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Are you looking for a great way to amp up your fitness game? Or perhaps you are already quite learned in the ways of fitness and are looking for an upgrade?
Well, either way, you should know about Garmin and its amazing array of fitness watches!
Amongst these, we have chosen two watches for your convenience.
So below is a detailed Fenix 3 vs. Fenix 5 comparison guide, so you can choose the best watch for your needs.
These two watches are similar, so it can be quite confusing to choose one. Hence you should consider both your requirements and their features carefully!
Fenix 3 vs. Fenix 5 – Comparison in 2021
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch
Garmin’s Fenix 3 has been faring very well since its release in 2015. Fitness buffs usually require a good watch for both indoor and outdoor activities, and this product delivers.
With a great GPS and an optional Glonass technology available, tracking your distance, speed, and pace are very accurate and quick.
Provided with an altimeter to auto-detect elevation levels, along with the other stats, means that an accurate display of data can be achieved.
A compass and barometer are also included, and when these are all turned on, navigation is awesome!
With the use of wireless technology, this unit can connect to Garmin Connect, and wherefrom routes can be downloaded.
As it is compatible with both iPhones and Androids, it’s quite convenient to receive read-only notifications via Bluetooth as well. It also uses ATN + connectivity so it can connect to Garmin’s other accessories.
The display on this device uses Garmin’s Croma, which is essentially a color display system, but there’s a monochrome power-saving mode too.
It is easily readable outdoors, under the sun, and the layout is simple. As for battery life, it’s a big plus! It can last for up to 6 weeks on watch mode, and 20 hours if GPS is on!
This makes for a great adventure watch. Other than that, there’s also an UltraTrac mode, which allows use for up to 50 hours with a single charge.
The watch has a round face, with strong and sturdy straps, giving it an outdoorsy look. There are different modes on this device for tracking different activities.
Swimming and other outdoor activities in harsh conditions are possible due to the water-resistance for up to 100 meters.
If you purchase an HRM-RUN heart-rate strap, more advanced features will also be available, such as vertical oscillation.
And this is a great fitness watch overall, but it comes at a high price, especially since you need to spend more on advanced features.
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Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch
The Fenix 5 was first released in 2017, as a successor to the Fenix 3 HR. This unit is a great outdoor watch, with a hardy build and water-resistance up to 100m.
So it can be used for swimming and other activities where water might be an issue.
The GPS technology is quite decent, and it has an option to use Glonass as well.
Additionally, there are dedicated modes for running, swimming, hiking, and other sports with their own set of features.
All this makes the Fenix 5 a great sports watch, especially since features such as VO2 max and recovery period are also shown.
Having said that, the recovery time shown for each activity might be exaggerated, so it might not always be useful.
The display uses color, but sparingly, and also contains an UltraTrac mode for saving more battery life.
When used with GPS, the battery lasts about 20 hours, and it lasts about 60 hours in UltraTrac mode.
If it’s used only as a watch, it lasts for about 2 weeks. As the screen is transflective, it reflects sunlight, yet it is easy to read while outdoors, with good resolution.
Garmin Connect can be used to download courses and tracks, and apps can be downloaded via Garmin Connect IQ.
As this unit is compatible with smartphones, receiving notifications and weather reports becomes easy.
Equipped with an optical heart-rate monitor called Elevate makes it possible for the Fenix 5 to measure your heart-rate.
While the resting heart-rate is measured pretty accurately, heart-rate during more vigorous activity might not always be accurate.
Overall, a great deal of data can be displayed and analyzed using this device, which allows the user to monitor their activity pretty well.
This can be done via the Training Load feature, which uses the data to inform you of your progress.
Another great feature new to Fenix 5 is that it can show the effects of anaerobic activity along with the aerobic activity.
All of this, of course, comes at a high price range, but this is a great fitness and sports watch nonetheless.
Related Review: Garmin Forerunner 45
Fenix 3 or Fenix 5 Smartwatch?
After you’ve gone through this comparison section, you’ll find it easy to know which one is ideal for you.
As these are fitness watches, fitness tracking is a very important feature to consider.
Fenix 3 can track your distance, speed, pace, and elevation quite well, yet what it lacks is the ability to assess anaerobic activity. Fenix 5, on the other hand, can also show the effects of anaerobic activity.
Other than that, Fenix 5 contains Training Load, but Fenix 3 does not.
In watch mode, Fenix 3 can last for up to 6 weeks, whereas Fenix 5 can last for 2. As for when GPS is on, 20 hrs is the limit for both watches.
When UltraTrac mode is on, 50 hrs is the limit for Fenix 3 and 60 hrs for Fenix 5.
Fenix 3 and 5 are very similar in design, with the only difference being the size. And Fenix 3 is bigger than 5, so it is bulkier to look at and carry around.
Fenix 3 has a resolution of 218 × 218 pixels, as opposed to the 240 × 240 pixels on Fenix 5.
This makes the resolution on Fenix 5 a little sharper. Other than that, they both have a color display.
Fenix 3, being an older model, is less expensive than Fenix 5. However, they are both on the more expensive side.
Having said that, they come with a great array of features to make up for the price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the Fenix 3 and Fenix 5:
Can the straps be changed?
Yes, the straps are replaceable.
Is it necessary to use a smartphone with these devices?
No, they can be used on their own, but you will need to pre-download data using smartphones if you want to use Garmin Connect.
Does the Fenix 3 have a touchscreen?
No, it has to be navigated via buttons.
Do these watches have sleep monitors?
Yes, they do.
Can you reply to Facebook messages with these watches?
No, you can only read notifications.
Both Fenix 3 and Fenix 5 are great fitness and sports watches that will be worth investing in.
It depends on you if you want to spend extra for the Fenix 5 features or not.
If you properly read through our Fenix 3 vs. Fenix 5 comparison, then you will be ready to make that decision, and take the leap!