Goodbye Chest Straps, Garmin's Fenix 3 Multisport GPS Watch Gains A Heart Rate Monitor

Goodbye Chest Straps, Garmin's Fenix 3 Multisport GPS Watch Gains a Heart Rate Monitor

If swimming, surfing, biking, running and hiking sound like the average weekend for you, Garmin's fēnix 3 is the multisport GPS watch that just might sell you on the merits of wearing a smartwatch -- especially now that there's a version with a heart rate monitor built-in. Instead of jumping to version 4, Garmin is revealing some worthwhile updates to its fēnix 3 multisport watch at CES this year, including a newmodel called the fēnix 3 HR that includes the company's optical heart rate technology so that athletes monitoring their vitals no longer need to wear a cumbersome chest strap while they train.

Goodbye Chest Straps, Garmin's Fenix 3 Multisport GPS Watch Gains a Heart Rate Monitor

The new fēnix 3 Sapphire watches will be available in Australia in late February. The recommended retail prices for the fēnix 3s will be $949 for the fēnix 3HR, $999 for the fēnix 3HR bundle, $1,249 for the titanium fēnix 3 Sapphire, and $939 for the fēnix 3 Sapphire with leather and nylon bands.

Garmin has also announced a new software update for the fēnix 3, compatible with the original versions of the multisport watch introduced last year, that adds additional metrics tracking including:

Stride Length: Measures the length of a runner's stride in real time.

Ground Contact Time Balance: Measures a runner's ground contact symmetry, which some runners have found to correlate with injuries or strength imbalances.

Vertical Ratio: The cost-benefit ratio of vertical oscillation to stride length, serving as one indicator of a runner's efficiency.

Lactate Threshold: Estimates the level of effort at which fatigue rapidly increases in terms of a runner's heart rate and pace.

Stress Score: Measures heart rate variability to make an assessment of a user's overall level of stress.

Performance Condition: Provides a real-time fitness-level measurement relative to a runner's average baseline, which indicates performance readiness for the day's workout or race.

The update also includes new activity profiles for stand up paddleboarding, rowing and golf, and through the Garmin Connect mobile app running on a smartphone, users can access and download more than 40,000 different courses around the world turning their smartwatch into a wristworn score card.


Gizmodo's on the ground in Las Vegas! Follow all of our 2016 CES coverage here.

WATCH MORE: Science & Health News


    Ehhh my basis peak does heart rate without a chest strap and cost only 200$.
    Screw spending $600 on a smart watch.

      i have used a basis peak. can safely say, basis peak is only a basic fitness tracker. not really in the league with what the fenix can do or a vivoactive for that mater. also, basis doesnt have built in GPS.

    So does this $600 garmin do a continual heart rate? or only when you manually request it? Seems like a pretty quick way to drain the battery if it's continuous.

      I would hope there is at least an option to setup the intervals it does check such as every minute so you can get a nice graph of data out of it.

    I never found the heart rate monitors on the watches (Basis B1) to be very accurate with anything over 120bpm... Would be interesting to see how well this one does it.

    I would gladly use a watch with a HRM in it however my arms are so bloody hairy that even my Galaxy Gear Live can't read my pulse half the time. When I cycle I use my Garmin HRM and will likely keep it that way as I refuse to shave under any circumstance :D

    Dammit ... I got a Fenix3 last year not realising this was on the horizon.

    I'd expect reasonable performance given Garmin's track record. But this type of optical sensor will always come second in reliability and accuracy vs a chest strap.

    Though tbh I've lost enthusiasm for HR monitoring. It's easy enough to learn and target certain HR zones based on breathing and (dis)comfort level. For anyone other than those getting back into exercising, I remain to be convinced how much knowing the specific number really affects training performance or progress.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now