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Tested: Garmin’s New Fenix 3 HR

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Garmin have made a name for themselves, for creating products that are, in a sense, a necessity for people to use when participating in sport. We’ve seen it with the Garmin Varia and now with the recently launched Garmin Fenix 3 HR smart watch.

Now some people might think it’s just a watch, all I need it to do is tell time. Yes, that’s true, however, this does so much more than just tell time. It’s a very useful multisport training and performance device, that allows you to actually track your training and events like the pros do!


What’s so special?!

The watch features are actually mind blowing in a sense. What Garmin has done, is load the device with widgets, that every outdoor enthusiast would want to have. We like to think of these widgets as tools for training.

Some of the tools that we found useful for cycling, was number one, the Heart Rate monitor. The accuracy on the Heart Rate monitor was spot on, we compared it to another heart rate monitor and both told exactly the same story. What’s nice about the Fenix 3’s heart rate monitor, is that it not only indicates your heart rate when exercising, but also when you’re in the office. I used the heart rate a lot when I exercised, as this helped me to see when I needed to push my heart rate up when entering a new level of training intensity.


Number 2 on our feature list, is the speed and cadence sensor that you can purchase separately from the watch. The watch connects wirelessly to both sensor and tracks everything from the moment you set foot on the bike! I took the sensors out on one ride, and I must say, it was really interesting to see my cadence going up this one hill that I always dread. It also helped me to stick to my training method when I was on the indoor trainer. And then of-course your speed sensor tells your speed, but I mean, then you don’t really need a speedometer mounted on your handle bars anymore!


On the GPS side whether you’re on the road or off the road, or even just tracking small workouts, this thing makes it its priority to know where you are at all times.


Another thing I as a cyclist like to know, is how high I’ve climbed in a ride. (it’s just nice to brag to your friends every now and then) With Garmin’s altimeter built into the watch, you’ll know exactly how far above sea-level you are, on the bike and off the bike, and also do a bit of altitude training when mountain biking.

So you want to keep a record of your workouts? Well the Fenix 3 HR has plenty of space to keep a perfect log of everything, after all, it is your personal training tool! You can also upload your workouts from the watch to your phone via the Garmin Connect app.


The battery life on the watch last for about 2 weeks on full time running. So you get some pretty good use out of it, before it needs a charge again. Plus, to crown it all, its 100m water proof.


All these tools in general help you train and perform better. Sure a personal trainer is nicer, but with the Fenix 3 HR you can be your own personal trainer! It definitely provides you with enough stats, for you to make informed decisions about your training.

One way in which this watch really helps you with health, is it actually tells you if you’re sitting too long, by vibrating on your wrist. For me, while testing this, I got up out of my study chair and just walked around a bit. Immediately the little notification came up to say that I’ve completed a move session. I personally have felt a little bit more energized, from doing that each day.


Another benefit is convenience. The Fenix 3 HR can also connect to your phone. Often I’d go riding or running and a notification would come up on the watch when someone calls or SMS’s me – pretty cool!

If you’re just in it for looking good, then get this watch anyway! Its stylish and suits formal and informal wear. In fact, I was at a wedding recently where people would walk up to me and say: “Hey, nice watch!” Never minded the other formal clothes, but the watch looks good! Plus, its strap is very comfortable compare to some other watches.



So what do we think about Garmin’s Fenix 3 HR? Well, it’s definitely useful. You won’t buy it and store it, instead you can just put it on your wrist and forget about it, meanwhile at the end of the day, you’ll have awesome stats figures to go-over. Ultimately with this device you too can be a professional and train like one. Though the Garmin Fenix 3 HR (sapphire edition) is pretty pricey at R10 499, its definitely worth it!  


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Bike guide

Built for: Dual Suspension Trail
Year launched: 2022