Return fenix 3 for Apple Watch?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Cashmonee, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Cashmonee, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015

    Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #1
    I was interested to get some opinions from those here about possibly returning a Garmin fenix 3 I have, and getting an Apple Watch in it's place. Pricing will work out to be the same, so that is not a factor.

    I have had the fenix 3 for close to a year, but have not worn it in months. The reason I have the fenix 3 is for cycling, running, and hiking, but between two young children and moving, those activities have not happened much in the last 4 or so months. I also liked wearing it for daily use, but feel as though it may be a bit large for my taste. Further the watch faces and daily capabilities, while adequate, are a little underwhelming. Overall, I really like the fenix 3, but I am wondering if the Apple Watch can do what the fenix did for me, but better.

    What I really need to know is how good the Apple Watch is at fitness activities such as cycling, running and hiking. For hiking and cycling I will have my iPhone 6S Plus with me, but often will not have cell service. For running, it would be the watch alone. I know I won't get the accuracy of the fenix, but will it be good enough. Will the phone and watch last for an 8-12 hour hike? I assume the GPS will function fine without cell service, since it has in the past. Are there any former Garmin users who have switched, and if so, do you feel the watch with the phone nearby was worth the move?

    Any thoughts from anyone would be welcome.

    EDIT: By the way, some of you may remember, I was definitely an Apple Watch hater early on, and honestly, I may still be, I don't know. I am just looking at this fenix that has been sitting for months and wonder if I would get more use out of the Apple Watch.
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    What or how do you mean in returning a year old product?????
     
  3. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #3
  4. Cashmonee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #4
    REI has a one-year return window.

    I recall that thread from a while back, I was just curious what views there were now that we are 8ish months removed from release. Also, I guess I am thinking my priorities have changed a bit. I am looking more for something that could be a daily wear. I have a Garmin Edge 500 I can use for cycling (and hiking for that matter), and for running, exact mileage isn't a huge deal as much as the amount of time I am running. The fenix is obviously the better device for these things, I was just wondering if the Apple Watch could hold its own being supplemented by things like my Edge 500 and iPhone GPS/connectedness.

    How are the apps for these activities? I am mainly a Strava user, does anyone have experience with it on the Watch?
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    I have been using a Garmin 225 as my daily running watch since last spring, and just received an AW for Christmas. I've been using the AW for my last few runs to get a sense of where things stand. First, you have to carry your phone with you if you want GPS data. If you don't want tracking, just a rough estimate of distance and calories, then you can leave the phone behind. Most people will want that tracking though.

    You do not need cell service for the watch/phone to work with GPS. 10-12 hours is probably on the long end of the time you could expect the pairing to last, although even dedicated GPS watches typically only last that or barely longer.

    So far, the AW is ok for running. Not great, just ok. I'm in my off-season so my training is very casual at the moment, so the AW is ok for now. I suspect that when I start again with my structured training, I'll run into limitations. I'm using the Strava app right now because Strava is where I keep all my data and I don't feel like signing up for another service and having to export it. It's very basic. It gives my time, distance, HR, split pace and overall average pace (but only when it reports each mile). There is little customization. HR seems not as reliable as my Garmin. In the past, I've found the iPhone GPS to be somewhat iffy when tracking runs in the woods. Sometimes it's fine, but often it's really bad. This is where the Garmin excels - it gives me excellent real-time pace information even in heavy woods with a full summer canopy.

    Outside of that though, the AW is way better than the Garmin for everything else, so I'm keeping it and will probably just do most of my running with the Garmin. If you are a casual runner who doesn't mind carrying the iPhone, the AW is a fine choice if you want the rest of the features the AW brings. I would never suggest it to someone as primarily a fitness watch though.
     
  6. Cashmonee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #6
    Allow me to give a little more background as most probably aren't very familiar with the fenix 3. It is an outdoor focused multisport watch. It has some smart capabilities such as notifications (though not actionable), watch faces (mostly not attractive), and apps (mostly not great, and small in number). Its main focus is on the multisport side of things. It has an always on watch face, battery life of about a week without GPS, 25 hours of constant GPS and 45 hours of GPS in ultra track mode.

    I am a teacher who casually rides, hikes, and runs. For cycling, I really just like the data after. I have taken to trying to enjoy my rides more, and don't really "train" instead I just ride. Hiking, GPS data is relatively necessary in case I need to navigate. I think the phone would do ok here as long as the battery can hold up. For running, I use intervals, so I really only need to know the time I have been running or walking. I am not, at this point interested in hitting a pace or even mileage beyond knowing about how far I went. In short, I am not super serious about any of these activities, I just enjoy them. As I said previously, my schedule is such that I haven't even been able to do any of them for a while, though I hope to change that.

    I have enjoyed the notifications on the fenix at work, and figure I would like them on the Apple Watch even more, especially because of the better display and the fact that you can act on them. Plus I find the Apple Watch more stylish, and therefore more likely to be worn.

    Part of this is also gadget lust. For all the negatives I saw/see in the Apple Watch, I do find it rather attractive.
     
  7. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #7
    At this point, I would say buy one from a vendor with a decent return policy and try it out. Apple gives you 14 days. No one can really answer if the AW is for you except YOU. No one has the exact same circumstances, so all we can do is give our experiences which don't seem to be helping. Good luck.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    I think in your case then the AW is likely to do well for you. It's a much better 'daily' watch than anything Garmin makes, and it does well enough at basic fitness tracking. I am no longer a serious cyclist, but do some with friends and just use the Strava app to track my rides. The AW will allow me to at least see some of that data in real time while I'm on the bike. It sounds like for you even running without the phone might be acceptable.

    I think the biggest thing you will be surprised by is how short the battery life is. With my 225 which has 10-12 hours of active GPS battery, I can generally go about 3-4 days between charges mid-season when I am running a couple of hours every day, and it will go weeks in the off-season. The AW really is good for the 12-18 hours advertised. You need to charge it every night, even if you aren't using it that much.

    Notifications that I can control are my favorite things about my AW. I dislike keeping my phone on me at all times and constantly having to pull it out for every notification important or not. With the AW I am allowing only important stuff to come through.
     
  9. tardman91 macrumors 6502a

    tardman91

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tampa Area, FL
    #9
    I think you'll enjoy the Apple Watch. You sound similar to me - a teacher who enjoys cycling and running. I used to have a TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio, which I sold for a Fitbit Surge, since it was more of an "all the time" watch, and it tracked my steps and sleep (the TomTom didn't). It has notifications, which mostly sucked. When the Apple Watch went on sale for $100 off at Best Buy I got one. I'm loving it so far. I haven't gotten a chance to use it for cycling yet but I have used it for running a couple of times and it's done well. I don't get my route map using the workout app (unless it's there somewhere I just haven't found yet), but there's others that wil give you that data. The notifications are the best part though. And how you can use Siri from your wrist, and even answer calls. It looks a lot fancier than the Fitbit too. I was a hater early on too, but I'm a fan now. With the deals right now it's really worth a look. I liked it so much I was able to return my Fitbit Surge and picked up an Apple Watch for my wife as well.
     
  10. Cashmonee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #10
    I went ahead and returned the fenix today, and ordered silver Stainless Steel from Best Buy. The $100 off actually let me buy a second sport band and still come out about even. Gets here tomorrow!
     
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

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    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #11
    You do not get out much do you.
     
  12. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #12
    Let us know what you think. My general advice has been-- if you can only afford one device and fitness is important, get a Fenix 3. If fitness is not important, get an AW. If you can afford it, get both an AW and a dedicated Garmin device like a 225 or 920XT.
     
  13. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #13
    I tried the AW alone for running, but it didn't cut it.

    I now wear both my Garmin 225 and the AW during runs. The Garmin tracks the run, the AW is basically is an iPod for music.

    First, didn't like carrying my phone during runs, and without the phone, the AW is too inaccurate.

    None of the WatchOS2 apps, including Strava (I was a beta tester) are reliable .. too many crashes and too much lost data.

    As far as running goes, I guess I am back to where I was before the AW .. just that my iPod Nano has been replaced by the AW.

    The AW is fine as a watch, music player, and for notifications ... it has failed miserably elsewhere (running, sleep tracking, etc.).

    I would have kept the Fenix 3 if I owned one.
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    I suspect I will end up doing the same Bob. It's fun testing out the AW right now while I'm running really casually, but there is a ways to go before it can compete with the Garmin for dedicated activities. Still, the AW is so much better for the large portion of the time I'm not running that it's worth having both to me. The only thing I wish is that there were a way to merge their data.
     
  15. Cashmonee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #15
    I don't necessarily disagree, but as I did an review of my actual needs and habits, I realized I would benefit more from a watch that excelled at daily use, not fitness. My fitness activities are casual, and as I said, I don't train per se. Unfortunately, while I really like the fenix 3, as a day to day smart watch, it's ok but not great. We will see if the Apple Watch can be sufficient for my workout needs more than the fenix 3 was for my daily needs.

    Edit: Just to add, I do have the Edge 500 for the bike and hiking if I need it, and running is the lowest priority of what I do.
     
  16. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #16
    Cashmonee, my Garmin 410 has been used about as rarely as you were using your Fenix (before you returned it, anyway). The only reason I've been putting the 410 on lately was to see how it compared with my AW.

    I'm more of a casual runner anyway, and I don't think about how far I've run. I'm okay with just duration, and I'll take it as credit towards closing my rings.

    Maybe I should swap the 410 with an Edge 500 for my bike, too.
     
  17. myrtlebee macrumors 68000

    myrtlebee

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    #17
    No need to be nasty. That's a legitimate question. I have never heard of a one-year return window.
     
  18. Applenoob34 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #18
    I've had the Apple Watch since its launch. I ran a lot with it but grew tired of the inaccuracy of the mileage. I like knowing how far I've ran and the splits. The AW wasn't consistent enough. Once I learned how a phones gps works, I decided to try a Garmin. It's been way more accurate, even tested with gps off.

    Outside of working out, the Apple Watch excels at everything else. No question.
     
  19. srshaw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #19
    I have both. If notifications and just general activity is your priority, then Apple Watch, it really can't be beaten in terms of being an extension of an iPhone. If running and sports, then Fenix 3. A Fenix 3 is very much overkill if you don't do any sports. Despite having notifications they aren't a patch on the Apple Watch.

    In the middle are watches like the Garmin vivoactive. Many of the features of the Fenix 3 but much cheaper.
     
  20. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    #20
    If you aren't interested in anything other than your HR, distance, pace and cals then I'm sure you will be fine. The big thing about garmin that I like to have (that is making me question the AW2) is if i it can calculate the other running specific measurements that have made garmin watches superior. (vert OSC, GCT, TE, stride length vert len. etc)
     
  21. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #21
    I use my knees -- more pain? less pain? -- to calculate my stride quality. ;)

    Can a HR strap like Wahoo's Tickr Run get the same quality of data?
     
  22. Fthree macrumors 6502a

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