Today Garmin has announced the release of the company’s latest fitness tracker, the Fenix Chronos. The Fenix Chronos comes in three different versions, each with a slightly higher price tag.
· With a Titanium Hybrid Band - $1,499.99 USD
· With a Brushed Stainless Steel Band - $999.99 USD
· With a Leather Band - $899.99 USD
If you think those prices look a bit ridiculous – they are. And, here’s why…
As you probably know, I’ve been testing various fitness wearables for the last 6 months, pitting each one against the Microsoft Band 2. And, while Microsoft’s wearable is on par with even the likes of Garmin for features, functionality and accuracy, it’s horrible when it comes to build and material quality. We own two Microsoft Band 2’s here, and I’ve had to replace each a couple times so far. That’s ridiculous. So, for the last 2 months, I’ve been sticking with the Garmin vivoactive HR, waiting for the Microsoft Band 3 to land in October to see if Microsoft has fixed the single thing it needs to fix. Bottom line is that unless Microsoft can release a consumer-proof device, its done in the fitness wearable space.
The Garmin vivoactive HR is a younger sibling to the Garmin Fenix 3 – so just this week I pulled the trigger and the Fenix 3 HR Sapphire Edition will arrive on my doorstep tomorrow (full review coming, btw). When I received the Garmin email today announcing the Fenix Chronos, my jaw dropped. It was one of those moments when you finally make the decision to purchase something monumental for yourself ($599 is nothing to sneeze at), the company announces the next best thing.
So, I quickly jumped out to Garmin’s site to get a look at the new Fenix Chronos. Garmin’s site offers a nice comparison UI and this is what I found:
There’s absolutely no feature difference and (thankfully) no reason for me to have buyer’s remorse. In fact, except for the watch band differences, the original Fenix 3 HR Sapphire Edition (the one arriving tomorrow) is even a bit better – particularly in the battery area.
· Fenix 3 HR Sapphire: Rechargeable 300mAh lithium-ion. Up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode; up to 6 weeks in watch mode.
· Fenix Chronos: Rechargeable 180mAh lithium-ion. Up to 25 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 13 hours in GPS training mode; up to 1 week in watch mode.
And, if the watch band is enough to still entice you, consider that, unlike the Microsoft Band 2, you can swap watch bands anytime you want. Garmin provides some of its own, but there’s also a third party industry grown up just for Fenix 3 HR replacement bands. Here’s a few I’m looking at:
And, even if I purchase every Fenix 3 watch band on my list, I still won’t reach the low end Chronos price. Incidentally, I probably will purchase each watch band on my list, just so I can have a different look at various life functions.
The Chronos looks awesome and its built on the back of a solid device. But, that original baseline still seems to provide a better overall experience. It’s the difference, I guess, between buying an Apple Watch versus a gold Apple Watch. There’s something for everyone and every pocket book.