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Thanks for your thoughts on the 920 and Fenix.

How have you assessed the GPS Accuracy? My Ambit 2S seems to be about as accurate as I can tell. i.e. if I run an complicated out and back, the distance back is always the same as the distance out... at least to better than 1/10mi. Which means it's consistent. it may or may not mean it's 'accurate'. Ran a certified marathon course last month and it came up 26.3. Pretty close.

Happy to hear about the great stability. My experience with some gamins has been stable (310, edge 500) and others not very stable (405's). I truly want a Fenix3... but I'm not ready to be an early adopter. I want Garmin to work any bugs out on others first. :)
Honestly, for me the most important things for GPS. 1) Consistency 2) Accurate pacing while running. While I do look at the GPS tracks when I 1st get a new device (or comparing devices), this isn't the be all or end all for the watch.

That being said, I've been looking at the GPS tracks of the 920xt in the satellite view at 20meters/inch. On suburban roads (about 10 meters wide) the 920xt has me running on the correct side of the road the entire time. Not only that, It usually shows the places that I've run on the sidewalk, through cross walks, and on the road. This has been very consistent. Yesterday I ran in the blizzard and it was still dead accurate and clearly showed the times I crossed the street to avoid plows.

Here are couple of examples:

Garmin Connect (yes, I started on the road and ended in the parking lot)

Garmin Connect (early with no traffic, so we were running in the middle of the road at times on the back streets)

Both of these were without GLONASS enabled. I've enabled GLONASS recently and find there's actually some improvement!

I can't imagine the fēnix3 will be worse seeing that they are using similar hardware and software. (Though I was fooled with the fēnix2)
 

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I'm also looking at Fenix 3 to replace my trusty Ambit 2. It looks great, it has a few more functions than Ambit 2/3 and... Garmin has an Android app!

But seeing the reports about Fenix 1/2 bugs really turn me off. Although they say that Fenix 3 is built on 910XT platform, and 910 seems great. I'll have to wait and see some semi long time reviews (2-3 months) to see if it's worth buying or not.

From Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

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I’ve seen two scenarios regarding the charging the F3 while in use
The screen changes to the charging screen, but your workout continues, disconnect the changing and it goes back to your work out.

The other option, is that it stays on the same screen while charging (but you don’t see the battery indicator)


This was controlled in the USB settings of the watch, I think it was changing it to mass storage mode from that...


BTW, I had an Ambit 2, had it replaced due to screen fogging around the edges, got worse when it was hot.
Then had to return the replacement as it completely died (no screen, not buttons nothing worked)

It got replaced with an Ambit 3 Peak, but have sold this so I can give the F3 a go...
 

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I sold my Ambit 2 after I found a great deal online for an Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire (with HR band). - 448 EUR delivered.

Fenix 3 is pretty great on paper until you read DCrainmaker's hands-on. Besides Garmin's "normal" bugs, the biggest downfall are:
1. Applications don't have access to ANT+ data.
2. You can't run an app and a sports mode at the same time (like in Ambit). That means you either see your metrics from run/hike/whatever OR an app. You can't embed an app (eg HR zones, time to finish a marathon at current pace, etc) into a sports mode.

I still think that Fenix 3 has more features and looks better that Ambit 2/3, but... what a hell. I already placed the order and I don't regret it. Yet. :)

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I sold my Ambit 2 after I found a great deal online for an Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire (with HR band). - 448 EUR delivered.

Fenix 3 is pretty great on paper until you read DCrainmaker's hands-on. Besides Garmin's "normal" bugs, the biggest downfall are:
1. Applications don't have access to ANT+ data.
2. You can't run an app and a sports mode at the same time (like in Ambit). That means you either see your metrics from run/hike/whatever OR an app. You can't embed an app (eg HR zones, time to finish a marathon at current pace, etc) into a sports mode.

I still think that Fenix 3 has more features and looks better that Ambit 2/3, but... what a hell. I already placed the order and I don't regret it. Yet. :)

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Sorry, but you are incorrect.

There are 4 types of "Apps".
1) Clock faces.
2) Data fields which can be viewed within ANY sport activity. So race predictors, beer calculators, ...etc work fine within the sporting activities
3) Widgets which are small apps that can leverage the phone to display information quickly (i.e notifications, weather, calendar) Only Garmin widgets have been released.
4) Applications. No one has seen these yet, but they CAN tap into any ANT+ (even proprietary) sensors and write to .FIT files None of these have been released yet When these applications are released, you are correct in they will be run solo, not concurrently with a sporting activity
 

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My mistake, it wasn't Fenix 3 hands on, it was Connect IQ Introduction: Garmin Connect IQ: An in-depth introduction to the platform you can now use today | DC Rainmaker (read "A few considerations").

I misunderstand what he's saying or he is wrong.
You must have misunderstood. I use the half marathon pacing field and the HR Zone field (displays HR number, but background color changes depending on which zone you're in) all the time within the run activity. There's a newer pacing field that I've yet to try. It changes your predicted time depending on your distance. So the 1st predicted time it gives you is 5K, when you pass 5K it will give you your 10K time, then half marathon...etc
 

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Ok, so that's settled. I was wrong about that. What about the other 2 things: ANT+ data used by third party apps and apps in a sports mode?

Don't get me wrong, I like the Fenix 3 very, very much and I have 14 days return policy on my brand new (just paid for, not received yet) Ambit 3. So nothing stops me from returning it and getting a Fenix 3. But there are some issues (like the above) that I don't know the answer to. When you add Garmin's Fenix 1/2 history... you get the point. I can't find an in depth review of this watch. There is already a YouTube video of some guy who's Fenix 3 froze while buzzing from a notification (and a few more reports of the same problem).

These devices cost a lot of money. I'm Romanian and each of these models (Ambit 3 and Fenix 3) cost more than a month's medium salary. When you buy something and try to resell it after a month or so you lose a lot of money. So I try to make the best decision I can with the information I have.

What I like about Fenix 3: virtual partner, color display, looks, 4 data fields (vs. 3 with one of them scrollable in Ambit) and fitness tracker (vs. activity tracker in Ambit 3).

What I don't like: ... I don't know. That's what I'm trying to find out.
 

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Ok, so that's settled. I was wrong about that. What about the other 2 things: ANT+ data used by third party apps and apps in a sports mode?

Don't get me wrong, I like the Fenix 3 very, very much and I have 14 days return policy on my brand new (just paid for, not received yet) Ambit 3. So nothing stops me from returning it and getting a Fenix 3. But there are some issues (like the above) that I don't know the answer to. When you add Garmin's Fenix 1/2 history... you get the point. I can't find an in depth review of this watch. There is already a YouTube video of some guy who's Fenix 3 froze while buzzing from a notification (and a few more reports of the same problem).

These devices cost a lot of money. I'm Romanian and each of these models (Ambit 3 and Fenix 3) cost more than a month's medium salary. When you buy something and try to resell it after a month or so you lose a lot of money. So I try to make the best decision I can with the information I have.

What I like about Fenix 3: virtual partner, color display, 4 data fields (vs. 3 with one of them scrollable in Ambit) and fitness tracker (vs. activity tracker in Ambit 3).

What I don't like: ... I don't know. That's what I'm trying to find out.
Data field 'apps' can be used in sports mode. Data filed apps can take advantage of all sensors available on the watch (i.e. HR monitor, power meter, speed sensor, foot pod...etc), but will not write any specific data to the .FIT file. So for example there are unbuffered pace data fields available. You can see them on the watch during your activity, but the GPS pace recording on the .FIT file will be the buffered data that Garmin uses.

The Fenix 1 & 2 were on completely different (IMO ancient) hardware and software codebase. The Fenix3 is on newer hardware and the Forerunner 920xt codebase, so should be much more reliable.

I saw that video too, that unit was released much earlier then the intended so not sure what to make of it. Since then Garmin has released more units and there aren't significant issues with those devices.

If the Ambit 3 does everything you need it to do, that's not going to change, use it and enjoy it. However if the additional features of the Fenix3 are really important to you, I would wait at least 2-3 firmware updates to see how the Fenix3 is performing then.
 

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Thank's for your feedback. In this case, I managed to get a very, very good deal so I think that even if I use the Ambit for 2-3 months I'll be able to brake even if I decide to sell it.

I would really love virtual partner and fitness tracker. Both of them are implementable via a firmware upgrade by Suunto. That is unless they release Ambit 4.

Please keep posting your experience with Fenix 3. It helps a lot of people who are on the fence between the two.



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I dug a little deeper to find out what I'm interested in: Fenix 3 features and limitations. Regarding my previous questions about data fields/apps, I'll say what I've understood and please tell me if I'm right or wrong:

1. You can't build an app/custom data field unless you are a developer (meaning you really have to know what you're doing).
2. You can use only 2 custom data fields for each activity.
3. Real time graphs (eg. altitude, HR, pace) are NOT native data fields, meaning if you choose one of these graphs you are left with just another one choice for another custom data field.
3. You either run an activity OR an app (this one is settled, I wrote it just to be clear for everyone).
4. Applications CAN read GPS/accelerometer/ANT+ data from the watch/sensors but hey have to be coded in. Meaning that the developer has to redo the algorithm for each data that is retrieved from the watch and/or sensors. It can't just take the calories (this is tricky to calculate) or average pace (this is simpler) or whatever from the watch and display it.
5. Data displayed by a (third party) app is NOT recorded.

Thank's.
 

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Sorry if I stepped on someone's toes with my long questions. I've red that Garmin forum thread, but none of my questions is answered there. I'll try asking same questions on Garmin forum, maybe they know some of the answers.

If I find anything interesting I'll keep you posted.

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There are currently 609 comments to DCRainmaker's review of the Fenix 3. i just scanned through them, and I can't believe the number of problems. Battery life sucking, pace errors, altitude errors, all kinds of freezes and crashes with apps, etc. It's just littered with them. So, then I scanned through the 700+ comments from the DCRainmaker review of the Ambit 3 from last fall. No problems. well, a few, but primarily with accessories- like not talking to HR straps.

I want the F3... but I also want something that just works. my trusty A2- works. Oh, and it gives me HR in the pool, that the Fenix3 won't, and I can program my own little apps (if they are simple enough :) )

That's worth a lot.
 

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I also keep an eye on Garmin forum, Fenix 3 thread and it seems that there are a lot of problems.

But you have to take into account that Garmin has an official forum for people to communicate and (this very important) in general only people who have problems post there (although there is a thread called "I'm happy with my Fenix 3" or something). So probably there are a lot of Garmin customers who bought Fenix 1/2/3 and don't have any problems with their watches.

But the consensus seems to be: Fenix 3 is a great watch, with more features than Ambit 2/3, it looks good BUT... And there is almost always a BUT: but it freezes, but GPS is not so precise, but altimeter is not so good, calories are way off, battery sometimes drains overnight with no apparent reason, instant pace is not so instant, etc.

I just received my (second) Ambit 3 Peak w/ HR belt (first one had a defect). If this one is as reliable as my (sold) Ambit 2, I'm happy. On paper, Fenix 3 is an Ambit killer. In real life... I'm not sold. That's why I went with Ambit 3.
 

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2 weeks with the Fenix3 and I've had none of the problems mentioned above. I really love the watch. My only complaints are that the GPS accuracy and altimeter are not as precise as the 920xt. That being said, if you need something that's 100% right now (and don't need the additional features over the Ambit series), then I'd wait or go with the Ambit3. However given that Garmin worked out the same issues with the 920xt within the first couple of months, I suspect we'll see the same for the fenix3.
 

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I have no interest in Garmin watches. I use Suunto for my watch needs and Garmin for handheld GPS's. That pretty much covers all my bases. I just think Suunto makes a better and more reliable watch because that's what they do. Garmin is best at the handheld level and they are not as good (to me "good" means accurate and reliable) when they go small.
 

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I have no interest in Garmin watches. I use Suunto for my watch needs and Garmin for handheld GPS's. That pretty much covers all my bases. I just think Suunto makes a better and more reliable watch because that's what they do. Garmin is best at the handheld level and they are not as good when they go small.
I've trained with both Garmin and Suunto watches. Having trained and raced through 2 Ironmans using the 910xt, we'll agree to disagree about that.
 
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