Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2018
LATEST UPDATE AT BOTTOM (5/11/2020)

What a frustrating activity tracker/smart watch journey I have been on. Nothing seemed quite right for what I was looking for. I am an avid outdoorsman who likes to hunt, backpack, hike, bike, and occasionally run. Things that are extremely important to me are an accurate altimeter, barometer, and GPS.

I first purchased the Fenix 3 HR. The watch was impressive in the beginning and I thought I had found the one. The issue turned out to be the altimeter. It was not accurate at all. I then waited for the Fenix 5. Same damn issue. Altimeter was worse than the 3. When I contacted Garmin, they told me to put the watch in warm soapy water. While this did seem to temporarily reset it back to normal, I continued to experience the same issue. As much as I would like to put my watch in a warm glass of soapy water every night, I decided to pass. The 5 plus eventually came out and appeared to solve these issues. But then.....Garmin realeased the Instinct.

This watch (so far) has really impressed me. It is so light weight and comfortable. The Fenix watches, while premium, are a bit large and heavy to wear. You truly forget you are wearing this watch. The features are great. It has absolutely everything I need. I’m not a triathlete and could care less about some of the measurements the Fenix gives you. Some have commented on the grainy display. I completely disagree. I would liken it to E Ink from a kindle. It truly is a pleasure to look at and is extremely clear and readable. I love that it is black and white.

The keys and apps are very responsive. The menus are so much faster than the Fenix. You can really whip through the widgets and settings to get where you want. The buttons are excellent and I have yet to accidentally press one while bending my wrist.

I am still testing the accuracy of the GPS tracking and ABC sensors but so far it is looking great. I really can’t say enough about this watch. Knock on wood, it seems like a great model from Garmin that will feel a niche hunting/outdoors market. I will provide an update in a month after more usage.

-UPDATE-

I've now had this watch for a few weeks and have taken it on several hunting trips. I am truly impressed with this watch. I cannot emphasize enough how comfortable and light this watch is. Owning and wearing heavier watches over the years, I think I forgot how nice it is to wear a watch that you forget is attached to your wrist. I hated wearing my Fenix watches to bed. Too bulky and would dig into my wrist. Tracking appears to be very accurate. Attitude has been accurate for daily use and when you are tracking an activity.

What I Love About This Watch:

-Comfortable & Lightweight
-Responsive Menus
-Screen Visibility is Exceptional
-Accurate ABC Sensors and Tracking
-Recessed Buttons Avoid Accidental Presses
-Battery Life Has Been Great

I really only have a couple complaints or rather suggestions to improve the watch. When you lock the keys (which you don't have to too often because of recessed buttons), in order to unlock the watch, you hold any button for a short period. I wish Garmin would lengthen the amount of time it takes to hold the button. It takes about .5 seconds to unlock currently and that can be accidentally done pretty easily. This is really a minor complaint though. The screen is an unknown material or proprietary to Garmin. I do wish it was a Sapphire display but I put a screen protector on it and you truly cant tell there is one on the face. My last suggestion is I wish the battery indicator showed a percentage as opposed to the 5 bars in a battery indicator. Again, its a minor gripe but it would be nice if they changed that.

Please ask me questions. Id be happy to answer. I've done a disturbing amount of research on these watches over the years and believe I have finally found the perfect watch for my needs. I've used all Fenix watches and a Suunto Traverse Alpha. This watch is my favorite.

UPDATE 5/11/2020

Still an absolutely great watch. This watch is on my wrist every single day. It is still extremely comfortable. I have had a couple issues that I will address:

-My "Back" button started to give out on me around July 2019. It is a very commonly pressed button on the watch. Luckily the watch was still under warranty. Garmin replaced the watch no questions asked and quickly. A+ to them on their customer service. If it had gone out after the warranty period though, I would most likely be SOL. I believe it is a one year warranty.

With that being said, I do use this watch heavily. It is worn 24/7-365. All things considered it has held up extremely well. At the new price point, I still think it is an amazing watch for the price.

-My other issue, and I stated it earlier in the review is the lock feature on the watch. Its great that you can lock the screen but it is extremely easy to unlock simply by bending your wrist and hitting a button. This could be a simple software fix. They just need to extend the amount of time required to press a button to unlock. It doesn't happen that often but if it does during an activity, it can be extremely frustrating.

This will be my last update for the watch. It has been an amazing watch well worth the price for me and I will buy another whenever this one dies. I hope Garmin continues to offer and improve this watch. It checks all the boxes for my needs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tried Them All, This Is The Best
By Clayton on November 21, 2018
LATEST UPDATE AT BOTTOM (5/11/2020)

What a frustrating activity tracker/smart watch journey I have been on. Nothing seemed quite right for what I was looking for. I am an avid outdoorsman who likes to hunt, backpack, hike, bike, and occasionally run. Things that are extremely important to me are an accurate altimeter, barometer, and GPS.

I first purchased the Fenix 3 HR. The watch was impressive in the beginning and I thought I had found the one. The issue turned out to be the altimeter. It was not accurate at all. I then waited for the Fenix 5. Same damn issue. Altimeter was worse than the 3. When I contacted Garmin, they told me to put the watch in warm soapy water. While this did seem to temporarily reset it back to normal, I continued to experience the same issue. As much as I would like to put my watch in a warm glass of soapy water every night, I decided to pass. The 5 plus eventually came out and appeared to solve these issues. But then.....Garmin realeased the Instinct.

This watch (so far) has really impressed me. It is so light weight and comfortable. The Fenix watches, while premium, are a bit large and heavy to wear. You truly forget you are wearing this watch. The features are great. It has absolutely everything I need. I’m not a triathlete and could care less about some of the measurements the Fenix gives you. Some have commented on the grainy display. I completely disagree. I would liken it to E Ink from a kindle. It truly is a pleasure to look at and is extremely clear and readable. I love that it is black and white.

The keys and apps are very responsive. The menus are so much faster than the Fenix. You can really whip through the widgets and settings to get where you want. The buttons are excellent and I have yet to accidentally press one while bending my wrist.

I am still testing the accuracy of the GPS tracking and ABC sensors but so far it is looking great. I really can’t say enough about this watch. Knock on wood, it seems like a great model from Garmin that will feel a niche hunting/outdoors market. I will provide an update in a month after more usage.

-UPDATE-

I've now had this watch for a few weeks and have taken it on several hunting trips. I am truly impressed with this watch. I cannot emphasize enough how comfortable and light this watch is. Owning and wearing heavier watches over the years, I think I forgot how nice it is to wear a watch that you forget is attached to your wrist. I hated wearing my Fenix watches to bed. Too bulky and would dig into my wrist. Tracking appears to be very accurate. Attitude has been accurate for daily use and when you are tracking an activity.

What I Love About This Watch:

-Comfortable & Lightweight
-Responsive Menus
-Screen Visibility is Exceptional
-Accurate ABC Sensors and Tracking
-Recessed Buttons Avoid Accidental Presses
-Battery Life Has Been Great

I really only have a couple complaints or rather suggestions to improve the watch. When you lock the keys (which you don't have to too often because of recessed buttons), in order to unlock the watch, you hold any button for a short period. I wish Garmin would lengthen the amount of time it takes to hold the button. It takes about .5 seconds to unlock currently and that can be accidentally done pretty easily. This is really a minor complaint though. The screen is an unknown material or proprietary to Garmin. I do wish it was a Sapphire display but I put a screen protector on it and you truly cant tell there is one on the face. My last suggestion is I wish the battery indicator showed a percentage as opposed to the 5 bars in a battery indicator. Again, its a minor gripe but it would be nice if they changed that.

Please ask me questions. Id be happy to answer. I've done a disturbing amount of research on these watches over the years and believe I have finally found the perfect watch for my needs. I've used all Fenix watches and a Suunto Traverse Alpha. This watch is my favorite.

UPDATE 5/11/2020

Still an absolutely great watch. This watch is on my wrist every single day. It is still extremely comfortable. I have had a couple issues that I will address:

-My "Back" button started to give out on me around July 2019. It is a very commonly pressed button on the watch. Luckily the watch was still under warranty. Garmin replaced the watch no questions asked and quickly. A+ to them on their customer service. If it had gone out after the warranty period though, I would most likely be SOL. I believe it is a one year warranty.

With that being said, I do use this watch heavily. It is worn 24/7-365. All things considered it has held up extremely well. At the new price point, I still think it is an amazing watch for the price.

-My other issue, and I stated it earlier in the review is the lock feature on the watch. Its great that you can lock the screen but it is extremely easy to unlock simply by bending your wrist and hitting a button. This could be a simple software fix. They just need to extend the amount of time required to press a button to unlock. It doesn't happen that often but if it does during an activity, it can be extremely frustrating.

This will be my last update for the watch. It has been an amazing watch well worth the price for me and I will buy another whenever this one dies. I hope Garmin continues to offer and improve this watch. It checks all the boxes for my needs.
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