Garmin Fenix 2 GPS Watch Running Watches Review

  • Garmi Fenix2GPSFitness Training – Real-time performance data such as time, distance, pace, calories, speed, lap data, and heart rate1 Advanced Workouts – When paired with heart rate monitor1, calculates Advanced features like recovery advisor and race predictor
  • Running Dynamics – When paired with HRM-Run monitor2, fenix 2 provides feedback on Running form by measuring cadence (number of steps per minute), vertical oscillation (bounce in your Running motion), and ground contact time
  • Ski Mode – Ski-Board Mode measures 3D speed and distance, time, vertical drop, total runs, auto pause, auto run detection, plus features Ski specific data pages, history of runs, performance data
  • Swim Mode – Indoor and outdoor Swim Modes that record stroke count, intervals, distance, pace, and time. For pool Swimming, also counts lengths, detects stroke type, and computes the user’s SWOLF score
  • Stay Connected – Automatically uploads data wirelessly to Garmin Connect, Live Track and social media (using Garmin Connect Mobile app on smartphone3), plus features Smart Notification4 so you can receive emails, texts and alerts directly on your fenix 2

The Best Review

Background: Mostly working and triathlons

Possessing employed most Garmin merchandise including Swim, 500/510, 910XT, 620, and so forth as well as other manufacturers for example Timex I eventually uncovered a view I am incredibly happy with.

Positives:
1. Swim: I’ve employed the Garmin Swim which I completely enjoy and has been spot on (laps, strokes, and so on) from day one particular but given that finding the Garmin 510 (bike) and 620 (run) I’ve been spoiled using the car upload via wifi/BT so owning to whip out the Ant+ to upload each and every swim was starting to get a choir. The swim portion of the Fenix two is very just like the Garmin Swim. It inverts with you rest, button layout would be the exact same as Garmin Swim, and really extremely accurate (as long as you do a small pause at every single lap and strong pushoff). The bonus is I can upload by means of BT to Garmin Connect with Iphone which I like!

2. Operating: I had the 620 and I have to say I that I was annoyed using the watch: couldn’t use footpod for speed, car reset, and so on. Although I really like the type issue and excess weight I was not also happy with the observe. Obtaining utilized the Fenix for running, I’m pleased with the watch so far. GPS has become correct for me, I can use my footpod for tempo (much more exact than GPS), and quick lock on with all the wifi upload to my cell phone.

3. Type: The one matter I hated about the 910xt was that it was unsightly as sin and could not be utilized being a day-to-day observe. I’m happy to report the Fenix 2 seems to be great as a view and I wear it as my day-to-day view. I enjoy it is possible to configure the screen from physical appearance in the clock to even how seconds seem which is really cool. I acutally like the inverted seem as well as the red nightlight is neat also. It’s certainly greater and heavier than the 620 but I am use to it now and I use a Zagg display protector so not also anxious with regards to the display.

4. Customization: In general you customize pretty much all the things with this particular view from which exercise seems towards the actual exercise itself. For rookies it may be mind-boggling but when you perform all-around with it I think the layout can make sense. The guide will not be too beneficial with this, you sort of just should pay all-around with it.

Negatives: It is not a perfect view (what observe is), but you will discover some points I feel are negatives

one. BT and Ant+: They cannot be made use of in the same time. Honestly this can be a massive minus if you are use for the 510/620. Using the 510/620 I could use all my Ant+ things like HR, foot pod, PM, and so forth And in addition wifi stuff. The significant issue for me is dwell tracking, my wife could easily see wherever I am with reside monitoring (and that is done incredibly properly) when I do my prolonged bike and extended runs plus I can use all my Ant+ things. With the Fenix two it is actually one particular or even the other so I only use BT manually to upload my routines just after, that may be it.

two. Upload time: Seems tiny slower compared to the 620, however the firmware does appear to be making it quicker to upload and that is fantastic.

General: I have to say I’m incredibly pleased with this watch. It combines form and perform using the ease of uploading all of your routines for the iphone devoid of even contemplating it. I do appear through the Garmin Forum and there does seem to be challenges people are having but the good news is for me it is actually functioning exactly as described. I have ditched the Garmin Swim/620 and use this observe for every little thing. I approach to maintain the 510 additional to the display dimension and dwell tracking when I bike due to the fact that I tend to be out for hours as opposed to working the place dwell monitoring isn’t as vital. Anyways I wholeheartedly recommend the Fenix 2, esp for those who are a multisport athlete.

The Bad Review

Allow me begin with this – I Really wished to like this gadget. I gave it longer to view if I could discover the challenges than I would most products. I will give the summary up front and more facts even more on for those readers that want them.

Quick disclaimer, I obtained this largely for triathlon instruction & racing, so my review is from that perspective. I owned the watch for approximately six weeks. The first three weeks, it was awesome. After that it was consistently not-awesome.

Ultimately, this watch kept dropping the the heart rate in the middle of workouts. I was diligent in following the instructions for caring for the HR strap (rinse after each use, wash every 1/2 dozen uses, etc.). It eliminated one of the main data points most athletes pay attention to and therefore led to unreliable data for analyzing the workout. There are forums, even on Garmin, that indicate many other people are having this problem (most seem to have issues losing HR while using the watch for running).

The worst was when it corrupted my data during an Ironman 70.3 race in June 2014. It became clear early on that the HR was inaccurate and I could not use that data point on race day. You of course just figure out how to overcome this and something always goes wrong on race day, but again, it’s one of the main reasons I bought the unit. It’s not like heart rate monitoring is new technology.

I tried for three weeks to resolve the issue and even wrote to Garmin twice with many specifics. I never heard back from them. Ultimately I returned the watch to REI and am trying a Suunto. It’s too early to tell how I like that one.

Here are some of the specifics in addition to the constantly dropped heart rate that manifested in the gadget (summary is over):

– I gained 1470 feet on the swim. Apparently I was a salmon swimming back up stream after a season at sea and not in a reservoir after all….
– Bike course says I had elevation gain/loss of about 3400 ft. This is a known course profile that is in the 1200 ft. range for gain/loss.
– My max bike cadence (measured from a PowerTap) was a mere 23 rpm. My average cadence was 3 rpm. That’s an incredible amount of power per rpm! Let’s not be quick to point to PowerTap – there seems to be enough information forthcoming to indicate the problem is much more likely with my fenix2.
– My bike data shows a max speed of 6.1 mph, but an average of 20.5 mph. I’m pretty good with math, but can’t seem to make any sense of that one.
– My bike data shows an average speed of 20.5 mph, and a moving average of 20.0 mph. Given that I never stopped on the ride, these data points should be identical. Furthermore, if anything, the moving average should be higher than the average speed, but never lower. That seems to me mathematically impossible.
– On the map of my run data, it has obviously added a good portion of the bike course.
– Run data again has a skewed HR including a max of 224.
– Run data includes some power output in the form of watts. I’d love being able to objectively measure my run output like that, but to my knowledge, pace is seriously the best indicator of output while running.
– There is even extra discrepancy once downloading the data into TrainingPeaks. For example, my average bike speed is 69.2 mph. I’m sure the ‘easy button’ for Garmin would be to shift blame to TrainingPeaks, but since it seems clear the data is corrupt from the beginning, let’s keep our focus there.
– Run data shows elevation gain/loss of 650/584 ft. This is a known course profile with gain/loss of 197 ft. I believe the 197 ft. includes both laps, but even if it doesn’t, there is still a large percentage of discrepancy between the two.

The inaccurate HR readings make it impossible to calculate things like how my power output is coupling (or decoupling) from my HR. This is of course very important for distance races.

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