GARMIN FENIX 3

A user’s review by NICO PANAGIO

Finally a sports watch I can wear everywhere!

You can even take this baby out on the red carpet, just wipe the mud off, dress it up in the metal straps and it looks like a million dollars. This way you also have an uninterrupted recording of your movement data. Wear it to bed and it even analyzes your sleep patterns. I find myself wondering if this little beauty might make me an espresso before it gently nudges me awake with the vibrating alarm. There must be an app for that ! Which reminds me, there are loads of incredible apps that you can download from the store in moments, thereby tailor-making the device to suit your digital requirements.

The Fenix 3 is a game changer. Finally we have a timepiece you can take home and introduce your mama! Robust and ripped like a cage fighter but lean, super smart and lithe like a Wall Street trader.

One of the things I love most about trail running is the simplicity. All you need is a pair of trainers and shorts and some dirt to run on. However, when I started running with tech, I discovered that extra dimension. Immediate body status information that has a direct impact on your performance. Once you understand your zones with the help of the intricate yet simple analysis software, you gain an instinctive understanding of where your performance levels lie. As such you have a better natural feel for your body feedback and consequently, more control over your performance. The Fenix 3 has taken this to the next level and includes all of Garmin’s latest data analysis software, to ensure that you get the most useful information out of your workout.

The fact that you can easily tailor your device display requirements from the device itself is a huge win for me. Especially with trail running, the dynamics of the session changes constantly , so one also finds yourself needing different data displays at different times throughout your session. As such the ability to make changes to my displays while I'm in the middle of a session is a huge benefit . If you suddenly feel the need to add ‘pace data’ to your display when are working on intervals but you forgot to pre-set it, no stress. You can flip between options right there and then while the session is still recording. Essentially all the information is being recorded and stored anyway and all you are doing is choosing which you want to have displayed right now. This is especially useful when you are cross-training for longer periods of time, in one session.

Let's not forget the fact that it connects to your phone via bluetooth so that you can receive text, mail and even social media notifications from your mobile while you're sweating it out. Now you can tell just at a glance, wether or not it is worth your while to stop and answer that call or reply to that message. This works especially well for me since as an entrepreneur, I have no regular work hours, which means I may be up in the mountains on a Monday morning and not at the office. As such, you want to be able to remain connected while you're out there and you don't feel like you're missing anything important.

Another aspect that had me tingling all over is the vibration alert. If like me, those little beeps make you feel like you want to BLEEP, then this function is your best friend. Even my mobile phone is set to vibrate only, since there just is no ring tone that sounds as good as a silent, gentle nudge. I feel a little less like a techno slave when my device gently ‘asks’ me whether or not I would like to take a call than urgently demanding I answer the phone NOW! That bold vibration on my wrist from my Fenix 3, when a kilometre has been conquered or my heart rate has peaked or whatever else, really makes for a much more pleasant, interactive experience.

With the Fenix 3 we have the perfect combination of technological dreaming and realistic thinking, all wrapped up in one ultimate techno marvel. A device that not only tells the time and a host of other useful information but also ticks all the boxes when it comes to what I call ‘pure aesthetic functionality’. No frills here. Everything you see has a purpose and it does its job well while still taking its time to smile at the cameras!