Garmin Fenix 5 – Summary

Back in January 2017 Garmin announced the Garmin Fenix 5 series smartwatches, one of the smartwatches is the Fenix 5, the smartwatch is loaded with fitness  and sport tracking features. Garmin also added the quickfit features, making it easy for users to change the strap without the need of using tools. IF you are using Garmin Fenix 3 and planning to upgrade to Fenix 5, check the first the specs and features of it is worth upgrading to Fenix 5

Garmin Fenix 5 Release Date and price

Garmin officially announced Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X. These multisport GPS watches are estimated to available in the next 5-8 weeks. The price starts from £499 for the base models right up to £769 for the Fenix 5X with full colour topo maps

Garmin Fenix 5 design and features

At first glance, Fenix 5 doesn’t look much different from Fenix 3. It keeps the classic round face, stainless steel bezel, silicone band and 5 physical buttons on the side of the device. With Connect IQ supported, you can customize the watch face with any photo from your smartphone.

Garmin Fenix 5 has more sizes and colours

The fenix 5 series now boasts three sizes (fenix 5s, fenix 5 and fenix 5X), as opposed to fenix 3’s one. One of these new models—the Fenix 5s— better accommodates women athletes or anyone looking for a more compact size, as the new fenix 5s is nearly 10mm smaller in dimension vs Fenix 3. And we should note that even the more classic fenix 5 is 4mm less in width vs fenix 3, giving a more streamlined look and less weighty feel. By the way, all of these models are offered in both regular and sapphire options, with the exception of fenix 5X, which is sapphire only.

Garmin Fenix 5 has Interchangeable Bands

The fenix 5 series introduces QuickFit bands, which allow you to easily switch out your band for a different colour or style should the event or mood strike. Considering that fenix 3 was nearly £450, yet limited in both size and band choices, fenix 5’s QuickFit bands are an impressive upgrade. You should note that because of their differences in size, the bands are only interchangeable within the category of fenix 5 models that you go with. In other words, you can’t swap out a fenix 5s grey/yellow (a very cool color option, might we add) for a fenix 5X metal band. But you still get anywhere from 2-5 band options depending on which model you choose. And no need to worry that this leaves you susceptible to loss—these bands are designed to lock and stay in place.

Garmin fenix 3 quickfit band
Garmin Fenix 5 screen

Garmin Fenix 5 has a More Optimal Display

With the exception of the smallest of the new fenix series— fenix 5s—the new display size is now 240 x 240 pixels, vs fenix 3’s 218 x 218 pixels. You’ll also get nearly 50 more colors too (includes all fenix 5 models).

The always on, high-resolution, full-colour Garmin Chroma Display™ assures great readability at any time. fēnix 5 makes use of 1.2’’ display with transflective technology that reflects and transmits light at the same time enables the watch face to become even better readable under intense sunlight.

Garmin Fenix 5 has 24/7 heart rate monitor

The fenix 5 series adds optical heart rate, meaning no more chest straps or alternative heart rate monitors. Technically speaking, the fenix 3HR boasts this feature as well, though fenix 5 models records the 24/7 data every 1-2 seconds, with a smoother sensor that’s nearly level with the watch itself. Note that you will need to add a chest strap for some features, such as underwater data while swimming, though you can bundle up with a HRM-TRI with the fenix 5.

Garmin Fenix 5 HRH
Garmin fenix 5 activity
Garmin fenix 5 performance
Garmin fenix 5 vertical

Garmin Fenix 5 has more training profiles and data

It wouldn’t be a true upgrade without some new and/or enhanced sports features. The fenix 5 series now boasts Mountain Biking, and differentiates between Ski and Snowboard and Treadmill and Indoor Track; all four of these sports are now their own separate profile vs two combined profiles on fenix 3. You also get Greenview, AutoShot, and TruSwing features added to the golf profile.

Garmin Fenix 5 splits aerobic and anaerobic training effect and features a new Training Load function. If you swim, you’ll get personal records along with Swim Structured Workout support.

  • Training Status: Tells you how effective your training is and provides guidance on whether your workouts are productive and making progress.
  • VO2Max Estimator: Crunches, running or cycling performance data to estimate the maximum volume of oxygen you can consume per minute and gives you an indication of your level of fitness.
  • Training Load: Tells you how hard you train over a period of time no matter which activity.
  • Recovery Advisor: The Recovery Timer tells you the recommended recovery time counting down from your last workout.

Training Effect 2.0 will provide aerobic and anaerobic benefit scores for each training session, so that you understand whether your high-intensity interval training really pays off.

Garmin Fenix 5 is better for cyclist's

In many ways, Garmin gave fenix 5 models some serious “Edge” if you get my drift, by creating compatibility with the Varia Bike Light and Radar series, a connection that up until now has been limited to Edge Bike computers and just a few other watch models (the 735XT, fenix Chronos, and Vivoactive HR to be exact). fenix 5 watches also support Shimano Di2 Shifting and ANT+ Gear Shifting, plus FTP Estimation and Strava Live Segment (Bike + Run).

This is a big feature for me and could be for many that want to just have one device for multiple activities when you have a range of Garmin products like the Varia light radar.

Garmin Fenix 5 vs Garmin fenix 3
Garmin Varia radar light
Garmin fenix 5x topo
Whether you’re in the city or on the trail, an array of fēnix 5X on-watch mapping and navigation features help keep you oriented and on-course at a glance. Full-colour European recreational mapping that comes preloaded; map data is optimised for at-a-glance navigation and location tracking on your wrist Round-trip routing options give runners and cyclists the ability to enter a distance they want to conduct and the watch will suggest appropriate courses Easy-to-read guidance cues provide banners on the display that show upcoming turns Around Me map mode displays locations nearby in a simplified graphical interface that increases awareness and ease when navigating in unfamiliar environments Data overlays on the map highlight key information so you don’t have to switch screens while in an activity GroupTrack4 allows you to keep tabs on your buddies for adventures such as skiing; LiveTrack allows friends to follow your adventures in real time2
Garmin fenix 5x nav

Garmin Fenix 5 has advance navigation and colour TOPO maps

You really get a load of navigational features with the new fenix 5 vs the fenix 3. First, all models include navigational and proximity guidance, so you know how far away you are from destination points in terms of time and distance. If you’re looking for the mother load of navigational features, check out the fenix 5X in particular, which adds TOPO maps, round-trip mapping for both runs and cycling, locating points of interest and more.

Whether you’re in the city or on the trail, an array of fēnix 5X on-watch mapping and navigation features help keep you oriented and on-course at a glance.

  • Full-colour country recreational mapping that comes preloaded; map data is optimised for at-a-glance navigation and location tracking on your wrist
  • Round-trip routing options give runners and cyclists the ability to enter a distance they want to conduct and the watch will suggest appropriate courses
  • Easy-to-read guidance cues provide banners on the display that show upcoming turns
  • Around Me map mode displays locations nearby in a simplified graphical interface that increases awareness and ease when navigating in unfamiliar environments
  • Data overlays on the map highlight key information so you don’t have to switch screens while in an activity
  • GroupTrack4 allows you to keep tabs on your buddies for adventures such as skiing; LiveTrack allows friends to follow your adventures in real time2

Garmin Fenix 5 better battery and Smart Bluetooth!

Specifically, in the fenix 5 model, you’ll get up to 25 more hours in UltraTrac mode and 24 hours in training mode (vs 20 hours in fenix 3).

  • Battery life on Garmin Fenix 5 is stated to be 2 weeks in smartwatch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode. This is better than the Fenix 3HR which is 16 hours in GPS training mode. But many people still desire a battery life of more than 24 hours for GPS mode.
  • Battery life on the Fenix 5S is less than what the Fenix 5 offers, delivering up to eight days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode.
  •  Fenix 5X can last up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode (depending on settings), up to 24 hours in GPS mode, and up to 100 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode (better than the 40 hours in UltraTrac mode of Fenix 3HR)

Finally Bluetooth!!!

You’ll be hard-pressed to hold back your applause on this one— fenix 5 is the first Garmin device to-date that supports Bluetooth Smart Sensors, expanding your options particularly in the chest strap department (remember you still need one of these to glean more advanced dynamics), with more Bluetooth Smart updates to follow.

Garmin Fenix 5 screen

Garmin Fenix 5 Conclusion

Of course, it’s to soon to make any conclusion. However with all the information Garmin provides so far, I do see lots of improvements over the Garmin Fenix 3 HR and I see the Fenix 5 moving towards a watch you can use for everything.

Watch this space for a full hands on review

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