The Garmin Fenix 3 is a GPS smart watch intended to be one of perfect hybrids between mainstream smart watches and fitness trackers. The Fenix 3 is two times as expensive as the Garmin Vivoactive, which is intended for those seeking a watch that contains high-end technology for convenience as wearable technology and as a fitness activity tracker.

You can choose from five different color schemes and with or without a Heart Rate Monitor sensor.


Brand: Garmin

Type/Model: Fenix 3 GPS Watch

Purchase Link:


Technical Specifications and Features:

  • 1.2-inch Sunlight-Visible High Resolution Display
  • Chroma Display
  • Resolution: 218×218 pixels; Transflective MIP color
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters; Suitable for swimming
  • Exo Antenna: An Omni-directional steel EXO antenna that, when paired with EPO and GLONASS, offers a quicker fix and accurate position than GPS alone
  • Wireless Connectivity: Uses one or more Wi-Fi hotspots to automatically sync your data with Garmin Connect; Updates software when in range
  • Battery: 300 mAh Lithium-Ion
  • GPS-enabled
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Weather Alerts
  • Physiological Measurements
  • High-sensitivity receiver
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Electronic compass
  • Smart Notifications (email, text, calls, alerts)
  • Vibration Alert
  • Music Control
  • VIRB Control
  • Find my Phone feature
  • Built-in memory: 32 MB
  • Memory for 1,000 waypoints/favorites/locations
  • Memory for 50 routes
  • Watch Functions: Time of Day (12/24hr), Calendar (Day/Date), Daily Alarm, Stop Watch, Timer, Sunrise/Sunset Alerts
  • Running features, Maps and Memory, Cycling features, Ski features, Performance features, Swimming features, Golfing features, Outdoor features, Activity Tracking features, Garmin Connect, Chartplotter Features



The battery life on the Fenix 3 is one of the absolute best on the market. With the rechargeable 300 mAh lithium-ion battery, the user can get up to 20 hours in GPS mode/training; 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; and an incredible 6 weeks in watch mode, depending on the user’s settings. You can even get an entire 3 weeks out of the Fenix 3 when it is in smart watch mode.

The Good

There are countless aspects of this smart watch that make it one of the best fitness watches on the market. Not only is the battery life out of this world and the specifications top-notch, but the sheer amount of features intended for athletics, fitness, data storing, activity tracking, etc….

Here are some of the features intended for superior fitness tracking:

  • GPS-enabled Features
  • Running (Virtual Pacer, V02 Max Estimate, Recovery Advisor, Race Predictor, Running Dynamics, Accelerometer, Personal Records)
  • Maps and Memory
  • Cycling (Compatible with Vector, Multiple Bike Profiles, Bike Speed/Cadence Sensor)
  • Ski Featurs
  • Performance (Heart Rate Monitor—in HR models; Virtual Partner; Virtual Racer; Auto Pause; Multi-Sport; Auto Multi-Sport; Advanced Workouts; Pace Alert; Interval Training; Heart Rate-based Calorie Consumption; Calculation of Calories Burned; Training Effect)
  • Swimming (Pool Swim Metrics—Lengths, Distance, Pace, Stroke, Count/Rate, Calories); Stroke Type, Open Water Swim Metrics, Swim Workouts
  • Golfing (Measures Shot Distance, Yardage to F/M/B, Yardage to Layups/Doglegs, Digital Scorcard)
  • Outdoors (Hunt/Fish Calendar, Sunrise and Sunset, Sun and Moon Information)
  • Activity Tracking (Step Counter, Auto Goal, Move Bar, Sleep Monitoring)
  • Garmin Connect (with automatic sync)
  • Chartplotter Features (Tide Tables)

The 1.2-inch (30.4mm) display face is crisp and offers excellent color display, including Sunlight-Readability for easy glancing at the watch outdoors.


The Bad

While there are little negative reviews regarding the Fenix 3, some users have reported issues with GPS accuracy with their models. For USA users, the GLONASS sensor seems to be the culprit—when it is “on,” this sensor sometimes makes GPS results less accurate.

For the watches effected, this can cause saved routes and tracking (via GPS) to be very off in terms of accuracy.


One of the highlights is the variety of colors to choose from. The available colors include:

  • Gray / Black Band
  • Silver / Red Band
  • Sapphire / Metal Band
  • Sapphire / Rose Gold-tone with White Band
  • Sapphire / Silver with Leather Band

The rugged design of the Fenix 3 is another outstanding feature that this smart watch does better than anyone. The construction is solid with high strength and scratch-resistant domed sapphire lens. The stainless steel bezel rounds off the traditional round watch face in a way that exudes strength and durability.

The best aspect of this smart watch has to be the battery life. It is rare to find a smart watch or fitness tracker of any kind with the battery life of this Garmin model. With up to 20 hours in GPS mode, 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, 3 weeks in smart watch mode, and up to 6 weeks in watch mode (depending on settings), this smart watch by Garmin has astounding battery life that hikers, campers, and adventurers will love. It not only gives you enough power in GPS mode to get you through the day, but for multi-day use which is perfect for hiking expeditions and rock climbing.


The functionality of the Garmin Fenix 3 is nearly beyond reproach. This smart watch works wonderfully in so many environments in- and out-doors that its versatility is one of the best on the wearable tech market.

While some users reported difficulties with the GPS as far as accuracy is concerned, the watch functions marvelously for the majority of users. With the excellent materials used and the Grade A technology that offers limitless options to track one’s fitness, this smart watch has the features, functions, and specifications to impress anyone.


On Amazon, you can purchase this smart watch with Heart Rate Monitor for around $549.99 and without a Heart Rate Monitor for $499.99. You can also purchase this watch directly from Garmin for the same price.



This is a pretty steep price, so if you are looking for a Garmin smart watch but with less of a price tag, take a look at the Garmin Vivoactive!

The Vivoactive is much less expensive and you can purchase it on Amazon without a Heart Rate Monitor for $177.99/$189.95 (for Black or White respectively), or with a Heart Rate Monitor for $240.00/229.00 (for Black or White).


Overall Impression

Garmin’s all-in-one fitness smart watch is an excellent piece of technology that truly offers those with active lifestyles, an alternative to mainstream smart watches while offering superior activity tracking. This durable and rugged watch can withstand water and the elements no matter where you find yourself, and the battery life is incredibly long, even in GPS mode.

The overall impression of the Garmin Fenix 3 is that it is a great fitness tracker/smart watch hybrid. With a price that reflects the technology, this high-end smart watch means business, and for the active among you, you may find this to be your favorite wearable technology to keep track of your busy life.

View our full list of smart watches and fitness watches!