Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Trendline routing in-depth review

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and Trendline routing

As I continue to put the Fenix 5 Plus through its paces for the up and coming review, that should be out in the next couple of weeks. I am very mindful that readers will be wanting to get a sense of the key features on the new Fenix 5 Plus ahead, so I have decided to pull some in-depth reviews and this one will cover Trendline popularity routing.

Garmin has included some headline features in the new Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series and over the next couple of weeks I will be testing them all out, but in an effort to help readers of Active JR will be pulling together in-depth reviews of the following, Maps, Music, Garmin Pay, Galileo and in this instalment Trendline routing.

What is Trendline popularity Routing

Before we get started looking at Trendline popularity routing in-depth, let’s spend a few moments toi understand what Trendline routing is?

Trendline routing is Garmin’s on-device routing software that uses the billions of routes and data from Garmin Connect to plan routes based on a desired distance and direction. The feature first came to the Edge 1030 back in 2017 and has now landed on the Fenix 5 Plus GPS watches.Fenix 5 Plus run

Just one thing to note, Trendline routing only supports running and cycling at the time of writing review, so MTB, hiking, and even trail running are not supported at the moment.

Which Fenix watches support Trendline Routing?

Garmin has included Trendline routing with the Fenix 5 Plus series in terms of sports watches. The question has been asked if Garmin will also include it in the Previous Fenix 5x, but I have not got a reply as of writing this in-depth guide.

How to use Trendline routing on the Fenix 5 Plus

To get started with Trendline routing on the Fenix 5 Plus, you need to select either running or cycling from the activities menu.

  • Press activities menu
  • Select either run or bike
  • Press the up/menu button
  • Goto Navigation options
  • Goto Round-trip course
  • Set the distance ( a limit of 100 miles or KM
  • Set the direction (Options of any direction, North, South, East and West)

The Fenix 5 Plus will now calculate the first route, this can take from 30 seconds or if you choose 100 miles 5 minutes based on my testing. You be presented with 3 courses, but the further 2 take additional time to generate.How to use Trendline routing Fenix 5 Plus

Once you have a course created, you can then review the course on the Fenix 5 Plus and you get the following options.Fenix 5 Plus map

  • Go – this will set the Fenix 5 Plus into navigating mode and load the course ready to go
  • Map – You can look at the map, pan, zoom and all that stuff.
  • Turn by turn – This gives you the option to look at the turn by turn directions
  • Elevation plot – You can see the elevation plot for the route created
  • Save – You can save the route for future use.Fenix 5 Plus turn by turn

Once you are happy with the route created, you are ready to go and do the route.

Trendline routing performance on the Fenix 5 Plus

In the main I have been fairly happy with the results of the routes given on the Fenix 5 Plus and the speed of calculation, this is dependant on the distance you choose, as longer distances take more time to calculate.

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Whilst the Fenix 5 Plus will give you 3 courses to choose from when using Trendline, I have found that the courses can be pretty much the same route give or take the odd street difference. I have also found that sometimes when selecting a 10k distance it would often come up short with the distance and sometimes overshoot, but I don’t expect it to be perfect as even manual planning with Strava or Garmin Connect you need to loop around sometimes to make it up to 10k.

In terms of the course the Fenix 5 Plus will create, I have not had any issue with navigating them and been sent down roads or paths you are not allowed ect and using the turn by turn directions is very easy.

Garmin Fēnix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport...
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Garmin Fēnix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport...
  • Ultimate multisport GPS watch that estimates heart rate at the wrist and includes color Topo maps featuring trend line popularity routing to help you find and follow the best paths
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In terms of speed and performance of creating routes between the Fenix 5 Plus and the Fenix 5x Plus, based on my testing the Fenix 5 Plus model would create course 1 quicker than the Fenix 5x Plus. However, when it came to completing all 3 courses, the Fenix 5x Plus would normally perform better and on one occasion the Fenix 5 Plus taking over 5 minutes to create all 3 courses.Fenix 5 Plus route error

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I also came across an error and this occurred on all models when creating a route, the Fenix 5 Plus would throw up a route calculation error and this could only be cleared by doing a restart of the watch.

Improvements to the Trendline routing on the Fenix 5 Plus series

As with anything improvements can be made and you also need to take into limitations, so here are my thoughts on future changes or limitations you need to beware of when using Trendline on the Fenix 5 Plus.

  • MTB, trail running would be great at some point rather than just restricted to Run and bike, it does not even take you off the road when running (based on my testing)
  • When selecting “any direction” in the route creation stage, you only appear to get routes in one direction. So for instance, if the first route is north, all the routes will be north.
  • When creating a route, Trendline will sometimes leave you short on the distance. If I am wanting a 10k route, I would rather it would overshoot to say 11k and let me decide rather than in some cases be 8k. After all most people will be using this feature when they are not familiar with the area.

So I hope you have liked the in-depth look at Trendline popularity routing on the Fenix 5 Plus, if you have any questions then leave them below and don’t forget to subscribe for the latest information.

Garmin fēnix 5 Plus, Premium Multisport GPS...
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Garmin fēnix 5 Plus, Premium Multisport GPS...
  • Premium multi sport GPS smartwatch that estimates heart rate at the wrist and includes color TOPO maps featuring trend line popularity routing to help you find and follow the best paths
  • Fit for adventure with rugged design that features stainless steel or diamond like carbon (DLC) Titanium bezel, buttons and rear case

  • 6

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Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I cover Wearables, tech and smart home. My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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