The Garmin Fenix 3 HR provides a powerful GPS multisport experience, see my full review, but that power comes in a large form factor that is just too big for many people. Today, Garmin announced the new Fenix 5 series, with two models designed for those with smaller wrists.
Three new models were revealed today at CES, the Fenix 5S, Fenix 5, and Fenix 5X. In addition to smaller size models, upgrades to the Fenix 5 line, compared to the Fenix 3 series, include higher resolution more colourful displays, Bluetooth Smart sensor support, mapping functionality, and new QuickFit band options. Prices range from $599.99 to $849.99, UK prices not yet announced.
These new sports watches should be available in the coming months. Make sure to visit the DC Rainmaker site for an extensive hands-on preview of these new watches, including two comprehensive videos.
The new Garmin Fenix 5S is interesting primarily because of the size and design for those with smaller wrists. The case size is 42mm, same as the large Apple Watch, with a much slimmer, smoother bezel than what we see on the other Garmin Fenix sports watches.
The Fenix 5S packs in GPS, GLONASS, 10 ATM water resistance, optical heart rate monitor, ANT+, Bluetooth, and Connect IQ support for apps, watch faces, data fields, and widgets. It’s a 24/7 activity tracker with automatic sleep tracking and step counting, too.
There are options for standard or sapphire glass, with the sapphire lens option also including Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi was standard on the Fenix 3 HR, but is now only an option on the sapphire lens models.
The Fenix 5S is rated to last up to eight days as a smartwatch and up to 13 hours in GPS tracking mode.
The new Garmin Fenix 5 has a 47mm case design, which is still smaller than the 51mm design of the current Garmin Fenix 3 HR. Other than size, it has all the same functions of the Fenix 5S.
The Fenix 5 is rated to last up to 12 days as a smartwatch and up to 20 hours in GPS tracking mode.
GARMIN FENIX 5X
The new Garmin Fenix 5X is sized the same as the Garmin Fenix 3 HR and only comes with Wi-Fi and sapphire glass. It starts at $699.99 and goes up to $849.99 with a metal band.
The defining feature of the Fenix 5X is the ability for mapping. The Fenix 5X contains 16GB of internal storage for maps (but sorry, there’s still no storage and playback of music here). Maps are topographic and cycling maps with support for more than 40,000 golf courses too. The demo on DC Rainmaker looks great and this mapping support means you could use the Fenix 5X as your GPS device for everything on foot or two wheels. There is no traffic support and it doesn’t look functional enough for automobile navigation, but it is pretty powerful if you need that sort of thing.
The Fenix 5X is rated to last up to two weeks as a smartwatch and up to 24 hours in GPS tracking mode. For comparison, the Garmin Fenix 3 HR is rated to last up to two weeks as a smartwatch and 16 hours in GPS training mode.