Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin fenix first looks, now shipping

Garmin fenix first looks

UPDATE: Read my hands on review of the Garmin fenix.

I’ve managed to get my hands on a Garmin fenix, the new backcountry sportswatch, and I’ve got a few pics to share. The fenix is already shipping from GPS City and REI; it looks like Amazon won’t have it for a few weeks yet.

On my first trip out, I just wanted to get a feel for it, but I did verify that it has advanced track navigation (the top field in the image above shows distance to the next waypoint along the track). The image below shows the active route and compass screens.

I also wanted to try out geocaching with the fenix, and you can see from the shots below that it does indeed have paperless geocaching.

Garmin  fenix paperless geocaching

The images below show the altimeter and temperature sensor screens (I had the tempe wireless temperature sensor connected).

Garmin fenix altimeter tempe

I apologize for the image quality; there does not appear to be a built in screenshot mechanism and I was in alternating light and dark conditions.

The bad news is that I’ll only have the fenix for a couple of weeks, so the review may not be as in-depth as usual. The good news is, you’ll see my review in just a couple of weeks! Regardless, I’ll have lots more details about customization options, etc. Please let me know below if there is anything in particular you want to see covered in the review and I’ll try to work it in.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Jeff Highsmith says:

    Rich, please poke around in the menus for hints on what the watch will do with the forthcoming BaseCamp for iOS.

  2. Before purchasing yet another Garmin GPS (currently use Forerunner 405 for collecting hike data only–it’s worthless for tracking back), it would be helpful to hear that the fenix really does a good job at navigating. Love the convenience of GPS watches–no clunky GPS hanging on your backpack–but without accurate navigation they are just data collectors.

  3. Wow, that thing looks huge!

    Can you photo it next to a 12oz soda can, and/or other common items to give a perspective on size?

    Thank You!

  4. Here’s a size comparison with another garmin watch, the forerunner 610. I have a forerunner 110 which I think is the same size as the 610 and it is not bulky, the fenix seems like just a bit bigger

  5. thebigbadwolf says:

    Rich, could you check what is the maximum number of data fields the fenix can display on one screen? Curious if it can match the 6 fields displayed by the Magellan Switch or if it will only show up to four as some pics of the fenix seem to imply.

  6. how many geocaches can you load?

  7. I do wish Fenix can also act as an external bluetooth GPS receiver so that iPod touch can have the ability to navigate with maps on its big screen. Even iPhone can use Fenix to save power during navigation. Am I dreaming? 🙂

  8. Can you test to see if we can use Custom POIs from the POI Loader on the watch? Garmin’s spec sheet did say they were compatible. I’d be interested in knowing how they will work on the Fenix

  9. Garmin itself has Fenix on sale for $312.99. S/H is $8 + applicable tax.

  10. seem like a price error and has been corrected. 🙁

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