Garmin released the Fenix 5 Plus series on Monday after weeks of speculation and already potential buyers of the new fitness watch have openly complained about the high Fenix 5 Plus prices across the entire series and whilst I will be doing a review in the coming weeks, lets just spend some time on bringing the prices into perspective.
Must read review: Fitbit Ionic
So before I get started on this article, I just wanted to point out this is not a pro-Garmin article, Active JR has no association with Garmin, no incentive, nor do I get any pre-release Garmin devices. So that’s out the way, let’s move on and discuss the Garmin Fenix 5 plus high prices, or so you think.
Well, you obviously know the Fenix 5 Plus has been released as you would not have come to this article. The new Garmin watch has been released with a load of new features, Garmin Pay, Galileo, Music Storage, Maps and Climbpro to name a few that already build on the current Fenix 5 series.
Now with all these new features, you can image Garmin would want to put a high price tag on the new Fenix 5 Plus line up and why shouldn’t they? after all, Garmin does not have a real challenger in this category of a fitness watch and will have put a significant investment in R&D, they are not a charity after all.
Read more about the Fenix 5 Plus features here
Before we move on, I am going to leave the Fenix 5x Plus out of this debate as it as a feature called PulseOX that if I am being honest most users will never use, ever. I was tempted to buy the Carbon Gray DLC Titanium Fenix 5x Plus, but I will never use the PulseOX, so the high price as swayed me away.
Fenix 5 Plus pricing
Garmin has launched 15 variants of the Fenix 5 Plus, all with different materials, bands and sizes, but all the models come with the same features, with the exception of the Fenix 5x Plus that has the PulseOX exclusive to that device.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
- Garmin Fenix 5 Plus non-sapphire pricing $699 / £599
- Sapphire, Black with Black Band – $799 / £699
- Sapphire, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with DLC Titanium Band – $1099 / £949
- Sapphire, Titanium with Solar Flare Orange Band – $849 / £749
- Sapphire, Black with Black Leather Band – $849 / £749
- Premium multisport GPS smartwatch that estimates heart rate at the wrist and includes color TOPO maps featuring Trendline 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
Links to UK retailers
Garmin Fenix 5s Plus
- Non-Sapphire White with Sea Foam Band – $699 / £599
- Non-sapphire Silver with Black Band – $699 / £599
- Sapphire, White with Carrera White Band -$849.99 / £749
- Sapphire, Black with Black Band $799.99 / £699
- Sapphire, White with Gray Suede Band $849.99 / £749
- Sapphire, Rose Gold-tone with Carrara White Band – $849.99
Sapphire, White with Rose Gold-tone Metal Band – £899
- Smaller-sized multisport GPS smartwatch that estimates heart rate at the wrist and includes color TOPO maps featuring Trendline popularity routing to help you find and follow the best paths
- Fit for adventure with bold design that features a large 1.2" sunlight-readable display and stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case
Links to UK retailers
Garmin Fenix 5x Plus pricing
- Sapphire, Black with Black Band – $849 / £749
- Sapphire, Slate Grey with Brown Leather Band – £749
- Sapphire, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with DLC Titanium Band – $1149 / £999
- 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
- Wrist-based Pulse Ox Acclimation sensor, a non-medical device that provides awareness of your estimated blood oxygen saturation levels - especially useful when you're adjusting to higher altitudes (not available in all countries)
Links to UK retailers
So as you can see above the Fenix 5 Plus series has lots to choose from and a variety or prices.
Must read review: Netatmo Presence camera
Fenix 5 prices compared to the Fenix 5 Plus prices
So let us rewind to the March 2017 when the Garmin Fenix 5 series was released and a base model Fenix 5 or Fenix 5s would cost you $599 / £499. Yes you could later down the line get one from your mate bob or a black Friday sale, but for the benefit of this article lets just compare launch prices from Garmin.
So if you take the base model price of the Fenix 5 or 5s at $599 / £499 and then look at the base model of the Fenix 5 Plus, that will set you back $699 / £599, we are talking about £100 difference.
Must read: Connect IQ store guide
So now we are in 2018 and looking at the Fenix 5 Plus, considering the new features being Garmin Pay, Galileo, Music storage and maps, does this not justify the £100 difference between the Fenix 5 Plus vs the Fenix 5? I think it does, Garmin has given users a big upgrade for a small amount.
But, yes there is a but to this
Should I upgrade from the Fenix 5 to the Fenix 5 Plus?
Whilst in my view the Fenix 5 Plus offers a lot for your money in terms of features, doe this mean you should trade in your (old) Fenix 5 for a new shinney Fenix 5 Plus?
Well that all depends on a number of factors and these are, do you need the new features such as maps, Garmin Pay and Music storage and or do you want to have the latest fitness gadget from Garmin?
Must Read: HomeKit guide
To answer the latter, if you want the new shiny Garmin watch, then whatever advice you are given, you will still buy it and I don’t judge you for it, I am like you! But if you are a Fenix 5 user and wondering should you upgrade to the Fenix 5 Plus, then you need to answer the question, do you need any of the new features that the F5 Plus offers? How many of those features will you use?
If you can answer that those questions then you are half the way there to the decision. You just then to decide if the £100 upgrade cost is worth it, but also take into account that you will also have a depreciated Fenix 5 that you will need to sell along with others like you, so be prepared to take a hit on the price.
So the bottom line is if you are happy with the Fenix 5 you currently have and not don’t need the new features, then stick with it. However, if you NEED the new features and can accept the cost, then go for it.
So that takes us onto if you own a Fenix 3 Fenix 3HR
Should I upgrade from the Fenix 3 HR to the Fenix 5 Plus
Right of the bat, if you have a Fenix 3 non HR and you have been visiting the Garmin website weekly or even daily since the Fenix 5 was launched last year, then this is a no-brainer and just go for it, its a fabulous upgrade that will give you everything the Fenix 5 was tempting you with and more, lots more.
But if you have a Fenix 3 HR, the choice is a little different. The Fenix 3 HR is a still a very solid device with an optical HR sensor, yes its the old sensor, but it still works well. The GPS tracking is solid along with the build quality.
So should I upgrade the Fenix 3 HR to the Fenix 5 Plus? I think this is all down to personal choice and if you were ready to make the move or at least tempted with the Fenix 5, then the Fenix 5 Plus should give you enough justification to make the plunge and buy.
Must read review: Amazfit Stratos
Other reasons to upgrade
So whilst we have covered the practical and feature driven reasons, we have the reasons that users have complained about, but in my view, you should not upgrade for these reasons and instead bang down the door of Garmin until they do something about it.
- Dodgy GPS and pace accuracy, will Galileo fix this, I am not sure. But you should be speaking to Garmin if you have a legit complaint.
- Dodgy ANT+ connection, then you should again be speaking with Garmin, don’t spend more money to fix a problem you have
- Dodgy, well dodgy anything when it comes to the performance of your Garmin device. Don’t spend ANY money fixing a problem that Garmin has a duty to fix if it is a legit complaint.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus price reduction
When will the Fenix 5 Plus be reduced? Yes, this question has already been asked via the Active JR YouTube channel and I don’t think I can give a simple to answer to this.
But to answer the question the best I can, I don’t think short term it will. Garmin will want to maximise the return on investment in the short term and drag those to the till that will just pay the price and then look at stock levels in the next few months.
But on the other hand and this is the biggest telling sign that prices of the Fenix 5 Plus will be reduced long term is that many retailers have them in stock even this evening, this also includes Garmin’s own website. When the Fenix 5 was launched last year, I had to wait weeks for mine to come, Garmin didn’t have any stock on its website for 8 weeks! but this time I could buy the Fenix 5 Plus without any delay and I had a choice of who I got it from.
Should I wait and final thoughts
Just like anything, you should buy something based on your own judgement along with needs and wants and this article may have just been an attempt to justify the upgrade and I hope it has helped and you have decided to purchase, then I will be cheeky and point you in the direction of the links above.
But seriously, buy something because you have the need and you can justify and buy based on what you know now as I know what you are thinking. What about the Fenix 6? well it might never come in 2019 and I cant see a big step change anyway.
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.
My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.
You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1
Active JR may receive a small commision if you use affiliate links on this website