New Gear Day!! What do we think of the new Garmin Fenix 3?

This week at Go Run we are doing something new!  It is a non-stuffy, non-biased (ish) real runners review of the new Garmin Fenix 3, which is a b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l watch! See.....

ooooh. So shiny! 

Let's be honest.....as runners, we all love new gear day!  New shoes, new watch, new t-shirt, new shorts, whatever it may be.  We show off our latest purchase with pride and are convinced that this purchase is the reason behind our awesome training run that morning. What’s not to love about that??

Maddie has just bought herself the new Garmin Fenix 3 (Rose gold of course….) and gives us a bit of insight into why she chose this watch for her running and and what she loves / hates about her latest purchase.  Over to you Maddie.....

On the Anzac day holiday, after fish and chips in the sun on a beach in Torquay, my desire for a Garmin Fenix 3 came to the surface. As a proud owner of the Garmin 920XT for less than a year, I had always been slightly envious once the Fenix 3 was introduced mid 2015 in a very pretty white and rose gold colour. Now of course I didn’t need this watch - I just really wanted it!! So - back to the fish and chips, in less than 30 minutes I had suddenly done a deal on my 920XT (thanks coach!) and had the go ahead from the Bank of Ben for the Fenix 3. Two days later - it arrived on my desk and onto my wrist and I’ve been the proud owner for a few weeks now.

Now, the biggest pull for me for the Fenix was that it looks like a normal (albeit slightly oversized) watch. To most people, it definitely does not look like a sports watch. I like to wear my Garmin daily as I cycle to work most days, and run a few times a week, I also use them as a step counter. So, with the 920XT I did sometimes feel I was getting a few strange looks in non sporting situations. Garmin have done a great job in identifying that not all sports watches need to look so masculine, as I’ve yet to see such a pretty sports watch anywhere else.

Starting with the sports functions - the Fenix 3 has all the features I would expect from a high class sports watch. There are settings for the usual - run, walk, bike, swim (all with outside and inside options) and triathlon. Plus, it has some additional settings I’ve not seen before on other Garmins for golf, stand up paddle boarding, climbing and skiing! Perhaps I need to widen my sporting repertoire. For each activity you can set up the screens as to how you want them. For each activity you can also set up standard intervals, or be a bit more creative by setting up workouts in Garmin Connect (perfect for those Go Run speed sessions). Wearing the heart rate monitor, gives you a whole bunch of other stats and advise on your recovery time which I haven’t had the chance to investigate fully yet.

There are a number of non sports related features too - it links to your smart phone and can receive notifications for emails, messages, Facebook notifications etc. It also monitors the weather and temperature, has a altimeter, barometer and a compass - helping you find your way home if you get lost!

One of the great features of the Fenix is the link to the Connect IQ Store, where you can download yet more apps and there are many options change the watch face (digital or analog). So - plenty of features. I should also mention it tells you the time too…!

Of course with any product, there has to be some negatives - for me it would be that the screen is a little dark. However, I’ve solved this by playing around with the watch face settings and setting up the ‘gesture’ feature so the back light comes on when I turn my wrist. I also discovered at parkrun that it can be a little difficult to read with sunnies on - but not impossible, I just need to find the right angle in some lights. I’m also a little concerned as to how long the nice white strap will stay that white for, but it’s made of silicon and should be fairly easy to keep clean. The other negative has to be the price- it’s at the top end of the sports watch range, at over $700.

After a few weeks and plenty of runs and cycles, I’m extremely happy with my latest purchase. I would highly recommend the Fenix 3. It’s light, comfortable and best of all, it's just so pretty...