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Garmin Fenix 5, 5s, 5x Differences — Comparison Review

Fenix 5, 5S and 5X are Garmin multisport GPS watches with heart rate based wrist bands. They are fully fitness featured and have interchangeable bands. It lets you have flexibly ovver changing usage approaches for example moving from work to exercising. The three models of Garmin Fenix series have a number of differences that should be taken into account when making decision on buying one of them.

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Garmin Fenix 2 review

Fenix 2

Garmin Fenix 2

If you consider yourself to be a multifaceted athlete, that is you jog, swim, snowboard or perform just about any outdoor activity, the Garmin Fenix 2 is the watch for you! The Fenix 2 is Garmin’s much improved version over its predecessor, the first generation Fenix released in 2012. The original Fenix was geared towards running and hiking related activities, whereas the Fenix 2 is a full fledge multi sport watch that is a truly exemplary gadget to say the least.
The Fenix 2 as claimed by Garmin is a full featured training watch and that’s just about how we’d describe it too. Considering that it is designed for just about any activity, it is outfitted with a ton of features such as an accelerometer, 3-axis compass, ANT+ and Bluetooth radios, a high sensitivity GPS radio, barometer, altimeter and even an integrated thermometer. The biggest problem or inconvenience rather that most outdoor athletes are faced with is having a separate watch or even a couple multi sport watches for each activity. But the Gamin Fenix (pronounced Phoenix just like the US State) resolves this issue nicely and is intended to be the Jack of all Trades.

Unboxing the Garmin Fenix 2

Garmin Fenix 2

Garmin Fenix 2

The Fenix 2 can be ordered in two different packages: one with just the watch and one with the watch and the HRM-RUN heart strap. When paired with the Fenix 2, the HRM-RUN heart strap is able to measure ground contact time, vertical oscillation (measures how high you bounce when you run) and cadence among others. So if you train at a very high level or simply require detailed data such as this, the Fenix 2 multi sport training GPS bundle is a recommended buy. Getting back to the unboxing, the package of the Garmin Fenix 2 is a visual treat in itself, and is divided into 3 sections, two of which contain the device and accessories. Continue reading


Garmin Fenix 3 HR Review

Garmin Fenix 3 HRThe Garmin Fenix 3 HR is a great and much needed upgrade to already successful Fenix 3 and in this iteration brings to the table an onsite class leading heart rate sensor and a flotilla of band color variations. And good news for existing Fenix 3 owners is they will receive a slew of software updates, which we’ll get into later on in this review of Fenix 3 HR. The HR sensor plopped into the back of the Fenix 3 is no ordinary one and is the Elevate optical heart rate sensor introduced this past fall.

With the Elevate HR sensor onboard, the Fenix 3 is not only track heart rate data for most types of activities it is able to complete this task round the clock as part of its continual HR monitoring and recording feature. The integrated heart rate sensor does of course make the Fenix 3 HR a bit heavier than the non-HR version, 6 grams to be exact, but regardless still showcases a robust build and eye catching appeal. Continue reading

Garmin announced new models: Varia Vision and Fenix 3 HR

Last year fitness trend brought us wrist-based hear rate monitor to Garmin’s activity tracker vivosmart HR and GPS watch for running Forerunner 225. This year we are getting rather expected

Garmin Varia Vision

Garmin Varia Vision

improvement to Fenix series.  I’m saying “expected”, as after introducing built-in hear rate monitor for vivo and forerunner series, Fenix was next in line for this extra

feature.  What’s rather surprising is

Google Glass

Google Glass

Garmin’s Varia Vision (top picture on left).  It reminds me about other item of wearable technology – Google Glass (pic on right).  Varia Vision is a device which can be attached to practically any glasses and without taking your eyes off the road, allow you to read important information from some of the Garmin EDGE series and Varia (as of today, mid January: EDGE 1000, EDGE 520,   Varia). It also provides vibration alerts for texts/e-mails, directions and key cycling information. I guess getting used to vibration on your glasses requires some time, but it may be quite useful, considering that the alert will be easier to notice and without a need of constantly looking on your bike computer. The color display can provide up to 4 data fields, and consist of built-in ambient light sensor. Switching between the data fields is made through glove-friendly touch panel. It does sound interesting, doesn’t it?

As for Fenix 3 HR, it can be great for multisport athletes preparations.  I just wonder why there is a bundle option with Heart Rate Monitor available. Shouldn’t the HR (hear rate) feature help us to get rid of the extra accessory?

Can’t wait to hear some “first hand” experience. Perhaps you already use one of those. Let us know and leave a comment .

Comparing Fenix 3, Fenix 3 Sapphire and Fenix 3 HR:

Fenix 3Fenix 3
 Fenix 3 HR
 Multiple sport profiles
 Advanced running dynamics
 Physiological metrics
 Garmin Connect
 GPS navigation
 Preloaded basemap
 ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass)
 Wireless CapabilitiesANT+, Bluetooth, Wifi®ANT+, Bluetooth, Wifi®ANT+, Bluetooth, Wifi®
 Water Rating110 ATM10 ATM10 ATM
 Battery20 hrs GPS
50 hrs UltraTrac
20 hrs GPS
50 hrs UltraTrac
20 hrs GPS
50 hrs UltraTrac
 Color display
 Connect IQ
EXO antenna
 Activity tracking2
 Advanced smart features3
 Virtual Racer software feature4
 Race predictor, recovery advisor & personal records
 Metronome (cadence training)
 Scratch-resistant sapphire lens
 Styles that include an additional bandMetal, Silver with Leather Band, Gray with Leather StrapHR
 Elevate wrist-based heart rate
1.  Buy on Amazon;1.  Buy on Amazon;1.  Buy on Amazon;

Buy Varia Vision on Amazon

Would you like to find out more: read my review on Fenix 3 (coming on 18th January) or Fenix 3 HR (pre-review coming this Friday – 15th January).

Garmin BaseCamp app for mobile

Yes, now this app (BaseCamp) is also available for iPhone. But…compatible with iPhone 4S and the latest iPhone 5 only. I’m the owner of 3GS and unfortunately this app does not wrok on m y mobile. I guess that’s a good excuse to upgrade for the iPhone 5.

The purpose of this app is to go together with the latest wrist-worn GPS from Garmin – FENIX (available on Garmin website for USD 399.99; at the time of writing this post, Garmin proceses the orders for Fenix during 3-5 weeks; would that mean lack of stock because of its popularity?). I wonder you had the chance to play already with this model. I’m expecting a sample during the next few days. Here are some first few words about fenix release on our blog

Here is some description of the BaseCampe taken from Garmin International Blog : “BaseCamp Mobile utilizes Bluetooth® low energy (BLE) for optimal battery performance on both the iPhone and fēnix. The app will display waypoints, tracks or routes and you can easily switch between regular map, satellite or hybrid view and pan and zoom in each of these. When selecting routes or tracks, you’ll also be able to view elevation, temperature and speed graphs. fēnix is equipped with ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer and compass) to provide you the real-time information you need while on the trail. For advanced and extremely accurate temperature reading, fēnix can be also be paired with tempeTM, Garmin’s new external temperature sensor. ”

I still don’t have a chance to play with the app and fenix yet, but if you have any first thoughts, please kindly share them.

Expected Garmin BaseCamp app for smartphones

Just came across this one (I think not planned “leak” from Garmin 🙂 ):

Taken from new Garmin fenix (GPS watch) description:
” A Basecamp mobile app allows users to transfer waypoints and tracklogs to view them on a more detailed map and larger screen of select smartphones[1].”

Whenever I try to click [1] it doesn’t take me anywhere.

Anyway, it sounds interesting and very possible, especially that the fenix comes with ANT capabilities and Bluetooth. I think fenix is a very tentative device, now even more if it’ll possible to share details with my iPhone while on hike. It’s much smaller and lighter than any of the handhelds. So really more suitable for adventurers. Wondering only about reception in difficult conditions like somewhere in the jungle. Will it be really possible to replace 62s or eTrex 30?  Doubt it.

Any thoughts, ideas about the BaseCamp app?

New GPS from GARMIN – GPS wrist watch FENIX

Garmin releasing totally new GPS wrist-worn series: FENIX (fēnix™). Comparing to the previous models from this series (Foretrex 301 and Foretrex 401) we’ll find quite a lot of improvements. The fēnix™ is slightly lighter, really waterproof (50m), has 20 MB of internal memory (previous models non). It comes with preloaded base map and consists of Barometric sensor and electronic compass. It can be used for fitness (also with some extra accessories like Heart Rate Monitorp or Seed/Cadence Bike Sensor).
Some other specs:

  • Geocaching friendly (paperless)
  • Area calculation
  • Ability to add custom Points Of Interest
  • Unit-to-unit transfer
  • Compatible with Garmin Connect

As it is a GPS watch, it also has: time, date, alarm, timer, chronograph, chimes and vibration functions.