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Samsung Watch 3 on its own.
Samsung Watch 3 (on right) next to Garmin Fenix 6
— both titanium.
The display on the Samsung ‘Watch 3’ is absolutely BRILLIANT — in every way, & the much-vaunted rotating bezel is just great. But, beyond that the Watch 3 disappoints.
Yes, I am comparing it to a Garmin Fenix 6 — which is a more expensive watch. I appreciate & acknowledge that. But, I discovered today, to my cost & chagrin, that you can’t move from a Garmin Fenix 6 to the Watch 3. Just doesn’t cut it.
Here are the MAIN things I found beyond trying:
- That beautiful display becomes UNREADABLE when outside, in Sun, because Samsung has a stupid “Outdoor Mode” which dims the screen — BUT there is NO WAY you can turn this off or adjust the brightness. That started to drive me crazy.
- Yes, plenty of gorgeous watch faces but many do NOT offer any customization — & those that do still limit your flexibility. Look at the watch face (ActiFace) I have on my Fenix 6. I could not get all that info on a Samsung face. I really missed sunrise/sunset (which is only available on SOME faces).
- Even with ‘Always On’ watch face goes dark!
- ECG functionality ONLY available with a Samsung phone & I don’t have one. That was a killer.
- Getting navigational APPs was difficult.
Bottom line was that the Watch 3 is 75% — ‘pretty display’, BUT even that is muddied by the stupid “Outdoor Mode” & erratic “Aways On”.
Yes, it would have been very different IF I wasn’t coming from a Fenix 6. If it is to be your first smartwatch you will probably LOVE it. SMILE.
Search ‘Garmin’ & ‘Samsung’.
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Garmin (bigger, less bright) on LEFT.
I had to try it, viz., the Samsung ‘Watch 3’. And if I was going to try it, it had to be Titanium. I am a sucker for BOTH AMOLED displays & Titanium. Well, Samsung indulges I, but alas Garmin only gives me Titanium.
I do like the display on the Samsung. To I that is the MAIN reason to get it. Very different watches. The Garmin, of course more expensive, is feature & function rich. But, now the irony. At 67 what I do MAINLY is walk/hike & clock up elevation (i.e., ‘floors’). The Samsung can handle that, plus Heart Rate & blood oxygen saturation. Supposedly it can do VO2 MAX but I haven’t found it. Plus, it has watch faces galore.
Yes, battery life, especially with the ‘Always On Display’ I INSIST on, ON, is appalling! I keep on charging it when I am seated — typing!
Well, lets see how it works out. Not my first Samsung Smartwatch. I treated myself at Christmas 2017 to a Samsung ‘Frontier S3’. But, I hardly worse it & eventually sold it, for a good price, on eBay. So, who knows. I will keep you posted.
Search ‘Garmin’ & ‘Samsung’.
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The Garmin ‘Venu SQ‘ has a relatively small — but very bright & attractive — screen (albeit, alas, not AMOLED).
I found that these two screens worked really well for I.
The all-in-one data field gave me as much data as I got from my Fenix 6 where I use 6-fields. The Venu SQ doesn’t support that many data fields BUT this data field allows you to bypass that.
Check them out on Garmin ‘Connect IQ’.
Would appear they jumped the gun. That they are only offering grey is another clue that they somehow did NOT wait for Garmin’s announcement. Maybe they were confused given that it was supposed to be announced last week.
Garmin’s announcement of the ‘Venu SQ‘ is said to be towards the end of this month, i.e., September 2020.
The ‘Venu SQ’ was SUPPOSED to be announced September 16, 2020, alongside the ‘Forerunner 745’. Well that did NOT happen. Instead Garmin just announced the latest ‘Forerunner’.
The ‘Venu SQ’ is supposedly delayed until month end (if not longer). Not good. Usually Garmin would have gone ahead & announced & then stated a 6-9 week shipment delay.
Maybe they realized that they have to go back to an AMOLED screen! WOW.
Yes, Apple ‘Watch Series 4’ pioneered ECG/EKG way back in 2018. This is, however, Fitbit’s first foray into this field. That it has got US FDA approval is BIG. Samsung is still struggling to get this approved on their new ‘Watch 3’. That must be galling for them.
The Fitbit ‘Sense’, at $329, is quite the watch. It has built-in GPS & all the latest health tracking features. Most impressive Fitbit ever — & it even has an AMOLED, always-on display with a 6-day battery life. This is quite the watch & it is $100 cheaper than the Samsung ‘Watch 3’. Hopefully I will get one, in October, from ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA) to evaluate. I will keep you posted. OK?
What set out the Venu from all other Garmins was the bright, beautiful AMOLED display. And yes, AMOLED is a battery hog & that did not sit well with Garmin. Garmin likes to provide longer battery life at the expense of more striking screens. That is a problem.
But, abandoning AMOLED, in late 2020, on this type of watch is a mistake. With its shape it is going after the Fitbit Versa 2 & Apple. The Versa 2 has a great AMOLED display.
To compound matters there is also the new Samsung Watch 3 — with another v. attractive AMOLED display further augmented with a rotating bezel.
The Venu SQ will face stiff competition from these two. I will keep you posted.
The ‘Samsung Watch 3‘ has potential. NO, I haven’t got one yet. SMILE. But, I probably will in a few weeks after I double-, triple-check the reviews.
I will, of course, keep you posted. IF you are interested PLEASE joint the group. It is FREE (for now). SMILE.
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The Garmin MARQ Explorer I returned to get the Titanium Fenix 6.
So, I now have two Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Sapphires — latest in Titanium and the other in Black DLC. Yes, I like the Fenix 6. SMILE.
I like the Fenix 6 so much that I returned a Garmin MARQ Explorer to get the Titanium one!
Here is the ironney (and possible even sadness). The TWO Fenix 6s together, even with one being Titanium, costs less than the MARQ Explorer. That is sobering. But, having worn two I liked the Fenix 6 better. I am not new to Fenix. I have owned a Fenix 5 and a Fenix 5 Plus.
The Fenix 6 display is head and shoulders better than that on the MARQ. The display is noticeably blacker (like with AMOLED) and brighter. Once you get used to the Fenix 6 display the MARQ looks washed out and pale! The software also is more reliable.
The Fenix 6 Titanium is JUST the bezel and maybe the back. The body is plastic. That is disappointing. The MARQ Explorer was all Titanium and, as the image above shows, had more presence. But, that is ‘OK’, I wasted too many hours getting the MARQ to go back to my watch face and do what it was supposed to do.
With the new maps released earlier this week there was a lot of software that had to be downloaded to my Fenix 6. Garmin Express had some issues. I had to do it twice — on two separate PCs, but in the end I got it all loaded and squared away. Good job I had a bit of experience with Garmin. SMILE.
Talking of which I do maintain an Excel Spreadsheet of all the smartwatches that pass through my hands given that I go through a fair number a year. This is today’s cut.
Yes, I got the Fenix 6 Sapphire — as I have my last 6 Garmins — from ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA). I do not deal with anyone else.
Folks are claiming that it is available in Australia.
ISSUE: The U.S. availability for the new Garmin VENU is still stated as being 5 — 8 weeks, the SAME it was when it was announced 4-weeks ago, on September 5, 2019. Ideally it should now be saying, worst case, 3 — 5 weeks. Yes, Garmin could change this tomorrow to say ‘1 — 3 Days’. It does happen.
The Garmin Forums, however, have had an active ‘VENU’ Forum for at least the last couple of weeks. There are some interesting posts on that Forum. There are those that claim that they already have a VENU. At least one claims he got it from Australia. As you can see, above, I checked. Plausible. But, it doesn’t make sense UNLESS Garmin is using Australia as a big beat-site.
And to add further credence, on the Forum, ‘Garmin’ has announced that they are rolling out v.3.40 of the software.
CONCERNS: There is also a post, on the Forum, from what looks like a Garmin ‘insider’ that speculates that the delay may be due to the US-China trade war and tensions. They are not sure, but there is a concern. YIKES! Not good. This could hit all of us hard.
At this rate it is going to be touch and go whether the VENU will be available for Black Friday. Maybe that is not a bad thing. You don’t really want it discounted that soon.
In terms of the availability being stuck at ‘5 to 8 weeks’, it reminds me of the infamous Vivoactive 3 roll-out exactly 2-years ago. Same scenario. Makes me nervous because I had a lot of bad luck with the Vivoactive 3.
ISSUE: Because AMOLED displays can be a drag on the battery there is a ‘low-power’ ‘always-on’ display ‘mode’ (which just shows the time) on the VENU. The ‘Fitbit Versa 2‘ has that too. Appears, however, that this always-on mode has issues. Only a few watch faces support it. ‘Crystal’, which I tried on my Garmin MARQ, being one of them. But, I also see that ‘Crystal’ and a few other watch faces are now claiming that they are permanently ON, impacting battery life, even IF they are not your chosen watch face! Yikes. That is bad. I didn’t install ‘Crystal’ on my Fenix 6 because of this.
CONCERN: Will more and more watch faces end up being permanently on because they want to support the VENU always-on display mode? That would be a shame.
ISSUE: I am seeing, on the Forum, sensor (e.g., barometer) and software bug issues very similar to what I saw with the initial roll-out of the Vivoactive 3. That worries me. Yes, the VENU, theoretically, is still in beta-test phase. So, maybe they will iron out these issues. But, I doubt whether they will opt for new sensors this late in the game.
CONCERN: I had two Vivoactive 3s die on me. I just don’t want to go through that with the VENU.
So, those are my issues & concerns.