Garmin Fenix Chronos: Essential guide to the luxury outdoor watch

Everything you need to know about Garmin's latest feature-packed sports watch
Garmin Fenix Chronos guide

The Garmin Fenix Chronos range is a collection of high-quality material GPS sports watches that up the style stakes for the navigation specialist.

Essentially a Fenix 3 in shiny new clothing - the spec sheets are more or less identical so you'll get all the great sports tracking features and sensors.

Here's our full lowdown on what you can expect from the stylish outdoor watch. Keep a look out for our Fenix Chronos review, which we're hope to have in the coming months.

Garmin Fenix Chronos: Design

Garmin Fenix Chronos guide

The Fenix Chronos comes in three flavours. Titanium with brushed titanium band (most expensive, obviously), steel with brushed stainless steel band (the middle one) and steel with vintage leather band (cheapest but not cheap).

In terms of weight difference, the titanium model weighs in at 112g, the stainless steel and leather band combo is 94g and the stainless steel case with steel band is the heaviest at 186g.

We're not sure that titanium or steel are the ideal materials to use, especially on a strap, for rugged sports watches that have hiking, diving, kayaking and the like in mind. Imagine the chaffing. However, Garmin's senior product manager Martin Resch says it's "for seamless transition from a day hiking through mountains, training for a race or to heading to an official event."

We shouldn't be too harsh on Garmin here. Traditional watch makers have been using titanium and steel for years on their 'sports' ranges. We have also been told that it's the same steel used in Breitling watches, so it should be suitably tough. Garmin will also provide more sport-friendly silicon straps with every Chronos watch, which you can easily clip in.

You still get that 1.2-inch Chroma always-on Display with 218 x 218 pixel resolution as used on the Fenix 3, which uses transflective tech to improve visibility in bright outdoor light. The sapphire lens is scratch-resistant as well for that extra layer of durability.

It's also waterproof up to 100 metres, so it's suitable for jumping in the pool or the ocean for an open water swim as well.

Garmin Fenix Chronos: Sports tracking

As we've already mentioned, the Chronos brings an identical feature set to the Fenix 3. We gave the Fenix 3 4.5 stars when we reviewed it last year so we are big fans of what the latest Fenix has to offer.

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On the sports tracking front, there's an EXO antenna (GPS/GLONASS) inside the bezel to map routes with support to store routes as well. Garmin's own Elevate optical heart sensor technology is on board as well. You can pair it with all the usual sensors like cadence sensors, foot pods and heart rate monitor chest straps.

It's jammed pack with outdoor-friendly sensors including an altimeter, barometer and a compass. There's multiple sports tracking profiles covered with running, cycling, swimming, golf and skiing all well catered for. You'll be served up with a whole host of metrics and Garmin's has included the new advanced running dynamics data from its Forerunner range, all of which is stored in the Garmin Connect app.

The Fenix Chronos works as a 24/7 activity tracker, so you'll be able to get information on step count, automatically log sleep, plus it builds in the excellent Move bar to make sure you're staying active regularly during the day.

Garmin Fenix Chronos: The app and notifications

Garmin Fenix Chronos guide

Speaking of Garmin Connect, it's still available in desktop and smartphone form and with the Chronos, that means you can access the Connect IQ store to download additional apps, data fields and watch faces. It also includes Garmin's new watch face feature, which lets you create your own personalised watch faces.

Garmin has impressed us with its approach to smartwatch-style notifications, and there's more of the same on the Chronos. That means you can see emails, texts, and third party app alerts from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp on the watch screen.

Garmin Fenix Chronos: Battery life

The only thing that's taken a hit is the battery life - 25 hours of battery life in UltraTrac battery saver mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode, compared to 40 and 16. It will also last a week in watch mode.

That's still a good showing, but for those who rely on getting the most out of the battery life, this might still come as a little bit of a disappointment.

Garmin Fenix Chronos: Price and release date

Deep breath - here's the prices. The Fenix Chronos with titanium band is $1,499.99; the stainless steel band will set you back $1,099.99 and the leather strapped variant costs $999.99.

All models are expected to launch in September and you can find out more about all three over on the Garmin website.

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