and/or Glonass) tracking, heart rate monitoring with an external chest strap(though you need to calibrate the altimeter before setting off).

Set up

Whilst setting up your watch, you'll be prompted to add your Wi-Fi password, and link into your Garmin and Strava accounts. It's great to see that your run data is automatically uploaded to Strava. No more plugging the watch into your computer via USB , no more uploading via Bluetooth. Everything is seamlessly uploaded, this is wireless technology at its greatest!


The Fenix 3 looks into the specific needs of trail runners and gives a dedicated trail profile. Its features include flat running vs. climbing sequences and more climbing-relevant data such as ascent performance split for laps and vertical speed. For those extreme trail runners, Fenix 3 secures additional battery life in UltraTrac mode. After testing out the Fenix 3 for a quick run, covering a 1-mile radius to see how the watch holds it's ground. Suffice to say, it is impressive. GPS and heart rate monitor signals were picked up quickly, and the screen is clear, even in bright sunlight. The included heart rate monitor and chest strap take a little of getting used to if you have never run with one before. The accuracy is a remarkable improvement over previous models.


Fenix 3 captures essential stats from your run like time, distance and pace and is compatible with sensors such as speed, cadence and heart rate to provide advanced training capabilities for your workout. There are several cool features that help you boost your exercise regime… The virtual racer function lets you race your previous bests. Or you can use the virtual partner function and see how you measure up to a static pace you set. Fenix 3 gives you personal records so you know when you’ve hit your best times against standard distances like 1-mile or 5k. a function that is pretty similar to that of the Apple Watch .


Fenix 3 can capture your vital swim statistics, including distance, pace, stroke count and stroke rate. The drill logging feature allows you to easily log swim drills and kick sets at the pool and the two types of rest timers keep you pushing off the wall on time. Use time alerts to help you hold your pace or distance alerts to let you know when a set is over.

Out of the Box

  • Garmin Fenix 3 Multisport Watch
  • USB Charging cable
  • AC Home charger
  • Product documentation

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What We Like

  • One of the few GPS multisport watches that looks like a normal watch. Big and bulky but OK for everyday use.
  • Excellent durable battery life
  • Vast array of apps
  • Accurate GPS and fitness monitoring, recording and tracking

What Needs Improvement

  • Connectivity with certain types of Android phone may potentially be unstable. But with constant updates this is sure to be rectified.
  • The size of the watch may be a put off to someone who is after a more streamlined lightweight fit.

The post Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Multisport Review appeared first on SmartwatchPanda.


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