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PoHq

457 posts

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#275759 8-Sep-2020 09:38
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Looking for any feedback from Garmin wearable owners. Specifically the Fenix but like to hear about Garmin in general. Considering getting a Fenix 6. 

 

 

 

This will be my first Garmin wearable. Very expensive so looking for feedback first. Very mixed out there from best thing since sliced bread to not fit for purpose. Thought I'd reach out to any NZ owners via Geekzone for their thoughts on Garmin wearables good and bad.

 

 

 

Thanks.


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SheriffNZ
495 posts

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  #2560095 8-Sep-2020 09:51
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I have a FR935 which is basically the plastic case version of the Fenix 5. I love it. I get close to 2 weeks battery life out of it. Less if I do GPS activities but battery life is never a concern. I also have a Vivosmart 3, and an Edge 520 (as well has a number of other sensors) so I'm happy with the Garmin ecosystem. My only issue with my watch is the barometer stopped being reliable some time ago (not an issue on my Edge 520). I've had the watch for 2.5 years or so.

 

Just a note, if you're hoping to use Garmin Pay, the only major NZ bank that supports it is ASB.

 

You've probably found it already but dcrainmaker.com is a great impartial resource on sports tech.


timmmay
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  #2560108 8-Sep-2020 10:04
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Wow, I was thinking the Fitbit devices were expensive, they're another level.


 
 
 
 


geoffwnz
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  #2560112 8-Sep-2020 10:10
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Been using a Garmin Instinct since they came out 2 years ago.

 

Zero issues with it.  Seems accurate on HR and GPS aspects.  Handle the abuse I give it without missing a beat.  Battery life is about 5-7 days with combined normal use and GPS tracking of activities.

 

Garmin Connect app and website are good with many more features and things to look at than you'll realistically ever need.  Interfaces with Strava nicely (if it's not on Strava did you even do it?).

 

If I was going to upgrade, I'd go for the Instinct Solar to increase the battery life a bit, but I'm not needing to upgrade currently.

 

Second vote for the DCRainmaker site.  Very in depth reviews and honest real use opinions.

 

I guess as far as the wide range of internet opinions go, what you need to figure out is what you need it to do for you.  For example, if you are a triathlete, the Instinct is not the solution for you as it doesn't do "multisport" activities in one hit like I believe the Fenix and some others do.  But since I don't multisport (I run, bike and occasionally swim as independent activites), it's fine for me.

 

Some activity tracking isn't as practical as you'd hope.  Snowboarding for example doesn't work for me as my wrist guards keep pushing the start and stop buttons.  I could run it in "over-the-jacket" mode but then I don't get HR.  Pick your battles I guess, so I lock the buttons and just track normal rather than activity specific.
Also, when swimming, breaststroke struggles to get GPS with your arms under the water the whole time whereas freestyle etc will grab the GPS signal each stroke quite happily.

 

Overall, I'm very happy with mine and even two years on, still find the odd new/additional feature that I didn't know about.





SheriffNZ
495 posts

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  #2560113 8-Sep-2020 10:13
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timmmay:

 

Wow, I was thinking the Fitbit devices were expensive, they're another level.

 

 

To be fair, you do get a lot more data out of them. They also do have roughly a gazillion pre-loaded sport profiles in them. If you want to SUP, hike, row, skydive and more, they'll have a sport profile for that (as well as just running and cycling).

 

 

 

But in saying that, the latest gen watches (FR945 and Fenix 6) were a big jump in price from their predecessors. 


geoffwnz
859 posts

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  #2560114 8-Sep-2020 10:17
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timmmay:

 

Wow, I was thinking the Fitbit devices were expensive, they're another level.

 

 

Different market.  I class Fitbit as a step counter that's trying to break into the smart GPS watch market and struggling to do it well.  Vs Garmin that has a long history of very good GPS products.

 

A friends FitBit has had numerous issues with run tracking and getting accurate distances which seemed to be something to do with it "calculating" the distance by using stride length instead of the GPS measurements.  This is all well and good on a flat run but on a trail run the stride length is not consistent so it was telling her she'd already completed the course distance when she still had 4km (over a 21km course) to go.

 

While the Fenix series is their flagship all bells and whistles model, some of the lower models in the range Vivo, Instinct etc are across a range of price brackets and if they do what you need, then much better value than the top end Fenix series.





SheriffNZ
495 posts

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  #2560119 8-Sep-2020 10:28
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geoffwnz:

 

timmmay:

 

Wow, I was thinking the Fitbit devices were expensive, they're another level.

 

 

Different market.  I class Fitbit as a step counter that's trying to break into the smart GPS watch market and struggling to do it well.  Vs Garmin that has a long history of very good GPS products.

 

A friends FitBit has had numerous issues with run tracking and getting accurate distances which seemed to be something to do with it "calculating" the distance by using stride length instead of the GPS measurements.  This is all well and good on a flat run but on a trail run the stride length is not consistent so it was telling her she'd already completed the course distance when she still had 4km (over a 21km course) to go.

 

While the Fenix series is their flagship all bells and whistles model, some of the lower models in the range Vivo, Instinct etc are across a range of price brackets and if they do what you need, then much better value than the top end Fenix series.

 

 

I agree with this. This is a bit out of date but I suspect it's still accurate. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/insights-ironman-championships.html Note the complete lack of Fitbit devices and the dominance of Garmin devices. The people who compete in these types of events like having the best kit for the job (and generally have the money to pay for it as the sports are expensive in the first place). 


alasta
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  #2560159 8-Sep-2020 11:19
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I have had my Fenix 5 Plus for a year and I am a huge fan. My only complaint is that it's not great at measuring swim distances and I have had the odd problem with the weather widget, but otherwise it's been an extremely robust and dependable product. If you do buy one then I would recommend ordering from Garmin's web site as there are a lot of customisation options.

 

I previously had an Apple Watch which was really just a toy, and far too fiddly for serious marathon events. 

 

Are you able to give us a bit of background to your athletic interests and ability? The Fenix is a multi-sport watch so this information might help with being able to provide some more specific advice.


 
 
 
 


nitrotech
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  #2560168 8-Sep-2020 11:35
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Upgraded a few months ago from the Fenix 3HR to the Fenix 6 - it's a great device much better screen and 36hrs on GPS.

 

So good that I forgot to charge it (i usually charge it once a week) and went out for a 3 hour run with 8% battery left and it was still going strong when I got back.

 

Mine does about 200k of GPS tracking a week and 3hrs swimming and I only charge it once a week sometimes get 10 days or so out of it.

 

As someone mentioned a massive step up from the Apple watch, I appreciate it not being touch screen especially with swimming.


sidefx
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  #2560169 8-Sep-2020 11:35
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Another Fenix 5 fan checking in; Extremely happy with it and will definitely be getting another Fenix when this dies - looking at my garmin connect calendar looks like I got it late 2018.  It still does everything I need it to and is still running strong.  This was after a couple of goes on fitness tracking with a couple of fitbits (one their topline offering) and a withings watch.

 

Just make sure you're getting it for the right reasons - IMO these reasons are:  awesome battery life (next level compared to the other smartwatches friends have), physical buttons without touchscreen (I much prefer this!) and a real focus on fitness\outdoor type stuff. If you're just looking for the latest and greatest flashy smartwatch that also does some fitness stuff on the side, there's better\cheaper options. 





"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


Senecio
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  #2560173 8-Sep-2020 11:40
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Long time Garmin user here. The Fenix 6 is a great watch but before buying one I would encourage you to do a lot of research. As above DCRainMaker is a great resource, both his site and his YouTube channel. DesFit is another great resource which focuses on wearables.

 

I know a few people who have bought into the Fenix range then "downgraded" back into the "FR" range. Not that there was anything wrong with the Fenix but it is a bulky watch with quite a bit of heft which can really be felt when running particularly if you're a lean person. I personally couldn't wear a Fenix but that's because I have the wrists of a 12yr old girl. Even the Fenix 6s looks ridiculous on me.

 

My current watch is the 645M which has been great but I wouldn't recommend it now. The 245/945 were released a year later and are both considerably better watches. My next watch will be a step up to the 945 or equivalent when my 645M dies. The 945 is essentially a Fenix in a smaller, lighter case with not quite as good battery.

 

In summary, Garmin wearables are great. Don't just jump straight to the Fenix line however, make sure you pick the model that meets your needs.

 

 


hsvhel
614 posts

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  #2560183 8-Sep-2020 11:51
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My wife is still using the Forerunner 35. pretty old now, but going strong and it gets hammered with work/swimming/outdoors and has not given any issues.

 

Edit-35 series


alasta
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  #2560189 8-Sep-2020 12:07
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Senecio:

 

My current watch is the 645M which has been great but I wouldn't recommend it now. The 245/945 were released a year later and are both considerably better watches. My next watch will be a step up to the 945 or equivalent when my 645M dies. The 945 is essentially a Fenix in a smaller, lighter case with not quite as good battery.

 

In summary, Garmin wearables are great. Don't just jump straight to the Fenix line however, make sure you pick the model that meets your needs.

 

 

There is a difference in water resistance; as far as I recall it's 5ATM for the FR945 and 10ATM for the Fenix.

 

For most people that wouldn't matter, but it's important to be aware of these differences to make an informed choice. 


sidefx
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  #2560191 8-Sep-2020 12:11
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alasta:

 

There is a difference in water resistance; as far as I recall it's 5ATM for the FR945 and 10ATM for the Fenix.

 

For most people that wouldn't matter, but it's important to be aware of these differences to make an informed choice. 

 

 

 

 

Yup, good to keep this in mind; that was one of the main reasons I went for the Fenix over Forerunner when I was looking for something - I do a fair bit of swimming and surfing with it so wanted something as waterproof as possible.





"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


rogercruse
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  #2560237 8-Sep-2020 12:20
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Just got the Instinct after having a Vivoactive 3 for the past three years.

 

The Vivoactive is a nicer looking watch but the battery life is poor and recently became impractical and needing to be recharged every day.

 

The Instinct is a simpler watch, with a monochrome non-touch sensitive display and plastic body with improvements in battery life that will make the watch more useful to me.

 

 


russelo
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  #2560240 8-Sep-2020 12:34
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I have my Fenix 5 Plus for almost 2 years now. I do regular runs and mountain biking and a few tramping here and there so I was able to justify the price paid for it. 

 

Some of my trail runs and mountain biking experience would have been different without it as I use it's map functionality to guide me on unfamiliar trails. 

 

I also use heart rate monitoring during these activities to tell me when to slow down.  The watch beeps if my heart rate goes more than the threshold value I set.  If I don't press any button, it will automatically dial my wife's phone.

 

 


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