From trusted GPs maker Garmin comes the Fenix 3, a rugged, smart and versatile fitness smart watch. It’s one of the few devices that properly combines the best of a smart watch, a fitness tracker and a GPS, which are usually confined to their own niches. And instead of skimping out, as hybrids are wont to do, it delivers.
First things first: the outside. The case on the Fenix 3 is built from PVD-stainless steel, with a reinforced housing, and the band is treated silicone. The display is Garmin Chroma Display, very high resolution and bright enough to be visible in sunlight thanks to the LED backlight. It measures 1.2” across (pretty good for a watch) and has a high-strength domed sapphire lens for clarity and durability.
In terms of fitness features; Elevate measures your heart rate right from your wrist, eliminating any need for an annoying chest strap. The software includes some pretty cool features such as advanced running dynamics with vertical oscillation and vertical ratio, VO2 max, recovery advisor, and Training Status, a tool that automatically analyzes your recent exercise history and tells you if you’re training productively, peaking or overreaching. There are also modes for swim training, skiing, golfing and paddle sports, including stand up paddle boarding and rowing.
And of course, as a GPS Watch, there is navigation and tracking that let you know your exact location at all times, thanks to GPS combined with altimeter, barometer and compass. TracBack lets you navigate back to where you started, while showing your elevation and weather changes as you go.
It’s also equipped with ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity so you can share locations, checkpoints and maps with other people and devices. And of course, it’s a smart watch; you can send and receive texts, phone calls and emails, all with the press of a button.
So what do we think? If you’re looking for an all-around versatile watch for hiking, adventuring, exercising and everyday activities, all rolled into one, this is the one you’re looking for. It starts at $549.99.