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Discussion: Garmin Fenix 3

in: Adventure Racing; Gear & Toys

Sep 2, 2015 10:12 PM # 
Anybody try a Fenix 3 yet? DC Rainmaker seems to like it.
My Garmin 910 works fine as a GPS, but not as a watch.
I'm not keen on the ANT+ wireless-only sync- I think the Fenix has a wifi sync option- not sure about cabled sync.

It looks semi-decent for a watch and has some other nice features too according to reviews.

I tried Bash's Ambit, but found the display harder to read than my 910 with contacts, especially at night.

I'd like to hear from someone using one for AR and ultras.
Sep 3, 2015 3:33 PM # 
I have it. I sync it with bt/phone and it works great. I am just figuring out what would be easiest way to sync it here. Haven't used the wifi sync at all.

Multisport features are implemented in watch but I need to know beforehand what disciplines race has. Battery has lasted nicely compared to fr910.
Sep 5, 2015 9:17 PM # 
Whoa, you can sync with your phone? Iphone or Ipad by any chance?
Sep 5, 2015 11:20 PM # 
KP uploads from Garmin 920 to web by phone via Bluetooth from the device.
Sep 6, 2015 12:30 PM # 
May be time to sell my 910...
Sep 8, 2015 10:42 AM # 
Can anyone comment on display contrast? I found Bash's Ambit harder to read with bleary contacts at night than my 910, despite fiddling with display settings.
Oct 5, 2015 6:27 PM # 
If you really like 910, 920 has all the features & lot more. It can work as a simple watch as well! I own it & love it.
Nov 19, 2015 9:57 PM # 
@'Bent - I use a Fenix 3. I find it does pretty much everything I'd want it to do. Plenty of custom apps to tailor your watch to suit your training and racing.

The only fault or flaw is that unlike the Polar V800 which I have is you can not change sport profiles when in an activity.

In the V800 I can start a 'Free multisport' activity (can do same with 920 / 910 AFAIK) start a hike, switch to MTB, switch to hike, switch to kayak, switch to MTB again, go for a swim and have all the activity recorded as different sports all within the one activity file.

This can not be done with Fenix3. It is the one thing in my opinion that stops this from being my 24/7 go-to watch.

Re backlight on Fenix3 it is great and adjustable for all lig ht levels. I also can have it automatically come on based on wrist movement (look at watch) between sunset & dawn.

I haven't compared it with the Ambit 3 which tempts me but i like the look of the Suunto Traverse in a less is more kinda way.
Nov 20, 2015 1:12 PM # 
Hmm, weird that you can't change sports. I know you can on my 910. I wonder if that can be fixed with a software / firmware update?
Nov 23, 2015 11:06 AM # 
@'Bent - I've been trying to find out, it should be a simple firmware fix.

The first I've seen about any possibility is a swim/run post from a week or two ago on Otillo facebook page
but I haven't been able to get any confirmation of this app. I reckon it will be the backbone of a multisport switch.
Nov 23, 2015 12:02 PM # 
+1 Great Watch. I Had the 910xt which was perfect for my tri days but I thought it was ugly. I'd never have worn it as a timepeice even if it could do that. I then got the Fenix 2 and loved that as a watch. It was a little bulky but no more that my Casio Pro Trek. The Fenix 3 is a huge upgrade from the Fenix 2 or 910. It does all teh same stuf and more. All the Garmin run dynamics etc.. Although the activity tracker is gimicky I look at it when I leave the office each day and know if I have spent the day sitting on my ass. I could benefit from a brisk walk or run. The Bluetooth upload is cool. I can see who is ringing me and dismiss to VM from the watch. You can read text messages. Its pricey but its a lot of watch for the money

My main gripe is the same, the inability to switch sports in a single activity. Lots of updates from Garmin since I got it ealier this year so its has to be in the pipeline for a firmware update. If I had that and it connected to the Concept 2 it would be a perfect watch.
Nov 23, 2015 2:24 PM # 
Just downloading the beta version of the 6.19 update which features the running dynamics updates. Left / Right balance among some of the features.
Nov 25, 2015 12:05 PM # 
So, impressions of the latest firmware? Anything interesting added to the run dynamics? As if they weren't geeky enough already!
Nov 27, 2015 7:10 PM # 
Just the left / right stuff. Shows my gammy run off alright :)
Dec 21, 2015 12:21 PM # 
New beat update for the fenix3 which includes Stress Score (Presume HRV based like the Polar V800) and Lactate Threshold tests which became available on the FR630.

Just updating my own watch now so fill you in later.
Dec 21, 2015 12:27 PM # 
@shotgun - you know there is a row app with metronome?
Dec 21, 2015 1:03 PM # 
Just googled it, pretty limited TBH. Same principles for Kayaking I guess. So gps for outdoors, is it just the same as setting 500m pace splits for any other activity. Where are they getting power from? A strokecoach widget would be the bomb.
Dec 22, 2015 9:42 PM # 
Bought a Fenix 3 last month on Cyber Monday. Absolutely love it, with no major complaints. Then again, I was used to wearing a $20 Armitron watch, so it's like going from a Geo Metro to a Corvette.

Haven't actually used it in an AR or orienteering event yet, so can't speak yet to how useful it'll be in a race, but I have high hopes. Been great for training thus far at least. Once I get some actual race event mileage with the device I'll post more.
Dec 23, 2015 11:46 AM # 
Watch is handy in AR from A/B/C point of view but no good for tracking GPS (as in the activity) as you can't switch between sports (yet).

Shotgun & myself used our fenix 3 in tandem this summer to align ourselves off a foggy mountain when we discovered our compass was fubar.
Jan 3, 2016 2:45 PM # 
RSC Racing:
A little off topic but I've been using the Fenix 2 for about 6 months now and love it.
You can preprogram custom multisport races with transitions and its one touch to run through to the next sport.
GPS its great, I've used it through most areas and was climbing in Ireland/Scotland with it. The Altimeter is accurate and is easy to cycle through the different options while its in use.
The read out at night may cause issues as its just an old school red light system, I don't have experience with contacts or glasses so I couldn't clarify that for you.
Jan 3, 2016 5:24 PM # 
True you can program a multi sport session. Limited app choices though so Ive cleared the ones I'll never or rarily do in place for regular brick workouts. It's one way around it. Ideally you can switch on the fly though and even toggle other apps while an activity is running. The back light is much better on the F3 and you can set it to come on with wrist movement. Drives my Wife nuts though as it suddenly illuminates in front of her face during the night :-)
Jan 4, 2016 1:09 PM # 
How are you toggling through other apps while tracking an activity?

ie are you starting with a run and switching to bike / kayak without pre-programming? or do you mean the ABC widgets?
Jan 4, 2016 3:23 PM # 
I'm not. Thats a wishlist along with ANT+ compatibility for the erg.

You have to pre-program. Maybe I'm wrong and there is a way to toggle between apps while tracking but I haven't found it
Jan 5, 2016 11:35 AM # 
Anybody found a way to download via bluetooth from the Fenix 3 then upload to Attackpoint on ipad or iphone yet?
Jan 5, 2016 3:01 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:

Once you have uploaded to garmin connect (eg, with app), browse to (don't use app) on your browser (opera doesn't seem to work, safari does). Use the gear wheel drop down to export activity as gpx, save to your google drive.

Go to AP, switch to full site. Add training, add gpx file, select google drive, select file.
Jan 5, 2016 5:52 PM # 
Thanks Mr W. Will try with dropbox for the GPX.
Ken may have a solution for us soon too.
Jan 5, 2016 7:41 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
One wonders if a non Safari browser with a download manager would eliminate the drive/dropbox step.
Jan 6, 2016 1:59 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Change the "maybe" to "yes", as I finally had a non duplicate activity to test. Worked fine. Took longer to sync watch via connect than do the to drive to ap.
Jan 6, 2016 3:41 AM # 
'Bent will likely report back in the morning but Magic Attackpoint Ken developed a solution less than 24 hrs after 'Bent wrote with the question. It may still be in testing but things should get easier for you Fenix users soon!
Jan 6, 2016 4:03 AM # 
Look for the "gc web sync" option now available inside the Data Import box. Additional improvements (like saved login) are planned.

I admit I have been sitting on this one for a while, waiting to see whether Garmin would block/break it.
Jan 6, 2016 12:11 PM # 
So far so good- it worked perfectly on both PC and iPad. Amazing service, Ken.
Feb 7, 2016 1:55 PM # 
Is there a shortcut or data field to see HR on the Fenix 3 during activity?
I found a screen with just the HR with colour ranges for zones during a trail run, but can't seem to find it in the manual. I *think* it was a data field before the ones I set up- toggling the fields up perhaps?

I use the hotkey of a long press on the "down" button to toggle the clock during an activity, which is very handy. Also use "start" to turn Bluetooth on and off. Toggling the HR was handy too, if only I could repeat it.

EDIT- after today's run, it looks like if you toggle the run fields up, there's the HR screen but only while the activity is in progress.
Feb 8, 2016 12:29 AM # 
Bent- can't you program the fields with whatever you want on each one?
Feb 8, 2016 4:10 PM # 
I can't seem to program in the HR field that has the colors and dial. It seems to be a firmware field.
Oct 30, 2016 6:42 PM # 
Anybody else having a problem with the Fenix 3 not storing GPS map data? My last few runs only have pace, distance, elevation etc but no map.

I'm not alone on this.

I tried a soft reboot, but will need to do another run to see if it's working, as I still can't download maps from previous runs.
Oct 30, 2016 7:12 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Is your fenix full and/or do you have a MacBook? My fenix 1 is unusually flaky if full, and deleting files on my MacBook does not result in deleted files if I don't empty trash - they won't show up, but they are hidden on there somewhere.
Oct 31, 2016 10:50 AM # 
Thanks. No macbook, I sync to my ipad.
I'll look into how to delete files from the Garmin. My understanding was that it automatically deletes files as needed when it captures new ones.
Oct 31, 2016 3:06 PM # 
I ran into this problem last week with a different watch (FR235). Power off/on fixed it; Garmin recommends doing that at least once a month until they have a firmware fix.
Nov 5, 2016 12:04 PM # 
Power on/off worked, and my watch updated today so hopefully they fixed the issue.

This discussion thread is closed.