Garmin Fenix Chronos

Garmin is no stranger to the GPS running watch market.  They are very well known around the athletic world for their products. The Fenix Chronos however, is a pretty big departure from their usual watches. The Fenix Chronos is essentially a re skin of their Fenix model with the intention of doubling as a luxury watch. It comes in three models, featuring steel and leather, just steel, or titanium. All of them sport heftier price tags than almost any multisport watch on the market thanks to their unique design. This review will look at the negatives and positives of the watch.

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Pros & Cons
  • Wide range of multisport features
  • Built in heart rate sensor
  • Built in barometric altimeter and compass
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive screen
  • Cons
    • Expensive
    • Slightly worse battery than the Fenix
    • Key Features
      The Garmin Fenix Chronos is designed to be functional with a wide range of sports. However, it is optimal for running, biking, and swimming. In addition to these, it is also great for hiking, cross country skiing, and most sports that can benefit from recorded distance and heart rate monitoring. The Fenix Chronos can comfortably be called a multisport watch.
      Basic Features
      In terms of basic features, the Fenix Chronos offers most of what constitutes a basic watch. It displays time and date with a very stylish screen that is not found on Garmin’s other models. It also offers a pure stopwatch, which, though basic, is not actually offered by a ton of fitness watches.

      The watch also includes the basic running watch features. It has GPS tracking to measure distance, and subsequently pace. It also measures lap timing, and is capable of alerting the user for interval training. Overall, the Fenix Chronos has most of the bases covered for basic features.
      Advanced Features
      There is a wide range of advanced features in the Fenix Chronos that contribute to its multisport prowess. The watch has a built in optical heart rate sensor that uses LED lights to record heart rate. A major plus of optical heart rate is that a strap is not needed to record, making measuring very easy and simple. The only real downside to it is that optical heart rate sensors are often less accurate than their strap counterparts. In the case of the Fenix Chronos however, users generally found that the optical sensor was pretty good and mostly accurate.

      The Fenix Chronos also supports sleep state monitoring. This has become a common feature in fitness watches, as many watches are adopting optical heart rate sensors. The watch uses the heart rate sensor while the user is asleep to measure what stage of sleep they are in. This data is then viewable in the app, on the Garmin site or on the watch itself. It shows the user how long they spent truly asleep, and further breaks it down into cycles.

      Another feature of the Fenix Chronos is the ability to relay information via audio through a smartphone. While the watch itself doesn’t store music, it can be used to control the music playing on a smartphone through wireless headphones. It can also provide audio cues for each lap, which can be useful during interval training.

      The Fenix Chronos also has smartphone notification integration. When connected to a smartphone, it displays push notifications that the phone receives. This feature can actually be turned off or muted, which is nice when one is using a smartphone for something like music, or a particular app, but does not want to see notifications.
      Accuracy in the Fenix Chronos is pretty good, as has become pretty standard for Garmin fitness products. The GPS tracks location quite well, and as a result, pace, lap and distance measurements are all precise as well. There is also, of course, no issue with general timekeeping or with the stopwatch. The altimeter is also pretty accurate, which is nice when going on trail runs or hiking in areas with elevation change. Even the heart rate monitor is pretty good, despite being optical. Optical heart rate sensors sometimes have issues with accuracy and vary a bit more than straps. The Fenix Chronos’ optical sensor, while certainly not perfect, overall does a pretty good job of maintaining an accurate reading of heart rate. As a whole, accuracy in the Garmin Fenix Chronos is quite strong.
      The Garmin Fenix Chronos’ main form of connectivity is with Bluetooth. Via Bluetooth, the watch is able to sync to smartphones, through which it has a myriad of functions and features. Data can be synced to and from the Garmin app, including sending workouts to the watch. Music can be controlled via the phone and wireless headphones. Notifications can be viewed on the watch face instead of the phone. Additionally however, the can be connected via USB to a computer to transfer data, or to charge. Unlike the Garmin Fenix 3, the Garmin Fenix Chronos lacks WiFi connectivity, which is a more common feature among higher end smart watches.
      The primary app designed to be utilized by the Garmin Fenix Chronos is the Garmin app itself. The Garmin app has a huge range of useful features for training. It shows a wider range of data about all activities and trends. It also can be used to customize some settings on the watch. Another feature is the ability to upload workouts to the watch, allowing for specialized training. The Garmin app is very handy, and these key features only scratch the surface of what the app can be used for.

      Apart from the Garmin app, the Fenix Chronos is compatible with most of the popular fitness related apps on the market. Some of these include apps like Strava, or TrainingPeaks, which are very popular for many runners.
      Comfort is pretty interesting in the Garmin Fenix Chronos, as it comes with two bands. One is for sport use and one for day to day use. The sport use band is silicone, which is a pretty standard choice overall, because of the useful properties of silicone. The ability to be lightweight and non abrasive to skin while also being waterproof makes it an obvious choice for a multisport watch band. The other band depends on the model of the Chronos purchased, and is either titanium, steel, or Italian leather. These pieces are probably less comfortable than the silicone band, though that is pretty standard of luxury watches when compared to sport watches. They are definitely not uncomfortable, but for anything outside of day to day use, they would definitely be out of place. The face of the watch itself is decently sized, and isn’t too heavy, so it doesn’t affect comfort too much luckily. The weight of the watch varies by the band, and is by far the heaviest with the titanium band.
      Style is pretty strong in the Fenix Chronos, as it should be, considering that style is the main selling point of the watch. The Fenix Chronos looks very nice in all three models. The leather, steel, and titanium bands all complement the face well, especially with the special layout. The Fenix Chronos definitely has an elegant look overall, and only looks like a sports watch when the band is changed to the silcone one. Overall, the Fenix Chronos is a stylish watch.
      Durability is not much of an issue with the Fenix Chronos. The face itself is pretty resistant to abrasions, scratches, or drops. Of course, extreme drops or impacts can cause issues, but for most accidental cases there should be nothing to worry about. The face is also waterproof up to 100m. This is to be expected, as the watch is designed to be used for aquatic training as well. It is worth noting that the watch should not be taken underwater unless the sports band is on. In general, the watch should be used for sporting activities with the sports band on to avoid damage to the fancier bands.
      The face of the Fenix Chronos is pretty nice, and a bit more unique than most Garmin faces. It is designed to look like a traditional watch face, and does a pretty good job with the buttons and casing around it. The size of the face is neither too big or too small. A backlight is also present, so that the watch can be better used at night or in dark places.
      The band of the Fenix Chronos is an interesting point, as there are three different luxury types. The three types of bands available are leather, steel, and titanium. These bands feel like regular fashion watch bands. They are significantly heavier than most sports watch bands, and also heavier than the sport band they all come with, which is made of silicone. The sport band is also pretty standard, but effective nonetheless. It is pretty comfortable, as it is lightweight and doesn’t feel overly intrusive on the skin. It also is unaffected by water, unlike the other bands.
      Sizes Available
      The Garmin Fenix Chronos is only offered in one size, though the different luxury bands offered do vary in size a bit. The leather one is much lighter and a bit smaller than the two metal ones which are significantly heavier.
      Ease of Use
      The Garmin Fenix Chronos is pretty easy to use. The basic features such as regular timekeeping, stopwatch use, and general tracking for runs are all very straightforward, and most should not have issues with this. The more advanced features like workout planning, smartphone notifications, or controlling music might pose an issue for those who have not used these features before, but the guide does a pretty good job of explaining them thoroughly. For those who have used these features before or have experience with sports watches, this should be pretty straightforward.
      Power Source
      The battery of the Fenix Chronos is pretty strong, though a bit less impressive than some of Garmin’s other high end models. The watch is expected to last 13 hours in GPS mode, which is pretty long and should be plenty for most workouts or multisport events. In standby mode the watch should last about 8 days according to Garmin. It is worth noting that different settings like brightness and battery saver mode can affect this. The Fenix Chronos charges via a charging clip that is included.
      Price is where the Fenix Chronos definitely makes jaws drop. Depending on the type of band you choose, the Fenix Chronos can cost upwards of $1500. The high cost is because of the watches luxury design and straps. This price is very far out of range for any sports watches, though the main appeal here is that the Fenix Chronos is both a luxury watch and a sports watch. The price may be more than many runners' budget, but there is no denying that the Fenix Chronos is a solid fitness watch with a unique, fashionable design.
      The Fenix Chronos only comes with the sports band. Additional accessories are sold separately. Optional accessories include heart rate monitor strap, foot pod, carrying case, bicycle mount, TruSwing golf sensor and more.
      Key Features
      Unique stylish design
      Built in optical heart rate
      Good battery life
      Different style options
      Multisport capability
      Bottom Line
      Overall, the Garmin Fenix Chronos is a very unique watch. Many would be put off by the extremely high price tag, and rightfully so. For those seeking just a sports watch, the Fenix Chronos is almost certainly not worth it. For those seeking a sports watch that can also double as a stylish day to day watch, which is certainly a unique feat, the Fenix Chronos is a pretty strong choice. The price is definitely the big limiting factor, but for those that can handle it, the Fenix Chronos is a great watch overall.
      Where to Buy Link
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      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 05. 2021

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