While Apple may have billed its new smartwatch as the top premium wearable available right now, not every company is happy to roll over and let it take that crown. While it may be able to win if everyone was competing to offer the most expensive wearable, Garmin hopes to out-compete it on features and a number of other factors.
The Fenix 3 has a much more outdoor focus than Apple’s watch, which is more of a jack of all trades. In contrast, Garmin’s flagship wearable offers detailed tracking information about your fitness levels and activities, automatically keeping an eye on steps, distanced traveled, calories burned and it automatically monitors elevation too. It can also track the difference between running and climbing, letting you track both activities separately.
Making sure you know where you are is important for trail running and exploring of course, so the Fenix 3 has a built in compass, as well as a barometer for measuring potential weather changes on the fly. It also has a customisable watch face, letting users view the time as well as all of their other stats in a neat, round face. Better yet, it doesn’t scream “smartwatch,” like many other wearables do and could easily pass for a standard watch.
However it’s very durable and is water resistant for up to 100 metres, with a strong glass-fibre housing and stainless steel buttons, meaning it can take a beating if needed without becoming damaged.
Its battery life is pretty good too, with various settings letting users customise how long it will last. In UltraTrack mode it can last up to 50 hours, though with GPS enabled it will need a recharge after 16 hours.
If you only use it as a watch though – which would be a bit of a waste – it will last as long as three months.
The Garmin Fenix 3 comes in several colour options and is priced at £370. There is also a higher build quality “Sapphire” version which costs £450.
The Fenix 3 is a very fitness focused smartwatch, which may limit its appeal to those that are more interested in a fashion item than a practical tool. It also has quite a hefty price tag, when most fitness wearables come in at a third of its price.
The Fenix 3 is a premium fitness wearable. We will have to wait and see how big the market is for that sort of device.