The Garmin Fenix 3 – It is a triathlon watch. And more.

02-Garmin-weekly

The Garmin Fenix 3 is a full blown triathlon watch. What necessitates this statement? Since the 910XT and 920XT have gained a solid reputation as Garmin’s dedicated triathlon watches, I came across some triathletes that seemed to be unsure about where the Fenix 3 exactly fits in. To quote DC Rainmaker, arguably the world’s best high tech gear reviewer: “The Fenix 3 should be looked at as a superset of the FR920XT.  So, a FR920XT++.” This does not mean that it is better in terms of operation. Both are built on the same engine. The Fenix 3 however, has added functionalities, such as extended navigational features, temperature recording and auto-climb, for starters. Obviously, design features like shape and construction also have implications. The fact is Garmin set the bar very high with the Fenix 3. It offers a lot. Go check out the Fenix 3 without hesitation, it is an inspirational piece of tech!

(Feel free to browse the comparison chart below, courtesy of DC Rainmaker’s website)

FUNCTIONALITY/FEATURE DIFFERENCES GARMIN FENIX3 GARMIN FR920XT GARMIN FENIX2 GARMIN FENIX1
GENERAL: MULTIPLE TIME ZONES DISPLAYED (I.E. SHOWING BOTH US EST AND US PST ON DEVICE) PLANNED CONNECT IQ WIDGET NO YES YES
GENERAL: MULTIPLE TIME ALARMS (I.E. 8AM, 10AM, ETC…) PLANNED MARCH 2015 NO YES YES
GENERAL: BATTERY WITH BLUETOOTH ENABLED LASTS A LONG TIME (MORE THAN ~24-36 HOURS) YES YES NO NO
GENERAL: ABILITY TO OPERATE DUAL ANT+ & BLUETOOTH SMART CONCURRENTLY YES YES NO NO
GENERAL: WEATHER WIDGET (USES CELLULAR DATA VIA BLUETOOTH SMART FOR WEATHER DATA) YES VIA CONNECT IQ NO NO
GENERAL: GLONASS FOR INCREASED GPS ACCURACY IN SOME SITUATIONS YES YES NO NO
GENERAL: SHOW EXACT SATELLITE ACCURACY (I.E. +/- 15FT) NO NO YES YES
GENERAL: SHOW SATELLITE MAP (DISPLAY OF SATELLITE POSITIONS) NO NO YES YES
GENERAL: DAILY ACTIVITY TRACKER/SLEEP TRACKING YES YES NO NO
GENERAL: RESUME LATER FUNCTIONALITY (STOPS GPS ACTIVITY, ALLOWS YOU TO RESUME ACTIVITY LATER) YES NO YES
GENERAL: ABILITY TO USE DEVICE WHILE BEING CHARGED YES NO YES YES
GENERAL: AUTO LIGHT CAPABILITY NO NO YES YES
GENERAL: CONFIGURABLE HOT KEY CAPABILITY YES (ADDED APR 2015) NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: ABILITY TO DISPLAY COORDINATES (‘WHERE AM I’/SIMILAR FUNCTION) YES YES YES YES
NAVIGATION: CAN SAVE GPS LOCATIONS ON WATCH FOR FUTURE NAVIGATION YES YES YES YES
NAVIGATION: ABILITY TO CONFIGURE POSITION FORMATS (DATUM/SPHEROID/COORDINATES) YES NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: NUMEROUS COMPASS DATA FIELDS (HEADING/GPS HEADING/COMPASS HEADING) YES ONLY ‘HEADING’ YES YES
NAVIGATION: NUMEROUS NAVIGATION DATA FIELDS (DIST REMAINING, BEARING, COURSE, OFF COURSE, LAT/LONG, ETC…) YES MINIMAL FIELDS YES YES
NAVIGATION: HAS ‘SIGHT ‘N GO’ FUNCTIONALITY (FOLLOWING COMPASS HEADING) YES NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: HAS NAVIGATE TO COORDINATE (ENTERED ON DEVICE) FUNCTIONALITY YES NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: CAN NAVIGATE ON/FOLLOWING HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES YES NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: HAS ‘BACK TO START’ NAVIGATION YES YES YES YES
NAVIGATION: WAYPOINT AVERAGE FUNCTIONALITY NO NO YES YES
NAVIGATION: PROJECT WAYPOINT FUNCTIONALITY NO NO YES YES
MAPPING: CAN PAN/ZOOM ON TRACK MAP YES YES YES YES
MAPPING: BASEMAP FUNCTIONALITY (BASIC MAP LOADABLE) NO NO YES YES
MAPPING: SUPPORTS BASECAMP MOBILE SMARTPHONE APP NO NO YES YES
HIKING: CAN ONE-TAP DISPLAY ALTIMETER, BAROMETER, COMPASS,TEMP (NO GPS ENABLEMENT NEEDED) YES NO YES YES
HIKING: CAN DISPLAY BAROMETER VALUE YES NO YES YES
TOOLS: ABILITY TO SHARE ROUTES WIRELESSLY BETWEEN DEVICES NO NO YES YES
TOOLS: CALCULATE DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS NO NO YES YES
TOOLS: AREA CALCULATION FUNCTIONALITY NO NO YES YES
TOOLS: MAN OVERBOARD FUNCTIONALITY NO NO YES YES
TOOLS: SUN & MOON FUNCTIONALITY PLANNED CONNECT IQ WIDGET NO YES YES
TOOLS: HUNT & FISH FUNCTIONALITY PLANNED CONNECT IQ WIDGET NO YES YES
TOOLS: JUMPMASTER FUNCTIONALITY (PARACHUTING) NO NO YES YES
SPORTS: AUTOCLIMB FUNCTIONALITY YES NO NO NO
SPORTS: ABILITY FOR MULTISPORT PROFILE WITH INDOOR SWIM YES YES NO NO
SPORTS: HAS QUICK RELEASE KIT (FOR TRIATHLON) NO YES NO NO
SPORTS: SUPPORT FOR SPORT-SPECIFIC HEART RATE ZONES YES YES NO NO
SPORTS: SUPPORT FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITY PROFILES (VIA MULTIPLE SAVED SENSORS) YES YES NO NO
APPS: GARMIN CONNECT IQ SUPPORT YES YES NO NO