Garmin Fenix 3 vs Forerunner 920XT

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If you’re an athletic and active GPS watch fan, this is the article you’ve been waiting for!

You know about these two state-of-the-art GPS watches made by Garmin and can’t decide which one to choose? A sports watch is an important personal choice, so make sure to carefully read this Garmin Fenix 3 vs Forerunner 920XT comparison. After reading you will have a better understanding how these watches compare and which will be the best device for you.

Read: In-depth Samsung Fenix 3 review

Garmin Fenix 3 vs Forerunner 920XT – Overview

Both wearables are full-scale trackers, which means they monitor all your activities at all times, including the distance travelled and the calories burned doing whatever it is your love to do. Sometimes people call this also a multisports GPS watch.

However, the Garmin Fenix 3 is the best choice for runners, especially those who have transcended the confines of pavement! When equipped with the heart rate strap, the Fenix 3 tracks elevation, tempo, and vertical oscillation.

Both the Fenix 3 and the Forerunner 920xt have a wide range of alarms and alerts, needed to keep you in top form at all times, and one should never hesitate to take advantage of these amazing features.

The most popular apps are running, swimming, and cycling. You can reorder them as you wish on both watches, delete some of them or add others depending on what type of sports you do.

Full-scale body monitoring

Garmin Fenix 3 - available watch colors
Garmin Fenix 3 – styles

You can connect the watches to HRM-Run monitors to get absolutely precise and reliable running data. This data will of course be based on whether you are running outdoors or indoors on a treadmill. Similarly, you can select indoor or open water swimming and / or indoor or outdoor cycling.

Both watches are equipped with accelerometers, providing exact data on the distance covered and the tempo. The Fenix 3 as well as the Forerunner 920XT offer a race predictor. Of course, there are also sensors for distance and tempo if you choose to cycle. More fitness tracker designed for cyclists can be found also here.

As far as swimming goes, you will get data on pace, length, calories burned and other key metrics on both trackers, as well as SWOLF. This is something die-hard swimmers would definitely need. SWOLF comes from swim and golf and your SWOLF score is measured by adding the strokes and swimming time. The lower your score, the better, similarly to golf.

You can also use heart rate monitors if you’re swimming, but the data doesn’t sync in real time. If you are into swimming only, please take a look at our top waterproof fitnesstrackers for swimming.

On Sale!
Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch, Gray
  • Chroma display - 1.2” sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma optically-bonded display.Quick fit watch band...
  • Water rating - water rated up to 10ATM/ 100 Meters1; suitable for swimming. Case Material: fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Exo antenna - Omni-directional Steel exo antenna, when paired with GLONASS and epo, provides an even faster fix and...

Exact training effect data and connectivity

Garmin Forerunner 920XT Display
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Display

Both watches provide instant access to Garmin’s Connect IQ, which is awesome. With Connect IQ you can download extra apps by just pressing a button.

The Fenix 3 and the Forerunner 920XT offer heart rate and interval training, are shock resistant, forward all calls, text messages, emails, and other notifications, and offer ANT+, which is great if there are special accessories you want to use the watch with.

What’s more, both watches guarantee the perfect run or hike because they calculate the training effect very precisely and the data is fully reliable.

On Sale!
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue Watch
  • VO2 MAX, RECOVERY TIME & RACE PREDICTOR2 Forerunner 920XT estimates VO2 max, recovery time and predicts your race times...
  • RUNNING DYNAMICS1 When paired with the HRM-RunTM monitor, the Forerunner 920XT provides feedback on running form by...
  • METRICS THAT MATTER Record speed, distance, ascent/descent, grade and more. Pair with ANT+ compatible sensors to measure...

Garmin Fenix 3 vs Forerunner 920XT – feature and waterproof differences

The action-packed Fenix 3 has compass, weather, barometer and altimeter apps and among its preset ones are sports like hiking and climbing.

The 920XT features just the standard swimming, cycling and running apps, as well as a multisport one (triathlon – doing all three of these in different order). There is a small waterproof rating difference between the watches too. The 920XT has a waterproof rating of 5 ATM and the Fenix 3 of 10 ATM.

Design and price

Garmin Fenix 3
Garmin Fenix 3

One difference that becomes obvious in our Garmin Fenix 3 vs Forerunner 920XT challenge is when you take a look at its design. The Fenix 3 is round, made of steel and has five buttons. If you find it somewhat bulky at almost 200 g, you can replace the metal strap with a rubber one. It might not look as good, but it is more practical.

Garmin Forerunner 920XT Front
Garmin Forerunner 920XT

The 920XT smartwatch is square and has six buttons, which some people see as a disadvantage. It’s also slightly bigger. On the upside, it is made of plastic, which helps bring down wear and tear, and the watch is lighter than it looks.

Both watches’ batteries tend to last around 45 hours in low-intensity GPS mode. At a current price of $500, the Fenix 3 costs $50 more than the 920XT, but both watches are well-worth their prices, eye-watering as they may be.


The Fenix 3 definitely improves upon its forerunners and is highly recommended by hardened sportsmen, but this doesn’t mean casual gym-goers won’t get a kick out of it. It’s amazing that all sports activities can be tracked with one single state-of-the-art app.

The sleek design and Smartwatch notifications push the Fenix 3 to the top as the reigning champion of all GPS watches out there.

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