Garmin Fenix 3 HR

Garmin Fenix 3 HR (Sapphire)
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
£400 to £499
  • 100%

  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 99%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 95%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 99%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 99%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 99%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 95%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 95%

The Garmin Fenix range has been an outstanding line-up of outdoor adventure watches since they were first released. You can trust Garmin to innovate and improve on an already successful product and that’s precisely what they’ve done here with the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire HR. Garmin have taken the previous Fenix 3, popped in a robust sapphire crystal display.

They have also added Garmin Elevate OFF the WRIST heart rate sensors and given it some great new strap styles and added 3 new sports profiles > golf, stand up paddleboarding & rowing. On top of that they’ve included the latest advanced running dynamics and physiological measurements and even. The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic (formerly HeartRateMonitor UK)

Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire multisport adventure GPS watch with wrist based heart rate monitor

Release Date (UK) > February 2016

Product it replaced > None – this is a new product (first Fenix with built in HR) that is sold in parallel to the Fenix3

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > £539

Replaced by > The Garmin Fenix 5 is coming soon. All models include wrist based HR

Who’s it For?

Just like the rest of the Garmin Fenix range the Fenix 3 is aimed at people that don’t want to compromise in any aspect of their training. It’s got all the essential performance monitoring metrics of the Forerunner 630, the swim metrics and multisport triathlon functionality of the 920XT / 735XT …. it’s also a competent GPS navigation tool and 24/7 activity tracker with off the wrist (Garmin Elevate) heart rate monitor.

I’ll be quite frank here and say if budget is not an issue and you’ve been considering any of the following, Forerunner 735XT, Forerunner 630, Forerunner 235 or any previous incarnations of Garmin Fenix, bit the bullet and get this model. It looks great, it’s got outstanding battery life (up to 16 hours in GPS mode) and, to top it all, it comes with a sapphire crystal watch glass to keep it looking pretty for years to come.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel EXO™ antenna with GPS and GLONASS reception
  • Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology measures heart rate at the wrist
  • fēnix 3 Sapphire HR with high-strength domed sapphire lens and 1.2 inch sunlight readable colour display
  • Fitness training features like advanced running dynamics stride length, vertical ratio, VO2 max, recovery advisor and more
  • Outdoor navigation features like 3-axis compass, altimeter and barometer and TracBack® feature
  • Smart Notifications and download data fields, watch faces and apps from Connect IQ™
  • Omni-directional stainless steel EXO™ antenna, with GPS/GLONASS satellite reception, has the ability to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
  • 1.2-inch sunlight-readable Garmin Chroma Display™ with high-strength domed sapphire lens

GPS & Glonass Navigation

Navigate GPX routes with clearly visible waypoints and breadcrumb trail showing your desired path. Routes can either be downloaded from GPX sources or you can built your own on Garmin Connect website. fēnix 3 HR provides comprehensive navigation and tracking functionalities to guide you on and off the beaten path using GPS plus ABC (altimeter, barometer and compass). TracBack feature navigates you back to your starting point the same way you came. Its built-in sensors provide information on heading, elevation and weather changes

Barometric Pressure sensor

The built-in altimeter provides elevation data to accurately monitor ascent and descent, while the barometer can be used to predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not.

fenix-3-gps-navigation-follow-route

Next Model Up

This is the top of the range with built-in Garmin Elevate heart rate sensors. If you want something even more exclusive and you’re happy to drop the off the wrist HR then it has to be the Garmin Fenix 3 Chrono. In January 2017 Garmin released the Fenix 5 (no Fenix 4, something to do with bad luck in Chinese). This latest incarnation has everything this model does plus it’s available in 3 sizes. A regular size, the Fenix 5, a small Fenix 5S and a LARGE one with more advanced mapping ability, the Fenix 5X.

Garmin Fenix 5 available in 3 different sizes – all versions with wrist based HR

Garmin Fenix Chronos (shopping partners website – approx £900 – £1000)

Next Model Down

The next model down is the same watch, the Fenix 3, without the built-in HR. Personally, if I was spending this much money I’d get THIS ONE. However, if there some great deals on the regular chest strap version then go for it.

Garmin Fenix 3 without Garmin Elevate off the wrist heart rate.

Smartphone Notifications

Love them or hate them, smartphone notification alerts can be very useful. The Fenix 3 will alert you to incoming calls, texts etc.

fenix3-hr-smartphone-notifications

5 x Heart Rate Training Zones

The Fenix 3 HR is a great sports watch for anyone involved in serious heart rate training. With 5 x auto-set heart rate training zones see at a glance which zone you are in. Your training zones can be personalised if you want to set them yourself. If you’ve not used a heart rate monitor before please try our heart rate zone calculator to get an idea of your own training zones. The clear colour coded heart rate display of the Fenix 3 HR also makes it a great watch for HiiT training.

garmin-fenix-3-hr-heart-rate-training-zones-5

24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring

Like the Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive HR the Fenix 3 HR samples your heart rate every 4 minutes (approx). Get a clear view of your peaks and troughs throughout the day. As well as this 4 hour view it is also possible to recall a 7 day HRH graph. This graph shows your daily average resting heart rate. Periods of extended elevated heart rate could be an indication of over exertion, illness or over training.

garmin-fenix-3-hr-sapphire-24-7-heart-rate

Daily Activity Tracking and Move Alerts

The RED bar is the MOVE BAR. Try to keep this unlit. After 1 hour of total inactivity the large lower bar fills. Following that, every 15 minutes the upper small sections will also turn red. When the whole bar is RED you’ve not moved for 2 hours ! The vertical bar on the left is your progress towards your daily activity target.

garmin-fenix3-hr-front-back

Quick Links – lowest prices

PLEASE use the links below to check for the lowest online prices of this Garmin Fenix 3 HR outdoor GPS watch.

Thank you for your valued support … Tristan

Wiggle sell this product onlineAmazon sell this productevans-cycles-price-check-button

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Videos (Garmin’s own)

Garmin say “True performance meets true style. Introducing fēnix 3 HR. The rugged, capable and smart multisport training GPS watch with wrist-based heart rate. Let the journey begin…..”

I prefer this video demonstration for a proper idea of what the Fenix 3 HR can actually do ..

And this one gives some good examples of Heart Rate related screen views …